Review: Last Exile ~Fam, The Silver Wing~

Ginyoku no Famu

Eight years ago, I dreamt of a second season to Last Exile. I still remember little bits and pieces of it—Lavie and Claus went to rescue Alvis from a monster at a water park, and Alex Rowe came back…fortunately not in swim trunks. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long since the first season ended, because I remember it like it were yesterday, and I still love it just as much. When the real second season was announced, I was both shocked and extremely excited. Did it turn out to be like my dream? Well, not exactly, but it’s still a delight in and of itself. Plenty of eye candy and nostalgia!

Unfortunately, a lot of old fans don’t feel the same way towards the sequel as I do. They immediately thought it sucked because the new main character, Fam, is moe and starts the series by sleepwalking her way into trouble. Her personality is similar to Lavie’s because they’re both impulsive, but she’s much more happy-go-lucky, silly, and innocent. Point taken, she does get a little annoying. She rants about her dream to bring back the Grand Race, says inappropriate things without thinking, and she’s rather immature about politics and social class. At the end of her scenes, her childhood best friend and navigator, Giselle, just shakes her head with “Oh Fam.” But you see, that is what we have to do too. We just have to accept her quirks and move on. She’s nowhere near the worst, and I’d take her over a tsundere any day. And she’s certainly no reason to look down on the whole series with hatred. Come on, Last Exile isn’t ruined. Besides, I thought her relationship with Giselle was rather reminiscent of Claus and Lavie. ^^

I must admit that the plot hasn’t been Last Exile’s strong suit, for it’s much better at world building and strategic airship battles. After S1, I was confused as heck about what Exile was, where it came from, why Alvis was the “key” to it, why the war existed at all, and so on. The sequel seeks to provide some of these answers, as well as establishing a fascinating story that is much easier to follow. I had even called it “brilliant” in the beginning. By halfway point, things get pretty heated up to the point of thrilling. The only problem is the execution of it. Some episodes feel unnecessary, out of place, or are just not focused enough on other important characters. The finale is definitely not to everyone’s liking, making some plot elements and character deaths feel utterly pointless. I understand all that, but if you can, just try not to take everything too seriouslyAfter all, the heroine is a teenage girl. Last time, we had a teenage boy.

The new villain, Luscinia, is in many ways improved over Maestro Delphine. He actually has a history, interesting relationships with other characters, and is not pure evil. I’d say that the more interesting new characters are on his side–the five generals and a poor little girl who’s being manipulated in her decisions to lead her people. In fact, I wish that the series spent more time fleshing them out than Fam. And on Fam’s side, we’ve got a bunch of the old characters back–Dio, Tatiana, Allis, Vincent, and more!

In the end, what really made this series for me was the nostalgia. It was great fun to see the old characters and hear the old music again. I also liked that they kept the old title screen. Of course I prefer season one, as it has had eight years to sink in. Back then, it was new and fresh and left a great emotional impact on me. As interesting as the new characters are, I won’t be missing them nearly as much. But still, I can’t deny that the animation, story, and villains are improved here. There’s much to appreciate if you can get over Fam and other nit-picky flaws, especially if you’re an old fan like me. To the skies, everybody~ =D

Mimi’s Score: 8 Meeps out of 10 (Very Good)

Alex’s Score: 7 Meeps out of 10 (Good)

Doofus’ Score: 7 Meeps out of 10 (Good)

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Last Exile ~Fam, The Silver Wing~ Episode 23

Grand Master

Woah…happiest ending ever! Luscinia entrusts Sara to Fam after she makes a little speech about dreams, goes down with Exile, and Sara brings back the Grand Race. Yay! Okay, so maybe it didn’t leave as great an impact as S1’s ending, but I still enjoyed it. The music was amazing, and it was especially nice to see Claus and Lavie again…though one thing is still lingering in the back of my mind. What happened to him?? D: And poor Fam…she fought for the race all season and didn’t even win, lol. Ah well, Dio and Lucciola’s spirit deserved it!

There are of course things that could have been improved upon. For instance, Fam’s secret background didn’t go anywhere, and it would have been very interesting to see that evolve earlier in the show instead of her lighthearted adventures. I thought Alvis was going to have an interesting role, but nothing happens with her either. There have been issues with character development–Millia is the only one I see who has changed significantly. The deaths are a little pointless–Vasant (abrupt) and Sadri (just wanted to retire from life), which drew no emotion out of me. At the end of the day, a little girl says “let’s get along everybody” and that brings peace. Yeah, it’s silly.

But again…I’m not exactly disappointed or anything. Even with its flaws, and even if it never gets better than S1, I still feel a special kind of love for it. *ends cheesy speech there* :3

Last Exile ~Fam, The Silver Wing~ Episode 21 & 22

Queening Square

Triple Rook

Phew, these episodes have been nothing short of action packed awesomeness! I regret getting a little…er…behind this month. Everything is going as I hoped it would–the battle of the exiles, and Vincent and Sophia joining the party. At this point, I couldn’t ask for more. =D

So Sara controls the “Grand Exile,” which is pretty grand indeed, but not invincible. Millia leads the Silvius through a hole to get inside, and Fam, Tatiana, Dian, and few others end up fighting a bunch of those star-shaped vessels. Out of all the characters, Dian actually steals the show there by pulling a pretty slick move. And one cannot forget what Vincent did with his awesome ship against one of those tentacles. Towards the end, Fam finally spots Luscinia holding the unconscious Sara. What now–are they going to try to talk him out of it, reach Sara’s mind, or have someone sneak up to kill him?

And wow…Vassant looks much nicer with her hair down, just like Sophia. Too bad she has to be unconscious dead during such an epic battle… xD

Orang’s friend liiiiives! Yaay! Well…I wasn’t particularly ‘happy’, but the more the merrier, I guess.

Well, as you can probably tell, I’m loving the finale. I wouldn’t say that it’s emotionally charged like the first season (doubt I’m going to cry), but highly entertaining nonetheless. It’s even better in some respects, such as the battles and just being easier to follow. Next subbed episode where?

Last Exile ~Fam, The Silver Wing~ Episode 20

Transposition

Awesome! Lots of political drama and twists in this episode, which make it one of the best so far. In response to Sara’s emotional plea, each side decides to ‘get along’ for the time being and host a ball. Oh how fun it is to see the enemies hang out together. General Sadri asks Fam for a dance after he recognizes her to be a princess…maybe even related to him. It’s about time some light was shed on her mysterious past, eh? But even more exciting is Millia’s inner turmoil, which nearly leads her to stab Liliana with a glass shard, and then Dian aiming to kill Luscinia but hitting Liliana instead. Yeah…I was not expecting all of that to go down. I thought Liliana might die somehow, but not by the hands of Dian in a public event. Now Millia has the power of Exile. Very very interesting… Next episode, please?

Vincent and Sophia are late to the party. Grrrr. D:<

By the way, Tatiana looks lovely in a dress~

Last Exile ~Fam, The Silver Wing~ Episode 19

Dynamic Possibilities

Now this is much more thrilling: The old guy Vs. The Alliance and the Silvius! Wowza. Compared to the previous battles, this one has more factors that come into play that make it really exciting, such as the trust issues between Dian and Orang. In the middle of the battle, some idiot from Orang’s fleet gets confused and attack’s Dian’s crew, which results in them attacking back. I was a little afraid for Orang for a second, but fortunately, Fam shows up to stop Dian in the nick of time. How does she keep on doing that? Mad skills, I tell you. And it’s about time the Silvius came back, though there’s only two more episodes left to enjoy Tatiana and Allis. *sad* Ah well, at least they always look cool. Now where’s Vincent and his coffee?

Well, it was inevitable for Sara to order a ceasefire, but surly things won’t just end there…right? I want to see more battle of the exiles! By the way, is that a new track I hear at the end? I love it…

Last Exile ~Fam, The Silver Wing~ Episode 18

Automaton

Phew, glad we got that problem with the blog fixed.

With this battle between the newly formed Alliance and the Ades Federation, Sorush and Orang finally come to terms with their differences. We get a sense of how special their friendship was from a flashback scene, so I guess we were supposed to feel a little something when Orang turned on him. Well…I didn’t. Instead, I was thinking how awesome it would have been if more time had been spent fleshing out the generals instead of Fam. And then that got me thinking how I connected to any of the new characters emotionally. Compared to my personal experience with season 1, the emotional aspect isn’t nearly as strong lately. I’m not sure why that is in the case of Millia, who has convincing emotions, a likeable personality, and relatable goals. Who knows, maybe the end will catch me off guard and cause me to cry like a baby again. =P At any rate, I’ll revisit this thought closer to the end of the show after a good analysis.

In other news… Fam realizes that she’s a sky pirate and not a soldier, Dio and Al come back (yay!), and Sara is crushed over the death of Sorush. Now she’s even refusing to see Vasant. Oh boy… I can see it now… “No, please don’t attack Luscinia! I can’t lose anyone else! There has to be another way!” *gets crushed by his new toy instead* I’m sorry. Where are these dreadful thoughts coming from? That better not happen. >_>

Last Exile ~Fam, The Silver Wing~ Episode 17

Second Adjournment

Mimi: Woah, how’s this for nostalgia? A flashback episode of season 1, with the old OP and ED theme! I…totally didn’t see that coming. In regards to this season, it feels out of place, and it’s questionable if it really benefits the characters and story at this point. But I really can’t complain much. Whether it’s just there to clue in the new fans or please the old fans, I enjoyed it for the nostalgia. Plus, we’re rewarded with a slightly older Lavie and Claus at the end (and Lavie looks so cute in her updated design)! Squee! Also, I’m loving Dio and Alvis’ relationship. When I imagined a sequel, I never thought they’d partner up. xD