Posted by psgels on 21 January 2012 with categories: Last Exile - Ginyoku no Fam

And then.. this show suddenly comes with one of its best episodes so far. Talk about a pleasant surprise here.

The battle against Gracies turned out to be really well portrayed here. Heck, at this point it’s pretty clear than when Gonzo was forced to let go most of its staff, the one department that was not compromised was the 3D department. In terms of CG, these guys still are amongst the best of the industry. This episode didn’t just look absolutely gorgeous. The 3D animation was just stunning. It’s bizarre how rushed the 2D animation looks in comparison. And yet, at the same time I’m also really glad that they didn’t turn this into a full 3D series, and this series really knows what parts should be CG, and what parts should be normally drawn.

That giant wall that appeared in front of Gracies also was a neat idea. Oh, and this episode also explained why all pilots of Gracies are females: it has to do with their religion and culture. That’s also why people looked up to that girl last episode: she wasn’t only popular, but it was more like her position of being able to fly in the sky is a core part of the theology for these people.

I also liked how Fam&co were kept out of the picture here. Last episode seemed to suggest that again Fam held the key to getting out of this mess, but instead she just gave them a temporary advantage. Afterwards, the contrast between the huge battles, and Fam trying to get back to the Space Pirates’ home worked really well in this show’s favor. Next episode we should go back to that flying brick of an Exile, which could prove to be even more interesting.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

11 Responses

  1. Noob says:

    As far as I’m aware, there’s no space pirates in this anime, only sky pirates. Maybe you’re mistaking with another anime that airs the same day? :)

  2. Froob says:

    Meh … still no clue what happened to Claus & Lavie =(

  3. tktym says:

    Froob: they are dead.

    This episode was a LOT better than the last one OMG! This saved me from dropping this altogether and trying to forget how much they’ve been screwing up such an epic series so far; although I still think the all female fighter pilot due to religion thing was just kinda of a b.s. way to have as much loli poon on screen as possible to satisfy the otaku nerds but, at least there was as less of the main annoying cast(fam and gisey) as possible so that is just always a huge plus

    • Scruffy says:

      Considering that Claus and Lavie have children and that this is not set that far in the future from the origional Exile i’d be interested to know where you got that info from

    • M0rg0th says:

      I agree, I was also about to drop this… Fam talking about the Grand Race like it’s some kind of salvation and all problems will go away with it seems not only naive but a bit too stupid to be taken seriously. But every time when this series concentrates on its epic battles it’s becoming really entertaining again.

  4. tktym says:

    just read a post about some of the issues that I have with this series as a whole that I found interesting: QUOTE:”In general, make a comparison between the first Exile and this Exile and our defined “main characters”. I know that they are different shows but the underlying themes and tropes employed within these shows were quite different as was their execution. For Claus, within the first ten episodes he has more than a handful of character establishing moments: the brutality of the war between Disith and Anatoray that he and Lavie experience first hand and their struggle to deliver a letter to Mad-Thane, the deaths of the courier and Gita, taking on the ten star mission and Al despite all the risks, his encounter with Alex, and so on, all of these establish the basis of his character and his personality. Conversely (or comparatively), Fam’s first ten episodes amounted to an almost nonsensical plot of stealing ships from idiots (which, at this point, seems to have had utterly no value to the plot aside from getting Fam together with Millia) and Fam’s over the top character and personality. Her character is exceedingly static when compared to her predecessor who went through the ringer on multiple occasions within just the start of the show, or when compared to the story itself. There is supposedly a serious war going on in the background which would lead to very chaotic emotions and while this was well portrayed through Claus and Lavia (maybe because they were indeed stuck in the middle of it) but Fam’s gung-ho giddiness really feels like a total disconnect.

    Compare further, how we got to see Claus’ talents as a pilot vs. how we saw it for Fam: the former started from displaying some skill in flying through a warzone but most of his development/talent came from his competition/life and death affair with Dio, Alex, and the battle for Al. For Fam? She’s established as good, little show of her being good against someone better or of comparable level, and her escapades always succeed because her opponents were/are all idiots.

    I’m not against Fam as a character, I’m against how Fam has been used as a character. Her goals and ideals are in stark contrast to the reality of what’s going on in the background and she (and her personality) honestly seem entirely out of touch with reality. She seems/feels unrealistic when compared to not only the rest of the cast in her show but the cast of the previous exile.

    The show has certainly picked up in the recent episodes but the triviality comes more in her involvement in the first ten or so episodes where aside from Millia, Fam was involved in a seemingly inconsequential plot of stealing ships and stealing because the plot demanded… for whatever reason. There’s a lot of time wasted on her character that hasn’t done much to actually help her (or anyone else’s for that matter) character develop, and it could have been better used for setting the pieces for the plot, reintroducing the old characters, and sparking the war conflict. Many of the biggest moments in the show as a whole have come (prior to the most resent couple episodes) from the reappearance of old characters and not Fam herself (with her involvement in these episodes being effectively coincidental). Ades’ characters have been deeper involved in the plot than Fam and they are our antagonists.

    This story as a whole has just been sloppy, from its handling of Fam, to its rocky first cour, to the dependence on idiot balls to keep the plot moving, and, worse of all, keeping Claus and Lavi barred from even being mentioned in the plot. The latter of which makes utterly no sense to me when Tatianna, Dio, and Al, have all appeared but we’ve yet to even hear word of mention of the former show’s main characters. If they are dead then just tell us because, as it is, the fact that Claus is no where near Al makes utterly no sense if established characteristics from the first show are to be believed. I feel like its being kept a secret either: for some shock factor later on from Al (but then that brings question as to why/how Dio/Tatianna/Al are not exactly showing signs of having lost someone as important as Claus was for all three of them), or because Claus at this point would pull a Kira on Fam GSD style.

    Last Exile the former had Claus as the main character but he failed regularly, was beaten regularly, evolved and had all the characteristics of a human, and his existence was always used as a compliment to other characters and a manner through which to develop others: Tatianna, Sophia, Alex, Al, Lavie, large chunks of the crew. Has Fam done this? For the most part through the entirety of this show, she’s been entirely disconnected from the greater war in tone and theme, and her character has been a static, overly idealistic… thing, that has succeed because the plot said so. “

  5. tktym says:

    As much as I appreciate many of the characters in this show, I still cannot come to feel comfortable with Fam. She feels wholly out of place in the cast, in the plot, and in the atmosphere of everything else that is going on. Its an utterly jarring difference when compared to the much more realistic lead characters of the first season or even other characters of this season, Fam does not feel real. She’s frighteningly too happy, completely oblivious to reality, and the show has never at all established her skills/abilities/personality as much more than a plot device. What’s worse is that the cast is so completely lopsided in its cast and focus where you have a visceral and brutal war that at times (many times) seemingly playing backdrop to Fam’s ability to “headbutt” other girls (not people in general, just girls) into submission. Last episode, I felt, picked up steam to tell us more of the story, this episode continued that scene through Dio and Al… and then completely changed direction with more of Fam’s (still) seemingly trivial involvement in the plot. If she wasn’t carting around princesses, keys to exile, and somehow stealing ships from possessors of galactic scale idiot balls, you could just remove her from the plot and make Dio or Milia the “main” character.

    I strongly felt that Last Exile never had a main character which allowed its plot to be branching and dynamic as it could focus on: Claus, Lavie, and Al, Alex, Sophia, Tatianna and Alvis, Dio and Luciola, Maestro Delphine, and the war between Disith and Anatoray. All of these were subplots that tied into the larger narrative of the story, and while some characters were “main” characters by definition they did not overshadow or undermine the focus on the rest of the cast. Now, in this show, I feel that even by just the “Fam of the Silver Wind” in the title, the show expects us to identify Fam as the main character and make her the most important thing… even if everyone but her is much more interesting as a character. And this is really detracting from the narrative of the story because it and its (the story’s real driving forces) main players are being overshadowed by Fam’s… harem.

    • RaftinaBR says:

      Read this on a forum: It makes perfect sense to keep Claus and Al apart, because Claus knows the mysteria with which to control Al, and Al is the key. They should be kept apart so the enemy can’t get both at the same time. It also allows Anatoray to use Dio as a decoy for the mysteria holder.

  6. kero says:

    I liked the epic fights!

    The brutality of war is very apparent here, where the provincial fleets were served up as cannon fodder. The lady at the top who has seen her fellow chaos comrades killed in this way, must surely be questioning what ‘good for the world’ is meaning in reality. I’m hoping for a rebellion in the Federation

    I don’t understand what Millia’s sister is up to, what exactly is making her follow Luscinia’s orders.

    After so many episodes, I still have not warmed up to the set of main characters. I wish that there was a battle general opponent that could fight out the war at the higher level against the ades federation, a la legend of the Galactic Heroes. Fam can be a part of a bigger plan, but if Fam IS the plan, then I will be disappointed.

  7. leongsh says:

    The way that this show is developing shows how inconsequential Fam, the main character, is becoming. She hasn’t really grown nor is she that fleshed out. I hope this series does not do a “Kumbayah” ending where the wars are resolved by having another Grand Race just because the main character wants to have another. Unfortunately, I feel that could likely be the ending.

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 05:51 PM)
    @K-off: Your not wrong, it certainly looks poor but some of the old gonzo animated stuff was far more woeful looking. Stellvia, which was done by xebec was another example of old anime cgi which was quite ugly to look at. Just as I prefer traditional effects in film I also prefer traditional animation techniques to cg.
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 05:42 PM)
    Lately, the use of badly integrated cgi have been making my eyes sore,from the obviously cgi background characters in Asterisk to the overly fluid mech movements in Aldnoah. I still remember the shitty cgi piano hands in Kimi no Uso.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 6. 2015 12:04 AM)
    On the note of good balance between humor and drama- I think BoJack Horseman is an example of a show that executed that almost perfectly in both seasons. You are laughing one minute and amused by the hijinks and silliness and the next minute you are actually moved and shocked by the honest introspection. Too be honest BoJack is more a tragic character then a goofy one, and his struggles are deeper and more existential than they have any business being in a show with anthropomorphic animals.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 11:56 PM)
    The changes in the setting actually made me more excited for season 3 then what I felt the past few weeks, since now the plot needs to move forward from the cliffhanger and hopefully this translates to more cohesion and refocusing on what mad the show great in the first place. I’m pretty sure S3 will also be a blend of episodic and arch story elements tho. Overall a few ups and downs but still a great show.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 11:52 PM)
    The finale also had some of the most overall arch story elements featured in the season. Earth joining the Galactic Federation is a big deal story-wise from now on. Also the use of a cover of Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” (not the Nine Inch Nails one clearly) was a nice fitting yet surprising touch. The throwback to Mr. PB after the credits was a good idea, but felt flat in it’s actual execution.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 11:49 PM)
    I thought R&M had a pretty good finale. The episode achieved what was missing from most of season 2, and that was a balance of randomness and meaningful bits. What made Rick Potion #9 and the previous season’s finale and general tone great was a sense of humor that was combined with more sincere drama and character developments; a sort of sweet melancholy.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 09:51 PM)
    @K-off, not having too much trouble with the interface but I still cannot create categories.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 08:56 PM)
    Eh, I’ve updated myself now on the onepunch manga and also the manga for yuruyuri, I can cross the shows off my list now. I forgot to mention onepunchs first episode crammed in the first volume.
    I stopped reading though around chapter 30, it was decent fun for a bit but I’ll be continuing with it in small doses.
  • k-off
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 08:19 PM)
    @Aidan Yeah? Well I at least have to hand it to psgels for continuing to pay for the site. By the way, is WordPress still fucked up on your end, or is it fine now?
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Oct 5. 2015 04:57 PM)
    @;(: Actually that was probably a bad word choice on my part, I meant that the humour in those episodes didn’t always work so well for me.

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