(Welcome to Ani-time Ani-where, a regular column dedicated to helping the uninitiated understand and appreciate the world of anime.)

So far in this column, we’ve explored some of the more genre-heavy shows anime has to offer. But the beauty of this medium is its malleability. Animation is still largely considered family-oriented in the West, but in the rest of the world, animated stories set in an alternate world with man-eating giants can be as successful as a slice-of-life drama. Let’s look at a slightly more traditional, if still extraordinary, coming-of-age story.  

Studio Madhouse has given us some of the most visually stunning action and fantasy anime of the past couple of decades, from Trigun and Cardcaptor Sakura, to Death Note and One Punch Man (the good season), but they also produced some original TV shows, including A Place Further than the Universe, which is not about space exploration, but is instead a beautifully told and exquisitely animated coming-of-age drama/adventure about doing something extraordinary with your life…and also going to Antarctica.

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