I hope that everyone is having a good week, and managing to put up with the daily grind.
Things have been going fairly well here, as I can still do what I like to do.
Recently, I had gotten a few books from Amazon, and even though not all of them are here yet, I still have three books that already came to tide me over.
So far, I have covered each title one at a time until only one remained.
Today, I will be reviewing that title, which is called Girls' Last Tour Volume 2 by Tsukumizu.
As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.
Life continues on for Chito and Yuuri, as they explore a new area and have ordinary conversation.
However, when their method of transportation breaks down, they are made to help yet another new face in exchange for having their vehicle repaired.
While the previous volume was bad enough that I do not even know why I decided to bother with the series, that does not mean that the series cannot be redeemed, so it would be best to at least give it the full 3-volume run that I was initially going to give it.
And after reading this, I found it to be okay, though still not as good as I would have liked.
Fortunately, there were a few things to like, so there is a little bit of improvement.
Just like the last volume, there were a few things that made me chuckle at little.
While it still was not enough to change my overall impression of the series, and even felt like it was more along the lines of generic humor, things seemed to be handled a little better to where I found myself chuckling more than once.
Back in the previous volume, there was only one scene that truly made me feel like chuckling, let alone laugh, but now, I can say that there is now more than one moment.
Yes, it could be that I have grown used to how this series works, since it is more of a slice of life than Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, which has a stronger focus on comedy, but this was the very minimum that I was expecting from the series and Tsukumizu had failed to deliver in this until this volume.
Manga and anime fans like to have humor in the series that they decide to pick up, and it there is nothing to even chuckle about, things just would not have that same vibe that they are having fun following the characters, and, in the case of a true slice of life, like this series, things would be boring.
If Tsukumizu had included less things to chuckle over, I would have cancelled my preorder for the third volume, as there would have been nothing that could redeem the series after the travesty that was the first volume, and, like Attack on Titan, I would not really see how this series could have a good enough following to make somebody think that this would deserve an anime adaptation.
Fortunately, that did not happen, which makes me feel like giving Tsukumizu a small amount of applause for at least improving a little bit in the comedy department.
Hopefully, things will improve enough to where I can actually feel like laughing as much as Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid did, as that would give me reason to read more than just three volumes.
Then again, considering that the previous volume was so horrible, I am not too sure that Tsukumizu can even pull it off, even if somebody like Isuna Hasekura was able to change my opinion of them by putting out something good, after I found their more recent work to be terrible.
I also liked how the presence of any character felt a little more natural and believable than the last one to be introduced.
Other than the fact that I was led to believe that Chito and Yuuri were the last people left on the planet, both by how things went for much of the volume and the official summary found on the product page on Amazon, the thing that I really hated about the introduction of Kanazawa was that it was too soon to have another character and that he was a nice person, in spite of being encountered after an explosion.
Now, I know that people are not necessarily good or evil, though we try to be good and do what we think is right, but something about a person being nice just after an explosion just strikes me as odd, even more so that Chito and Yuuri never really seemed to have any real troubles in a world without the society that shields us from the realities of the world itself.
People should be scrambling to get what they need to survive for a little longer, so in the kind of world that Tsukumizu created, there should be a lot of suspicion on both sides when strange things like explosions occur.
Here, however, in this volume, a peaceful meeting with a new character felt more believable, as nothing happened to suggest that something bad was going on and the new character really did not give off any bad vibes, unlike Kanazawa who should have remained mysterious.
If there were more hints of other people being around and Kanazawa did not have such a mysterious vibe, I would not have been as disgusted with his introduction as I was, and it would have felt as realistic and believable as the encounter with this character.
Unfortunately, Tsukumizu did not do that and it took more than seven chapters to finally have the present of others make more sense.
Still, the fact that Tsukumizu did make this encounter seem more natural makes me glad that things have seeming improved a bit, though it probably had more to do with the fact that the presence of Kanazawa did show that there were others around, and that does deserve a bit of praise.
If Tsukumizu can have things be more like this in the future volumes, I might actually be able to see the light and actually be able to praise this series for being more than just okay, which would probably have the fans of the series squealing for joy, but because Tsukumizu is only human, just like the rest of us, he or she might end falling off the deep end, negating any praise that I actually felt like giving him or her this time around.
The thing that I liked the most though was how Chito acknowledge that they were lucky enough to meet two people who were nice.
In our world, we are told that people are generally good and will come together in times of need, even in a community as small as neighborhood, thus we should put our trust in others to have our back, which is something that I can agree with, but, just like how our rationality can break and we end up doing things that we probably would not do if we can somehow remain calm and compose, humans are not necessarily selfless creatures because we mostly do things that would pay off for us in the end, whether that pay off is in the near future or long term future.
True, this may not exactly be the best perspective to have in our world, since we are so fixated on positive thinking that it ends up blinding us to the pain it causes ourselves and others, such as how many members of my church strongly believe that things will work out if one paid their tithing instead of their bills or bought food to feed themselves and those dependent on them, but that does not change the fact that the real world, and civilization, as it exists today, is much crueler than people realize and you will die and/or lose everything you have if you think that a society or organization is going to help you take care of your needs if you just give it everything you have.
Likewise, everyone that Chito and Yuuri have met may have been nice people, but that does not mean that everyone they will encounter are good, and Chito ends up acknowledging this while bathing with Yuuri, by saying, “We lucked out with them, but you can't count on everyone being good people.”
Chito may have presented to be the smartest of the duo from the beginning of the series, but if she did not acknowledge this much, I would have been truly disappointed, because these characters were not presented as the typical manga characters who are optimistic that they need to be taught a lesson about what the world is like, and by having her not acknowledge the fact that not everyone will help them, she would end up not looking that bright and the series would just continue to devolve into one that has absolutely no substance.
However, because Tsukumizu has her admit that not everyone is a good person, it shows she is wary enough that she should be able to live in this world of theirs for a bit longer and makes me wonder just when the duo will finally encounter their first real problem, instead of these relatively minor incidents.
This series may not be completely perfect, but it is at least starting to look like something that I might be interested enough to read further, and that is what every writer should strive for when they deliver a piece of fiction to the world at large.
Hopefully, things will only keep going up from here, as I would much rather give writers and manga creators praises for a job well done, and their fans would be proud of how much praise something they like is being given, but, just like the comedy may become nonexistent quicker than most other series, this might be the best that the series will ever deliver, so I should just be happy that things were able to improve this much.
Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else that I particularly liked, at least that could not be added in to what I already talked about.
Because there was more to chuckle about, though still not enough to register as a blip on my radar, the introduction of a new character felt a bit more natural and believable than it did in the first volume, and Chito acknowledge that she and Yuuri have been lucky so far, yet is still aware of problems that may arise, this was a fairly decent read.
Although I found more to like in this volume than its predecessor, there are still some issues.
However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about, such as typos, or things that rear their ugly heads again but are not quite as annoying, like how uneventful many of the chapters seem, nothing really bothered me too much.
As a result, I will have to say that there is nothing worth mentioning.
Considering that there was enough improvement that things went from terrible to okay, such as how the humor seemed to be a bit funnier, and issues were not as annoying this time around, this was good enough to at least kill time.
I mainly recommend this to fans of Girls' Last Tour, as they will be able to find more enjoyment from reading this volume than others.
As for everyone else, this might be worth giving a try, as there is almost no need to know what happened before it, but do not expect to find an amazing read, unless you bothered reading the first volume.
If you liked this review and would like to see more, please consider supporting me on Patreon or, if you would like a copy of the reviewed title, buy the book from Book Depository, who offers free shipping to many countries around the world, so that I can find more worthwhile reads for you guys, and do whatever you do when you find something that impresses you.
Use an app on your phone (e.g. Scan for Android) to capture the image above. If successful, you should be taken to the web version of this article.