Random Curiosity

« Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho – 05

Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho – 06

「ようこそドリアンショーへ」 (Youkoso Dorian Shou e)
“Welcome to the Durian Show”

A traveler’s worst nightmare made manifest.

I wasn’t sure how a travel episode would play out. “Shouldn’t they get on with the Antarctica part?”, I thought to myself. But as is always the case with Ishizuka-san and her staff, this episode was a thousand times worth it. Not just because they got to sightsee in Singapore, though that was certainly cool. (Here’s your Merlion, Velvet Scarlantina.) It’s because it all centered on character, and one a conflict with a much more uncertain conclusion than last episode’s, even if the stakes were simultaneously much lower and higher.

Before that, let’s talk about travel. I’ve done a fair bit of international travel, and losing one’s passport? That’s near the top of the list of a first-time traveler’s greatest fears. (Fears that are in any way reasonable, at least.) The more you travel, the more you realize that you can work around these issues and usually everything turn out all right, but the girls are on a tight schedule. This is probably the episode that gripped me with the most outright fear, because, to be stopped from going to Antarctica because of a misplaced passport? What a %&#$ing crappy reason to miss out on a trip of a lifetime. It would have been infuriating. It would have been enraging. It would have also been totally believable, and that made it grip my heart with cold fear all the more.

Side note: I’d hate to travel on a plane with these loudmouths. I also feel for Yuzuki, having to be the adult of the group. Not that she isn’t equipped for it. Yuzuki sees all!

What was so great—and typical of this show—was that the drama was used to reveal character. This time it was a deeper dive into Hinata’s psyche and past, versus the unyielding, stubborn will that is Shirase. What’s especially fantastic is that I see both of their points. In Hinata’s shoes, I would not want to risk being the reason Shirase doesn’t get to Antarctica. I would pick her up and throw her on the damn plane myself if I had to. But Shirase doesn’t want to be the kind of person who would abandon her friend and selfishly go off on her own—you know those times when the hero’s party is thinned out as one person after another stays back to clear the way? “I’ll hold them off, you go ahead!” In matters of life and death, that may be a viable strategy. This ain’t that. Shirase doesn’t want to step over Hinata’s metaphorical body to get to where she’s going.

It was money that saved the day. (Money might not be able to buy happiness, but it can sure remove obstacles, as this episode nearly showed.) Though that’s not really true—it was the force of Shirase’s conviction that caused them to understand each other better, and it did it in a way that deftly ties into the theme of consideration—of doing what you think you ought to do, because it’s the polite thing to do, whether it’s what you really believe or not—because the reasons Shirase gives for buying the business class tickets were framed as selfish. It’s not for Hinata (only). It’s for herself. It’s for the person Shirase wants to be, the kind of journey she wants to take, and the relationship she wants to have with Hinata. Shirase strikes me as the kind of person who doesn’t make friends easily (obviously), but, once she makes them, she does everything she can to keep them and nurture that relationship. She’s stubborn as hell. Hinata didn’t have a chance.

I laughed out loud when they found the passport, not the least because checking everyone else’s bags would have been Step #1 for me after Hinata’s bags came up empty. (Also, what’s with some of this junk she brought? Sheesh. Newbies.) The use of the durian as a punishment was always fantastic, which, if you don’t know what a durian is, educate thyself. It’s a fascinating fruit, with descriptions that range from “A rich custard highly flavoured with almonds” and “the more you eat of it the less you feel inclined to stop”, to “its odor is best described as pig-shit, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock.” How crazy is nature!? Between the Durian Show and Kimari’s terrible sleeping habits, Yorimoi keeps packing in the comedy between its character-driven development. I love this show dearly.

But seriously, put that damn money in a bank, Shirase! Jeez. This girl is a pickpocket’s wet dream.

Random thoughts:

  • They didn’t copy it entirely, but they definitely paid homage to the Singapore Airlines flight attendant uniform. Then everything they did in Singapore proper—great attention to detail throughout!
  • I can totally understand Hinata urging the others to go on ahead without her. In her place I might have done the same thing. Though I may also have suggested that Shirase & Kimari go ahead while Yuzuki stays behind with me (Hinata), ’cause that boat ain’t leaving without their star. But that, like checking everybody else’s bags, would have shortcircuited the fun, so I’m all right with them not thinking of it :D
  • I like the height disparity between the character. It’s a small detail that shows how much thought went into all of these characters. Plus I tend to think about height a lot since I’m so much taller than most people, so it’s nice to see a group where everyone isn’t clustered around the boring norm.
  • This is a cautionary tale: cheap, nonrefundable tickets can get you into trouble. Sometimes it’s worth it paying a little more for a flexible ticket on a legacy carrier with a redundant route network, as opposed to slumming it with Spirit or Ryanair or VietJet. Trust me. I’ve seen people burned by the low-cost carriers before.
  • Notice how there wasn’t an insert song this episode? The climax didn’t need one. That’s good storytelling through and through.

My SECOND novel, Freelance Heroics, is available now! (Now in print!) (Also available: Firesign #1 Wage Slave Rebellion.) Sign up for my email list for updates. At stephenwgee.com, the latest post: The Last Jedi SUPER SPOILERY Review.

February 6, 2018 at 8:02 pm
41 comments »
  • February 6, 2018 at 8:14 pmAnt

    Felt like a calm before the storm – the journey to Antartica. However it is really a good episode fleshing out Hinata as she’s the mysterious and wise girl who have chosen to join the workforce in her age and waiting for the time to head to college/uni instead, where her character background explains why her situation.

  • February 6, 2018 at 8:28 pmVelvet Scarlantina

    http://randomc.net/image/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2002.jpg
    Welcome aboard Singapore Airline’s A380.

    http://randomc.net/image/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2005.jpg
    “Singapore Girl you’re a great way to fly”
    For a moment I though I saw may osanajimi. She’s a Singapore Girl as well.

    http://randomc.net/image/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2007.jpg
    Wheelock Place. It’s legitly right across the road from thr shopping centre that they exited from. By the way, the shopping centre that theyexited from, the underpass arch, is Ion shopping Centre.

    http://randomc.net/image/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2012.jpg
    Merlion and Esplanade Theatres by the Bay. Yes that theatre inspired by the durian.

    http://randomc.net/image/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2018.jpg
    Right to left: Art Science Museum, Marina Bay Sands, DNA Bridge. Yes thr bridge has legit AT CG lights lining on the floow and has a double helix structure.

    http://randomc.net/image/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2017.jpg
    Marina Bay Sands Sky Park and Infinity Pool. Click here if you want to know more about it.
    https://escapewithstyle.com/2013/09/07/marina-bay-sands-skypark-infinity-pool/

    http://randomc.net/image/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2030.jpg
    Every single thing in the airport scene is accurate. Down to the chairs in the public area of the departure hall to the sinages to the counter and even the bloody carpets!

    http://randomc.net/image/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2036.jpg
    I highly suspect that this might be at Changi Village. It’s just a stones throw away from the airport. And wow… Just wow… They ordered the local favourite Hainanese Chicken rice. Dayum I wanna go and buy one as well.

    http://randomc.net/image/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2038.jpg
    I highly suspect that this is a Geyland West. It’s at the outskirts of town area and near the fabled Katong area as well. It’s highly acessible by train. In fact the shops run almost parallel to the East-West MRT line.

    I’ve seen the level of detail in Girls und Panzer and Strike Witches but Sora Yori takes it to another level. I mean come on, they even went as far as to get the chairs and the carpet at Changi Airport accurate! Not only that, even the title shot accurately captures every single detail of our MRT. From the dimension, style and colour of the platform door to the train that’s pulling out as well. Not only that I caught a glimpse of the train interior as well and yea… That’s how it looks like. Exactly. Down to the white LED lights.

    Madhouse really went all out on this. For a moment I thought they collaborated with Singapore Tourism Board for this.

    • February 8, 2018 at 3:39 pmrenasayers

      Say whatever you like about this place, my distaste begins with Durian. I may boast about my heritage but this is the one fruit ethnic culture produces that I don’t like and calling it king’s fruit isn’t going to fool me.

      http://randomc.net/image/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2037.jpg

      • February 9, 2018 at 3:36 pmNitro

        Singaporean here, I can confirm this. Durian smells like dogshit, it stinks up the fridge and the house whenever anyone buys some, and I hate it. There’s a reason why public transport operators prohibit durian on buses and trains.

    • February 9, 2018 at 1:18 amVelvet Scarlantina

      Apparently the coffee shop is Maxwell Food Centre which is just at the outskirts of town.

      Man judos to MadHouse for the level of research

  • February 6, 2018 at 8:56 pmXiV

    Singapore Airlines? and business class!? those must be really expensive.

    • February 6, 2018 at 10:28 pmStilts

      $10,000 USD, apparently.

  • February 6, 2018 at 8:58 pmNishizawa Mihashi

    Singapore!? Now that certainly is interesting! I never expected this to happen in an anime but hey~~~

    Man I don’t know, I might just check this one episode out just to look at what’s up~

    Also Stilts, like seriously man sometimes when my folks buy some durians and put em in the freezer/fridge, after 3 days or so the whole thing smells like a rotting carcass, it can be THAT bad… Don’t really eat em too much even though they taste rather OK due to well obvious reasons lmao… Good God that smell…

    • February 6, 2018 at 10:22 pmHanabira.Kage

      I personally don’t mind the smell, but I hate how it gets everywhere and sticks around forever.

    • February 6, 2018 at 10:29 pmStilts

      Forget the durians, this is AOTS. Watch it!!

      • February 7, 2018 at 7:44 amJeffers

        oh you callin it already stilts? ahahaha well i agree. this anime is reinforcing itself as the #1 for this season as each episode ends. this anime is also a strong contender for the AOTY for me.

        — i wonder if the BDs will have specials where the seiyuu themselves went to antartica and experience it themselves. but maybe no going to antartica isnt cheap.

      • February 8, 2018 at 3:42 pmrenasayers

        I wish you can forget the durian’s but you can’t because once you crack the weapon like shell (husk) open it smells like poo.

        http://randomc.net/image/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2037.jpg

        The next one is Bitter Melon that my ethnic background exports. It’s like eating metal.

    • February 7, 2018 at 10:20 amdanes256

      You don’t keep a durian in a fridge. You eat them while they’re fresh, that’s the best way. Usually one until three days after you bought it. Keep it more than that it will just rot, an the smell could start to become unbearable. I can’t understand why Japanese can’t understand how good durian tasted, the smell can be unbearable for some people sure, but it’s incredibly delicious. Best way to eat durian is a day after you eat it at the most though. Also you need to have a good nose to pick the delicious one. My nose is a bit used to that.

      • February 7, 2018 at 7:06 pmSaburau

        ”But I might like it once I get used to it”
        Actually they seem to have a clue about what it is.

  • February 6, 2018 at 8:59 pmBBOvenGuy

    Okay, I hadn’t noticed how short Hinata was until now. I had to go back to your previous entries and look at some of the pictures there.

    • February 6, 2018 at 10:30 pmStilts

      Like I said, I maaaay pay more attention to height than most people, haha

  • February 6, 2018 at 11:31 pmArche

    http://randomc.net/image/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2034.jpg

    I applaud Shirase’s ability to not throw herself in front of oncoming traffic after this moment

    • February 7, 2018 at 12:07 amVelvet Scarlantina

      Later she kena arrest and made famous on STOMP and FB…

      Headlines: Siao char bor jumps in front of oncoming traffic. (Crazy pretty girl jumps in front of oncoming traffic)

      Siao liao… my local SGrean modo activated

      • February 12, 2018 at 3:51 amXRaider

        Can’t blame you that you’re all over this post….anyway are you Singaporean?(Me I’m a Filipino but one day..Singapore is on my wishlist to visit along with Japan)

  • February 7, 2018 at 3:47 amsv

    lol they traveled on SIA and stayed in Marina Bay Sands? Apparently our girls are rich

    Most Singaporeans don’t even travel on their own Airline, because it’s so freaking expensive.

    • February 7, 2018 at 4:08 amtombeet

      When it’s a connecting flight to Freemantle from Japan, I can understand why the girls use Singapore Airline

      • February 7, 2018 at 4:17 amVelvet Scarlantina

        From a comment on FB:

        The girls are staying at the Deluxe Room of Orchard Hotel that costs $150 per night. The hall, with its carpetry and fixtures to the room, the arrangement of ALL the things are exactly like how it is done in real life. That goes to show the levelmof research that Madhouse did.

      • February 7, 2018 at 8:17 amAngelus

        I don’t think they researched the size of the in-flight meals, because the ones the girls had were double the size of the one I got when flying Singapore Airlines from Japan to Singapore. That said, I didn’t get an Airbus 380 so maybe that makes a difference.

      • February 7, 2018 at 11:32 amStilts

        Velvet is right, it was the Orchard, you can clearly see that they’re staying at the “CHARD HOTEL” (orchard is cut off) in one screen.

        @Angelus

        I have no doubt you’re right! That’s pretty ritzy as far as in-flight meals go. And man, I haven’t gotten to fly on an A380 in a while. You hear about the big kerfuffle over the A380 with Emirates? Airbus almost stopped making the plane. That woulda been sad :(

        P.S. These comments have turned into a discussion about SIA, Singapore hotels, and durian, and I couldn’t be happier. I love this show so much, and you all rock ;_; XD

      • February 7, 2018 at 12:38 pmAngelus

        Emirates’ A380′s are a thing for me, I’ve got money invested in leasing deals for those big babies! Never flown in one, though a friend of mine has.

    • February 7, 2018 at 8:33 amNishizawa Mihashi

      If that’s the case, then 150 Sing split between like 4 girls cheap only what, not to mention they’re Japanese, so cheap only lah. Anyway I wouldn’t really know since I’ll always end up staying in a hotel at JB or at some relative’s/Airbnb place lololololol

      • February 8, 2018 at 7:35 amKronos

        spoken like a true singaporean

      • February 9, 2018 at 10:30 pmNishizawa Mihashi

        FYI, I’m just across the bridge :P

  • February 7, 2018 at 4:59 amChris hall

  • February 7, 2018 at 7:36 amJeffers

    why hate durians? indeed its smell is like some rotten shit but it is damn sweet and tasty… idk why it is always portrayed as a fruit with ugly smell AND TASTE.

    anyway, it’s nice that we get a hinata centered episode. since her character is what i believe yet to be explored. next episode, seems to be the travel. damn cant wait for next week episode. antartica here they come!

    • February 7, 2018 at 10:26 amdanes256

      My theory is that the durian that Japanese people eat were kept beyond their best days, so not only they started to smell bad, but the flavor also have deteriorated. Durian could rot fairly quickly, even if you kept it in a fridge. You need to eat it at the very most 3 days after you bought it to be able to taste it during its best. Not being able to stand its smell is understandable, but the flavor is incredibly delicious. I think their perception is affected by their inability to stand the smell. An also their lack of knowledge about durian, because there are good ones and bad ones. Your nose is required to differentiate it.

    • February 7, 2018 at 11:36 amStilts

      danes256 is probably correct in that any “fresh” durian you can get in Japan probably ain’t so fresh. I think the reason it’s so often portrayed as smelling and tasting bad is because that’s the more common reaction to people new to the fruit initially (at least the fresh stuff—I can’t speak to the ice cream), and because it’s funnier. I actually think Yorimoi was fair to the fruit, since Shirase said she might like it once she gets used to it. Still a lil ignorance there, but at least they’re trying :)

  • February 7, 2018 at 10:14 amChoya

    I lost it when Shirase found Hinata’s passport. All of the emotional turmoil over the possibility of Hinata losing their chance to leave on-time or leave her behind until it’s all sorted out only to find out that it was in Shirase’s purse the whole time. I appreciate how it helps us understand Hinata’s mentality as an independent person, and the mindset Shirase operates under with how she’s carried herself amid the teasing, but I couldn’t help but laugh out loud when Shirase was this close to losing her cool after finding out she had the passport all this time.

    I’ve always been meaning to try durian fruit since I saw Andrew Zimmern draw the line over eating one of them. Because it’s fruit, I’d have a much easier time eating it, especially since people say the flavor is good once you get past the smell. I just have to try finding it.

    • February 7, 2018 at 10:28 amdanes256

      Durian is delicious. There’s a reason why people in south east asia mostly loved it. It’s just that people from outside the region can’t stand the smell because they’re not used to it, so their perception of its taste can be affected by that.

    • February 7, 2018 at 11:39 amStilts

      What danes said. Also you’re probably gonna have to go to southeast asia to get one. I wouldn’t trust one I found anywhere else any more’n I would trust a paw paw found outside of the eastern US (look it up).

      • February 7, 2018 at 2:41 pmVelvet Scarlantina

        Orz Stilts-nee chan still havent moderate my post

  • February 7, 2018 at 3:37 pmewok40k

    I’d say the Shirase has a proper attitude about that travle.
    Leave no one behind.
    Mark my words this might come back to save some girl out in the great white open.

  • February 7, 2018 at 5:23 pmET

    I’m a Singaporean who hates durian, both how it smells and how it tastes. Come at me, bro.

    • February 7, 2018 at 11:13 pmVelvet Scarlantina

      Speaking of which, Singaporeans identified the food centre to be Maxwell and the chicken rice to be Tian Tian’s.

      Another dude identified the durian shop to be Ah Hung D24 Sultan Durian… Damn MadHouse went all out man..

      • February 8, 2018 at 6:05 amewok40k

        I wonder if they sent soem of staff to Singapore for sightseeing :P

      • February 9, 2018 at 1:21 amVelvet Scarlantina

        Maybe eh…

        The only reason why someone would know those makan places if they got local guide or the read from internet one… Though I never see that durian shop get posted on the net eh

        Wa liao… Singlish modo activato

Leave a Reply to Jeffers

Please DO NOT ask or give links to raws, subs, or PVs. Instead, please check the Community section on the sidebar for useful links.
Gravatars are supported, so please sign up for a free account if you would like your own globally recognized avatar.

HTML tags are enabled for comments: <a href="" title=""> <b> <blockquote> <em> <i> <s> <spoiler> <strike> <strong>
** Please use <spoiler></spoiler> around any major spoilers. **