The end of episode 1 of A Place Further Than the Universe seemed to resolve the central conflict without setting up any further complications, but episode 2 wastes no time in introducing more. Right off the bat, Mari and Shirase find out that getting to Antarctica is more complicated than just finding a ship and having a boatload (haha) of cash. They need to be approved to join an expeditionary team, but this is no easy feat for civilians, much less teenage civilians. With one shot to join an upcoming, if struggling, trip, the girls scheme how they can secure their spot aboard the departure from Fremantle.
At this point, they are introduced to the third protagonist we see in the opening animation, Hinata Miyake. To help fund her part of the trip, Mari gets a part-time job at the same convenience store that Miyake works at and soon finds out that her new coworker knows about their trip from eavesdropping earlier. Miyake is just as much as a go-getter as Mari and Shirase and practically invites herself along.
The final act of the episode finds our trio trying to sneak into the expeditionary team meeting, hoping to seduce some of the members and get their names on the list. However, Shirase is recognized by two members who knew her missing mother and are very against the daughter following suit. We get a riveting chase through the neon-lit streets of Kabukicho, until the older pursuers catch our protagonists and lay down the line. Shirase desperately attempts to bribe them with her MacGuffin savings, but Gin and Kanae, their names and relationship revealed, firmly decline.
Episode 2 was a great continuation of the series. Left in high spirits at the end of episode 1, we now see that this trip is going to be much more difficult, perhaps even dangerous, for our crew. I’m very interested to see how Miyake develops as a character, since she just seems like a more worldly Mari in attitude. The show also sneaks in a playful peek at our fourth protagonist in Kabukicho, just like we saw a little of Miyake at the end of the first. It seems like this show will definitely require a full three-episode test to round out our review of the characters and the first act of this series.
A Place Further Than the Universe is available for streaming on Crunchyroll.