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「Dubious move」

The fourth episode of Last Exile: Fam tries awfully hard to please. I think it would be well served to try a little less hard as it develops.

As certain of my concerns are being addressed, one by one, my anxiety about where this series is going is decreasing, but not as much as I’d hoped. I appreciate that the pacing has become much more reasonable. I appreciate even more that the focus of the last two eps has largely shifted from “what” to “why”. Knowing what these characters are thinking and why they do what they do is certainly essential if I’m going to enjoy watching them do it. But the sale isn’t closed, at least for me. I’m still finding the tone somewhat off and the characters a little plastic. And to be honest, there’s still a little bit too much pandering for my tastes.

Basically, the episode can be broken down into two parts – a slice-of-life sequence with lots of cute and some discernible shoujo-ai hints before the break, and Fam getting thoroughly pwned by The Silvius after the break (with some discernible shoujo-ai hints). The scenes at home with Giselle’s family are charming, but they would be more charming if they didn’t seem so determined to show how charming they are. The smiles are constant (even Dio is infected), the warmth and comfort pervasive, and even the food is shown to be delicious. We get many more shots of Fam and Millia in their undies, and long, lingering shots of Fam and Millia sharing a bed. It’s pleasant, but does is it inform us in any meaningful way about the characters?

If it does, it’s in telling us something about Gisey – namely, that in addition to her navigational skills she’s an aviation geek of the highest order. When Dio (hmmm…) offers her a murky photo of the reaper ship, Silvius, she’s able to do a pretty good job of deconstructing it for form and function (as Fam and the younger siblings are drawing a ludicrous picture of some sort of cross between a garbage disposal and a staple remover, the funniest moment of the sequence). No one thinks to ask why Dio has this picture, interestingly (“He showed up six months ago and he’s been living here ever since!”) but it certainly comes in useful for Fam’s ludicrous but well-intentioned plan to steal the reaper ship for Princess Millia and the Turan cause.

It’s in the second part that the real LE fanservice comes in. Not only are we treated to some pretty cool flying by Dio and the pilot of the red vanship and a Lusciola mention, we get some sexy interior shots of The Silvius and some very familiar faces. It’ll come as a shock, I know, but the three key figures on board The Silvius are all women. Setting that radical departure aside, we have Tatiana Wisla (Kitamura Eri) – once Alex Row’s wing commander and now Captain. And where Tatiana goes you’re sure to have Alister Agrew (Kuwatani Natsuko), the Lavie to her Claus, the Gisey to her Fam. The third corner of the triangle is the Listening Officer – a vital position on a ship like The Silvius – Cecily (Nakajima Megumi). She’s a newcomer rather than a holdover, and we don’t know much about her yet apart from the fact that she’s cheerful and kawaii and that Alister seems quite, er, protective of her.

I was pleased to see that there were no hard-to-swallow miracles here, and that Tatiana and The Silvius – a fully amphibious vessel, BTW – saw Fam and the kiddie corps as nothing more than a pesky fly. Fam’s pretty good, but none of the sky pirates’ usual tricks were a match for the reaper ship, and Tatiana even saddled up and took her classic vanship out to give the cheeky girls a few lessons in how it’s done. Tatiana, you’ll remember, was as close to being Claus’ equal as anyone on Prester when it came to piloting a vanship. Fam even tried the “Star Wars” trick that worked on the Ades’ flagship, but The Silvius was more than prepared and trapped she and Gisey (literally) like a drowned rat. With those two captured and Dio, Millia and Teddy showing up on their own, a deal is offered to Fam – capture fifteen Ades warships, one for each year you’ve been alive, and we’ll let you fly again. Otherwise, they’ve seen too much to ever leave…

About The Silvius and its crew we have far more questions than answers. What’s their game, first of all, and why do they need ships? Are they fighting for anyone else’s benefit, or acting as a free agent? I also think it’s more than valid to ask why Tatiana seemed so unsurprised to see Dio show up, first in his vanship and then on her bridge. They came to Earth together, and I don’t think it’s unlikely that they’re covertly working together or at least have some common cause. And what of Alvis and, by extension, Claus and Lavie? Now that Tatiana has been introduced, those questions can only be put off for so long. Alvis is an Exile key, after all, and as such a terribly important and valuable little girl – someone a person like Tatiana would want to keep close tabs on.

I wish I could say I love all this, but so far Fam is more of a mild affection that a romance for me. It’s still looking great, and it’s undeniably good to see old friends from The Silvana again. It seems as if that’s where the real potential for the series lies. But the scenes involving Fam, Gisey, Millia, Teddy and their entourage just feel too light and fluffy for Last Exile. What’s missing for me is gravity, and I don’t mean in the physics sense. Gravitas, the Romans called it – “weight, dignity and importance” – I’m not feeling it most of the time, and the reason I felt the third episode was easily the best was because it was the only one of the four that did make me feel it. That disappoints me especially because gravitas was absolutely vital to what made Last Exile stand out so proudly and admirably from the crowd. I don’t begrudge anyone the right to feel differently, and I certainly don’t think it’s impossible that this series will grow into the one I hope it will. But I can’t be anything but honest in my impressions, and I’m not going to sugarcoat them to make either of us feel better. If you love Fam, I’m glad – and I hope it makes me love it just as much before it’s done.

 

Preview

Last Exile Ginyoku no Fam   04   Preview 01 Last Exile Ginyoku no Fam   04   Preview 02 Last Exile Ginyoku no Fam   04   Preview 03
November 7, 2011 at 10:24 pm
230 comments »
  • November 7, 2011 at 10:31 pmFencedude

    Was Alister’s voice always that sexy? My god, I don’t blame Cecily for reacting like that, after having that voice in her ear for a moment.

    Anyway, unsurprisingly I loved this episode. Fanservice on every level. We even got to see Tatiana in her flightsuit!

    I think its obvious that Dio’s working with Tatiana, or at least they are both working towards the same goal. She’s pretty composed, but not so much that she wouldn’t be surprised to see Dio if she didn’t know he was around.

    Fam’s definitely into Milia. Even if she herself isn’t quite aware that thats whats going on. I do think Gisey’s picked it up though…

    • November 7, 2011 at 11:21 pmAlec

      I really doubt that Dio is working with Tatiana.

      I mean, we all know that Dio is a whimsical person

      • November 7, 2011 at 11:40 pmFencedude

        Maybe “working with” is a stretch, but I do think they are aware of each others activities, in a general sense at least.

      • November 8, 2011 at 2:06 amKJacket

        Maybe Dio was looking for a pilot to work with, since Tatiana is the captain now she can’t really go out to play during an actual battle now.

    • November 8, 2011 at 12:50 amAllanx

      I know I have a dirty mind, but… where was Cecily’s other hand?

      (I guarantee you’ll never look at that completely innocent scene the same way ever again)

      • November 8, 2011 at 12:55 amFencedude

        completely innocent

        Oh ho ho, who said I ever looked at it innocently to begin with?

  • November 7, 2011 at 10:37 pmThe Moondoggie

    To conclude:

    1. Fam is pwned by her senior…
    2. Delicious armpit screenshots…
    3. Dogfights…
    4. Everything in that world is so gay, even the pubescent girls.

    • November 8, 2011 at 4:38 ampaulrenzo

      Based on the screencaps of this series, I’m assuming “gay” here is used in the literal sense, and not the 12-year-old CoD n00b sense?

      • November 8, 2011 at 4:23 pmThe Moondoggie

        Nope. I meant the homosexual definition of gay. I mean, come on! It’s so obvious Fam’s into Millia.

  • November 7, 2011 at 10:41 pmKixmachina

    Ah finally! I have been waiting for this episode!

    It’s quite a treat actually, seeing the cast from the first series and still showing who’s the boss! Tatiana as usual is awesome, and now is more mature than she was during the first series.

    I really liked the first half too, it has moments of lightheartedness and how Millia adapts to her new found place.

    I do have to admit that this series lacks the “gravitas” compared to the first series. But I guess that’s to cater to new audiences as well, who may be irked to watch a show that has a heavy mood to it. To the fans of the first series though, it may be a downer…

    Still, I’m liking Ginyoku no Fam. It may not be as heavy as its predecessor, but I would always like to go back to the Exile Universe, and Fam does that for me! :P

  • November 7, 2011 at 10:44 pmThe Moondoggie

    ENZO!!!

    Basically, the episode can be broken down into two parts – a slice-of-life sequence with lots of cute and some discernible shouji-ai hints before the break, and Fam getting thoroughly pwned by The Silvius after the break (with some discernible shoujo-ai hints).

  • November 7, 2011 at 11:20 pmmegalith

    Everyone’s a lesbian.

    There is no doubt that this got me new lenses for my Yuri goggles. That’s the only thing that distracted me. Aside from that nothing much. Good schooling by Tatiana that’s for sure.

    • November 7, 2011 at 11:28 pmThe Moondoggie

      If were lucky, we could have nice things like a 3P shoujo-ai love-love story. :)

  • November 7, 2011 at 11:49 pmlftwgr

    “And where Tatiana goes you’re sure to have Alister Agrew (Kuwatani Natsuko), the Lavie to her Claus, the Gisey to her Fam.”

    Or the Sophia (Ship mother) to her Alex Row (father)…

    • November 7, 2011 at 11:51 pmlftwgr

      I’m demanding more gratuitous shots of Sophia, Claus and Lavie. Oh and Mullin / Dunya / Ship Mechanics too…

      • November 8, 2011 at 12:09 amGuardian Enzo

        I wouldn’t hold my breath for Claus or Mullin. At this point Gonzo seems to be taking the Okada Mari “less is more” approach (minus the crossdressing – for now, unless you count Teddy) when it comes to male characters.

      • November 8, 2011 at 12:36 amFencedude

        When it comes a day that entertainment is no longer dominated by male characters, I will shed a tear.

        Until that day, I find myself, as a male, completely unmoved by the plight of the Male Leading Character.

      • November 8, 2011 at 1:07 amAllanx

        Yeah, exactly. I mean, come on. How many shows out there have male leads or a primarily-male cast? Like 98% of them?

        I think one of the main reasons why there have been so many complaints along these lines about LE:GnF is because it’s like the band KMFDM. They went from a male lead singer to having a female lead in about half their tracks on each new album, causing fans of the “old” KMFDM to become estranged. If you ask me, KMDFM still kicks ass, and so does LE:GnF.

      • November 8, 2011 at 1:26 amdozle

        @Fencedude, Allanx

        You must be watching some different anime nowadays. Where do you see those male-dominated shows? For this season alone all the major shows are female-dominated: Fate/Zero, Mirai Nikki, Shana 3, Chihayafuru, Ben-To, etc. There is a great shortage of decent male characters nowadays – I think you can both agree on that, whereas there are plenty of strong independent female characters.

        For the record, my comments aren’t about this show in particular but about the general comment you are making. I haven’t watched the original Last Exile, so I do not mind if this show has even an all-female cast. Really, I am fine with there being shows for girls just as long as there are other shows with decent male characters I can root for – but I find those harder and harder to find.

        Also, just to prevent some common arguments against my claim – a show which has tons of girls fall for a male lead who is a loser is not male-dominated. The male lead is still a loser and as such he is hard to root for/empathize with. It’s more like a wish-fulfillment fantasy. I consider a so called “male-dominated” show a show such as Legend of the Galactic Heroes, where the male characters are pretty admirable and competent. Such shows are are rare breed nowadays.

      • November 8, 2011 at 1:41 amFencedude

        *shrugs*

        And this isn’t one of the shows with a loser male lead, or for that matter, a loser female lead.

        No matter how you slice it, male characters predominate as leads, and male-dominated shows are (in general, though less so than before) more accepted as serious than female dominated shows.

        Every anime for the next year could have a female protagonist and it wouldn’t even begin to dint the lead male protagonists have on them.

        Also, you may want to check your list. Fate/Zero? Has vastly more male characters than female characters, and Chihayafuru, while it has a female lead, is definitely not “female dominated”.

        I’m all for good male leads, but there are still more of them than there are good female leads.

      • November 8, 2011 at 1:47 amAllanx

        Fate/Zero, Mirai Nikki, Shana 3, Chihayafuru, Ben-To, etc.

        Fate/Zero and Mirai Nikki are female-dominated? That’s news to me. Their casts both have a greater than 2:1 male-to-female ratio. I suppose for folks like you, all it takes is one Saber or Yuno to completely mess up your male power fantasies.

        The male lead is still a loser and as such he is hard to root for/empathize with.

        Then why not try rooting for/empathizing with a female protagonist instead? Is there some sort of law that says that one may only live vicariously through fictional characters if they match some unspoken ideal set of attributes?

      • November 8, 2011 at 1:49 amFencedude

        Personally I have no particular need to root for a character who happens to share my gender.

        Honestly, I find that just incredibly limiting.

      • November 8, 2011 at 3:32 amdozle

        @Fencedude:

        “I’m all for good male leads, but there are still more of them than there are good female leads.”

        Can you list some examples to corroborate your claim then? For the record, from what I’ve seen from your comments it sounds strange for you to say this, since I have never heard you say something good about a male protagonist, while you constantly praise the female ones. I may be overgeneralizing since I haven’t read all your comments obviously, but that’s just the impression I got. If I’m wrong, I apologize.

        Also, Fate/Zero might have mostly male characters but there are very few of them who are cool and likable. Also even the cool ones are destined to be defeated by Saber in the end. Fate/Zero is about a female protagonist living in a so-called “man’s world” and proving to be better than all the men. I don’t see how this is not female-dominated.

        With Chihayafuru, it’s even clearer, since one of the male leads is a jerk who everybody hates and the other is pretty submissive. Chihaya is pretty much the central attraction of the show and the most competent and likable character.

        Note – I guess I must repeat myself and say I do not have a problem with such shows as long as there are enough NEW shows with competent male characters to balance it out. If I need to find such shows, I need to look at least 5 years into the past and most of those I’ve already seen.

        @Allanx
        I don’t see how wanting to see competent male characters equates to having “male power fantasies”. Please don’t try to pass me off as some jerk, or even worse, in order to invalidate my argument. Should I want to see only submissive men?

        You can read my comment about Fate/Zero above, and Mirai Nikki has a loser as a protagonist who is totally dependent on the female lead and would not survive a day without her and the rest of the male characters so far are either unimportant or mentally deranged (but in a bad way, not like Yuno). So, yeah, all it takes is one Saber and one Yuno, if they are the only character the audience cares about, or at least – the most popular and likable ones by a pretty big margin.

        As for rooting for the female characters, I have the following comment. If I am dissatisfied about the way a group I belong to is being represented in media, I do not think a solution is to join the other group, especially if in this case it is impossible.

      • November 8, 2011 at 5:49 amAllanx

        EDIT: Whoops, blockquote error. Should have previewed it first. If possible, could a moderator please delete that last comment of mine? Thanks.

        Can you list some examples to corroborate your claim then? For the record, from what I’ve seen from your comments it sounds strange for you to say this, since I have never heard you say something good about a male protagonist, while you constantly praise the female ones. I may be overgeneralizing since I haven’t read all your comments obviously, but that’s just the impression I got. If I’m wrong, I apologize.

        Naruto, One Piece and Bleach are still ongoing, I believe. Those have plenty of useless doormat female characters and strong male leads in them, which should fit with your tastes perfectly. Within the past five years, there’s been Death Note, Darker than Black, Gurren Lagann, Code Geass, Baccano!, a Fist of the North Star movie, Aquarion, and so forth. Of the 144 items in Wikipedia’s list for this year’s anime series, 87 have male leads and 55 have female characters taking the top billing (two – Last Exile and Queen’s Blade – weren’t counted, because the entries were duplicated due to the system counting sequels to older shows as both an update to that show’s main page and the page for the specific season). In other words, about 60/40 male-female. So, as anyone can plainly see, the lead male protagonist is hardly a dying breed.

        Ginyoku no Fam is only one of maybe a couple this year that has both a strong female lead with no equivalent strong male lead in combination with a science fiction or action-centric plot. The rest like that are almost universally uber-girly and/or high school oriented.

        Also, Fate/Zero might have mostly male characters but there are very few of them who are cool and likable. Also even the cool ones are destined to be defeated by Saber in the end. Fate/Zero is about a female protagonist living in a so-called “man’s world” and proving to be better than all the men. I don’t see how this is not female-dominated.

        If it follows the light novels exactly, then Saber ultimately ends up being Kiritsugu’s unwilling puppet.

        I don’t see how wanting to see competent male characters equates to having “male power fantasies”. Please don’t try to pass me off as some jerk, or even worse, in order to invalidate my argument. Should I want to see only submissive men?

        What’s submissive about Dio, or Luscinia, or Alauda? Sure, Dio’s a bit fruity, but he never once struck me as weak-willed.

        You can read my comment about Fate/Zero above, and Mirai Nikki has a loser as a protagonist who is totally dependent on the female lead and would not survive a day without her and the rest of the male characters so far are either unimportant or mentally deranged (but in a bad way, not like Yuno). So, yeah, all it takes is one Saber and one Yuno, if they are the only character the audience cares about, or at least – the most popular and likable ones by a pretty big margin.

        If you had read the manga from beginning to end, you would realize that Yuki becomes less of a convenient chew toy for Yuno and more of a domineering psychopath in his own right once the series nears its conclusion. It’s called character development.

        As for rooting for the female characters, I have the following comment. If I am dissatisfied about the way a group I belong to is being represented in media, I do not think a solution is to join the other group, especially if in this case it is impossible.

        See, it’s this idea that I have a problem with. This archaic notion that we should be drawing battle lines between races and/or genders and refusing to sympathize with – or live vicariously through – fictional characters that don’t represent hyper-idealized versions of ourselves or people who we’d like to be.

        What ridiculous herd mentality nonsense. You don’t have to join some sort of mythical “monolithic-group-that-embodies-all-women” in order to empathize with a character like Fam, who stands on her own and deserves to be judged by her own merits. Similarly, a female audience member should not have to literally become a man in order to empathize with a male lead. Besides, who says it’s impossible? There are plenty of transsexuals out there who would probably disagree with you on that. Not that I would ever suggest such extreme measures be taken in search of simple entertainment.

        I swear, one of these days I’m going to write a book about sentient rock gardens that stack themselves and wage war on one another, just so I don’t have to hear any of this nonsense about the audience being “unable to empathize” with the cast due to differences in race, gender, creed, personality, et cetera.

      • November 8, 2011 at 7:32 amdozle

        The shounen big 3 all started before 2005, I believe, and they have various problems trying to maintain their quality, which is why I guess I did not consider them in my argument. Other than that, congratulations, you’ve mentioned some of the few shows with competent and likable male protagonists for the last 5 years. Unfortunately there are not many more out there (I can mention Gundam, FMA, Durarara, but I’ll be hard-pressed to find more). Gurren Lagann is one of my favorite shows and is a homage of an era long past in anime and even if it does praise masculinity it doesn’t do it in a disrespectful manner to women, since the show is full of kickass female characters as well. The same applies to Code Geass, which goes even further and I daresay that apart from the protagonist and a couple of others, most of the competent and likable characters are female. Darker than Black season 1 was great but in season 2 again, except for the main character, all the major players are female (Suou, Yin, Misaki) and at the end, even the main character is outclassed by a woman. Death Note, I agree with – pretty much all female characters are doormats or just easily manipulated by the men. It actually bothered me how far it went, but then again – the opposite happens much more often.
        To reciprocate the favor, here’s a list of popular recent shows where the female characters are more competent and likable and in general dominate over the male ones – Angel Beats, Bakemonogatari, Spice and Wolf, Fate/Stay Night, Railgun, Madoka Magica, K-ON, Hanasaku Iroha, Shana, True Tears, Black Lagoon, Claymore, Suzumiya Haruhi, Soul Eater, Higurashi, Infinite Stratos, Valkyria Chronicles. These are also all high-profile, influential shows. So, if you want strong female protagonists, any of those suggestions will do.
        Regarding Fate/Zero and Mirai Nikki – no, I have not read the light novel/manga up to the end (although I’ve been spoiled a lot) but I cannot imagine the change will be so drastic to make the male protagonists of those shows overshadow the female ones. Especially in Mirai Nikki, the lead is such a pansy that he has to become really really EPIC in order to overcome this initial impression of him.
        About this 60/40 male/female ration – how many of those male protagonists are actually cool or interesting. Discarding the current season, I can only think of a few shows with good male protagonists – Steins;Gate, Tiger and Bunny, Usagi Drop, Kaiji, SAcred Seven and Ao no Exorcist. On the other hand, we have Blood-C, Deadman Wonderland, Hanasaku Iroha, C, Fractale, Gosick, Kami-sama no Memo-chou, Madoka, FREEZING with non-existent and weak male leads. I know this is only a small portion of the shows that aired, but I think you can get a good idea. So, no, it’s not just Last Exile – you have plenty of shows to choose from.
        In the end, you are completely right, that we should be able to empathize and root for people of both genders, and not just idealized versions of us. However, the key word is “should”. Even though I realize I should be able to identify with a decent character regardless of their gender, ethnicity etc, it just isn’t possible for me. I cannot identify with weak and submissive male characters or with female ones, strong or weak.

      • November 8, 2011 at 10:09 amFencedude

        Then maybe you should examine why that is, and what that says about you.

        Also, you don’t have to “identify” with the lead character. Ever.

      • November 8, 2011 at 10:22 amMike

        @dozle

        “Also, Fate/Zero might have mostly male characters but there are very few of them who are cool and likable. Also even the cool ones are destined to be defeated by Saber in the end. Fate/Zero is about a female protagonist living in a so-called “man’s world” and proving to be better than all the men. I don’t see how this is not female-dominated.”

        …LOLOL…
        .
        .
        .
        ….LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

        well, someone here obviously doesn’t know jack about fate/zero. Frankly, Iskander, Gilgamesh, and Diarmuid all far out-shines Saber in F/Z, and I daresay even Waver ended on a better note than Saber did. Hell, I’d say Saber ended up being one of the more pathetic characters in all of F/Z, and she sure as hell never dominated anyone.

        While Saber did have a few moments – even in the anime, Iskander has already showed 10x more awesome-ness than Saber will throughout the entire story.

      • November 8, 2011 at 1:11 pmUnknownSoldier

        First thing that came to my mind (mostly because I just marathoned the manga, and the anime just re-started) was Hunter x Hunter. That show/manga is a sausage-fest. The only female character that has stayed around for any length of time that I can think of is Bisque, but she plays more the role of the mentor. The one person who I feel SHOULD be female (Kurapika), is male.

      • November 8, 2011 at 3:44 pmEbisu

        More recent males-rule-more shows could be Phi-Brain, Natsume Yuujinchou, Kamisama Dolls, Sekaiichi Hatsukoi(obviously).
        Also I think Saber will be quite handicapped given Kiritsugu seems like he will never give her Avalon (from F/SN). And her Excalibur-blow consumes too much mana.

      • November 8, 2011 at 10:08 pmZero

        Sure i wouldn’t mind if we have a female main character but never will i accept an anime that has a main cast of 99% female. I mean Dio is an ok but he isn’t fit to be the only guy character in the main cast he’s just too annoying, crazy, and acts like a small child. I at least want there to be a male lead along with a female lead. Having all these females in one place is just to produce alot of yuri fanservice and a pathetic way to try an boost viewer ratings. A show needs a diverse cast like Eureka 7 which had a main male and female lead with a extremely diverse cast and a balanced gender ratio.

      • November 9, 2011 at 12:07 amAllanx

        Eureka Seven had a balanced cast? On the good guys’ side alone, the guys outnumbered the girls 2:1 (12m, 6f). When you do a head count on the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Eureka_Seven_charactersentire cast, including game and manga-exclusive characters, you end up with 29 male, 21 female. If you count only the major characters that appeared in the anime, the ratio is something like 20 male, 10 female.

        2:1 is balanced? Since when?

      • November 9, 2011 at 12:08 amFencedude

        2:1 is balanced? Since when?

        Since male == default, of course thats balanced!

        /snark

      • November 9, 2011 at 12:45 amdozle

        @Fencedude

        So, I see you’ve changed your claim from “anime is male-dominated” to “Anime is dominated by females, but so what? You should not try to identify with anyone”. You’ve yet to support your claim that anime nowadays is dominated by men – you haven’t mentioned a single “male-dominated” show or a single male character that is good in your eyes. This claim that anime is “dominated by men” is something that most people believe is obvious, so they do not think they need to prove it but when you ask them to give reasons why they all find it very hard. Allanx, at least made a credible effort to support his claim, even though he only mentioned the most popular shows, which are very few.

        I will disregard any comment you make on my character. Please, do not make this personal, let’s keep it clean and civil and stick with discussion of anime.

        @Mike

        So, Saber is not the “strongest servant”, which is pretty much stated outright in the show? She is not the main character, who will “win” the war at the end (regardless of what happens later)? She is not the show’s most loved and popular character by a huge margin (This might be due to Fate/Stay Night, but – so what – she’s still the same Saber).

        I did mention that there are a few cool male characters in this show and Iskander is indeed one of them. Lancer and Berserker are the other. However, the latter two are mostly supporting characters with “a few moments”. As far as I know Show Spoiler ▼

        I don’t see how any of them ended on “a better note” than Saber. Gilgamesh is just an arrogant bastard whose purpose in the show is for us to hate him and cheer for Saber when she defeats him in the end. Waver is one of those characters who starts out wimpy and gets all cool in the end, but he started with a huge handicap – he’ll never eclipse a character who’s cool all along.

        So, in the end, there’s only Iskander to fulfill the “manliness quota” and despite how awesome he is, he still cannot beat Saber in popularity and in importance to the story. Come on, even the Archer from F/SN with his awesome death scene could not do it.

        @UnknownSoldier
        HxH is a great show and actually one of my favorites. I agree that it is “male-dominated” although not as much as you say – Biske is probably the 3rd strongest character in the show (after Netero and Zeno) and there are a couple of female members of the Ryodan, who are probably better developed than most of the male members. However, in the end, it is just a remake of an old shounen show. As I said earlier – if you want to find male-dominated shows you need to look at least 5 years in the past.

        @Allanx
        Concerning Eureka 7 – although the overall numbers are skewed towards the male side, the most important characters (Renton, Eureka, Holland, Talho, Dominic, Anemone) are split pretty evenly 3:3. So, yes, I would say it is pretty gender-balanced. I don’t think adding a bunch of male side characters who don’t do much for most of the show counts as making the show “male-dominated”

      • November 9, 2011 at 12:58 amFencedude

        My point actually is that fiction in general is dominated by male characters. Anime, especially recently, less so, but still the majority of main characters are male.

        If you want some male characters I like, well off the top of my head there’s Okabe Rintaro, from Steins;Gate, who was everything a good lead should be. Some good male leads this season are Kodaka from Haganai, Aoi Toori in Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, and Uryuu Shingo in Mashiro-iro Symphony.

        As for Fate/Zero its (ZOMG SPOILER) going to end badly for basically everyone. Saber’s in a shitty spot, and will remain there until Fate/Stay Night. But Fate/Zero is overwhelmingly male, with a grand total of four female characters worth mentioning.

        And I still maintain that for many people “male” is seen as the default, so having the gender balance be lopsided towards males “doesn’t count” as long as there are a couple of notable female characters. But if its overwhelmingly female biased, with a few notable males (and not in the lead role!) then it becomes notable.

        And no one has yet given a good reason why this show can’t just happen to mostly feature females. Its not like “Male/Female Interactions” are incredibly hard to come by, the vast majority of fiction has that, and there are tons of shows you can go watch if thats what you want. And I maintain that not having a male lead was a fairly daring move on Gonzo’s part. It most certainly is not “playing it safe”. “Playing it safe” would have had the show staring Claus Mk.2, a nice if slightly bland boy who gets caught up in a war much larger than himself, and ends up playing a pivotal role in its resolution. And along the way hooking up with Cute Princess or Cute Navigator. And I’d have been fine with that show, but…this is just a bit different. And thats good.

      • November 9, 2011 at 2:05 amMike

        @dozel
        “So, Saber is not the “strongest servant”, which is pretty much stated outright in the show? She is not the main character, who will “win” the war at the end (regardless of what happens later)? She is not the show’s most loved and popular character by a huge margin (This might be due to Fate/Stay Night, but – so what – she’s still the same Saber).

        Nope, nope, nope.

        Show Spoiler ▼

        Show Spoiler ▼

        “I don’t see how any of them ended on “a better note” than Saber. Gilgamesh is just an arrogant bastard whose purpose in the show is for us to hate him and cheer for Saber when she defeats him in the end. Waver is one of those characters who starts out wimpy and gets all cool in the end, but he started with a huge handicap – he’ll never eclipse a character who’s cool all along.”

        you’re confusing F/Z with F/SN, the two aren’t the same, get it through your head.

        also Show Spoiler ▼

        “So, in the end, there’s only Iskander to fulfill the “manliness quota” and despite how awesome he is, he still cannot beat Saber in popularity and in importance to the story. Come on, even the Archer from F/SN with his awesome death scene could not do it.

        seriously, stuff it w/ the F/SN crap, this is a different story, does one keep yarping about the phantom menace when talking about the empire strikes back?

      • November 9, 2011 at 4:36 amdozle

        @Fencedude

        OK, I thought we were talking strictly about anime, not fiction in general. If you are talking about most blockbuster movies in the West, then I agree that females there are ridiculously underrepresented. However, it looks like in anime the pendulum has shifted the other way, since even you can only name like 4 examples of good male characters.

        From your examples, I completely agree about Steins;Gate which is one of the best shows of the season (and ever) with a very cool protagonist (and an equally awesome female lead, if I may add). I would say that Steins;Gate despite its harem tendencies and having the male characters vastly outnumbered, is still a gender-balanced show, since for me it’s the two leads who carry the show and they are both equally good.

        As for your other three examples – aren’t they just standard-fare “loser harem protagonists”?

        Regarding “Ginyoku no Fam”, I already said I do not care if it has an all-female cast. I’m not a fan of the original LE, so I do not feel “betrayed” or anything. I just care about the overall state of the industry as of late.

        @Mike

        OK, I don’t see why I should not involve Fate/Stay Night. It’s a sequel (or more exactly – F/Z is a prequel), so that makes it canon – I cannot pretend it never existed. I cannot pretend F/Z is an independent show, since it is a part of a franchise. I cannot imagine the characters such as Saber and Gilgamesh are completely different in those two shows – there are some differences in their behavior but their main characteristics are still the same.

        Regarding who ended up “on a higher note”:
        Show Spoiler ▼

        Regarding her victories:
        Show Spoiler ▼

        Regarding her main character status:
        Let’s say that she is one of the main characters in the show, along with Kiritsugu and Kirei. Also, if you look at most promo posters for Fate Zero, who do you see on center stage – no other than Saber. So, in the end even though I agree her role is vastly reduced in Zero, she is still the face of the franchise. To say she is not a main character is ridiculous.

        Regarding her popularity – let me quote some numbers from MAL:
        Saber – 4195 favorites
        Gilgamesh – 264
        Iskandar – 106
        Rin – 1567
        If MAL is not a reliable source for you, be my guest and find a different one – I doubt the results will be very different. It’s clear that the favorites are not the male characters.

        Regarding Gilgamesh, I’ll be very brief. Regardless of how he is the “strongest”, has the most fancy abilities and pwns all his opponents with conviction etc. he still gets his ass kicked in the end. Also, he pretty much remains an asshole until the end, so none will mourn his passing. (I’m talking about the “general opinion” here, not mine – personally, I like his nonchalant, arrogant personality).

        Iskandar Show Spoiler ▼

      • November 9, 2011 at 8:14 amMike

        @dozle

        “OK, I don’t see why I should not involve Fate/Stay Night. It’s a sequel (or more exactly – F/Z is a prequel), so that makes it canon – I cannot pretend it never existed. I cannot pretend F/Z is an independent show, since it is a part of a franchise. I cannot imagine the characters such as Saber and Gilgamesh are completely different in those two shows – there are some differences in their behavior but their main characteristics are still the same.”

        I’m sorry, then you’re just plain xxxxxxed. I guess you also review every new Bonds movie after comparing them to all the previous Bond film right? and obviously the Empire Strikes Backs sucked ass because the new trilogy was hilariously bad right? If you’re throwing logic and reason out the window, there’s no helping you here.

        and oh, btw, which F/SN? the anime? the VN? and which route? Fate/UBW/HF? because the story and character were all different, and guess what? they’re also all fking “canon”, so I guess by your logic you better combine them all!!!!!

        and as far as the rest of your straw-grasping and back peddling, you originally said that Saber “dominated” the other servants, you don’t get to go “oh noes I mean, yea, she got pwnd, but, but she still won in the end…. but but I mean she didn’t win, but others didn’t either!!!11!!”

        and no, you also don’t get to claim at first that Saber is a main character in F/Z, and then go “oh noes I mean, yea her role is vastly reduced in F/Z….BUT SHE IZ MAIN CHARA IN FATE/SN!!!!!!” anyone with half a brain cell and an ounce of literary comprehension could’ve told you Saber was not the main character in F/Z, and then proceed to laugh in your face when you tried to add in “but, but, F/SN!!!!”

        and good lord, since when has a meaningless popularity poll from fan site a valid tool to judge, well, anything?

        just stop embarrassing yourself already, it’s unsightly.

      • November 9, 2011 at 1:35 pmMozart

        @dozle

        Dude…seriously…what?
        Your comment is just…UNLIMITED FACEPALM WORKS

        So apparently all it takes is one important female character in order for a show to be “female-dominated” (whatever that term means). So, you’ve pretty much proved that every show out there is female-dominated (and even then – there are shows such as Kaiji, who would still fail that test). Fate/Zero is a MAJOR SAUSAGE-FEST. Out of 14 masters and servants together there is ONE female and THIRTEEN males. Fate/Stay Night was more balanced in that aspect but still it was far from a perfect balance with 5 females and 8 males.

        Your claim that Saber dominates everyone is also ridiculous – so far in Fate/Zero she’s gotten her ass kicked in every fight she’s been in. In Fate/Stay Night she was stuck with a sexist jerk as her master so she was not able to show off her abilities or anything, she was constantly restricted by him, she was getting injured to save his sorry ass on multiple occasions. If anything, it was her who was “dominated”. In Fate Zero she is not much better since she is just a tool for her master.

        So…yeah…I don’t know how you reached this ridiculous conclusion, but if you really believe that Fate/Zero is female-dominated, something is wrong with your head. Also what the hell does it mean for a show to be “female-dominated”? You make it sound like anime is a battle between men and women – where the hell did this come from? Also, what’s with that crap that I only have to “identify” with a guy (again…whatever that means). Like – if a guy is being an ass and a female character is exhibiting much better qualities, I’m supposed to identify with the jerk? Whaaaaaat?
        I’m sorry but I judge characters based on their merits, not on their gender…and so should you.

    • November 8, 2011 at 12:25 amlftwgr

      Ghe Tatiana-Alister dialogs have made me nostalgic for more Alex-Sophia witticisms…

      Alex: Fire.
      Sophia: At which ship?
      Helmsman: (Giggles)

      • November 8, 2011 at 1:30 amThe Moondoggie

        Alex; Fire at Claus! He’s stealing MY show!

      • November 8, 2011 at 1:39 amAlec

        Ah yes. Thought you made that up xD I remember now. Damn, I really loved that subtle comedy scene

      • November 8, 2011 at 1:54 amKJacket

        I remember that scene too, it made me think ‘haha’ for a moment.

    • November 8, 2011 at 8:25 amAllanx

      The shounen big 3 all started before 2005, I believe, and they have various problems trying to maintain their quality, which is why I guess I did not consider them in my argument.

      I kinda got bored of the big three after a couple hundred episodes of the same thing over and over and over again. I don’t know if I could ever get back into watching them. I’d much rather hunt down the few shows that try and do new and different things instead of sticking to the formula. So far, GnF is somewhat guilty of this as well, with a plot that is structured very similarly to the original’s.

      At least the art, the setting and the world-building are all intact. I’m a big science fiction nerd. I love Art Deco and Streamline Moderne stuff, too, and Last Exile gives me my fix. I almost couldn’t care less about the cast. As long as I get to see more vanships and other Claudia Unit-propelled vessels in action, I’m good. I like Fam, anyway. I have a thing for tomboy leads. They’re quite rare.

      Angel Beats, Bakemonogatari, Spice and Wolf, K-ON, Shana, True Tears, Infinite Stratos, Suzumiya Haruhi

      I’ve considered watching them, but never really got around to it.

      Fate/Stay Night

      Watched up to about 21 or so and never finished it.

      Hanasaku Iroha

      Never heard of it.

      Railgun, Madoka Magica, Black Lagoon, Claymore, Soul Eater, Higurashi

      I’m a big fan of all of these, but with Claymore and Soul Eater, I dropped the anime and read the manga because the shows’ plots are cut short and laced with filler.

      Valkyria Chronicles

      Oh heck no. They changed too much stuff from the game, including setting up a ridiculous love triangle between Alicia, Welkin and Faldio. I’m in the camp of VC fans that likes to pretend that this particular abomination of an adaptation never happened.

      Regarding Fate/Zero and Mirai Nikki – no, I have not read the light novel/manga up to the end (although I’ve been spoiled a lot) but I cannot imagine the change will be so drastic to make the male protagonists of those shows overshadow the female ones. Especially in Mirai Nikki, the lead is such a pansy that he has to become really really EPIC in order to overcome this initial impression of him.

      In a way, they do end up overshadowing their female counterparts, because: Show Spoiler ▼

    • November 9, 2011 at 11:01 amdozle

      Wow…you failed to refute anything I said really and chose to retort to petty insults instead.

      Fine, I’m done with this conversation. Good day to you sir…

      • November 9, 2011 at 11:02 amdozle

        Sorry, this wasn’t meant for you but for Mike above…

  • November 8, 2011 at 12:04 amleokiko

    Shoujo-AI? HAHAHAH THAT’S AWESOME. Instead of crap moe, they will go with that? MUCH better! At least we get some fanservice that isn’t actually a total turn-off.

    Also, I haven’t watched this episode yet o/

    • November 8, 2011 at 12:16 amAlec

      It didn’t, and I doubt It’ll go with that.

      Lol. Why is everyone here (well not everyone) putting a lot of emphasis character romance, which is almost non-existent, in the anime so far

      I’ve only watched it raw. Still waiting for Commie xD

      • November 8, 2011 at 12:18 amAlec

        *emphasis on character romance, which is almost non-existent in the anime so far

      • November 8, 2011 at 12:43 amThe Moondoggie

        Because we actually like high-quality yuri relationships? Or how we like it innocent yet suggestive?

    • November 8, 2011 at 12:40 amleokiko

      Because if you think about interaction with girls in anime: 1- MOE CRAP. 2-Talk about their feelings, getting to be friends. 3- Lesbians, shoujo-ai.

      • November 8, 2011 at 12:57 amAlec

        Im on 2

      • November 8, 2011 at 1:00 amThe Moondoggie

        rolls my eyes, smile the other way….

      • November 8, 2011 at 1:09 amFencedude

        That doesn’t even make sense.

      • November 8, 2011 at 1:19 amThe Moondoggie

        Which doesn’t makes sense? The choices, or the fact that I described myself how I was trying to hide a smirk as Alec plays clean dog.

      • November 8, 2011 at 1:24 amAlec

        lol

  • November 8, 2011 at 12:13 amleokiko

    A LOT otakus crave for moe girls in anime. Thus Gonzo had an brilliant idea! THE MORE GIRLS THE MERRIER!

    This will actually get more audience than if they had an balanced cast. I say Gonzo did the right choice….unfortunately.

    • November 8, 2011 at 12:24 amThe Moondoggie

      They did that with Strike Witches and got bankrupt.

      • November 8, 2011 at 12:26 amFencedude

        Strike Witches was more or less Gonzo’s most successful show ever. The fact that they went bankrupt afterwards shows how bad a shape they were in, not that Strike Witches was a failure, because it most definitely was not.

      • November 8, 2011 at 12:28 amThe Moondoggie

        I Know That.

        But, see, I was jokingly stating that GONZO and Moe will result to GONZO being bankrupt…

        You know what, forget the joke.

      • November 8, 2011 at 12:30 amAlec

        Lol. They didn’t go Bankrupt because of Strike Witches — Not that I’m defending that anime — But they did Strike Witches because they were already facing bankruptcy.

      • November 8, 2011 at 12:35 amFencedude

        Also Strike Witches is great.

      • November 8, 2011 at 12:37 amThe Moondoggie

        Like I was saying….

        Meh. I’ll just content myself with all the innocent yuri…

      • November 8, 2011 at 12:50 amAlec

        Even though it’s hard not to compare both animes, They’re both completely different animes.
        The old Last Exile’s target audience were the matures ones, whereas the new one targets everyone. That is perhaps one of the main reasons why fans of the old Last Exile are disappointed at the new Last Exile.

  • November 8, 2011 at 12:19 amZero

    Dammit why are the only male characters in this is that crazy Dio and those unknown background characters. I hope Clause comes back and becomes the main character once again because all of the shoujo-ai around here is just killing what the show stands for. We at least need a male lead in this and Dio was NEVER EVER meant to be a main character. He’s just too crazy and unmotivated with no real goal what so ever. He will for ever be a side character because he’s to annoying to be a main.

    • November 8, 2011 at 12:25 amFencedude

      Yeah, those damn girls need to get out of your man space, don’t they. Its just not right not having a man around to show them how its done.

      You have no idea how much I want this show to have a Fam/Milia ending, not just because I like lesbians, but so people like you will pitch a fucking fit over it.

      • November 9, 2011 at 11:07 amJason

        I’d rather a Gisele/Millia ending or a Fam/Gisele ending, fact that they’re adoptive family be damned.

    • November 8, 2011 at 12:36 amThe Moondoggie

      ”because all of the shoujo-ai around here is just killing what the show stands for”

      LOLZ what? What does the show stand for? Citation Needed! Trololololol….

    • November 8, 2011 at 12:42 amAllanx

      Fam is the main character. Show some respect; her name’s right in the title, for god’s sake. The main cast on the good guys’ side is almost entirely female. So what? What were you expecting out of this? A freakin’ animated adaptation of one of John Norman’s Gor books?

      Nobody would be complaining if the gender ratios were reversed. Now you know what it feels like to be a woman partaking of male-centric entertainment in which she has nobody to empathize with or live vicariously through.

      Try stepping into Fam’s shoes for a moment. You’ll probably enjoy it, if you can figure out how to do it without finding the whole experience an affront to your masculinity.

      • November 8, 2011 at 7:19 amsalbazier

        Well, people who shares opinion with you surely will complain if the gender ratio got reversed ;)

      • November 8, 2011 at 8:15 ambluth

        It’s fine to have mostly female characters, I don’t need the main character of this anime to be male, but to have absolutely no male characters that seem to be a part of the main cast seems very much out of character for a Last Exile anime.

        I don’t think you would find people complaining if this was an entirely new franchise, but due to the first Last Exile having a fairly balanced cast, it’s disappointing to see the male perspective basically ignored.

        Also there are plenty of shows out there that are female dominated, plenty, the plight of the ignored female heroine is overblown in anime, if you were to talk about films, tv, etc, you may have a bit of a point, but in anime you find more female leads than you do male.

      • November 8, 2011 at 2:06 pmAllanx

        The gender ratio of leads in this year’s anime series stands at 60/40 male-to-female.

        And it’s funny that you should mention these other branches of entertainment media, since when I think of anime, I tend to lump it together with all the rest of these. While that sounds like something that a neophyte would do, it’s actually quite simple. When I watch television shows, I think about the things that anime provides that I don’t get from the rest of these entertainment genres, like strong female leads.

        There are people out there that actually complain about Rizzoli & Isles being unrealistic because it has a pair of women kicking ass. It’s one of how many shows like that, again? I can count them on two hands.

  • November 8, 2011 at 12:37 amDivine

    Enzo is one tough customer. What does it take to make a sale!?

    • November 8, 2011 at 12:42 amFencedude

      Apparently not lesbians.

      ;_;

      • November 8, 2011 at 12:44 amThe Moondoggie

        Darn shame too, since good shoujo-ai is hard to find these days.

      • November 8, 2011 at 12:55 amAlec

        Well, it’s true that shoujo-ai animes usually don’t get enough money from sales xD

        I’ve not watched the subbed version yet — Where are you Commie? — But I really don’t feel any shoujo-ai vibes between the characters, and it probably wouldn’t change even I watch the Commie-subbed video.

    • November 8, 2011 at 6:24 amLitho

      Enzo’s just telling it as it is, imho. I like most of his reviews.

    • November 8, 2011 at 9:47 amGuardian Enzo

      A really, really good show would close the sale. So far, I haven’t seen it. Lots of potential, lots of flaws.

    • November 8, 2011 at 6:55 pmThe Moondoggie

      :P Too bad for you then. I wish Divine was the one blogging this show.

      • November 9, 2011 at 4:55 amSkribulous

        Agreed.

        It was a bad idea to bring in a killjoy reviewer.

      • November 9, 2011 at 6:27 pmDivine

        I think Enzo’s doing perfectly fine in his coverage of Last Exile.

      • November 9, 2011 at 7:35 pmThe Moondoggie

        Yeah, but he hates the show. So it’s all, “Exile should be this, not this. Exile should be that, not like this.” :(

  • November 8, 2011 at 12:46 amAllanx

    OMGLOL, my prediction came semi-true! Tatiana did dunk Fam’s head in the toilet, in a manner of speaking.

    • November 8, 2011 at 9:24 amJusuchin (Military Otaku)

      Damn right. That was pretty intense.

      Also. Resume fanboying about the ship in 3…2…1…

      -flatlines-

      I WANT TO SEE HER SINK SOME SHIPS DAMNITALLTOHELL.

  • November 8, 2011 at 12:50 amAlec

    Even though it’s hard not to compare both animes, They’re both completely different animes.
    The old Last Exile’s target audience were the matures ones, whereas the new one targets everyone. That is perhaps one of the main reasons why fans of the old Last Exile are disappointed at the new Last Exile.

    • November 8, 2011 at 1:00 amAllanx

      I’m a fan of the original LE, and I like this new series just fine. I see it as less of a sequel and more of a spinoff, like the Railgun part of Raildex.

      • November 8, 2011 at 1:19 amAlec

        This!

    • November 8, 2011 at 1:08 amFencedude

      This show is aimed at the same audience as the original. Claiming that Last Exile’s audience was “mature” is laughable on the face.

      Please, don’t try to elevate the original series into something it wasn’t. It was a late night, Otaku oriented show, just like this one is, just like 95% of the things we watch.

      • November 8, 2011 at 1:17 amAlec

        Then allow me to change that.

        Let’s just say that the fans of the older Last Exile prefers more serious and mature stuff over the lightheartedness in this show.

      • November 8, 2011 at 1:19 amFencedude

        Please try not to assume that “fans of the old show” is synonymous with “my tastes”

        Because they aren’t. Its very irritating to see how you are making blanket assumptions about people’s taste.

      • November 8, 2011 at 1:33 amAlec

        I apologize to you and to your ‘taste’ in anime…

      • November 8, 2011 at 1:42 amFencedude

        Way to miss the goddamn point.

      • November 8, 2011 at 1:44 amThe Moondoggie

        Now, now. Taste shouldn’t be universal. One should celebrate different tastes. If one had different views one must respect that and stop making others see it his way.

      • November 8, 2011 at 1:48 amAlec

        Lol. sorry bout’ that, I really, really do regret on my poor choice of words — Really xD

      • November 8, 2011 at 9:46 amGuardian Enzo

        I already provided proof to Fencedude on the other blog that the original LE was a huge crossover hit with non-otaku, but apparently he’s decided to pretend that never happened.

      • November 8, 2011 at 10:10 amFencedude

        In the US, which is irrelevant to me, and to the producers.

      • November 8, 2011 at 10:59 amsalbazier

        And why is that? Irrelevance to you is, well, irrelevant to the argument but sales and status in US would still relevant to producers, right? I mean it profit anywhere in the world is still profit

  • November 8, 2011 at 12:58 amThe Moondoggie

    I keep telling myself Fam and Millie are kids… But those poses and shots doesn’t help.

    • November 8, 2011 at 1:00 amFencedude

      They’re 15~16, which is…basically the same age as like 99% of all anime protagonists.

      • November 8, 2011 at 1:03 amThe Moondoggie

        If you know how my mind works, you can have me arrested for imagined child molestation

      • November 8, 2011 at 1:18 amAlec

        I wonder where that number came from xD

      • November 8, 2011 at 4:28 pmThe Moondoggie

        It came from the scene where Gizelle mentioned it’s almost Fam’s birthday. Fam said she’s almost 16….

        16 eh?

  • November 8, 2011 at 1:11 amyoz

    One ship for each year you’ve lived… and they are almost 16… *nudge nudge wink wink*

    • November 8, 2011 at 1:16 amThe Moondoggie

      So what is one to do with 16 ships…?

      Create one ginormous ship that rivals the EXILES!

    • November 8, 2011 at 1:23 amAllanx

      Capturing enemy ships denies them the use of those ships, similar to destroying them outright. Of course, there’s an added bonus in that you can basically do whatever you want with those ships once you’ve captured them. You can take them apart to figure out how their technology works, or you can crew them and use them in covert strike operations with parameters that require that the enemy be fooled into thinking they are being approached by friendly vessels.

      • November 8, 2011 at 9:26 amJusuchin (Military Otaku)

        In essence, we’ve gone back to older methods of warfare if that was the case. Prize ships and crew em with your own, hoist your own national colors on the main mast.

        To capture an Ades Federation ship is similar to say, had Old Ironsides been captured by the British back in the day. Well, compared to the other ships in Earth. I doubt an Ades Federation ship can withstand the full force of the Silvius.

  • November 8, 2011 at 1:47 amdefunkt_bots

    i am really struggling to get involved with the story so far.

    I like the visuals (keep getting nostalgia pangs, which is my favourite part about new series/adaptations) and most of the ideas are promising good things, but i’m just not buying into the main characters and their actions/motives. The fact that they are all majoritivly female is irrelevant, the plot is just haywire. I stretched my imagination for Giselle (please not Gisey… just makes me cringe.) working out from a fuzzball what the Sylvius looked like, but here internal navigation hax are just getting sily.

    Interested to find out how they got out of the water airlock, and why there was even water in a sealed area in the first place. and then why were they completely dry moments later…
    and when tatiana was like ‘capture 15 ships for me’ i was like wtf… what good is that. Ades have like a million… AHHH.

    Dio is the only thing holding it together for me at the moment

    • November 8, 2011 at 4:51 amJD

      This. I felt things were just going on, but I did not feel a connection really. I was just amazed at all the technology and Giselle’s knowledge of ships. I guess this show is just making us wonder, and then answer the questions later. But it’s not very effectively executed. And Dio does seem like a controversial figure, especially that he(?) has some semblance of the Augusta captain in the previous episode (what’s his name again?).

      On the water entering the ship…I guess the inflow of water in the airlock is to allow the ship to go underwater, or else it would just float. They could easily discharge it to soar in the sky again.

      But I find the nickname “Gisey” pretty cute. :)

  • November 8, 2011 at 1:50 amAlec

    “Interested to find out how they got out of the water airlock, and why there was even water in a sealed area in the first place. and then why were they completely dry moments later…”

    Now that over there is just nitpicking on minor details. Though that is something I would do on all animes other than Last Exile xD

    • November 8, 2011 at 1:56 amThe Moondoggie

      Picky, isn’t he? XD

    • November 8, 2011 at 1:59 amdefunkt_bots

      yeah, apologies…

      my surprise was clearly that they had uncharacteristicaly missed a wet clothing fanservice opportunity.!

      • November 8, 2011 at 2:02 amAlec

        Now were talkin’ xD

      • November 8, 2011 at 4:20 pmThe Moondoggie

        I wish it was Millia on the Vespa with Fam. If we can just have nice things like two wet pubescent girls who likes each other.

    • November 8, 2011 at 2:02 amKJacket

      I pretended that water never entered in the first place in the waterlock cuz I’m not sure if that vanship would fly again without some major fixing after being dunked.

      • November 8, 2011 at 2:16 amdefunkt_bots

        Its cool, there will be a lot of hairdryers onboard… ^_^

      • November 8, 2011 at 11:02 amsalbazier

        Claus & Lavie’s vanship can float in the water and dive through water. If an old vanship can do it, there’s no reason why a Vespa couldn’t

      • November 8, 2011 at 4:19 pmThe Moondoggie

        A Vespa seems lightweight compared to a vanship. I’m guessing it’s not made for water.

      • November 8, 2011 at 4:50 pmsalbazier

        My point: Claudia engine can survive being submerged

      • November 8, 2011 at 4:57 pmFencedude

        They ended up in the ballast tank.

      • November 8, 2011 at 5:20 pmThe Moondoggie

        Yeah, but the size of the engine and how the Vespa seems a custom rather than something like Claus’ I’m more worried on how it will handle pressure in a ballast tank.

        And I also thought Claudias are used for medium to larger vehicles, not for something short.

      • November 8, 2011 at 9:11 pmsalbazier

        AFAIK all kind airship use claudia. Ballast tank and pressure, I know too little about that comment but valid concern I guess.

      • November 9, 2011 at 1:43 amAllanx

        If a person can handle the water pressures in there, then a Vanship can too. If the Vespa needs to be fixed, the mechanics on the Silvius are certainly equipped to handle it.

        The Silvius uses ballast tanks for the same reason a submarine does; so it can alter its buoyancy and dive underwater.

  • November 8, 2011 at 2:46 ammac65

    I like what I see so far, but one thing puzzles me a bit – why is Fam trying to please Millia so hard?
    At first I thought recovering the cup was an act of charity, but could the fly-by the funeral rite
    have been enough to build a bond so deep? A mutual bond (Millia [before retiring]: What about Giselle?
    Fam [para-phrased]: Oh, she’s busy with her siblings) to boot? I somehow get the feeling that Fam
    knows more about Millia than she lets on to her peers and to us, her audience.

    I thought it was interesting how Fam was virtually unmoved by her capture, while Giselle seemed
    truly terrifyied even blurting out their ages. Going from you’re all going to die to “Let’s make
    a Deal” was puzzling in that there’s no reference to that need prior to their capture (that I
    could see)… So is the rest of the series going to be to complete that goal? I hope not – boring!!!

    What I’m beginning to see is a story based primarily on the 2 characters Fam and Millia (BTW, I
    really love the was Fam says Millia’s name). Giselle is firmly rooted as a support character now,
    IMHO. Fam’s amazing (almost reckless) confidence and resilience (and bond with Millia) has
    to be based on something that hasn’t been revealed between the pair.

    I think of the opening sequence – when Fam catches her and they turn into a “wing”. Am I on to something…?

    I have to admit, I’m glad that I didn’t see the 1st series as it seems this series is suffering from
    rebound. I hoping “Fam” can shake it, but it seems to largely be driven by our key blogger.

    • November 8, 2011 at 2:58 amFencedude

      Fam has a crush on Milia.

      • November 8, 2011 at 4:00 ammac65

        I agree and believe it’s mutual – Millia’s checking competition with Giselle x Fam
        before retiring shows that for me… I think it’s cool, but I wonder if there’s more to it.

      • November 8, 2011 at 4:05 pmThe Moondoggie

        Proof:

        > Fam makes Millia take the bed instead
        > Fam tried hard to please Milla

        Then there’s Millia savoring Fam’s affection:

        > Millia wants to share a bed with Fam
        > Millia goes Type B Tsundere on Fam

        I bet we’ll get more as the story progress.

  • November 8, 2011 at 3:14 amblack_cat1

    For anyone who is wondering about Claus, Lavie and Alvis (though she appeared in the OP), you guys should read this manga:

    http://www.mangaupdates.com/series.html?id=69074

    The manga take place after 1st series and focus on Claus, Lavie, Alvis and their life on Earth, of course, with new enemy (little Fam and Giselle can be seen in chap 00)

    • November 8, 2011 at 7:44 amKixmachina

      Yeah, I’ve started reading this…
      I guess this is canon right? This would be a big help to bridge the first series to the new one!

      • November 9, 2011 at 12:39 amKJacket

        it might be a spinoff but I’ll give it a try too.

  • November 8, 2011 at 4:22 amGhostalker

    Good to see familiar names in this series, if only I could remember what role they did in the first series, e.g. hearing the name Tatiana, the first thing I thought was it’s definitely someone from the first series so I immediately check MAL for her info. Also there is the name Lucciola, at least I’m pretty sure he’s like the personal escort of Dio in the first season.

    At first I refused to believe that this series “Ginyoku no Fam” is a direct sequel, instead an alternate story, but as more and more familiar names from the old series pops out especially to that of Dio’s past, I’m not sure anymore. Anyways the series as it is is becoming really exciting.

    • November 8, 2011 at 6:22 amAllanx

      It seems unconnected to the previous series because the plot has a sizable two-year gap in it that is being filled as we go. Basically, as far as I can tell, this is what’s going on:

      - Ginyoku no Fam takes place two years after the end of Last Exile. The human colonists of Prester have finally returned to Earth to stake their claim.

      - There are actually multiple Presters and Exiles. The Exile from Last Exile was the most recent and likely final one to return, hence the Last in the title. It also has a different design from the other six Exiles we’ve seen so far, which have crescent-shaped cocoons instead of hourglass-shaped ones.

      - The Ades Federation has waged a genocidal war against the returnees. The people of Ades may be descended from those who remained on Earth, which would explain why they seem to harbor a grudge against the colonists who hid in the depths of space waiting for Earth to regenerate from its pollution and global warming-wracked state.

      - Turan’s Exile returned to Earth 118 years ago, its people displacing the native population. The stated goal of the Ades Federation is to eliminate the nations governed by the returning colonists and install the displaced native populations back where they belong. A modern-day equivalent to this would be something like Egypt’s role in the Yom Kippur War, only on a global scale and conducted between superpowers with flying battleships. Scary.

      - Anatoray is lurking out there somewhere, planning to neutralize the hostile Ades Federation somehow. If they have more ships with the same level of sophistication as the Silvius, their chances aren’t all that bad. However, I strongly doubt they have the same level of industrial capacity as the Ades Federation, unless they’re still using the Anatoray/Disith Prester as a base of operations and ferrying equipment back and forth to Earth using Exile. The Ades Federation has tons of ships, and they even have freakin’ primitive arcologies.

      - Claus and Lavie are nowhere to be found, but may perhaps make a cameo appearance or get a mention later on.

      - The Mark of the Covenant is missing from Dio’s forehead, and he seems to be back to his old self. How did that happen? Did Anatoray put together some sort of Guild Brainwashing Reversal machine?

      • November 8, 2011 at 11:05 amJulio

        Using Prester as their base wouldn’t be too far fetched. We still don’t know what they are trying to accomplish right now. The Ades Federation does have a huge amount of resources and ships. If only some of the Guild warships survive, they could have been use to fight against the Ades Federation or harvest their Guild units to build more ships. Just a single shot from one of those massive ships could easily take out an Ades warship.

        Since the Silvius is a new ship, where is the Silvanna? Is it going to make a return to aide the Silvius at some point? Having both ships together will make them unstoppable.

      • November 8, 2011 at 12:38 pmAllanx

        Despite being smaller and faster, the Silvius vastly outstrips the Silvana in terms of firepower and tactical flexibility.

        It’s amphibious. It has 34 guns on seventeen dual-gun retractable turrets with wide traverse and elevation arcs. It has a ram prow. It might even have the jet-propelled shell launcher off the Silvana in addition to the Urbanus class’s devastating torpedoes. It has a longer flight deck than the Silvana and better streamlining. It is also totally submersible, giving it the edge in marine combat. I doubt the Ades Federation knows how to make supercavitating projectiles, nor are their ships equipped with torpedoes for anti-submarine warfare, so it’s essentially invincible when it’s underwater.

        To make a long story short, Anatoray are god-modders. I was almost expecting Dr. Hax to show up and bean Tatiana in the head with a CRT monitor.

  • November 8, 2011 at 5:55 amMM

    Yea i agree about that the anime industry should have more female leads in anime. There are some good female characters that are main characters and there are some that have prtty good male characters. Pullela Madoka Magica had all female characters same with some other anime shows that came our awhile ago like Hanasaku Iroha. but i do agree partly that there should be more female characters in anime.
    Other than that i wasnt a fan of the shoujo ai/ hints of fanservice. The directors probably just put some service to get viewers. it has been going a bit slow but thats reasonable because its the start of a new adventure. But i really do think the series is going to get better without the shoujo ai and fanservice moments.

  • November 8, 2011 at 6:20 amLitho

    I actually enjoyed this episode quite a bit. Maybe it was because I enjoyed seeing the Sky-Girls refugees getting their asses handed to them by the old crew. Dio yelling to the princess and then mentioning Luciola was alsp pretty poignant.

    But I still share the same concerns as Guardian Enzo. I mean, do we really need to see Fam in lingerie? Does that even do anything for the story other than please hardcore-closet-lolicons (yes, I know they’re usually responsible for the bulk of dvd sales, but still). The Sylvius’ big-3 being women doesn’t bug me as much, but it still does (slightly) reek of the usual “get more viewers by having a flesh-parade” practice Gonzo does in abundance for it’s lamer shows.

  • November 8, 2011 at 6:34 amc2710

    1st off… i dont mind w the increased potrayal of female characters
    2md… its wonderful to see the old crew again
    3rd… its nice to see the hardware again

    but one thing i cant stand is fam…. she’s to overwhelming

    • November 8, 2011 at 6:36 amLitho

      She’s gotta make up for her underwhelming sidekick, I guess (though Gisey did redeem herself a bit in the first half of this ep). Dio still pwns both of em, though.

      • November 8, 2011 at 6:30 pmc2710

        dio is still the best thus far

  • November 8, 2011 at 7:33 amsalbazier

    From moefication to yurification XD Well, I’m not complaining at any rate.

    Gravitas,… I agree that the third ep has it most among all four episodes so far but I feel quite some of it from first an second as well. I actually feel this episode is the least impressive one, despite Tatiana and Alister’s (my fav character in LE) return. I can’t point out what’s wrong exactly and it has some good moments, but I feel like watching it with forced smile/interest at times.

    BTW, Alister current appearance looks slightly less attractive than she was in the preious series. I kinda agree with the first post in this page, though. Her voice has become sexier :P

  • November 8, 2011 at 7:44 amTre

    I almost think Enzo did a disservice by mentioning hints of Shoujo-ai. I didn’t catch any the first time around before I read this. I re-watched the episode and still didn’t catch any.

    What I caught was a lot of fanservice, which is very different from a character relevant shoujo-ai. I would expect “hints” of shoujo-ai to look more like the “hints” we received of shounen-ai in the first episode of No. 6.

  • November 8, 2011 at 8:38 amXanathos

    I don’t know anything about the shoujo-ai thing… (Is it really sign seeing 2 girls sleeping in the same bed? ¬¬u)

    Anyway, the good thing in this episode were the air stunts between Fam and Tatiana, and also the BGM music. I mean, it’s the classic persecution music of Last Exile, i don’t know if anybody realized this.

  • November 8, 2011 at 10:17 amGuardian Enzo

    Let me just thank everyone (well, most of you) for your restraint in keeping your disagreements clinical and not personal. It’s just a TV show. Let me make a couple of points in response to some of the mass of comments:

    – I’d like to see a balance of female and male characters, and I’m not apologizing for it. To those of you arguing that there are more strong male characters than female in modern anime, you seriously need to check your facts. In nearly every non genre-shounen series the cast is mostly female. In the many shows that have one male lead and a mostly female cast, the male lead is rarely one of the more interesting characters on the show. That’s not to say that it’s wrong to want shows with lots of good female characters – only that you’ll have a much easier time finding them than finding shows with strong male characters.

    – On the notion that the original LE was “just another otaku show”, that’s total BS and there are lots of ways to prove it. It was very different both in terms of style and in terms of audience. Here’s one reference, but there are many others: Show Spoiler ▼

    Finally let me give you a grossly oversimplified analogy for why a LE fan might be somewhat disappointed that “Fam ” has taken a decidedly more mainstream approach in terms of cast and style. Let’s say Bob had a coffee house he loved, Joe’s Coffee. He loved it because it was totally different from any other coffee house, and was sad when it closed in 2003. Then, Bob hears that “Joe’s Coffee House 2″ is opening in his neighborhood. He counts down the days, and when Joe’s opens he’s thrilled to see the storefront from the old Joe’s, complete with signage.

    But when Bob goes inside, he sees the new Joe’s has a menu that looks a lot like Starbucks. They have similar drinks, similar pastries, even the same espresso machine behind the bar. Instead of the vintage church pews the old Joe’s had, this one has comfy leather easy chairs and couches. Everything smells great and Joe is making drinks, but Bob is disappointed – the old Joe’s had a unique espresso machine, and sold pastries nobody else sold. But the new Joe’s is packed – lots of happy customers everywhere. He asks a couple of them why they like it so much, and they say “It’s just like Starbucks – only better!”

    Now, those people’s opinions are every bit as valid as Bob’s. And Joe has every right to make as much money as he can by being popular. But Bob is disappointed. And he thinks to himself, “You know, those people that like Starbucks are happy and that’s great – but they can go to the next town over in either direction and find a Starbucks. In fact, there are lots of Starbucks within driving distance – they’re easy to find. But the old Joe’s was the only Joe’s, and I was really hoping this was going to be more like the old one – I can’t go anywhere and find a Joe’s anymore.” Does that make Bob selfish?

    • November 8, 2011 at 11:02 ambluth

      That’s a great way of putting Enzo, It’s not that this LE is bad or that it’s somehow wrong to like it, it’s just that the first Last Exile felt unique, it didn’t really fit into a specific category, the setting, the characters, the story, it was all a bit unique. When I look back at Last Exile, I never really think of it being very similar to other titles.

      With Fam it just feels a bit too mainstream, the characters try extremely hard to be likable or fall into comfortable character types, the designs are nice and cute, the whole feel of the anime just is a bit too happy in comparison to the first LE. This Last Exile isn’t bad by any means, it just isn’t as good as I hoped it would be, and with a few tweaks I believe it could be.

    • November 8, 2011 at 11:03 amsalbazier

      Well said there :)

      • November 8, 2011 at 11:07 amAlec

        Couldn’t agree more.

        though the Shoujo-ai part was unnecessary imo

      • November 8, 2011 at 4:14 pmThe Moondoggie

        When a tomboyish girl and a princess gets together, always expect shoujo-ai.

    • November 8, 2011 at 11:56 amMike

      In nearly every non genre-shounen series the cast is mostly female. In the many shows that have one male lead and a mostly female cast, the male lead is rarely one of the more interesting characters on the show. That’s not to say that it’s wrong to want shows with lots of good female characters – only that you’ll have a much easier time finding them than finding shows with strong male characters.

      Then by that same logic you should also remove all shoujo shows, and other shows that are designed for female viewers from that list, at which point you’re pretty left with complaining about harem and moe shows being predominantly heavy in female cast with your typical loser male lead that somehow still gets all the babes, which is a whole separate issue all-together.

      I just don’t get why it’s an issue to begin with, when I watch a show, I judge it on its own merit, instead of trying to see how its cast’s gender break-down compare to the trend in the industry. Do people feel their masculinity is threatened when they watch a show w/ more female characters?

      • November 8, 2011 at 12:05 pmGuardian Enzo

        The hypocrisy – or selective blindness – is the issue for me. When anime is so dominated by female characters, it’s absurd to hear people claiming just the opposite. Just look at the series currently being covered on this site.

        In a vacuum, I don’t especially care about the breakdown of a cast as long as the characters are good. Yes, as a general rule I prefer balanced casts to one-gender casts because I think the interactions are more interesting that way. I’ve already stated that I consider a direct sequel somewhat differently than other series, and I would prefer it if “Fam” had a dynamic more similar to the first series – I don’t why that’s so hard for the extremists to understand. If your priority is seeing cute girls prancing around in their smallclothes, you have plenty of other options to do it.

      • November 8, 2011 at 12:25 pmMike

        Eh, I have zero preference as far as cast gender goes, so I hope you weren’t referring to me with the extremist label. I’ve seen way too many shows both good and bad over the years that covers the entire spectrum to think that it makes any real difference.

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but frankly I didn’t even realize there’s an issue until people started to complain about the lack of male leads, to me the bigger problem is that there’s a general lack of interesting characters in Fam as a whole atm.

      • November 8, 2011 at 12:37 pmGuardian Enzo

        No, not referring to you. In fact, I agree that this is a distraction from the real conversation, and I haven’t really even raised the gender issue other than as a joke since the first episode. If anything, I’d argue it’s a symptom of a larger directional issue with the show. But when I hear people claiming something about modern anime that to me is patently false I don’t have it in me to just shut up about it.

        Yes, the real issue here is not the gender imbalance but the characters themselves, which in my view are the biggest weakness in “Fam” so far. None of them have come across as especially gripping, and they seem a little too generic in my view. Not unlikable – just not especially interesting. Generally speaking the characters can only be as interesting as the dialogue will allow, and so far the dialogue in “Fam” isn’t particularly good. The show has an excellent overall premise, it does large set pieces extremely well and has beautiful backgrounds. It struggles with dialogue and character interaction. That’s how I see it anyway.

      • November 8, 2011 at 12:54 pmAllanx

        Huh. I started tallying up the gender ratios of the casts of this year’s 144 shows listed on Wikipedia, and when I got to the end of titles starting in C, the tally stood somewhere at 394 male, 263 female or something like that. I predict that if you added up the genders of the casts of all the shows on that list, the ratio would stand somewhere around 1.5:1 in favor of males.

        In fact, now that I think of it, GnF has a significant male presence. You’ve got the Sky Pirate boys, Fam’s dad, Dio, Luscinia, Alauda, the generals, some of the bridge crew and mechanics on the Silvius, and so forth.

        When I did a head count on the named members of the cast (including a few who have yet to be revealed), the numbers stood at 19 male, 16 female.

      • November 8, 2011 at 1:15 pmGuardian Enzo

        If you can’t see yourself how ludicrous that argument is, there’s no point in anyone trying to convince you.

      • November 8, 2011 at 1:43 pmAllanx

        I see your point about the main “bundle” of lead protagonists being all-female, but as far as I’m concerned, that’s no big deal at all. It’s just a matter of taste, really. Despite being male, I’m the kind of viewer who empathizes with a female cast better than male ones. Heck, I play female characters in virtually every video game that allows for it, because I feel that there aren’t enough action games/shooters/platformers out there with plots structured around an only-female lead, like Tomb Raider or Metroid.

        Contrary to your assertion that we’re all just in it for the fanservice, some of us like action/sci-fi/fantasy shows with all-female main casts precisely because of how exotic and contrarian they seem. Remember, a lot of us are westerners who were raised on an entertainment diet that consisted solely of cartoons, movies, games and books with huge numbers of male leads.

        Even though shows like this are far more commonplace in the realm of anime than they used to be (especially if you count all the moeblob, schoolgirl/slice-of-life and magical girl shows), the whole concept of using female leads still seems unusual and somehow alluring, especially when the genre template used is more action-centric. I’ve been watching fansubs since 2002 or thereabouts, and while I’ve seen plenty of shows with strong male leads, I’ve only seen a small handful that combine a male-oriented demographic with an all-female lead cast.

        I will agree that the dialogue and plotting have been pretty bland so far, however. The plain writing in GnF sacrifices form for function, communicating only the most salient of details with the lowest possible degree of subtlety and tact. I’ve been hoping that the writing will improve, but I’m not holding my breath or anything. The amazing art and mechanical designs can only hold my interest for so long.

        Actually, now that I think of it, the writing is just average. The only reason why it seems so mediocre is because it simply doesn’t measure up to the astronomical quality of everything else on the show.

      • November 8, 2011 at 2:07 pmFencedude

        Which argument, out of curiosity? Because Allanx’s point is pretty good.

        Anyway Enzo, tell me, if the situation were reversed, would you be making this complaint. Would you find it unusual to have a show like this with a predominantly male cast, instead of female?

        Honest answer now.

      • November 8, 2011 at 2:13 pmGuardian Enzo

        The argument about LE having a balanced cast because of “named characters” on ANN. ROFL!

        And yes, I would like a balanced cast for this show – because it’s “Last Exile” and I think a “Last Exile” show is better with a balanced cast of characters. This isn’t some Shounen Jump Adaptation – it’s LE. Imbalance doesn’t serve it well, no matter which way it goes.

        Honestly, this gender discussion is a rabbit-hole and a timesuck, and I’m done with it. Keep talking to yourselves as long as you like.

      • November 8, 2011 at 3:25 pmAllanx

        So far, most of the important male members of the cast appear to be on the villains’ side. If people want dudes to root for, then why not root for the villains? After all, the Ades Federation is likely being manipulated by a third party of some sort. For all we know, one or more of the named Ades Federation characters may pull a heel face turn when the plot takes on an inevitable mid-series twist.

      • November 8, 2011 at 10:53 pmThe Moondoggie

        Uhh.. Enzo, why did you say the cast is unbalanced?

    • November 8, 2011 at 4:58 pmDivine

      @Enzo:

      Yes, it does make him selfish. :)

      It might be nice for Bob to have his own secret coffee shop that’s unique, but the coffee shop isn’t doing itself any favors by only catering to a small and niche set of customers. While they should continue to strive to provide something different from the competition, ignoring what’s popular these days and sells well would just be a big business mistake on their part. Take Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei for example. It may have been one of the most unique and unappreciated series as of late, but it didn’t sell well so it’d be foolish to make another one like it. Anime, whether people like it or not, is still an industry and one of the requirements to keep it a feasible one is making money.

      • November 8, 2011 at 5:44 pmGuardian Enzo

        Div, you’re telling my why Joe shouldn’t apologize for making a Starbucks clone (which I agree he shouldn’t). You’re not telling me why Bob shouldn’t feel bad to have another one in his neighborhood.

        I might point out here that the original LE – which was as odd as a four-dollar bill when it comes to anime clichés – made plenty of money for Gonzo.

      • November 8, 2011 at 5:50 pmDivine

        My take on it is that Bob shouldn’t feel bad if he understands the nature of the business. If anything, he should be happy that the Joe’s coffee he loves is still around in some form (which interestingly enough, applies to Gonzo and Last Exile).

      • November 8, 2011 at 5:55 pmGuardian Enzo

        No offense, but I find that an incredibly depressing way to look at art as it exists as a commercial endeavor. Risks can be rewarded, but not if they’re never taken.

      • November 8, 2011 at 6:03 pmFencedude

        Boy, it sure would be cool if a show took a stab at having the main character end up in a lesbian relationship and it not being the focus of the series. That certainly is something that doesn’t happen very often…

      • November 8, 2011 at 6:15 pmDivine

        Depressing or realistic, depending on who you ask.

        I’m not saying a studio can’t take risks, but it better be prepared for failure if they aren’t calculated risks. Gonzo quite frankly isn’t in a position to take risks.

        Let’s not forget the whole Fractale debacle either, where Yamamoto Yutaka and Ordet made a pretty bold statement and ended up failing to take anime in a new direction.

      • November 8, 2011 at 6:24 pmFencedude

        Its very instructive to compare Yamakan and Shinbo’s statements, and compare them to the success of their big projects, Fractale and Madoka.

        One of these was the second most successful anime of the last decade, the other one was turned into a joke (883!).

        Trying something new is good, I fully support shows that try something different.

        What I’m curious, Enzo, is why you are complaining when this is exactly what Fam has done.

      • November 8, 2011 at 7:26 pmGuardian Enzo

        To be clear, Divine, I’m not knocking anyone for trying to make an honest buck – that’s certainly tough enough to do these days. But as a consumer of art, that doesn’t mean I can’t be disappointed when a writer, studio or director chooses the path of least resistance. That doesn’t mean I’m still not going to hope that artists take risks, and that they’re occasionally rewarded. Or that I’m going to give my impressions of a series based on how successful it is at marketing itself instead of what it’s able to do creatively.

        Gonzo doesn’t owe me or anyone any apologies – they’re entitled to make whatever creative decisions they want to make in order to turn a profit. And I don’t owe them a pass if I think those decisions don’t work. So far with “Fam” some of them have worked and some of them haven’t.

      • November 9, 2011 at 1:36 amAllanx

        To be honest, the anime industry simply doesn’t cater to the needs of a Western demographic. If they did, there would be fewer shows like K-ON! and more like Cowboy Bebop. You know, with an actual story and less moeblobs. So, when any of us say that something like this is not to our tastes, we basically aren’t even included in the scope of the production itself. Over here, stuff like Ghost in the Shell is mainstream and Lucky Star is niche. Over there, the reverse is true. There are a very large number of Type B anime fans in Japan, and a lot of Type As in the West. Guess which one of those two groups votes with their wallet and buys the $50 DVDs? Oh, wait, that’s right. Not only are the discs half-price over here, but most people just watch the fansubs and don’t even bother buying the official, licensed releases. I can see why Japanese fans would feel kind of ripped-off, because that’s exactly what’s happening.

        At least it was fun watching Tatiana completely hand Fam’s ass to her on a silver platter. I expected nothing less.

    • November 8, 2011 at 10:26 pmZero

      Thank You! Finally somebody who i can agree with. The gender ratio in this is just horrible. The only male member in the main cast is just a crazy guy(Dio) who is so over the top that he’s transparent and not even noticeable. Sure its ok to have a main female lead but when the show is comprised of 99% female you’ve totally lost me here. The only thing i can see in the future of a show like that is alot of panty shots, yuri innuendo, and a butt load of fanservice like queens blade or shin koihime. Last Exile is supposed to be about the steampunk story not moe girls flying ships in a war. The writers should have taken a look at Eureka 7 if they wanted to make an amazing show or better yet they should have looked back on the original Last Exile before doing this one.

      • November 8, 2011 at 10:50 pmFencedude

        Man, people sure love throwing the slippery slope fallacy around a lot here.

        And I’m going to ask you, if the gender balance was inverted, would you have this same complaint.

      • November 12, 2011 at 9:37 pmZero

        If it was inverted it would be just as boring and even gay when they try to do some fanservice.

  • November 8, 2011 at 1:17 pmAllanx

    As best as I can tell, the motto painted on the side of Dio’s vanship reads “Forever Sky Pirates, Forever Kartoffel!”. I figured it out using a table to compare the Greek characters with their Latin counterparts, since I’m not that familiar with most Greek letters. Looks like someone else was way ahead of me, though, since they had that figured out weeks ago.

    The official Animax Last Exile: GnF page indicates that Dio’s Vanship was custom-built built from the ground up using scrap lying around in Kartoffel. The parts used in its construction are very clearly not of Anatoray origin, and its side stabilizers resemble the ones used on Vespas, only they’re encased in large metal shrouds. It looks like the kind of thing one would use in an endurance race. I like it!

    If he’s acting as a spy for Tatiana, it makes perfect sense for Dio to have constructed a Vanship using a mishmash of parts when he arrived. If he had brought an Anatoray model with him, the Pirates would have suspected him.

    • November 8, 2011 at 2:19 pmJulio

      In the manga, Exile actually faery Anatoray warships and were use to escort Exile on Earth’s surface. I wonder if they’ll show up in the anime? The manga is supposed to be canon right? Man I really hope they translate chapter 2 soon so I can see how Tatiana end up with Silvius.

  • November 8, 2011 at 1:22 pmdarkkodiak

    I don’t think this has been mentioned yet but what happened to all the armed vanships???? I vaguely remember them being deployed and showed success. Shouldn’t such a weapon system, aircraft carrier plus armed vanships, replace the battleships? Whatever, the anime is slowing showing some progress and I hope it gets even better.

    • November 8, 2011 at 2:07 pmFencedude

      Thats because Ades and Turan never made that innovation.

    • November 8, 2011 at 2:19 pmAllanx

      The Anatoray vanships on the Silvius are all heavily-armed. Tatiana used the guns on her vanship to cut the cable securing Fam’s Vespa to the Silvius immediately after attaching her own vanship’s cable to to the Vespa. At the 17:19 mark in the episode, you can hear Tatiana’s cable being attached to Fam’s vanship, and then she opens fire about four seconds later, snapping the cable. Damn, that’s some good shooting.

    • November 8, 2011 at 2:28 pmAllanx

      Also, the use of vanships in a military role came about because Anatoray needed an edge against the Guild. The Ades Federation simply doesn’t care about using Vanships in combat; they just want to smash up everything with their massive capital ship fleets. For every vanship Anatoray can build, the Ades Federation can probably build one of their huge, 500-meter ugly-ass paddle-steamer-things.

  • November 8, 2011 at 2:07 pmZzz…

    Does it not bother anyone that so far the only defining trait for the main character is a hefty dose of sociapathy…and not even of the comedic variety.

    I mean it’s actually pretty disturbing how removed from recognizable morality both Fam and Giselle are.

    • November 8, 2011 at 2:08 pmFencedude

      Huh? What are you talking about?

    • November 8, 2011 at 4:45 pmsalbazier

      He’s talking about the stealing ships (from everyone) thing I think.

  • November 8, 2011 at 2:18 pmZzz…

    Well…seems she’s pretty much treating the whole war and what not as a game.

    Gets into a pissing contest with the captain of the ship she just attempted to commit an act of piracy on.

    Pretty much the moment she sees a ship, any ship, she endeavors to steal it regardless of affiliation and mission.

    I mean the world isn’t just about her…you know.

    That doesn’t sound like a passing sociopath to you?

    • November 8, 2011 at 2:59 pmAllanx

      Heheh, yeah. If you think about it for a moment, Fam does seem kind of mental. Heh, steal the Silvius. What was she thinking? And then, when she’s captured, she smarts off to Tatiana like she’s still in charge of the situation, even when she’s got guns trained on her. Fam just doesn’t give a damn. I approve.

      The Sky Pirates of Kartoffel are basically a band of refugees fleeing the Ades Federation’s genocidal war, so they’re forced to do this sort of thing to make a living. They’re not actually bad folks. They kind of remind me of the Blue Rogues from Skies of Arcadia (damn, I still want Sega to make a sequel!).

      People have been speculating that Fam and Millia are connected somehow because of how Fam seems determined to capture vessels for Millia to use in order to exact revenge on Luscinia. I argue that what Fam is experiencing is simple human compassion. Fam was orphaned as an infant, and that may have had some affect on her while she was growing up. Notice how disturbed she seemed at the idea that they’d be leaving the King of Turan behind? She probably directly equated that to the loss of her own parents. And, after she saw Iglasia destroyed by Exile, I think Fam felt some degree of sympathy for Millia and wanted to set things right.

      Actually, Fam’s a lot smarter than she looks. She just acts stupid and takes risks to put on a big show in the hopes that everyone else follows along. Track to the 22:07 mark in the episode. Notice how she recoils and hesitates slightly when she sees Dio and Millia? That’s because she likely deduced within the span of a few seconds that Dio was a spy working with the crew of the Silvius, and that’s why they allowed him to land. From that, she figured that she could trust Tatiana enough to agree to her terms. She may have already been suspecting him, since he obtained that photo so easily.

      • November 8, 2011 at 5:42 pmmac65

        “Track to the 22:07 mark in the episode.”

        These are the details that make Anime Anime. I enjoy finding them, too.

      • November 8, 2011 at 10:51 pmFencedude

        Yeah, people are assuming a lot about Fam without actually paying attention to her.

        I would suggest some reasons for this, but it might upset people.

    • November 8, 2011 at 4:10 pmThe Moondoggie

      Well stealing ships is her job. The bigger and more famous, the better it sells and adds more credit to her name as a Sky Pirate.

      Pirates IRL would raid ships, any ship, provided they have enough equipment and technical know-how. Seems that Fam just underestimated the Sylvius as just another ship. Proof of her skill is that even males and her seniors seems to follow Fam’s command when she’s first harpoon.

      • November 8, 2011 at 11:58 pmhoh

        well, talking about the technicality of hijacking a ship.

        I’m sure they can disable a ship (by blocking the view, using balloons to slow it down, shutting down the engine form outside etc.), any ship even the armed federation ship.

        But that’s only the first stage. How do you overcome the crew? Especially the armed crew of a fed armed ship or Sylvius crew.

        They only get Turan flagship because Lilana gave it to them willingly as a payment for saving their lives.

    • November 8, 2011 at 4:59 pmsalbazier

      bleh, fail to read this post.

      Anyway, forced by situation to commit crime isn’t exactly justification, especially when they stealing from everyone, not just from ades. Fam didn’t even care about stealing Turan’s flagship. It’s fine and dandy since this just a fiction, but that’s not exactly character that some people would root for in real life (and thus removed from recognizable morality like Zzz said).

      And lets not equate the likes of Somali pirates to Fam & co

      • November 8, 2011 at 5:12 pmThe Moondoggie

        Ok. I was just using they’re simiar tendency to raid any ship. It’s like those people who would sleep with anything that moves: no discrimination.

      • November 8, 2011 at 5:33 pmFencedude

        Err…she’s a pirate.

        Also, did you miss that they basically stole the Turan flagship as a way of getting the Turan leadership out of the line of fire?

      • November 8, 2011 at 5:37 pmAllanx

        They are exactly like the Somali pirates. The geography of the region is even similar (comparisons between in-universe maps we’ve seen and real-world maps of Earth place the action somewhere near the Gulf of Arabia, though this may be incorrect).

        Somali pirates are victims too. Foreign ships poach fish and dump deadly toxic and radioactive waste along Somalia’s coast, ruining the fishing industry and forcing Somali fishermen into piracy just to scrape by. Not that I condone their actions, but I can hardly blame them. If I were in their shoes, I’d probably seek retribution as well.

      • November 8, 2011 at 9:03 pmsalbazier

        @fencedude

        No. Nor did I miss the fact that Fam unapologetically claim the ship and dismiss any Turan ownership in the conversation with Milia.

        As for somali pirates, I guess I worded myself poorly. I mean I rather not draw comparison with Somali or other modern pirated\s (or even real old times pirates) because it conjure up the bloody image of how bad pirate business is. Sky pirate are to me clearly based on the more romanticized view on pirates. You know, the ‘good pirates’ thing. I guess a maybe pirates IRL can be relatively kind people out of job, but piracy itself is too bloody a bussiness IRL.

        And again, having misery inflicted on you doesn’t justified inflicting misery to another especially those that doesn’t have anything to do with your misery in the first place. Capturing Aden’s ships. Fine. Taking Turan’s flagship in payment for flagship. A trade is a trade I guess, and Fam’s opinion notwithstanding the leaders seemed agree for other form of payment anyway. Stealing Sylvius? Now what bussiness they have with it. They also know it fight Ades. It can be said that they are more or less on the same side against Ades. What do say of a person who steal her neighbor’s car so he can take her friends along for a ride?

        I will not say that they are bad people, just again, that their standard of what’s good and bad are not wholly aligned with ours. Which is actually pretty common case with fiction.

        Or maybe that’s just Fam being nuts

  • November 8, 2011 at 2:52 pmhoh

    Actually, there was some “Gravitas” and good characterisation displayed.

    Princess Liliana displayed quite a few of the formal on her leading the assault trying to sink the Ades Federation flagship as well as her dealing with the sky pilots leader. She wasn’t your typical bossy big sister character who fall in love/trying to prevent the female lead to fall in love with the male lead for non-aparent reason either (well, the male lead is a bit none-existent at the moment). She does have her soft spot, towards the mysterious Guild in her memory whom I heavily suspect would be the Ades Federation President Luscinia. The president in term would have some interesting story to tell.

    The problem is that the Liliana – Luscinia plot line was only vaguely implicated (well, that was an understatement, as that part of the story is only implicated by the OP at the moment), and there aren’t much “Gravitas” left for the fam, Giselle, Millia gang. Well, there are some on Millia regarding how she adjusts from being a princess to being a sky pirate. Which was not the sort of “Gravitas” man like us would associate with (but gravitas was gravitas), and was pretty much down tuned by fam’s crash on her.

    That aside, they seems to be more politically correct now days as they stopped beating up under aged youngsters on screen . Poor Claus, we will remember the sacrifice you made for the artistic integrity of the first show.

    P.S. they did ask dio where he got the photo. Though I’m not sure which one’s more worrying: they not asking at all or they are satisfied by dio’s “this is a secret” answer. After all, we are talking about cunning sky pirates, right.

  • November 8, 2011 at 3:26 pmKou

    I just love Fam’s cute underwear. It’s just so frilly.

  • November 8, 2011 at 6:09 pmRandom

    I will say that it was nice to see Fam realistically get her ass handed to her. Things seemed too easy for her thus far.

    Also, what kind of a pirate has an unarmed ship? Even Robin Hood carried around a bow.

    • November 8, 2011 at 6:23 pmThe Moondoggie

      Now that you mention it, how do they steal ships from armed people?

      • November 8, 2011 at 9:10 pmRandom

        Good question. Well, we’ll find out soon. I have trouble seeing this bunch steal lunch money, much less a battleship.

  • November 8, 2011 at 9:08 pmRandom

    Anyone else notice that we didn’t get to see the face of Tatiana’s navigator? Someone was clearly sitting in the seat. Not sure what to make of that.

  • November 8, 2011 at 9:40 pmJulio

    Did Tatiana ever knew those Ades warships were fake all along?

    • November 8, 2011 at 9:47 pmThe Moondoggie

      I’m guessing yes. While many people here guess that getting Fam into the Sylvius was planned all along, I guessed that the reason why was because Fam is royalty and Tatiana’s protegee.

      • November 8, 2011 at 11:24 pmhoh

        And dio’s involvement in this was subtly indicated: Giselle got the clue of how to enter the Sylvius from dio and realised that they were trapped whilst remembering how dio poured a buck of water into fam’s version of Sylvius.

        Actually, I am more interested in how and why Tatiana ended up captaining the Sylvius. If they don’t get this bit right, there would be no characterisation for her (which we had plenty for Alex) and the Sylvius would just be a very useful stage pop rather than centre of the conflict.

        I hope the “why” bit was not just fighting the evil Federation as that would be so not Last Exile. Ideally, it should be a mixture of personal reason and duty (as it was for poor Alex). And I kind of hypothesis that the personal reason would be to find Claus that was lost.

      • November 9, 2011 at 1:03 amKJacket

        Fam being a key or from a family with an exile code is possible.

      • November 9, 2011 at 1:05 amAllanx

        Sophia had actually planned on Tatiana taking over as XO of the Silvana in her stead, if I recall. She had enough training and qualifications to be a bridge officer, but she wanted to remain a fighter pilot. Now that Alex is dead and Sophia has a country to rule, Tatiana is the really the best fit for the job of captaining the ship that descended from the Silvana’s design. Her experience is valuable, because she’s witnessed Alex working his magic on many an occasion. Alex Row’s tactics really were ahead of their time. With the exception of Tatiana, hardly anyone else in Anatoray knows how to captain a vanship carrier.

    • November 9, 2011 at 8:49 ampewpewpew

      I suspect the Silvana did know they were decoys. The helmsman has a slight smile on his face when he’s turning the ship, and the episode makes a point of showing one of the Sky Pirates crowing that “they’ve fallen for it!”. I think it’s a subtle way of underlining how overmatched the Pirates are throughout the entire encounter.

      • November 9, 2011 at 8:50 ampewpewpew

        or the Silvius, rather. Woops!

  • November 8, 2011 at 10:32 pmAlec

    What’s with the constant hate with our likable friend, Dio?

    Sure he acts like a child. But imo he is just ‘acting’ the role of a child. I mean, we’ve seen some moments here in the new Last Exile where suddenly sounds/looks so serious and mature.

    If you watched the first series, You’d definitely know that Dio is a well-developed character

    • November 8, 2011 at 10:33 pmAlec

      towards our friend*

  • November 8, 2011 at 10:35 pmGuardian Enzo

    If you watched the first series, You’d definitely know that Dio is a well-developed character.

    I agree. I’d love to see that character show up in “Fam”.

    • November 8, 2011 at 10:47 pmThe Moondoggie

      I agree. I’d love to see that character show up in “Fam”.

      I’m guessing you either have watched the wrong Last Exile, you have interpreted it differently, your just being stubborn again or all three at once. :P

      Yeah, like that… Well for starters, Dio is a well-developed character: always that bomb of insanity that’s constantly stuck onto Claus Valca’s side. He survived his fall from the last few episodes of the Original Last Exile and has traveled to Earth as an acquaintance of Claus and friends.

      • November 8, 2011 at 11:18 pmGuardian Enzo

        No, my point is that the Dio we’re seeing in Fam is not the same Dio we saw in LE. He’s behaving quite differently.

      • November 8, 2011 at 11:22 pmFencedude

        Well, his circumstances are quite different now, no?

        Dio was always rather silly and strange, but he had all the Guild issues piling down on him, not to mention his sister.

        All that is gone now, of course he’s different.

        He rather deftly manipulated Fam and Gisey this episode, and made sure to bring along Milia as insurance.

        Of course, as someone mentioned above, Fam put the pieces together pretty quickly when he showed up on the Sylvius with Milia in tow.

      • November 9, 2011 at 1:12 amThe Moondoggie

        @Enzo

        Well I do notice he’s more happy now. LOLZ.

        Wild Guess: Fam will be the “Tatiana v2.1″ 2.1 because she’s happier than the original.

  • November 8, 2011 at 11:46 pmhoh

    http://i1131.photobucket.com/albums/m541/abiabi03/2011110501.jpg

    anyone wants to have a guess regarding who’s this four?

    • November 9, 2011 at 12:04 amFencedude

      Probably the Sylvius’ main Vanship pilots.

      …Tatiana built herself a nice little harem, didn’t she?

    • November 9, 2011 at 1:18 amAllanx

      Their uniforms don’t look like the ones used by Anatoray vanship pilots. They remind me of Alvis’s outfit from the first series. Could they be linked to House Hamilton somehow?

    • November 9, 2011 at 8:47 ampewpewpew

      I initially assumed they were Guild due to the colour of their uniforms, but the low-tech nature of their equipment argues against that. Being affiliated with Alvis, as Allanx suggests, seems possible. Alternatively, they might be Federation vanship pilots; it’s not impossible that Ades might have (or develop) a vanship corps in the course of the series, especially as the Silvius becomes more of a threat.

    • November 10, 2011 at 4:32 pmKJacket

      The cross near the top could mean Ades’s pilots. I wonder when they’ll be introduced, maybe near 8th or 9th episodes?

  • November 9, 2011 at 12:49 amRandom

    Dio does seem a bit off. Granted, he was always goofy, but he had a few scenes where he was shown to be a real threat. Here he’s just in clown mode nearly 24/7. Maybe he needs a new Immelmann.

    So far the only thing that has really felt like Last Exile is Tatiana, so that’s a good development.

    • November 9, 2011 at 1:00 amFencedude

      Who precisely would he be shown as a “real threat” to? The only time he’s encountered an actual villain was a brief encounter with the Guild looking guy in episode…2, I think it was.

      • November 9, 2011 at 8:42 ampewpewpew

        To expand on Fencedude’s comment, I note that when we see Dio being serious, it’s generally when he’s not the centre of attention. For example, in episode 3 he’s frowning at the Sky Pirates while they discuss Exile’s attack on the Turanian capitol.

        Additionally, the expression on his face when watching Fam and Tatiana dogfight (“why interfere? They’re having fun.”) was noteworthy. It was less “goofy” and more “malicious”. It’ll be interesting to see how much of his behaviour so far is an act. One thing to note is that he hasn’t been forthcoming at all about his background (Fam admits to knowing next to nothing about him, and says he’s hard to read). I’d be surprised if the Sky Pirates knew about things like the Guild, for example.

    • November 9, 2011 at 1:16 amAllanx

      He sure messed up the other Principals during the Trial of Agoon. Then again, lots of Guilders have ridiculous close-combat abilities on-par with a Grammaton Cleric. Take Alauda for example. He made sashimi out of the bridge crew of Lasas and captured Liliana in about two seconds flat. In the intro, Dio can be seen holding his own against Alauda. I’m tellin’ you, those Guild folks are dangerous.

      • November 9, 2011 at 2:51 amKJacket

        Well considering the position of Maestro in LE was the prize of a fight it out gladiator style, I would assume that most of them are well trained, or at least the ones at the top are.

  • November 9, 2011 at 3:33 amRiddlekiller

    To be honest, i think the dog fights in this series is excellent :D and i cant wait for the story to develop, i can already see epic sky wars starting.

  • November 11, 2011 at 4:54 amAllanx

    Oh, how very Escherian.

    The cup. Look at it.

    • November 11, 2011 at 11:37 ampewpewpew

      ahaha, nice. That cup’s such a plot-critical device that it warps light around itself.

  • November 11, 2011 at 1:30 pmAlec

    Watched ep 5 Raw, and I’m disappointed with lack of serious adults in the series.

    The average age of the characters has significantly been lowered in the new series as well.

    • November 11, 2011 at 5:17 pmAllanx

      Well, looks like Enzo should have no more complaints about a “gender imbalance”. The Silvius’s bishonen squad has arrived right on time to save the day.

      Granted, it would be quite creepy if the engineers on the Silvius were all a bunch of middle-aged dudes hitting on Millia. Eww.

      • November 11, 2011 at 9:11 pmAlec

        The episode was just silly to me. I they implemented MOE in the recent episode — MOE, I say!

        The scenes in the final part of the episode were cool though. Still…

        could really care less about gender imbalance. All I care about is how serious the characters are.

      • November 11, 2011 at 9:12 pmAlec

        or interesting the characters are

  • November 11, 2011 at 9:33 pmAlec

    I’m starting to believe that Gonzo has stooped so low when they decided to make the important characters an almost-girl-cast. I was so hell-bent on believing in Gonzo, thinking there must have been some reason WHY they chose it that way, and that they would shut the critics up.

    I’m just hoping that Gonzo can shut me up, and that they haven’t really fallen yet