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
@Masky: I found this Marry Grave manga coincidentally while browsing a board. It's really oldschoolish but in an entertaining way. It seems to be weekly or biweekly, but not sure.
Amagi
The idea of how this story is told is completely fresh and unused although I don't wanna spoil anything for people who don't know anything about it. And as if the whole mainstory wasn't nice enough there was a little hint at the end of the game that was a quite shocking reveal. Some people even missed this since the hint was pretty inconspicuous and not directly related to the main plot/character.
Amagi
It's real. Wow. This could easily become the best drama anime of the year if done right. The game was (IMO) fantastic despite being a pixelish RPG maker style game.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Holy shit really? To the Moon?
Amagi
Speaking of Urasawa there was announcement of a Pluto adaption last year, I guess they're still working on it. A good choice IMO, Pluto was not only my favorite Urasawa aside from 20thCB so far, it's one of the few that might be easier to adapt and it isn't too long.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Haven't read Chicago yet, maybe I will look into it. Kinda curious what series this mangaka will do next, same with Urasawa.
Masky
Huh? Found weird manga named Marry Grave. It feels like older manga but I'm not sure what its release date is.. Has rather interesting art and premise though first chapter is bit clunky on exposition
Kaiser-Eoghan
slightly disappointed to see happy sugar life not being covered =<
Lenlo
Oh man, 57? Franxx must have really gone down hill, because you seemed pretty into halfway through or so Aidan
Kaiser-Eoghan
<Crazy aunt in happy sugar life will have Belldandy's voice actress
<Terror the terror OMO
Kaiser-Eoghan
How do I save Chi no Wadachi's protagonist =< Manga giving me post traumatic stress ;M ;
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: And that game, to the moon is getting an adaptation. I haven't played it nor know anything about it though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: It seems you were onto something when you said in your satsuriku no tenshi impressions/posts that other freeware games might see a chance at an adaptation. I recall you talking about a game called To the moon on here a few years back.
Vonter
I did like how they decided to use a Halo aesthetic for the lack of a better term. Bases and alien ships have this Halo like design and color schemes to them. Also when I though a harem could only be depicted in one way, this series proves me wrong.
Vonter
But after season 2. Oh boy, the series becomes a really intriguing and exciting sci fantasy journey, with lots of motivations, hillturns and mystery.
Vonter
I catch up to the Voltron series in Netflix and man. It might the best anime-like series I've watched all year. I was having doubt after season one because while not awful at the start, it's very typical Voltron good versus evil and the like.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Chicago was one of the first Manga I read when I was 11, by the same author as 7 seeds.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: A 7 seeds adaptation would be preferable, its the more mature of the two. My favourite parts of that manga is everything relating to Hana and also the flashbacks to Ango's team's past, also that flashback side arc which was set in that shelter centered on that guy who had nothing to do with the cast.
AidanAK47
For Mahou, I just wanna see the first VN translated.
Amagi
We will never see the Mahou sequel VN either
Amagi
Theoretically ufotable but I think they'd prefer to wait for the updated story of the new VN sooo never ever
AidanAK47
Op was pretty good for an anime that didn't exist. Honestly wonder what would come first. The remake of the VN or an anime adaption by Ufotable.
Amagi
Just as the Tsukihime anime doesn't exist (liked the OP of that nonexisting anime though)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: The original Basara anime doesn't exist, only the manga does.
Amagi
@Lenlo: I really loved it and as far as I know most people who didn't read it refused it due to its drawing style not the content. The style could get an improvement as anime and I think the story is something most people would enjoy. The side characters were all awesome and pretty diverse too, which is kinda worthy of mention because the series had a ton of them.
Amagi
Arisa might get a decent fanbase as well considering it's some sort of mystery-thriller shoujo despite it's appearance.
Lenlo
Oooh Basara would be one I would want to see
Amagi
@Kaiser: I wish we'd get an actual Basara or 7 Seeds adaption some day. But guess it's impossible in the age of 12-episode series.
Lenlo
Yeah, the Marvin reveal was done in as tasteful a way as I could see it being done. It was just creepy enough without being voyeur
Kaiser-Eoghan
**Done
Kaiser-Eoghan
*superficially
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I have never read this, LetDai is sometimes compared superficial to banana fish.
Kaiser-Eoghan
More fantasy/horror shoujo/josei manga, old ones, not otomeshit or school lifeshit could be adapted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And wasn't the reveal regarding Marvin down in a tasteful/restrained enough way while still getting the point across?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Akimi Yoshida is actually quite diverse, aside from banana fish, she also wrote Our little sister.
Kaiser-Eoghan
"and NOT with naked muscular men. That’d be depressing!" Thank fuck we still have the slender ones then lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
By the looks of it Sugar life's only getting 12 episodes, which means it'll stop just before it really gets going.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I think 2 volumes of the manga have been covered so far.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: "However its spelt" and there I am, realizing how rubbish I am with names and remembering/spelling them.
Lenlo
Oh man, Banana Fish is 24 episodes? Oh awesome. All the time in the world
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: In small doese, small doses he would be tolerable.
Kaiser-Eoghan
An anime about all of us would be fucking magnificent and I will hear nothing to the contrary of this fact.
Lenlo
However that name is spelt
Lenlo
Hmm, Steins;Gate 0 Okabe, or what? Cause Hyoin Kyoma would drive me up a wall.
Lenlo
Oh Grand Blue has some great reaction faces.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not slice of life, but outside of all the dark stuff, I'd probably think Okabe Rintaro would be a fun guy to be around.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually that brings up something, in all of the slice of life dramas/comedies out there, a good measure for how worthwhile some of them are could be "Which ones would I actually like to hang out with the characters in"
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember when Free! aired, joking with another guy on here who would be who.
Kaiser-Eoghan
You could probably get great reaction faces of the manga/show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't think I could keep up with the drunkening though.
Lenlo
Wait, ive been psychic robbed? When? How?
Lenlo
Ive known people like them before, though less cartoonishly dude-bro. They are fun in bursts. Made for some good experiences. Luckily the ones I knew, also knew when I was at my socializing limit.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Jokingly we'd all be blond otaku-t-shirt guy though =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I have committed un-intentional psychic theft of your thoughts.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mario has to be the skinny dark haired Asian guy because it fits.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As funny as these characters are, I probably wouldn't hang out with then if they were real, I'd probably be iritated by them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually hadn't thought it as far as the personalities .
AidanAK47
For I am the one that trolls
AidanAK47
@Kaiser/Lenlo, Wait then whose who in that screenshot. Cause looks wise I would likely be Iori but personality wise I would be closer to the burly dudes.
Lenlo
As for the updated setting, I think it will work out. Keeps it sorta relevant for modern audiences. I'm curious if the changes will be obvious or not, but the story should still work
Lenlo
As for Banana Fish, after this episode, Im not to worried about the fetishizing of homosexual relationships. Unlike alot of Shoujo/Yaoi-lite/bait stuff, it actually seems to condemn some aspects of the trope in manga.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, I had the exact same thought for that screenshot and the writers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: lol Now imagine each of the characters in the screenshot representing a writer on this blog =P
SuperMario
Fixed
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I posted using my phone so that was the best I could do
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to state, regarding banana fish, for those avoiding it because of shounen-ai vibes or because its aimed at women, even though its listed as shoujo, its really the female equivalent to a seinen manga, it also created, even in Japan a massive crossover audience that also included heterosexual males.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Whew lad, might want to center/neat-en up the screenshot on the latest post =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
See lenlo, while I love the adaptation, I'm still worried about the updated setting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The manga had something about American foreign policy and the Mafia boss having to do with anti-communism, I wonder will the anime commit to that.
Lenlo
So far, Banana Fish is ony of my favorites. Im gonna make it very clear why tomorrow when I post on it, but boy I wasnt expecting it to commit so fully.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay, my ranking so far of the premieres: -Angels of death
-Happy sugar life
-Banana fish
-Grand blue
Shichisei and planet with are dropped, will only watch sirius until I get bored. Don't like shounen action so I'm not continuing Angolmeh.
SuperMario
I know he's a good writer, hence I was looking forward to Dog eat dog. That film made me think he passed his prime
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Raging bull and mishima also he wrote those.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Nicholas Cage is awful and so was Dog eat dog I can agree to that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its alot better than that I can tell you. Also he wrote the affliction, taxi driver and hardcore, all great films.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: you mean First Reformed? I watched Schraders' previous work Dog Eat Dog and absolutely hated it. Hated it with a passion
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I don't even know that until you pointed out
Kaiser-Eoghan
*movie blog
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: How amusing, you uses "red blood moon" on your movie blood as a section for bad anime, and have the AKA abbreviation right next to it and that has the same spelling as the Japanese word for Red.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I've got a feeling you might be a fan of Paul Schraders new film, its a mashup of Ordet, Winter light, diary of a country priest and Taxi driver. It is speechy, but it has alot to say and Ethan Hawke is great in it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't think i'd be able to stop myself pulling an animal ears girl's ears if they were real. I'd have to know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I think I needed to watch it, just so I could have the feeling of getting away from the world while not needing to think.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: that's basically the appeal of Cgdct shows. They're hardy deep or even have that much conflict, but they're adorable and fluffy. Good enough for me ^^
Kaiser-Eoghan
The filter/visual style angolmis was going for initially completely took my concentration away from the show.
SuperWooper
(which includes a review of the inevitable AOTS) :^)
SuperWooper
Only one more First Impressions post to go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Grand blue is funny but like with wotaku I'm not sure there'll be an incentive to watch every episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Maybe every season or so I will try to fit in a cute girls doing cute things show. I watched Konohana Kitan yesterday and while hardly essential, it was actually sort of adorable.
Amagi
A bit new info about the next When they Cry. Guess the release date will be the winter comiket. Really wonder how it will be, I have to admit I enjoyed the endless arguments in the Umineko VN a lot. Also it seems it will get the same music composers again.
AidanAK47
@Anon, That airs on July 22.
Anonymous2394727
were is attack on titan 3???
SuperMario
I'll still write a post once the first impressions' over, along with my general thoughts on this season.
SuperMario
Meanwhile, we already decided which shows to blog for this season. The coverage is as follows:
Aidan: Grand Blue, Planet With, Satsuriku no Tenshi
Mario: Chio-chan, Shoujo Kageki, Hanebado
Lenlo: Steins;Gate 0, Banana Fish
SuperMario
Just an update to you, dear readers. We're working on finishing these 1st impressions posts and try to finish it in few days time (3 more posts).
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Harry not Eddie
**Gundam F91
Kaiser-Eoghan
Have the blurays of 08th ms team downloading now to re-watch. Never seen Gundam F91 one . Really looking forward to the final origin ova and whenever more of Thunderbolt is coming out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eddie was a bit crap though, especially when you stand him up against other Char-esque characters and some of the other characters aren't quite as compelling. Loved the old American style setting though, crazypants main baddy was fun.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I finally finished/rewatched Turn A Gundam lately. It delivers strongly on its spectacle Heim and Soleil were great and my favourite gundam girls , the artstyle grows on you and because of that art style, it gets away with being one of the weirder phase gundamns, where G Gundam wasn't so lucky in that regard.
Amagi
Highscore Girl is way more annoying than I exptected it to be.
Amagi
Haven't played it (yet) but AFAIK they stay there and only move from floor to floor, I guess it's why they shortly mentioned these murders on the different floors.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Does the entirety of satsuriku no tenshi stay in the building? I could seen the sense of claustropohbia for the audience disappearing if they left it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looking back on that comment, I should say, I have not read grand blues manga, so its entirely possible why the animes presentation made me laugh a bit because I've no comparison.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, that blonde muscular guy in Grand blue made me laugh.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like how we have very little idea of the buildings layout in satsuriku no tenshi.
Amagi
Not really looking forward to Gridman as I see the typical warning signs I noticed for Kiznaiver and Franxx as well here. The only positive thing is that the series seems to have an actual villain for once. The lack of that was one of the problems that bothered me with Franxx (not counting literal faceless aliens as "actual villain").
Amagi
I hope next actual Imaishi anime will be a good Trigger again. Honestly didn't really like any of their series done by other directors, Promare would be the first series done by the TTGL team again after KlK and Luluco. My only fear is that it might be a TTGL clone but it's too early to for that.
AidanAK47
I am gunning for Kyohime Lancer and Mordred Rider. Thankfully I don't really care about the five starts so my odds are not quite as bad.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes I am happy I got her with just one ticket since I am saving for the upcoming rate ups as well, especially Summer. Hell I need Martha.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Had a few moments like that which were not related to Fate go. Anyhoo I didn't bother rolling Da Vinchi as I got no real interest in him/her(Hard to decide when their reason for genderbending has more to do with beauty rather than gender.) Instead saving my Quartz for either the summer servants for the Knights of the round.
Amagi
Not lying but I had I dream yesterday about getting FGO's Da Vinci with one ticket, woke up, spent one ticket and got her (Yes. "Her"). I am so far into that anime stuff guess I am now developing esp powers just for that.
Amagi
Finally new Sirius subs I hope they are tolerable.
Amagi
Chio-chan is relatable
SuperMario
She's one of the actress I'm really fond of. But of course given how big a status she is
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If voices could be married I'd marry hers =P
SuperMario
Other 2 shows are Cells at Work and Phantom in the Twilight
SuperMario
Kana Hanazawa's extremely busy this season. She's also voicing for 2 other shows. Give me a minute so I can check up these other shows
Kaiser-Eoghan
The most recent I've heard Kana Hanazawa's voice was in 3-gatsu no lion where she voiced Hina, hearing her voice psychochick from happy sugar life makes it all the eerier =P Also watching this feels like less of a slog than reading the early chapters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Scanners/photocopier machines however are the greater satan.
Amagi
What kind of cosmic rule forbids printers to ever work properly?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've heard that satsuriku no tenshi's manga adaptation apparently is paced better and more effective at immersing the reader.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think my time with shichisei subaru stops here, the cliffhangers just feel liked bad bait and while I hate jumping to buzzwords, this was just really generic and hamfisted. Its like I'm watching a crap adaptation of a bad moe datesim visual novel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yeah this is also a pretty stilted translation.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I ended up watching it with mediocre subtitles also.
Amagi
Wait is Sirius subbed? Nonmeme subs I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Banana fish succeeds in making itself work as an action series all the more stronger, because it allows itself to have a good emotional backing. I'd forgotten how much of prick that one cop was in that scene in the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If you want a reasonably quick boredom killer thats gorier than some modern anime allows you could probably do worse than Sirius.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay, regarding Happy sugar lifes manga, Late volume 6-volume 8, we're kind of getting somewhere, especially with one particular flashback relating to Shio.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I too am not even impervious to cute and huggable things.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*mikocchi
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I do plan on watch sorayori, konohana kitan and hakumei no mocchi someday.
SuperMario
*Asobi Asobase
SuperMario
So far, I enjoy Asobi Asobasa and Chio-chan so much that I watched them twice. Guess I do have a thing for cute girls comedy shows after all
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hataraku Saibou, wouldn't be the first edutainment thing in anime , kemono souja and Moyashimon aswell.
Lenlo
Nope, not this week. One week hold since we are sorta between/starting a new season
Kaiser-Eoghan
No steins gate episode this week?
Masky
Hue hue, seems like around time of first impressions I don't need to do my usual isekai complaining because it gets done by someone else instead :D
Kaiser-Eoghan
Someone ha uploaded 7 volumes of angels of deaths manga adaptation.
Amagi
I liked the first episode but no idea what kind of story it will have
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Should have watched the pianist, the piano or the piano teacher instead =P
SuperMario
Piano no Mori is a huge disappointment for me. still haven't watched the last episode thou
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've been backlogging Piano no mori for years.
Amagi
damn I totally forgot this exists
Anonymous2353882
That Piano no Mori ending episode... oh boy!!!
Kaiser-Eoghan
But you can probably just take my thoughts on planet with as being symptomatic of how shounen battlely stories almost never work for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Planet withs first episode felt disorganized to me and I didn't like the main characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
See, I think the problem regards planet with for me is that I watched it too close to the flcls ending, I know why its being compared but in flcl the disjointedness/messiness feels like something I can just let wash over me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: As I said it was a good premier, that despite my positivity I need more before I can see if it keeps up (angels of death).
Amagi
Man Hanebado looks really great animationwise. Now moving to the two comedies I expect to be above average. Get me another 1-2 good upcoming series and I can accept this season
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Hanebado! – 02/03 [Meat’s the Best After a Workout!/ She Was Perfect]

When people thinks about Hanebado, they tend to regard the excellent animation as its strongest point. While I partly agree on that, for me it’s the small character acting that makes this show sticks out for me. I do have a KyoAni vibe watching those relationships play out, especially in second episode with the recurring […]

Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro – 02 [Bloody Butterfly Effect / Manana and Ootoro and I / Bump of Slave]

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Planet With – 02[Nebula Soldiers]

“So they managed to defeat Torai huh. Well he was the weakest of us.” “Actually he was the strongest.” “Wait! Huh?” Now that’s part of why I love you Satoshi, you lay out a shounen cliche and subvert the hell out of it. Even having Torai in the room about to leave the group only […]

Banana Fish – 2 [In Another Country]

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This is a very strange show. I may regret choosing to blog this but with the second episode I still find it quite fascinating and I really want to see just where this leads. I will however say that it isn’t because of excellence that this show has caught my attention for at the moment […]

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Hisone to Masotan – 12 [We Are Unstoppable]

And we come to a close of this Dragon Pilot show and I’m still indifferent on how this anime wraps up. It’s not a bad ending per se, it has a good emotional payoff and it does somewhat wrap up the story. The more it gets into the conclusion, however,  the more I see inconsistencies […]

Darling in the Franxx – 23[DARLING in the FRANXX]

The longer this series goes on, the faster my goodwill disappears as this episode was terrible on many fronts. At this point I think we can admit that this series has been on a downward spiral since episode 19 and has only worsened with each subsequent episode. Part of the problem was 19 spilling all […]

Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory – 10[Onward, Onward]

Oh no. Well I suppose this was coming with all the news of this series troubles but it is disheartening to see it come to worst case scenario with the quality of this episode. This is the episode that announces without a doubt that this team is at the breaking point. Characters go off model […]

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Violet Evergarden’s existence has surely been a public one. Acclaimed before everyone lick a taste of it (it was awarded for grand prize in the fifth Kyoto Animation Award’s novel category in 2014 – read, KyoAni awards), it goes without saying that Violet Evergarden is one of the most anticipated show of the sparse Winter […]

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