Posted by psgels on 28 January 2012 with categories: Last Exile - Ginyoku no Fam

Oh, this episode. It really had me torn about Fam. I’m not certain of this yet, but this episode pushed me much more into believing that this series has the “bad main character”-syndrome.

There was one particular line of hers that really stood out. It was at the beginning of the episode, in which she was crying about the fate of her hometown. I think the line was something like “why? We just want to fly.”

Um, why? Because you’ve been stealing the federation’s ships, obviously. This line really told me that Fam… doesn’t really understand the situation she’s in. She also immediately got cheery after that, acting like everything will be alright, even though a lot of people died here. The rest of the episode thankfully did show that she’s bothered with a lot of things, but she never could accurately describe them, nor find a good solution for this until the salvation came at the end of this episode. That’s the kind of mentality that is good for a side-character, but not a main one who is supposed to drive the storyline forward.She;s still an enjoyable character, but she so doesn’t fit this series. Compare that to Kuniko of Shangri-la: she knew that she was a leader, and she actually kept trying to take responsibility for it.

And the thing with this episode: the rest of the characters were really good here. Milia developed, we know why her sister betrayed her (neat idea to change the federation from the inside) and the dialogue between the different side characters continued to build upon the setting and story here. That all was really well done.

So in the end the problem is a bit with the marketing of this series. Shangri-La unfortunately bombed, so the producers didn’t want to go with an as colourful and strong main cast this time, and instead went for the safe option of having a bunch of cute girls at the center in order to boost the sales. And really: Giselda and Milia are just fine. It’s just Fam whose character just feels out of place here.
Rating: * (Good)

22 Responses

  1. Froob says:

    “Out of place” is a massive understatement. I just want to rub her face and chest against some abrasive sandpaper in the hope of getting a Claus Valca lookalike in exchange.

    • leokiko says:

      hahahahaha xD

    • tktym says:

      yeah, claus was boss, so was Lavi . . .god I miss those two :(

      I also miss Alex. . .old Dio, Luciora, Moran, Alvis, *sigh* I think Im going to watch the first season again lol

      • Cholisose says:

        Dang… just seeing this list of names is nostalgic. First season Last Exile had an *awesome* cast–even down to the random mechanics. I already dropped this Fam season, but I might want to pop in some of my Last Exile DVDs sometime soon as well… >_>

        • Myssa Rei says:

          I think it’s far too quick to say that the previous Last Exile’s cast is better than this one, else you’re just letting your nostalgia get the better of you. Aren’t we forgetting that Claus himself was pretty much an idealistic potato for 12-odd episodes, AND the series seemed to conveniently have women (and Dio!) attracted to him?

          • Froob says:

            You people have been saying that we’ve been “far too quick” to judge since day one. Might have been justified at first, but it’s been friggin 15 eps already, my friend!!

          • Froob says:

            Oh, his ideals always too a back seat for his desire to watch over Alvis for the first part of the series, btw. Even if it was the way you see it (which I’m sure some people share), he was at least way more classy in showing it.

          • Cholisose says:

            Potatoes are good for you! And Claus was idealistic the whole series, IIRC. Nothing wrong with that. :>

            I don’t know–it’s all a matter of opinion of course, but I just feel Claus and Lavi had more personality to them, and were easier to sympathize with right from the get-go. And the likes of Alex, Dio, and Tatiana acted as great foils for Claus, which created some very interesting chemistry and conflict.

        • psgels psgels says:

          The reason it took me this long to label Fam as a bad main character was that I wasn’t trying to compare her to Claus and Lavie. She and Giselda, while having some similarities, are completely different characters, making this a completely different series with a bit of a more warm-hearted nature to it. Unfortunately, this approach just doesn’t work as well as I would have hoped it, especially after this episode.

          • RaftinaBR says:

            I’m not sure singling out Fam is quite fair. Her naivete about the political situation of the world appears to be common to varying degrees among the pirate youth. Take a few examples:

            1. While Fam was the only one who objected to Millia’s resolve to defeat Liliana, the two boys were quite surprised to hear it as well.

            2. Giselle was the one who assumed Sara was turning against Luscinia, and judging by the preview, neither has the restraint sufficient for diplomacy. It’s only Millia, with her royal upbringing, who realized what was really going on behind the scenes.

            Her naivete is more of an extreme example of the irresponsible lifestyle of the sky pirates–not necessarily a personal flaw.

            I seem to recall Giselle mentioning that the sky pirates have to move on a fairly frequent basis because of Ades crackdowns. That could explain the general cheerfulness in Kartoffel–as long as the people are safe, they are ok, and they can look forward to joining a worthy cause of supporting Millia against Ades instead of spending their entire lives on the run and stealing.

  2. atua says:

    “Oh, this episode. It really had me torn about Fam. I’m not certain of this yet, but this episode pushed me much more into believing that this series has the “bad main character”-syndrome.”

    No, you have it exactly right Psgels. It was shown so starkly this episode. Every time Fam shows up, the episode just grinds to a halt. Even Milia, who I was cool on at the beginning of the series, was fine. In fact, I think her character has improved the most out of the whole cast.

  3. leokiko says:

    LOL? You only realized Fam suck…now? She’s a trashy main character. She have always been.

    What this episode did for me: Proved that Millia should be the main character.

  4. tktym says:

    Finally Psgels sees the light, and yeah I think Millia is a great character and getting better…though gisey is a bit too steryotypical moe for me, but it could be just in juxtoposition to Fam. . .I mean sure, I dont need gisey to be fucking balsa from serirei no moribito but c’mon ever since she got that stupid drama crap with her getting jealous of millia etc, its like the creators have no more use for her than to just be the whiny, shy moe blob-.- hell, I’d at least hope for the creators to have gisey get pissed and smack fam around a couple of times (GOD that would be great)

  5. tktym says:

    oh Also, the whole story thread about the chaos lady from the federation switching sides. . .pretty facepalm worthy I mean seriously. if the evil guy wanted to get rid of all the chaos people. . .why did he leave the one person that could turn against him and exploit his weaknesses alive? Was he just stupid? Did he forget? No.

    Its because the Writers gave him the script before hand, and knowing that he has to lose eventually, made it possible for her to defect. . .i.e. BAD WRITING. For a series as important as this has supposedly been to improve on the legacy of the first installment, it just seems like they just opened the Dictionary of Cliche and copy pasta’d the whole damn book!

    • Myssa Rei says:

      tktym: The thing is with Vasant is that Luscinia was banking on her loyalty to Augusta Sara as a safeguard to her not turning on him. Too bad he didn’t consider the fact that she might actually have had friends in the fleet…

  6. gandalf8 says:

    “I think the line was something like “Why? We just want to fly.”

    I was also floored by the utter stupidity of Fam when she uttered that line. I’ve always had very mixed feelings about the whole Sky Pirate organization. The story portrays them as these free spirited people made up of outcasts from the other nations who seek for an adventurous lifestyle while having a huge love of the sky and the art of flying. Yet, at their core, they are pirates. They steal and hijack other peoples ships for gods sake. Maybe Fam’s band of pirates eschew violence when procuring their ships, but that cannot guarantee a bloodless operation every time. And other bands of Sky Pirates may not share their peaceful methods while hunting the ‘Skyfish’.

    And I wholeheartedly agree that Fam is a bad main character for this series.

  7. esha25 says:

    Ditto to the posters saying that this show grinds to a halt whenever Fam is in the limelight. They wasted a good 3-4 minutes showing a useless vespa race, to once again show us what we already know about Fam — she just wants to fly.

    Her naivete about the situation surrounding her is face palm worthy at this point. We are 15 episodes in, and this show still hasn’t hit it’s stride.

  8. pgal says:

    Fam is painful to watch! Eventually I shall start skipping her scenes. Her attitude would be fine as a side character, but as the main its awful. Everyone else is bearable but not her since she never makes sense. Her belief that the Grand Race is where everyone is peaceful and happy is baseless given that all the current problem stems for the assassination that took place that very day.

  9. imredjimmy says:

    Yeah in the end, the character of Fam dissapointed. However, I’m more then pleased with Milia. I feel like she has developped a lot since episode 1 and I always enjoy watching her character. I feel like this episode marked the: let’s now head towards the conclusion of the series. It should be interesting.

  10. lite says:

    calling it now fam is a key to an exile

  11. bori kuwa says:

    We’re being trolled by the writers: they’re making Fam inconsequential and annoying on purpose so Lite may be onto something here. So far Fam remains an orphan without any apparent family background. On that regard the writers can easily pull something outrageous out of their behinds.

  12. DangerMouse says:

    “Yet, at their core, they are pirates. They steal and hijack other peoples ships for gods sake. Maybe Fam’s band of pirates eschew violence when procuring their ships, but that cannot guarantee a bloodless operation every time.”

    They only steal from the very nation that kicked them out of their homelands and into being nation-less, which is how the Sky Pirates were formed, they are refugees from Ades invasions as outlined in ep 3.

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  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Mar 2. 2015 01:29 AM)
    Late to this one but
    @BrendanVGC, that’s kinda tough. See there is a huge amount of very different manga that fall under the category “Seinien” You would kinda need to give us a more focused genre to work with here. Like horror, action etc.
    And pretty sure death note is shounen.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 07:35 AM)
    Damon I am more used to seeing in a drama or comedy role I reckon rather than an action hero.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 07:24 AM)
    Eric Bana is so underated =<
    I want to see more of the man on film.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 05:52 AM)
    The story would’ve been much more anchored and believable if the social imbalance wasn’t portrayed so heavy-handedly. It makes no sense for every house in Elysium to have a healing-bed that completely restores you and they dint bother to put a single one on Earth to keep the working class happy and healthy. I mean, c’mon now.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 05:49 AM)
    Yeah the action sequences were the best parts of Elysium. I don’t k ow, I just don’t feel Matt Damon in these roles anymore and I hope they stayed with Eric Bana like the rumors were hinting; that probably would’ve made it a more personal story.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:55 AM)
    Its been too long since I saw district 9 to have an accurate opinion on it.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:54 AM)
    I can remember giving higher points to elysium when I saw it first because I really needed/wanted to see an R rated action movie. But apart from Sharlto Copley as the villain it was in hindsight fairly miscast, the ending was quite poor and the script could have been improved on, I liked the robots/action scenes however.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:20 AM)
    I have a feeling that the movie’s gonna suck tho. District 9 was good, Elysium was a mess and Chappie looks like a Short Circuit ripoff with nothing new to add. I have respect for Blomkamp since he started as an animator and probably has respect for the medium and a good eye for aesthetics, by he’s doing progressively more conventional stuff as his career goes on.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 01:41 AM)
    Ha, so I wasn’t wrong when I came across that film Chappie and thinking that the robot resembled Briareos from appleseed, the director’s a fan of Masume Shirow’s work apparently.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 12:16 AM)
    @Brendan: That completely hinges on your personal taste, but Vagabond is one of the best Chanbara ones around, with superb art, fast pacing and entertaining storyline. Berserk should go without saying as it’s a codifier for many Seinen conventions, but Vinland Saga is another great series which is in similar vein. Biomega and Drifters are also worth a look.

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