October 2011 Anime Season – Last Exile: Fam the Silver Wing episode 2

For all the shows that seemed to go sedate this week – Last Exile was NOT one of them. Business has really picked up.

 

Fam and Giselle get Millia to safety while Lilianna launches a failed kamikaze attempt to kill the Ades leader, Luscinia. Fam and co. go on a rescue mission which ends with a chilling revelation. EXILE was used by non-Ades kingdoms to flee the planet long ago during war then to come back when it was safe again. Ades is unwilling to forgive those who fled and imakes an example of the Turan Kingdom by coercing Lilliana into activating EXILE to destroy the main city. Fam, Giselle and a heartbroken Millia barely escape.

 

The balance between females and males is now better. Luscinia adds some much-needed steel to the show and makes for a damn good villian, aptly voiced by Kazuyuki Okitsu. Shinji Ogawa makes a moving cameo as the dying Turam king. Aki Toyosaki continues to impress by keeping Fam’s cute charms in check and letting flair out when needed. The promise of Jun Fukuyama appearing soon to voice Orlan is tantalising. Veteran Miyuki Sawashiro handles the loving yet brazen older sister role in Lilliana with ease while Ai Kayano provides the fuel for the defiant, panicked Millia. The CGI use is just spellbinding –  Gonzo have gone all out to impress and haven’t relented yet. The mix of new music pieces and ones from the original series work damn well. The cloud scenes are bliss. The detail and fluidness of the flying scenes – particularly when Fam navigates the enemy ship – is stunning. And with some very important story fleshed out this episode without letting the pace slow down for a moment, Episode 2 is an absolute blast that ends with a very chilling mood. My only downers were that neither new theme song holds a candle to the original themes and that while the overall character mix is great, there hasn’t been a truly standout moment from any of the main cast. Something needs to happen with them quickly.

 

Why the Ades Federation is hellbent on destroying other kingdoms now makes more sense. And the fact EXILE’s purpose is FINALLY made clear is also welcome. Lilliana’s role as the catalyst for EXILE as Alvis was in the original series poses some questions – why does she have the power to do this and what does Luscinia have planned for her? Will the Kartoffel Kingdom (that name is hilarious!) provide the help Fam, Giselle and Millia need to strike back at Luscinia? Will Dio re-enter the fray immediately and what role will he play when the presence of other Guild members aiding Luscinia has been revealed?

 

All in all, Last Exile: Fam The Silver Wing has really picked up in a week most series took a breather. I feel compelled to see this through and I hope the promise of a more concise story will be delivered this time.