Last Exile: Fam the Silver Wing Episode 2
What this is about: Separating the anime wheat from the chaff! Reviewing every subtitled anime show from 2010 and 2011! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.
Series Premise: Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing is a 23-episode anime television series airing between October 2011 and March 2012, a sequel to the popular Last Exile anime series from 2003. Fam, the Silver Wing is a new story set in the same setting as the original series, following the adventures of Fam and Giselle, two vanship pirates and members of the Sky Pirates who rescue to princesses after war unexpectedly breaks out between warring kingdoms.
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Very Quick Episode Summary: Princess Liliana allies with the Sky Pirates to battle the encroaching Turan army, while her younger sister Millia heads back to the capital with Fam and Giselle. Liliana’s surprise attack fails, and she is taken aboard the Ades flagship. Millia tries to rescue her sister with the skilled help of Fam and Giselle, but upon reaching the bridge of the ship, the Ades captain Luscinia explains his true motives for his attack. Luscinia utters one of the Mysteria, bringing down one of the Exile ‘moons’ in orbit around Earth, utterly destroying the Turan kingdom.
My Impressions: In a relatively weak Fall anime season, I’m leaning towards Last Exile as potentially the most interesting series of the season..
They throw a whole lot into just two episodes — far too much to easily digest in just one sitting, and some parts that just leave me wondering “what the fuck just happened there?” — such as when Liliana is possessed with light, and one of the orbiting moons responds by raining death from above. One thing is for sure: this series cannot be accused of not Thinking Big.
There are certain times when it is clear that the production staff are trying to show off, such as when the sky is filled with hundreds of floating ships in the sky, and the battle is in full swing. But the element of ‘visual spectacle’ means nothing if there isn’t a story to back it up in the end (see my condemnation of Guilty Crown, for example). Luckily, it seems that Last Exile may actually have that complicated, interesting story to match up with the artwork and animation.
The first Last Exile series a decade ago had an extremely rich and textured setting, and it seems that the second series may be equally as detailed. So far we have only touched a small tip of this fantastical world, and I’m left wondering how much more will be revealed in the episodes ahead.
The only true wildcard at this point is the main characters themselves. Well, notably Fam, but also her co-conspirator Giselle and the rest of the cast. At this point the story itself is overshadowing any sort of serious character development, so I don’t really have a feel for Fam as a character, or anyone else for that matter. All except for Dio — but that is because he’s the lone (so far) holdover from the last series, and thankfully in this second episode he comes across as a calm and measured ally rather than the prickish, puckish ass from before.
Before Fam the Silver Wing debuted, there was a great deal of trepidation among the fan community whether or not it would hold up compared to the seminal work. Everyone wants to compare the second series based on the first — and it’s hard to measure up to something that gosh-wowed the anime world the first time around. As near as I can tell, reaction to Fam the Silver Wing remains a mixed bag — but from my own personal perspective, I’ve come away largely impressed after the first two episodes. Haven’t been bored once.
- My earlier reviews of the series:
- Episode 1 (January 13)
- Info resources:
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “The second episode is an improvement over the first episode and it delivers the big, loud and easy action in a decent way. Since the series doesn’t feel like sharing at this moment it’s difficult to really sympathize with what’s going on since that’s simply unclear. Therefore what this series needs now are quiet moments to develop and deepen the stuff that were introduced in the beginning two episodes.” – Otakuness
- “Now this is more like it! It seems that the fears of excessive fanservice were misplaced.” – Draggle’s Anime Blog
- “My impressions for the first episode of Last Exile were largely the same as they were for Guilty Crown. Looks hella pretty, room for the plot to improve, please add some depth to these characters. Guilty Crown took this advice on board, tied them up, stuck them in the boot of its car and drove it off a cliff. Did Last Exile follow in its suicidal tire tracks? Nope, somehow Gonzo have gone 2 episodes without screwing everything up.” – The Cart Driver
- “While Last Exile can’t match up to Guilty Crown in visuals, it certainly has a lot going for it in that department. The actually CG doesn’t exactly look amazing, but the way in which it’s used in the dogfights in the air are pretty cool. There’s definitely one thing for sure; Gonzo isn’t holding your hand and babywalking you through the beginning of the story. We get an immediate introduction to an all out war between two opposing sides, and oh man, was it a sight to see.” – Emory Anime Club
- “It was a nicely action packed episode. It helps that this series is much more plot driven which is something I always look for. I am just waiting for more of the plot to unfold to give it a more definite thumbs up, it is still too early; There is lots of room to screw up still. At least they are doing a good job mixing in CG into the art style. I am really liking that small touch.” – Clanrain
- “It’s still too early to write “Fam” off as “The Phantom Menace”. All it really has to do is step back and give us some time with the characters and a reason to care about them – sounds easy, right?…I suspect the answer won’t be apparent for a few more weeks at the very least, but no one will be rooting harder than me for it to happen.” – Lost in America
ROUND TWO (Second Episode) RESULTS FOR THE FALL 2011 SHOWS:
Thumbs-up for Round Two: Un-Go, Chibi Devi, Bakuman Season 2, Mirai Nikki, Shinryaku Ika Musume Episode 2, Ben-To, Chihayafuru, Last Exile: Fam the Silver Wing
Thumbs-down for Round Two: Working Season 2, Guilty Crown, Phi-Brain
Coming up next: Fate Zero, Boku Ha Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Hunter x Hunter, Tamayura Hitotose, gdgd Fairies