Hah! Now this is more like it. This episode had really little action, and yet it’s my favorite Ginyoku no Fam episode in quite a while now. It had this genuine warmth that I have been missing for a while now, it was different from the previous episodes and offered some variety, there was a lot of focus on the different politics of this series and again Fam knew her role and wasn’t shoved at the center stage.
With this episode I realized that the previous episodes of this series have been a tad monotone, and really needed a bit more variety than what they have shown so far. Probably the big culprit of that was how this show had to focus on cute girls and all. This episode also finally developed the themes of war further. Thins really got resolved now, yet at the same time the ending of this episode showed how fragile peace can be. It was a particularly good twist to have the Gracien girl try to assassinate the big bad guy, and Lilliane’s death definitely made an impact, especially considering how she consciously sacrificed herself. Also, Fam is a princess.
The next episodes have a tough question to answer: why was that necessary? I mean, with Shangri-La it always was obvious that Kuniko was special in the way that the villain was intereseted in her. Here though, I’m not sure what the purpose of all of this is other than making Fam feel special. This is episode 20, there are only three or four episodes left. It feels tacked on at this point.
What also worries me a bit is that we still haven’t gotten any new information about new Gonzo projects. The sales of the second volume of the DVD were about as much as the first volume (around 3000 copies), which thankfully isn’t the disaster that was Shangri-La’s record, but still means that Gonzo probably made some losses, having also financed a lot of this project themselves. However, what are their plans for the rest of the year? They’re awfully quiet, considering taht they should be nearly done with Last Exile here.
The impression I get from watching Last Exile is that most of Gonzo’s talented animators went over to David Production, along with a bunch of producers (you can really see Gonzo’s boldness in a lot of David Production’s projects), while Gonzo’s 3D department, the part at which they were the most innovative, remained at their side, along with most of their bad animators (the badly animated parts of this series are animated in the exact same way tht other badly animated Gonzo shows were). It’d be a shame for them to go bankrupt anyway.
Rating: ** (Excellent)