(First of all, this review will contain spoilers for the first series of Last Exile since Last Exile: Fam the Silverwing really shouldn't be watched without seeing the first one.)
Story: I am a huge fan of the original Last Exile series and was expecting this show to live up to those expectations. Unfortunately, the story really fell short in so many aspects in my opinion. Firstly, we still have the issue that we have Sci Fi aspects to the show that do nothing but muddy the steam punk aspect. Anyone who has seen the first season knows what I am referring to. The ending makes a lot of the same mistakes that Last Exile did so if there was a reason for you to dislike the ending, this series probably won't fix it. Now, on to the actual story. Most of the episodes were filler. I actually had fun with a lot of those episodes but they didn't further the story much. There were scenes where I really felt like they were trying to draw parallels to the original series. Like the scene where Giselle is freaking out that she isn't a good enough navi for Fam. It almost directly paralleled the original where the same thing happened to Lavi. Ultimately, I don't believe the creators were really able to think of this as its own show. The story arcs kept harkening back to the original in strange ways and it entirely bothered me. I wanted a show that could stand on its own as an excellent series but got something that was too afraid to step away from the original.
Animation: Gorgeous! Everything is beautiful. The movements are smooth. The colors are vibrant and the world is well designed. This is one area where this show is solid.
Sound: The sound is deceptively excellent. I had watched about 4 episodes before I really started listening to the background music. It was only then did I really start wanting to get the CD for this show because the music was so catchy. The opening and closing were also excellent in my opinion. The voice acting was well done with really expressive voices. I have never been a fan of Dio's Japanese voice but I got past complaining about that pretty quickly.
Characters: The characters were a real let down after the original Last Exile cast. I got really attached to those original characters. Fam Fan Fan is a poor excuse for a protagonist. Her personality takes the cheap method of being likable by racing around saying "I just want everyone to get along!" and "I have a dream that everyone can smile again". It got really irritating really quickly. I will grant that she even admitted that what she was doing wasn't realistic by the end but I still can't forgive her for it. Giselle is one of the single most boring characters I have ever seen. She has no personality and acted pretty bored most of the time. Thus, it made me bored watching her. Millia was the closest this show came to a complete character out of the new cast. She was facing some really difficult political choices and grew remarkably as a person throughout the series. Even with Millia I still didn't enjoy her. She was an interesting character but I couldn't grow attached to her. Luscinia is the only new character worth paying attention to. He is an excellent and interesting character over all. I was a huge fan of the fact that they brought Dio back. I was a fan of this character in the original series and I couldn't believe that he was back in the show after I was certain he was dead. It isn't explained how he is still alive after losing his mind and falling off his vanship. That bothered me a little but I was so happy to see him alive that I was able to forgive that. His character was still pretty irresponsible at a lot of points and he was still a bit of a troll but he had definitely grown up a lot. I am not sure if this is due to the Guild brain washing he got in the first series or the death of Lucciola. Either way it is obvious that he has grown up a lot and I loved seeing that evolution from the first series. Unfortunately, I wanted more information on this development. What did he do after Lucciola died? How long did it take him to snap out of his insanity that we saw him with at the end of the first series? A lot is left unanswered in treating him like a side character. Unfortunately, a lot of the old cast is like that. We have Tatiana back but with zero development to her character and the rest of the old characters show up just for the fans to say "Look, it’s so and so" and walk off screen.
This show turned out to be a lot of things that I hoped it wouldn't be but it was a fun ride in the end. If you are a fan of the original, this one with almost certainly be a disappointment. With that said, I still think it’s worth a watch for the parts it does well.
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