Mari Tamaki is in her second year of high school and wants to start something. It's then that she meets Shirase, a girl with few friends who's considered weirdo by the rest of the class and nicknamed "Arctic" since it's all she ever talks about. Unlike her peers, Mari is moved by Shirase's dedication and decides that even though it's unlikely that high school girls will ever go to Antarctica, she's going to try to go with Shirase.
There is only 3 episodes of this anime out so far but it is already by far the best anime of the season, in my opinion. It's main strength is its strong characters, but it is incredibly good in all other aspects as well.
The story is centred around high school girls, which is nothing new, but it has a pretty unique twist that makes it a lot more interesting.
Visually it is outstanding. The art is beautiful and the animation is smooth and lively which suits the spirited characters.
The main characters are just a small group of high school girls, yet are the best part
about the whole show. All of the mains already have a decent amount of depth to them and there has been quite a bit of development only 3 episodes in. They are all realistic and believable characters, and are so endearing. There have been a few heartwarming wholesome friendship moments, which were nice. The character interactions have often been hilarious, which is helped by the great chemistry that the VAs seem to have with each other.
The voice acting is superb (although that's to be expected with names like KanaHana and Inori Minase) and makes for a very believable portrayal of high school girls, allowing for an immersive experience. The OP and ED are both good but nothing special. The soundtrack is very fitting to the mood and not often noticed, which is good.
To conclude, definitely at least give this show a chance, even if it doesn't seem like your thing, because it is incredibly good.
Let me be frank with y'all here, "Sora Yori Mo Tooi Basho" is not on my watchlist in the beginning. The reason why I start to watch it was simply because all the other series start at a later date and since "Sora Yori Mo Tooi Basho" is one of the first that came out and it's SOL, I thought,"why not watch it for fun? It might be good." I can tell you right now that clicking that first episode was one of the best choice that I have ever made so far this year. Now let me share with you guys how good this
Story: 8. Story line and settings are fresh, with a group of 4 high school girls venturing out to Antarctica - a dream that is so surreal that you don't see it happening in real life or in any anime. (Well, please correct me if I'm wrong here.) Moreover, how fitting it is to produce a "Let's go on an adventure to Antarctica!!"themed anime series during the Winter season. Brilliant! Something you would expect from a SOL anime talking about going on an adventure and broadening one's horizon.
Art: 9. I said it once and I will say it again, beautiful and poetic art is what defines a brilliant SOL anime. Knowing Madhouse, I am 100% confident that they would produce beautiful artwork with a breath taking scenery to blow our mind off. Nothing but beautiful!
Sound: 10. Same rules applies - Moving, beautiful and relaxing music with a set of serene BGM is what make SOL so unique and stand out as compared to other genre. Sound is usually what I would expect the most from a SOL anime, Madhouse did a brilliant job for this category. Don't believe me? Go check out it's OP and ED! (The OP is so catchy after hearing it the first time and the ED is so touching that it'd make you hear them again.)
Character: 9. As per norm, a group of 4 middle school students as the main characters but seriously can we complain about them? Who would mind seeing 4 innocent, fun and lovely girls with each of them having distinctive personalities as the main? The characters of "Sora Yori Tooi Basho" are so well-made where every one of their characters blend in so well with one another. It's a perfect mix if you were to ask me.
Enjoyment: 8. Although it has a LOT of dialogue, (I mean it's a SOL series), but there are it's share fair of fun such as getting chased by the athletic girls along the red light district, visiting different places together and getting mind-blown by a lot of things.
To sum it up, it is definitely a great anime worth investing in for SOL fans. Although some of the dialogue or scenes can be improved to make it more entertaining but hey we are still on the 3rd episode and I think that Madhouse has nailed it so far. The pace were perfect and clearly each episode will reveal more highlights that shows the girls reach one step closer and closer to their goal.
Thank you and appreciate your time for reading it. Hope it helps! :)