OP: 「Buddy」 by 坂本真綾 (Sakamoto Maaya)
Watch the PV!: Streaming ▼
I don’t normally post about episode 0 specials, but seeing as this one featured a lot of impressive-looking footage and will likely go unsubbed, I figured I had to chime in about the series that marks GONZO’s big return. It never hurts when it features Toyosaki Aki, Yuuki Aoi, and Kayano Ai — the voices of the three heroines — plus the short version of Sakamoto Maaya’s “Buddy” music video. It’s also a treat for overseas fans, as attendees of Anime Expo 2011 (USA), AnimagiC 2011 (Germany), and Manifest 2011 (Australia) were briefly shown. The production staff were present at these anime conventions for the unveiling of the next iteration of Last Exile, “Fam, The Silver Wing”.
The “new story” is as I outlined in Fall 2011 Preview, but the parts of the first episode shown did clarify that Fam decided to steal the ship of the Turan princesses, Liliana and Miria, in order to save them. There was also specific mention of the inclusion of popular characters from the 2003 anime, Dio Eraclea, Tatiana Wisla, and Alister Agrew, including a relationship chart that shows their roles in this new setting. Dio is a member of the same “Kuuzoku” sky pirates as Fam and Giselle, whereas Tatiana and Alister are part of another faction. Regarding our heroine, director Chigira Kouichi made comparisons to Last Exile’s Claus and Lavie, stating that Fam is not as free-flying as the other two and is more concerned about what she can do to help Miria and Turan. According to Aki, there are a lot of moving scenes, so I gather that stems from Fam’s personality.
As the introduction to the story didn’t really add anything new, the best part of this special was the sneak peak at the first episode where we were given glimpses of the fantasy world and the sheer scale of the Ades invasion. The production quality appears to be pretty high from the look of things, even with the use of 3D computer graphics to animate some of the scenes. While the CG is still apparent, it does blend in more seamlessly than STRIKE WITCHES 2, which coincidentally, AIC Spirits took over from GONZO. In conjunction with the character designs by Murata Range, the end result is something that is much more reminiscent of the GONZO of old. I’m quite impressed — more so than I was originally anyway — and if Aki’s take on the first episode is to be trusted, Fam, The Silver Wing is of “movie-like quality”. 🙂
Naturally, the interviews with the seiyuu and a look into a dubbing session were a treat as well. It’s always interesting to hear a seiyuu describe a show and their character as some are a lot more “insightful” than others. Aoi in particular is very elaborate, simply because she was once a TV child personality and speaks very well on camera. I haven’t heard too much from Ai since she’s a relatively new seiyuu, but I’m definitely taking notice since she keeps landing more and more big roles. (I know I’ll be looking forward to hearing her as the heroine of Guilty Crown.) Anyway, this “Pre-Episode 1 Takeoff Special” has gotten me a little more excited about the premiere next week, so hopefully Last Exile -Ginyoku no Fam- turns out as good as it looks.