Posted on 1 January 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews, Girls' Last Tour

Girls’ Last Tour falls within my favorite new trend that emerging the anime medium over the last decade: a dark moe anime. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where the human race has almost extinct, our two girls wandering around the world in their kettenkrad looking for food and shelter. If it sounds a bit bleak and minimalism, rest assured that Girls’ Last Tour is at its heart a slice-of-life show about those girls having relaxing time in that world. And did I mention that those girls are real moeblobs? Their faces can go rounder and squishy, but strangely they never feel out of sync with the more realistic industrial setting. The show could be entertaining and soothing enough with just those factors, but it has more tricks under its sleeves. More often than not, Girls’ Last Tour addresses some simple philosophical issues that provides another perspective since the girls have no idea how normal society works. Moreover, while I consider the source material an already solid manga, the anime adaptation enhances this show further with a consistent visual audio production and great attention to details. It’s a beautiful and solid production all around.

I always consider a certain show a great piece of art when they know how to fuse seamlessly between two seemingly contrasting or opposite factors, because then the show can produce some unique chemistry, while at the same time balancing these extremes out – just like how yin and yang work in general. Girls’ Last Tour certainly is amongst this group. Take how the cutey designs of the girls both contrast and complement to the vast wasteland on the verge of totally destroyed. Or how despite the low-key depression of hopelessness that linger to wherever the girls go, the main theme is about how our girls find their little joy and keep moving on. I also want to stress on the small number of the living beings in contrast to the huge remains of weapons and dysfunctional machines. This show is one of the most minimalistic cast I’ve seen in anime medium, with only our two girls Chi and Yuu command the screen most of the time, and the number of people and animals they encounter along the way can be counted in two hands. For other shows it’s a recipe for disaster but in Girls’ Last Tour the girls never stay out their welcome in spite of (and I could argue because of) the vast world of nothingness. The last episode when the stream of many people appear on screen before the destruction, as a result, bring a powerful, overwhelming emotion to the table. This mastery in controlling over the general tone makes this show so relatable, sharp and grounded, despite the show is at its core a moe girls show.

Chi and Yuu make a great pair with their contrasting (again!) personality. Their chemistry is natural and sometimes the show explores the different mindset between Chi-chan who is academic but timid and Yuu who just like eating but quick to adapt. In one sequence for an instance, when arguing about the signs that give them directions to the destination, Chi argues that who would ignore signs that would help them to the destination, in which Yuu responses that it’ll be boring that way. Their difference in the way they approach life complement each other and bring the best out of each of them. Their bond and fondness to each other, in addition, is highlight through the completely comfortable in their close physicality and in the last episode that bond is further developed into satisfying payoff.

The worldbuilding of this series is another highlight, too. We get a hint of how the world come into destruction several times before, but it never at once come into a forefront. The city is displayed as an industrial, vast with multiple layers that the higher the level, the more advance the technology. Ancient people in that world had an advance in technology that now become long lost. Our girls travel that world without a proper knowledge about the remaining technology, and to a greater degree have absolutely no knowledge about how society works and many several topics regarding society like religion, war, home and death. These philosophical questions often pop up randomly, but they all serve the purpose of seeking a bit deeper about our own existence, our purpose in life and even what lifeform is itself. Ultimately, the answer to these questions are just as simple: the best way to die is to keep on living and enjoy little happiness in life.

While comparing the manga to this anime adaptation, I noticed in the manga, the sense of hopelessness is more apparent, thus make it a fair bit darker than the anime version. That’s not a jab against the anime at all, as I consider the production of Girls’ Last Tour a nearly flawless work. The shots are greatly composed, they know when to use natural sounds and when to let the score kicks in. The background art is always appropriate and striking. The direction, the editing make the show as natural as possible, and believe me it’s a goddamn hard job to pull. Girls’ Last Tour is just down right cinematic most of its time. Moreover, the voice acting work for the two girls are exceptional. Bravo White Fox for this wonderful adaptation where I can feel their love and their passion run right through every minute of the run.

While Girls’ Last Tour might provide no definitive ending to the girls’ last tour and sometimes might feel like nothing is really at stakes, I am myself surprise the whole trip never feel boring or repetitive, and Chi and Yuu’s chemistry is strong enough to carry the show. Depressing and comforting at the same time, Girls’ Last Tour is a rare show that produce its unique charms and distinctive tones, while always maintain its feet firmly on the ground. It’s the best of its slice of life dark moe genre and I certainly miss those girls and their kettenrad.

Posted on 26 December 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Girls' Last Tour

I am glad that this little dark moe show that mostly flies under the radar in this Fall 2017 ended in a high note, and Girls’ Last Tour has been really consistently solid to begin with. This is a fitting ending for a slice of life show like this, further reconfirming many elements that make Girls’ Last Tour stand out in the first place: its intriguing world setting, the bond between our two girls Chi-chan and Yuu, and still manages to surprise us in many ways. The only element was missing in this last episode is, surprisingly, its laid-back slice of life theme. This finale takes a look back to the past where humanity was still dominant, then to the present with those no-leg white caterpillar turn mushroom creatures, while at the same time give those girls a push to realize the importance of each other in their lives.

This first half is easily my favorite chapter of Girls’ Last Tour. As the girls taking pictures of themselves, the camera’s automatically syncing with the big screens and all sort of pictures, and videos from the past come into play. The girls obviously don’t aware much about those old storages, so it’s a nice surprise for them to witness the old world, the traditions, the people that no longer exist in the world. It’s a whole world’s history that play in front of the them: a group of girls presenting their latest project, a newborn baby, a sport event, the ongoing war… and the toss and mix between the tones of those events that gather a grand and epic feeling to the girls, and to us the audiences as well. Here I must compliment the precise editing of Girls’ Last Tour. Those video segments from the past play out seemingly out of order, but they hold the emotions very well, even the music helps strengthen the feeling. Those videos play a nice contrast to this wasteland the girl’s living right now. Full of people, full of life with vibrant colors in contrast with this dull, grey world, but in essence the dull world is one part of the rainbow color that makes life so interesting and full of wonders.

The second part focuses on the new creatures that appear out of the blue, swallow whole Yuu. At that point of time Chi-chan has to experient the important of losing Yuu in her life. Those creatures turn out do not look for human flesh, but rather the energy left over after the human race destroyed itself. Their objective is to swallow and “clean up” all the remnants of warfare, and effectively put the world into an inactive state, and that will be the new state of the world (they need to destroy all the bads before resetting the world again), albeit at the cost of the human race, and our two girls in particular, who were deemed as the last human on Earth by their calculation.

Those creatures transform into a flying Mushroom is weird but pointed criticism towards the consequences of war (Mushroom smoke anyone?). They are, after all, the very product of the destruction the human race had left behind. Their companion Cut is gone way too soon too, and now, with nothing better to do except knowing full well that the world is going to be destroyed, the girls confirm their bond to each other and continue on with the journey to the highest level. I had never expected Girls’ Last Tour to be this consistently great so it was a nice surprise for me and I love every moment watching and blogging this under-the-radar show. Amidst the post-apocalyptic hopeless world, the girls prove once again that all you need to do to survive is enjoying the little things in life and keep moving on.

Posted on 19 December 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Girls' Last Tour

Despite its moeblob nature of our two girls, Girls’ Last Tour still keeps up its lowkey depression – such element that make this show so grounded in its world. In this episode, that stark, depressed nature of the world comes in full light with the focus on weapons and destruction. It starts small with a bullet and our weird animal friend “Cut” who can digest such bullet. Whimsical nature aside, it has its point on how that creature survives and evolves in this dead world. “Cut” is a product of this post-apocalyptic world, with shells of bullets and corpses of machine scattered all over the surface. In other to survive, what is the better source of meal than those bullets? (whether it’s nutritious is another story). Moreover, this episode we can see our animal friend having some basic communication with the girls (which is freaky when you think about it), and their hands can serve as a power supply and/or key to start up the systems. When it comes to the war stuffs, our adorable pet surprisingly knows its way around that it makes me feel it was their roles all along. Now, even Chi-chan notices the resemblances between the pet and the stone statue, which my guess for now is that they’re probably one. Despite its cute voice and its even cuter reactions, this pet is one of the freakiest animal that I’d be happy to stay away from.

Yeah, this week in Girls’ Last Tour starts small with a bullet, but then it progresses to something bigger, and much more destructive. The girls find themselves inside the machine that fire missiles. Yuu, in her normal curious state, presses another button, and the whole city is down in flame caused by the laser beam. That intensify of destruction is used fairly well in this episode, starts with some dysfunctional tanks, to the collapse of a machine, and then to the destruction of a whole city in mere seconds. That was a shock, and I imagine what happen if there were any life destroyed by that careless action. What if there were a person or a plant? Yuu quickly laughs it off because it’s fun, but then when the blame game begins she blames the machine first, then the old people who used that machine, then to herself. Sometimes mass destruction can be easily caused like this, powerful weapons in a hand of irresponsible people. Girls’ Last Tour goes even further though, as the girls’ next destination ends up being the forest of windmills (or are they antennas?) and the nuclear submarine that still functioning. It’s not a pretty sight at all: even when the world is destroyed, the weapon that could destroy the world all over again is still waiting for its chance to launch. That pretty much the reasons why Girls’ Last Tour is so balance. It blends smoothly between its moeblob, slice of life nature and its really dark, destructive settings. That balance makes the show still have its footing on the ground, while at the same time hopeful and light-hearted enough to remind us the beauty of keep on living and enjoy little moments of life. With only one episode left I really hope we have a finale that close this magnificent show in the most satisfying note.

Posted on 13 December 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Girls' Last Tour

Girls’ Last Tour examines the concept of time and space this week, as the girls riding on a lonely moving train. The train design fits right in with this world: a long metal box that functions all by itself and contains many now-dysfunctional robots – corpses of the machines. Since last week we learnt that they are capable of thinking on their owns and sharing the empathy with human, it’s a sad sight to witness that they are now basically a worthless junk. What even sadder is those that still remain: the train’s still functioning despite no one else need a ride, the clock’s still running despite it loses all its meaning. It’s a neat trick from Girls’ Last Tour to insert the robots’ perspective imaginary to remind us about its past lives, just like the graves the girls saw the other day. Yuu wonders if they actually go faster now that they’re on the moving train, in which Chi-chan snaps back that theoretically they don’t, since they are always on the moving Earth. Time goes pretty much the same way. Technically, they don’t go any faster, but since the concept of hours is long forgotten it doesn’t matter either way.

And then Girls’ Last Tour address something that transcend both time and space: the wavelengths, in the form of radio waves and in the form of light. Yuu picks up a noise in the radio that she took from the filing cabinets. That noise becomes clearer the more they get closer to the surface; and it turns out to be a melancholic tune. It feels like the memory of the old people still linger in there. Moreover, there is a reason why cinematography and photography regard sunset as the golden hour, as it produces a magical and dreamlike effect. Light is technically a wavelength, and for this particular moment, both the music from the radio and the red sunlight create something sad, something that still relevant and can’t be lost through thousands of years. That beautiful, quiet moment is also an acknowledgement to the transience of life – that the moment only last for a short period of time – it’s a true sense of Mono no Aware if I’ve ever seen one.

The last segment, however, ends this episode in a much lighter and opening note, as the girls encounter a strange creature, whose they thought was a cat. This mascot animal looks very similar to the stone statue. Long, thin, white and somehow can repeat the girls’ words through the radio. It’s nice to see the girls take something in for a change, instead of many one-offs they have encountered so far. Girls’ Last Tour still produces a pretty solid, albeit a bit lacking in weight this time. Now, the journey of two and a half girls, continues on.

Posted on 3 December 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Girls' Last Tour

Leave it to Girls’ Last Tour to not only address the meaning of life in their lifeless world, but also what does life itself even mean. “What is life?”, that question is asked several times during the episode, and the girls can only come up with the most direct, simplest answer to this grand question. We are the life form, robot sure isn’t. Even us, the viewers, in this age and day, don’t even consider robot as a lifeform, do we? Since life is organic, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, something that a mere robot doesn’t have. Girls’ Last Tour challenges that notion, as the show follows our girls into the one of the remaining fishery. The place is still automated functioned by a giant robot, and further inside is another robot who takes care of the last remaining fish in this fishery (if you noticed we’ve seen a lot of “last” in this series: the last flying airplane, the last potato few episodes back). The girls argue robots don’t have consciousness, yet their coding POV pretty much suggests that they process a consciousness of their own. The girls argue they can’t think on their own, yet in this episode they manage to do just that: talking to the girls, managing to keep on going even though the human race is gone. The girls argue that they don’t have feeling, yet they share a level of empathy that eventually touch them. Don’t those make the robot, then, a fully animated being?

And in fact, the concept of life that the robot explains is far beyond the life-concept of human being. The living things, organic and non-organic being include, inside the world forms a wholly giant organism. That world used to be “alive”, but now all we see is the remains of this death world. One of the main takeaway from the girls about “life” at the end, is that “maybe “life” means something that has an end”. That takeaway again aligns so well with Girls’ Last Tour main theme’s and its outlook of life. Throughout this episode, Chi-chan experiences herself in a brink of death by nearly get drowned in the fish pool. The plot soon thickens as the big robot decides to demolish the building, meaning the little robot and the last living fish will be soon dying as well. As soon as the girls acknowledge that the robots have life, they have to end the life of the big robot in order to save other lives. Killing it so to speak. This sequence won’t be as affecting without the moment when the big robot looks back, right before the Chi-chan pulls the trigger. That moment is an acknowledgement about the life the big robot has, as well as the acceptance that eventually everything will have to die, so the best way to die is to live on and hang in there (to borrow the lines from Kino’s Journey few episodes back).

The sense of empathy is another theme Girls’ Last Tour successful raises this week. Just look at how Yuu changes her attitude towards the fish: at first, she just wanted to eat the goddamn fish, then she is allowed to feed the fish, later on when she knows the fish is in danger, she decides to step in to save it. Empathy also plays a significant role in small robot part, as it sounds and behaves the most humane out of anyone in the cast so far and to the big robot, as I can see the empathy level of the robot towards the girls: it knows Yuu tries to kill it yet it seems to understand the reason behind it and gives in. It’s when you are truly alive that you can feel empathy. Girls’ Last Tour, once again, says so much by showing so little, asks so much about the deeper meaning of life with its low-key yet sometimes ambiguous approach. Another real winner episode for me.

Posted on 26 November 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Girls' Last Tour

Girls’ Last Tour again addresses many things about the meaning of life through its very minimalist method. This week, the girls encounter massive filing cabinets that remind me a great deal to the terrific Terry Gilliam’s visual style. Most of them are secured, but in the only few that are opened, there are only useless items: a dysfunctional radio, a button, a piece of cloth, an empty shell. The girls have no idea what those objects even mean, until they encounter the stone statue that it hits them. These items serve as a remnant, a memory to those who passed away. Here, the idea of memories is discussed and admittedly the one that I am sometimes wondering myself: when we get to the end of our lives, isn’t our existence defined by the memories of people we meet in our lives, and those people will be soon gone as well? Memories can be easily fade away, with the faces and the even the names you no longer recall. Our mere existence is goddamn futile. In this episode, Yuu already has a difficult time remembering Kanazawa and Ishii, despite just met them few episodes ago (and in the world where they hardly meet another human being, it does strain some credulity here. But we’re talking about Yuu after all, so it could happen), but she does remember Kanazawa through his camera, an item he gave to the girls as a parting gift. As long as the camera is there, the girls will remember him, just like the various unusable objects in that filing cabinets.

Then our girls head their ways ascending to the upper level. The way the girls spiralling around and around is a great metaphor for their lives, and pretty much our lives, are structured in the same model. We keep doing our daily routines in circle, in an endless loop that finally lead up to the final destination – our death. Well, Girls’ Last Tour isn’t that kind of bleak, pessimistic show so we also have Chi-chan getting dizzy with her cute dizzying expression and they escape death by the touch of hair trying to get across the unstable track (and effectively destroyed their track as well, I feel sorry for the next guy who go upon this path). Once they reach the next level, the new ruined landscape looks more organized, and less tumbledown than previous lower levels, with the sight of full moon to boost. They discover a golden liquid named “Beeu”, drinking them and dancing under the moonlight. Drunken Chi-chan might be the best version of Chi-chan ever. Moreover, the girls always have that close physical relationship with each other, the way they feel utterly comfortable lingering beside each other, and that quality again shines brightly under the spell of the moonlight and alcohol. I love the way Chi-chan breaks her character, to be even more expressive and active than Yuu. Just look at the girls enjoying those little happy moments despite the vast emptiness of the world around, whatever the end of this last tour might be (I’m starting to think we might have a very sad, bleak ending here), I know that they won’t have much regrets whatsoever.

Posted on 19 November 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Girls' Last Tour

After one of the most plot-heavy episode last week, Girls’ Last Tour goes back to its minimalist root this time, with only the girls and two interior settings. This could be Girls’ Last Tour’s simplest episode, with the plot can be summed up as those girls go to the ration production facility, at first slightly get lost in the labyrinth of pipes until they find the clear path with arrow signs and once they reach the facility, they bake their own ration using the left ingredients from the place. That’s it. But by all mean, this is another solid episode of Girls’ Last Tour. This show truly can’t do no wrong in my eyes. This episode also furthers demonstrate the strengths of the voice acting of both Inori Minase (Chi-chan) and Yurika Kubo (Yuu) (they also sing the OP and ED, both gorgeous by the way). As it goes without saying they have to carry the show by their own voices – being the only voices in the show – and they do it magnificently. Chi-chan and Yuu have incredible chemistry together with their natural banters and well-timed comedy.

What also interesting is how different in the way they approach life that they somehow complement each other and bring out the best from each other. In this episode, Chi-chan feels comfortable with the idea of arrow signs “What kind of person would ignore signs that would help them get to their destination?”, but that very idea makes the trip boring in Yuu’s eyes. Or their banters about the need to eat food, Chi-chan feels it’d be much better if human doesn’t have to eat, in which Yuu responds that isn’t living at all. Once again, we see the ruthless Yuu who turns on the potato grinder machine while Chi-chan is still on the conveyor belt, TWICE (and whose idea was it that the red button is on, while the green one is off?? No wonder that world is extinct now). Look at Yuu’s face who has no sign of remorse at all, makes me really wonder how Chi-chan can survive living with Yuu for so long. All jokes aside, both the girls have grown a lot on me. And those happy moments in the end where the girls make their own ration from what they learnt baking bread before further display little joys those girls have in this ruined world.

There’s one point that I notice while comparing the manga version with the anime last week, and again it’s more apparent during the first half of this episode, it is the feeling of hopelessness is more visible in the manga version. In the manga, that hopelessness feeling plays as a centre tone whenever the girls place themselves in this dead, vast world; whereas the anime adaptation use that feeling of hopelessness as a backdrop to produce a calming, healing experience. It comes as no wonder when I learn that many of the mangaka’s arts are quite depressing in nature, makes me really question how she going to finish this show off. As of now, one version doesn’t necessary better than the other. I enjoy both versions of Girls’ Last Tour to be honest and it’s one of the rare case where the anime production really understand about the strength of the source and strengthen many aspects that makes this show stand out in the first place. Girls’ Last Tour is as consistent as ever.

Posted on 13 November 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Girls' Last Tour

Some might say futility is an essence of life. That we spend our life wasted away for complete nothingness. And some might argue that what their life worth is based on how much they contribute to the society. Not here in Girls’ Last Tour, the world where the concept of society is long vanished, ultimately what do the surviving people all live for? That question is more relevant here this week with the introduction of another additional character to this minimalist cast. Unlike Yuu and Chi-chan who survive for the sake of being survival, both Kanazawa from episode 3 and Ishii this week have their own missions. For Ishii, she determines to build an airplane based on old records so that she can fly to another city. For the reason she builds it, unlike Kanazawa who regards making map as his purpose of life, she does it to escape the hopelessness of this dying city (“you’ll just end up dying along with this city”).

And if you still haven’t caught on with what I just described, hopelessness is the main theme of this episode. We see in the world of Girls’ Last Tour, where food, fuel and electricity are all scarce, the human left in this ruin barely survive the day. Wherever they go, they will likely end up with more, and more wasteland. The very act of making an airplane, as a result, is as nonsense and hopeless as it can get. It’s the plane that she self-designs based on the scattered blueprints within the base (which mean there’s a huge risk), it takes her a large amount of time to finish, and eventually the next city over might have been worse than the one she lives in right now. Yet she does it because she doesn’t lose hope. True hopelessness, after all, is not having anywhere to go. Ishii also wants the girls to serve as witnesses for the actual take-off (“If someone is watching, then I’m sure it will become a history”).

Although I love the inclusion of Ishii as she’s a wonderful inclusion for Girls’ Last Tour, I feel the pacing is too rushed at times. We don’t spend that much time watching them making the airplane, for example. With this episode, we also get a hint of the overall world-building of Girls’ Last Tour. Apparently, the girls only travel in one big abandoned industrial city with multiple levels as of now, the more they go to an upper level, the more food (hopefully) and electricity they can receive. Will they ever make it to the next city? It remains to be seen.

As staying true to the down-to-earth nature of Girls’ Last Tour, Ishii’s plane flights steady, and then crashes and burns. It was all pipe dream in the end. But Ishii feels relieved, and smiles to her heart’s content. It’s not the destination, but the ride that worth spending time for, and I’m quite sure that she will survive wherever she falls. And when you did your best and still failed, all you can do is just accept it.

Posted on 6 November 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Girls' Last Tour

Although Girls’ Last Tour can be described as a dark moe, there’s no denying that the show is the most comforting, healing anime of this season. What Girls’ Last Tour achieve flawlessly so far is its appreciation for small happiness in life, for little magical moments in an otherwise bleak and empty world. Episode 5, even more so than previous episodes, depicts those magical moments on screen, something that they haven’t done before. Case in points, remember last week, the girls crashed into one of the stone statue (they are the only vehicle left in the world, I must add)? That moment played mostly for slapstick humor, but this episode when Yuu hits Chi-chan in the head (to see if her head is empty, my my), there’s colorful sparkling symbols out of her head. Or when the two sitting comfortably in the chair and imagine the furniture they want to fit in the room or most noticeably during Chi-chan’s dream sequence; these moments are brightly, almost too cartoony, something that contrast with the natural, wash-out world Girls’ Last Tour has established so far. Yet, those moments somehow never feel out of place. I suspect they get away with those moments because they never intend to be real. Those are happy thoughts, quirky dreams that again speak to the “enjoy the little happiness” theme without betraying the bleakness of its world.

Again, Girls’ Last Tour is succeeded on addressing the most mundane everyday questions, but because they live in the world where those concepts have lost its meaning; their topics, therefore, are simple but straight to its core. This week, the girls find themselves a “house”, a cozy room where people used to live in. A room with a view, with sofas, functional water, and most importantly, with a door and a roof. They imagine themselves living in the place; and fill in whatever they want into the room. A bookcase for Chi-chan, a pantry for Yuu, a bunk bed for both. That moment really drives it home for me because it what “house” really is: a place to return to, a place to settle down, where they can sit down and relax. But in this vast place of nothingness, the only mean to survive is keep on going, and the girls know it. The last section, music, plays out equally impressive. Music is always considered as an expression of emotions. As the music grows more complex and layer, sometimes we forget that it can come from some something so natural and simple: the sound of rain, the sound of random noise from bottles. It’s not the arranged set of sound, but rather it’s the music for those who have keen ear for natural sound, and the music is the music of their hearts. I’m ashamed to say this consider how much I love dense, complex and progressive music, but the sounds the girls manage to capture right there is music in its purist form.

I have to say that the manga by itself is a pretty formidable beast. After all, asking many deep, philosophical theme in a casual manner like this is a hard string to pull, and yet Tsukumizu (not sure about the gender of the mangaka, anyone here has any idea?) manages to pull it off. But the direction of this anime not only keep the right spirit of the source, they also enrich the manga with the advantage of visual and sound. This episode, once again, speak to that strengths that make this anime even more impressive compare to the manga. I read the manga chapters where this episode adapted from, and one thing I noticed is that with the lack of visual flare (like in “Nap” chapter) or sound (in “the Sound of Rain” segment), the manga can’t come off as alive as in the anime. That ED song in the end, for example, is a great addition to the source and it really captures the magic and ends the chapter in a literally high note. The colorful, playful visual in first and second chapters, in addition, strengthen the magical feel of the show. Girls’ Last Tour has received a top-notch adaptation from White Fox, who obviously love every moment of making this show into something so comforting, yet consistently great. I really have no complain whatsoever with Girls’ Last Tour at this moment.

Posted on 29 October 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Girls' Last Tour

We have another solid entry of Girls’ Last Tour as this weeks the show focuses back to the dynamic duo with some light philosophical touch. In Girls’ Last Tour, they run around the idea that civilization is a foreign concept. Those girls are stripped away the existing knowledge of the past era, our girls can only rely on Chi-chan’s limited knowledge to figure out the world around them, and at large the very core of our civilization’s sophistication loses its meaning. Usually, Girls’ Last Tour addresses the meaning of high-concept terms (like “war”, “God” this week) through the eyes of our main duo. Due to the fact that those girls have little to no understanding about the concept of tradition, society and civilization, they explain those concepts based on their practical and logical reasons. “War” for example, is just a glorified term of “Conflict”. “Gods” that were once worshiped, likewise, are nothing more than stone statues and in that sense, “What is Cheese” is equal to “What is God” since those girls don’t understand the context of it.

Yuu struggles to comprehend why people put so much efforts for a fake paradise, in which Chi-chan argues, Pascal’s Wager style, that the belief is based not on an appeal to evidence that God exists, but rather that it is in their interests to believe in God and it is therefore rational for them to do so. Like the way Yuu freaks out when she is left alone in the dark. When she has no one else she can rely on, she holds on to her gun (such good metaphors here) and realizes the importance of Chi-chan’s company. The same can be said with the worshipers. For the unknown and terrified afterlife, believing in God they will receive a good reward in the other side of the world. A heaven paradise.

This episode also features the stone statues quite prominently. I guess that the higher the level Chi-chan and Yuu explore, the more modern and complex civilization they encounter. In this level, religion was keep popping as they go along since those stone statues represent worshiped gods. If you haven’t noticed, all the stone statues’ look to the left, only the one “God” who looks to the opposite side. I love such tiny bit of details like that. Also another tiny detail that blink and you miss is that the camera that Kanazawa gave them last week signifies the year they might live in:  year 3230. Talking about the camera, the first half we have the girls playing with their new toy: taking pictures as they move along. The girls then make a pointed comparison about the food will be all used up one day, but the pictures are there forever. When the world breaks down and there will be no more living person left, those pictures are still there, preserved by the moment it was taken. Chi-chan then has an idea to preserve that very moment: the two of them together. The moment they move slowly closer to each other is pretty intimate. The girls still have a rock-solid chemistry together. To answer all the philosophical, deep questions these girls find themselves into, Yuu nails it the most:

“What is Cheese – food”

“What is God – not food”

“Why do people live – food”

CHANGE USERNAME
Amagi
Also being immortal would meant that I finally had enough time to finish all the games and series I am interested in.
Amagi
@Kaiser: the hate against immortality is overrated, I would totally be okay with observing history for centuries.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah, it’s supposed to be the final one that closes the whole franchise
Kaiser-Eoghan
Theres going to be another euphonium movie next year.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I say sit back and just let it wash over you if you get on board with its slow rhythm.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The soundtrack is pretty understated aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also quite naturalistic in how it uses/animates movements/body language.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I do wish that it went further than baiting the audience though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*is in
Kaiser-Eoghan
I watched liz and the bluebird, the storybook segements give the film a certain magical feel to it, even if they feel obvious and on the nose, what this film achieves if in its silent, quiet and visual exposition rather than spoken words, its also more sensitive and low key than Euphonium.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Gah, one of the gutting things about being into historical stuff or stuff about things that happened decades ago, is that I'll never be a direct witness to it as it happened. It'll never hit me as someone who lived through it. I having all the fun second hand.
SuperMario
Thanks, Amagi. They look pretty cool
Amagi
Why would I waste my time watching other people shopping or working. Not to mention that the scripted part turns everything worse than it usually is by shoving in terrible cringy moments everywhere to.. don't know. Entertain(?) the audience or something.
Amagi
I mean unless you want info dumps you watch fiction and you watch that because it makes you indirectly experience adventures you can't have in real life. Even when fiction is down to earth it's usually about special situations like the MC becoming a professional runner like in Kaze ga or something.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Me neither, especially because it seems to be the exact opposite of the reason why people consume media, and therefore fiction, in the first place.
Amagi
They probably used these in Irozuko because they look like're part of some J-RPG town.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I never really understood why reality television ever became a thing or how someone could give it any form of attention.
Amagi
Seems like they even have a wikipedia entry https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trullo
Amagi
@SuperMario: It's some specific type of house that only exist in Apulia. https://cdn.getyourguide.com/img/tour_img-437617-146.jpg - the whole historic disctrict looks like that
Amagi
I shouldn't use so many brackets.
SuperMario
Trulli? What does that mean?
SuperMario
We have all kinds of international film festivals here. I watched Roma in the Latin Film Festival. Yeah that aspect I mus say that I feel lucky
Amagi
There are Trulli in one scene of this week's Irozuko (after they entered that painting), how funny. I just visited this city (Alberobello) last month.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: You are lucky, Roma gets a one day limited release here for one time.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Just imagine going to the west of Ireland and asking them about the internet.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yes there are people turning up to the one art cinema we actually have. But Ireland is not a good place to be in general if you are a film/anime/gaming fan.
Kaiser-Eoghan
lol this country is incapable of giving a proper wide/long cinema release to anything that might even be considered slight non-mainstream.
SuperMario
*week-long
SuperMario
Well, we have a week-log screening here and I already lament how undeserving these films have. Guess I should be more appreciate now I know that other countries have 1-day screening only
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if anyone started out in the light novel industry as a stepping stone before moving on to real book writing. I also wonder how easy it is to get published.
Anonymous3183156
Progressive is good from what I heard since he went back to his older material from a more mature outlook. Ordinal Scale is decent too coming from the same matured Kawahara.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes there are re-showings, some cinemas will play Akira for the billionth time for example.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I imagine seeing scenes like that being recorded in the recording booth would look quite strange.
Anonymous3183156
Apparently, he even apologized to the voice actress for being subjected to voice a rape scene, so I guess even he has deep regrets about it. The LN doesn't have any more moments like this so I guess he matured a lot.
Amagi
@Anon: The problem is that he was still a teen when he wrote Alicization, he just edited it a bit later. But I also wish he would have cut this scene, it's always so forced and feels so stupid.
Amagi
Pancreas has no subs yet AFAIK
Anonymous3183156
Ugh, ep10 of Alicinization reminded me why I disliked SAO so much years ago. I assume Kawahara still had some nasty tendencies in him when writing Alicinization despite being past his edgy teenage phase.
Amagi
@Kaiser: It's the same here too. One day screenings and that's it. I also believe that anime are made for everyone it's just that the West (save for France and Italy maybe) doesn't give anime a chance. They are sure people would never care so they rather die or air the same awful scripted reality show for the 5th time rather than try showing anime that could appeal to adults like Monster.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The anon might want to watch that though, a torrent of it recently got uploaded.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also Let me eat your pancreas wasn't shown here. But it was shown in Australia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although there are some films that America gets that we don't, the Heavens feel, the Madoka movies and Nanoha reflection showed in America but not here.
Amagi
@SuperMario: That would be great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Anime films seem to appeal to normies aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I saw an older woman in my screening of Maquia and talked to her after it and she liked it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Again, I don't know about elsewhere, but what surprised me was the amount of people who are seeing these in the audience who don't actually come off as anime fans and probably aren't.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I'm genuinely surprised that my country would actually even go that far to even show them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't know about all the other countries that get showings for these anime films, but here its a one day only thing each time one comes out.
SuperMario
Reviewig anime movies/ making posts about them might be something I can do in the future
SuperMario
@amagi: anime movies are somethingn I wanna raise more awareness as well. Normally each year there are 4,5 solid anime films out there, but like you said they’re hardly discussed
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've never heard of UFO no natsu.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I felt bad for the little girl in grave of the fireflies, the boy was already caught up though in "muhfascistempire is goat tier" for me to care about him as much as her.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Air movie was more focused, better paced and visually directed with more panache than the show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I have gone to almost every anime screening since the early 2000s and continue to.
Amagi
And many have barely any sort of advertising so I only notice them coincidentally by seeing a thread on /a/ or because I see some screenshot somewhere.
Amagi
Speaking of it there are so many great anime movies every year but nobody ever talks about them because the fans are split between those who see the screenings (that happen randomly depending on the country) and those who watch it a year later on their PC.
Amagi
I also found Hotori sad but it's ages old and I never met anyone who cared about it besides myself. Also, Hanbun no Tsuki and UFO no natsu although these were 6 part ova. Colourful probably too and the Key movies. I actually like all these movies like Air or Clannad but I didn't like the series that much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think ultimately its the patience some of these sad films are made with that allows then to eventually land their effect.
SuperWooper
It takes a while to get to that point, though.
SuperWooper
"The Wind Rises" is pretty damn sad.
SuperMario
Well, Grave of Fireflies hands down. or Your Lie in April if you don't mind TV show
Amagi
Then basically everything from Shinkai for example.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: You may need to let us now what type of drama you're into, are you okay with highly melodramatic stories?
Anonymous3180985
if so anybody have any good sad anime movies?
Anonymous3180985
anybody here?
Amagi
The more we approach xmas time the more it rains in my city. Like every year.
Amagi
Didn't know that guess I try this someday I love this setting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The most recent thing I've watched dealing with a created/artificial/virtual world was an old German mini series called World on a wire by Rainer Fassbinder.
Amagi
Wonder about the consequences these last scenes in Gridman will have.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally got around to Aki Kaurasamaki's films, watched I hired a contract killer, I like dry, sad bastard black humour like that and even when it wasn't being amusing I enjoyed the whole quirky tone throughout it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to watch season 2 of sound euphonium before getting to liz and the bluebird. I would like to see more of this. I guess I liked Asuka's arc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think bloom into you has stood out in how its dealt with Nanami's insecurities and backstory, found myself liking that one side character Sayaka more. There will be an arc where they do some kind of play which compliments/links in well with nanami's character.
Animosh
But yeah, I agree the series has great character writing. In hindsight, it's kind of a shame you picked Irozuku over Bloom into You. It had a great premiere and some stunning scenes, but the characters are so incredibly droll that there's just not much to write about. They're both slow burns, but Bloom into You gives you much more to think about.
Animosh
So I think the crossing the line thing is ambiguous between your interpretation and Yuu's subconscious fear that if she initiates things, displays her affection towards Nanami (and a passionate kiss that Yuu initiates certainly seems to qualify), then that will be the end of things. Actually, it's probably a bit of both.
Animosh
@SuperMario: I think Yuu is also aware that Nanami does not want Yuu to fall in love with her (I mean, it's hard not to after that death stare). And as a result she can never initiate things, because showing affection would undermine the whole reason Nanami fell in love with her. And Yuu obviously does not want this relationship to end.
Anonymous3177625
Did uh that really happen in BF? Probably not, but dang if that really was the case then stuff got real
SuperMario
@Animosh: the thing is Yuu takes the special attraction from Nanami for granted, and her mode is that she “doesn’t hate” it. She doesn’t hate it when she spends time alone with Nanami, she doesn’t hate it when they kiss. So for Yuu, when Nanami askes her to actively do it, it’a the first time Yuu feels like she’s crossing the line. Some really great character writing there
Anonymous3175137
It boils down to a female-targeted version of those moe shows that I don't care about all that much. Just replace the cute girls with hot boys.
Anonymous3175137
Compared to Katsugeki, where it tried to sell the series as something more than just a mobile adaptation and tried to court non-fans, here I got exactly what I expected; something safe and predictable, and catering exclusively to fans. So I got nothing out of it.
Anonymous3175137
Is there some sort of moe equivalent for male characters? Because this show probably counts as one. otoh, my feelings towards it are like most CGDCT anime: indifference.
Anonymous3175137
I think the oddest thing I did regarding anime this year was how I sat through both season of Touken Ranbu Hanamaru (including the one that aired earlier this winter), and didn't claw my eyes out when it's basically an unfortunate mix of a mobile game adaptation and a CBDCT show mixed in with some action segments to show that it's not just a pure estrogen-fest.
Animosh
I should also note that I don't relate to her in every way. I understand her difficulties with falling in love, but for me the problem is more that my view on love is too negative, and as a result I'm hesitant about taking the "leap of faith" that any relationship requires. Love is messy, and may well get you hurt, so it's easier to observe things from a distance, like Maki for example.
Animosh
Oh Yuu is definitely frustrating to watch. Her idealized conception of love prevents her from seeing what is obvious to everyone watching: that she's slowly developing feelings for Touko. And when those feelings evidently turn into love, instead of seeing them for what they are, she's in denial and insists that her feelings aren't special enough to be called "love". It's frustrating.
SuperMario
Then again, I can't really say why Bloom into You works for me now, but kept me in a distance in their first few episodes. It's slow-burn, and when you think back to it, not a lot has been happening. But I feel they haven't made any wrong step yet
SuperMario
Can't say I relate to Yuu thou. She's the kind of character that in real life I would find really frustrated, and I know many of my friends behave that way. That just to further demonstrates how real these characters can be. Even the side characters, Sayaka and the lesbian adult couple work well for me.
SuperMario
@Aminosh: it took awhile for me to fully embrace Bloom into You (I say about episode 5,6) but I agree it's getting very solid now. it reminds me of Scums Wish as well, mainly because how twisted romance can be
Animosh
I'm also worried it won't end in a satisfying way, since the manga is still ongoing. But otherwise I quite like it. It has its problems, but if you go into it with the right expectations (slow pacing, complex and flawed characters that make for an unusual love story, with more focus on the characters' psychological issues than their sexuality) there's a lot to enjoy.
Animosh
My only major complaint is that its characters can feel rather artificial sometimes. Touko in particular is a victim of this. She's such a weird bundle of complexes that she can be hard to relate to. Maybe it'll be better explained later on, but the whole idea of falling in love with another person because you think she'll be incapable of reciprocating it ... it's weird.
Animosh
I particularly like Yuu. I can empathize with her difficulties with falling in love, and I like her arc of slowly "blooming into" liking another person. It feels natural and earned. And like in SSSS.Gridman, the direction is surprisingly strong, and as a result it mostly nails its key moments (the river confrontation, the shed starting shot, etc).
Animosh
I finally caught up with Bloom into You, and it really surpassed my expectations. It kind of reminds me of Scum's Wish, with how flawed its characters are, and how selfish and unreasonable they can be. But like in Scum's Wish, instead of condemning the characters for their flaws, we're given the background to understand them, and they're not used for forced melodrama but sympathetically explored.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Are the Tezuka Buddha movies really that bad? I'll probably try the manga soon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, it'd be cool if we could get long ova adaptations again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd be happy to get more anime set outside of Japan. I also wouldn't mind seeing some anime based off western material.
Lenlo
Gotta say, I wasnt expecting that from Banana Fish this week. I hope its not a fake out, because if it isnt this ending could be great. I love sad endings
Kaiser-Eoghan
Bunny-girl made me watch a horrible idol segment. Then I forgave it because the end of the episode was well executed melodrama.
Sash
I just recently watched Made in Abyss.... and i cried real hard. I was worried that this story was going down the loli route at first... but how this show frightened me... and how it pulled at my heartstrings at the end.
Sash
I just recently watched Made in Abyss.... and i cried real hard. I was worried that this story was going down the loli route at first... but how this show frightened me... and how it pulled at my heartstrings at the end.
Animosh
But regardless of how things turn out, it was definitely a powerful moment, and I'm really happy things are finally heating up again. Looks like the demon/leopard/whatever will be unleashed next episode.
Animosh
Welp, I guess something really did happen this week in Banana Fish. I kind of expect it to be a fake-out though. Chii mentioned there will be an epilogue, and it'd be strange to do so without our main couple intact. We haven't really gotten a confirmation of how Ash and Eiji see their relationship either. So I don't think the ship (or rather, one of its passengers) has sunk just yet.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well, one of them is essentially the first two episodes of the show as one long episode. So i would say that makes sense.
Anonymous3169068
After all, I don't think they know anything about the series until I show them these. They already know that I bought the novels though.
Anonymous3169068
Meanwhile, I'm planning on showing my family, the two LoGH films, My Conquest is a Sea of Stars and Overture to a New War during our Christmas vacation. Is this a good jumping on point?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Come on torrent, 90% done, then you decide to slow down. This is conspiracy I say.
Amagi
Same here
SuperMario
Thanks, will download it when I get home.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Early sub for 720p version of liz and bluebird is on nyaatorrents, they say they are doing a 1080p version tomorrow.
SuperMario
It’s Christmas season soon so I hope I can watch some older gems during that period
SuperMario
I, on the other hand, decide to get off my movie marathon for now to spend time WATCHING MORE ANIME.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've had that issue on other blogs, getting the moderation awaiting message, I got it here in the past too.
SuperMario
Woah, I will read that story soon when I have free time. Thanks
SuperMario
Lemme fix this, Amagi
Amagi
I have given up on a bunch of anime now I rather enjoy the few I really like to the fullest and use the rest of my free time to play games and read VNs.
Amagi
"Your comment is awaiting moderation" guess I posted too many links, he. Well thinking about it I could have just posted this in the shoutbox, it's no spoiler or anything.
Lenlo
I quite liked it. I like that it wasnt a one off thing either, but it showed them working at it. I enjoy how when Kurahara chooses to do something, he commits 100% to it. Its fitting for his character
Kaiser-Eoghan
A lesser series would have drawn out the drama with Haiji. The scenes with kakeru reading manga with Prince also further support what the anon was saying about him warming up to Prince.
Lenlo
I cant wait to watch it.
Anonymous3164706
And yeah, the cliffhanger from last wasn't a big deal since Haiji fainted from overworking himself and needs to rest.
Anonymous3164706
That part where he chose to slow down in order to cheer on Prince and Ouji was a great scene in particular. He's starting to care about others now.
Anonymous3164706
Man, Prince has come a long way from his slow, awkward running at the start. And it looks like Kakeru is improving in terms of building his relationships with his teammates.
SuperMario
awesome! Under the Silver Lake is out as well in case you want to watch it, Kaiser
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yo AwesomeMario , the bluray for Liz and the bluebird (the sound euphonium spinoff thing) is out, will probably be subtitled someday soon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Compartively dogs DESPISE me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know...yeah, old kids stuff was kinda messed up and animal deaths were a big thing, Mufasa, bambi's mother aswell.
Amagi
Cats are weird
Amagi
We have two cats for two certain metro stations in my city. They belong to people living nearby but love the station so damn much you almost always see them sitting on the benches made for humans waiting for the subway/train. Two days ago I returned in the middle of the night and that one cat was still sitting there enjoying life. The other cat belongs to the station in front of my house.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Depressingly we also have that Lion king remake too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though I think plague dogs film adaptation stopped just before the full ending of the book?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lol there are actually people out there who believe that only straight men have aspergers syndrome.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can't actually leave a cat alone when I see it, actually snuck up on one to pick it up. Couldn't help myself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh, heh, hey didn't know it shared the same author, makes alot of sense though.
Amagi
Yeah Plague Dogs is by the same author that did Watership. It was great. It's interesting to see how quickly series can become edgy and therefore bad on the one hand and how many grim dark movies or series exist that are damn good on the other hand. A wrong turn and your serious drama or thriller can turn into trash.
Amagi
Funny because I was also always a rabbit owner and now have a shitty cat (and yes I am actually autistic though although I guess I write pretty normal nowadays)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh Jesus...there was another old one wasn't there, the one about the dogs? Plague dogs, another example of a famliy/kids animation that pulled no punches.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoy alternate history/dystopia stuff, There was It happened here, a British film about a what if situation where Hitler won.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't think I was able to get away with missing the subtext of watership down though when I was younger, my parents made sure I understood it at that young age.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also liked how watership never really came off as being edgy in an detrimental way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm convinced there is some connection between cats and rabbits in relation to autistic people, both creatures appear to love me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And thats something I'm extremely picky on, mixing cuteness and darkness together but Waterships art got that right.
Anonymous3163410
Although it does try to go into darker material later on. It just tries to do what it can with a TV-Y7 rating and manages to succeed despite not being as violent or scary as the film.
Amagi
I like how Watership Down was basically the first popular cartoon with that dark moe trope if you count the rabbits as cute for being actual fluffy rabbits
Amagi
da,,it the cat won't leave the keyboard
Amagi
love 1984 too. genrally all of these political dystopias or however youcalltheseä#+
Anonymous3163410
It could be worse. It could be the sanitized kids version that aired in the late 90s.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And because the rabbits look organic in the 70s one, its more scary.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Watership was particularly harrowing though because it was rabbits and I was young and I was predisposed to rabbits=fluffy cute things.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Ahem* kind of commied out there for a second. I'm actually more of an Allende-ist.
Kaiser-Eoghan
1984is still a good story too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But he agreed that animal farm was good, despite being written by a trotsykite.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My father hated him despite my dad being a Marxist.
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