Saturday, August 26, 2017
Girl's Last Tour Volume 2 Review
Chito and Yuuri continue the journey in their Kettenkrad across the desiccated landscape of the post civilizational world. Finding old temples dedicated to unknown and long forgotten gods As well as learning how to use a camera dreaming about what it would be like to have an actual residence. How to deal with the elements and even an entire chapter dedicated to a dream sequence Chito has involving a giant Yuuri who transforms into a giant fish. All the while continuing their nomadic lifestyle scavenging for food and supplies and sleeping in the rough. While also having little human contact outside of each other with the exception of the inventor Ishii in this volume who conscripts the two into helping her build an airplane in exchange for repairs on their Kettenkrad. Girl's Last Tour continues to be strangely alienating and emotionally cold while ostensibly a slice of life series and Chito and Yuuri being girls whether they are cute or not will be up to how much you enjoy Tsukumizu's sketchy minimalist character design. It conjures up none of the warm and fuzzy feelings one would associate with something that tries to induce the feeling of Moe in the audience. Instead, it's a bleak sometimes oddly philosophical look at life after the end. From questions of the existence of and the uses of "god" and religion in the temple chapter. To a throwaway reference by Chito that she has no idea what cheese is it's a volume that feels suffocating and claustrophobic for the most part. With the small respite of the dream sequence adding an enjoyable amount of surreal imagery and humor. In fact finding enjoyment in everyday life seems less a kind of way to sacralize the every day with a sense of wonder and more like an arduous process of relearning lost knowledge or cultural memory. Be it music, aeronautics, or technology. A series that captures a sense of angst in a seemingly simple and light hearted package while also the relationship between Chito and Yuuri continues to develop while at times seeming like an attempt at Manzi style comedy with Yuuri playing the dull witted funny man to Chito's high strung and bookish straight man. They both feel to have hopes, dreams, and desires but also have to live in the now as well if for no other reason than to survive each new days struggles. Making for a duo that has to work through strengths, weaknesses, and differing personalities. this continues to be a strangely cozy from of bleakness comparable to how Aimee Mann's 2001 album Lost in Space was described by some critics as the coziest depiction of depression and alienation they had heard in recent memory. Much like I said in my review of Generation Witch Girl's Last Tour will never have a huge fanbase of Cosplayers or Fan Fiction or a wide readership. It's a quirky odd little slice of alienating comfort that makes the dilapidated cityscapes feel like home. Tsukumizu's art captures the scale of the torn down twisted metal left over remnants of human culture and even the simple joy of a bath, a hot meal, a roof over your head and a chance to dream about what might be. Also, the layout of the city is planned out in a three tiered structure. While the how and why of the world's end is still unexplained the crumbling concrete and twisted metal point to a seemingly advanced civilization. Even if nothing is revealed beyond this piecemeal world building it's not hard to be sucked in by the desiccated grandeur of it all.