Girls' Last Tour
by Gabriella Ekens,
How would you rate episode 6 of
Girls' Last Tour ?
Following a week spent luxuriating in the subtle beauty of life's quieter moments, Girls' Last Tour delivers its most narratively driven episode yet. Our heroines encounter a woman named Ishii who, in exchange for fixing their motorcycle, solicits their aid in her own endeavor. Ishii wants to fly, and she's put an immense amount of effort into recreating the past civilization's old flying machines. Her aim may be perilous, but so are most things in this wasteland, after all.
It feels strange to call this more plot-based episode “slow,” but I'm now used to Girls' Last Tour operating at a certain tempo. This one feels like it was spread out a little bit, like maybe 2/3rds of an episode worth of content stretched out to full-length. There weren't that many great gags or standout moments of atmosphere. The look of Ishii's workshop interior, which dominates the episode, is also fairly bland by the show's standards. This marks the first time I've noticed my gaze slipping away from the screen while watching Girls' Last Tour. Maybe they were running low on visual creativity after last week's splendorous celebration of everyday beauty? I wouldn't blame 'em.
I know these are some serious nitpicks, but Girls' Last Tour has set a serious pattern of excellence for itself at this point. If anything, these sort of barely-criticisms emphasize just how solid the show is as a whole. Its worst episode is just a marginally less creative version of what it usually does.
The climax was still good though – Ishii tests out her plane as a pilot for the first time, earning herself a few good moments of glorious flight. Unfortunately, the thing breaks apart quickly and begins careening to the hard ground below. Yuuri and Chiito look on in horror, until they realize that their new friend has managed to escape by parachute. With Ishii set to land somewhere far away from her workshop, our heroines continue on their travels, content to know that their friend is alive and can pursue another goal now that she's freed from her ambitions of conquering the skies. With this, Girls' Last Tour's theme is echoed in how important it is to keep going, even when something important has been taken away from you. It's a useful message for the post-apocalypse, when the whole of society will have gone through that sort of experience, but it's also important for daily life in the modern world. You can never know what fate will have in store for you. Hopefully, all this talk of loss isn't building up to some affliction befalling our heroines in this future.
As if to compensate for its deficiencies in other respects, this episode did churn out a good bit of world-building. Apparently, the girls have been in the same city for the entirety of the show so far. If that's the case, it must be huge, since they've been travelling through some pretty dense clusters of buildings for who knows how long. It's difficult to even reach other cities, and Ishii's aeronautical ambitions are an attempt to do this. People also expend great effort to reach whatever's at the top of those stacked cities. (Is it a surviving civilization of some sort? Who knows.) I'm sure Yuu and Chi's future adventures will continue to tell us more about the world that they inhabit. But if they don't, that's fine too. All I really want is antics, atmosphere, and more poignant moments between these two comrades-at-arms.
Girls' Last Tour is currently streaming on Amazon's Anime Strike.
Gabriella Ekens studies film and literature at a US university. Follow her on twitter.
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