A Look Into the Art and Animation of Girls' Last Tour

posted on by Kim Morrissy

Girls’ Last Tour has recently celebrated the end of both its anime and manga run with an art exhibit in Harajuku. This exhibit features key animation, storyboards, character designs, and art boards from the anime, as well as the manga artist Tsukumizu's original manga art and animation for the ED sequence.

Let's start with that ED animation, as it's one of the most remarkable things about the production of Girls’ Last Tour. Tsukumizu has always been keen on making animation on top of his manga work - he posts dozens of gif animations on his Tumblr and Twitter accounts. For Girls’ Last Tour, he animated the entire ED by himself using pencil drawings. This is not something that many manga artists can do.

Tsukumizu's storyboards for the ED were shown alongside the finished drawings at the exhibit:

Pages from the manga were also shown at the exhibit, which, as you can see, employed a different yet still recognizable art style. Tsukumizu's character designs may be deceptively simple, but he takes special care to apply shadows and tones to create a unique sense of atmosphere.

The anime art boards attempt to capture the same ambiance in color instead of black-and-white. I think they succeed pretty well at that.

Guns and military vehicles are ubiquitous in a world shredded apart by war. The character designs and setting materials even include intricate mechanical designs.

The character animation, meanwhile, is as cute and cosy as you could get.

The storyboards for the OP were also a part of the exhibit. The OP animation was storyboarded and directed by the series director, Takaharu Ozaki. His storyboards are actually quite detailed and include specific directions for what kind of camera techniques to replicate in the animation and how the overall composition of the scene should look. None of this should be a surprise considering that Ozaki began his anime career in digital coloring and compositing. The level of care he puts into the lighting and staging is also evident within the show proper.

The scripts for the first few episodes were also on display, but they were encased in a glass box and could not be touched. Tsukumizu also left a thank-you message for the fans.

To show their appreciation, fans could buy merchandise from the exhibit (every 2000 yen they spent in purchases would earn them a badge). They could also leave a message on a whiteboard near the entrance. Many fans took the time to share their gratitude!

The Girls’ Last Tour art and animation exhibit ran between the 9th and 22nd of February on the second floor of the ACG Labo building in Harajuku.

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