Episode Reviews

[Highlights] Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho 11: It’s Hinata’s Turn!

Hinata’s turn for what? Backstory + getting motivated by nakama, obviously. I really liked Hinata early on, but I found this episode to be just okay. Nothing horrible, nothing outstanding. Ready for some Hinata?

sora yori 11.1

  • Hinata is confused that she has friends who aren’t in Antarctica. Hmm, I really wonder where her parents are. They never show up.

sora yori 11.2

  • Turns out that Hinata doesn’t have friends after all. She gets angry at the snow for the fact. No, let me rephrase that. Hinata is mad that people she doesn’t consider friends are suddenly behaving like her friends. Shallow, opportunistic female classmates are quite the trope in anime/J-drama. It makes me a little uncomfortable seeing how it’s depicted as a norm.
  • Look at Shirase in the back. Remember when I said that nobody has privacy in this anime? This episode supports that even further. Nobody in this anime can truly be alone at any point! It’s just a part of…being a team, you know? I can identify though (with Shirase).

sora yori 11.3

  • Ah…the poor girl. Honestly, just give up on Yu-kun… I know he responds by the end of this episode, but what kind of boyfriend ignores you for months (?) when you go on an expedition to a place almost further than the universe? Dump him, don’t let him dump you!!!

sora yori 11.4

  • Turns out that Shirase is great at mahjong!
  • And apparently, Shirase is the daughter of Gin and Takako. Are Gin and Takako officially a couple then?! I came across Remy’s post this morning, and he discusses the relationship between Gin and Takako in greater depth, so go give it a read! I didn’t think it was official when I got to this point in the episode, perhaps because of how Gin panics whenever she’s left alone with Shirase, accusing Takako of leaving her with a kid (that’s not hers). I didn’t feel like she sees Shirase as a part of her responsibility, but Remy’s post definitely presents convincing arguments. Regardless of whether Gin and Takako were together before, it’s clear that Gin has not been a parental figure to Shirase ever since the incident. Resolving the tension between the two feels like a much more complicated task after this casual statement suggests that Gin, Takako, and Shirase were once a family or something like one.

sora yori 11.5

  • Gah…what an awkward moment. Shirase is caught red-handed to be checking Hinata’s email. If she doesn’t choose this approach, I wonder how long it will take before Hinata opens up to her friends about herself. Will she ever? I don’t think she will, and there would always be something artificial about their close friendship. I don’t think close friends can keep important secrets from one another in the long run, and am definitely more Shirase than Mari when it comes to being worried about a friend, but maybe that’s just me?

sora yori 11.6

  • Hinata confesses! For once in this show, it’s not a very emotional confession. That’s because Hinata is still repressing the damage done to her at this point. Her desire to join the expedition now makes sense to me.
  • I don’t really feel for her backstory. Being betrayed by friends and being ostracized are horrible things that can damage a person as much as verbal/physical bullying, but to quit not only the club but school as well? I didn’t know you could just decide not to go to school one day and not have anyone come after you. Perhaps family issues are involved in this as well, but I doubt Hinata’s getting another episode to expand on her backstory. Maybe it’s because Hinata herself glosses over things when telling the story – it just didn’t affect me very much.
  • So Hinata has been greatly wounded by her past and hides her feelings at all costs because of this. She’s an insecure person. I don’t know why, but I can’t buy into it. Sure, we saw a glimpse of what’s beneath her mask in Singapore, but this episode’s backstory feels like a weak attempt to justify how she acts.

sora yori 11.7

  • Climax: Shirase defends her friend on air! I wasn’t surprised to see this, but it’s nice to see, I suppose. We don’t get to see the reactions of Hinata’s “friends” though. Were they really that evil? I kind of pity them.

sora yori 11.8

  • Yuzu’s expression feels borderline euphoric yandere. Probably just me seeing things. Yuzuki is eager to spread her new understanding of how awesome friendship is. Best girl is still cute!

And that’s it for the episode. Fewer screenshots this time, because I happen to have less I want to talk about. Yorimoi is still nice and consistent.

6 thoughts on “[Highlights] Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho 11: It’s Hinata’s Turn!

  1. “We don’t get to see the reactions of Hinata’s “friends” though.”

    Nor should we, they’re being/have been cast out. The focus here is on the main cast, not the losers! And it shows how they’re being left out and left behind.

    “Yuzuki is eager to spread her new understanding of how awesome friendship is.”

    Aren’t the newest converts always the most enthusiastic? 🙂 Also, nice observation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s true that we don’t really need to see the mean girls. I didn’t exactly feel sorry about missing their reactions (probably just lots of awkwardness anyways). I feel like they weren’t necessarily horrible people though.
      And ayeee, Yuzuki’s best girl for me!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Apart from being great at athletics, Hinata is also great in academics. Recall in the 2nd episode when she first meets Shirase. Hinata states that she already has her highschool certificate and has recently been given an A rating in her mock university entrance exams. Keep in mind this event happens early in the school year of Kimari and Shirase who are 2nd Year H.S. students.

    Being great in both academics and athletics would mean that Hinata has reputation of being an excellent student in her school. Other students could be admiring her, intimidated by her, or jealous of her. Those “friends” of hers either admire her and want to encourage her. Or, they want to sabotage her reputation. We see this all the time in real life with prominent athletes, celebrities, and politicians. Heck even in our academic and working careers. Well, Hinata’s “friends” did not stand up for her when she is scrutinized after encouraging her to compete. Seniors in Hinata’s track team starts spreading rumors about her, creating the vulnerability in Hinata’s reputation as an excellent student. Others students who have always been intimidated or jealous of her would have pounced at this opportunity to ruin her reputation to satisfy their insecurities.

    Given that Hinata is fiercely independent(shown since she was first introduced), not wanting others to be considerate of her(ep 6), not wanting to burden others of her problems(ep 6 & 11), does not want to fight mean with mean(ep 5), and also values freedom greatly(ep 2 & 11), it is not unreasonable for her character to chose not to continue going to school given her circumstances and options. Ironically, all this is her flaw as a character. A character flaw that is addressed by Shirase’s actions by the end of this episode. I could go further but this is what I see at the tip of the iceberg.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the Hinata analysis. I don’t think any of these developments are illogical – it’s just that they didn’t create a particularly strong emotional impact on me for me to feel convinced by them. A part of me wishes we got a more fleshed out version of that backstory, but not everyone’s going to feel the same need for that!
      Thanks for defending Hinata.


  3. While I would love if Gin and Takako turned out to have been a couple and I adore Gin’s interactions with Shirase, I’m pretty sure the mahjong comment, by itself, doesn’t actually mean anything. It’s not even a mistranslation, just an ambiguous phrase. The japanese dialogue is “Gin to Takako no musume” which could mean “the daughter of Gin and Takako” but could also (more likely) mean “Gin and the daughter of Takako”. It could’ve been avoided by having them say “Takako no musume to Gin” but I’m pretty sure there are some unwritten rules about that – Gin is older, their superior, and the person they know better. Adressing her second wouldn’t be natural.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sure is an interesting point. I wonder why they’d bother mentioning Gin in that sentence though, if that’s the case? Wouldn’t they just say “Takako no musume” without mentioning Gin, if Gin has nothing to do with Takako’s musume? Unless they’re just trying to say that Gin’s good at mahjong as well, but I thought the sentence was more directed as praise towards Shirase.
      I don’t think Gin and Takako are an official pair, but Kanae and the others probably joke about them being a thing a lot. Thanks for the interesting comment!


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