In the world of Prestal, Noble men perform noble deeds for noble purposes. All of this is performed under the careful gaze of the Guild, a race apart who live in cities in the sky. We see this world through the eyes of Claus Valca and Lavi Head, as their travels take us above, beyond and through Prestal, and their actions cause ripples that shall never fade.
In a world where corporations snuff out the competition by sending fighter jets to attack their offices, teenage pilot Kannami Yuichi is reassigned to a new base. There, he meets Tokino, a carefree pilot who enjoys the company of older women, and Kasanagi Suito, his superior officer who he slowly falls for. However, not everything is as it seems. Soon, distressing questions are raised about Kannami's predecessor, a race of perpetual adolescents known as the Kildren, and the enemy ace of the skies, Teacher.
Both of these anime feature pilot protagonists who are youthful and are set in worlds where aircraft combat is governed by the rules of an external organization. Similar themes include war and the purpose of war vis a vis society, and dealing with traumatic pasts/memory loss.
When the oppressive Kingdom suddenly conquers the planet Kibi, a group of space cadets are stranded aboard the spaceship Amaterasu. With no money or power, the crew is funded by the Space Channel TV station… for a price. For though they are given the money to buy the Amaterasu and battle the Kingdom, Shinon and the rest of the cadets must also become reality TV stars, allowing the network to dictate how they look, how they fight, and how they react when faced with the horrors of death. For the cadets aboard the Amaterasu, the battle has just begun...
While Starship Operators' generic sci-fi style doesn't even hold a candle to Last Exile's artistic fantasy world, they do have some common traits. Both are about a crew of a rogue battleship that finds itself having to navigate the currents of politics en route to its goal. As one might expect, this also means quite a few strategic ship-to-ship battles, a strong point for both series. If this style of plot development and combat appealed to you in one of these anime, you may very well find yourself enjoying the other as well.
It is the year 2356 AD, 189 years after a shockwave from a distant supernova decimated the Earth. Since that fateful day, humanity has begun training for a final mission to protect the planet from the inevitable oncoming 2nd shockwave - a mission whose failure means the annihilation of mankind. For Katase and her friends, their training at the foundation Stellvia is just the beginning of an adventure that could lead to saving the world, or seeing its end...
Last Exile and Stellvia are both about a young person growing up and facing (and overcoming) large obstacles. Both are science fiction dramas, with Stellvia revolving around space flight (and advanced technology) while Last Exile deals with flight and advanced technology.
Both have some humor, but successfully include major suspense and dramatic fights. Both show character growth and personal development for all major characters.
Auldrant is a world governed by The Score, an ancient prophecy divined by Yulia, which foretells the fate of all things. Thus, the Order of Lorelei is founded with the sole purpose of determining and upholding The Score. However, there always will be those who struggle against fate. Luke is a spoiled young noble of Kimlasca who yearns to be outside of the walls of his mansion. He spends his days spurning the advances of his fiancée Natalia and training with Guy, his friend and bodyguard, and his teacher Van, Commander of the Knights of Lorelei. During an attack on the mansion, he ends up in Malkuth, enemy territory. When he tries to return home, he soon finds himself embroiled in a worldwide conflict between those who would uphold fate and those who would defy it.
Both Last Exile and Tales of the Abyss are very similar animes. Incredible fantasy worlds (LE being more of a Steampunk, and TotA being a more general swords and magic fantasy) revolving around brilliant characters. In both series, 2 nations arep itted against eachother in battle by a third party that wishes destruction to them, and each focuses heavily on character growth. Last Exile seems to be a more mature series, focusing on the main characters growing up into a man, whereas Tales of the Abyss had comedy, and light-hearted drama sprinkled in. Both are excellent series, and if you like one, you may enjoy the other :]
The Nation of Gallia has always remained neutral in conflicts and has only gone to war to defend itself. However, as war flares between the East Europan Imperial Alliance and the Atlantic Federation, Gallia is soon targeted for its abundance of ragnite ore, a versatile and hugely valuable material. The Civilian Militia is soon called into action, and Welkin Gunther - son of a legendary war hero - is named leader of Squad 7. Under his command are the headstrong and practical Alicia Melchiott; the sharp-tongued Brigitte Stark; the grizzled veteran, Largo Potter; and Welkin's adopted sister Isara, whose Darcsen heritage means she faces prejudice, even from members of her own squad. With the rest of Squad 7 and the mighty tank Edelweiss, they must do their best to defend Gallia.
Both Valkyria Chronicles and Last Exile share subtle similarities that I enjoy. Last Exile is my all time favorite anime, and looking for a similar title, I turned to Valkyria Chronicles. Strong characters, that have moments of weakness that they inevitably overcome, an alternate universe feel war, and a perfect blend of comedy, action, and drama make these both interesting titles. The main difference with both would be that Last Exile takes place in the air, whereas Valkyria Chronicles takes place on the land. I highly recommend both.