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.
Allright. It's been a while since I've done something like this so bear with me as I try to find my way again. I did quite a lot of them in the past on a different website which you can find here: http://legendsofsatura.net/index.php/forum125/6-reviewing-guild.html
....They probably aren't very good though but please do stop by if you have the time and inclination. Originally the site was for writers, mostly original but also fanfiction.
Also I'm Dutch so there will be spelling errors. If you find them annoying give me a shout and I'll try to fix them.
Oh, I will try to keep spoilers to a minimum but there will be some. Usually the worse I rate an anime the more spoilers this will contain. You have been warned
So, you have probably already read what the animation is about in the discription given by Anime-Planet, which is the same as on the box. I will therefore try not go into the story that much unless I'm ranting about something (spoilers).
For this review I'm going to forgo my usual method of reviewing and lay into this piece of crap from the start. Know that my hatred for this garbage knows no bounds and I will be going into heavy spoiler territory for this one. Unfortunately I can't do that without mentioning the first series, the original Last Exile, and use that as a reference. There will therefore also be spoilers for the first series as well. Please, if you have not seen the first series stop reading here and go and watch it first. Last Exile is one of the best series I have seen and well worth your time.
Read on if you have seen it and want to know how they fucked up a sequal to one of my most beloved anime series of all time.
ART: Yeah, I gave the original series a 10/10 but this one gets a 7/10. The reason for this is the truly attrocious CGI used. It's bad, very bad. They try their best to cover it up and in quite a few scenes they get away with it but in many scenes they do not.
Essentially every sequence that has fast vanship action is pure 100% CGI and it shows. I have seen better CGI in Final Fantasy X and that was on PS2.
What truly annoyed me is that the normal animation is simply gorgious and pure heroin for the eyes. You want more only to get a CGI spike to the skull instead.
SOUND: This was one of the few things where I had no complaints but like everything else it suffered from my rage. I can't get myself to give a higher rating although it probably does deserve it.
CHARACTERS: Yep, I gave it a 1 and it is one of the very few anime's that came close to making me rage quit watching. Let me explain here.
The original Last Exile series had some of the best characters that I had ever seen in an anime. When a character did something they did it for a reason. A reason you understood and related to because you knew the character.
Claus joins the Silvana to join the fight because he wants the war to end and help Alvis.
Lavie is horrified by the war and does not want the vanships to be used as weapons yet she helps Claus because he is her partner and she cares for him.
Alex went rogue with the Silvana because the Guild murdered his fiancee and he wants revenge
Sophia was the sister of the fiancee and supports Alex as his first officer because of it. She also is in love with him but does not act upon it because he loved her sister and is still in love with her.
Dio is focused on Claus because he is fascinated by him and his piloting skills. He yearns for a rival and a friend because he is alone. He is even willing to defy the Guild to some point because of this.
Lucciola is Dio's bodyguard and only Guild friend. When Dio gets brainwashed he sacrifices himself to get Dio released.
Mullin is a low ranking soldier on a Anatory battleship. He does not want to be a soldier but has no choice in the matter. He fights because he has no choice and he later finds out that the other side is the same.
Disith is not just attacking Anatory because they want to but because they have to. Their country is suffering major food shortages and they have nowhere else to go.
The Guild is pictured as the major bad guys of the story but then you see Dio get brainwashed as a right of passage. This is something that many members go through and it changes Dio from a kindhearted boy into a vicious psychotic killer. This brings new light to the Delphine, who leads the Guild and is Dios' sister. What was she like before she went into the machine and became the monster she is now?
So with this in mind, how do the characters of the new series come off? Well, badly.
Main characters Fam and Giselle are fine and so is Millie. Their characters get established in the beginning and they stay true to their characters. Fam is a vanship pilot who wants nothing more than to have a Grand Race with all nations participating because that was the last time everyone had geniune smiles.
Giselle is her navigator and supports her through thick and thin although she is not happy with all the fighting. Neither is Fam for that matter.
Millie is the youngest member of the Turan royal family and all she wants is to end the fighting, save her people and get her sister back.
The Augusta is the leader of Ades, a powerful nation bent on conquering the world. She is 11 years old and wants nothing more than that her people are happy.
So far so good but here shit starts to go wrong. We get introduced to 2 important characters in the first episode. One is Liliana, Millie's older sister, and the other is Luscinia, the prime minister of Ades.
Luscinia is the driving force behind the Ades war and his reason is to create the world that the previous Augusta wanted. A world of peace where people lived beside each other. How does Luscinia accomplish this? By mass genocide. Yep, you read that right people. Mass genocide. He makes it his mission in life to kill as many people as he can by blowing them the fuck up.
He does this many times and he gives 3 reasons for soing so. The first is that it was the wish of the former Augusta to bring peace to the world. The second is to bring lasting peace and the third is that there are to many people on the world for there to be enough food. In other words: Lebensraum. (<--- oh, look. One of the reasons Hitler used to start WWII but I'm sure that he was a nice dude who had nothing but the best of intentions as well)
They later try to pose him as this tragic figure who only tries to do the things that needed to be done for the good of humanity but..... seriously?! We get to see him wipe cities of the map with many people still in it and we are supposed to care about this motherfucker?! Really?! Are you insane? The only thing I feel is utter contempt and I wouldn't piss on him if he was on fire.
Not to mention that it goes against EVERYTHING that the former Augusta wanted. Sure, her hands weren't clean either but she tried hard to bring everyone together peacefully. Her future dream world had a lot more people in it so Luscinia is the greatest douchebag on the planet.
How does Liliana fare against this? Roughly the same. In the first episode she is shown as a caring woman who wants what is best for her people and is well liked for her kind and gentle nature.
She is abducted by Luscinia who then uses her to summon an Exile, as she is a key able to summon it. As she is completely helpless, Luscinia, uses her to destroy the capital city of Turan, killing her father and many innocent people.
Next time we see her she is not only fine but actively helps Luscinia in his effort. Even going to far to willingly summon the Exile to wipe another city off the map. The reason she gave to Luscinia for this was this: "My hands are already sullied."
How? How are your hands sullied? You were helpless as Luscinia pulled your strings and you had NO CHOICE in the matter. She literally had no choice as the Exile completely overruled her mind and she was menatlly unable to refuse Luscinia's orders.
So to compare here. If I were to kidnap someone like Mother Teresa. Tie her to a chair. Put a gun in her hand in such a way that she is unable to let go or aim at anything else but what I chose to put in front of her. Put someone in front of her. Then all I have to do now is shock her arm so that her muscles spasm, thus allowing the gun to go off and kill the person in front of her and I've now succesfully created someone willing to wipe a city off the face of the Earth because 'her hands are now sullied'? Huh.... who knew.
STORY: Aaaaand here is another problem of mine. The world. It will not surprise you that it takes place in the same universe as the first series. The setting is on the same planet just a different section of it. This is no problem at all and can be used to further expand the world and its people. The fact that the previous characters are not in it should be no problem as their stories were completed but they are in it.
Both Dio and Alves appear in the anime as major side characters, especially Dio. This is where the trouble starts because now we have a timeline and proximity to the places where the previous events from the first series took place. And it falls apart.
First up is Anatory who again plays a major role in the new universe in the form of the battleship Sylvius.
Current location is centered around the Grand Lake and all nations are clustered around it. Here is where all the story telling takes place while Anatory is mentioned as being far to the east. It even shows up on the map that the Ades' military uses but there has been no contact between the Grand Lake nations and Anatory.
This is bullcrap. People travel, they explore, there would have been contact long before and since it is on a map there has been. This is a problem since in Anatory the Guild ran everything. Even the engines used in the war ships were Guild supplied AND operated. This was a major plotpoint in the first series as it was the Guild who decided to abondon ship and not its captain. The captain crew would be fighting to save the ship and someone in the engine would decide "Nope, fuck that noice. We're out of here!" The engine would disengage from the ship and fly off while the captain and crew plummet to certain death. Major plotpoint.
None of that is mentioned around the Grand Lake. In fact there is NO Guild presence at the Grand Lake area. This despite the fact that Luscinia is clearly of Guild descent and a Guild trained assassin/bodyguard. He even recognizes Dio for what he is, a Guild member. Yet while Anatory and Disith were completely at the mercy of the Guild none such thing is present at the Grand Lake.
Looking back on the first series and Meastro Delphine I do not buy this one bit. She would have known about the Grand Lake and put it into her stranglehold the same as with Anatory and Disith.
So putting the timeline so close to that of the first series is a bad mistake as it simply does not add up. So what would have worked?
This is surprisingly simple and I'm surprised that they didn't go with this in the first place. As mentioned several times in the new series there was a massive cataclism that almost destroyed the world. Those who could left on the Exiles, massive ships capable of space flight.
Those left behind struggled on untill things finally died down again. Slowly the world became habitable again and they spread out around the Grand Lake. Then, 100 years ago, the Exiles returned with many people on board. The people already living around the Grand Lake were displaced by the returnees and taken in by Ades.
This was the cause of all the wars in the past century untill the Augusta tried to stop the fighting. Unfortunately she was assassinated after the Grand Race a decade before current events.
This is the current timeline of the two series. The events of the first series and about 5 years after the death of the former Augusta and as I said this is to soon. If the first series had taken place after the return of the Exiles, say 2 to 3 decades, then it would fit much better.
Current Dio and Alves are grandchildren of the characters of the first series and you can tie the Sylvana crew into it as well with descendends of the first series characters.
It would explain Dio and Alves being there and even them having the same names, It would also explain why there is no Guild presence at the Grand Lake because they were destroyed many decades before.
It won't save everything as you still have Luscinia and Liliana but it would have made me give a higher rating.
You wouldn't believe how happy I was when I learned that a new series was being made. The first series was from 2003 while the new series was made in 2011. That is 8 years! Yet this was the best they could do? There are 5 year olds who can write a better story than this.
It would have been better if they had cut all ties with the first series and created a whole new world but even that is not possible because they gave in to a cardinal sin. They referenced the first series in the new one.
Worse is that they had one entire recap episode about the first series! Yes, they recapped the entire first series in one spisode near the end of the anime. "Never show a better movie in your own movie" That is a rule you must never break and they did it.
It drove home just how bad this was and what it could have been.
The plot of Fam was for me much the same as the original Last Exile: I was deeply confused in the beginning, but became quite attached to the characters in the end. As with the first season, there are a number of different factions vying for power through the use of various airships with a 19th Century feel. Thrown into this conflict are the semi-mystical giant ships called Exiles which have star-traveling capabilities.
Basically, in the past the world descended into chaos and the various nations inhabiting it constructed these Exiles to flee to other planets. But now things have settled down back on Earth and these same nations are returning, much to the displeasure of the Ades Federation--the only nation to have remained. The main characters from the original Last Exile are one of the groups returning. I found this dynamic between Ades (basically the antagonistic nation throughout the series) and the nations that "abandoned" Earth to be interesting.
There are a great number of airship battles throughout the show, but just as important are the political maneuvers behind the scenes. The large cast of characters and their various motives combine to create some good conflict. Wound into this is the quest of the idealistic main character, Fam, whose adventures I will admit drag at some points. I also abhor the two recap episodes, one which inexplicably covers the original Last Exile and one which recaps the events of Fam up to that point.
The 21-episode length is atypical, but I think it was a good choice on the part of the writers. They wrapped up the action nicely during that time without dragging out the climax.
Gonzo always has superb animation, and Fam is no exception. The admittedly large number of juvenile characters have simple, round faces and relatively large eyes. Proportions are otherwise relatively realistic. I particularly admired the use of colors in some characters, such as Vasant (purple) and Admiral Sadri (green).
For the high number of ships present in the series, they have surprisingly poor design. The battles make good use of CGI, but it just doesn't have the same punch as hand-drawn material.
I particularly liked the OP, "Buddy," as it has some strong instrumentals to back up the singing. The soft ending song produced little effect on me.
Voice actors are all fine, except for that of Augusta Sara--she started to get on my nerves. I tip my hat to Takaya Hashi, who voiced Admiral Sadri.
The three main characters--Fam, Giselle, and Millia--are all teenage girls, which irked me immensely at first. I was afraid that the three of them would blur together and ultimately end up as one bland mess. Thankfully, their personalities and actions differ enough through the series to make them at least slightly memorable.
There were some characters, like Millia's sisted Liliana, whom I terribly wanted to smack. How can someone be so stupid?
The villain, Luscinia, has a somewhat bland personality but he does his job.
It's a good series. Perhaps not quite as good as the original Last Exile, but still well worth watching.
The first Last Exile (LE) is considered by many as one of the best anime GONZO ever made. Which doesn’t mean anything since it never made many great shows to begin with. In fact, for me the only great shows it even made are NHK and Kaleido Star. Anyways, the years passed, GONZO went almost bankrupt because of the shitty shows it was making, and now all of a sudden tries to make a comeback with a follow up to LE. Impressions? IT’S SHIT!
The first LE wasn’t ever super great but at least retained a basic feeling of maturity and seriousness. Fam, the Silver Wing (FSW) though makes a drastic change and turns to something far worse. IT BECAME LOLI MOE CRAP! You don’t believe me?
Think of the first episode of LE. Two armies clashing in the sky. Motivational screams, dread, fear, and death. Nobody is certain of who will win. And then a third ship appears from above and with its superior technology trashes them, proving how this is a cruel world where ideals and sacrifice mean nothing before raw power and cynicism towards life. Amongst this chaos was a pair of kind hearted boy and girl mailmen, trying to earn their living while delivering important messages. I never liked most of what followed but the basic concept of the show was there and was clear from the beginning. The tragedy of war, the unjust ruling of the nobles, and the loss of innocence.
Now let’s look at the first episode of FSW. It begins with an underage girl undressing while sleepwalking and jumping off the airship she is on. Everybody comments “Man, she is totally stupid.” Then the scene changes to a lake where a naked woman bathes, and a cute kid slips and falls in the water. “Man, he’s totally stupid.” Then a fleet of airships invade and try to capture alive that said woman and her sister, because they are important princesses. The stupid girl, along with a group of immature and annoying kids intervene because she feels like stealing ships for the lulz. After using the most snotty and vulgar behaviour to her elders, she creates major damage to the invading fleet with a few childish tricks and even fool it to think the princesses died. All of which happen in 10 minutes, while using tiny ships, and their tools being nothing other than a few smoke bombs and flashlights. After that, as if it was all a game, they laugh and she hangs like a monkey from the window and shows everyone her underwear.
WTF did I just watch? The few shreds of decency the show had are now gone. This is not the follow up to LE; it is closer to a goddamn Strike Witches spin-off! The lolis wear clothes with animal ears and tails for crying out loud. And I’d be damned if all the characters ain’t a rehash from their earlier total failure that was Shangri-La. Awful, tasteless, immature, fan catering BS! Well done GONZO, you prove how you will never improve if all you do is replacing decent characters with shitty ones. You deserve your fate.
I didn’t drop the series right there; I wanted to see how they will handle this catastrophe.
2. (ep.2) People have superpowers that magically stop bullets and summon moons to drop on the planet. OH MY GODS, THEY TURNED THIS FROM A WAR DRAMA TO A MAHOU SHOUJO!
3. (ep.3) They try really hard to convince us there are battle tactics in this show by making the naval fleets performing weird formations. Well tactics my butt if most of it happens out-of-screen and we don’t even see the outcome of all this mess. Seriously, you hardly see how they fight; all they show is bullets and explosions. Plus, a thousand warships can easily be fooled, infiltrated, and destroyed by an animal-themed loli holding a flashlight, so all that are pointless from the get-go. Jeez, I have seen ten times more tactics in the otherwise naval space battles of Legend of Galactic Heroes. They barely felt this retarded.
4. (ep.5) The lolis do cosplay to move the hearts of men, steal their ships by using your mother as an excuse, and demand a new kingdom while dressed as maids. I WAS PULLING MY OWN FEW REMAINING HAIR WHILE WATCHING THIS!
5. (ep.7) An enemy fleet is chasing after the good guys. They claim they gather information on how to improve their technology by copying that of others. So after they see the good guys’ fleet getting their asses kicked, they decide they have gathered all they can from them and throw a volley of shots which will destroy them. Since they have gathered all they needed, that volley should have wiped them out entirely. But no it didn’t because the loli heroine tells the fleet to duck and all the ships easily avoid the attack. IF IT WAS SO EASY THEN WHY WEREN’T YOU DUCKING BEFORE? AND IF THE ENEMY GATHERED ALL THE INFORMATION ABOUT THEM THEN WHY DIDN’T THEY KNOW HOW EASY THEY CAN AVOID ALL THEIR ATTACKS?
6. (ep.8) The heroes’ flagship is chased by the enemy fleet. They reach a mountain which blocks their flight. Instead of going higher to pass over it, they decide to blow a hole through it with their super weapons. So the question here is WHY ARE THEY BLOWING UP MOUNTAINS IN ORDER TO ESCAPE AND NOT JUST USE THE SUPER WEAPONS ON THE ENEMY? WHY ARE THEY EVEN RUNNING AWAY FROM THEM IF THEY CAN WIPE THEM OUT EASILY WITH THOSE?
7. (ep.8) The lolis sink a humongous warship by firing a single shot with a hand pistol at its weak spot, the belly. IF WARSHIPS SINK SO EASILY THEN WHY DON’T THEY USE A FEW TINY SABOTEUR UNITS IN EVERY BATTLE? Jeez, and then some say the Death Star which was destroyed with a simple torpedo was far-fetched.
8. (ep.8) A tiny ship is stuck on the heroes’ flagship and the pilots inside are unconscious. The lolis decide that the best way to save them is to risk their lives by lifting the ship with their own hands and hope for something completely random to happen instead of just CUTTING THE ROPE AND SAFELY TOWING THEM AWAY.
9. (ep.10) Dio can apparently teleport anywhere he likes because he popped out of nowhere and blocked that lightsaber aiming at the lolis… Nah, I’m kidding, it is clearly BS of the storyboard for the lulz.
10. (ep.11) Terrorists attack the empress and everybody are standing still and watching them idly for minutes instead of running away or trying to help. Clearly, the director had no skills to show more than two people walking around at the same time.
11. (ep.11) When one of the bodyguards kills the terrorists in an aircraft, he jumps out and lets it crush anywhere it randomly drops onto. Even if he didn’t care about the hundreds of spectators near by (who all this time are standing still and watch the battle instead of just running away or at least taking cover) but it could have easily dropped on the empress and anyone on board the platform. Retarded!
12. (ep.12) It could have been great if we would get an epic battle between Dio and the assassins but this is GONZO we are talking about. The battle ends in a few seconds and without letting us see anything. The rest of the episode is tired loli fan service and bad Russian.
13. (ep.13) The battle in this episode is another desperate attempt to make us think there is strategy in this show when it is all random weapons that nobody saw or could defend against, unless they have more random weapons. It reminds me of the games we were playing as little kids (My laser kills you. – No, my shield deflects your laser and kills you. – No, I teleport and kill you instead. – No, I block your teleport with my magic talisman. – No, I order my invisible dragon to eat your talisman).
14. (ep.14) At this point you realize Fam and her lolis no longer have a role in the show. They are looking idly at events, just like those spectators. Despite being the protagonists, they are doing nothing but offering retarded moe slice of life. So you end up watching a completely random war and boring lolis.
15. (ep.15) All the nations gather around to talk about ending the war. At the same moment, the villains find the ruins of some new super weapon. Yeah, screw politics, and dialogue. The only thing that matters in this show is random superpowers.
16. (ep.16) Two fleets are fighting in the sky and the battle ends when the flagship of the heroes just appears out of nowhere in the middle of the enemy fleet and uses its super weapons to destroy it. See what I meant by random superpowers? And why the devil doesn’t anyone try to copy THAT technology?
17. (ep.18) The security during ceremonies still sucks, despite losing their important leader some years ago. Anyone with a pistol can still kill anyone he wants.
18. (ep.19) The loli princess faints (conveniently when the villain must carry her around) and wakes up (conveniently when the villain must talk to her) numerous times. And the lame part is that it always occurs out of screen. As if he was secretly knocking her unconscious and then waking her by making her sniff ammonia or something.
19. (ep.20) Oh the age-old cliché of mortal enemies cooperating in order to defeat a greater threat. Too bad all they were doing is storming the enemy ship without any strategy at all. I mean they knew they had that super beam so why didn’t they just spread out their forces to minimize the damage? And don’t let anyone say anything regarding strategy such as “They wouldn’t be able to support one another if they were scattered.” They never supported anyone in the whole show, ok? All we see is them doing is storming in, that’s it.
20. (ep.20) And what a surprise, they manage to block the super weapon with another super weapon. Great tactics as usual GONZO. So much for teamwork and cooperation; all it took was to have a loli princess with superpowers.
21. (ep.20) GONZO, you even contradict anything you showed us so far regarding its use. The falling moon needed several minutes to come down from its orbit and towards its target but now all they do is making the loli princess magically teleporting it in an instant right in front of them, without even having the slightest clue of how she did it. So cheap!
22. (ep.20) Hey you idiotic villain general. Don’t tell me you never thought the loli princess wouldn’t try to do that. You went to all the trouble of getting all the other loli princesses but you just left this one? Nicely going.
23. (ep.20) Physics anyone? You cannot ram and pierce to pieces a mechanical tentacle ten times your size, density, and speed, without being pushed back a single meter from where you are standing in the middle of the sky. That ship should have been kicked back a thousand kilometres.
24. (ep.20) At this point one wonders what was the villain’s plan all along. “To unite the world through the use of weapons” is the easy answer. Well, if that is true then why didn’t he just use the Exile superweapons all along and wasted tens of thousands of soldiers in pointless battles? And don’t tell me it was because they could be used only a few times; they had infinite fuel and those tentacles and laser guns could be repeared easily. Thus you realize he deliberately alled his army to be decimated for no reason. Even if he thought a cooperation of fresh fleets would be enough to destroy even the Exile weapons, we still know that is not true since an Exile can be defeated only by an Exile. And just look at the last battle; all the fleets were down to a fraction of their original power and still kicked his ass. SO WHAT WAS HIS PLAN? To die as a tyrant and make the others form an alliance? He could have done that since the very first episode.
25. (ep.21) Nothing extremely wrong with the final episode. Other than being anti-climactic as hell, that is. YOU CALL THAT A CONCLUSION? Nothing we couldn’t guess from the earlier one.
And now some mistakes that happen throughout the show, so they are omnipresent and can’t be marked in a single episode.
26. No matter how many cities or ships get destroyed, we never see dead people or even have a clear picture of how many died or survived. One episode a fleet is damaged severally, the next one is again ready by the thousands. One episode a whole nation is wiped out, the next one we get thousands of survivors. Also, the male/female analogy makes no sense since we either see men or women (or lolis) but never both. All the devastation this war is causing never manages to mean anything since we never see any actual or lasting damage. People and ships seem to regenerate overnight, so why bother to feel sorry for anyone?
27. As a follow up to the above, the directing is so sloppy that it constantly takes out lots of action and war scenes. Battles, pursuits, mass destructions, most of them happen out of screen and we just have someone telling us afterwards what exactly happened. And even when he does, it still means nothing since by the next episode people and ships have magically re-spawned. Do you know how stupid it looks when you are told an amazing battle took place without ever seeing anything, only to see the exact next day it had no significance at all?
28. As if that wasn’t enough, there is absolutely nobody taking things seriously in this show. You will get people doing some really atrocious acts and are not punished, or even as stupid as it sounds, they are instead rewarded. Such as in the case of the main lolis constantly causing havoc but are just rewarded afterwards by the very people they damaged and even joining their cause. Or a female pilot killing the leader of a nation and the next day is forgiven and even allowed to join the war with the very people who massacred her whole nation and whose lovable queen she killed as revenge. Or a general who just out of nowhere decided to betray his superiors without any foreshadow at all for that. Or the villain boss trying to present himself as a good guy in the end and the lolis forgive him despite the fact he massacred millions of people with the sole reason being “I want to bring peace by killing everyone”. And are we supposed to just accept there is peace and happiness for everyone in the ending after all this mess? Have they all forgotten how many of them were killed by other nations without ever doing anything bad or does it not matter because they all re-spawned by the next day?
29. The reason for the above is because the retards over at GONZO tried to combine two genres that simply do not combine. How the devil do you expect to mix retarded moe-moe that is meant to be silly, light, and aimless, with a war drama that is supposed to be the exact opposite? One second they are killing people, the immediate next they are eating cake with the very people they killed (and who have magically regenerated by then). And mind how it is supposed to be a serious scene and not comedy. Do you see it working in any way possible? OF COURSE NOT! I mean can you imagine a cute loli named Fam Fan Fan (seriously, that is her name) taking part in a war where people are constantly killed out of screen and still like it?
30. Continuing from above, try to imagine how most of the show is wasted on moe fan service and light everyday moments instead of fleshing out the characters and the setting. Over half of the events in the anime have absolutely no importance in a huge and seemingly complicated world. You hardly see the motivations of the characters or the style of life in each nation. You mostly see retarded bath and cooking scenes and wonder what the devil is going on with the war on the other side of the continent.
31. There is another thing which indirectly counts as a mistake. Why is this show a sequel to begin with? Where are the connecting points with the first season? We are told it happens a few years later and there are some recurring names and terminology but other than that there is absolutely nothing to see this show as a sequel. It happens on an entirely different world, with an entirely different cast of characters. And the few recurring ones from the first season are there just as cameos, since they have absolutely no significance over the events of the show. Fam and her lolis are less important that Dio the assassin from the first show, and even he is doing nothing but stalling time by not allowing the attackers to kidnap or kill someone, which will happen anyway later on but the makers of the show needed to somehow fill 21 episodes. But I bet GONZO thought it would increase the sales if they threw the name Last Exile on the cover instead of making a completely new title. And thus they didn’t even bother to try having some actual continuity in the show since the fans of the first show would just watch it for the same names and a few cameos. Nice trick you greedy bastards.
Yeah, ok, artwork and animation look great. SO WHAT? No amount of quality visuals can save this abomination from trashing one of the few remaining decent (but not great by a longshot) anime this ridiculous studio ever made. Watch it only if you are a 2D petafile or still enjoy brain dead shows with coocoo lolis. The rest keep away.
Oh, and GONZO? DON’T YOU DARE MAKE A SEQUEL TO NHK OR KALEIDO STAR! Please, you only made TWO great shows in your life span. DON’T trash them as well.
Wow.... this is probably the most disapointing sequel since Darker than Black s2... wth did they do to the series? Yeah the animation is slightly better and the colours are more vibrant but its all in vain due to the terrible loli fanservice. Honestly I don't think anyone can watch this anime without feeling like a pedophile. Needless to say the review is going to be biased, because for some bizzare reason I had my expectations high for this.
Story- Most of the time the story takes a backseat to pointless slice of life scenes like cooking shit and playing floor hockey or watching little girls change clothes or some other BS we never asked for. The main story is pretty straight forward. Nation in peril, princess gets kidnapped and Fam and her pack of lolis(which includes the princess' younger sister) must hunt her down and save the world or something like that. I liked the fact that they tried to protray different cultures (the russian, ades federation etc.) but the politics in this show just failed so hard and I couldn't really take any of these factions very seriously.
Animation-The only decent thing about this show. Yeah it looks nice and the CG blends in well... not much else to say.
Sound- I didn't find the op or ed themes particularly memorable and the OST music doesn't stand out at all.
Characters- I fucking hate these characters... Every single character in this fucking show is useless except for the antagonist(Luscininia). Fam is the most stupid annoying naive loli ever. Shes over confident and always gets things her way. Giselle is the most boring character ever, its like shes even bored of herself and this stupid show so she always keeps her eyes half closed. Princess Millia... wth atleast she has a little bit of development throughout the series unlike Fam... even her name sounds stupid. WTH is with these characters names anyway? Who came up with this stuff? Fan Fan Fam? Turan Millia il Vech Cutrettola, Liliana il Grazioso Merlo Turan? Félicité, René and Adele Collette? Its like they decided to choose the most needlessly complicated names so we get distracted to how badly this anime sucks.
Overall- Yes I know biased review is biased, this would have certainly gotten a higher score if I just viewed it from as a stand alone anime, but this anime really presses on the fact that its a sequel. With returning character and an entire fucking recap episode of the last season (they even use the awesome opening of the last season). Yeah I just plain hated this and I wouldn't reccomend it to anyone who enjoyed the first season.