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REVIEW: Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing Episodes 13-21 Streaming


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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 9321
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:14 am Reply with quote
The review mirrors how I felt about this show, there were too many ideas that could not be crammed into 21 episodes. One battle in particular, when Vasant's faction was defending that military base, cut the action up that developments just seemed to skip ahead and leave you to ponder how they arrived to that point. Ultimately, my biggest complaint is that they chose wrong person to portray as the main character: Fam, and the series does a damn good job of pushing Millia into the role of the character that grows and takes the command the most. The series is about Millia, her loss, her revenge, her development from timid to brave, a bratty princess to ruler, and Fam only comes off as a skyward-bound lackey. Does Fam ever change throughout the show?

As for strengths, the OST is killer and some of the pieces set the mood expertly, like how dire a situation the Turan fleet was in facing off against the Ades skyfish in episode two, or Millia's theme setting her up as some kind of tragic heroine.
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Zilan



Joined: 20 Jan 2005
Posts: 167
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:26 am Reply with quote
Art: A?

Are you freaking kidding me?
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TD912
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Joined: 28 Nov 2010
Posts: 267
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:58 am Reply with quote
Zilan wrote:
Art: A?

Are you freaking kidding me?


Gonzo put a crapload of effort into the setting, ship designs, and character designs. I'd say that earns them the A.

What is kind of bad is the traditional 2D animation. It's pretty stiff or choppy in most scenes. Even the usually good CGI starts to get a tad rough later on. I'm pretty sure it has to do with Gonzo's extremely limited budget. They just recovered from bankrupcy, and this is their first major work in a while.

It's unfortunate, really. It seems like the low budget really hindered the series. Gonzo had a ton of great ideas. They have loads of characters, ships, countries, and whatnot. Lots of stuff to work with. Maybe too much stuff. They just couldn't fit it all into 21 episodes. Even the character-building felt rushed, almost forced. It almost made Fam seem like an annoying character to me. If they had the resources to make this a full 2-cours 24 or even 26 episode series without all the recap filler, I think it could have turned out a bit better.
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Asterisk-CGY



Joined: 09 Mar 2007
Posts: 389
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:48 am Reply with quote
Was I the only one that would start an episode and feel like I might have skipped an episode only to realize the connection between each episode was flimsy at best?
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 4904
Location: Virginia, United States
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:54 am Reply with quote
I'll say one thing. The review got me interested in this series. Never considered I'd be interested in it at all. Now I am going to have to take a gander at it.
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Stark700



Joined: 30 Jan 2012
Posts: 11652
Location: Earth
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 11:04 am Reply with quote
Another wonderful review Carl. I liked the originally Last Exile more tbh but this sequel is worth something to keep an eye on.
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Snomaster1
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Joined: 31 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:05 pm Reply with quote
This looks like an interesting anime. I hope they bring this here. I'd love to see it.
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TD912
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Joined: 28 Nov 2010
Posts: 267
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:35 pm Reply with quote
Snomaster1 wrote:
This looks like an interesting anime. I hope they bring this here. I'd love to see it.


Well, if you're in the US, Funimation already licensed the series for streaming, home video, and TV broadcast rights. It's just the rights, it doesnt actually mean it will happen, but it was already streamed and probably has a good chance at a DVD/BD release. I don't think it will be broadcast on TV any time soon, but Funi can legally do it if they want to.
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DangerMouse



Joined: 25 Mar 2009
Posts: 3798
PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:44 pm Reply with quote
Good review, I really liked it and agree it's a shame they couldn't afford to make it longer to do everything justice and hit those highs every time with all of it's plot and character points getting thorough screen time. Glad to see the reviewer enjoyed it as a whole too.

I can't wait for Funi to get out their Blu-ray so I can re-watch this and see the visuals off a BD and that godly soundtrack (and sound design) in full surround sound (at least for the new dub).

TD912 wrote:
Zilan wrote:
Art: A?

Are you freaking kidding me?


Gonzo put a crapload of effort into the setting, ship designs, and character designs. I'd say that earns them the A.

What is kind of bad is the traditional 2D animation. It's pretty stiff or choppy in most scenes. Even the usually good CGI starts to get a tad rough later on. I'm pretty sure it has to do with Gonzo's extremely limited budget. They just recovered from bankrupcy, and this is their first major work in a while.


This. I totally agree, overall the art for the series definitely earns an A.

And even though the 2D animation wasn't all that great on average I still think it wasn't all bad and fluctuated from pretty good at key times to indeed rather average/stiff. Still it wasn't really that bad since the characters naturally spent most of their time either flying in cockpits or in command positions etc. (first episode and a sprinkled around a few other times had some great 2D animation) and I think in those scenes they were animated quite nicely and their great designs looked quite good and animated pretty decently in the wind and stuff, and meanwhile everything else you mentioned was just spectacular looking, I'd also also add the often stunning and detailed background art to the list of gorgeous art in the show thanks to Gonzo's effort.

Asterisk-CGY wrote:
Was I the only one that would start an episode and feel like I might have skipped an episode only to realize the connection between each episode was flimsy at best?


Didn't feel that way to me, except there was one time where I do agree with this. The cliffhanger of the epic Glacies conflict where Luscinia and Liliana finally summoned the Turan Exile to counter the Glacies Exile. Rather than open the next episode with the rest of the conflict, no matter how brief it might have been, they jumped straight into showing the aftermath. It wasn't hard to imagine that outcome at all given Turan's still aerial Exile but it did make the beginning of that episode feel like the rest of the conflict and the Exile vs Exile of the Ades vs Glacies conflict that had been built up to with the battle and the cliffhanger didn't get fully shown so it felt like these two episodes didn't quite connect, especially if you watched them immediately back-to-back.
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MaxSouth



Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 1305
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:46 am Reply with quote
Carl, who usually is quite strict, gives "B+" for the story that makes no sense altogether?

spoiler[If Luscinia's plan was to threat the world with destruction via Grand Exile to make peace, then why he did not use it right from the beginning of the series, and instead committed mass killings, using lesser Exiles?

So Luscinia waited with this whole Grand Exile thing until the very end of the series just so authors could make this show.

And, by the way the story is told, you would think that the world could be very well calm and fine if not Luscinia's actions, so there was no much of sense in this whole "plan to make peace through threatening".]


Not sure if this show makes sense on any level.
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TD912
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Joined: 28 Nov 2010
Posts: 267
PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:52 pm Reply with quote
MaxSouth wrote:
Carl, who usually is quite strict, gives "B+" for the story that makes no sense altogether?


Hmm? I see B- for Story. The basic plot is kind of there, but it's so rushed it just seems like a big mess. It's definitely hard to follow at times, and some things still don't make much sense.

I feel that a B- might be a bit too generous at times, while a C might be too harsh. A simple letter grade isn't always the best way gauge the quality of something, I guess.
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MaxSouth



Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 1305
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:03 am Reply with quote
Sorry about "+" and "-" thing, but "C-" would be generous for this quality of the story.
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zensunni



Joined: 05 Mar 2010
Posts: 1278
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:11 am Reply with quote
Asterisk-CGY wrote:
Was I the only one that would start an episode and feel like I might have skipped an episode only to realize the connection between each episode was flimsy at best?

I had that happen once, then I realized I had skipped two episodes! LOL!

There were only rare occasions when I felt that the episode to episode transitions were poor. Most of the time the story flowed just fine, or any confusion I felt was also something I perceived as intentional. The story, like the original, liked to withhold information and use it for nice big dramatic reveals.

Yes there were times when it was hard to tell what was going on, but this was an issue in the first series. Heck, if I hadn't read up on the show on Wiki, I would probably not have really understood that the Exile was a colony ship! At least that was fully, and quite concisely, explained in Fam! Both series are very good. The original is better, but I would hold up the last three episodes of Fam to most anime and not feel that it paled in comparison. The character development and emotional impact of those three episodes is tremendous! spoiler[When Claus and Lavie showed up, I balled my eyes out to see him in a wheelchair, and the story of Fam's mother was equal in affect. I always thought she looked like Claus and Lavie's kid in the pre-show art, but alas, it was not to be... Wink]
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Hiroki not Takuya



Joined: 17 Apr 2012
Posts: 1702
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:55 am Reply with quote
I loved the original Last Exile and give the story an A-. I watched every episode of Fam (including the AX world premier) and give the story a D+ to be generous. Too harsh? Does it make sense that a world war can be stopped by Augusta/Fam/Gizey asking a couple of generals nicely to stop? And just because it makes them feel sad?? Or that Luscinia gives Augusta up, who he needs to control an "Exile" to wage another war he has planned for years, to Fam/Gizey at the height of the battle just because Fam wants to dream of a Grand Race (and all the fighting is making Augusta sad)? The nonsense just goes on and on through to the end! I feel bad for the guys because I think they completely destroyed what could have been a really good series (sort of like Endless Eight, may it never be spoken of again...)
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TD912
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Joined: 28 Nov 2010
Posts: 267
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:02 pm Reply with quote
Thinking about it some more, I do think this show's story is worth more like a C than the B- I said previously. The quality jumps up and down wildly throughout the entire series.

While they did heck of a job in pre-production with the setting, as well as the character and ship designs, I have a feeling the actual production was rushed, and they had to scrap a good chunk of the plot in order to finish animating on time.

After reading ANN's The Anime Economy feature, I'm fairly certain Gonzo must have been under some seriously bad time constraints with this show. If recap episodes are "seldom planned, and usually indicate chaos behind-the-scenes," Gonzo must have been in production hell. There were two recap episodes, episodes "9.5" and "15.5", and both of them were mostly old content with one or two new scenes thrown in.

While many series are simulcasted same-day, or sometimes a week later, this series had an arbitrary delay of 3-days. Did Gonzo have to rush and submit their episodes at the last second, leaving little time for Funi/Nico to translate it? This is just wild speculation on my part, but it's possible this might have happened.

Also, there were scenes in Fam that were never really explained well, just suddenly happened for no apparent reason, or were totally forgotten about. spoiler[Dio and Alvis suddenly being chased down by Luscinia's assassins? Fam managing to capture a fleet of battleships in only a episode? What ever happened to those?]

Then there's the opening theme, which apparently aired only partially completed for the first few episodes. Compare the cloudy background on the title card that says "LASTEXILE," or the flames that are used as a transition to the battleship fight scene. There's quite a few details they added in.

While this series appears to be a flop for Gonzo, judging from the DVD/BD sales, hopefully they can recover and actually get back to making some good anime. It looks like Ozuma's a start.[/spoiler]
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