The trope of the “girl on a magical adventure” is still going strong and maybe even gaining steam lately. For that, as for most things, I blame the Japanese.
I certainly did a strip about that once before. But what else are you going to do with a bored girl riding an ugly-faced fish, other than “a magical adventure which is not going well?”
This is one of those strips I could see an economics professor emailing me about, to say that yet another PartiallyClips ended up enlivening someone’s lecture notes.