Series spoilers included.
A Place Further than the Universe is not your typical “cute-girls-doing-cute-things” anime, and thank goodness! Sure, the four protagonists are cute teen girls, but that is where the similarities with the genre end. Instead, A Place Further than the Universe is a coming-of-age story in which Mari Tamaki, Shirase Kobuchizawa, Hinata Miyake, and Yuzuki Shiraishi learn about themselves (and of course, friendship) during an expedition to Antarctica.
While Mari, Hinata, and Yuzuki all have great character development, Shirase’s narrative stuck with me. The writers made her a character full of contradictions: stoic looks, but full of emotions. She’s super stubborn, but only until she catches a glimpse of penguins. I love her character because she’s an ordinary, realistic girl who will stop at nothing to achieve the extraordinary.