I hope that everyone is having a good week, and are managing well with the monotony of the daily grind.
Things have been going well here, as I can still do the things that I like to do.
A while back, I had gotten some books from Amazon, many of which were preorders, and got the initial three dealt with relatively quickly, and now another book, along with an early gift, has finally arrived.
Today, I will be reviewing one of those titles, which is called Girls' Last Tour Volume 3 by Tsukumizu.
As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.
Chito and Yuuri have once again hit the road, with the intention of finding a facility that they learned of from the person they helped, so that they can get more supplies and continue their travels.
However, when they finish, they head on up to higher ground, where they find machines that can move on their own and talk.
Even though I had come into this series with hopes that I could be entertained, things were not looking so great in the previous volumes, but there is always a chance that things could dramatically turn around, so I thought that I would at least finish up with the third volume.
And after reading this, I found it to be okay.
Like the previous volume, there were a few things to chuckle about.
While this series had a pretty terrible start, with nothing to really draw me in, and comedic moments that hardly stand out, the humor has been getting a better to where I found myself chuckling more than once or twice.
Yes, this could be because I have gotten used to what Tsukumizu is doing, which is just more of the same generic stuff found other anime and manga, but I think that it had more to do with how these moments were delivered, just like many other works of comedy.
Slice of life series, like this one, are some of the most boring works out there, and without a good amount of humor, I doubt that anybody could really enjoy it, especially a family member of mine that cannot deal with movies that start off slow, because all the audience is doing is following characters around while living their lives, and this is something that Tsukumizu did not really get, as he or she delivered the generic humor in pretty much every way that fans have encountered it before, resulting in my lack of feeling like chuckling or laughing.
However, Tsukumizu was able to make the humorous moments in this volume feel a bit more natural, as the series progressed, and I found myself chuckling a bit more.
The funniest of these moments was when Chito and Yuuri were searching for the facility that Ishii told them about, after they helped her with making her plane.
Towards the beginning of the volume, Chito and Yuuri are making their way to a food facility, and they eventually tie themselves together, using a rope, most likely as a safety precaution, Yuuri makes the statement that if Chito falls that the Yuuri will too and Chito says that they will not, if Yuuri falls over the opposite side at the time.
Now, this kind of seems a bit stupid, as that is not usually what people think of doing, even when emotions are running high, but what really made me chuckle, other than the panel featuring Chito and Yuuri hanging from opposite side, in an obviously hypothetical thought, was that Yuuri proposed the same thing when suggest that they get some sleep and Chito gives off a similar response as Yuuri did earlier.
These girls may not be the smartest out there, seeing as this is just another series where all we do is following around girls just living their lives, but Chito is supposed to be the smart one and Yuuri suggesting that Chito go over the opposite side when she rolls over seemed to suggest that Yuuri might not be as stupid as she has been shown to be in the earlier volumes, even if it was by pure coincidence.
If the humor was more like this the beginning, I might have been willing to give this series a better chance, especially because Yen Press is not far behind the Japanese releases now, which is at volume 5, according to the series page on Baka-Updates Manga, at least when I wrote this review.
Unfortunately, because I had to wait until this volume to get some truly great chuckles, I cannot give Tsukumizu as much praise as I would have liked, so I can only give them a passing grade.
Hopefully, things improve from as the series goes on, but, at this time, I feel like dropping it due to its poor start, so I might not find out, unless I have some sort of incentive, such as if I surprisingly got a donor that picked the right tier and made the request (please do not do this, unless you really like my content and want to support me).
Still, it is nice how the comedic aspect did not become worse than it was in the first volume.
I also liked how I felt like I truly was exploring an unknown world.
Many people who really like this series say that the world is quite interesting because it is desolate and we do not know how the society we knew ended, saying that this is a big mystery to uncover and is what drew them in, but I never once had those questions, as this series has been screaming from the very beginning that all that mattered was watching Chito and Yuuri go about their daily life, even being less interesting than Lawrence and Holo's journey in Spice & Wolf.
Because of that, I could not really feel any pull, not even the minimal amount pull that is required, which is the pull that would make anyone want to keep reading and find out what is going on.
Here, however, when Chito and Yuuri come across a facility that I wanted to believe was an aquarium, Tsukumizu has one of the robots that can move and communicate without any human interference that shows up in this volume explain that the facility was used to create food for human consumption and that mankind tried to gain its independence from the laws of nature, which is what our current society in real life has protected us from for so many centuries that we forgot how things really are.
This is how a world nearly void of human existence should be portrayed for the world to be seemingly mysterious, because everything else around the area makes it seem like the world ended via a big war that I did not care about, nor was I led to care much about it, and Tsukumizu finally delivered.
If the world itself mattered more to the series than just following Chito and Yuuri around in their rather dull lives, this would have made for a great mystery series, in the likes of Pandora Hearts, as opposed what is considered a mystery by the masses, which is where the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres all converge.
Unfortunately, the focus is solely on what Chito and Yuuri are doing every day, so I can once again only give Tsukumizu a passing grade, instead of a big round of applause, as this does make me want to reconsider abandoning this series entirely, in spite of how it failed to impress me.
Hopefully, things will improve in the future, because I doubt that Tsukumizu could afford lose possible patrons other than me, especially seeing as there is no official summary for this volume, at least on Amazon, but right now, I do not see it growing beyond the fan base the manga and the currently airing anime adaptation have brought in so far.
The thing that I liked the most though was how Chito and Yuuri finally encountered trouble.
Other than the lack of ability to really pull me in, the thing that I really hated about this series was how there never seemed to be any danger present.
Now, some of you guys might be going off, saying that there is danger, as Chito and Yuuri are in abandoned city and there is always a possibility that they could turn on one another because resources are scarce, and those elements are there, but most of the time, the way this series is being handled feels like there is no danger at all.
In fact, of the few times that there was danger, which all occurred back in the first volume, I could not see it at all because it was a onetime occurrence, like when Kanazawa set off explosives that almost killed the girls or Tsukumizu failed to make the situation seem dangerous, and this really hurt the series chances of having any sort of believability.
Yes, there are works out there where the characters always manage to overcome every obstacle, yet still have readers walking away happily, such as Jules Verne's The Mysterious Island, though I cannot confirm it is such a work right now, as I have yet to read it, but I highly doubt that this series could be considered among them, as many of them would have characters that are likeable and/or interesting, whereas Chito and Yuuri are rather dull characters, and the successes are not likely to feel like they come about by just pure luck.
Thankfully, this volume gave Chito and Yuuri their first real sense of danger.
In chapter 21, Chito and Yuuri go along a spiral path, in order to check out what is higher up in the city, and the path is dilapidated, which gives me the impression that things could get dangerous, though knowing that Tsukumizu hardly ever put these girls in danger, I was more expecting this to be more of the same mundane life of Chito and Yuuri.
However, later on, they come to the end of the path and go through a door close by and take a path that they think is a detour, it starts falling apart, resulting in a race for the other side.
When this moment occurred, I was on the edge of my seat, wondering whether or not these girls were going to survive and was actually hoping that they would survive, though, right now, I kind of wish that they died, and the ultimate outcome truly felt like it was a lucky break, as opposed to a moment that Tsukumizu continuing to make it seem like nothing happened after all.
This is what I have been expecting from a series set in an abandoned city in a post-apocalyptic future and Tsukumizu finally delivered.
If Tsukumizu had brought in elements like this sooner, and made Chito and Yuuri more interesting than they actually are, I would have been more than happy to follow this series to the ends of the earth, as a world with humanity on the brink of extinction does sound like a neat thing to explore.
Unfortunately, because the dangerous of such a world never really reared its ugly head until now, and only two volumes behind the Japanese releases, I can yet again only give Tsukumizu a passing grade for doing something right.
Hopefully, things will improve from here, as that would actually make the series worth following, but, just like with the comedic moments, I probably will not bother trying to find out without reason, or I am bored enough to give the series another chance.
Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else that I particularly liked, at least that could not be added into what I already talked about.
Although there were things to like about this volume, there are some issues.
However, aside from things that either too minor to talk about, such as typos, and things that have been problems since the beginning of the series, nothing really bothered me too much.
As a result, I will have to say that there is nothing worth mentioning.
Despite the fact that there was more to like than the hate, the fact that positives were not good enough to truly stand out made this only good enough to kill time.
I mainly recommend this to fans of Girls' Last Tour, as they will like this the most.
As for everyone else, you are free to give this a try, but with Yen Press's releases being not far behind the Japanese releases now and that nothing has pushed this series into anything more than okay, it might be best to look for something else to entertain yourself.
If you liked this review and would like to see more, please consider supporting me on Patreon, especially if you can afford the $10 tier that would let you request that I continue on with this series, or buy the reviewed title from Book Depository, who offers free shipping to many countries around the world, so that I can find more worthwhile reads for you guys.
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.