Apocalyptic stories in anime come in many forms and serve a variety of purposes. Many times the setting allows for action scenes and having a hero come into their own, something like Attack on Titan or High School of the Dead. Others take the situation in slightly different ways, more contemplative ways, series like Casshern Sins or Neon Genesis Evangelion as examples. Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou takes an alternative route of using an apocalypse for object lessons on a variety of topics.
The story of Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou isn't so much about an overarching plot as the chapter
to chapter encounters and experiences of the main leads, Yuu and Chii. The only connecting element of the series is the girls’ constant movement upward and need for supplies. Their stops along the way result in a wide variety of thought-provoking situations from odd encounters found throughout the crumbling city them are in.
Many of these situations take a look at modern society and norms from a future that has forgotten the reason for some inventions: the amazing marvel of technology that is the camera, why humans take pictures at all, and what happens when those pictures are either lost or outlive their subjects as a single example. Other stops focus on the nature of living and what one does when the world and time as we know it has ended. These ideas and their underlying themes make up the true appeal of the series and form the major reason for reading it at all. Each chapter works through a new idea, not offering an answer for the questions the series raises but instead gives that reader a chance to consider things they might take for granted or as a normal, and whether that mundanity is really something to appreciate
The art of this manga skillfully plays into the messages and themes of the story, drifting between believably run down and apocalyptic buildings to slightly fantastical or constructions out of science fictions story. The art, whether meant to be literal illustrations of the dilapidated world surrounding the girls or showing how they see their world as a mysterious,vaguely foreboding landscape pairs well with the readers lack of knowledge of the world, being shown only what the main characters see. Every location that Yuu and Chii visit contains broken constructs, hints about the activities and purpose of each area, and creates a wonderful atmosphere of a once mighty and thriving world now breathing its last.
Especially effective are the vaguely ominous and foreboding backgrounds, hinting at world that fell to ruin and only continues down the path of entropy. The final few chapters especially point to how little remains of the human world and how broken it is without upkeep and inhabitants. Watching Chii and Yuu traverse this vast and varied landscape is another major selling point for the series, as it is a masterful example of a story without words, giving information through interpretation and implication rather than outright explanation.
Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou is a masterfully crafted trek through a dying world, contemplating the very reason for living and being, seen through the eyes of two girls who make do with whatever they have. While perhaps a slow boil, Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou is a unique collection of ideas wrapped in a deceptively simple yet deeply intriguing world.
A unique manga about 2 young girls venturing through a post apocalyptic city. There is no violence, no enemies, no real suffering, no crazy action. It's a modern tale destined to people wanting to get more than what is written, take their time and enjoy reading behind the scene.
Chi and Yuu are born after the cold apocalypse that suppressed almost all technologies and life from the earth. They have few knowledge about life but how to survive by themselves and some warm memories. But what's important is that they have one another and hope.
As they venture upper into the emptier city, they'll cross some few
people that will help them. Older, they remind the reader of themselves, as we see those encounter we understand what's written behind the lines. But are they really people ? Are they real, hallucinations, some kind of ghosts or guides ... you're free to find your own answer.
As they travel through the layers of the city, the background changes, it becomes more blended, more illuminated. Simple emotions fade away from the characters with the pages you turn, some deep questions will be asked in few words. Then you realize that they know. Those two girls understand as you do what's happening. You won't need much : some words, a look, a thicker line will be enough.
I cried, I laughed, I was amazed, I questioned myself, I wanted to help them, to hold their hands but I couldn't do nothing but turn the pages. As I write this, the manga isn't finished yet (chap 42). But for the first time, i feel a little guilty to want to read the next chapters, hoping it will end soon with some hope, just wanting them to be free from this. Because, from the first chapter, I know that I'm an hopeless observer of the tale describing the ending of humanity through the eyes of two young brave girls.
I've started reading this more for the art than anything else. But as I read on, I became more engaged in the journey of the characters, and the thematic exploration. By the end, it left me both fulfilled and with a heart-ache for the characters.
This is by far the best work of manga that can be described as 'philosophical'.
Through the soft, round art it makes it easy for readers to engage with the overarching theme of journey and death. Through the perspectives of young girls' innocence, this provides a different perspective.
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD
This is one of the rare works that I've read that
actually has an ending rather than a dragged-on, wishy-washy, frayed ending. Of course, the ending is open to interpretation, but I chose to view it with a definitive, heart-breaking end.
After multiple discussions about Girls' Last Tour's anime release among anime friends and acquaintances this past season, often giving it tremendous praise for its themes and thoughtfulness with comparisons to Kino's Journey, I was a little curious about what the series may contain. When I found out how short the chapters were in the manga, I decided to take the manga reader approach rather than watch the anime since it probably wouldn't take much time to get through and I can read through it at my own pace. What I found was a series that had great potential and got my hopes up early on,
but ultimately let me down in the end on what was... kind of a downer of a manga.
The story is a fairly simple one that is easy to follow, focusing on two moeblob girls of unknown ages, Chi and Yuu, who are traveling together through a massive, post-apocalyptic cityscape as they do menial tasks of survival, such as finding food and water, and washing their clothes. Along the way, they see a wide array of wondrous things that make them ponder, or at least make Chi ponder, about what things were like before whatever had caused the apocalypse to happen occurred. Along the way, they have "deep" philosophical thoughts about life and existence that give the entirety of the plot, especially towards the end, a nihilistic and melancholy vibe. It's not a very emotional story; the mood remains the same pretty much the entire time while getting a little more depressing towards the ending chapters.
While this does seem like a promising premise in many ways, most of the mysteries of the setting are never revealed to the reader, despite the questioning of the characters being a central part to many of the scenes in the story. The philosophical questions they ask each other seem deep on the surface but are more like the questions asked by a depressed person rather than the ones asked by actual intellectuals or philosophers, giving the series a depressed, pseudo-intellectual vibe that may appeal more to teenagers than it would to adults. There are also numerous inconsistencies with what the two main girls know and don't know, such as not knowing what cheese is but later mentioning the Nuko creature looks like a mochi. It's hard to pinpoint what their lives as children must have been like, even with the brief flashback that is given in later chapters, and also difficult to know what age they're supposed to be ((for example, there is a scene where they see images of young girls and say "they look our age" but then another scene where they are suddenly smoking cigarettes as if they know how to smoke them)). The story often feels like "whatever the mangaka felt like doing that day" rather than anything with real direction to it. However, this may have been a good thing for the manga for the early parts as when there was an ultimate destination for the girls to travel to, it felt as if there was little reason to go there. The manga may have been better off keeping to mini arcs of questioning and ending with the girls simply traveling somewhere else rather than what it ended up being.
Dialogue is straightforward and brief; there are no text walls in this manga, but I think this is a positive aspect of the storytelling when combined with the interesting environment art that the two main characters travel through.
The artwork of this series is interesting, though isn't for everyone. The main characters can best be described as being "moeblobs" but the environments they travel to are bleak, dynamic, full of mechanical designs and are interesting to look at. Use of perspective for the environments is used rather well and makes the city the two girls are wandering through truly become alive, mysterious and ominous. Honestly, the environment work in this manga is its best trait. It may not be the best environments within the manga world but they carry a mood and vibe to them that ends up strengthening the mostly weak plot. I also admit that while impractical in their design, I found the long, thin-legged robots to be pretty cool-looking, making em think of Dali's artwork as an inspiration point. There are points in the story where the reader will be faced with unexpectedly surreal artwork design, which is a definite plus for the visual aspect of the series.
Enjoyment of this series will vary greatly between people and it definitely isn't something that can be recommended to everyone. It gives the feel of something with a somewhat narrow span of appeal but for the people who do like it, I can see why you like it and it's definitely not a terrible manga. In fact, it's a rather average series overall but one with a sort of niche taste. For me, as someone who has dealt with depression and have asked and thought through all of these existential questions long ago and participate in online philosophy discussions/debates, there wasn't much fresh material here for me to bite at. It is also not a very good manga for people who like mysteries to have any sort of answer as much of what happened in the past is largely left to the reader to decide, something that can be interesting or frustrating depending on the audience as well as mood. This is also not going to be a manga for anyone looking for something uplifting to read as the mood is a steady melancholy feeling from beginning to end. There aren't really any low lows or high highs in this manga; it doesn't make you laugh or make you cry; it's just there to give you a brief window into the lives of two girls traveling through an unknown apocalyptic setting at the end of the world and their mostly slice-of-life antics while pondering various things as they move along through the world.
Overall, it is a mostly average series with short chapters that are easy to read with some interesting environmental artwork, but beyond that it is hardly as original or as deep as what a lot of people are making it out to be. It's not another Kino's Journey, either, and I think expecting it to be like Kino's Journey will leave a reader disappointed. It should be seen as a separate sort of thing, a series more about mood and environment than it is about mind and plot. I'm pretty sure that my younger, more depressed and existential self would have enjoyed this more than my current self, so reading it came a couple of years too late in my case.
Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryoukuo is a different show that has seen the light in a time that normally would not accept this kind of works.
The series takes place in a post-apocalyptic world in which the journey of Chito and Yuuri is followed, which travel aimlessly through this new destroyed world. This is when the story takes a turn when we see that the girls are discovering aspects of ancient society and seeing the natural way in which they unfold with these elements is something worth seeing.
Another important thing is the stellar, Yuuri and Chito reflect such an air of friendship and tenderness that they are easy
to get attached and understand the situation they are going through and although their development is slow it is satisfying to see how the manga manages to capture these small changes; with the secondary the same thing happens, they are simple but they manage to reflect what they want to tell.
On the other hand, the stories and philosophical questions are with a simple but effective way without many taboos but that does not clash with the tone that the series establishes and even these simple answers later become more complex while the difficulty of the trip It goes up, although there are exceptions where the series manages to give a greater depth in the conclusions of different places.
Art is another point in favor because although it is simple in character, it is very expressive and the scenery is well taken care of.
I feel it is a manga that can reach more emotional moments of which it has arrived and I also think that with time we will see better mini-stories, but for the moment they have been good and that makes me happy. A pleasant surprise in this sea of mediocrity.
Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryoukuo es un show distinto que ha visto la luz en una época que normalmente no aceptaría esta clase de obras.
La serie transcurre en un mundo post-apocalíptico en el cual se sigue la travesía de Chito y Yuuri, las cuales viajan sin rumbo por este nuevo mundo destruido. Aquí es cuando la historia da un giro cuando vemos que las nenas van descubriendo aspectos de la sociedad antigua y el ver la forma tan natural en la que se desenvuelven con estos elementos es algo digno de verse.
Otra cosa importante son las estelares, Yuuri y Chito reflejan tal aire de amistad y ternura que son fáciles de encariñarse y comprender la situación por la que pasan y aunque su desarrollo sea lento es satisfactorio ver como el manga logra plasmar estos pequeños cambios; con los secundarios pasa lo mismo, son simples pero logran reflejar lo que quieren contar.
Por otro lado, los relatos y preguntas de corte filosófico son con estado de forma simple pero efectiva sin muchos tapujos pero que no desentona con el tono que la serie establece e incluso estas respuestas simples más adelante se van haciendo más complejas mientras la dificultad del viaje sube, aunque hay excepciones donde la serie logra dar una mayor profundidad en las conclusiones de diferentes lugares.
El arte es otro punto a favor pues si bien es de carácter simple, es muy expresivo y la escenografía esta bien cuidada.
Siento que es un manga que puede llegar a momentos más emotivos de los cuales ha llegado y también pienso que con el tiempo veremos mejores mini-historias, pero por el momento han estado bien y eso me alegra. Una agradable sorpresa en este mar de mediocridad.
Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou is the melancholic tale of two girls lost in the barren, desolate world of the Layered City. Supposedly, being the last two human beings in the entire world, their only objective is to reach the top, hoping to find just any sign of life. However, the world revolves around them now, no one to command or guide them, so their journey is a very erratic one full of many experiences. They learn not just about their own lives, but of the ones long gone. An entire philosophical, almost harrowing and introspective look on the struggles of Chito and Yuuri as they prepare
for anything with the ambition of meeting someone else or at least something to live for besides themselves.
Tsukumizu is a bizarre figure in the manga industry, not making much of an appearance aside from independent artwork and doujinshi. They seem to keep a keen interest on very surreal, and even completely ridiculous concepts that all somehow form in to a weird combination of dark comedy and the deep roots of many philosophers' ideals, which is especially in the case of Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou with it's seemingly hopeful but nihilistic outlook on life when there is truly no one left. Artistically, they're extremely unique and for once, that uniqueness of an artists' style really fits the atmosphere and tone of the entire series. It's genuinely fantastic and I've grown a really soft spot for Tsukumizu's artistic endeavors as a result.
Character development is minimal to say the least, but if anything, the story doesn't seem to drag at all despite this. In fact, this is by far the most satisfying thing I've sat through to read, and I've read it too many times to count at this point, so let's just say it was a lot. Chito and Yuuri are fairly stagnant characters; they have typical reactions to each other, with Chito being the brains and Yuuri being the... brawn, I guess. They're almost polar opposites of each other, except for one thing that drives this entire series' plot until the end, and that is curiosity. Beyond the existentialist and dreary themes throughout there is one hopeful and big thing that comes out of this; curiosity. A lot of minds think alike even if they aren't on the same wavelength. Both of our main characters in this series are very curious individuals. For what other reason than curiosity and hope would they even continue their journey here? Such a simple thing like curiosity is so charming and fulfilling to the plot of this manga that it keeps me hooked throughout the entire book multiple times over. I just can't get enough of it.
I haven't enjoyed a series like this in a while. When the anime was first announced, I went straight to the manga to get a sneak peek and I didn't regret it. There is not another story like Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou out there. There may be similar things out there, but none will put the nail in the coffin of my definition of "perfect" like this manga does. Every time Chito and Yuuri interact feels so real and beautiful and the way they react to the new things they find throughout the series is seriously one of the most charming developments I've ever read in all my time sifting through hundreds of books, Japanese or English or Spanish or any other parts of the world. It just does what I want, and I wish I could thank Tsukumizu personally for giving me and many other people this experience. It's pretentious to end reviews like this, but I only have one last thing to say about this.
Girls Last Tour is a post-apocalyptic, slice-of-life manga by Tsukumizu (Tkmiz). Chito and Yuuri are two good friends, who have found themselves wandering the destructive remains of humanity. As they climb to the higher levels of the older civilisation that once remained, they come across many strange and wonderful things. Their journey to the top-most level leads them on a path of contemplation and discovery of the fate of the world and eventually themselves. Girls Last Tour explores many of these themes through often comedic, nonchalant and intriguing ways, as opposed to the many overly dramatic, vapidly tragic and violent trappings one would expect from
a post-apocalyptic story.
The overall tone of Girls Last Tour has been compared to that of another post-apocalyptic manga, Yokohama Shopping Log. Both stories have an often undescribable tone in the face of catastrophe, which is known as 'mono no aware' in Japanese. 'mono no aware' is an "aesthetic primarily oriented in creating empathy towards the inevitable passing of all things", and to acknowledge "the importance of memory and continuity with the past." It's definitely a tone that's not often explored in western media, especially -once again- in the post-apocalyptic genre.
Girls Last Tour has very creative and often abstract in its depictions of humanities old ruins that Chito and Yuuri often find and interact with along their journey. Its this attention to detail and imagination in the setting that really draws the reader into the world of the manga. We soon find ourselves wondering what our duo will do next. What will they eat? Where are they going? What if 'this' happens? What if 'that' happens? Girls Last Tour has a way of opening questions. It's a charm of the manga that will act as a great light for the story as it enters darker themes and territories towards the end of the volumes.
I absolutely adore the world and characters of Girls Last Tour, and that is especially thanks to Tsukumizu's interesting illustrations and unique art style. I would recommend Girls Last Tour to people who are interested in a distinctive post-apocalyptic story, that explores the daily struggles of two charming and quirky protagonists.
Girl's Last Tour is a difficult story to fully describe, as the value of it as a story is almost totally dependent on the reader.
Plot is present in the story, but in a different way than most. There is the overarching story of the two girls trying to reach the point that their father told them about, but it is definitely a story where the journey means more than the destination. We spend all of our time exploring the world alongside the two main characters, watching them go through day by day trying to find food to eat, discovering new things and meeting the occasional
person or robot to talk to. A lot of the story is absent of any constructive dialogue. Just images of where in the world the girls find themselves in. It leaves room for immersion and for the reader to fill in the gaps.
The characters that appear usually represent different themes and ways of life, with dedication to what you love, or purpose, being a major repeating factor. In a sense, you could say that that is exactly what this story is about- finding your purpose and holding onto it for dear life. The map maker was willing to die for his creations, and the same goes with the airplane maker. The robot that loses its purpose begs for death and an end to the meaningless life it is now living. For the main characters themselves, their purpose is to just live with one another and to stay together. This is so clearly seen in the last scenes of the manga, which I won't spoil, but just know it adds a very poignant underscore to the theme.
The art is super funky in this, so if classic manga drawing is your style, you might not enjoy this, but it is always interesting to see something different.
Overall, what you get out of Girl's Last Tour is dependent on what you put in into thinking about it. For me personally, I didn't actually enjoy the story all that much, and I was left at the end thinking, "Well what was the point of that?" To some it may seem like a story trying to be 'fake deep', while others may pick up many, very real lessons. To me, I clearly see the theme of finding and holding on to what you love, but others may see it as more of a story about the importance of being content, a warning on the environmental state of the world, or about nothing at all, only two girls living life. Either way, it's a fast read that you could go wtihout, but gives an opportunity to think if you're willing to
Review applies to both the manga and the anime, as both are well-made.
Note: I’m probably going to sound like a pretentious asshole.
This work is one that I have no qualms about calling it art. This is what they should be teaching in literature class, not the half-baked book called The Stranger by Albert Camus. Although I won’t claim to be the expert on post-apocalyptic settings or philosophical stories (what even is that?), I will say that I was both captivated and mentally engaged by this experience.
Firstly, I’m not saying that this will blow your mind or anything. I liked it, and some parts felt a
bit sluggish to me. For someone who doesn’t like it, I wouldn’t be surprised if they felt it was boring or tedious and dropped it. But it’s far from conversation filled with pointless meandering or a “slice-of-life” lacking substance. Compared to other shows lacking an overarching plot (although I liked mushishi, it took me about six months to finish), there’s an actual sense of a journey and progression here. Sure, there were some parts that I felt were weaker than others, but if you actually think while you’re watching/reading then you can tell that an actual themes and messages are being presented to you.
Another positive is that nothing is random, that everything is intentional and the author’s choice (sorry if I’m sounding like your high school english teacher). For example: two moe girls in a bleak, post-apocalyptic world. It’s not that the author couldn’t draw anything anything else, it’s to emphasize the contrast between society’s definition of cuteness, and the bleak after-effects of war (though I do admit the sales probably wouldn’t have been as good if it was some old dude with a beard travelling around the world). Additionally, the themes and symbols aren’t exactly convoluted or confusing, such as the importance of companionship in troubling times and the reality of broken expectations as well as recovering from them. You have Chito’s journals (the importance of living in the present over memories of the past), the temples and the stone statues (people want to substitute flashy “fakes” over harsh reality), the symbolism of the “highest level”, and many more that I won’t list.
However, the beauty is that you are meant to experience these messages rather than having it force-fed to you. Taking from one of the manga chapters, a photograph can accurately convey a scene, but art can convey a person’s feelings. Even if you don’t understand everything the author had in mind, you are allowed to take your time and slowly experience the journey as the characters experienced it.
Tldr for the previous two paragraphs: Shoujo shuumatsu ryokou gives an intelligent look into the purpose for its creation without devolving into meaningless fluff or pseudo-intellectual drivel.
While the two main characters weren’t amazingly original or unique, I felt they served their purpose well in the story. They weren’t annoying for being children, they had honestly adorable character interactions, and although the comedy wasn’t the best I don’t think that was the main point. More importantly, they act like real children—and real friends: playing in the snow, hitting each other, making music with the rain. Most importantly, they love each other. You can really sympathize with their struggles, and I was rooting for them the whole way through.
Finally, the artwork was amazing, for both the anime and the manga. It made me feel a little bad to scroll through the chapters so quickly, because I felt like I should spend my time on each individual panel. As for the anime, the soundtrack was also quite good, enough for me to note it in this review.
I’ll end it by saying I only wish I could analyze this for my lit paper.
I believe that art and enjoyment are very dependent on the individual themselves so I'll be talking about the story and characters. Two very good characters the complement each other very well in any situation, it's as if Chito and Yuuri are real people that exist in this world right now, a very good job on that. The story though, isn't bad but it's existential edge. Now, don't get me wrong I love me some edge but this is like 6th grader level awareness of "Oh man, we're all going to die." Or "What's the point BS". Christ, I feel like
the author had a rope around his neck while writing this or like he went through a break up and now has the mindset of there is no point. Gory, sexual, bloody, suffering edge is fine because it's "Damn bro lol". This is "okay this bro needs a doctor before he jumps"