I’ve already mentioned this in my second Just Because! post but yeah, I’ve slowed to a bit of a crawl this past week. This semester just keeps getting busier and busier and it’s been difficult finding time to watch anime, let alone write about it. I may need to drop some shows if only for the sake of time. Is Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou going to be one of those reluctant drops? Probably not. I’m 50-50 as to whether or not I’ll write about it episodically but I’m still enjoying it so it’s looking like it’ll stay on my watch list for now.
It was pretty obvious in the premiere that Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou appeared to be an awfully lighthearted show set in an awfully harsh and grim wasteland but that quality sure has been further emphasized in this episode. I mean, really think about what is actually going on in this show. We start the episode with Chito and Yuuri looking for warm shelter so that they can stave off hypothermia. As they warm up, Chito bemoans over what few books she currently has (meaning much of their culture and history is potentially lost forever). And while the episode does end with the two girls eating fish, it’s rather alarming that this is the first time they’ve seen a fish. In fact, you really don’t see much wildlife in this world at all (unless every single animal happens to be hibernating right now). That detail alone really begs the question as to how well these girls can survive. There are only so many rations they can scavenge.
And yet, throughout all of this, I found myself more entertained than depressed with this episode. It was a lot of fun watching these two enjoy a makeshift hot spring and mess around as they do laundry. A good portion of the levity still stems from how moe the show looks but the show has also been good at pacing to these more lighthearted moments. I had a feeling that the show wasn’t going to kill off its two main characters with hypothermia (at least not yet) so the fact that the payoff is the hot spring was rather satisfying and uplifting. And in the case of the laundry segment, the anime shows that it can be awfully subtle with its underlying darkness. I didn’t realize the lack of wildlife until after I finished the episode. I was honestly too distracted with Chito keeping her helmet on while she washes her clothes and Yuuri dragging her around the shore to notice.
We do get some drama in this episode. Right when Chito bemoans about the lack of literature, Yuuri accidentally uses one of her books as firewood. This naturally upsets Chito and she leaves Yuuri to think in silence about what she did. It’s a really well-executed scene; the ambient noise really accentuates the silence between the girls and the look on Yuuri’s face perfectly expresses her desire to reconcile with Chito. Furthermore, this scene was as legitimately dramatic as it ought to be. I was afraid that the show would keep doing a bait and switch (like when, last episode, Yuuri holds Chito at gunpoint) so it’s reassuring that the show quickly proves that it can delve into genuine drama when it wants to.
Perhaps that’s where any drama in Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou will lie in. This world certainly looks grimmer by the second but the show seems awfully committed to delivering a moe-filled and lighthearted adventure within that setting. If there’s to be any sort of drama, it may be more in how these girls can push each other’s buttons as opposed to how this world can push theirs.
OP: “Ugoku, Ugoku” by Chito (Inori Minase) & Yuuri (Yurika Kubo)
Look at those two! Dabbing on this apocalypse!
ED: “More One Night” by Chito (Inori Minase) & Yuuri (Yurika Kubo)