There is a Tang Dynasty poem that I remember from childhood:
A flask of liquor in the garden
To serve all alone for me
I raise a toast toward the moon
And with my shadow we are three.
This poem was written by the famous poet Li Bai (some may know him as Li Po), who was known for drinking a ton of alcohol. Whether this was an escape from frustration at the politics of the time, or because he just really likes to drink, I do not know. However, this poem clearly evokes a deep loneliness mitigated by an appreciation for the world around us (and also alcohol).
This poem was also what I was reminded of when watching that drunken moonlight dance in Girls’ Last Tour.
Girls’ Last Tour is lonely. Chi and Yuu have each other, but as the few remaining survivors of a planet in its final stages of death, they eke out a wandering existence barely interacting with others. At its best, the show combats this existential despair by defiantly carving out a purpose (Kanazawa making maps, Chi keeping a diary), or appreciating the little things in life (the raindrop symphony). The drunken moonlight dance is an example of the latter. The girls might be among the last humans left. They might one day run out of food and starve. Or, given enough time they will die, taking what may well be what’s left of humanity with them. But dammit tonight they have a few beers, they have each other, they have the moon, and they are enjoying themselves.
And dammit if that isn’t beautiful.
Other memorable moments of Fall
- The entire Hina bullying arc. The Kawamoto sisters in March Comes in like a Lion are a perpetual source of joy to Rei, bringing the warmth and (what seems like so far) unconditional love of family to this troubled orphan. So it’s always nice to flesh out these sisters, showing their own problems and their resilience, in a series of visually stunning episodes.
- Land of the Lustrous: Phos’s gold-alloy arms and turbo legs (I forget the material). On one hand: yay they’re acquiring new abilities! On the other hand: oh god at what cost?!
You can read about the 12 Days of Anime project in my intro post here.