008: Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou
AKA: Girls’ Last Tour
Aired: Fall 2017
Genres: Adventure, Mystery, Slice of Life, Sci-Fi, Post-Apocalypse, Drama
Date watched: Nov 30 2018 – Dec 01 2018
Series watched: Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou (12 ep x 23 min)
Why I started watching: I was looking for something different and saw this one, which looked like it had an interesting premise and setting. It also had a VA that I recognized playing one of the two main characters – The VA for Chito, the girl on the left, also played Kimari, the lead in Sora yori mo Tooi Basho.
This show had a very interesting premise – two young children travelling together in a post-apocalyptic landscape torn asunder by war and pride, stubbornly trying to live and move on in search of the next meal as the dying world wheezes and sputters around them. It is a tale of too little, too late, for humanity, as most of the life in the world was gone, and even though children are generally used as symbols of hope and innocence of “the next generation” in art and media, in this show the next generation is also dead. The two children are far too young to have any hope of understanding the technology and skills of those before them, and far too few to have any hope of rebuilding humanity by themselves. Yet, struggle on stoically they must, for otherwise what is the meaning of life, and those that have sacrificed to even get them this far?
The show follows Chito and Yuuri on their journey across the dead world, a journey with no fixed destination and only fleeting spots of comfort. Along the way, the two characters interact with the world around them, trying to figure out what the strange technological wonders around them are, and imagining the history of the people that came before them from what they can put together. The two are character foils to each other, the pragmatic and nihilistic Chito and the irresponsible and carefree Yuu clashing sometimes, and yet keeping each other sane and alive as they find that neither can live without the other person. They stock up on fuel and rations, meet a few interesting characters, and find some heart-warming glimpses of transient beauty together.
The show overall was quite interesting, although I found the art to be rather simplistic and drab. This was obviously a design decision though, which is fine, but then what irked me a little about the show is that both the OP and ED were upbeat by contrast. I thought the optimism seemed really out of place, but I did end up adding Ugoku, Ugoku (by the two lead VAs, Inori Minase and Yurika Kubo) to my stash.
All in all , I was satisfied with Girls’ Last Tour, but a combination of the art and music, as well as certain plot points in the latter half of the show, didn’t really hook me as much as it could have, despite the show starting out strong. For example, they blew up a robot at some point, and I thought that seemed both unrealistic and out of character for them. They also backtracked some ways to return an item to a location at another point, which is symbolic but also a little heavy-handed and unrealistic since they were on a limited fuel supply. I think I would still be mildly interested in a season 2 since I know how the manga ends now and it would be sort of cathartic to see their journey to that point, but I would also be equally satisfied with what we currently have.
Final Score: 7/10