Mon. May 27th, 2024

Post-Apocalyptic World

Girls’ Last Tour unfolds within a post-apocalyptic setting, where Yuuri and Chito grapple with the challenges of existence amidst the remnants of human civilization. Their journey involves navigating an abandoned factory and seeking an escape route, triggered by an inadvertent incident when Yuuri sucks on Chito’s finger. Their discovery of supplies within a downed bomber plane and encounters with hot water and a bath lead to tension when Yuuri burns a book, provoking Chito’s anger.

As they proceed, the duo cooks fish and encounters the cartographer Kanazawa, all in pursuit of ascending to a higher-level city tier. Additionally, their exploration unveils a slanted elevator, resulting in Kanazawa’s map going astray. Amidst these challenges, Yuuri regains her determination and resolves to craft new maps, necessitating her temporary separation from the girls as she leaves them with her camera.

Ultimately, Yuuri and Chito decide to venture towards a distant light. In essence, Girls’ Last Tour combines various apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic elements from different media, whether games, films, or anime. The series chronicles the adventures of Yuuri and Chito as they grapple with survival in an enigmatic post-apocalyptic world. A vital strength of the series lies in its minimalist pacing, allowing for an in-depth exploration of its unique world. Moreover, the dialogues between Yuuri and Chito and the remnants of the desolate cityscape and abandoned facilities significantly contribute to the storytelling.

Although it may appear insignificant, the interactions between Yuuri and Chito smoothly shift from light-hearted topics to more profound ones, including discussions about the value of life in a world devoid of others, the significance of having a home, the nature of death, the concept of war, and the meaning behind artifacts left behind by ancient civilizations. It is worth noting that their source material originates from a four-panel manga, revealing gaps in their knowledge through their conversations.

Urban Decay

Additionally, Girls’ Last Tour introduces certain concepts, such as the intricate nature of societies whose construction is not easily comprehensible, where some of the more advanced human tools would be exceedingly challenging to reverse engineer and duplicate. Their limited understanding of certain aspects of older civilizations and the natural world leads them to view contemporary medicine and computers as embodiments of human progress, requiring expertise in distribution, mass production, and design. It is why fiction often depicts post-apocalyptic worlds as regressed, given that most technology developed after the Industrial Revolution demands specialized knowledge for replication.

For instance, the Industrial Revolution witnessed remarkable technological advancements and shifts from agrarian societies to industrialized ones. Likewise, within the post-apocalyptic setting portrayed in the manga, we can find remnants of advanced technology and intricate machinery strewn across the landscape. Chito and Yuuri encounter various abandoned machines, vehicles, and factories, consistently serving as reminders of past technological progress. These remnants frequently pique their curiosity, leading to discussions about the functions and purposes of these machines. Their journeys also take them through the decaying remains of a once-thriving city, reflecting the consequences of industrialization and urbanization as they navigate through the remnants of a rapidly developing urban center.

Furthermore, industrialization brought about substantial environmental changes and challenges, depicted in the manga through a world where the repercussions of past industrialization are evident. For example, remote landscapes, decaying structures, and polluted environments reflect the environmental degradation often associated with rapid industrial growth.

Through themes exploring the human condition, isolation, and loneliness, Girls’ Last Tour delves into the experiences of Yuuri and Chito, who find themselves among the last surviving humans in their world. They shed light on the isolation resulting from the disappearance of a bustling society, whether due to industrial collapse or war.

One of the most notable aspects of the Industrial Revolution was the explosion of information and knowledge. In the manga, knowledge is depicted as a valuable asset slowly fading. Critical moments in the story occur when Chito and Yuuri encounter remnants of knowledge, such as maps and books. For example, Yuuri’s book burning symbolizes the potential loss of accumulated human knowledge.

While Girls’ Last Tour is not a direct historical account of the Industrial Revolution, it employs post-apocalyptic themes and settings to delve into aspects of technological progress, industrialization, and their consequences for the environment and society.

Foundations of Human Understanding

Girls’ Last Tour emphasizes that human comprehension of the physical and natural world originates from the wisdom and accomplishments passed down through the ages. This philosophical notion suggests that each new generation benefits from the accumulation of past generations’ achievements and knowledge, facilitating further growth in understanding.

Within their world, Chito and Yuuri come across remnants of forgotten knowledge, illuminating the vulnerability of human understanding and the potential for its erosion over time. The role of books is significant in the manga as they encounter texts from earlier times, reflecting the concept of knowledge transmission across generations. Conversely, they grapple with the challenging decision of whether to burn books for warmth, symbolizing the moral dilemmas arising from resource scarcity.

As mentioned, Chito and Yuuri engage in philosophical dialogues exploring the meaning of existence, war, and death. These conversations often draw upon the remnants of human wisdom and knowledge.

Moreover, the remnants of technology represent the idea that contemporary knowledge builds upon the accomplishments of preceding eras. In this context, their position as the last survivors in their world signifies the potential to preserve and pass on the vestiges of knowledge to future generations. It underscores the responsibility of each generation to disseminate and safeguard their comprehension of the world for posterity.

They are limited to relying on their personal experiences, such as pondering why the sky appears blue or the enigma surrounding the origins of humanity. By eliminating access to preexisting learning and knowledge, the core of our civilization’s sophistication is at risk of vanishing, compelling them to glean wisdom from their unique experiences and drive the everyday events that shape their narrative.

Resilience in Adversity

One word to describe Girls’ Last Tour is tranquility, as most chapters consist of Yuuri and Chito exploring space and speculating about past civilizations they were too young to witness directly. Sometimes, they also have experiences like listening to the rain or getting tipsy under the stars. No matter how dire their circumstances, they rarely experience stress, and the risks they face are never too overwhelming. The atmosphere is almost light-hearted. The characters playfully tease each other with jokes and minimal conflict. The silence makes moments of danger, which are rare, sound like bells and makes it easy to forget how vulnerable the characters are. The characters’ gentleness also emphasizes this vulnerability contrasted with the harsh but rugged environmental backgrounds.

The industrial spaces and large buildings they pass through are filled with inventive forms. However, they also feel practical. They have a presence in such a way that they often seem drawn from observation, even though they are not. In reality, Yuuri and Chito’s bodies are so light and spacious that they appear ghostly compared to their surroundings. They are drawn like typical cute anime girls. However, they collide with the rough backgrounds to feel stranger and more grounded. It is a world that feels as real as a dream.

In one chapter, Yuuri and Chito realize that a row of large lockers is some tomb. The items they take from the lockers are mementos for the deceased. They try to return the items but must remember which goes where. The manga is full of moments like characters attempting to achieve a goal that will almost certainly fail or, even if they fail, seems to serve no purpose. After all, it is not easy to do anything to make a significant difference at the end of the world. However, the manga does not mock the effort, regardless of whether the action is meaningful. For the characters, the actions are still worthwhile.

A Nuanced Dystopian Perspective

Girls’ Last Tour offers a nuanced perspective as a sensitive yet unique dystopian tale. The narrative avoids extremes of excessive optimism or cynicism and refrains from explicitly presenting a solution to capitalism. Within certain circles, utopian fiction is often seen as a counterbalance to dystopia, particularly among liberals. Nevertheless, even a skillfully crafted dystopia can prove frustrating if it does not directly confront capitalism.

The manga establishes a tranquil ambiance centered on the day-to-day experiences of Chito and Yuuri as they navigate a post-apocalyptic world, rendering it a distinctive genre. However, it adopts a minimalist storytelling style, emphasizing dialogue over visual narration significantly, a rarity in the genre. This approach invites readers to immerse themselves in its world and encourages introspection. Instead of emphasizing conflicts or interpersonal discord among characters, their interactions are characterized by humor and mutual support, offering a refreshing departure from the often bleak dynamics typical of dystopian settings.

The manga often lacks conventional antagonists, with the primary challenges stemming from the characters’ survival and the environment itself. Ultimately, Girls’ Last Tour does not fit the mold of rigorous science fiction that frequently grounds its narrative in scientific principles. The manga refrains from exploring the precise reasons behind the collapse of their civilization or presenting entirely plausible survival scenarios. The characters’ longevity is tied to their ability to operate the re-engineered Sd.Kfz. 2 and their good fortune in finding supplies. It necessitates a substantial suspension of disbelief, and the series does not serve as a dire warning of an impending catastrophic future. Indeed, many dystopian narratives portray implausible or unrealistic scenarios that mirror contemporary anxieties rather than offering a genuinely plausible future. Nevertheless, the gravity of Girls’ Last Tour serves as a poignant reminder that dystopia elements already exist in most individuals’ lives.

Moments of Celebration

The question arises whether Girls’ Last Tour represents those who lack the privilege to plan for the future. In the manga, Yuuri and Chito do not pretend to predict what lies ahead, and a significant caveat accompanies any comfort it provides. The manga illustrates an approach to facing life’s challenges in a fractured world through its tranquil rhythm and subtle nuances.

Indeed, the idea of future planning in Girls’ Last Tour is a luxury the characters do not possess. Instead, Yuuri and Chito concentrate on their immediate survival needs, whether scavenging for supplies, seeking shelter, or obtaining food. They need to find a way to afford to make long-term plans given the high uncertainty of their world. Furthermore, due to their limited resources, they primarily focus on navigating each day. In reality, planning for the future is nearly impossible for Yuuri and Chito. They lack well-defined long-term aspirations or specific goals. Their journey revolves more around surviving and exploring the present moment. By emphasizing the beauty and importance of the current moment, they unearth wonder and delight in everyday things, such as the sound of rain or a freshly prepared meal. Additionally, it presents an apocalypse that holds the potential for moments of celebration.

Girls’ Last Tour may serve as a reminder that the characters do not succumb to despair and should not. They will continue to move, play, draw, and indulge, not because they believe something is waiting for them at the end of their journey, but because they can do so.

The Impactful Artistry

Girls’ Last Tour comprises a series of adventures that chronicle the journey of the innocent Yuuri and Chito, who find themselves compelled to acquire knowledge and evolve their survival strategies in a seemingly disjointed world. The manga employs a nuanced but cathartic storytelling style. These characters are inseparable, dominating the entire narrative with their solitude, yet they find solace in each other’s company. Their world is bleak yet teeming with marvels, prompting them to savor every moment. The manga’s presentation is characterized by its uncomplicated yet impactful artwork, conveying the sense of a world closed off and abandoned by an imprudent creator. Girls’ Last Tour falls into the genre of slice-of-life anthology stories, typically featuring minimal to no conventional dramatic conflicts. The overall soothing atmosphere of the story serves as a testament to its adept execution. Within this cathartic experience, the manga focuses on profound philosophical themes, allowing the characters to develop routines and survival skills to extract the utmost from their surroundings.

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