Synonyms: Rasuto Eguzairu
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 7, 2003 to Sep 29, 2003
24 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.021 (scored by 34184 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
action adventure fantasy sci-fi
SynopsisIt's the dawn of the Golden Age of Aviation on planet Prester, and retro-futuristic sky vehicles known as vanships dominate the horizon. Claus Valca, a flyboy born with the right stuff, and his fiery navigator Lavie are fearless racers obsessed with becoming the first sky couriers to cross the Grand Stream in a vanship. But when the high-flying duo encounters a mysterious girl named Alvis, they are thrust into the middle of an endless battle between Anatoray and Disith—two countries systematically destroying each other according to the code of chivalric warfare. Lives will be lost and legacies determined as Claus and Lavie attempt to bring peace to their world by solving the riddle of its chaotic core.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Last Exile: Sunadokei no Tabibito
Sequel: Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam
Summary: Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam Recaps
Characters & Voice Actors
Every anime studio has their ups and downs, their highs and lows, their hits and misses. There's not a single one that hasn't produced a decent title without producing something ... less than average (Manglobe came close, until they made a certain show about a Blacksmith). Surprisingly, many anime fans consider Gonzo to be one of the worst offenders, as while they have made some excellent shows, they have a catalogue of average to sub par (or worse), titles to their name as well.
Thankfully Last Exile is a one that, for the most part, they got right, but then again, the series was made to celebrate Gonzo's 10th anniversary so it's understandable that they made the extra effort.
The show follows the adventures of Claus Valca and Lavie Head, two childhood friends who are determined to follow in their father's footsteps, and become the best vanship couriers around. Like their respective parents, Hamilcar Valca and George Head, Claus is the pilot and Lavie is the navigator, and their entry into the Norkia Cup race signifies the beginning of their journey, one which will change both their lives.
One of the things that people complain about with Last Exile is that the first half of the series offers very little explanation about the events that occur while adding more and more layers to the plot. However, the more patient viewer will be rewarded as the answers are forthcoming in the second half of the show, and while there is a nice amount of complexity to the story, this is nowhere near enough to confuse people. In truth, I found the show was pitched in a manner that would appeal to many viewers as there is always enough going on to keep one interested.
What is most interesting about the show though, is that it is one of the few steam punk themed anime available. There are a number of aspects and designs that are clearly influenced by the Industrial Revolution and Germany during the time between the two World Wars, and more references are forthcoming when one looks closer at the series. There is also a clear influence from two classic Ghibli movies, Nausicaa and Laputa: Castle in the Sky, although neither of those titles is as heavily steam punk as Last Exile.
With regards to the look of the show, it's interesting to note that the visual production of the series relied heavily on CG. In particular, Gonzo used non-photorealistic rendering as a method to combine traditional hand drawn animation and CG, and the benefits of this technique are clearly visible throughout the anime. The quality of animation is extremely good throughout, and together with the designs of the characters, ships, equipment, and scenery, affords Last Exile a look and feel that is superior to most anime around.
That said, one of the issues with the series is that the rare colour clashes can sometimes be a little hard on the eyes.
The overall quality of the series extends to the music and effects too. The various tracks used throughout the series are often well chosen, whilst the numerous noises and sounds are well choreographed, and pitched at a level that rarely overwhelms the viewer. The OP, "Cloud Age Symphony" by Okino Shuntaro, is a strange piece of music that may not sit well with some viewers due to its more experimental approach. This is also true of the ED, "Over the Sky" by Kuroishi Hitomi, a track which is far more melodic than the OP, but retains the same off-kilter feel.
As for the acting, both Asano Mayumi and Saito Chiwa are in fine form as Claus and Lavie respectively, whilst Morikawa Toshiyuki is suitably taciturn as the enigmatic Alex Rowe. Each of the seiyuu portray their characters well, although there are one or two moments when the delivery seems a little forced, something that only really occurs during heavy action sequences.
One of the things that really sets Last Exile apart is the quality of its characters. Many people talk about things like "realism" and "believability" when it comes to characters, but in truth this is simply an attempt to explain how well the characters work in the context of the story, and also how well the characters follow certain patterns of behaviour that many know to be the average for people (and by this I mean how would the average, real world person react in a similar situation).
Its nice to see then, that Last Exile uses the characters very well. Both Claus and Lavie behave in a manner that is reasonable and understandable, and both are allowed to develop rather well over the course of the show. This is also true of a number of other characters, including Alex Rowe, who is akin to a modern day Harlock in some respects.
That's not to say that every character is great though, as there are on or two who don't seem to serve any real purpose, and are nothing more than window dressing. While it's true that there are always characters like this in any half decent story, the last place you should see them is on a battleship.
As a fan of steam punk, I found myself warming to Last Exile almost immediately. The plot, pacing and designs are very well handled and presented, and the story is easy to follow while retaining a degree of suspense and complexity - something which isn't easy to achieve. The series would easily appeal to fans of Nausicaa and Laputa, however fans of shows like Sakura Taisen, Steamboy, Giant Robo, or any anime about flying may find this rewarding viewing.
This is one of those rare titles that has something for everyone, but fans of steam punk should definitely give it a try.
Granted there are some minor niggles here and there, but overall Last Exile is well told story that looks and sounds great. A great deal of thought has gone into this series, and it shows in a number of ways. It's easily one of the more imaginative titles to appear in anime, especially as it's one that isn't based on a manga/novel/game/etc. It may not appeal to everyone, but those willing to give it a try may not be disappointed.
I just wish they'd make more imaginative shows like this instead of all the school based pap we're being served these days. read more
It was in the fall of 2003 that I purchased the first volume of director Koichi Chigara’s Last Exile, the series released to commemorate Gonzo’s tenth anniversary. My first impression after watching those first four episodes was simply that “Last Exile was beautiful.” Steampunk happens to be a favorite genre of mine. Last Exile was the show that first introduced me to it, first gave me a name to go with this style that intrigued me. Almost five years later I stand by that initial assessment but only to an extent. Last Exile is indeed a beautiful program to watch and to listen to however its plot and characters are something else entirely. This is a show that was thrust onto the world incomplete, without being fully realized. This does not make Last Exile a bad show by any stretch of the imagination but it is certainly not a very good one either.
Last Exile takes place in a marvelous steampunk world of giant hulking airships and smaller faster aircraft known as vanships that seems as much inspired by the industrial 19th century as it was by the 18th. The forces of the neighboring Disith are invading the country of Anatorey. Both nations engage each other according to rules handed down by a technologically advanced group with its own agenda known simply as the Guild that resides in the Grand Stream, a violent storm system that separates the two warring nations. Claus and Lavie, a pilot/navigator team who work as couriers with their vanship, are drawn into the ongoing conflict between Anatorey, Disith, and the Guild by Alex Rowe, the enigmatic captain of the rogue battleship Silverna and a mysterious little girl named Alvis.
The setting is truly one of Last Exile’s greatest strengths and it is aided by wonderfully detailed artwork and character designs from Range Murata who is known for his earlier work on another Gonzo production, Blue Submarine No. 6. Animation is smooth throughout although the presentation is weakened by an at times obtrusive use of computer-generated animation. At its best the blend of the two formats adds an epic grandeur to dogfights and naval battles. At it’s worst it stands out in sharp contrast to the two dimensionally animated elements that surround it like in the Silverna’s hanger filled with CGI vanships. The soundtrack for Last Exile was the only one composed by the group Dolce Triade which is made up of Hitomi Kuroishi, Maki Fujiwara, and Yuki Yamamoto (Kuroishi would later go on to work on the soundtrack for Code Geass). It comes across as appropriate to the epic scale Last Exile was aiming for and is more than a match for the animation in terms of quality.
It is, however, the story and characters that are often the most important elements of a successful program and it is in these two areas that Last Exile suffers the most. It is essentially the same deficiency in both and it is that Last Exile never really goes into any great detail on either its story or its characters. This isn’t necessarily true across the board. Claus and Lavie receive an entire episode devoted to their back-story and others such as Alex Rowe, Dio, and Luciola do receive a goodly amount of attention. In addition the vanship pilot/navigator relationship functions as a very interesting character dynamic. On the whole, however, there are a lot of areas that feel like there should be some development where if there isn’t a vague hint of detail there is only its complete absence. The pacing doesn’t leave much room for this sort of development, moving along at such a rate that when developments do occur they rarely feel natural let alone believable. Characters who were once enemies become allies and two nations that had been bitter enemies for years become friends as though all their previous hostilities meant nothing at all. There is something of a coherent story to be found for the attentive viewer but it is mostly the skeleton of one.
Last Exile’s conclusion only worsens matters by throwing logic completely out the window. Strategies are implemented and character deaths occur for no greater reason than that the writers needed them to happen for the sake of the conclusion they were trying to reach. In the end, very little is explained either. Yes, the true nature of Last Exile’s world is revealed as is the true nature of the mystery ship Exile but the ending only serves to raise more questions than it actually answers. What Last Exile truly needed was more time to flesh out its story and characters than its 26-episode length allowed. As it is Last Exile is still a good show despite its faults and it’s at least worth a look for the prospective viewer. Come for the setting and the audio/visual presentation just don’t expect the story and characters to match up. read more
Both these series has a genuin story, characters you really learn to like and they are flying in both series. Both main characters want to protect those who are close to them, and they both have a female flying with them. There are a huge storm in both series that they have to get through.
Both series are great, and you should take your time watching them both.
They're soo similar it's scary. The overall themes match, with both deal w/ character interactions with the world around them. And in both, the setting is almost like a character in and of itself. And of course, a heavy focus on flying. Eureka Seven is more futuristic, while Last Exile is more steampunk. Both are great series and if you liked one... odds are high that you'll like the other.
Both are excellent series with a focus on flight, and involve the main character(s) joining a rogue aircraft with a brooding leader and a likeable crew. In Eureka Seven the technology is more futuristic, while in Last Exile it's a steampunk-influenced combination of old and new.
These two anime are very similar, although their overall "feel"are somewhat different.
Renton and Klaus are two similar characters both in character and in they're abilities in flying craft.
Both anime deal with flying craft with Eureka seven having a more futuristic design and Last Exile one more 18/19th century / fantastical design.
Anyway, if you like one of them, you will defintaly not be dissapointed by the other.
Though both involve flying, it's in a very different way. Last Exile is very steampunk, while Eureka Seven has a cleaner, more futuristic feel. However, they're still very similar. Alex Rowe and Holland would either be best friends or kill each other. But the crew of the Silvana and the members of Gekkostate would definitely get along. And, unfortunately, they both have very vague (but epic) endings. The only main difference is that Last Exile lacks the romantic story Eureka Seven has.
Both Last Exile and Eureka Seven share adventure and sci-fi genre.
Still, both have a plot evolving around flying ships, war and interesting characters.
Klaus (for Last Exile) and Renton (for Eureka Seven) have to protect whose dear to them and will do it through the whole story.
A note to mention is also the good cast of seiyuus and very good art which both series have. Additionally, Last Exile has a quite nice ost.
As a difference instead, Eureka has a more futuristic technology while Last Exile shows an "oldish" technology on the style of 19th centuary.
For sure if you liked one of those, you'll probably enjoy the other as well!
Both sci-fi and have a boy and girl relationship which also involes flying planes/robots
They both have a couple of children as main characters. They both have as scenario a ship with strange people, that travel around the world.
seems to have a similar setup going on from the first episode i've seen. carries a strange technology in a world revolving around that of airships.
Airspace, adventure, action and a great base story. The main characters have their own ideals intertwining in a world of conflict. The scenery is similar, while the theme is different. Both anime's are easy to watch and have a great adventure in-store.
Last Exile and Bonen no Xamdo share a similar sort of flying-ship style, as well as the broad sky travel theme in general. There are also a few scenes that bear some similarity to Last Exile's universe, such as the group of white-haired children.
This Anime is very pretty similar, to Xam'd.
similar job (message deliverers).
only differents, xamd got mecha's.
flying vehicles; adeventures; great design;
Opening Theme"Cloud Age Symphony" by Shuntaro Okino
Ending Theme"Over The Sky" by Hitomi
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