Shirase needs to relax. She’s griping over the airport staff glaring at them while checking their passport. Chill, girl. Your dream came true, and you’re headed for Antarctica — well, Singapore and Australia first, but the icy continent is as close as it has ever been. But yeah, she’s certainly the most anxious of the group. She gets all jumpy when she hears a pleasant chime on the plane, and she’s still trying to email her mother. In the real world, she needs therapy not just for her anxiety, but also the loss of her mother. In anime world, however, she’ll just have to hope she’ll get a breakthrough on this trip with her friends. Nevertheless, this sets us up perfectly for the drama of the week.
When the girls get to their hotel, Hinata quickly discovers that she’s lost her passport. Unlike Shirase, however, she opts not to freak out. Instead, she goes too far in the other direction and chooses to say nothing to anyone. Had she confided in her team right from the beginning, they probably could’ve visited the Japanese embassy right away to get her problem fixed without any issues. Instead, Hinata keeps telling herself that everything will work out, so Yuzuki — who apparently has a nose for secrets — ends up having to dig the truth out of the girl.
I prefer not worrying myself sick as well, but Hinata might be a little too laidback. As a result, we get to see hers and Shirase’s personalities in direct contrast. Yuzuki says that Hinata can get a new passport issued by the Japanese embassy on Monday, then they’ll just have to catch a later flight to Australia. This means they’ll have to delay their arrival to Fremantle, but they’ll still make it in time before the ship for Antarctica departs. Shirase starts fearing the worst, though. She thinks the expedition will just turn the kids away — even though they’ve already come this far — just because they are a couple days late.
This makes Hinata feel like total crap ‘cause she obviously doesn’t want to make her friend worry or be a burden on the group. But then again, this whole situation is her fault. As a result, she suggests that the other three go on ahead to Australia without her while she tries and fix her passport issue all on her own. If she doesn’t succeed, then she’ll drop out of the trip altogether. She won’t endanger it for the rest of the girls. The problem with worrying and being anxious is that these feelings don’t necessarily get us anywhere. They just end up guilt-tripping our loved ones. Shirase allows herself to be consumed with negative energy instead of actually working towards a solution to their problem.
Right before bed, Hinata reveals that she has a mental block when it comes to allowing others to help her. When people to be considerate, she finds it “disconcerting,” and this is why she opted to leave high school altogether. I can sort of relate. When you’re part of a family or a community — like, say, high school — it can often feel as though others only care about you because they’re obligated to. For example, let’s say it’s your birthday or you just got a huge promotion. All of a sudden, people you haven’t talked to in months suddenly start coming out of the woodwork to send you well wishes. They think they’re being kind and considerate, but instead, their words come across as fake and insincere.
For Hinata, it’s a little different. It sounds like she used to share her problems with others, and at first, her so-called friends would offer to help her. But behind her back, they would confide in each other that they wish they didn’t have to lend a hand. They’d really rather prioritize themselves first and foremost, and they only acted differently in front of her out of, again, obligation. For those like Hinata, it’s often much more comforting just to be left alone. You don’t have to worry about the possibility of people being two-faced with you. Shirase’s biggest concern is getting to Antarctica, right? So Hinata just wants her to be honest about that. But of course, her mistake is not realizing that it’s possible to prioritize two different things. Her mistake is also not realizing that priorities can change. Her three friends — Mari, Shirase, and Yuzuki — actually do care about her without just feeling obligated to, but once you put yourself in a protective mental bubble, it can be hard to just let others in.
In the end, Shirase rejects Hinata’s plan, because her priority is now getting all four of them to Antarctica. As a result, she spends her entire savings on four business-class tickets so that everyone can fly out to Fremantle at a later date. Hinata might be stubborn, but she can’t out-stubborn the girl who has spent the last few years of her life utterly consumed by a desire to reach Antarctica. But as the girl goes to put those brand-new tickets away in her purse, she of course finds Hinata’s passport in there. I’m amazed that she hadn’t opened her purse between the time Hinata finally told the group about her lost passport and now. She wasn’t keeping her envelope of a million yen in her purse? To strain credulity even further, Shirase then manages to cancel those new tickets, so the girls won’t even be late to Australia after all. Boy, everything sure did work out perfectly in the end, didn’t it?
Well, maybe not…
Misc. notes & observations:
— At the airport, Hinata stares at some girls in tracksuits. So she definitely did use to do track.
— Mari: “I always dreamed about being a plane.” Gives new meaning to the term airhead.
— Dude, that meal looks amazing for airplane food.
— You’d think these girls would be accompanied by an adult chaperone, but they’re all by themselves in a foreign country. I mean, I know this is an anime thing, but c’mon…
— I like how Mari and Hinata embarrass Yuzuki by trying to haggle. All of a sudden, the child star has a stick up her butt. It’s her friends’ first time in a new country. Of course they’re going to act like typical tourists. They are tourists. She’s too young to worry about efficiency.
— The girls play Rock-Paper-Scissors to see who gets stuck sharing a bed with Mari. What’s so bad about sleeping next to Mari? This. I’d say just wrap her up tightly into a human burrito, so she can’t get all handsy.
— What on earth is that place? Oh right, it’s the Infinity Pool that looks a little scary when you see shots like this one. Honestly, I don’t know much about Singapore. I certainly didn’t know it had such unique-looking architecture. The rest of the city looks a bit sterile and empty, though. But that might just be the anime opting not to draw and animate random people.
— They go to Singapore and end up looking for Japanese food for dinner? C’mon. That’s like going to Japan and getting a burger. Then again, I’m not exactly familiar with Singaporean cuisine.
— The girls end up ordering these giant mounds of fried rice. Is everything supposed to be bigger in Singapore or something?
— I can’t stand the smell of durian. I know it’s supposed to taste sweet and buttery, but no thanks. I’m not going near that. You can’t fool me with durian ice cream either. Why did Mari buy it if she’s never had durian before?
— I prefer this look. Then again, when all four girls have style of bangs, I prefer any other look. Don’t be ashamed of your forehead! Embrace it!
— Mari’s one of those sleepers.
— Do iiiiiit.
— I never realized that the height difference between these two girls was this pronounced.
— Ugh, I’m hungry.
— What’s with the silent post-credits scene?