Posted by psgels on 11 November 2011 with categories: Last Exile - Ginyoku no Fam



This episode was a bit of a step back, mostly due to how it got a bit too silly at times. There is in particular the point in which Fam stood in front of the idiot commander, and the point at which Millia decided to dress up as a maid. That does not fit this setting at all. We’ve got enough moe shows doing that already. Why do so many shows insist in adding a maid, just for the sake of adding a maid?

Then there is the way in which the characters were rather off-model. This unfortunately is typical Gonzo, but thankfully they have shown many times in the past that even after dips like these, they can still deliver excellent action scenes. The best example of that was Shangri-La, which on one hand had horrible off-character models on one hand, and absolutely gorgeous and ground-breaking 3D effects on the other. In any case, the worst were the mechanics in this area, as while Fam just looked off-model, they just looked silly.

This episode meant to introduce the crew of the Silvius. Overall the problem was that there were too many carbon-copies of the same characters. The creators did pick a number of distinct character designs to portray the crew, and characters like the cook, the navigator, the head engineer: there are still plenty of characters who stand on their own. What clever writing should have done is to create just enough mechanics for the setting to feel alive, without making any two of them like a carbon-copy of another. The first season actually did this.

The interesting thing though, was that just as this show looked like it was getting too silly for its own sake… it recovered. the final quarter of this episode was strong character-building and it also added quite a bit of intrigue with Millia’s sister’s whereabouts revealed. The acting in this series is very peculiar. I mean, most of the characters do know how to act, and there are a lot of very solid performances, and then once in a while they slip out into these silly stupid moments, or meet very badly acted side-characters who only appear for a minute. The acting of this series ranges from near the best of the season to near the worst of the season.
Rating: * (Good)

11 Responses

  1. Alec says:

    I’ve the exact same thoughts as you.

    This is perhaps the most disappointing Last Exile episode I’ve ever seen in the LE franchise

  2. Alec says:

    I’m starting to believe that Gonzo has stooped so low when they decided to make the important characters an almost-girl-cast. I was so hell-bent on believing in Gonzo, thinking there must have been some reason WHY they chose it that way, and that they would shut the critics up

  3. Myssa Rei says:

    Yeah, the segment where Milia was walking around in a maid costume, of all things, was kind of weird. It lessened the impact of her speech later in the episode, for one, and I’d think the episode could have gone without her even having a dress change, and it STILL would have remained the same.

    That aside, anyone note the nods to the first season in this one? Like Old Man Dagobert, again, being in charge of the Claudia engine?

  4. Alec says:

    @Myssa

    The quiet scene with Dagobert was the ONLY good scene in the episode imo xD

  5. Myssa Rei says:

    Alec: I’m not AS bothered as some people might (and WILL) be about Millia’s segment, but it still comes off as strange, especially (if I heard right) given the impetus behind the costume change: Millia trying to charm the mostly-male crew. Just WHERE she learned that meido-fuku can be weaponized is something left best unanswered though, though out-side of the universe it just seems like blatant mechandizing bait (to get people to make figmas of Millia in the maid costume).

  6. Guest says:

    I don’t get what happened to the captured battleships after they got captured.

  7. emily says:

    I loved watching last exile but the beginning was somewhat confusing I didn’t end up getting into it till the anime went on.

  8. Pom says:

    It doesn’t matter what they get wrong in Fam simply because THERE IS STILL DIO!
    :D

    He makes up for all the pitfalls for me. And look at how pretty he is now…

    Admittedly, I’m annoyed that this show is going the moe route. I am so tired of that trend right now. Alvis (and Dio) were moe enough for the whole first season — we don’t need the entire show to run on it.

  9. kero says:

    @alec

    “stooped so low”??

    heaven forbid that important characters can be girls!
    __

    I really hope you didn’t mean it in the way it came across. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with girls being main characters, the only problem is when they are written badly.

    I thought that the Millia in a maid uniform was a pretty cheap ploy, and pointless to boot.

    Aside from that, I’m not warming to Fam, and the plot of how they stole the ship didn’t really make much sense. Fam talked about intel, but then she acted shocked when she saw the captain, so it was obvious she didn’t know who he was at that point.

    Overall, I think they played it a bit too lighthearted. It’s not living up to what I remember of the first Last Exile, where there was more of a sense of danger and people at war.

    The characters are a weakness in this show. I don’t think I’d be liking it as much if it wasn’t for Dio.

    I’m hoping it picks up next episode. I’d like to see another battle, or just more depth.

  10. Alec says:

    “I really hope you didn’t mean it in the way it came across. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with girls being main characters, the only problem is when they are written badly.”

    i Didn’t. I’m just saying that I’m doubting the now. Having an almost-all-girl cast tends to make people believe that it’d be moe and not serious. Of course, I for one, did not think it will EVER be the case, for it is Gonzo we’re talking about. But after showing moe blatantly to us, I’m starting to believe that the reason why they chose that cast is the same reason why Kyoani gets enough money.

  11. dm says:

    Shangri-la had its moments of silliness (though I think those moments were more clever and played better than Millia-as-maid).

    The best parts of this episode involved Dio: Dio talking seriously about the fall of Turan with Alis and Tatiana; Dio talking playfully with Fam and Giselle once they discover how familiar he was with the Silvius; Dio playing chess with the old Guild engineer in the claudia unit of the Silvius.

    Ah: that was Millia’s sister in the bed at the end — I’d wondered.

    The echoes of “Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein …” in Augusta’s speech were a bit alarming, especially with the Leni Riefenstahl setting. More layers, perhaps.

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  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:10 AM)
    Seeing Hoffman in before the devil knows your dead and his character being dependent on drugs, that was another thing that hit me a bit knowing the circumstances of his death. Watching most wanted man I could also see that he was wearing out physically.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:00 AM)
    This is not Anno bitching about otakus jacking off to his characters and turning around and selling Rei panties, this isn’t the idiots at Shaft throwing around meaningless camera angles and the oh-so-symbolic teeth brushing scenes, this is a human being looking you in the eye with fear and telling you that he’s dying; morbid, honest, moving and remarkable.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:55 AM)
    Given my rants regarding Birdman it should be clear that I’m a sucker for these rare instances where the line between movie and reality get blurred- when an actor looks at a camera and just bares their heart out. This is the realism that reality tv tried but could never capture. this is art in one of its most sincere forms.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:50 AM)
    Oh yeah Hoffman was a massive talent and a beloved actor, so I don’t take it lightly when I call Synecdoche his greatest role ever. Given his death and knowing the circumstances of his life at the time imbues this performance with a chilling sincerity that just breaks your heart and leaves you in awe.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:42 AM)
    Oh Andrew Niccol, oh how the mighty have fallen.
    Hoffman showed up in Capote and most wanted man, the latter which I especially love and there need to be more thrillers of that vein coming out.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:37 AM)
    It’s funny how they also each have a Nicolas Cage movie. Kaufman has Adaptation and Niccol has Lord of War. Although despite the usual Cage antics neither of those movies is really that bad.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:33 AM)
    Eternal Sunshine and The Truman Show are the two roles where Jim Carrey really demonstrated his acting chops well outside of his usual comfort zone. But Kaufman moved forward from Sunshine with the superior Synecdoche, while Andrew Niccol went from doing Truman Show and Gattaca to doing young adult garbage like The Host *wretches*
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:28 AM)
    @Emma: yeah you’ll most likely enjoy it. On the surreàl scale it lies somewhere between Birdman and Holy Mountain, so although it’s peppered with symbolic imagery and thematic shots it’s still a personal story about a man’s struggle when faced with his own demise. Although a lofty statement, this is in my onion philip seymour hoffman’s best performance, and his untimely death adds another incredibly rich level of nuance to this movie.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:20 AM)
    @Bam: Adaption, Nicholas Cage =< a guilty pleasure actor to watch for the most part and little more.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:12 AM)
    @Bam: The more you mentiom Synecdoche, the more interested I get. Malcovich was a creative idea for a film and Eternal sunshine was a good spin on the romance genre which gave Jim Carrey a film worth acting in.
    Riki-oh if anything is just a heck of alot of fun.

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