A Place Further Than The Universe (Sora yori mo Tooi Basho) is one of the most memorable anime of the winter 2018 season.
The story of a group of girls traveling to Antarctica is a touching coming-of-age story with a fleshed out cast chasing their dreams. Madhouse’s original series has been praised as the studio’s best work in recent years, which is no small feat.
Fans of wanderlust, dream chasing, and character growth will also love these similarly themed anime!
Studio: P.A. Works
Genre: Comedy / Drama
Quick Pitch: Five high school friends – Aoi Miyamori, Ema Yasuhara, Shizuka Sakaki, Misa Todou, and Midori Imai – promise to create an anime together. Fast forward two-and-a-half years later, and they find themselves facing the harsh realities of the industry they love. All of the hard work and frustrations are draining, but they refuse to let their dream of producing an anime together die.
Watch If: While not as life-threatening, the girls of Shirbako go on a grueling journey of working in the anime industry with hopes of producing a series with each other.
2Space Brothers (Uchuu Kyoudai)
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Comedy / Drama
Episodes: 99 + 1 Movie
Quick Pitch: One night in 2006, brothers Mutta and Hibito saw what they believed to be a UFO heading to the moon. This event inspired them to become astronauts.
In 2025, Hibito becomes an astronaut and is heading to the moon. Mutta, on the other hand, chose to work in the auto industry. But, a violent altercation with his boss may have destroyed Mutta’s career. He takes this as a sign to chase his childhood dream of becoming an astronaut, just like his younger brother.
Watch If: Both series center around people doing “impossible” things and exploring final frontiers – Space Brothers takes the journey to space.
3Love Live! Sunshine!!
Genre: Comedy / Drama / Music / Slice of Life
Quick Pitch: Chika Takami, a normal girl who is inspired to become an idol due to the success of μ’s. She wants to create an idol group to promote the Uranohoshi Girls’ Academy in order to prevent it from merging with another school. However, the “Love Live!” school idol project has grown in popularity, which makes Chika’s goal a difficult task.
Watch If: Love Live! Sunshine!! is a lot closer to A Pace Further Than The Universe than you’d first imagine. Underneath the idol music is a story about a group of girls coming together to save their school by participating in the competitive Love Live! contest.
4Aim for the Top! Gunbuster
Genre: Action / Adventure / Mecha
Quick Pitch: In the near future, humanity has begun exploring the far corners of the galaxy. A mecha program is developed after finding a race of insectoid aliens that hellbent on destroying humanity. Noriko Takaya enters a training school despite lacking piloting skills and is forced to work with the talented Kazumi Amano.
Watch If: Piloting a mecha unit is as unlikely as a teen exploring Antartica, right? Most of Gunbuster focuses on the training that the pilots undergo and explores Noriko’s personal growth.
Studio: P.A. Works
Genre: Comedy / Drama / Slice of Life
Quick Pitch: Yoshino Koharu has dreams of living in Tokyo, but a fruitless job search finds her working as the “queen” of the rural town Manoyama. The town’s Board of Tourism wishes to revitalize the dying town, but not all of the residents agree on how to go about it.
Watch If: Sakura Quest is just as ambitious as A Place Further Than The Universe – revitalizing small towns is a real and difficult task. The cast also has similar personality dynamics and they try to save Manoyama’s economy.
6Made in Abyss
Studio: Kinema Citrus
Genre: Adventure / Drama / Fantasy
Quick Pitch: Riko, an orphan who dreams of becoming a great Cave Raider like her mother and to solve the mystery of the Abyss. The Abyss is an unexplored cave system that is home to strange creatures and artifacts. Generations of explorers have been drawn to the Abyss, but the deadly creatures and “the curse of the Abyss” leads to a high mortality rate. Despite knowing the risks, Riko is determined to descend to the bottom of the Abyss.
Watch If: Don’t let the fantasy setting fool you, these two shows have crossover appeal. Both feature a girl journeying through a harsh environment in search of their mother – one just has penguins!