My anime diary: A Place Further than the Universe & Smile Down the Runway

I suppose I’m not the only one turning to the comfort of their anime backlog right now? I don’t feel like I have much patience at the moment and would much rather digest a finished story than be left hanging by one that’s still on-going.

Anyway, I figured I’d watch Smile Down the Runway since it seemed like a series with good reviews that I’d overlooked in the Winter season, whilst A Place Further than the Universe, one of the most beloved anime of the past few years, needs no introduction. Why did I wait so long to watch it? I suppose I needed to be in the right mood, and 2020 is definitely that!

Here’s my brief thoughts.

Smile Down the Runway (2020)

Ikuto is a lovely boy.

At first glance, people will assume that Smile Down the Runway is blonde model Chiyuki’s story, I certainly had that impression, only to realise that it’s clothes designer Ikuto’s story after all, and what a pleasant boy he is. I wish I had more than that to say about Smile Down the Runway, it’s a unique shonen anime set in what I’ve always thought of as a feminine world, where the artistic trumps strength, and whose main character is a sensitive and softly-spoken young man, alas, I’m already forgetting everything about it.

A Place Further than the Universe (2018)

A Place Further than the Universe

I’m in the UK, I’ve been working from home since March and I’ve always thought to that, when the pandemic clears up, things will go back to normal again, but I’m starting to doubt that now. For sure, I took being able to travel for granted. I haven’t seen enough of the world yet, and the longer this goes on for, the more distant the rest of the world feels. A Place Further than the Universe was released in 2018, but those 2 years may as well be a lifetime ago. This is an anime about 4 high school girls travelling from Japan to Antarctica, and this past week, I watched it for the first time. There’s a lot I could say, but mostly, it made me want to travel and see other, distant places. I don’t know if I’ll ever see an aurora, or even stay in such a remote, icy place, but just seeing another landscape is enough, a salve for the soul. A Place Further than the Universe is that rare thing: an anime that, with each passing episode, I began to savour.

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