Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Girls' Last Tour

Okay, I want to get this out of the way immediately:
Seriously. It should have a legally required warning. If it doesn't make you sad, then you are a monster and I do not want to know you.

It is also one of the best things I have seen in a long, long time. Not just anime. Anything.

It is available on Amazon Prime Video (link in title). This is the synopsis:
"In a future where most of humanity has perished, two young girls explore the ruins of civilization looking for food and fuel."
That's the entire plot. By all rights, I should think this was boring as hell, but it never was. Even watching it the second time, when I knew exactly what was coming.

The two protagonists, Chito and Yuuri, are immediately engaging, just driving through the dark, barely talking. That, combined with the weird abandoned-industrial setting, had me invested in the story from the get-go.

Chito (Chi) is thoughtful and bookish (also easily irritated by Yuuri). The (very) occasional flashbacks and dream sequences are from her PoV. She keeps a journal, even though she knows no one will ever read it.
Yuuri (Yuu) is living on Zen time (there is only today and there never will be anything except today). Sometimes she briefly wonders about the past, but never more than as idle curiosity. Same with the future, but even more so. She can barely read or write, but isn't dumb.
Both of them are well aware of their situation. Neither seems deeply bothered by it.

There are some nice, touching moments. There are some really funny moments. There are some brief existential discussions. But it's still just these two (mostly - they do meet some other people) driving around aimlessly (they went into the factory in the first episode on Yuu's whim). Their only destination is "higher" (it's a Layered City) , and even the search for food/fuel doesn't seem that urgent to them, although they are always aware of their limited supplies (and of what happens if they run out).

There is a lot more to say about it (and really, no one is going to read this - spoilers aren't an issue), but I don't want to go deep into specifics right now.

If you don't mind a sad story, this is a good one that I cannot recommend strongly enough.


UPDATE: One sort-of negative thing: I'm not sure my issue with heights counts as even mild acrophobia, but oh-someone's-god did the third and eighth episodes set it off.