[Four] Chii learns to dance (Girls’ Last Tour)

Girls’ Last Tour sews together two-to-three short vignettes in a single episode. There’s “Laundry” where they discover a fish and eat it, “The Sound of Rain” where they make music out of rain and varying surfaces (tin cans, their soldiers’ helmets), and “House” where they imagine their ideal home. It’s both relaxing and melancholy.

As the series wears on, it simultaneously widens the scope of what Chito (Chii) and Yuuri (Yuu) experience together while also remaining focused on the two young women and their experiences. The backdrop is a desolate, post-apocalyptic wasteland, but Chii and Yuu are alive, and trying to figure out just exactly what living means to them.

The two have an easy dynamic from the first episode: Chii is the serious, educated one, Yuu is reckless and inquisitive. Chii writes down everything she can in a journal, Yuu accidentally burns her books. Chii dreams of an endless bookshelf, Yuu dreams of an endless pantry of food. Chii thinks things through, Yuu barges ahead.

Although this might seem like a one-sided relationship — Yuu making trouble and Chii fixing it — Yuu’s fearlessness by way of ignorance saves Chii’s life more than a few times. More often than not, this involves Yuu forcing Chii to come to terms with her fear of heights, which becomes increasingly necessary the higher they travel in their layered-plate city.

Only two times does Chii forget her fear of heights. One is in the series finale, born of urgency, and the other is in “Moonlight,” when the two young women come across old alcohol and get drunk.

Watching the anxious Chi ifinally let loose and enjoy herself is a rare moment, made all the more special since it’s presented as just another moment in their lives. Chii and Yuu don’t have to deal with enemy attacks or impending conflict, but grapple with surviving and, when they think about it, why they should survive. In this moment, they’re not surviving, they’re living.

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