Cute girls tour an un-cute world.
Title: Girls’ Last Tour (Shojujo Shuumatsu Ryokou)
Genre: Slice of Life
Publisher: Shinchosha Publishing Co (JP), Yen Press (US)
Translator: Amanda Haley
Original Release Date: May 23rd, 2017
A review copy was provided by Yen Press.
The “cute girls doing cute things” genre may have gone too far with Girls’ Last Tour. Cute girls form a band! Totally fine and overdone. Cute girls go mountain climbing! Unusual but still works. Cute girl explore a post-apocalyptic wasteland without a clear goal in mind?! Now you’ve lost me.
Chito and Yuuri are on a journey but it appears to be one without a goal or destination in mind. We don’t know where they’re from, where they’re going, or even why they’re traveling, which may work well for some readers but didn’t work well for me in this case. I prefer journey stories where there’s a purpose in mind; if not then the characters or the world-building (especially in the art) have to really capture my imagination. Chito and Yuuri are not very interesting characters; they can be summed up as “the diligent one and the airhead” with ease. Yuuri’s child-like personality (the kind of child you hope you aren’t stuck in the backseat with on a long car trip) is downright grating, and Chito and Yuuri’s sheer lack of knowledge about anything makes every conversation, from the mundane to attempted philosophical musings, fall flat. For anyone hoping that there might be some romance between the two leads, considering the current yuri boom in the English manga market I’m sure it crossed some people’s minds, there isn’t any sign of that yet. I don’t believe the story will go that direction (since that would mean the story/the characters would have to take themselves a bit more seriously), but this is listed as a yuri title on some websites.
Tsukumizu’s art is very sketchy and unrefined, and it reminds me of art that you start drawing in pen, ink without a pencil draft, and then have no ability to correct mistakes later on. It’s simplistic, with only a few scratchings to indicate detail, and frankly rather dull. Combining a mechanical, almost alien, landscape with simple art isn’t a bad concept, but outside of a few large illustrations Tsukumizu’s art feels more inexperienced than deliberate.
Both the girls and Tsukumizu feel lost in this work. The story’s goal obviously isn’t to have a larger plot, but if it intends to be to be a story about two intriguing characters in an interesting world then it’s failed. Some folks will undoubtedly enjoy this slow paced story more than, finding charm in the characters or art, I did but for me there’s no appeal and no reason to continue touring with these girls.