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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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, May 5. 2015 12:43 AM)
    I enjoyed Vivi’s storyline tho. I think even tho he was bland and quiet he still had the most emotional developments as a character, which tied in to identity and what it means to be alive. I also liked the “I want to be your Canary” play within the game, it was like a fleshed-out version of the Opera House scene from FF6.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, May 5. 2015 12:40 AM)
    Yeah I remember that my brother would watch me play FF9 here and there and I would fill him in on the details, and he came in when I was fighting Necron and said “who the hell is that?” to which I replied “I have no clue. I think it’s the final boss”. I don’t really know why they decided to do that, but probably to give Kuja a last minute redemption. Still, they should’ve just went with a superform Kuja battle instead imo.
  • Emma
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 10:33 PM)
    @Aidan: I can admit that, in regards to the final boss of FF9 at least.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 09:33 PM)
    FF9 was Final fantasy goes Dragon Quest. I didn’t like it for the designs and wasn’t into the story at all. Itwas sort of the reason why I didn’t like wind wakers style. The series is good because of it’s more mature feel. Speaking of embarrassing last boss fights FF9 was worse than FF10. With an endboss who literally came straight out of nowhere.
  • Bam
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 09:26 PM)
    @Aidan: yeah, fusing turn-based (or ATB) battles with some real-time elements always intrigued me. That was the only redeeming quality in Legend of Dragoon’s battle system. That recent Child of Light game was a good, albeit basic, homage to those earlier games, and the simple battle system was both fun and nostalgic.
  • Bam
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 09:21 PM)
    @Emma: 9 was a throwback to the earlier ones, and that’s why people ate it up. I did like it tho, even despite the Chibi style which I don’t enjoy. To be frank I liked the series from 7-10 the most. It’s a combination of the games and those specific years of my youth.
  • Emma
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 08:49 PM)
    Though those are opinions which are from my teenaged self back then…
  • Emma
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 08:34 PM)
    That last boss fight in FF10 was embarrassing, then they brought out that silly fanservicey sequel to it. I find FF9 at the time had a good blend of a then modern game but also retro feel, I liked the revelations surrounding garland, Kuja, Zidane and felt that FF9 was where I was the most emotionally involved.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 05:37 AM)
    True, assuming of course that the latter installment is indeed better. Resident evil 5 was no 4. That’s for sure.
    I liked that you could time R1 to give you more damage for attacking with Quall. And it was nice that summons leveled up. So that your earlier summons don’t become completely useless in the endgame.
  • Bam
    (Monday, May 4. 2015 03:46 AM)
    I also enjoyed FF8 quite a lot. I appreciate cinematic presentations and 8 delivered that with a lot of style. The visuals were amazing and the the music was great, and if you learned the GF BOOST ability you used the much-maligned long summon animations to stack up on some damage.

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