Haven’t covered Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou in a while so I’m going to cover Episodes 4 and 5 together to speed things up. Also, much like some of my Isekai Shokudou posts, I’m dividing my thoughts between individual segments this time around. I don’t plan on using this format for the remainder of the show (I certainly didn’t do that for Isekai Shokudou) but I could use a slightly more laidback approach when I’m crunched for time.
Photograph — Boy, that camera is looking awfully digital there. No roll of film needed and you can look at your archive on a screen. I only point this out considering that most of the aesthetic adheres more to that of WWII. While I’m at it, how exactly does that camera still have power after a century of use? And how exactly can the girls keep it charged? I doubt Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou is terribly interested in addressing these nitpicks though. Where the show seems to be concerned is the fact that Chito and Yuuri can now a create a visual record of their journey. There’s serious value to that and there’s a lot of fun to be had with watching these girls taking random pictures and figuring out its various functions. I particularly love the ending where Chito finds the timer feature and she takes a selfie with her best friend. Now if only these girls can somehow post the picture on Instagram…
Temple — We’ve been seeing these Medjed looking statues from time to time and in this vignette, the girls discover that the bright building saw last episode is a temple where these statues might’ve been revered. The religion presented here is kept pretty vague which makes sense since the girls don’t have enough resources to fully understand it. And frankly, it doesn’t seem like the girls would be terribly interested in being religious either. Chito prefers having concrete knowledge to survive and Yuuri just wants to eat food. Still, their conversation about why one might’ve practice a faith as way to enjoy life is very meditative to sit through. And there’s still some silly moments too, such as when Yuuri realizes anyone crazy enough could just declare themselves a deity….and which she proceeds to do at the end of the episode.
House — Chito and Yuuri explore some abandoned apartment buildings and they fantasize about what it’d be like to have a permanent residence. I don’t know why but this segment hit me emotionally a bit. There’s something eerie about how empty these buildings are. Barely any furniture is left, no food or decorations can be found. Nothing. Chito and Yuuri is just left with their imagination to visualize where their stuff would be. The scene is still fun and comforting but their dream home is sadly just that, a dream.
Nap — Wow, Chito’s mind sure went places here. This is probably the weirdest Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou has gotten which is saying something since the world the show occupies is already strange enough. I doubt there is anything to psychoanalyze here but it is funny seeing Chito re-contextualize recent events in such strange ways. It’s also interesting that even in her dream, the only other human Chito runs into is Yuuri. That both speaks to how alone these girls are but also about how they feel about one another.
The Sound of Rain — In terms of plot, this vignette was dead simple. Chito and Yuuri take shelter from the rain and they try to make music by having droplets fall onto various objects. It’s moments like this that make Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou such an arresting experience. There isn’t anything crazy going on and yet the execution just sells what’s going on. I really like the emphasis placed on the sound of the rain and how the two are experimenting because they don’t have any musical material to work off of. The coloring is also very distinct with the white rainy sky contrasting well against the shadows cast by the shelter and those weird steel beam tree things. This segment also transitions to an ED specific to Episode 5 that plays off the rhythm of the rain droplets. It’s a very charming song and I can’t think of a better way to finish this episode off.