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
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:47 AM)
    I remember that same guy, during end of eva, pausing it over and over during that scene where asuka dies with all of those fast moving clips too.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:39 AM)
    I remember catching it also when I was young with a friend and we looked back on a fanservice scene with shinji and rei and he mentioned “You know if you think about it that scene is damn disturbing when you think she’s a clone of/modelled after you know who…”
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:36 AM)
    Before Eva, when I was 11 or so my image of a mech anime was Nadesico…then it was eva and then I was like…Whoah…whoah God halp! =O
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:34 AM)
    I suppose credit where I feel it due, the angel designs are excellent and I remember getting the shock of my life when shinji’s eva went nuts and then there was a bit with Bardiel infect Toji’s unit. I remember at least Masatos boyfriend being a likeable character.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:31 AM)
    I don’t think anyone was prepared for Eva, whether they liked the show or not, at 11 I can remember being horrified by end of eva and the series original ending as well as having my first moment of “Feck…theres a first…an anime that did something that scrambled my mind, I actually feel kind of thick now, this show is smarter than I am”.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:27 AM)
    It really wouldn’t have been that hard to put a satisfying ending to the original series, wrap up the threads nicely and put a pretty ribbon on the package to finish it off. But Anno and friends took a risk and went against the tide and end up becoming the trope-namer for the Gainax Endings. That took balls and made things unexpected and fresh, cuz god knows that ,good guys win the day ‘is tired and boring.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:26 AM)
    Requiem for a dream. I remember the guy who recommended that film saying to me “Even someone such as yourself who finds it hard to find/has high standards an emotionally investing film will get something out of requiem for a dream”
  • Bam
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 03:17 AM)
    @Emma: leaving a bad taste is pretty much the point of Eva, just as getting bummed out by Requiem For a Dream is the naturally intended effect. I don’t mind that you don’t enjoy Eva all that much Emma, l actually appreciate it over dishonest admiration. Just keep in mind that Eva deserves it’s special place in anime.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 01:32 AM)
    But Eva just left a bad taste in my mouth as a whole, I understand that Bam you are very passinette about it and thats fine, I wasn’t aiming to provoke. I just feel that its frustrating that like alot of certain anime, that I am not allowed to dislike it or have reason to.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 6. 2015 01:32 AM)
    If anything at least I found Ikuhara’s symbolism while obvious at least in utena and straightforward was at least visually interesting to look at.
    I love every David Lynch film and again I thought Lain was exceptional.

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