「ドラム缶でぶっ飛ばせ!」 (Doramukan de Buttobase!)
“Bash That Drum Can!”

This is my favorite episode of the season, and that’s saying something.

Last week I said that episode 10 was, thematically, my favorite episode. I don’t have to equivocate on this one. Episode 11 is my favorite episode of Yorimoi so far, and that takes some doing. Using my favorite theme with my favorite character, and then hitting a home run in the big climactic moment will do that. It was so satisfying I can’t adequately describe the feeling. It’s like getting a big ol’ hug, but on my heart.

As I said last week, friendship is my favorite theme, which is why it features so prominently into my own books. It’s why so many of my favorite stories feature great friendships, and why a good friendship plotline is like weaponized catnip for my soul. But where Yuzuki was approaching it from a position of ignorance, Hinata is coming at it from a direction I’m much more familiar with: anger. As much as I’d like it to to be otherwise, I’m the kind of male who has trouble openly expressing many emotions (stories are the only avenue I’ve found to let myself openly cry—and even then, only for a moment), but anger I can do. It takes a good amount of aggravation to get me there, but if I get there, I—just like Hinata—can boil to the point of spitting, shaking, and yelling. It doesn’t go past stomping about cursing or punching a pillow, but then again, I’m older than Hinata. I’d be lying if I didn’t say there was some of this in my past.

So when I say that the depiction of frustrated anger is done well, trust me. It was. I may be an American man and she may be a (fictional) Japanese girl, but anger is anger. What makes it work all the better is how well the writers managed to convey that Hinata’s usual antics were in fact covering for how she was NOT OK. Other than a few clear hints early on, mostly she actually was being normal, which is an even better trick; it makes Kimari and Yuzuki not seem dense for not picking up on it. But since the inciting incident happened in the episode’s first minutes, the early hints bled over into everything else. The foreshadowing earlier in the series helped too. It was well done.

Shirase reading the email addressed to Hinata was another stellar moment, because it was drama not for the sake of drama, but arising from character. I talk about this a lot, but Shirase didn’t peek at Hinata’s email because a writer said, “Let’s insert some drama here!” She did it because she cared about her friend enough to, in a moment of weakness, violate her privacy. When Hinata then stormed over to her, it could have been time for a proper fight, but it was averted—because again, that’s not what the characters would do. Hinata would snap, but she’s too clearheaded a girl to think the worst of Shirase, and not enough of an anger monster to snap anyway. Which goes to prove my point: the characters are driving these interactions, not the writers. They set everyone and everything up well enough early on that they don’t have to manipulate events by this point.

That there were two heartfelt moments this episode shows how well the writers understand their characters. Hinata is a tough nut to crack; she’s a tough character to work with, because she defies easy solutions. Kimari is straightforward, Shirase is bull-headed, and Yuzuki is selectively naive enough to put them on a collusion course with character building and drama, but Hinata is not. She defuses conflict. She wiggles out of uncomfortable situations. She hides her true feelings behind a faker’s smile, and she’s good enough at it to get away with it 99 times out of 100. Emiya Shirou could learn a thing or two from her.

Which is why it takes someone as stubborn as Shirase to crack her, but even then, that first moment was a gimme. Hinata knew what she was doing, because once again, she’s like me. Oh, it’s not that she didn’t mean what she said to Shirase; she did. But she was letting her in because she knew if she didn’t deal with this, it was never going to pass. Shirase is too pig-headed for that. It’s not that she wasn’t showing a moment of vulnerability, it’s that she was choosing to show it, and that still counts. It just means that the nut hasn’t been totally cracked yet.

I bet you all saw Shirase’s actions at the broadcast coming. I know I did. I also bet it didn’t matter. While there was some question as to whether Hinata would be encouraged to reconcile with the girls, when you remember that it was Shirase she was talking to? Yeah, no. If Hinata is petty, then Shirase is petty and a jerk, but she’s a good jerk to have on your side. Her giving those girls what for, and running them off for her friend, was predictable, but it was also right. It was satisfying. It’s wish fulfillment, but in the good way, because don’t we all want to have friends like Shirase and the others? Friends who will defend us, even when we claim we’re fine? I know I do. There’s not often call in our everyday lives for someone to stand up on our behalf so dramatically—or at least, I hope there isn’t—so it’s wonderful to see it in our stories. Predictable doesn’t mean a damn thing when it’s so damn right. Right?

I said this was my favorite episode of the series so far, and it was. One caveat, though: that doesn’t mean it’s the one that struck me the most emotionally. The devil’s truth is that expectations are a huge factor in the visceral response to a story, so it was the early episodes that really got to me, because that’s when I was still amazed that my cute-girls-go-to-Antarctica dark horse pick was actually turning out to be this good. By now I expect every episode to be amazing, and the fact that I still haven’t been disappointed is remarkable. I have a feeling this will be one of the episodes that I most think back on later, though.

Random thoughts:

  • Apparently a bunch of the “spoiler” scenes in the OP are actually canonical events that happened but weren’t shown in the episodes proper. Slick trick, amirite? That was pretty clear after they lost the jump rope competition off-screen, but I like that (for example) they didn’t waste time on Kimari’s suntan, but also figured out a way to make it not a surprise. Very good job.
  • HanaKana is apparently reprising her Saki Achiga-hen lines. Also, Shirase really is the daughter of Gin and Takako :3
  • Speaking of Shirase and Takako, it was really smooth how the subplot that had to do with Takako was woven into the background of the episode (with Shirase) without distracting from the main event. Plus it made it an even better ending with Shirase’s big moment led to Gin’s decision. We’re in the home stretch now.

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: Book 3 Progress Report.


  1. Actually I was expecting Hinata to go down the “I’ll be the better person and try to forgive these girls” which is so commonly done in both anime and live-action tv shows these days. It is not too far outside of her character either, as we have seen numerous times that she may say or do things to avoid attention to herself and get things over and done with. It was when she was talking with Shirase about her feelings regarding forgiving the girls did it finally cross my mind that “oh snap, Shirase is gonna do something isn’t she?”

    I absolutely love the writing of this show. Shirase’s reaction felt more human and akin to what a true friend would do compared to the tried forgiveness approach. I originally wished that we saw the reaction of Hinata’s old friends. However, I think not showing it is a deliberate move in itself to symbolize that Hinata has fully moved on and those girls are no longer part of her life. It also strengthens Shirase’s actions, as if they showed the girls didn’t care then Shirase’s actions are vindicated, or if the girls did care then she would seem heartless. In context, Shirase’s actions is the right choice for Hinata, and the outcome should not cloud this fact.

    The more I think about the resolution, the more I came to realize the hidden (whether intentional or not) opposites between Hinata’s new and old friends. Standing up for Hinata is what her old friends failed to do, not to mention that they escalated the situation by spreading rumors and isolating Hinata. Shirase showed them what a true friend would do by standing up for Hinata, emphasizing what her old friends failed to do and how they do not have any right to just show up and seek forgiveness.

    Between this series and Yuru-camp, this is definitely one of my favourite anime seasons in years.

    1. You totally nailed it. The ending worked even better because Hinata truly could have gone either way. It’s only when we realize that this was a Hinata and Shirase episode that it becomes clear which path will be taken. It also avoids the hackneyed forgiveness plot, which to be clear, is a good thing! It just wouldn’t have been true in this case.

      Totally agreed on not showing Hinata’s old friends once Shirase started talking. I noticed that while watching too. They were, as harsh as it may sound, nothing more than bit players; they’re accessories to Hinata’s story, not the focuses themselves, and putting the lens back on them after their actions brought us to Shirase’s speech would have just clouded the awesome moment. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for moral ambiguity in storytelling—in the right context, in the right stories. This ain’t one of those. Plus not showing them again avoids potentially having to make the cheap choice of having the girls be all spiteful, so everything is better for it.

      The parallels between Hinata’s old friends and her new friends were 100% intentional. No doubt in my mind. This is the culmination of her arc, just as last episode’s was the culmination of Yuzuki’s. Now we just have Shirase and Kimari left to go.

      1. I thought the climax of Kimari’s arc was her “showdown” with Megu in episode 5. I’m not sure what else there is to her character. She wanted to do something big on her own and she did so. That’s all, isn’t it?

      2. Not necessarily. Kimari’s arc was to do something grand to get her life moving after being stagnant for so long. The issue with her friend was just a small subplot of that. In a way, all the adventures till now are still part of her arc, though the other characters arcs are front and center.

        My guess is that both her and Shirase’s plot won’t be fully resolved until Antartica leaves a lasting impact on them. Kimari for having experienced her youth, and Shirase for figuring out her feelings regarding her mother’s passing.

      3. do something grand to get her life moving after being stagnant for so long

        And she did so. She made the trip to Antarctica. Compare that to the first episode when she couldn’t even make a simple trip to Tokyo? She changed a lot, and she did what she wanted to do. I don’t see what else the show could say about her that didn’t already.

      4. My guess is that she still needs to reflect on what she has managed to accomplish, and how she uses her current experience to push her life forward even more once she returns to Japan. In a way, getting to Antartica is more or less just a starting point (a massive one at that).

        That said, I don’t think she has reached the pinnacle of her experience so far. Personally I felt that she hadn’t quite reached the same heights as the chase scene in Shinjuku nor the dawn following the practice camp session. A lot of the things they did over the past few episodes since getting to Antartica are relatively mundane tasks. Something will probably happen over the next few weeks (perhaps laying down with her friends looking up at the stars near where Shirase’s mum went missing) where she will finally have a eureka moment.

      5. In all honesty, we already did see the resolution of Kimari’s arc. At least her initial arc. She was our initial point of view character, so her challenge was to make the leap that led to the rest of this story even happening. I suspect the next episode will be the Shirase episode, while the finale will be the reflection episode (like Taiakun said) where everything is tied up in a nice bow.

        It really is a good thing they have four main characters, each with their own issues to deal with. Kimari’s had to go at the very beginning and be resolved early, so we’da been bored since then if it wasn’t for the other girls.

  2. Hinata, the only girl in the group that finally get her due background episode. I must say that she’s very “pro” in dealing with problems, however she’s very thankful because of Shirase to finally address the elephant in the room along with the additional comments by Kimari and Yuzuki.

    I give my kudos to the writers of this show that when other people mess you up, you should be always try not to give a big F. But as long Shirase is with you she will and will be saying it straight forward to piss off.

  3. At long last… The climax. We get to finally know what happened to Shirase’s mother, and why despite she knows the dangers and high possibility of dying she still walked out in a blizzard and went to something “beautiful”. Because seriously it is stupid. No matter what your life is still greater than anything on this world

    1. I would her find shelter, in an Cave or old abandon Base thats up to them. Anyway an place where she could write an Diary, also because of the special area conditions the ink of the Diary is still so fresh that it looks like they miss her for minutes. Perhaps just finding the Diary but not corpse would be an good ending in my eyes

      Well that would born out from my “fan fiction” section. We should not forget how many time already has passed since she lost her.. Perhaps the “Senpai’s” can find her corpse, but it would seem awkward for her own daughter to see an Mother not aged at all. As if she was an big older Sister

      But thats not my line to decide. That would be part of my “fan fiction”

    2. @Worldwidedepp if shirase would see her mother preserved corpse (due to antartic conditions) it would seriously freak the hell out of me. for something light comedy-drama anime, such plot would be too heavy to take in. imagine the emotional and psychological trauma that will happen to shirase if that were to happen and for sure even if she knows its impossible that her mother will survive that day, as a daughter i am sure that she is still hoping for the best.

      @Stilts that is the question. did she caught out in the blizzard when she tries to go to that beautiful place (and instead of returning back to the base, she decided to go on?) or, she miscalculated the dangers and still went out on some ongoing blizzard all for the sake of reaching that “beautiful place”? well two episodes left and i believe that is enough to provide us answers.

      1. I think you’re reading too much into the beautiful place line. I have a feeling those were the dying words of someone who has realized they’re doomed, and is approaching their last moments peacefully by enjoying their last moments in the place they loved so much they risked death to explore it—a risk that they lost. I doubt she risked her life because she saw something pretty. She just decided to enjoy it once she knew she was dead. The miscalculation would have come before that.

  4. https://randomc.net/image/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho%20-%2011%20-%20Large%2006.jpg

    Beautiful. Just beautiful. Visceral and full of hate and anger.

    Never before I’ve seen such emotions being portrayed so well.

    I like it more that Hinata didn’t really went the cliched route of apologising over live television or easily forgive her friends for that matter that easily. Somehow or rather, the emotions of betrayal, anger and frustration resonates well with me and it’s really a reflection of all the things I did back in secondary and junior college.

    Yes there were times back in secondary school where every single machine and tool in the Design and Technology workshop really looked inviting and I had flashes of running some of my “friends'” head through said machines and tools.

    Though sadly I didn’t had any Shirase or Kimari to help me out like what Hinata had.


    And dayum… That’s pretty sly of Madhouse to make the OP in line with the show itself!

    Henrietta Brix
    1. I’m, uh, glad you didn’t run anyone through. Best to just tell them off like Shirase did 😛

      But I really do like that the writers fit the resolution to the characters. Kimari may be the forgiving type (see: Megumi), but while they fit her, it wouldn’t have fit Hinata and Shirase so well. Once again, I can relate; I’ve forgiven some people who seriously hurt me, but mostly I write them out of my life. It’s not worth the emotional labor. That seems more Hinata’s style, so I’m glad they went that way.

  5. Why why why do so few people bother to watch this anime?
    It’s so awesome! It takes me HOURS to watch a single episode because I want to give it my full attention. _<)
    You also do the best screenshots this side of anywhere!!

    Phew! Okay all fangirled out!!!
    *Bows low and runs off to find food – her other deep love!*

  6. I can’t believe I didn’t start following this masterpiece at the moment it starts airing. Luckily a sudden flu gives me enough time to catch up!

    This and Yuru camp are definitely my favourite this season!

  7. https://randomc.net/image/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho%20-%2011%20-%20Large%2001.jpg
    Man, after seeing Kimari’s (hilariously) tanned face, I couldn’t help but rewatch the previous episodes’ opening credits. Turns out I didn’t notice Kimari’s tanned face in the opening credits in the previous episodes until this episode’s cold opening (pun intended) pointed it out. XD

    BTW, if anyone was wondering if the DC-3 landing on Syowa Station’s airstrip looks familiar, wonder no longer:

    Madhouse really did their research for this anime. And speaking of doing research, t’was also amusing to see the girls finally do science-y stuff with Hanami (resident microbiologist), Nobue (resident geologist), and Yume (resident astronomer), as well as get a taste of that pure, naturally cold Antarctic glacial water.

    But anyway… The reveal of what Hinata’s been emotionally holding in all this time (read: why she dropped out of school) and the pure catharsis that ensued once Shirase learned about it and finally told Hinata’s so-called “friends” to piss off–that was absolutely lovely. (And a well-done variation of the “Jerk with a heart of gold” trope. Shirase may be a jerk, but only to those who belittle what she wants to do–or belittle her friends.) Also, Yuzuki somehow being able to read the mood among her friends after being friendless for so long–I can’t help but be happy for her as well.

    On the flip side, there’s a sense of foreboding with Gin and Kanae’s decision to revisit the place where they lost Takako. With two episodes left, I sense things will be turned up a notch.

    1. Shirase isn’t actually an example of the Jerk with a Heart of Gold trope. Typically that’s someone who’s initially depicted (or comes across as) a jerk, only to reveal redeeming traits later on. Shirase is just someone who’s willing to get dirty to defend her friends. Her calling herself a jerk just has to do with how she perceives herself, i.e. her social anxiety and unwillingness to pull punches are actually characters strengths, even though (if we’re being honest) they’re attributes that probably won’t aid her well in adult life. She’s got time to learn when to dull her blade, though.

      Yuzuki was never someone who wasn’t perceptive (she was the one who realized Hinata was hiding something during the missing passport incident back in Singapore), she just had a blind spot when it came to “official” friendship relationships because she had been burned so many times. She’s plenty perceptive when she doesn’t get in her own way.

      1. OK, so while Shirase never was the textbook definition of a jerk (even though she does view herself as one, which I can sort of empathize with), I did feel that her “heart of gold” shone through when she stood up for Hinata. It’s always nice to see someone be a jerk for the right reasons (strange as it sounds), calling someone out for their wrongdoings instead of avoiding confrontation/conflict and (optimistically) letting things settle down as part of usual Oriental etiquette (blanket generalization aside).

        But instead of things “settling down” (as Oriental etiquette would dictate and hope would happen), having Hinata’s former track-and-field teammates show up out of the blue (and try to leech off of her newfound fame as one of the first high-schoolers to visit the Antarctic) reopened her old emotional wounds instead, making that scene with Shirase calling them out that much more satisfying.

        As for Yuzuki, well… I guess her perceptiveness is a necessity in the world of showbusiness–and it’s rare to hear about genuine friendships formed within that intrigue-filled industry (Yuzuki probably had her fair share of that). So it feels like a huge leap when she uses that perceptiveness in order to help and encourage her friends to move forward.

  8. Man, it was heartbreaking seeing our cheerful Hinata out screaming and kicking the snow in anger, and even more when she went back inside and could act perfectly normal again.

    1. It’s interesting to hear your reaction, because I didn’t experience it as heartbreaking. That would feel like I’m treating her as a victim to me, but she’s moved on with her life too much for that. Though then again, maybe seeing her anger as something heartbreaking would be too much of an indictment against my own righteous anger, so…

  9. Very enjoyable and cathartic episode and I loved how it continued and built upon ep.6 (the “lost” passport episode)’s characterization of Hinata not wanting to be a burden to people (emotionally or otherwise) and Shirase being stubborn in the best ways; stubbornly not wanting just a shallow friendship with Hinata, stubbornly digging into and getting Hinata to reveal her past, and stubbornly telling Hinata’s former “friends” that: they don’t deserve to be forgiven, Hinata’s moving forward with her life with her genuine friends, and they should PISS OFF!

  10. I would have liked to have seen Hinata’s former friends reactions to their verbal beatdown. It was kind of weird how they didn’t show them at all after the start of that scene.

    1. Check out mine and Taiakun’s convo above for more, but tl;dr: I’m glad they didn’t show it. It would have forced them to make a difficult (and potentially damaging) decision on which way the friends’ reaction would go, and it would have taken the focus away from where it was supposed to be, which was on Shirase, Hinata, and the other girls. (And Gin’s decision.) They weren’t the point, the reactions their actions caused in the main characters were the point. I think the writers rightly kept their eyes on the prize.

  11. I agree with most of what’s been said so far about this episode. I’d like to add that I think Shirase is the only one that could break into Hinata’s world just like Kimari did to Shirase’s earlier. Shirase and Hinata are very much alike. Shirase was the strange Antarctic girl that everyone kept their distance from and Hinata was the up-and-coming HS track star that was double crossed. They both end up ostracized. The shots of Shirase watching/listening to what Hinata was doing (i.e. trying to put a good face on a bad situation) were painful. She knew what was happening and what Hinata was going through even though she didn’t know the exact story. So, when she unleashed at the end, it felt right. It was right for both Shirase and Hinata. As for the “other friends”, Hinata’s place is here on the Island of Misfit Toys with the expedition and, more importantly, with this group of friends.

    As for the ending, Shirase’s mother was claimed by the weather and it’s been very nice in Antarctica. So far.

    Keep Refrigerated
  12. Many viewers see Hinata’s reason to stop attending school appears to be shallow or unreasonable, but I don’t think so.

    Apart from being great at athletics, Hinata is also great in academics. Recall in the 2nd episode when she first meets Shirase. Hinata states that she already has her highschool certificate and has recently been given an A rating in her mock university entrance exams. Keep in mind this event happens early in the school year of Kimari and Shirase who are 2nd Year H.S. students.

    Being great in both academics and athletics would most likely mean that Hinata has reputation of being an excellent student in her school. Other students could be admiring her, intimidated by her, or jealous of her. Those “friends” of hers either admire her and want to encourage her. Or, they want to sabotage her reputation. We see this all the time in real life with prominent athletes, celebrities, and politicians. Heck even in our academic and working careers. Well, Hinata’s “friends” did not stand up for her when she is scrutinized after encouraging her to compete. Seniors in Hinata’s track team starts spreading rumors about her, creating the vulnerability in Hinata’s reputation as an excellent student. Others students who have always been intimidated or jealous of her would have pounced at this opportunity to ruin her reputation.

    Given that Hinata is fiercely independent(shown since she was first introduced), not wanting others to be considerate of her(ep 6), not wanting to burden others of her problems(ep 6 & 11), does not want to fight mean with mean(ep 5), and also values freedom greatly(ep 2 & 11), it is not unreasonable for her character to chose not to continue going to school given her circumstances and options. Ironically, all this is her flaw as a character. A character flaw that is addressed by Shirase’s actions by the end of this episode. I could go further but this is what I see at the tip of the iceberg.

    1. I don’t think shallow or unreasonable are the right words, but I’d warrant that some viewers thought less of her for quitting school. I’d suspect they’d call her weak. She gave up, right? She was a quitter. And you know what they say about quitters.

      Which is, of course, bullshit. As is almost always the case, it depends on the individual circumstances, and while Hinata left school, she did not quit her education. She’s already got her high school certificate, and she’s preparing for university. She didn’t give up. She just decided to take herself out of a toxic situation. I doubt I would have done that myself—maybe I’m more pig-headed, or at minimum I know that high school-age Stilts would have viewed quitting as a sign of weakness—but she probably stemmed the pain by getting out of there and prevented the betrayal from eroding her self-esteem any further. It wasn’t a weak move. It was like she was getting punched—so she moved out of the way of the punch.

      And everything you said in you last paragraph is spot on, complete with citations. Rock on!

      1. I was randomly scanning through reddit and saw it as the main concern of some viewers so… yeah. I posted this there and thought to share it here to. People there do citations, so WTH.

  13. I never thought I’d write this comment after nearly a decade of lurking, but here I am.

    Firstly, let me say that should this post appear on this page, I’m thankful to be able to come out of my rock and interact with y’all. I know this ain’t the best place for introductions given the age of this episode analysis, but I feel like I need to say something regarding Shirase’s decision to stand up for Hinata.

    I… didn’t like the direction that was ultimately taken. Yes, having Hinata apologize to her former peers would feel like a copout that would hamper her individuality, and the idea of moving on is honestly more befitting of her character. But why Hinata let Shirase confront her past demons for her instead of doing the talking herself is something that I can’t condone.

    While I do believe that the conversation Hinata and Shirase had prior to the final bits of the episode was essential for giving the former some much needed perspective and advice, I was sorely disappointed to see Hinata take a back seat and allow Shirase to speak for her. The ones who have begotten certain woes and demons are also the only ones who can properly dismantle them, no matter how much help they get from loved ones.

    Obviously I’m sounding highly individualistic and I do understand that friendship is this series’ through-line, but I feel like this episode could’ve ended with a bigger bang by having Hinata figuratively flipping her “friends” off. It’d have made for a fine balance of the personal and collective, and I feel like the writers veered too heavily into the latter.

    But don’t let my pet peeve suggest that I didn’t enjoy one of Madhouse’s finest productions. I deeply relished it and can see myself drawing inspiration from it. I’m just thankful that I’m able to express my opinion instead of keeping it to myself and I hope we may continue to interact amicably! 🙂

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