Category: Miscellaneous

2020 Anime Retrospective

2020 Anime Retrospective

Not a Great Year for Anime

2020 wasn’t a great year for a lot of reasons. But the only one that really matters is the overall poor selection of anime. Sure, there were a few very good anime, but I wouldn’t say there were any that were outstanding. And part of the reason for this is that there were many delays throughout the year.

Including those that are going to continue airing in the winter 2021 season, I watched 60 anime that started in 2020. Of course, I also watched older anime throughout the year as well, but they don’t count for the purpose of this retrospective.

These 60 anime range in scores from 1-8/10. And, while it should go without saying, I know I didn’t watch everything that came out this year. I’m sorry if your favorite anime of the year isn’t included. So with that, let’s take a look at how 2020 was for anime on a season-by-season basis.

Winter 2020

Somali and the Forest Spirit anime series cover art
Somali and the Forest Spirit

During the winter season, I watched 17 anime ranging in score from 2-8/10. My mean score for the season was 5.5, which is below my total mean score (ever, not just of 2020) of 6.25. Not only that, but the winter season had my lowest mean score of any season this year.

Just looking at those numbers 2020 seems to have been off to a rocky start. However, things aren’t so bleak if we actually look at the anime in this season individually. There were a lot of anime that I actually enjoyed, despite not always being anime I could refer to as “good.”

Surprisingly, one anime from the winter season is actually my pick for best anime of the year. I know most people aren’t going to agree with this choice, but I really do think Somali and the Forest Spirit was anime of the year despite my rating of 8/10 for it. I think it was a better package overall than the other three 8/10s I had this year.

Some other highlights of the season were Interspecies Reviewers, Seton Academy: Join the Pack!, Darwin’s Game, and Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! Despite not being that great, I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun it was to watch Seton Academy and Darwin’s Game in particular.

However, on the other end of the spectrum, we had my lowest-rated anime of the season (not the year), which was Infinite Dendrogram. I know some people enjoyed this series, but it was a pretty solid 2/10 for me.

Spring 2020

BNA: Brand New Animal anime series cover art
BNA: Brand New Animal

While the winter season was the worst in terms of the mean score for me, the spring season was the best. My mean score for spring was 6.6, putting it comfortably above the prior season. However, I did only watch 13 anime during this season on account of series beginning to get delayed.

Looking at what came out in this season, it’s pretty clear to me why this one was the highest-rated. I had a whopping two anime rated at 8/10 and the lowest score I gave was only a 4/10.

Those top two anime of the season were Sing “Yesterday” for Me and BNA: Brand New Animal. Sing “Yesterday” for Me was the best drama of the year, in my opinion. However, the ending was extremely rushed and unsatisfying. BNA was an all-around good anime and is probably my number two pick for the year after Somali.

Princess Connect! Re:Dive, Gleipnir, and Diary of Our Days at the Breakwater were all a lot more enjoyable than I expected them to be. Princess Connect reminded me a lot of KonoSuba, Gleipnir was just a weird ride, and Diary of Our Days at the Breakwater was just the sort of CGDCT anime I needed.

Then, of course, we had some sequel seasons that were anticipated to be good, such as Fruits Basket 2nd Season and Kaguya-sama: Love is War Season 2. On the topic of Kaguya-sama, I know there are a lot of people who think this should be anime of the year, but I actually liked the first season more.

And as for the worst anime of the season, that was Listeners. It was a music-based mecha series that just didn’t work very well.

Summer 2020

Re:ZERO Season 2 anime series cover art
Re:ZERO Season 2

The summer season wasn’t quite as good as spring, but it was the second-highest season with an average rating of 6.0. The highest rating of the season was an 8/10 and the lowest was a 3/10. And just as with the spring season, many series were delayed, so I only watched 12.

Of course, the 8/10 is the first cour of Re:ZERO Season 2. If the entirety of season 2 aired during 2020, then it probably would have overtaken Somali for the number one spot for the year. However, since it was only the first cour, I can only rank it third overall.

Aside from Re:ZERO, there were some other enjoyable anime this season, including Deca-Dence, Fire Force Season 2, and Rent-a-Girlfriend. Deca-Dence was fun but extremely fast-paced. Fire Force is, well, Fire Force. And although Rent-a-Girlfriend had a lot of problems, such as the protagonist, it also had some of the best girls of the year.

There isn’t much else to say about the summer season other than that Japan Sinks: 2020 was the worst anime from it, coming in at 3/10. Overall, summer 2020 was a decent enough season, but it didn’t really stand out in any way aside from the long-awaited return of Re:ZERO.

Fall 2020

Jujutsu Kaisen anime series cover art
Jujutsu Kaisen

Despite not being the worst season of the year, fall was close to having that distinction. My average rating for the season was only 5.6, putting it 0.1 above the winter season. However, this was also the season in which I watched the most anime because many delayed series finally aired. In total, I watched 20 fall anime.

Fall was the only season of the year with no anime rated 8/10. And, it was also the only season of the year with an anime rated 1/10. With those facts in mind, it’s actually quite surprising that the winter season was still somehow rated lower on average.

Starting off with the worst anime of the season, and in fact the entire year, we have Rail Romanesque. The main problem with this series is that it’s entirely pointless. It’s a short based on a visual novel — and absolutely nothing happens in it. But what makes it worse is that multiple sites have the synopsis for the visual novel set as the synopsis for the series, which misleads potential viewers.

Of the 7/10s that I had in this season, the two that stand out the most are Jujutsu Kaisen and Talentless Nana. At the start of the season, I figured that both of these series would be pretty typical shounen battle anime. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that wasn’t the case.

Technically speaking, Jujutsu Kaisen actually is a fairly typical shounen battle anime, but it has a darker twist to it that I like. And although not everything has been explained yet, it’s done a good job at setting up the basics of the power system of the world.

Talentless Nana is very different, though. It portrays itself as a shounen battle series, but in actuality, it’s a reverse murder mystery series. If you’re a fan of things like Death Note, then you may enjoy Talentless Nana as well. It’s a fun ride.

Conclusion

2020 wasn’t a stand-out year for anime, especially when you consider all of the delays that plagued the spring and summer seasons. But it was still full of enjoyable shows, even if they weren’t top-tier. I’m already looking forward to the end of 2021 when I’ll be able to compare this year’s anime to those of 2020.

If you enjoyed this end-of-year retrospective, 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 for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier 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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Will There Ever be a Great Isekai Anime Again?

Will There Ever be a Great Isekai Anime Again?

Titans of Isekai

I didn’t know what to write about today, so here we are. It’s time to answer the question, will there ever be a great isekai anime again? Spoiler: Probably not. But to understand why that is, we first need to take a look at the pinnacle of isekai and how far it’s fallen since then.

If you’ve read any of my isekai anime reviews, you may be familiar with the fact that I hold KonoSuba and Re:ZERO above all other isekai. The reasons for this are pretty simple. They both have great characters, are generally well-written, and bring something fresh to the genre.

With KonoSuba, we got a great parody of the isekai genre that ended up being my highest-rated comedy anime. In fact, I’d say that there’s not another that really comes close to it.

Kazuma and Aqua from the anime series KonoSuba
Kazuma and Aqua (KonoSuba)

Re:ZERO is a very different take on isekai than KonoSuba is. With Re:ZERO, we get a darker deconstruction of the genre, much like what Madoka Magica is known for doing with the magical girl genre. Of course, none of these series I’m mentioning were the first to do any of this, but they are the best at what they did.

There have been many comedy isekai both before and after KonoSuba. But, the way KonoSuba used its characters to create the comedy rather than the isekai setting is what really sets it apart. It doesn’t rely on its setting to work.

And the same thing can be said about Re:ZERO. There have been dark isekai before and after it. But Re:ZERO did it differently. The dark aspect was no longer that if you die in the isekai, you die in real life. This time it was much more psychological and less predictable.

The Downward Spiral

The problem with isekai that have come out after KonoSuba and Re:ZERO, which both premiered in 2016, is that they all try too hard to differentiate themselves. Nowadays, every isekai series needs a gimmick or it won’t even be considered by viewers (or anime licensors).

To see this in action, just look at the isekai anime that have come out in the past few years. The gimmick in In Another World With My Smartphone is that the protagonist has a magical smartphone. In Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear, the gimmick is that the protagonist wears a bear kigurumi and has bear-shaped abilities.

I could go through basically every isekai anime to come out over the past four years and you’d see a pattern. They all feature surface-level gimmicks that don’t really change the fact that they’re generic isekai series.

Linse, Else, and Yae from the anime series In Another World With My Smartphone
Linse, Else, and Yae (In Another World With My Smartphone)

Of course, that doesn’t mean that all isekai anime from the past four years are bad. Sure, some of them are extremely terrible, but there are also some I would consider fine or even good. However, there aren’t any that I would consider “great.” In fact, it looks like the only isekai I rated above a 6/10 since 2016 is How Not to Summon a Demon Lord.

Now, I understand that most people didn’t think How Not to Summon a Demon Lord was as good as I thought it was. But that kind of plays into my point here anyway. You’re probably not going to find many people, including myself, who say it was great. And yet, that’s my next highest-rated isekai.

I guess I should also point out that I don’t hate older anime or even older isekai specifically. There are many older isekai that I like, such as Now and Then, Here and There from 1999. But even with those older isekai that I like, I wouldn’t put any of them in the “great” category.

In too Deep

Just because there hasn’t been a great isekai anime in recent years doesn’t mean that there will never be one again though, right? Well, technically that’s true. However, if we look at the direction that the isekai anime “industry” has been going in, it seems unlikely.

The gimmicks these series need in order to receive anime adaptations are getting more and more niche. What that means is that they each appeal to fewer people and remain relevant for a shorter amount of time than their predecessors.

Basically, what we’re seeing with isekai anime right now is the same thing that happened to mecha anime. At one point, mecha was the dominant genre of the medium. However, it got to a point at which the mecha genre became over-saturated and they began to specialize in order to differentiate themselves from the competition.

And, what was the result of all that? Mecha as a whole is now viewed as a niche genre that appeals to the die-hard fans and only rarely shows up under the mainstream spotlight.

Hajime and Yue from the anime series Arifureta: From Commonplace to World's Strongest
Hajime and Yue (Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest)

Do I think that isekai anime are going to disappear? Obviously not. Isekai is just a sub-genre of fantasy, which is still one of the most popular genres in anime. However, I think we’ll see a shift back towards more traditional fantasy series and fewer isekai series as they become more niche.

In fact, this shift has already begun. Of the 20 seasonal anime I’m watching right now, only one is an isekai while four would be considered more traditional fantasy. Just two years ago, the opposite would have been the case.

Just over a year ago, in the summer of 2019, five of the 26 anime I watched that season, including Arifureta which is pictured above, were isekai. So as you can see, there’s already been a reduction of isekai

Conclusion

While I don’t think the isekai genre is going anywhere, I think it’s become too specialized for a truly great anime to arise from it again. The age of isekai dominance in anime is coming to an end as viewers lose interest in the niche series that have come to fill the genre.

But what do you think? Has there been a great isekai since KonoSuba and Re:ZERO? If so, what is it? And do you think there will be another great isekai in the future? Let me know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this discussion, 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 for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier 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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Girls’ Last Tour’s Deathless End of Days

Girls’ Last Tour’s Deathless End of Days

Introduction to the Concept of Death

Last week, I discussed how Chi and Yuu were innocently ignorant about the world that came before them. This week, I’ll be continuing on my journey of discussing Girls’ Last Tour by breaking down the surprising lack of death featured in the series.

Something you may or may not have noticed while watching the anime or reading the manga is that Girl’s Last Tour tends not to show death. What I mean by this is that throughout the travels of Chi and Yuu, we never actually see the bodies of the deceased.

Why is this odd? Because these girls are exploring a massive city at the end of the world shortly after humanity’s final war has taken place. We even see that this final war was still waging during their lifetime. So, why are there no bodies strewn about the city? Surely there should be some from both the war and the starvation that ensued afterward.

A dead fish from the anime series Girls' Last Tour
A dead fish

I think the best explanation of why there aren’t any bodies depicted in this series is because we’re seeing the world through the eyes of Chi and Yuu. It’s as if the girls are blocking out all of the death that surrounds them on a daily basis as a way to cope with their grim situation.

But, as early as the second episode, the girls do come face to face with death in the form of a fish. I think they mentioned death in the first episode, but it’s not until episode two that the reality of death is shown.

And from here on, there are many hints about the mass death in the world. It’s these hints that I want to focus on today.

The Graveyard

After the dead fish in the second episode, it’s actually not until episode eight that the girls have their next encounter with death. We can assume that both Kanazawa and Ishii died, but they didn’t die where Chi and Yuu could see them. They died sometime after parting ways from the girls.

But in the eighth episode, the girls find themselves in a graveyard. At first, they don’t understand what the graveyard is, but as they spend more time in it, Chi eventually figures it out.

It’s at this point that the girls are first confronted with the idea of leaving something behind to commemorate their lives. Throughout their journey, Chi has been keeping a journal. However, she seemed to be keeping the journal more so because she thinks that keeping records of things for the future is important, and less so because it proves that she existed.

Interestingly, even in the graveyard, we were shown no signs of physical death. This graveyard is actually a nokotsudo, or columbarium. The lockers depicted would normally house an urn or other container with the deceased’s ashes inside along with other items belonging to the deceased.

However, the girls make no mention of finding remains within the lockers. Instead, Yuu notes that most of them are empty except for the few items they found inside some of them. Was this another case of the girls ignoring the death around them, or were the lockers truly empty?

Do Machines Die?

In episode 9, the girls are confronted with death of another kind: That of the machines. Unbeknownst to the girls, they had actually come across other “deceased” machines in the past. Notably, the structure they sought shelter under in episode 5 was actually the remains of a giant machine.

However, it’s not until episode 9 that they meet a living machine and discover that although they’re not “alive,” they too still have a life. The room in which the girls first encounter the machine is littered with the remains of other machines that have broken down. And the machine they meet says that it too will end up that way one day.

It’s in this episode that the girls also take their first “life.” Although it can be argued that the machines aren’t really alive, Chi and Yuu seem to want to believe that they are. Their world is barren, so believing that there’s more life than just them may be a comforting thought.

The giant machine the girls destroyed from the anime series Girls' Last Tour
The giant machine the girls destroyed

In order to save the lives of the fish and the small machine, Chi and Yuu destroy the giant machine that’s dismantling the facility. I found this to be a very interesting scene from the perspective of how it may have affected the girls.

Yuu is the one who plants the explosives on the giant machine, and when she does so, she apologizes to it for what’s about to happen. Then, after Chi detonates the explosives, she comments on how perhaps “life” extends even to machines and the city as a whole.

Based on what they both say here, you might expect the killing of the giant machine to affect them emotionally. However, that’s not the case. It would seem that at this point, the girls have become skilled at compartmentalizing the death within their world.

Evidence of Death

Throughout all of the anime, we never see a single dead human. But what about in the manga after the anime concludes? Well, there is actually direct evidence of death in the manga. Specifically, it comes after the final chapter, in the extra chapter from the volume 6 tankouban.

Technically speaking, we do see Chi and Yuu die, but at the same time, you could argue that they aren’t yet dead when we last see them. I’m not saying that they don’t die. They definitely do and this is confirmed by a panel of them in the afterlife. I’m just saying maybe they’re not dead yet in the last panel we see them in before that.

They probably are dead by that point though, and are no longer simply asleep.

The first dead human of the series from the manga Girls' Last Tour
The first dead human of the series

In the panel shown above, after the deaths of Chi and Yuu, we get our first evidence for human death in the entire series. We see what appears to be some kind of animal skull, some other bones that are probably animal in origin, and a human skull.

It’s this panel in particular that makes me think we were seeing the rest of the series through Chi’s and Yuu’s “rose-colored” eyes. Why? Because it’s not until after they die that we see human remains scattered around the city. Once we’re no longer seeing the world through their eyes, we can see it for what it really is.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this discussion has made you think more about how the lack of death present throughout Girls’ Last Tour was used as a way to illustrate the perspective from which we as the viewers/readers were seeing the world. While it’s not the first series I’ve seen that does something like this, I do think it did a very nice job of revealing it at the end.

If you enjoyed this article, 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 (and manga) with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier 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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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.

If you enjoyed this discussion, 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 for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier 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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Why Girls’ Last Tour is the Most Existentially Depressing Manga

Why Girls’ Last Tour is the Most Existentially Depressing Manga

An Uncertain and Unknown Future

Before anything else, I need to warn you that this article is going to be full of spoilers for both the Girls’ Last Tour anime and manga. If you haven’t watched the series and read the final volumes of the manga after the anime, I highly recommend you do so before proceeding with this article.

With that warning out of the way, I was originally going to focus on both the anime and manga in this discussion of existential depression in Girls’ Last Tour. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the manga chapters after where the anime ends are where the true existential depression comes into play.

Chi wondering about the allure of exploration from the manga series Girls' Last Tour
Chi wondering about the allure of exploration

Throughout the entire series, Chito (Chi) and Yuuri (Yuu) don’t really know what to expect from their adventure. They continue to travel through and up the city, but what’s their goal? They know they want to reach the top layer, but they don’t know what they’ll find there and don’t even remember why that’s the goal they’re attempting to reach.

Eventually, it’s revealed that their “grandfather” is the one who initially told them to travel upward, not downward. But even with this bit of information, their purpose remains unclear. Why were they told this? Will they find civilization at the top?

While that’s their hope, it becomes clear that the girls don’t really expect to find civilization clinging on at the top of the city. They’re aware that the farther up they go, the more scarce the resources they need to survive become. And yet, this is the uncertain journey that Chi and Yuu have committed their lives to.

A Forgotten Existence

You could say that the uncertain and unknown future of the girls is exactly what drives them. Perhaps it’s the thrill of exploration. But, that’s clearly not the case. They explore their immediate surroundings out of curiosity, but it’s survival that drives them to keep moving forward.

However, throughout their exploratory detours, especially towards the end of the series, the girls do go out of their way to leave their mark on the world around them. And this is what I think is the most depressing part of the entire series.

Just three chapters after the conclusion of the anime is my favorite chapter. Chapter 32, titled “Art,” features the girls exploring a museum and ends with Yuu posting a drawing of her own next to cave paintings that are 36,000 years old today. The first and last of mankind’s art, side by side.

Yuu's drawing next to cave paintings from Altamira from the manga series Girls' Last Tour
Yuu’s drawing next to cave paintings from Altamira

Why is this such a depressing chapter? Because while we see the girls leaving their mark on their world, nobody is left to see it. This is the first time in the series I really thought about that fact.

Previously, we had seen Chi keeping a diary of their travels, and the girls even used the camera to take a picture of themselves. These are obviously ways to document their existence. But Yuu’s art and the poem that the girls inscribe at their final resting place were obviously meant to be “discovered” in the future.

The only problem is that there is no future.

Nobody will ever see Yuu’s art alongside those cave paintings. The impact of the first and last of humanity’s art side by side is lost to the world. And the same goes for their final act of inscribing a poem. Nobody will ever read it and know that two, young girls struggled to survive and made it to the top of the world.

Their entire existence was forgotten as soon as it ended.

Meaningless Lives

Chi and Yuu traveled through an unknown world in order to reach an uncertain goal. Their achievement will never be known by anyone. And in the end, there was nothing waiting for them at their goal other than death. With all that in mind, how could anyone argue that their lives had meaning?

I know that it’s often said that the journey is more important than the end goal. Most people would probably argue that the same goes for life itself. But is that still the case if your life is the final life on the planet?

This is where existentialism really comes into play. Yes, the girls enjoyed being alive. But at the same time, is the enjoyment of life itself really enough? I don’t think so. I think everyone needs a purpose in order to continue striving to survive.

Chi and Yuu questioning their lives from the manga series Girls' Last Tour
Chi and Yuu questioning their lives

After reaching the final layer of the city, Chi has some interesting things to say. She wonders if they made the right choice by continuing to travel to the top layer. She questions whether they might have been better off going in another direction.

For Chi and Yuu, their purpose was to reach the top of the city. Once they achieved this and were ultimately let down by it, that’s when their lives come to an end. Did they still enjoy life? Yes. But as I mentioned, that alone isn’t enough of a reason to keep on living.

Would they have survived if they attempted to descend the city? No. They were out of rations, they were tired, and they no longer had the mobility of their vehicle. They were doomed. But they didn’t even try, and that’s what tells me that once they realized their goal had been meaningless, there was no longer a reason to survive.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this discussion of existentialism in Girls’ Last Tour wasn’t too depressing, because I plan to write more about this series every Tuesday for the next few weeks. Next week’s topic is going to be on the innocent ignorance of Chi and Yuu, something a bit brighter than this week’s.

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