How would you spend your days after the end of the world? With civilization dead and gone, Tsukimizu’s Girl’s Last Tour is a unique post-apocalyptic slice of life which follows two young women as they explore what remains of the world after whatever calamity has befallen the human race this go around (probably war. . . again).
Girl’s Last Tour follows the journey of Chito and Yuuri as they literally tour the remains of civilization aboard their beloved Kettenkrad (a tractor/motorcycle/tank of sorts). This first volume contains eight chapters which don’t exactly flow one into the next, however they do show the world from the eyes of these two girls who both seem to hold a kind of innocents despite the melancholic nature of the series.
There actually isn’t much of a story to the novel. Things don’t move in any set direction and the girls don’t even seem to hold any particular goal in mind for their journey other than to survive. While the book does allude to larger plot points, such as in Chapter 2: War, where it is hinted that the current state of the world is likely due to yet another war waged for the usual selfish desires, these points are not expanded upon. In fact, the book seems to take a unique approach in which it alludes to these larger issues before leaving it up to the reader’s imagination to speculate on the meaning. While some readers may not find this too appealing, the style actually works quite well as it allows for the book to take on a somewhat lighter tone than most of this genre. Things remain focused on Chito and Yuuri exploring, looking for food, marveling at the beauty still to be found in this world and simply seeing what there is to find. Each chapter presents itself as a self contained day-in-the-life-of story, serving its own purpose expanding more on these two interesting characters than anything else.
Both Chito and Yuuri are intriguing both together and apart. While Chito seems to be more reserved and analytical, Yuuri appears impulsive and brash. Their contrasting personalities however, makes dynamic work as they complement each other well. There isn’t any unnecessary conflict, though they aren’t always on the same page, and as things progress with each mini story, new depths are revealed for these two. It becomes clear fairly early that even if they weren’t the last people on earth (which they aren’t by the way) they both wouldn’t have chosen anyone else to spend it with. . . and isn’t that just what we all wish for in a best friend?
Girl’s Last Tour is a very interesting title for all the ways it deviates from the norm of the post apocalyptic genre in a way that genuinely adheres to the model of beloved slice of life. Its this deviance which makes the manga interesting and its casual, lighthearted nature makes it ideal for any type of reader on any given day. With an art style that holistically captures the kind of of kilter nature of the series there doesn’t seem to be much working against this title, other than the price. While 8 chapters usually seems like a lot for a manga volume, this is the one instance where the casual nature works against the book as it honestly feels like less. As fulfilling and comforting as it is, $15 US just seems a little steep.
At the end of the day Girl’s Last Tour is a genuine novelty which deserves to be read. Its pacing is fascinating for this style of story telling and it is honestly refreshing to have a post apocalyptic story that isn’t all gloom, doom and death. The characters are cute and quirky making it easy to fall in love with them which leave to price as the only thing that may give you pause.
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