- Mangaka : Saito, Sakae
- Publisher : Yen Press
- Genre : Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi, Seinen
- Published : Nov 2022 - Present
When we talk about the most popular manga genres, then the first ones that come to mind are action, adventure, comedy, fantasy, and romance. Science fiction probably sits comfortably at the top ten mark at most, as well as horror. For some reason, however, sci-fi always manages to churn out some of the best manga of its generation. Think about Akira, Fullmetal Alchemist, and the most recent one, Kaiju no. 8. And now, another manga has entered the fray and promised to deliver a different flavor of science fiction to the masses. It’s called Shuumatsu Touring, or Touring After The Apocalypse, and here’s our brief review for this manga.
Amidst the ruins of massive wind turbines that have been covered with rust and moss, and run-down buildings and cars as far as the eye can see, Youko and Airi ride their electric Yamaha Serow 225 with big grins on their faces. After all, this is the first time in their lives that they’ve gotten to freely travel outside.
To be fair though, Airi doesn’t really have any desire to explore what’s left of this dystopian world. However, as a robot that was designed to be the perfect companion to Youko, making Youko’s dreams come true is her first priority. And for now, Youko’s dream is to go to the places that her “sister” has visited when she was touring all over Japan on her bike. After all, Youko has seen countless photos of her sister at various iconic landmarks and historical places in Japan, so it’s no wonder that she wants to retrace her sister’s steps. That’s why Airi is more than happy to join in as Youko’s travel companion, and also to make sure Youko is safe and sound during their travels.
So as soon as it is deemed safe for Youko to leave the bunker, she gathers everything that she might need during her travels, and heads out to the first place on her sister’s list, Hakone. On the way, they scour through various ruins for canned foods, stumble upon a broken A.I.-controlled combat vehicle, have a chat with an easygoing half-destroyed cyborg, and encounter lots of other curious and interesting things. And who knows, maybe Youko will be able to see another living human being for the first time thanks to this journey.
1. Fascinating World-Building
The first thing that immediately jumps out when you read Touring After The Apocalypse is its fascinating world-building. A world full of ruins and overgrown vegetation where buildings that used to scrape the sky now lie meekly on the ground. A world that is so full of debris and rubble that it becomes nearly impossible for anybody to walk in a straight line, and yet there’s also a numbing feeling of emptiness to it all. As if that’s not enough, each new city offers their own unique version of destruction and dystopia. Isn’t that great?
In their blurb, Yen Press describes Touring After The Apocalypse as a perfect read for those who like Girls’ Last Tour. And that may be right if you only look at the simple premise of the story, which is two girls exploring the ruins of our fallen world. However, there’s one single thing that makes the two titles diverge from each other, which is the vibe.
You see, despite the main characters always trying to stay positive in Girls’ Last Tour, you can’t help but feel the gloomy mood for the majority of the story. In Touring After The Apocalypse, on the other hand, you can sense the positive vibes, the optimism, and the cheerfulness through every single panel in this manga.
So rather than Girls’ Last Tour, it’s actually closer to another dystopian manga called Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou. So if you’ve read Yokohama before, then you’d know what to expect from Touring After The Apocalypse.
2. A Clear Sense of Progression
The previous sections mentioned two similar manga to Touring After The Apocalypse, which are Girls’ Last Tour and Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou. Both are splendid manga and will work wonderfully as complements to this one.
That being said, there is one area where Touring After The Apocalypse has the upper hand compared to its predecessors, which is a clear sense of progression. You see, the main characters of this manga are not simply riding for the sake of riding. Youko establishes from the get go that the main purpose behind this journey is to retrace her sister’s footsteps. To see what her sister has seen, no matter how different it may be today.
Thanks to that, we get a clear sense of motivation as to why they keep moving from one place to the next. We also know that at some point, their journey will end. This makes every decision that they make feel deliberate, it puts reasons behind their actions, and it puts a purpose behind the story itself. It’s not just a story about a girl who travels through the apocalypse, but it’s also a story about a girl who tries to see the world through her sister’s eyes.
1. A Slow Paced Story
Touring After The Apocalypse, Girl’s Last Tour, and Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou have one thing in common: they’re all slow-paced stories. And that is pretty much how it should be for this kind of story.
After all, these are stories about people who take their time to see what happens in a world that has fallen into ruins. And more often than not, they happily stray from their journey in order to enjoy something that might seem mundane to most people. After all, they are clearly not in a rush to reach their destination.
So if that doesn’t sound like something that you might read, or maybe what you’re looking for is a fast-paced story set in a dystopian future, then Touring After The Apocalypse is not for you. Fullmetal Alchemist or Kaiju no. 8 might be what you’re looking for.
Seeing Youko and Airi ride through what used to be a railroad track that is now covered with cracks and vegetation is simply mesmerizing. Touring After The Apocalypse certainly makes exploring a dystopian future look so fun and interesting. The story might move at a rather slow pace, but please pay it no mind. Just sit back and enjoy the scenery, because you won’t regret it.
Have you read Touring After the Apocalypse? If you have, what do you think about it? Let us know in the comment section below.