Greetings and salutations readers, welcome to the third episode/article of The Underrated Vault. This is CuriousCat-13 and today I will be going over an anime series, that was requested by fellow All Ages of Geek member Gemini Renegade, Girls’ Last Tour. If you have any underrated anime (or even non-anime) series that you want me to check out, feel free to put any recommendations in the comments section and I’ll make sure to check them out.
Plot and Characters
The story follows two young girls and their journeys on a post-apocalyptic earth to find supplies and food. The two young girls, Yuuri and Chito (ages are unknown), are the only recurring characters (given that it’s their story) in the entire anime. During the first few minutes of the first episode, you immediately can tell the type of duo they are. Yuuri is the character that’s very easy-going and constantly thinking about food (which is tough given the state of their world). She’s also the one that is the best at using firearms and is the most adventurous. Chito is the more serious member of the duo and is responsible for keeping track of their supplies and driving them throughout their journey via kettenkrad (think of a cross between a motorbike and a tiny tank or tractor). She is also portrayed as the more intelligent of the two, knowing how to read and write and is able to repair their kettenkrad. During their travels, Yuuri and Chito run into a few very minor characters that do make a lasting effect on the girls and their views of the world during their journey.
The first character that they meet is a man who goes by the name of Kanazawa, who has spent more than plenty of time creating maps of this broken, deserted city. Based on his character design, it’s safe to say that he is older than the two and has seen what the world was like before it became what it is now, which becomes more evident during the final episode. While he ends up dropping and losing his work, Kanazawa remains determined and continues to map the area, leaving the girls with his camera after they reach the upper level of the city.
As Yuuri and Chito continue to make their way through the upper levels, they come across an airbase and meet the scientist Ishii (who is undergoing an indirect test flight of an airplane). Running into her was a lucky moment for them, since their kettenkrad was in need of some serious repairs and needed specific parts. In exchange for her assistance with the repairs, Ishii had the two help her out with completing the construction of a bigger plane that would help her fly to another city, which stood just across a body of water. Along with repairs, Ishii gave them these interesting looking potatoes (which were perfectly safe to eat) and told them where they could find more. After completing the plane and running a test flight, Ishii parts ways with the girls and is never seen again.
In episode 9, Yuuri and Chito discover an abandoned aquarium and two still-functioning robots that are stationed to care for the place. Honestly, this episode is one of my favorites solely for the conversation topic about life and what is considered to be “alive.” While they’re robots, they’re given a role that is just as important as Kanazawa and Ishii and the smaller robot is one of my favorite characters. While they aren’t given a complex character design, they’re written in such a human way and I love every second of it.
The final minor(ish) character that makes an appearance has a very interesting character design and does play a pretty vital role in the main plot. Nuko is a long, white, cat-like creature that can only communicate through radio signals and has a massive appetite for bullets and gunpowder. While I would love to go into more detail about why this creature is in the story (other than being a cute mascot character), I believe that it would spoil a big chunk of the ending.
When I started watching Girls’ Last Tour and got to see the world, there were moments where I got flashbacks of when I read and watched The Road. Both worlds are in a constant state of one specific climate, with The Road in a constant cloudy and dark climate and Girls’ Last Tour having a constant cold winter climate (with very occasional rain). From the first episode, you can tell that the girls have been traveling through this broken, empty world for a while without any contact with other humans (until they cross paths with the minor characters I previously mentioned). After a few episodes, you get some powerful scenes that hint as to what led the world to the state it is in. While it’s a quiet, lonely world, there’s a strange beauty to it with relics of the past around each corner. I love how the girls find or experience something that became almost non-existent and, despite being born either after or just when things were going down, Chito has some form of knowledge involving it. Then again, she does read the number of books that they come across and keep during their searches for supplies. Despite its simplicity, the overall design of the world is one of my favorites in the post-apocalypse setting/genre.
I will have to say that out of all the anime in existence, Girls’ Last Tour has one of my favorite soundtracks, period. I may be a big fan of the heart pumping, head bopping music that you would hear in most anime (especially in the action adventure genre), but this soundtrack is a nice relaxing change of pace. Despite the lonely setting of the world, it’s soft and soothing, like the music is telling you that even though the world is coming to an end, it’s okay because everything comes to an end one way or another. There are also a handful of very upbeat songs that are the perfect tunes to dance to (especially with the ending of episode 5). It’s one of those soundtracks that you could relax to while reading, studying, or even writing (I’m actually listening to it while I’m writing this article).
While the anime does start off pretty slow for the first few episodes, it definitely picks up the pace and makes it well worth watching. The ending is very open-ended and somewhat satisfying, despite knowing Yuuri and Chito’s fate after the story ends. The characters are somewhat simple, but have some complexity and are capable of developing into something more. The soundtrack is the perfect background music to think with and the overall world design is simple (like the plot) yet enjoyable. Given how much people seemed to enjoy the anime, it’s one series that I agree deserves to be talked about more; despite being a fairly recent one, I’m surprised that I’ve never heard about it (even at conventions). Hopefully reading this article will put Girls’ Last Tour somewhere on your list of anime that you have yet to watch. Again, if you have any underrated series that you want me to check out, don’t hesitate to leave it in the comments below. Until the next article, this is CuriousCat-13, signing off.