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
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Moreso than the girls death obsession, I thought the stuff with the mother in the first chapter of yakedo has the potential to go in a more messed up way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But he fails miserably and no one learns from his crimes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Why can't there be a BENEVOLENT killer character that commits horrible acts solely to shock people and show how horrifying those acts are, out of the delusion that it will inspire a reflection and change in people to NOT, to NEVER do those things.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*higher
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe an abused character is a servant in a historical setting with a hierarchy, trapped in societal rules and defeats the obsession with the attacker and raises up against the class system/character of hire social standing that abused them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Perhaps the cannibal killer character in the story has abandonment, severe paranoia and lonliness issues and sees his crimes as taking people inside him so they'll never leave him.
Kaiser-Eoghan
of psychological depth instead?
Kaiser-Eoghan
For the willingness to throw messed up stuff into stories, I wouldn't mind seeing an analysis thrown in, doing a story about a cannibal character? How about instead of just a gore fest, get inside is head and ask, why does he do this? I hate Ntr and its used as a throwaway turn-on involving rape eroticism, but is there any any way that a story involving that could be framed with some sense
Kaiser-Eoghan
Back on to stuff like goblin slayer, they can take out the rape scenes I wouldn't miss them, although I find them less uncomfortable, BECAUSE they are shown as how wrong rape is, instead of say a doujin playing it up for titilation .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Despite all the talking up of tsunderes, I actually love kuuderes, in the end probably the biggest reason is for how flat chested they are.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Slapstick violence always plays second to dry, dark, screwball or surreal humour.
Bokusen
Also, on tsunderes, me too. I can't stand people using physical violence on someone unless it's in self-defense, or a Fate-type scenario where they all know everyone is trying to kill everyone else. Random physical violence played up as comedy is the worst.
Bokusen
@Kaiser Ah, so it was referring to bondage. I was skimming through posts and must've missed that. Bondage still creeps me out a bit, but if it's a fetish thing I can at least understand the whole exaggerated gender roles thing.
AidanAK47
In regards to Tsunderes, yep that was a bad choice of words there Kaiser. But over time I have come to find Tsunderes more agavating. Tsunderes like Rin are fine but those that beat the crap out of the guy they like and are expected to be forgiven cause they get embarrassed can go straight to hell.
AidanAK47
Also who cares who Korra ends up with? She a goddamn horrible character. I hated her so much.
AidanAK47
Korra was a show that had love realistionships come out of nowhere(And not well written in general) but that one really was just pandering to the Korra/Asami shippers. Not sure where the hell that ship came from to begin with.
Lenlo
I agree Aidan, the love at the end of Korra came out of Left field really
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Bokusen: It was inappropriate and I shouldn't have said it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Heck one of the reasons I prefer seeing another character with another character or a character simply on their own in a fetish situation is because I can distance myself from it and not feel like I'm touching anything/one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If anything I meant role reversal.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Bokusen: I apologize, reading it back it sounds terrible, I was actually referring to bondage where the tsundere pretends to hate it initially but consents .
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Bokusen: I should state clearly that that is merely a fantasy. The anger on both sides makes it easier because even if things became more physical or intimate it would feel more distant if the talking part was she and myself saying how much we hated it , despite actualily liking it.
Bokusen
"The thing is I utterly hate the personalities of tsundere characters in bitch/dom mode, sends me into a fervor to put them in their place." OK, reading that just creeped me out.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, well you like screwed up stuff so no surprise.
Try Yakedo Shoujo. Get the feeling you will like that one quite a bit.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Legend of Korra? There was no yuri in that one. No evidence whatsoever. They just had Korra and Asami walk into some light and then announced them gay over twitter. Honesty I didn't see it in the show itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Also was it you that recommended happy sugar life to me? That was a pretty good psychological horror manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Going back several messages, I kind of liked goblin slayer oddly.
Anonymous1832169
Kaiser-Eoghan - Read Sakuranbo Syndrome.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: At the same time I really think more series like after the rain need to come out, showing more sensitive approaches.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nudity/sex just isn't used functionally well enough or dramatically as it should. Come on, give us a story about passionette characters, sensual/erotic rather than only porn. Or do a scums wish where miserable people are doing it because saaaaad.
Kaiser-Eoghan
kuuchuu is really one of those things I need to re-watch, I became so much more open to weirder shows in the past number of years than I would have been ages ago.
Anonymous1832169
I think my excuse in hentai, is that despair, and subjugation adds drama to a very simple thing. Though Dawn of the Silver Dragon may be the peak of objectification.
Anonymous1832214
Sure, np, though I must be off. Again, nice to chat casually. Been off forums for a while. Bye.
PS: thank you gift for anyone not familiar https://myanimelist.net/anime/6774/Kuuchuu_Buranko?q=kuuchuu
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lets talk about the spring 2018 anime season chart: http://anichart.net/spring-2018
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mods, I'm sorry for hostaging/dominating the chat like this I'll change subject.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I do think official/canon pairings of characters make more sense definitely, non-canon ones can kind of cheapen characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really really want to say though, I totally am not okay with rape in hentai though and I don't like 50 shades of grey.
Kaiser-Eoghan
To get off this subject, funny little random memory here of reading manga in public, back when I was still into fate, some street person sat down next to me and saw a picture of berserk and said "Oh, he's quite ripped isn't he"
Anonymous1832214
@Anon could be
@Kaiser Srsly youd hate Young's Aflame Inferno - narcissistic manipulative elite MC guy plays a sub to a playful manipulative OP demon woman. I love that so much..!
Kaiser-Eoghan
The old artists valued some interesting takes on beauty too, all of those middle aged larger bodies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Someone has read this and gone off and done an Akira x Satan devilman doujin haven't they?
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the beauty and the beast thing, I wonder if characters like Elias from Mahouyome will become more popular. Monsterboys might end up catching on.
Anonymous1832169
Anonymous1832214 - I think so, I mean we paint angels following that idea.
Anonymous1832214
Thx for the talk guys (and girls). Btw. I'm the guy with weird nicks, Evaluation, Strength, Victim, etc in case anyone's wondering.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think regarding role switching and whether I prefer being dom or sub is definately based on which gender I'm playing, this goes back to the cliches of girl=the submissive character man=is the non-submissive.
Anonymous1832214
There's something about androgynous features, is there?
Kaiser-Eoghan
accept of course for the sensei, who looks like one-punchman.
Anonymous1832214
Seems consistent with your preferences towards domination. Open your heart more and feel the love. They cant help themselves. They need you to get it out. Why not play the mature person, not play the game and accept their flawed selves?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Specifically due the ambiguity.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Houseki's character designs and art is fascinating.
Anonymous1832169
I like the idea of women pretending to be men and men pretending to be women. Not necessarily transgender, just in the sense of playing the role like Hercules and Diomedes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hating them makes it easier/better aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The thing is I utterly hate the personalities of tsundere characters in bitch/dom mode, sends me into a fervor to put them in their place
Anonymous1832214
I wouldnt mind being a dominated by a (good-hearted) Pandora. So I guess I have no idea how you can even say that...
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lol now we're getting into liking certsin things because their so non-pc =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of me taking on a female role and being dominated by a woman is bizzare to me , taking on a female role and being dominated by a man, yes.
Anonymous1832214
Yeah got it. Like Senjougahara? Lol.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But she still holds on to the delusion that she's in control.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Wait, to be more specific, I was saying I liked the idea of making a tsundere girl submit, with the tsundere becoming the sub.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Youngs manga work better than say, something like ikkitosen/highschool dxd/seikon no qwaser/highschool of the dead because they go all out with the exploitation .
Anonymous1832169
I do see a correlation between the feminine guys in yaoi and the token girls in otome. I swear I don't get why otome and other young girl series, like to play the bad boy and misogynistic treatment of women. I think they we might have lost the point in Beauty and the Beast.
Anonymous1832214
Kaiser... do you know Im Dal Young's manga? Freezing, Unbalance x Unbalance, etc. He often puts the women in the dominant role. He's gotta have a thing for it. I love that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think going back to the complaints of yuri on ice not having enough bite to it, its the same as the fanservice in josei manga with the ambiguous bromances.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm a really pretentious guy, I love going into the psychology of it all.
Anonymous1832169
@Kaiser-Eoghan - As one teacher told me, the most memorable characters are the contradictory ones.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The western side often feels more tokenistic at times.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: The feminine male character exists as a safe zone for the female reader.
Kaiser-Eoghan
No wonder I enjoyed haru deiteita so much, it did the reversal thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet people don't understand this when I say I find tsunderes attractive, what could be more appealing to me than a tsundere ending up losing the dominant role and becoming submissive?
Anonymous1832169
@Kaiser-Eoghan - I think I like that dichotomy, because since manga is already androgynous one does accept it more. Especially since of anime thread the line of making their male characters submissive. Also in a more design sense it might be because there's a power dynamic at play. That's why there's also harassment.
Anonymous1832214
I also agree that yuri is more established and accepted. Particularly in western media, which are starting to catch up? (lesbians everywhere...) Legend of Korra anyone?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: The weirdest thing is from my own perspective, when I play the female role in the relationship I understand taking on a more submissive role, yet in a male role, with a women I find being in a non-dominent role impossible.
Anonymous1832214
@Kaiser I'm not going to defend KnM, valid points. Again, it's done enough. And - I have a thing for tragic/platonic love so KnM clicked...
Anonymous1832169
Yuri can be cold, harsh and seduction is usually a weapon. Though a tiring trope is that most stories treat the couple as kind of sister type of affection. Or so I feel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In terms of the pairings, my headcanon doesn't understand the petite-man thing in male to male relationships relationships/pairings , yet petit women I am obsessed with.
Anonymous1832169
Kaiser-Eoghan - I do agree. I suppose for me or at least when I did start watching it, it felt more risque, since at least in media lesbians seem more accepted than gay or flamboyant men. So I think the draw for me might be emasculation, because of the uke and seme dynamic. It is said the reason for that is to project their female audiences in more of a dominant role or something like that.
SuperMario
Hmm, I watched few episodes of Sekaiichi Hatsukoi and it's the romance that turned me off. It's just plain secual harassment
Kaiser-Eoghan
In some way its easier to physically work it out mentally.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which leads to the interesting phenomenon of fudanshiism.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bizzarest thing is I am significantly more attracted to women than men yet find shounen-ai/yaoi more of a draw, while admitting the shoujo-ai/yuri stories out there are better.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I recall actually liking the music in gravitation at one point.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As silly melodrama it was somewhat watchable.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I felt that a certain off colour scene with Chikane felt like character assassination.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But the characterization and mecha fights are particularly messy in kannazuki, especially bringing the manga into it where the villains didn't even get 1 second backstories and the framing of the art and panels is poor, with some of dialogue, at least in the dub sounding very silly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Regarding kannazuki, I'm not going to doubt that it a kyoshiro aren't rip roaringly hilarious guilty pleasures, not that this dimnishes the anons take on the female lead.
Anonymous1832214
KnM is trash anime, but very endearing and a treasure. I love it.

(Just passing by, I'm straight male with a thing for yuri genre).
Anonymous1832169
And I think Gravitation is also because music is also part of the plot and not solely the romance. I think the last one I enjoyed was Love Stage but that only had a thing going with one side being biconfused. Though it didn't do anything with that.
Anonymous1832214
Kannazuki no Miko has a heroine who readily accepts her feelings and is in a position where it is very difficult not to empathise. Her love seems very pure and to me is very rewarding to watch.
Anonymous1832169
Kaiser-Eoghan - Yeah but then you have Utena, Aoi Hana, Noir, El Cazador de la Bruja, Madoka, and several other series that just happen to have lesbian couples. In terms of good or recognizable shounen ai, it's harder, since I think the most recognizable is Gravitation, followed by (maybe) the Nakamura ones (Seikachi Hatsukoi and his other series).
Kaiser-Eoghan
The manga is even worse than the anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There are truly terrible yuri series though I'm sure, no idea how Kannazuki no miko became a cult thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Sadly there's too much rape in yaoi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Oh, the gender roles thing is terrible in those things. Plenty of gay men are masculine irl.
Anonymous1832169
Borrowed from Japanese 百合 (yuri, “lily”), by analogy to 薔薇 (bara, “rose”), indicating gay men.
Anonymous1832169
Shoujo AI and even Yuri, are more romance than eros. There could be like 10 or more chapters without any intimate action and I suppose that's also part in why yuri tends to achieve better stories.
Anonymous1832169
Also the formula is so transparent that one scrolls to the end, to see ehem, the good part.
Anonymous1832169
And finally like the typical chick flick there's rarely anything important beyond the relationship. I even say those who try a little may be the better ones in this genre.
Anonymous1832169
Now you know what you should expect. Because that's the issue. In Shounen Ai or Yaoi for the most part. Secondary characters have no issue with these relationships. Second problem is that the couple both are put in the male and female part of the relationship.
Anonymous1832169
In defense of yaoi. Do anyone know the meaning behind that word? From Japanese やおい (yaoi), an acronym of Yama nashi, ochi nashi, imi nashi (ヤマなし、オチなし、意味なし), "no climax, no point, no meaning
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm actually not even overly interested in either show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But yes, its stupid that yuri on ice didn't go all the way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe citrus is actually aim at girls, going by the magazine its serialized in.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And a yuri manga would probably be more explicit than shoujo-ai.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well you're comparing shounen-ai to yuri , so of course citrus will be more explicit , just like yaoi would be more explicit than shounen-ai.
AidanAK47
And I am not arguing that gay people can't have fanservice shows. As a matter of fact I am arguing why the bar is so much lower. Yuri on Ice has people fangirling over an "implied kiss" while I look over to the other side to see Citrus reaching second base.
AidanAK47
@Anon, not say you can't like the show but it was queer baiting. The show was comical in how it it made it clear it's characters were gay but didn't even have the balls to show a kiss on screen. Meanwhile you have Citrus here showing two girls having full make out sessions without trouble. I have no interest whatsoever in seeing two men kiss but even I can admit that is bullshit.
KTravlos
interesting conversation. Must say I do not usually react much to the sexuality of characters in anime, but this is partly because I might not see the problem, or because most of the anime I watch have sexuality only incidentally.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course I don't want to dismiss the fact that hentai manga for gay men exists,if one wanted it there is seinen yaoi, ie Bara manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which I attribute it to being less passive than just watching something.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will say, I do think self-insertion is more effective in relation to videogames.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On this I as a bicurious man agree, when I read a romance story, I just want ad like a romance ore relationship story, its not special to me what the race or orientation of characters are.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My brother also felt that romance stories involving homosexual characters often falter in a space where the same sex pairing becomes more about pure novelty than just being a love story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Imredjimmy, who posted on here as a user before, he himself homosexual had issues with yaoi manga, feeling that it didn't address issues properly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
He feels "All romance stories belong in the romance section and shouldn't be too categorized and that most yaoi/yuri isn't really for the homosexual audience"
Kaiser-Eoghan
Is it really fanservice for a homosexual audience though? I do find both male and female characters attractive as a bicurious man but it has to be admitted, shounen-ai and yaoi is really a thing for girls and bi men, I can admit that. My brother, a gay man is very critical of yaoi/shounen-ai as well as yuri/shoujo-ai.
Anonymous1831032
You are overly critical
Anonymous1831032
why can't gay people have 'fanservice' without being compared to fish blindly poking for worms and being caught by some manipulative fisherman? It's 'normal' for weebs to watch 'cutesy' or 'moe' shows.
Anonymous1831032
Who cares dude. I liked the show. The term 'queer baiting' is fucking insulting.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - I agree with that, there is a lot of meandering in Hourou Musuko manga, it makes it feel more realistic and grounded. But there's a reason many storytellers don't tell the most boring aspects of real life, like constantly pondering about what the future may bring.
Vonter
Pokemon and Zelda let the community make the conjectures and the creators mostly shy away from explaining them, because they fear they'll write themselves into a corner.
Vonter
I mean, not all things should make statements. Ranma 1/2 is recognizable, despite being a comedy. Conan is iconic and its just contained mystery stories, despite the themes of Evangelion the creators have admitted the use of christian elements was because of aesthetics, moreso than delivering a statement.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Some felt that the manga for hourou musuko felt more low key in tone than the anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Travlos, I've noticed the site seems to be giving you trouble setting a username sometimes, best to just create an account instead.
AidanAK47
@Anon, that respect seems on different levels for people though. I mean I seen people championed Yuri on Ice as a major win for LGBT representation in anime while I myself just saw it as queer baiting seeing as the series itself couldn't admit it's characters were gay.
Anonymous1829806
Travlos here: I know many of the AoTitan fans hate the new direction of the manga, but I love it. Gimme more war!

While I love the ideas in Birdy the Mighty, the pace of the mangaka is maddening.
Anonymous1829447
Well, one last thing. I understand that anime like games or movies are a refuge for people who want to escape from politics for a second. But when mangakas bring those topics up themselves with stupid yaoi, gender bender, or yuri fan service, they're the ones politicizing anime and manga, not people like me. If they'd treat it with respect, then there would be no need for outcry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Eh sorry about that, I almost launched into a rant about tumblr.
Lenlo
Yeah, id prefer not to get to political in this chat, but I agree with Aidan. Theres a limit, and I strike that limit at the + of LGBTQ+. There comes a point where your just making things up to be special
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looking back I probably read hourou musuko initially to get a better understanding of the topic it covered.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not looking for cares/attention/fellating/self promoting, just felt a moment to pseudo-intellectualize because it was related to the identity topic.
Kaiser-Eoghan
From a psychological standpoint, apparently this is linked in with autism to some level.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of cosplay as a thing is fascinating honestly as an escapist thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I imagine it would probably be easier to interact in a relationship as someone else, of course with them being aware of that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
More in a religious/spiritual sense however and having a greater sense of identity/feeling through temporarily taking on the role of someone else.
Kaiser-Eoghan
but the person themselves.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did have ideas after hourou musuko and also finding out someone was trans that that might have applied to me and I still use female names in some sites but I really just came to realize it wasn't about trying the female clothes thing numerous times, wasn't trans(vestite or sexual), really pretty much found out I temporarily can take on roles of what/who I dress as, not due to gender
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh, tumblr sjws are a parody of leftism /activism .
AidanAK47
People have the right to be whatever they want to be. That said there is a line when it comes to respecting peoples choices. For example, I don't think we need Tumblrs 40 different Genders.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I haven't read the lesbian experience one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Love my life was another good one, a serious shoujo-ai manga.
Anonymous1829213
That's unfortunate. TvT
Anonymous1829200
no thanks
Anonymous1829213
In the future though, I'd like to see something exploring sexuality as a whole even further. Even LGBT in and of itself implies a gender/sexuality binary. Let's get into the gender neutral/fluid, pansexuality, and so on as well. :.D
Anonymous1829200
and i like the
Anonymous1829200
i have one
Anonymous1829213
And I definitely agree - those manga exist and are excellent. ^_^
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