As the ship approaches Antarctica, the girls try to learn more about Gin… or at least enough about her to spice up their videos. Gin and Shirase have a brief but intense conversation about Shirase’s mother, who we learn more about during flashbacks. We learn a little about icebreaking as the ship does its namesake task. And the girls take a first step onto Antarctica itself, at last!
While my previous episode reviews have been pretty lengthy, there actually isn’t a lot to say about the latest episode. Lots of small individual vignettes occur, but in many ways, the synopsis text is enough to describe what happened. That’s not to say that the episode is bad by any means – the interactions between main characters are crew are fun to watch.
In some ways, it’s a real mark of quality that the characters are so well-established by this point that the show feels comfortable turning them loose to basically do “slice of life” aboard the ship. Rather than bland filler, though, the show uses this downtime to develop some secondary characters, have a little comedy, and even fill us in on the post-WWII world order as it applies to Japan’s access to Antarctica.
On the drama side, Shirase and Gin talk about Shirase’s mother, and the show continues to do a good job of making the emotions more realistic than anime’s common tropes. The two of them don’t scream at each other, they don’t burst into sobbing tears, and perhaps most pointedly, the issue is not resolved – as, indeed, it may never be. What happened was tragic, and a single conversation is not going to result in Shirase “getting over it”.
There are a lot of little parts to this episode’s story, and the deft balance between comedy, drama, and just a touch of education continues. By the end of the episode, though, the dream has begun – the girls step (or enthusiastically leap) onto the frozen continent.
Time to celebrate!
…or gloat and shout at everyone who’s ever doubted you that you were RIGHT and BETTER than them. That works too.