Since I have been extremely bored and free after quitting my job, I finally had time to start chasing some dramas and anime that I previously had not have the time to watch.
One of the anime that I totally couldn't stop watching and ended up watching till 3am in the morning was
宇宙よりも遠い場所 / A Place Further than the Universe!!
I had seen clips of the anime on FB previously commending on how good the art were. One of the episodes was about the main characters visiting Singapore and the art were just beautiful. But from the clips, I had no idea what the storyline was but was happy to see an anime that actually introduces Singapore!
Anyway, the story is about 4 high school girls and their long journey to visit the Antarctica. I was kind of worried that the anime would be those girly otome or even romance story since the main characters were all girls and high school students. I was soooo wrong. The anime is really more of those slice of life, motivation and friendship type of story. If the 4 characters were guys, I think the story would have been a Shonen JUMP manga/anime with their typical spirit of Friendship, Effort and Victory (友情、努力、勝利!).
All 4 characters have their own stories and reason to want to visit the Antarctica. They started out as strangers who happened to come together, bonded over their struggle to reach the Antarctica and had to make difficult decisions such as chasing their own dreams versus supporting their friends.
It even reminded me a little of the first time I visited Japan on the ATW program so many years back, where I saw a different side of the world, met people who were on the same program for different reasons, and experienced so many different things while also building friendships that would last till today. I think what makes 宇宙よりも遠い場所 so heartwarming and beautiful is that even though the destination is different, many of us has actually been through the same journey, to a place where we felt it was further than the universe and then experienced so many things that change us somewhat.
And that is probably why I love traveling, despite being scared and paranoid every time I travel alone or travel to new places. But I guess that is also precisely what makes it so exciting. Anyways, I have only another 4-5 prefectures to go to complete all 47 prefectures of Japan, and with that, visiting all parts of China and Korea is looking more and more attractive. Maybe I should make a trip to China soon XD.