If you combined the post apocalyptic world of The Road with the dangerous journey with a slight hopeful feeling of Made in Abyss; I think you would get a very vague but not at all accurate idea of the anime Girls’ Last Tour.
Not a whole lot happens in this show from a plot perspective. There is no villain and the conflicts between the characters themselves are minimal; to say that the plot is Man Vs. Nature also seems wrong. There is no nature. Just the remains of a city.
There’s running water. Sometimes. And fuel stations. And abandoned stores of food. But not a lot. And it’s clear one day it will be gone.
This 12-episode long anime follows Yuu and Chi, two young girls as they journey through a mostly dead, post-apocalyptic world. Chi drives their Kettenkrad, a modified motorcycle thing; she is quiet, and bookish and is recording everything she can in a journal. Yuu is good with a gun and spends most of her time thinking about food.
Their relationship isn’t clear; they might be sisters or cousins or friends but it doesn’t matter. They care for each other and it’s clear they both need the other to survive. To pass the time, the two talk about life, the universe, war, empathy…lots of different topics. But they don’t have the knowledge to understand a lot of them, so it comes off as both childish and wise.
They ask questions like: What is a house? How do you know you’re alive? What happens after death? Why is important to remember the past?
It’s not made clear where the two are going; they live in a gigantic man-made city structure and making it up to the higher levels where they hope to find…maybe people, and a steady supply at food. They’re still able to find food and fuel on occasion but it’s becoming fewer and far between.
Most of the time the two are just trying to survive. But the series shows us how they find happiness; in the rations left behind, in the hot water still running, in a camera given to them by another survivor or in the rain.
There is something oddly uplifting about this show; from the start it’s very clear that this show is about survival, and a lot of the time it’s very melancholic. We see images of a world long gone, and the girls don’t know what chocolate, cameras, houses, cheese or animals are.
But they find happiness in the little things like when they are able to take a hot shower, clean their clothes or come across a new book,
I really can’t explain the plot beyond that; the two do meet other characters, but never for very long.
And even though we do eventually find out how the world ended, we don’t get all the details. And I’m fine with that. It’s not important within the show; it also only gives us a vague idea of how long ago it happened. It wasn’t too long ago, but it was enough to kill off a lot of people and most of the knowledge.
It’s obvious Chi and Yuu didn’t go to school or have any kind of formal education. Their whole life has always been about survival. And they’ve accepted that. Since they don’t have to fight monsters or anything, it’s a very different kind of survival we’re used to.
I don’t have the right words at the moment to explain just how beautiful this show is from its animation, to its music to its themes, to…it’s something that really needs to be experienced in order to understand it.
It shouldn’t work as well as it does. This video really expresses well.
I wish I had more time and the right words to explain this. I do know that I’m definitely going to look for a copy of the manga now. I’m curious as to how some of this is expressed.
Please just watch this show.
Year of Release 2017
Director: Takaharu Ozaki
Writers: Kazuyuki Fudeyasu
If you liked this read: ‘Made in Abyss,’ is the best anime of 2017.