It’s a bit hard to recommend Last Exile – Ginyoku no Fam, because it had to live up to the expectations of the original Last Exile… and it didn’t. Still, I still consider it a series worth watching, and it is the proof that Gonzo isn’t dead yet.
But yeah, go into this expecting a war story that just happens to take place in the same universe as Last Exile. The mood and tone of this series have some signfiicant differences, and mots of all this series lacks the refinement that its predecessor has. The character animation often is sloppy, there is much less time spent at believable acting and realism, and the charactes too are a lot closer to caricatures.
The big difference is in the plot, though. It’s here where Ginyoku no Fam lacks creativity. It’s all just too average and straight-forward, and it tries too much to center aruond cute girls… in the middle of a war. Too many episodes are just dedicated to “war is bad”, without much refinement to it. To me, the creators seemed very conflicted on what they wanted to do with their main character, Fam. First they establish her character as a delivery girl, and there are times where she really does well to keep true to that role, in particular the ending. At other times though, they want her to be more involved in the actual war, and that’s where this show leaves the most to be desired, as we’re treated to a very whiny teenager who keeps preaching peace over and over again, and who gets shoehorned into politics that she doesn’t belong in.
So yes, be warned. Those who give it a chance however, will be rewarded by some absolutely gorgeous aerial battles, an excellent sense of world building and a pretty engaging atmosphere here. It’s especially the setting int his series that stands out, because the creators created a ton of interesting locations, with some of the most gorgeous background art and architectures. They dabble a bit in different cultures, and the creators really managed to bring the overall world to life, especially in the first half of this series.
The characters are a bit of a mixed bag, but there also is enough good stuff among them. Fam has her moments where she gets really annoying, but she also has a vew moments where she redeems herself, and the cast of side-characters has a number of interesting people walking around who do manage to spice up the story. It remains an unbalanced production though, but I do think that it gets too much flak. It’s no masterpiece, but it’s got enough reasons to make it worth watching.
|Storytelling:||7/10 – Could have used a bit more ambition and gets distracted often, though its atmosphere is good.|
|Characters:||7/10 – The creators were conflicted in how to use their main character, and thefore she tends to get in the way of everything. It’s got some good moments of characterization, though.|
|Production-Values:||9/10 – Amazing background art, the action scenes in this show look gorgeous. The 2D animation… not so much.|
|Setting:||9/10 – Excellent and intriguing setting. This series has a lot of fun with its world building.|