Girls' Last Tour

Alt title: Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou

TV (12 eps)
Fall 2017
4.026 out of 5 from 4,462 votes
Rank #871

Two young girls travel through a desolate landscape in search of food, water, and fuel for their precious Kettenkrad motorbike. Although the world they wander through is a lonely one, Chito and Yuuri find happiness in the little things they encounter on their journey: a forgotten supply of military rations, a hot bath thanks to a leaky pipe in an abandoned power plant, or the discovery of a lone autonomous robot protectively guarding a solitary fish. Even if human civilization is dead, these two can always find something to live for.

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“It’s so peaceful. It’s hopeless. Hopeless… Hopeless…” -Yuuri Iyashikei, despite literally meaning “healing” is a genre that doesn’t appeal to everyone. While the intent of anime from this genre is to calm, relax, and heal the audience after a stressful day of real life, some viewers see these shows as “devoid of anything” and “predictable.” There isn’t really anything I can do to change the minds of those who don’t like the genre, but I would at least like to explain why Girls Last Tour distinguishes itself from similar shows. The most obvious difference between Girls Last Tour and most Iyashikei is the post-apocalyptic setting and generally melancholic tone. The anime takes place in a world mostly devoid of people, with the two protagonists Chi and Yuu scouring the abandoned cities for food and resources as they try to make their way back home. The premise reminds me of a reversed Made in Abyss, where instead of descending into the abyss towards the unknown, our protagonists are trying to climb out of the abyss towards familiarity. With such a barren setting, Girls Last Tour is able to focus entirely on the two main characters. Chi and Yuu have a similar dynamic to your typical “straight man/fool” duo, but despite their different personalities, they’re united by a mutual understanding that the other person is all that they have in life. This bond is beyond just familial; it binds their reasons for living together, which makes the challenges they face together all the more dramatic. Since there are so few other characters in the world, there aren’t any villains in this anime, but our main characters certainly face their share of challenges. With a relatively episodic structure, the tone of each episode can shift to appropriately meet the conflict that is introduced. Some of my favorite episodes were the most dramatic ones, with episode 9 (Technology/Aquarium/Life) questioning the very nature of life itself. On the other hand, there were episodes I liked that were more soothing and relaxing, allowing the audience to appreciate the little things in life such as episode 5 (House/Nap/Sound of Rain). There isn’t much use in writing extensively about Girls Last Tour for this review, as it should be obvious from the first episode whether you’ll like the anime or not. Perhaps the anime can serve as an introduction into Iyashikei if you’re a fan of war dramas or post apocalyptic settings, or perhaps it can expand what you consider possible with the genre if all you’ve seen is lighthearted shows like Aria and Yuru Camp. It’s a relatively low risk anime to try. Its episodic structure allows for you to watch it at your own pace, and in fact I would recommend against binging it like I did (for the Anime Planet Secret Santa 2020). It’s an anime that is a typical slow burner, leaving you wanting to sit in silence as you reflect upon the tales told by each episode. If that sounds like a good anime viewing experience, then I cannot recommend this anime more.

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