The Innocent Ignorance of Girls’ Last Tour

The Innocent Ignorance of Girls’ Last Tour

Culture Shock

Since I focused on the Girls’ Last Tour manga in my previous post on the depressing existentialism of the series, this week I’m going to focus (mainly) on the anime. And with that said, what do I mean by the “innocent ignorance” of Girls’ Last Tour?

Well, one of my favorite things about this series is how real the world and the characters within it feel. This is mainly due to how Yuu and Chi interact with the world around them. For example, they know some things beyond what’s required to survive, but they’re generally ignorant about the world before their time.

There are many examples of this throughout the series, and in this post, I’ll be going over a few of them.

Yuu and Chi making
Yuu and Chi making “music” with rain

It’s fair to say that Chi is more cultured than Yuu. However, neither girls really understand what culture was like before the end of the world. A great example of this is when they create music by laying their helmets and various cans around in the rain at the end of episode 5.

What they make isn’t something that most of us would refer to as music. But since they had never heard music before, the sound of rain dropping onto these cans was the closest they had gotten to real music up until this time.

A few chapters in the manga after the anime ends there’s another example of this in action. The girls explore an art museum and comment on the various works found within. Notably, they don’t understand why there would be a painting of someone using a camera — because to them, a camera replaces the need for painting.

Is it a Cat?

Moving on from music and art, another thing the girls don’t seem to really understand are animals. This is a great bit of world-building because it illustrates the fact that by the time they were born, most animals on the planet had already been extinct. Or, at least those within the city.

We’re never explicitly told that animals are extinct. And even if we never saw an animal in the series, we wouldn’t necessarily be able to assume that’s the case. However, the girls’ overall lack of knowledge regarding animals tells us everything we need to know.

The first encounter with an animal was the dead fish Yuu found in episode 2. At this point, Yuu didn’t know what a fish was, and while Chi did, she had only read about them in books. Neither of them had ever seen a real fish before.

Yuu and Chi find a "cat" from the anime series Girls' Last Tour
Yuu and Chi find a “cat”

Another great example of this is the Nuko. When Yuu first finds it in episode 10, she assumes that it’s a cat. This may at first make you think that she’s seen a cat before, but on closer inspection, that’s not the case. Yuu and Chi know of cats, but they clearly have never seen one in person.

They understand that a cat is a small animal that walks on four legs, but that seems to be where their knowledge of the creatures ends. It’s possible that they’ve seen a picture of a cat before when they were much younger, but I think even this is unlikely.

In reality, they probably either heard stories about cats from their “grandfather” or Chi had read about cats in a book and told Yuu. But what I really like about this is that it puts the mystery of their world in perspective. Them finding the Nuko and thinking that it’s a cat is like historical humans finding narwhal tusks and thinking they were unicorn horns.

What is Chocolate?

The final example of Yuu’s and Chi’s ignorance about the world is their reaction to different foods. The only type of food that they had confirmed knowledge of before they set out on their journey was bread. Later on in the series, it was stated that they used to bake it with their “grandfather.”

We can also assume that they ate rations before setting out on their journey as well, but I don’t believe that was confirmed. Either way, the girls are very familiar with rations by the time we join them on their journey in episode 1 as they make up the vast amount of Yuu’s and Chi’s calories.

Other foods they discover on their travels include the aforementioned fish, potatoes, and chocolate. All three of these are important because they tell us different things about the world in which the girls grew up and how they view it. The fish I already went over, but again, it illustrates the lack of animals.

Yuu and Chi eating chocolate from the anime series Girls' Last Tour
Yuu and Chi eating chocolate

The potatoes are similar to the fish in that while the girls seem to have heard of potatoes, they didn’t know exactly what they were. Additionally, their introduction to potatoes was in the form of powdered potatoes that are boiled within a bag, not the genuine article.

Also, in the manga chapter directly after where the anime ends, the girls enjoy some canned fish. This was a neat twist because, for the first time in the series, they came across the real food (the dead fish) before the processed version.

And lastly, my favorite instance of Yuu and Chi discovering a food, the chocolate found in the submarine in episode 12. I loved this scene because earlier in the series they had eaten chocolate-flavored rations. So, when they find real chocolate, they assume that it’s just another thing flavored like chocolate, not chocolate itself.

Conclusion

Yuu and Chi’s innocent ignorance about the world around them is one of the best world-building devices in Girls’ Last Tour. The attention to detail regarding what knowledge the girls have about the world before their time is impressive. It’s honestly one of the most immersive aspects of the series.

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