Kana HanazawaAkira IshidaInori MinaseKotono Mitsuishi
Girls' Last Tour
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2017: G
Also known as: Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2017
Director: Takaharu Ozaki
Writer: Kazuyuki Fudeyasu
Original creator: Tsukumizu
Actor: Inori Minase, Yurika Kubo, Akira Ishida, Kotono Mitsuishi, Kana Hanazawa
Keywords: SF, anime, post-apocalypse
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 TV episodes
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=19827
Website category: Anime 2017
Review date: 18 October 2018
Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou
It's a light, relaxing show about the extinction of mankind and the obliteration of life on Earth.
Our heroines are lovable blob-faced girls called Chito and Yuuri. Chito is sensible, serious and a bit of a bookworm. She answers all questions intelligently and she's the practical one who'll try to stop Yuu from doing anything too stupid. Yuu, on the other hand, is a space case who's relaxed about everything and asks questions like "do you think a tank tastes good?"
They're also soldiers. They wear tin helmets and drive a mini-tank called a Kettenkrad. (It's really an armoured tractor, used by the Germans in World War Two.) The opening credits are a cute mix of Chito and Yuu (a) marching like soldiers and (b) doing goofy dances. They're wandering around the world, although they're not very well-informed about it. Chito can read a bit, while Yuu can't read at all. Things they don't understand include: chocolate, gods, alcohol, fish and possibly sex. (One of the very few people they'll meet will be male, but there's no talk of anything that might perpetuate the human race. It's as if it doesn't occur to them, although it's also arguable that bringing a baby into this world would have been cruelty.)
Everything's gone, you see. Life itself is almost finished. The human race is dead, as are animals and plants. (There are one or two exceptions, e.g. Chito and Yuu, but they're vanishingly rare.) The world is grey and decaying. Cities are desolated, with nothing growing in the ruins. Nothing will ever be green again. It's just dead buildings, concrete and tarmac for ever and ever. There aren't even any corpses. There's certainly no hope of ever growing anything, so Chito and Yuu are going to stay alive only as long as they can go on finding tinned or preserved food that's not spoiled. One day the only nutrition they'll have will be each other.
For twelve episodes, Chito and Yuu explore this world. Some people have found ep.12 shocking or upsetting, as if maybe they'd been expecting the rest of mankind to be hiding under the bed or something. Uh, no. I thought it was right on the button. Welcome to the end of the world... uh, no, actually it's already happened and we missed it.
This probably doesn't sound light and relaxing, but it is.
Chito and Yuu are just a couple of girls. They don't really understand much, but they're not stupid. (Well, Chito isn't.) They have silly conversations, hit each other on the helmet and go travelling around to see cool stuff. Even a post-apocalypse world can be beautiful! (Well, if you can appreciate brutalist vistas in grey and a quirky sense of design.) They have philosophical conversations, which usually means Yuu asking surprisingly deep questions in her dozy way and Chito taking them seriously. Ep.10 has a great little exchange about how fast the Earth spins, for instance.
They don't get depressed. They just potter around while having the kind of relaxed, silly conversations you might have with friends at three in the morning. They eat food. (Yuu is big on food.) Yuu believes in embracing the despair, but this makes it sound like a happy, positive thing, because she's Yuu.
Oh, and the opening and closing credits are both nice. I don't think I ever skipped either. The dancing is fun.
The Blu-rays also have a series of micro-episodes called Girls' Weekend Lesson, which is a Flash-animated semi-comedy about Chito and Yuu impossibly finding themselves in school. It's okay, but it doesn't really add up to much and the girls are having the same kinds of conversations they're having in the main show.
It's a unique show. Whoever dreamed up this series format is some kind of loon and I'm full of awe and admiration. It's feelgood global extinction. It's staring into the abyss and being lovable about it. The pace is gentle. The scenery is amazing, or sometimes weird. Very occasionally they meet people and things, who'll always have some kind of goal that keeps them going. Will there be failure? Will everything fall apart and ultimately die? Probably, but that's just the way things have ended up. Chito and Yuu will hopefully still be there when it happens, discussing the meaning of empathy and asking questions like "if you're going to get eaten, you'd rather it was by me, right?"
It's as a wise man once said. Always look on the bright side of life. And death, big-time.