Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou – Episode 3 [Streetlights]
Three episodes in, we finally have a mystery on our hands: where did the dead fish come from? It seems like most animals are gone, in addition to humans, so where did this one fish come from?
This episode also introduced an interesting theme: in a world that is empty, what does one live for? Chito suggests that at the moment they are living purely to survive by scavanging what food they can. But is there more to life? Can they find another reason to keep living another day?
The girls have continued to travel the lower level of the city but they’re stuck on one side of a giant gorge, and haven’t come across a bridge that would allow them to get to the other side. They find a recently lit cigarette burning on the ground, and suddenly there is a giant explosion and one of the skyscrapers falls over right next to them. As the smoke and the dust settle, a man with a visor and a detonator becomes visible.
It’s just a false alarm though: this guy’s one of the good guys. His name is Kanazawa and he travels around the city mapping it. His motorbike has recently broken down though so he’s been traveling by foot. He coincidentally also wanted to get to the other side of the city, hence why he knocked over the building to make a bridge.
Kanazawa asks the girls for a favor: the girls have told him that they are trying to get to the tower so they can access the next level of the city, and he wants them to take him with them. In return he helps Chito and Yuuri make level paths on the rubble so that their Kettenkrad can cross the bridge.
Having Kanazawa along certainly has its perks. For one thing because most of the lower level has been mapped, he’s able to immediately tell them where a refueling station is. He’s also able to direct them though the maze of a city to the tower. As they travel together, Kanazawa reveals that his reason for living is to continue making maps of the city. He feels that if he were to ever lose his maps somehow (dun dun duuuun), he’d be unable to go on living.
Once they arrive at the tower, they back the Kettenkrad up onto a lift that runs along the outside of the tower. Kanazawa says there is an actual elevator inside, but it’s not accessible to them. As the lift runs up the tower, Chito is overcome with fear. There is no protective barrier around the lift, meaning if something were to happen they would have only the guardrail to hold onto. Yuuri and Kanazawa laugh off her anxieties, but sure enough…
As everyone tries to find something to hold onto so they don’t fall out, Kanazawa’s shoulder bag with his maps inside slides across the lift floor and falls off the edge. Kanazawa makes a desperate grab for it, throwing himself off the lift in the process, but he is unable to catch the bag and it falls to the city below. Chito and Yuuri manage to grab Kanazawa’s legs and haul him back into the lift.
For much of the remainder of the episode, Kanazawa is very depressed about the loss of his maps. As he would be – how many thousands of hours were spent on those drawings? The trio manage to repair the lift enough to get to the top of the tower by nightfall. What’s one immediate difference between the previous layer and this new one? There’s electricity – streetlights!
Yuuri shares a ration bar with Kanazawa and tells him that he doesn’t necessarily need a reason for living because something life has nice things in store – like sharing a ration bar with friends while watching the abandoned city light up with hundreds of streetlights.
Now that their deal has been completed, Kanazawa prepares to leave on his own. He’s decided he’s going to continue mapping the city. He leaves behind his digital camera with the girls, but after he leaves he wonders how much progress he’ll really be able to make on foot.
As for Chito and Yuuri, the former spots a very bright light in the distance and decides they should make that their next destination.
My thoughts: This was the first time in the series that my heartbeat actually started to race a little! I was very impressed with the atmosphere surrounding the building’s destruction and Kanazawa’s introduction. Well done Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou! claps
It was nice having a new character added to the cast, even if he was only around for one episode. I hope we run into him again later in the series, and I also hope that if there are any other new characters introduced, they stick around for more than one episode. Chito and Yuuri have a cute dynamic, but unless there’s a lot going on it’s kinda boring to watch just the two of them interact. Alas that’s only my 2 cents.
Either way, I was prepared to drop this series until it pulled an Endride (getting good at the last possible moment after I’ve already decided I’m going to drop it by a certain deadline), so I’ll continue covering it for now.