There's something dignified and respectable about a show like Last Exile that tells a great, unique story and quietly leaves you to praise it. Its sequel, Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing, destroys every bit of that uniqueness and dignity. It's content to merely hover where its predecessor soared, and feels like a desperate, cheap cash-in rather than any sort of real sequel. This review wouldn't be necessary if people judged it merely on the rating, but with so many unwarranted 8's and higher misleading people (including myself), fans of the first Last Exile need a better frame of reference.
The story is where this
show immediately falls apart. Without giving too much away (there isn't much to give away), A big nasty empire comes and destroys a smaller nation, and of course, it's up to a small resistance to stand against them and find out what they're really up to. Our protagonists, a few very young girl sky pirates, commandeer enemy ships for the resistance and the princess of the small nation. Gone is the first episode with a full-on sky battle between two puppet nations, with rows of musketeers firing from the decks. Gone are the two interesting protagonists, who may or may not have a relationship, scraping by with just their fathers' van-ship, caught up unwillingly into something big, something they were destined for. Gone is the mysterious "Guild" from the first show, too.
The story's only merit being that it's entirely standard, we must continue on the story's flaws: it's filled with childish and completely unbelievable scenarios. Last Exile had some of this, but it never strayed away from showing the horrors of the politics and wars at hand. In this sequel it isn't uncommon for a tiny ship to fly through a fleet unscathed simply because protagonists are on it. Actually, it happens in nearly every episode. Twelve episodes in, you will only know the three things you knew in episode two: Empire bad, little girls are good, and moons are magic space-ships. It does nothng new, and it does everything old extremely poorly. Storytellers should understand the basics of nature, warfare, the human condition, and conquest before writing about it. This show throws a big empire at you, makes them do bad things, and they're just automatically the villain. Past 12 episodes this may change, but after that duration most stories have fully developed political backgrounds. Last Exile had reasons for why the nations were at war, and made it clear resources were scare. This sequel, like it's cast, is childishly written.
On to the aforementioned cast. Characters in Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wing, are among the most forgettable, uninteresting, motive-less husks of human beings and not-human beings ever put into an animated production. They even insult past beloved, central characters of the first series by shoving them into side roles where they barely appear in favor of these far less interesting newcomers. This is particularly infuriating, as Dio, Tatiana, or Vincent would have all made incredible main characters. Fam is your typical happy-go-lucky, fearless-by-stupidity, loli protagonist who just likes capturing ships, it seems. She's committing theft, why should I be rooting for her? Is smiling and doing random reckless acts identifiable to anyone at all? Her navigator is Giselle, a much better character who is at least smart, but spends most of her time, like Fam, just being cute for the camera. Neither of them show empathy, struggle, or reveal anything other than vague cuteness and plot-defiant heroism. These characters never make an attempt to rationalize the war, which is understandable, considering that there really isn't anything to understand about it. How many children do you know that would just casually accept being involved in a war with a huge empire, still smiling at every instant?
Are ships characters? Because in the original Last Exile they were. The Silvana was one of the coolest ships ever, with a bad-to-the-core, funny, and enigmatic crew. This show's substitute, the Silvius, is a perfect reflection of the show: it pales by comparison in every way. It's boring, with a largely nameless, skinny, short-haired male archetype crew. Why do they blindly follow this princess (who is no longer a princess, of course) to re-build her nation? It is never explained why, it's just accepted. Where is this show's Alex Row, the tortured captain with secret ties to his crew? Where is this show's battleship-with-chainsaws moment? Most of all, where is the personal, human element? The entire atmosphere of Last Exile came from it being a colonial steam punk style, but there's no musketeers or soldiers, just commanders and little girls who can do anything.
The artwork is still admirable for the most part, comparable to the first series, but with a markedly lazier and less creative design for the mechanical side of things. It still has that special aesthetic that demands merit. The colors in some scenes are beautiful, the architecture of cities is breathtaking. Costumes and character designs are also easy to admire, if only they had as much care put into their insides. The art can't be faulted, its integration of CG modeling even more seamless and enjoyable.
Sound, like the art, is good, using a lot of the same songs and sounds of the first Last Exile. It's nostalgic, almost like it's trying very hard to say "This IS a sequel, remember, see?". The intro is artistically valuable, too, though cant compare to Last Exile's Cloud Age Symphony. Gun-battles between metal sky-behemoths sound chaotic, you know, like battles, and that's all one can really ask for. The voice cast does it's job, nothing spectacular, as there really wasn't one emotional scene in 12 episodes.
Overall, Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wing, is a cash-in of the worst kind, capturing none of the essence of the first show by slapping a boring, over-used plot on an original series. It then proceeds to tease old fans with returning characters, shadows of their former selves, to play background while loli's giggle in the forefront. As a fan of the original, and as a fan of many of Gonzo's works when many are not, this is a highly disappointing venture on their part. A little wisdom and care would have gone a long way. The awareness that someone will say "you only watched barely over half the series, how dare you criticize it!" haunts me, so let me rebut: a good show is good throughout its majority, a good sequel is comparable to the quality of the former in all respects. Last exile was, indeed, called LAST Exile for a reason.
When a sequel to Last Exile was announced, it had a real air of desperation to it. It felt like Gonzo were desperately rummaging through their back catalogue to find an IP with recognisable quality that they could rehash for some extra dough. The original Last Exile was great, but it was also complete, and ended in a way that solved all the characters issues and wrapped everything up in a perfect package. It by no stretch needed a sequel. But they did so anyway, setting it with new characters and on a completely different planet, with only very loose connections to what happened in
the original. That all said, Gonzo put an extraordinary amount of effort into this, pumping out something that I would say could stand proud alongside the original. That is, if it wasn't for Fam.
Let's talk about the good first though. Last Exile was a standard-bearer for how to integrate CGI into hand-drawn animation well, keeping only the machinery CGI. Last Exile Fam is that except bigger, better and with more intricate detail. The scale of the CGI models for the battleships is phenomenal. They really give the sense of these giant clunky machines that were built by real people, with insignias and rivets and everything. Asides from simply looking impressive, this also helps flesh out the world by designing everything so well. The variations between the bad guys factory produced fancy ships and the pirates less conventional looking weapons to the Russian women's pointy fighter jets. There's a real sense of different cultures conveyed through the designs. It feels like a proper world. There's a great sense of epic scale to these battles too, because you can feel how immense these ships are. Compared to something like Legend of the Galactic Heroes, where the space battles may as well have been some kid on his playroom floor going "pew pew pew", when a ship explodes in Last Exile Fam, it really gives the sense that a monster has been taken down. The pitched battle sequences here are probably the best in any anime I've ever seen.
The way the different cultures are portrayed ties into the other big area I feel Last Exile Fam excels at: The politics. Each nation has a reason for fighting and reasons for wanting peace, but what it does really well is how it is portrayed. It's not done through some boring narration over a shot of people fighting. When you just throw names of nations and political ideals at you, it just goes in one ear and out the other. You have no reason to care. Last Exile Fam does this well by having the politics centre around a small group of characters that are central to the conflict and it's their ideals and personalities that shape the direction. On one side we have the two Princesses of Turan and on the other we have the military one-eyed general and his teeny tiny Augusta. It all works because it explains why these people are fighting through character development, which is how politics in a story should be conveyed. OK, it's a little too keen on making the military general start massacring people, but his reasoning are logical and human. You understand why he's doing it.
The problem starts when the person they use to watch this conflict through the eyes of is a complete brainless twat. As far as I'm concerned, Princess Millia is the main character in this story, or at least she should be. She's the character with flaws and the one with the real human investment in this conflict, both for political and personal reasons. She is the one who is developing slowly through her encounters with different nations and people. However the person she chose to ride around with is Fam. Fucking. Fam. The most brainless moronic single-minded simpleton to ever grace the skies. A character who mindlessly blunders her way through anything and everything, not having the mental capacity to doubt herself or justify her actions beyond her witless adherence to the genki philosophy. This character archetype has slowly but surely become one of my most hated, up there alongside the Yuji Everylead the Bland. The problem here is that genki juvenile idiotic energy is treated like A Good Thing. Her justification to just jump into things because it feels right should not be something that constantly rewards her. It's not that I can't enjoy a stupid character. Yuki in Future Diary is an idiot, but he gets punished for his idiocy, and is therefore incredibly entertaining to watch. People just conform to Fam's way of thinking, degrading the intelligence of the conversation around her.
Possibly my favourite episode of the series so far was the flashback one to the Grand Race where Fam is only 6 years old, part of the reason being because her idealistic energy flying in the face of actual facts fitted someone who was only 6 years old. Every single other character from the flashback had since developed. But not Fam. Oh no. She remains exactly the fucking same. The next episode had a scene where Fam said she wanted to return to the times like the one where the Grand Race took place, only for the Russian chick to point out that there was an assassination there that highlighted that there was unrest beneath this seemingly happy scene and it was merely a mask for the problems in the world. But such a complex issue couldn't fit into Fam's tiny brain, so she just blunders on saying she wants to recreate that day anyway. What's worse is the other characters agree with her. They get sucked in by her stupidity, their own brains abandoning their skulls in the face of this black hole of intelligent writing.
I like this new rendition of Last Exile. I love the scale and intensity of the battles, the development of characters such as Millia and the military commander, and how well realised the world is. But Fam is a giant gormless genki wart on this otherwise great series, degrading everything she comes into contact with. Fuck you Fam, you suck.
::Update upon finishing the anime::
In the end, I had to hike the score up from a 7 to an 8 for Fam finally admitting around about the 4th last episode that she had been a naive twat the entire time. Too little too late perhaps, but it gave the character some much needed development.
Roughly eight years have passed since the final episode of Last Exile. We all remember how it concluded: after defeating the antagonist and ending a war that was raging for eternity, good guys laid their hands on a sleeper ship and went to another world to live in peace and harmony. But what they actually arrived at turned out to be the twisted, corrupted world of unnecessary sequels.
Truly, Gonzo was having a tough time and needed a strong comeback that will allow it to stay in business, so they chose to milk one of their old successful and popular titles. Was it a wise decision?
Probably, it was. Does the new show turn out to be good? Well, let’s find out.
The story is pretty simple. A young sky pirate girl named Fam Fan Fan is accidentally caught in a war unleashed by bad, bad Ades Empi— I mean, Federation. (But hell, it is ruled by an empress!) Fam along with her friend, Giselle Collette, saves life of a Turanian princess named Millia who asks the sky pirates for help in the noble quest of liberating her country.
And here we come across the most obvious and fatal flaw of Gin’yoku no Fam — the protagonist and title character, Fam herself. Firstly, she is the worst kind of a pacifist who honestly believes that all people in the world can easily throw away their differences, lay down weapons and then just fly in the vast blue sky, full of joy and happiness. Fam never questions her ideals while on war where, big surprise, people are dying because somebody isn’t able to just give up on his goals, be it revenge, greed, survival of relatives, or anything else. To be fair, this naïve faith is not a bad trait, but the fact that she always holds to it no matter what is really stupid and irritating. Well, Fam receives some character development near the end of the series but it was too damn late for me to like her. Secondly, the way plot revolves around her is unbearable. Her Noble Phantasm is Deus Ex Machina: The Slayer of Suspension of Disbelief. Fam can fly in the middle of the battle and never be harmed, she can infiltrate enemy’s flagship with ease, hell, she can probably go back in time and save John Lennon or something. I get that she is a genius pilot but there are limits to how far the writer can stretch it. Thirdly, she is voiced by Toyosaki Aki-shi. It’s just personal and very subjective but I can’t stand Toyosaki-shi as a seiyū of protagonist in this kind of show. Her voice is hammered into my mind with air-headed clumsy girls, so no way I can take her as a world saviour seriously.
That’s it with Fam, now I want to say two words about other characters. Giselle seems like a pretty generic sidekick to me, but that’s okay because she rarely steals the spotlight. On the other hand we have Millia and she is one of the better parts of the series. Millia receives a lot of character development from start to finish, she can be irritating at first but she gets better little by little and progresses a lot throughout the show becoming one of the small number of Gin’yoku no Fam characters I feel little sympathy for. Another interesting character is the main antagonist, Luscinia Hāfez, the Premier of Ades Federation. Yes, his actions seem unreasonable and more I think of them less sense they make, but most of the time watching the series I spent on figuring out how far he can and will go, how much of him believe that his way is the only possible solution for the crisis. That was some kind of pleasure.
One thing people complained a lot about Gin’yoku no Fam was fanservice. Their point was this series seems like a sequel to Strike Witches not to Last Exile. To be fair, there is not much fanservice here and what is present is not really annoying. The only thing got on my nerves was Millia trying to take over the ship with her maid uniform. Yeah, it was played for laughs but this scene stood out too much and was too damn stupid, so I just cannot let it slip by. On the other hand, cameos of Last Exile’s characters (kinda fanservice too) were utterly pointless. They were lazily written into the new series for appearance’s sake only. For example, Dio’s overall impact on the plot is exactly zero, so I get this sticky feeling that Gonzo here is just trying to draw attention of the original series fan base.
And one more thing before I call it a day. Let me bring up the philosophy, the basic idea of both series. It’s pretty simple: the war is bad. We can see it through both the original series and Gin’yoku no Fam. The problem with the latter is how that idea was integrated into the plot. In Last Exile we have the Guild. It enforces strict rules of combat resulting in a lot of casualties, casualties that can be avoided if you break the rules. But if you do it, you will be punished by the Guild because it has superior technology and can easily crush you. And even if you follow the rules, a member of the Guild can call off the engine of your ship on a whim, just because he thinks it’s fun. So you’re screwed no matter what you do. This is unfair and cruel. This is war, guys, and this is why it’s bad. And what can Gin’yoku no Fam offer? We have our protagonists flying here and there and talking about friendship. We have loli Empress crying because fighting is making her sad. Oversimplification and child’s play. The war is bad. The oranges are orange. Care to explain why Gin’yoku no Fam is about war and not about oranges, Gonzo?
So, overall, is this series a powerful comeback? Hell no. I won’t cry if Gonzo returns to animation studio asylum. Gin’yoku no Fam is certainly a nice try but its shell is sadly empty. The setting is cool, but the plot while having a good build-up is too much of a cliché and the characters are either annoying or just simply not memorable. To be fair, this series has some good scenes and nice background music but that’s not enough. I rate it 7 points. Too high, maybe, but at least it’s not as bad as war.
I have heard great things about the first installment of Last Exile and it appears many people are expecting much or at least the same from this one. I have never seen the first Last Exile, so I can't say for sure they'd be disappointed or happy.
For one I am not disappointed in this first episode. Here's why:
I'm the kind of guy that doesn't read synopsis' or summaries, etc when animes first come out. I feel the best way to get a sense of how good an anime is going to be is to just jump right in and see where it takes you. In
this instance you are taken for a big ride in the first episode. Right from the start you are given action and lots of it, but at the same time you get to understand where the main characters (it appears to be Fam and the Princesses) come from and their stories. Fam is a pirate who pretty much steals ships along with her comrades. You can tell she's just a no nonsense kind of girl who is fearless when flying which leads you to think of her as a tomboy. Lilliana (the older "wiser" sister) and Milla (the younger more pessimistic one) are the two princesses of Turan who seek peace with the Ades Federation, who agreed to sign a peace treaty over the sacred Grand Lake. Unfortunately Lilliana's good nature and humility leads her to be betrayed by the Ades federation, something Millia suspected might have happened. In comes Fam to the rescue (for a price of course, she's a pirate!) who with her small vanship (and her fellow vanships) causes the Ades Federation Fleet of ships to fall in confusion. At the meantime the supposed two main characters Liliana and Fam meet each other face to face...and that's where we are left off.
I have to say I really enjoyed the first episode. Lots of action, the story progresses well enough for a first episode and you get to know the characters a little bit or just enough to enjoy it. You are given subtle hints of the past from a couple of the characters in the show that I didn't describe, but that probably is best left for the viewer to watch and understand. I give the story so far an 8. It was somewhat fast paced and action packed the first episode, but that didn't really take anything away from understanding it.
Are you kidding me? It's great. Probably one of the best I've seen so far this year. Yes they use CGI, but man did they do a great job mixing it in with the drawings. I mean really good. I was impressed. Interesting character designs, ships, etc you name it. I give it a 9.
I liked the music. It felt like it belonged or was made for this show. I don't know how to really describe it, but most of the music had a very nostalgic feeling to it and when the action came, it really let you know it. I give it a solid 9.
You are introduced to them and given a little background info. I wasn't expecting much character development since this was the first episode ( I say it usually takes two to three episodes for that). You are given however, a glimpse of Fam and the two princesses along with the Prime Minister of Ades (who's name escapes me for the moment). Not much of anyone else other than those four. To me it doesn't really take much away from the first episode though. So I have it a high 7.
I enjoyed it very much. Kept me watching and on my toes. It was a great opening to what seems will be a great show. Though you are not given much story or character development (just enough in my opnion), the show did what it was suppose to, which was keep you watching and waiting to see what will happen in the next episode. I give the the show overall an 8.5. I recommend it.
Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam goes from an interesting tribute to a snoozer and ends in a failure.
Throughout the early episodes of the series, I remember having favorable opinions for the show; it reminds me of the brilliance of the first season, the vast world, and even one of the first reasons I started liking anime, because Last Exile was one of the earliest shows I've watched. I hated Millia, but I liked Fam, and that Toyosaki Aki did a pretty good job on her. As long they keep this up and moving on to the real story, it would turn out really good.
have a good story. After the first, say, 1/3 of the story, one of the most prominent problems began to show up: the lead character Fam. There are many, many things said about her character, I think I can sum it up as having no depth, no variance in personality, and no character development. She wasn't unique in any way, and she doesn't have any kind of background except for being really good at piloting. She has a one-dimensional personality and only one approach to every single problem in the story. And she learned nothing and changed nothing throughout the entire story. As you would expect, things becomes really boring, fast.
Then... when it comes down to the important moments, the storytelling was pure shit. When did the primary enemy change from Sera to Luscinia? All that screentime on Orang just for his 10 seconds of fame? A single message from Sera to end all conflict, instantly? A single ship shows out of nowhere and starts shooting everything, and the battle ends right there? The pacing is also terrible. Episode 19 contain one of the most important battles in the story, yet they rushed through it so as to begin the next part.
And finally, the story, which also disappoints. The ending left me confused about Luscinia's real objective in the end. Was he trying a Lelouch here? If so, it was terribly executed, because both Liliana's and his actions were really unjustified. I found it so un-agreeable that I'm still hesitant to believe that was supposed to be the conclusion to the story. The final impression of the story almost always rests on the ending, and such an unsatisfying ending is pretty much the worst you can do.
Oh wait, just one more. Of the two most important, and most anticipated weapons our main characters can wield, one never showed up, and one blew up on a whim. What a good idea, right?
I could talk more about the things that this series did wrong, but I don't want to turn this more into a list more than it already does. The most enjoyable episode turns out to be a recap of the previous season. So, is this a complete waste of time? Well, the show does have several good points. The production values are excellent, being Gonzo's supposed flagship material after all. I never think that they quite captured the "steampunk" feel as compared to the previous season, but I supposed that's subjective. Since the animation quality often matters a lot more to me than other people, I must say that this isn't a complete waste of time; I did enjoy it a fair bit. If you would have me recommend this to people, I can only say that this is a huge disappointment; especially if you've watched the first season.
Story Style: Really, really bad
The original Last Exile was relatively good sci-fi anime. One of Gonzo's best efforts to make anime for normal people, if not overtly popular.
It featured a highly-skilled pilot (Claus) and his tough-as-nails (to compensate for her lack of fappability) co-pilot (Lavie). It's one of those Star Wars -esque shows that focused more on the settings, the "steampunk-nology," the politics, and the fighting; rather than giving losers with easy-to-crush souls something to orgasm over.
Then comes "Last Exile Fam;" with its focus on cute little girls. It's as if GONZO seriously wants to do "steampunk K-on" in the hopes of making more money and being as cool
and current with the trends as KyotoAnimu.
However; their efforts are ruining the "meat" behind the Last Exile franchise. The politics, the ships and the technology, the war tactics, and that "Why Ja Do It, Haas?!".
One of the surviving characters from the first series is Dio; this guy's so feminine that he could pass as a girl if the otaku-base want it badly enough. The other survivors are, but not limited to, Tatiana and Allister (who became hotter, all the sudden), and Vincent Alzey.
Not that there's anything wrong with this animu. I just find it horrible for a relatively good series to be pulled down by the nauseating "Instant Hit: Nothing But Chicks" bandwagon.
In 2003, Gonzo made “Last Exile”: a neat adventure story with gorgeous visuals set in a fascinating world inhabited with some intriguing characters and, most importantly, a genuine sense of adventure and wonder. That said, it had its problems: the main characters were bland, the story pace was uneven and the ending was a rushed mess.
Fast forward to 2011, Gonzo is diving into the world of Last Exile yet again with “Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam” (TL: Fam, the Silver Wing). A sequel that's only loosely tied to the original, both in story and, sadly, in quality.
Set an unspecified number of years after the original,
“Ginyoku no Fam” is an adventure story starring Fam, a spunky young pilot who dreams of a free and peaceful sky. Said wish is brutally shattered when the powerful Ades Federation declares a war of global conquest. Fam gets involved in the conflict when she rescues a runaway princess from Ades' one of Ades' first conquests and vows to help her get back her kingdom and end the war.
Sounds familiar? That's because it is. It's the same basic story that you've seen in a hundred fantasy books, children's cartoons and role-playing games. Being derivative is not a dealbreaker in and of itself seeing as even the most formulaic story can become riveting when injected with interesting concepts or explored from a fresh new angle. While “Ginyoku no Fam” makes a few decent attempts at the former, but it's undone by haphazard storytelling that focuses on all the wrong things.
The titular character herself is actually one of the shows biggest problems: Fam is obnoxious, naïve, pushy and prone to get herself involved in affair that she knows nothing about. It wouldn't be bad if the narrative actually acknowledged these qualities as a bad thing or tried to somewhat realistically depict the downsides of having such a personality but it's all too obvious that the makers of this show wanted the audience to be charmed by Fam's unyielding optimism. Worse yet is that the creators' infatuation with her extends to the way she manages to charm and influence every character she comes across. Hell, at one point the main villain even expresses his admiration for her even though they never had any meaningful interaction up to that point.
The problems created by the constant focus on Fam actually seep into and corrupt the overall story. Part of what actually made the original series so captivating was that the main characters were part of a much bigger world. Their presence and influence on the grand scheme of things was minimal, as one would expect from a bunch of adventure seeking kids. This hint of realism made for an adventure story with a fresh twist. “Ginyoku no Fam”, however, is very clear about how we're supposed to see Fam: a messiah whose energetic demeanor is the solution to all the world's problems.
It's a real shame seeing as the story had elements that could have made for a great watch. The Ades Federation initially seems like the typical evil empire but are quickly revealed to largely consist of sympathetic individuals whose firm conviction is borne from desperation more than anything. Other bits of world building such as the tensions between Exiles and Natives, both of whom are convinced that they are the world's “rightful people” (allegory, anyone?) are similarly intriguing, as is the brief glimps we get of the seemingly theocratic and secluded nation of Glacies.
But hey, who cares about things like that when you can watch girls walk around in maid outfits or lecture about how people should just “get over” feelings of mutual resentment that have existed for decades?
The production values are all over the place. The visuals in particular range from spectacular to absolutely awful. Anyone who's a bit knowledgeable about animation will tell you that anime series are no stranger to saving their budget for lavishly animated sequences while other scenes have considerably less effort put into them. “Ginyoku no Fam” is no exception, but I can't recall another series where the quality of the visuals fluctuated so massively. And that's not even the worst part: the series renders the airships in CG and it looks terrible. Which is all the more shocking when you realize that the original series looks fantastic despite being one of the first series to rely heavily on 3D computer animation and CG. The final visual insult, however, is that many of the big battles that are fought over the course of the story look absolutely terrible. All of them are absolute clusterfucks that are devoid of any sense of urgency seeing as the main characters always find a way to turn the tides no matter how badly the odds are against them.
Ultimately, the only conclusion I can reach is that this series is a failure both as a standalone adventure story and as a sequel.
Correction: it fails especially as a sequel.
Very few of the original series' characters show up and the ones that do just get completely sidelined in favor of the “fun” adventures of Fam and girlfriends. The only character from the original series whose role comes close to anything substantial is Dio and he flat-out disappears for large chunks of time. There's also very little connection to the original series in terms of themes, atmosphere or world building. A cynic might even suspect that Gonzo simply took a tried-and-true storyline, mixed it with currently popular character archetypes and slapped the label of one of their older and best received series on it. It would certainly explain the creative bankruptcy on display in this mess of a series.
“Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam” is a huge disappointment. I can reach no other conclusion.
I loved Last Exile. It's one of my all time favorite shows. So when I heard there was gonna be a sequel. I was like "Oh yes". After I finished episode 2 I was like "Oh no". Not gonna lie, I'm 100% sure they made a sequel to the wrong series. The entire show is a downhill joke. If you don't want any Spoilers, don't read ahead.
SPOILER WARNING, MULTIPLE SPOLIERS BEYOND THIS RANT
Now that I have that out of the way, as others have said, the story line is lame. I think the Initial idea of the whole Space Pirates thing to be cool, Especially
with little girls, but not these ones. So anyway, Someone blows someone else up, all war erupts. Congrats, Episode 1 done. Not Gonna lie, I was bored most of this show. Luscinia's motive is rather weak, and does nothing but make me ask "Why?" everytime he does something. Liliana Changing side was a bit unexpected, as was her death, but didn't add much to my excitement. All in all, The storyline for this show was kinda dumb.
Charecters? First Fam just pissed me off the entire show. She lost both her parents, and now is involved in a war. But don't worry, she still happy as ever. And i wanted to slap her a couple of times when she refused to listen to logic, and the only thing she talks about is the grand race. Last Exile, everyone had a motive, everyone had emotions. What do we have here? A little girl who seems to care less that they are killing people and that she doesn't even have her own parents, or that her own home(skypirate fortress) gets wrecked. Giselle is less annoying and probably much more likable as she doesn't do anything completely stupid, but does nothing spectacular.
As other have said, the Silivus is one of the most lame replacements for the Silvana you can think of. Also, apparently there is multiple Exiles flying around. So lets selfishly use them as magical war ships to Annihilate entire countries for reasons explainable in the show.
I refuse to this day to acknowledge this show as a squeal. I am telling you now. The show in nothing fantastic. It's nothing worth your time, Unless you like watching a Loli commit grand theft while smiling without a care in the world. You've found paradise. Otherwise, keep clicking around for another show.
This show has been able to keep my attention despite me having only seeing little of Last Exile. I love Fam Fan Fan as a character but then her attitude and her actions get redundant after episode 6. Gisey Hasn't really had a change to really develop her character so far i seen more Character development In Millia than in Gisey or even Fam.
The plot was interesting and i see it having potential but the way they are telling it, its so either dreadfully slow or to mundane and predictable that i am thinking about dropping it
Art and Sound
the Art and Sound is Good. The artwork it good I love that it has that steampunkishness to the characters and the surroundings and i love the architectural design of the different places. Sound. I love the music in this show because it remind me of any Final fantasy game.
Like i said before my intrest was kept but recently the way they are going about with the plot i am slowly losing intress. Some time its either to mundane other times they take to loong to explain what they need to.
If you are a fan of the first Last Exile Series you would probably enjoy this one (Or even a fan of steampunk) and if you can get pass the flaws i mention then you might be able to enjoy it. It has its potential but it just has its flaws.
To call Fam the Silver Wing a cash grab for Gonzo to milk off the popularity of Last Exile is sadly an accurate statement to describe this series. Gonzo had just recovered from declaring chapter 11 bankruptcy at the time they started production to this series and it looked like they were trying to milk the success of Last Exile's original run. While Last Exile was far from being a masterpiece in my eyes, it was still a unique steampunk title that offered an engaging plot, a likeable cast, an excellent soundtrack and some of the best animation put out by Gonzo. Unfortunately, Gonzo doesn't
capture the same magic that made Last Exile worth looking into with Fam the Silver Wing.
In Fam the Silver Wing, it focuses on a brewing war between those who returned to Earth from Prester and those who remained on the planet after it had fallen to ruin. The series focuses on a pair of young sky pirates named Fam and Giselle who get caught up on in the conflict as they befriend and protect a princess named Millia after her kingdom is taken over by the only nation that remained on Earth in the form of the Ades Foundation. Characters from the original series such as Dio and Tatiana return in supporting roles to aid against the threat of the Ades Foundation.
Before I tackle the major issues of Fam the Silver Wing, I shall address what the series at least does right. It does rather well at points of showing off the hostilities between the settlers and residents of Earth with one episode showing what led to the war between Ades and other kingdoms to take place. A few antagonist characters get a good amount of focus in this series to show what drove their motives for much of Fam the Silver Wing and having to make rather difficult decisions that put them at odds with their people in spite of understanding the wider scale of their decisions. This makes the main antagonists of the series somewhat more engaging than Maestro Delphine's shallow hedonist character from the original series. Also, some elements to the series unaddressed from the original series are delved into such as how certain people gain control over an Exile and what the true purpose of those among the Guild are.
The visuals to the series are also as pleasing on the eyes as Last Exile, sporting excellently rendered CG animation for battleships, planes and Exile ships employed. The animation is very fluid throughout the show's run, best highlighted in action scenes and aerial sequences involving movement of vanships or fights that break out between humans. The only sore spot with the use of CG animation is that it sticks out like a sore thumb when the animation involves trying to animate human characters as they move about while moving in planes.
Beyond these praises, Fam the Silver Wing has a good number of issues to its storytelling. The most glaring of these weaknesses come in the form of the grandiose storytelling it wants to tell. Running on only 21 episodes and having a good-sized cast of characters and kingdoms to explore, the series doesn't take the time to explore its settings or allow one to become familiar with its characters like the original Last Exile had time for. While the series does have 23 episodes, two of them are wasted on recap episodes. Plus while the idea of exploring hostilities between the Prester settlers and Ades Foundation seems like an interesting one on paper, Fam the Silver Wing simplifies those tensions greatly and has little time to delve into many of the complicated issues that would arise from such a conflict due to focusing more on its animated battle and flight sequences.
The other glaring issue in the series comes in the form of series lead Fam. As our lead character, Fam as a whole is quite shallow with her single-minded idealistic mentality and can border on obnoxious at points as she does not know the right times to shut up during tense situations that take place in the series. Worst of all, her character does not develop or change at all throughout the series when coming to terms with the hostilities around her as it seemed like the plot was made in such a way to conform to Fam's rather deluded beliefs of what she would like to see for a peaceful existence between settler nations and Ades.
Overall, Fam the Silver Wing is a rather inferior sequel to Last Exile since its entire existence seemed to be only for Gonzo to cash in on the original series' popularity. With an overly simplistic perspective on war, a shallow lead character and being too ambitious with the type of story it wants to tell, you are better off not wasting your time on this series.
"Last Exile - Fam, The Silver Wing" is the sequel of "Last Exile" back in 2003. To be honest, I really don’t know anything about this anime, which means I haven’t watched “Last Exile (2003)”. So would it be alright to watch "Last Exile - Fam, The Silver Wing"? Will you be able to understand the current storyline? Usually everyone will say “NO”, but when we talked about "Last Exile - Fam, The Silver Wing", I would say “YES” because the first season and the second season have different storylines(according to my research).
After watching the first two episodes of "Last
Exile - Fam, The Silver Wing. I think it would be safe to say that this is the BEST ANIME that GONZO PRODUCTIONS have made since” The Tower Of Druaga”. In the start of episode one, I was just curiously observing the story and got surprised to see Fam wearing only her underwears (Loved It!) while sleepwalking. The Opening theme song did not really hit a good impression on my ears, maybe because I always got used o listening at better animethemesongs like; BLEACH(BLEACH ROCKS!), K-ON!, Fairy Tail, etc. About the characters, Fam is the only character that I really liked because she’s the only character in this anime with that “Moe Moe” looks (I’m a Moe Fanatic), about the other characters? Forget it. In further watching "Last Exile - Fam, The Silver Wing", when the battle scenes were commencing, that really got me excited, I really loved action aerial scenes. Upon furthermore watching "Last Exile - Fam, The Silver Wing", it suddenly reminded me of “Eureka Seven” which was also about action packed scenes in the sky that I really adore because fighting in the sky with high speed vehicles accelerating really looks cool. The main storyline of "Last Exile - Fam, The Silver Wing" is about Fam who is helping the Turan Princesses against the evil Ades Federation, which is a very interesting story.
For now, after watching two episodes, I’ll give "Last Exile - Fam, The Silver Wing" a score of 7. But I’m expecting this anime to be more interesting and better as the story goes on.
Animax built alot hype around this, so was llooking forward to the premiere with a lot of expectation. Because Animax claimed that the show was epic and a studio gonzo mega production.
Ok on the review,. The first episode started with a fan service, fam in underwear. well it's okay, the airships look terrific and detailed , the battle would be awesome. but what the.. how come fam captured a giant well armored cargo ships with just a small airship and a net? it doesn't make any sense
-question: but wait a
minute the somalian pirates hijack cargo ships with floatilas right?
answer :The reason the pirates succdeed, was because cargo ships' crew don't carry any weapons. Nevertheless this might have been the writer's source of inspiration .
When i saw the enemy ranks, i didn't like what i saw., the enemy officers are generics. And then How on earth Fam managed to defeat an entire fleet. I dropped the the show just like that.
Once i watched the show again out of curiosity, an entire crew was playing hockey, instead on the look out. What kind of show is this?
LAST EXILE sequel is not pair to its predecessor, sure, but it does have its flavour, and does have a nice pace. We see people doing things they believe, and there are no true villains, but people trying to struggle against what they perceive as wrong. That I really like. Pitty is GONZO did not went all the way with the possible potential with this story, and some gaps were left which should have being explained (like Dio surviving a fall inside Prester Grand Stream) or if they really abandoned it, which is very likely, as Anatoray-Disith were facing famine and lack of resources
on a probably spent habitat. The idea goes near Ergo Proxy outline story, and could have been more well explored, as wel as Anatoray-Disith part could have been a lot more well explored than what it was (although it was nice to see Sofia and the Sylvana back on....). It was also not explained why Luscinia feared Prester Exile (it was mentioned by Dio, and that part was abandoned along the way) and it sure had a different design from the ones left orbiting Earth. All in all I liked it and prefer to see it by itself, and by doing it we can enjoy the anime. I rated it great therefore. Of course could it have been a lot more, but given that lately animes are far less interesting storywise, I still praise this one. Good science fiction animes are day by day growing distant, unlike the old days when AIC, GONZO and some others really cared and did great stories
I only regret that no other sequels will come...or even an alternate version. Have they hired a good science fiction writer this could have soared, like its predecessor...and as GONZO needed it, they should have been more caring. LAST EXILE sequel could have been a landmark on science fiction anime, and that genre sure needs some attention, but it failed on that, although it is still a great anime per si.
Saddens me a bit as I have been dreaming with this sequel for years (I even wrote on Forii back then what the sequel could be (which I hit on target somewhat XD) but reality slapped on my face.
But I keep my rating, and I sure hope that science fiction animes will rise back to what it was in the past...
the original series was one of my first and is one of my favorite animes. when i started to watch the sequel i remembered why i loved the original. i am a little confused why people bash on this great show. i believe gonzo did an amazing job and this anime deserves more credit than it gets. it was a different story than the original series but people seem to view it as a bad continuation. there isnt a lot of connection to the original, besides some characters. this is a fresh story that was done very well. there
wasnt any connection to the original because its a new setting and characters, there wasnt supposed to be a connection.
Whether anime is good and bad, sometimes they just feel complete and a sequel might actually affect the feeling towards an anime in a negative way. Luckily, this sequel pulls it through, but just like the prequel there is something questionable.
Just like the prequel, this anime is for those people who like to dive into another fantasy world, ruled by planes flying on the strange fuel of Claudia. This world is different from the one you saw in the prequel. In fact the second summary clears any unknowns in the story of the "Last Exile". If you did not watch the prequel, go do it,
otherwise this review might contain spoilers for it.
Apparently, the story of the "Last Exile" ends by obtaining the big ship, that allows you to travel between the worlds (or planets). It seems that the people in the "Last Exile" have long forgotten, but they came into the world on that ship and now they have the ship to go back to their home land. Apparently, the home land does not welcome them. That's was the best part of the beginning of this sequel. We have two sides and their reasons for the fight is completely justified.
And then it comes the Villain - Luscinia. And here is what I despise most. His reasons for turning into what he is, is completely justified. The "Grand Race" flashback episode explains everything. It introduces the best topic there, when hatred is introduced when everyone is happy, it creates a circle of revenge, which creates more hatred. Terrorism is bad, because people on which you avenge your family and friends could be just an innocent people. And what is expected of them is to avenge their victims back. And that leads to war. With that good premise introduced in the middle of the anime, earlier episodes do not make sense. Luscinia wants to achieve piece by forcing everyone to surrender. While this is logical, it is not logical to attack a nation that is neutral and does not fight. What he did is no different from what happened to him on the Grand Race. But what makes me really despise the characters with power, is that they support him. It seems perfectly okay to turn against family and friends, in order to help a man to achieve piece by killing people who never attacked you? Just like killing innocent people will never bring peace, preserving the life and/or the freedom of people like Luscinia is a big mistake. Siding with them is just pathetic.
And there is the ending. A big disappointment. No matter how much we hated Luscinia, I waited patiently hoping for some explanation of why he finds his method justified. Instead, in the end no explanation is given and the feeling towards him at the end is completely unjustified. Apparently, after the war is over, people can feel sympathetic to the person who was single-handendly responsible for annihilation of most of the population of entire countries... I do not, I find such a person to be tumor of the world and people that prefer sympathy over consequence and justice to be despicable. But that's the good part of this anime, it makes you think about all those topics.
And then there is art and sound as expected from "Last Exile". English in Greek letters everywhere. It was a funny challenge to pause on frames with a text and to read it. And it all makes sense, nothing written on paper is gibberish. If a person says the document is a message about newly established provisional government, that's exactly what is written. And there is the sound. I always had a great experience with Japanese animes that use to show territories, languages and speech from other countries. And this is no exception, the people for Glacias speak Russian. I suppose this would be quite problematic, since Funimation translation do not include subtitles for the Russian speech. However, when they speak Russian they speak slowly and clearly, using only simple words and phrases and thanks to the fact that Bulgarian (my native language) and Russian are similar, I got like 70% of what they say. This makes really feel the Glacians are different nation, but unfortunately the rest 30% I did not understand could be quite a hindrance and cause confusion sometimes. I suppose for people whose native language is not Slavic, this could quite a problem... But you know it is never too late to learn some Russian alongside some Japanese :)
The OST adds to the overall adventurous feeling, but it is not something noticeable. This means it is good enough to fulfill its role in the series, but nothing more. The only problem is that the music was a little bit too loud for a background and it interfered with the English translation.
Overall, the series achieve their goal to be an enjoyable fantasy adventure in an futuristic world. Unfortunately, the end is basically lost potential. Although, I did not find a story masterpiece, a good ending justifying everything that happened, could turn an enjoyable anime into a masterpiece. But they failed.
I watched this anime but the girls weren't very interesting, they did adventure quite a lot but in a distasteful effort considering how the art was worth the 21 episodes. Somehow, this doesn't even matter since surviving the first 5 minutes is one thing, and watching cool things happen is another.
Introduction was disintegrating, it disintegrated the immersion of what a character is and their identity. Especially on how they mocked the loli falling on wet surface phenomenon. This continues to be less focused, as we look into the characters more and focus on the future. But not really the beginning-no i'll never watch something
that doesn't represent it's past as good as the present. What I mean is, we don't understand anyone unless if we have that kind of freedom. The freedom to be happy with distasteful content.
The comedy was like trying to watch a 2 meter tall man acting like a kid, that doesn't really explain what the comedy was like but it was that stale I imagined a tall man acting like a kid.
Okay, what is good? I like the characters because they can be cute as fU(k, Silver Fam isn't good at stories like it's predecessor but it's lives somewhere continually with the theme and story it portrays itself as immature and cheerful.
This anime is pretty boring, when will I get to see better story?
After finishing "Last Exile" I remember just laying in my bed, iPad in my lap as the closing credits rolled and thinking "What a goddamn fantastic piece of storytelling and art." As a pilot myself, I had a PARTICULARLY soft spot for the show given how I (and everyone of my kind) just wants to fly around freely over wheat fields and seeing that at the end of the show made me damn near shed a tear.
So, when I learned of Last Exile Fam (LAF henceforth), I was really excited that I'd be able to return to the universe that I had so dearly
grown to love. I didn't quite expect to see Claus and Lavi as main characters, but literally not even hearing a mention of them was kind of not so great. I mean I know it's not necessarily a requirement for a sequel to mention the protagonists of the previous installment, however it would have been nice. Anyway a lot of stuff happened, yet absolutely nothing happened. I was painfully aware of the infantile manner with which issues like war, death, and other very serious topics were handled.
Essentially it's like a 4Kids! (there's an old childhood memory...) version of Last Exile. Nobody dies, everything is all happy somehow, and I just felt cheated. I slogged through 12 or so episodes or something before I lost the last vestiges of my interest and forgot about it, planning perhaps to return eventually. I was going to do that tonight but I decided to look up some reviews and found that I wasn't alone.
Of course the visuals were beautiful though not quite as... atmospherically antique looking as Last Exile was, and that was a really nice plus to the overall feel of the original. Other than that, Fam was rather annoying, I enjoyed seeing Dio for what little screentime he had while I was watching, and... yeah that's pretty much it.
At best my reaction was a sigh and an "Eh" before I closed the window and forgot it ever existed not only because of its forgettable nature but because it's probably better off that my only memories of the Last Exile universe are of the gorgeous work of art that was the original piece.
5/10 wouldn't recommend really, but there's certainly WAY worse stuff out there. For a kid it'd be a nicer approach to the universe seeing as the original was quite mature in how it handled the issues, so I could recommend it in that sense, however for a... jesus I guess I'm a man now... it was pretty lame.
After watching the first season of Last Exile, watching this series feels somewhat off. First let's start with the story. In one word, the storytelling sucks. It feels like something that people come up when they brainstorm idea and have the Eureka moment. The story is unrefined and tries too hard to give roles to the 'Heroines' in this story. The end result: it just doesn't match with the story. This show tries too hard to integrate the FUN fact of flying into this war type of anime. The result being that the FUN part feels too shallow like watching some sport anime where the
main character repeatedly says "This is so funnn~~~!".
Let's go to the Vanship design part. Everything I saw the Vanship I just thought one thing "Why the hell is the Vanship so small and why the hell has it not got any guard to protect the rider from the wind?(I don't know what it's called). Dude, when it flies at 180 knots you'll break your neck!!!" Just because it's an anime, there is a limit to how much you can make it deviate from reality is all I thought.
As for the opening and ending in this anime, there's only one, so it gets boring to listen to it halfway through the story and annoying near the end of the story. I personally prefer to watch the opening and ending of all the episodes but it gets tedious to watch as the episodes count goes on.
As for the character design, none of the characters really stand out that much. The characters gets annoying by the end of the series.
If you ask me whether I enjoyed this anime or not, "Well..." is all I can say. It's an unwritten rule of mine to finish any anime that I start and leaving judging the series after I have watched it.
If you watched Last Exile and fell whether you must watch this season to complete the whole series, I must tell you one thing: "I didn't see how the first season continued on to this season." (Well they may be standalone seasons.) You can skip this season if you want since it has nothing to do with the original series or so I think.
I really enjoyed the first Last Exile. It was a great story that hold me till the end. I didn't expect the sequel to be made, but I was exited when I heard the news. With no less excitement I sat and watched the first episode. Now, after 19 episodes I finally decided to write few words of opinion about the Last Exile Fam the Silver Wing.
In general I'm really satisfied. The new world we get to see is interesting and the story develops nicely. Old characters from the LE like Dio and Tatiana are present and have they roles in the new story.
And the new story – nice, really nice. I can't wait to see the next episode.
But, not everything is nice. The show have one flaw that makes me sometimes grind my teeth – the main character. Damn, why we get idealistic-pacifistic loli with no brain?? Fam is stupid, dense and don't evolve as a character at all. I know that at the beginning many characters can be idealistic, but when show involves war these ideals face reality – you want your friends safe, you need to learn to pull the trigger and hit the enemy as soon as you can. The only hope for her is that she can have so major role to play, as it is hinted. We shall see.
For summary – good show, stupid character, but woth to watch none the less.
I was initially very hesitant to watch this once I found out that the main characters were different. I will not spoil anything, but I think it's important that you know that this is NOT a spinoff. It's a true sequel. Despite the focus being on new characters at first, there are a lot of returning cast (you can see this much from the intro sequence).
I liked this season better than the original Last Exile. I know many will disagree. I get it. The first season was so good and definitely stands out as unique in many ways, especially art-wise. But what drew me to
the original was not the story, but the action and the sequencing. Despite not being super interesting all the time, the pacing was phenomenal and always kept me hitting the next episode button. Not to say the story wasn't good. It just wasn't the best thing in the world.
But this season has a great narrative while managing to keep the action that made the original so great! But that story is nothing without knowledge of the returning characters. Their presence in Ginyoku no Fam, coupled with the likable new characters, really won me over.
I will admit that I was bummed that they traded the art style of the original for a more typical anime one. However, they do make nods to it in the design of the returning characters.
One last thing. If you're as upset to not see Claus and Lavie as I was starting out, hang in there. There are clues about where they are and what they're doing. And if, at the very end of the series, you still have a few questions in that department, do a quick google search. There's a bit of story not shown in either anime and it's very touching.
Hope that wasn't too much to swallow. This was a very refreshing anime series. It managed to rise above the noise and leave an impression. Highly recommend!