I’m still a bit unsure about covering this show episodically but watching and writing about this show has been fun so I’ll stick with it for now.
I’d say this is a pretty straightforward episode, and it is, but I don’t want to undermine the fact that this is the first time we see another human being in Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou. Not that I expected the population to only be comprised of two moeblobs but in both manga and anime forms, I was surprised to see them meet another person pretty early on in the story.
As it seems customary of this anime, the encounter is mostly pleasant but the show still doesn’t stray away from some dark undertones. Our guest for the occasion, Kanazawa (played by the terrific Akira Ishida), makes a pretty bad first impression sine he unintentionally sets up explosives to build a bridge off of a fallen building with Chito and Yuuri nearby. That naturally puts the two girls on edge and while Chito handles the situation a lot more calmly, Yuuri keeps Kanazawa at gunpoint until she’s absolutely sure she can trust him. You never know who to trust in a post-apocalyptic environment so I found these girls’ demeanor to be pretty believable. It is, however, a strange sight to see Yuuri point her gun at someone…and mean it. I was convinced she would just keep using it to hog food from Chito when she’s hungry.
Fortunately, Kanazawa proved to be a pretty harmless person and a very helpful one at that. As a cartographer, Kanazawa points the girls to a nearby gas tank they can use to refuel their rover. With more fuel, the girls return the favor by giving the cartographer a ride to a nearby tower. It’s around this point, where we learn a little bit about the world this anime takes place in. It’s certainly an eyeopener when the characters very subtly reveal that the makeshift elevator they’re using to traverse the upper city levels is 100 years old which would then imply the city itself is even older. It’s strange since the technology seems pretty advanced to be considered ancient and yet it largely resembles tech from 1940s so I can’t even say this show takes place in the future. I don’t know how invested this anime is in its worldbuilding but the little details that get revealed have been interesting.
There is something interesting about how this episode concludes. Towards the end, Kanazawa accidentally lose all of his maps; since that was practically his life work, he gets depressed and even, suicidal. I agreed with Chito and Yuuri that dying is far too extreme of a choice to make but at the same time, it’s hard not to relate with how defeated Kanazawa feels. Those maps very clearly seemed like a hobby he picked up to stay sane in this wasteland. Can anyone really blame him for feeling like it was all in vain when he loses all of his maps? And sure, Chito and Yuuri do succeed in cheering him up and convincing him to start his cartography anew (can’t let this show get dark…just yet), but then one has to wonder what goal these girls have in the first place. What exactly do these girls hope to achieve in their journey? They’re clearly just wandering around and even if Chito loves finding books or Yuuri loves procuring more food, that doesn’t speak to any grand goal they hope to achieve. I’m glad they managed to cheer Kanazawa up but it does seem easy for them to do so when they themselves don’t have anything in particular to live for.