Girls’ Last Tour

Girls’ Last Tour

Girls' Last Tour manga series cover art
Girls’ Last Tour

The Adventure Anime I Wanted

On Tuesday I binged the Girls’ Last Tour anime from start to finish and then picked up the manga where the anime left off and finished that as well. That might not sound like an amazing feat, but I’m not sure when the last time was that I was so immersed in a series that I binged it all in one sitting.

Usually, I’ll watch an episode or two each day. And going to read the manga after finishing the anime? The only other time I’ve done that was with Attack on Titan. My point is, this series is something special for it to have been able to get me so invested.

I’m not sure how long this review is going to end up being, but based on my outline for it, it’s looking like it will be around twice as long as my usual reviews. On top of that, I already have five other articles planned around this series for the future. So as you can see, I have a lot to say about it.

But, let’s start with the basic fact that Girls’ Last Tour is the adventure anime I’ve wanted for a long time. Great adventure anime are hard to come by. There are good ones, sure, but it’s rare for them to really scratch that adventuring itch I have.

The most recent anime to almost achieve that was Somali and the Forest Spirit, but even that fell short of what I was looking for in an adventure.

Emptiness and Loneliness

The series focuses on two, young girls named Chito and Yuuri who are traveling together through the ruins of a mega-city far larger than anything on Earth today. The unnamed city’s immense scale compared to the girls is what really makes the series feel like an adventure.

Yes, the whole series takes place in a single city. But the city is so massive, so empty, and so full of varying terrain and scenery that their journey feels like an epic quest. But at the same time, Chito and Yuuri’s journey is far different from most other adventure series.

Typically in an adventure anime, our protagonist(s) would come across a wide variety of other characters along the way. Even if the journey is a solo one, there are usually so many people coming in and out of the protagonist’s life that it always feels lively.

Girls’ Last Tour is the opposite.

Chito spotting for Yuuri's target practice from the anime series Girls' Last Tour
Chito spotting for Yuuri’s target practice

Throughout their entire, months-long journey, the girls only come across two other individuals. And in both cases, they part ways only a few days after meeting one another. The vast majority of this last tour is solely made up of Chito, Yuuri, and the empty expanse of the city.

An adventure with almost no characters might not sound all that exciting, but in this case, it was extremely effective. With no side characters to distract us, the focus is entirely on the dynamic between Chito, Yuuri, and the world in which they live.

We learn so much more about the girls through their interactions with each other and their environment than we do from their fleeting interactions with other people. They’re products of the empty and lonely world in which they live. And that’s no more apparent than when they come across objects left over from the world before which they lack the context to understand.

Questions About the World

One of my favorite aspects of this series is that as viewers, we have so many questions about the world the girls live in, but they don’t. It’s not that Chito and Yuri already know everything about the world in which they live. Rather, it’s that this is the only world they’ve ever known, so they don’t see the questions that are there to be asked.

We see this towering city made up of multiple layers stacked on top of one another and ask why it was made in the first place. To Chito and Yuuri, the “why” doesn’t matter. All that matters to them is that the city exists and that they exist within it. As long as they’re able to continue surviving and moving forward, why the world is the way it is means nothing.

At one point late in the series, I believe it was in the manga after the end of the anime, one of the girls poses a question to the other. She asks why they’ve continued on their journey to the top of the city this entire time.

This question isn’t really about the world, but rather, it illustrates their lack of understanding about the world. They’ve been traveling up the layers of the city for what seems like years — months since the start of the series — and yet, they don’t know why.

They know that at the outset of their journey, they were told specifically to travel up the city and not down it. But why they were told this is unknown to both the girls and us as the viewers. It’s one of the great questions of the series. For what purpose was their journey? Why did they continue without knowing what they would find?

Life at the End of the World

I mentioned that the girls only come across two other people throughout the course of their journey. This is because, by the time we join along, the vast majority of life on Earth has been eradicated. But, this does open up some interesting questions, such as “what happened to cause this outcome?”


I’m going to begin getting into some spoiler territory in this section. And the following two sections are going to heavily focus on spoiler content. I suggest skipping to the conclusion if you want to avoid all of that.


I’m going to venture a guess and say that Chito and Yuuri are no older than 17. They’re pretty clearly still children, but based on Yuuri’s body type when we see her swim in the fish tank, I think it’s safe to assume that they’re supposed to be around 15 – 17 years old.

However, they appeared to be much younger, maybe between 10 – 12 years old at most when we see them first set off on their journey. And, before setting off, they lived with their “grandfather” in a town populated by what seemed like a lot of people. So, what happened to everyone else?

Yuuri making a snowman on Chito's head from the anime series Girls' Last Tour
Yuuri making a snowman on Chito’s head

The obvious answer is that war happened. However, it’s clear throughout the series that there have been many wars since the construction of the city. From what I can tell, there were at least two, but probably three major wars that resulted in the eradication of life on the planet.

The first of these wars was the nuclear war that plunged the world into a nuclear winter. The second war was the one that utilized the giant robots capable of destroying vast amounts of the city. And the final war was the war over the last remaining resources.

This is the war that Chito and Yuuri fled, and it explains why there’s hardly any life left on the planet. Everyone else either died in the struggle over food or ran out of food and starved within the next five or so years. Chito and Yuuri only survived thanks to their travels.

Girls’ Last Tour Anime Ending

If I had to point to my least favorite part of the series, it would undoubtedly have to be the ending of the anime. This is for two primary reasons. First, there’s the entire thing with the Nuko. And second, there’s the fact that the anime ended where it did.

To start, I should point out that the name Nuko comes from the word neko which is Japanese for cat. Neither of the girls has ever seen a cat before, so when Yuuri finds the adolescent Nuko, she assumes that it’s a cat — a creature she had only heard stories of.

The Nuko then attempts to repeat the word neko, but says nuko instead, which is where it gets its name from.

We don’t really know what the Nuko are, and that’s my main issue with them. They’re some sort of creature that eats and breaks down volatile materials. For example, when the first Nuko is introduced into the series, Yuuri feeds it bullets. And later on, we see larger Nuko eating nuclear missiles.

Along with eating volatile materials, Nuko are also able to communicate via radio waves. And, their bodies are quite unique. They can either take the form of elongated, cat-like creatures or humanoid mushroom-like figures that can apparently fly. I’m also going to assume that their white coloring is due to the nuclear winter, as we see the fish are also a pale white.

Are Nuko aliens? Were they man-made creatures designed to clean up the waste littering the world? We don’t know. And because of that, their inclusion in a series that’s otherwise fairly grounded in reality is just awkward.

As for where the anime ended, it concludes at chapter 29 out of 43 of the manga. This is a problem because it leaves the ending very open despite that not truly being the case. For anyone who watches the anime and doesn’t read the conclusion of the manga afterward, it’s a very different series.

Girls’ Last Tour Manga Ending

The ending of the Girls’ Last Tour manga is probably the most special thing about the whole series. And that’s exactly why it’s a shame that the anime ended where it did. I don’t think it needs a second season, but a movie would probably be the perfect length to conclude the story.

I plan to write another article focusing on this, but let’s quickly go over one of my favorite chapters of the series. Chapter 32 is titled “Art” and follows the girls as they explore an art museum full of famous works such as “The Birth of Venus” by Botticelli.

At the end of the chapter, Yuuri draws a picture of her own and affixes it to the wall directly next to a large stone with cave paintings on it. I love this scene because it shows humanity’s first and last pieces of art side by side. It’s a perfect representation of many of the story’s themes.

Yuuri and Chito reflecting on their lives from the manga series Girls' Last Tour
Yuuri and Chito reflecting on their lives

Moving on to the true end of the series, I mentioned that it wasn’t as open-ended as the anime made it out to be. That’s because while Chito and Yuri’s adventure does continue on for a bit longer, it has a definitive end — their deaths.

Upon reaching the top layer of the city, the girls are confronted by nothing. There’s nothing above them but a starry sky and nothing on the layer other than a single, square structure with no entrance. The ground is covered in snow, and it’s clear that there has never been permanent life on this layer.

It’s at this point that the girls contemplate their lives and journey while eating their final pack of rations. After determining that they’ve enjoyed their lives, they fall asleep together against the structure and succumb to the freezing temperatures in their sleep. With that, humanity and life as we know it ends.

And before anyone says that they didn’t die because they mentioned thinking about what to do after waking up, that’s not the case. They said that as a way to reassure themselves so that they wouldn’t fear death. There’s an extra chapter after the final chapter in which it’s made clear that they’ve died because we see them in the afterlife.

Conclusion

I know I’ve been praising Girls’ Last Tour for the majority of this extra-long review. But in the end, I think both the anime and the manga are 8/10s. They’re very good, but they do still have some problems, such as the awkward inclusion of the Nuko or the magical digital camera.

But, if you’re looking for a great adventure series that focuses on themes as varied as friendship, mortality, and existential hopelessness, I can’t really think of anything better. And, once you’ve finished the anime, I highly recommend that you pick up the manga starting at chapter 30. Finishing the manga should only take you maybe an hour.

Since I usually comment on the OPs and EDs of series at this point, I’ll just say that I like them both, but that I like the ED more. However, the true best song of the series is the insert song/ED for episode 5 known as the “Rain Song.” I plan to write a full article dedicated to that song in the future, so look forward to that.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button ❤️ down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN and Key Mochi~ for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika and Senpai tiers respectively this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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2 Replies to “Girls’ Last Tour”

  1. I happened to stumbled across your website (was looking up what schutzengel meant) and just binge-read a ton of your reviews (my watch list got significantly larger too ^^;) Thanks for writing and posting new stuff weekly (and the archives go back to 2017? that’s some dedication).

    1. Thanks for letting me know. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read here. I post new reviews every day except Wednesdays, so there’s always new content coming out. You should also consider checking out our Discord server. I’m sure you can get some other recommendations from people in there.

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