「Fool’s mate」

After two episodes, I really have no idea what Gonzo is trying to accomplish with this continuation of the Last Exile saga. My sincere hope is that they do.

This is an odd series, and it’s inspiring some oddly ambivalent feelings in me. There were some encouraging signs this week, most notably that after a premiere that seemed more concerned with the next Saimoe competition than establishing story or character, things were somewhat grittier and darker this week. But there were quite a few worrying signs, too. The easiest to tackle is the visuals – while still impressive, there was a noticeable downgrade in budget this week. The CG was definitely less smooth and less well integrated. Indeed, there were moments when I felt like I was watching “ReBoot”. I don’t obsess over visuals normally and things were still quite striking overall, but given Gonzo’s financial history and that this is only the second episode, this is something to keep an eye on.

Of much greater concern to me is that they’ve pretty much decided to jump into the middle of a war without going through the trouble of establishing any connection to the characters, or indeed to the specifics of the situation. It’s obvious that Ades = bad and Turan = good, but why? How did we get here? It wasn’t until the end of the second episode that we were given the general premise of this conflict – the Turan represents the immigrants who returned on the Exile, and the Ades the ones who stayed behind and aren’t so glad to have them back. It’s a start, at least, and the most interesting thing that’s happened so far.

As to characters, it’s a shame that Gonzo have leapt into the full-on action without doing anything to make me care about them. There’s a sense that this story started in the middle, and if they wanted to do that why go with an all new cast? You can’t substitute cute and plucky and tsundere for real character development, and you can’t substitute emotionally suggestive BGM and hackneyed sob scenes with dying old men for real emotional attachment. Who are Fam, Giselle, and Millia, and why are they someone I should spend 24 weeks pulling for? Why is Hafez such an angry man and why am I supposed to dislike him? It was my hope that the idea was to make a big splash with a lot of shock and awe for the premiere, and then step back and give us some character time this week, but in fact it was just the opposite – this week was even louder and more bombastic than last.

Fact is, so far that’s what Ginyoku no Fam is best at. The large set pieces are very good, majestic and impressive in their scope. They’re well and thoughtfully choreographed, too, and the “Star Wars” reminiscent flight of the three heroines through the bowels of the Adess flagship is a great example. But it still feels like a promotional video for the series and not the series itself. There’s a natural and powerful pull to this setting that hasn’t gone away – the backgrounds, the set design, the tech – that draws you in. So the potential is there for the show to raise its game and become something of substance, and it has a head start over most shows that struggle a little out of the gate. But I need some reason to feel something more than awe. As of now, Fam is pretty much a stage prop, and Toyosaki Aki – a very good seiyuu – isn’t helping with her baby-doll performance. Yuuki Aoi is as stiff and bland as I’ve heard her as Giselle, and Millia as portrayed by Kayano Ai is strictly a Wikipedia tsundere princess.

When I hear really good voice actors giving flat performances, that tells me they’re not getting much help from what’s on the page. The writing was my biggest concern with “Fam” going in and I see no reason to feel reassured by what I’ve seen so far. If anything, the experience has been like watching “The Phantom Menace”. That film looked fantastic and was full of really good actors giving weak performances. Did all those actors jump the shark at once? Well, Occam’s Razor suggests that they were working with a poor script (and in that case, a director who didn’t care about actors). The original “Star Wars” trilogy had the benefit of writers like Lawrence Kasdan to take George Lucas’ basic story and turn it into something interesting on a human level. When Lucas did everything himself in the prequels we were left with a hollow shell, and no amount of cool light sabre duels and CGI could change that fact.

It’s still too early to write “Fam” off as “The Phantom Menace”. All it really has to do is step back and give us some time with the characters and a reason to care about them – sounds easy, right? I still enjoy the look of the series and I’m fairly confident the overarching conflict between those who stayed on Earth and those who left and came back will prove interesting. The last few minutes of the episode, where Hafez calls Exile (one of six Exiles, apparently) down to Earth to lay waste to the Turan capital, were probably the best of the first two eps. Is the influence of director Koichi-sensei enough to lift writer Yoshimura Kiyoko above what the track record suggests is possible and deliver a really compelling series? I suspect the answer won’t be apparent for a few more weeks at the very least, but no one will be rooting harder than me for it to happen.


    1. Now, now… At least the new Last Exile won’t butcher the old Last Exile.

      As for the Kiddy Girl-and ruining Kiddy Grade… I sympathize with you. Kiddy Girl-and really butchered it’s prequel: Kiddy Grade. Those idiots from Satellite probably thought they can get more money by transforming a very good Gonzo anime into something moeish, ecchi-like, crappy anime. Satellite aided Gonzo on its fall from grace! Lol. I still can’t forget the fact that the creators from Satellite made Eclair, Lumiere, and some returning characters into a bunch of weak idiots

  1. Maybe Divine should get someone who actually enjoys this show to blog it. 😀 GE seems determined not to like it, and harps way too much about the staff then the actual show. ;D

    Personally, I love what I’ve seen so far. I’m not sure Ades, as a whole, are people who stayed on the Earth. The artbook seemed fairly adamant that all of humanity left Earth. The impression I got was the Luscinia is one of those bring-the-pain-for-the-greater-good types who didn’t like the fact that the normal humans came back to Earth, after all the time spent cleaning it up, then started up with their bickering again. So, as a member of the Guild who have spent generations trying to lead humanity to some utopian ideal, sounds like he got frustrated and decided he was just going to conquer everyone and force peace on the masses. 😀

    Anyways, seeing as it’s two-cour, I imagine we’ll eventually get more into the flashbacks concerning Luscinia, the former Empress of Ades, and Liliana.

    Behind Fate/Zero, this is my favorite show of the Fall season.

    1. I have to say that I agree with Drew.

      This is a two-cour show and I believe that it’s a bit too soon to look for answers to be provided in something that has the time to get back to it all later. And constantly comparing it to the first series lessens the opportunity to examine it for its own merits.
      It’s not the first series. It won’t be. If it was, I’d probably be ticked off for seeing the same story told again. I love the first series, and I’m really interested in the new one and where it’s going.

      Fam is a refreshing character to me. Too many anime/manga characters seem to be either weighted down with frustrating indecision and hesitancy or make mistakes through thoughtless emotion.

      Fam charges right in.

      She’s a door-crasher, always out for first harpoon, charging through enemy fire with ease.
      Unlike most skilled/brash protagonists, she actually knows what she’s doing and has the talent to pull it off.

      There’s a lot of high-flying, seat-of-the-pants action going on and I’m loving it!

      Her navigator is a very interesting character to me.

      Sleepy-eyed and serious, but with two siblings she seems to have a great relationship with. (maybe she’s also taking care of them? which shows a lot of responsibility when you add it to the fact that her pilot is a fearless daredevil who has the quirk of sky-diving in her sleep!)

      I love that this navigator has a relationship of absolute trust with her pilot that goes both ways Show Spoiler ▼

      These two episodes also keep me guessing so far. Show Spoiler ▼

      It looks to me so far that Fam may have some daddy issues and there doesn’t seem to be a mommy around. I’m looking forward to future backstory on that.

      I generally find it pointless to seek immediate gratification as to the motivations of manga or anime characters. As a common trope of either is that no one dies without an extensive flashback that details their line of reasoning. If they die without one, it’s usually because their going to dedicate an entire volume/episode to someone else’s past that details that person’s motivations through shared history. LOL 😉

      I assume that there will be flashbacks for this series that will give everyone the character development they crave. Show Spoiler ▼

      I like the character of Dio and I’m looking forward to seeing his reasons as to why he’s with the sky pirates in the first place. But it doesn’t matter if there’s no reason presented at all. The character is almost pure chaos. He’s probably there because it sounded exciting.

      My impression of the first series is that it needed the slow build to establish the characters, the world and the tech.

      It worked.

      There was a pay off.

      It was great.

      Now that that’s established, this new series dives right in! Into the story! Into the action!


      Every character introduced so far generates suitable interest for me to stick around and learn more about them. To me, that is great storytelling.

      I’m more than willing to give the new writer a chance. Writing is hard. If it wasn’t, everyone would be doing it. It’s much easier to work in an established universe. It seems to me that this guy may have been picked to bring more substance to the characters, as the stage has been set for him already regarding everything else. It’s a little early to see if there’s any truth to that. But, like I said, he’s given me more than enough to make me stick around. 🙂

  2. I think I have to re-watched at least some of the episode of the firs Last Exile to get a hang of this one, I watched it about 5 years ago and most of the intricate stuff of the story is already forgotten by mine. I haven’t watched this episode yet, but after episode 1, it is clear that I don’t remember many things that made me a bit lost in this new series.

  3. The show is slightly lacking compared to the first last exile, but not to the extent that I would criticize it at Guardian Enzo’s level. That being said, I do agree that I’m not engaged with the story enough to feel anything strong from the intended emotional moments. As you said, Fam is more like a side prop. There’s little depth in her character right now; Fam feels like a side character rather than the main heroine at the moment.

    I still enjoy the series itself. But it could be better… Guilty Crown and Fate/Zero trumps it easily. I kind of feel sorry for gonzo having to compete with 2 superb animes in this season. Hope they pull something brilliant later.

  4. I agree with the assessments. GE is right to point out the flaws. While I did love the episode, it gave me a ton of questions. And GE hit them all. It’s not as dark as the original, but I’m willing to toss it a bone and say it has mighty big shoes to fill WHILE trying to obtain a new viewership. I’ll continue to watch all of it. Last Exile to me took me a few run throughs to fully understand as well, and no doubt Ginyoku no Fam will be the same, especially with such a backstory AND it’s own pedigree.

    I don’t want a review gushing praise folks. I’m a Last Exile fan. I want to nitpick what I think needs some work and what needs continuing, and so far this reminds me of an in media res kind of opening. Let’s hold off until we understand where they’re going with this.

    That said, I’m chalking the shoddiness to Gonzo getting it’s act together, but with such a big name like Last Exile, which no doubt was one of the anime that picked up the slack when Toonami more or less got shanked by the network, you’d think they’d treat the name and the story with a little more care.

    Jusuchin (Military Otaku)
    1. I appreciate your measured response to what I thought was a pretty measured review. There’s a lot I liked about the first twp eps and I said so, but I just don’t see the point in blogging if you’re going to gloss over the stuff that you see as missing the mark. If you think these are great characters and you’re happy with the way they’ve been introduced, great – your opinion is no less valid thank mine or anyone else’s. But I’m not going to pretend I feel differently than I do in order to avoid upsetting fans.

      1. My fanboyism kicks in private. I honestly watched LE multiple times for one reason, and that’s the tech/Vehicles. Oh I’ve gone on ages on the steam powered weapons, the Vanships, the differences in Anatoray and Disith ships, the list goes on. GnF is not disappointing the budding Steampunk aficionado in me, although I want more emphasis on the whole Steam/Industrial Age feel.

        That said, I have my views on LE, and there are flaws in any anime. Nothing is ‘perfect’, and to gloss over mistakes is a recipe for ruination. The show needs its flaws in order to trump out the good (which to me is the mechanical designs) and it helps highlight what needs fixing.

        Jusuchin (Military Otaku)
  5. Having never heard of Last Exile until now, I decided to marathon all 26 eps, and man, was that series good. These 2 episodes made a lot more sense after watching the original series. I rewatched Ep 1, and managed to catch all the references to the 1st series. I would have been extremely lost when Lilliana started glowing if I hadn`t seen LE. In other words, I think I can appreciate this series a lot more.

    On the downside, LE set my expectations of this series alot higher than before, and I feel like I might not enjoy this as much if it doesn’t meet the stadards LE set.

    This show does look promising, my main gripe about it is that there is no male protagonist. I`m not being sexist or anything, and I’m aware there are animes with no male MC, but an all female main cast just doesn`t appeal to me very much. It doesn’t help that I’m reminded of a certain high-school guitarist everytime Fam speaks.

    However, the BGM really stood out for me, and it was absolutely amazing.

  6. A Enemy Ship is about to Ram a another Ship. But there is enough time to send some Scout ship to kill the Crew and Hijack the Princess.. Did he stop Time or something? That is a very unrealistic Point, even in Anime Universe. Sorry

    1. He’s a Guilder. And even then, the combat was just started when the Prime Minister’s aide left the ship. No doubt he had his own Vanship/Starfish hybrid on standby and from the looks of the opening, he’s a fucking good fighter to be able to hold off Dio (Who more or less slaughters other Guilders quite easily), a non-Guilder is no match for him. Thus he can clear the bridge and set the ship on another course. With the Lasas‘s somewhat ‘unique’ ability to basically ram the shit out of other ships (Somewhat like the Urbanus? It did give off such vibes when I saw it), it seemed simple really. Send one lone assassin in, kill the bridge crew, alter course, kidnap princess.

      Jusuchin (Military Otaku)
      1. Yeah, I would have called bullshit on that if it were anyone but a Guilder doing it.

        Also, considering that the Impetuous was already taking evasive maneuvers, it wouldn’t have taken much of an alteration in the Lasas’ dive to generate a miss.

      2. Okay, being a Guilder are the same as being a Superman.. The Ships course, is it from above? So, dont tell me, he even can “surpass” Gravity Rules… Well, this Nonsense is bad explained. better it would be this “Capture the Princess” Sequence would be in Hidden. And revealed in Later Episodes.. Right now, it breaks my Neck to watch/read the Show/Manga

      3. It’s coming from above? Yes. Now pull back on the stick. It was coming in from an angle, pulling back would’ve made that angle shallower, or in the case of the Lasas, it probably had a preset collision course planned since it leveled out at what appeared to be 50 meters, but still fucking high enough that it’s ramming device sliced the Turian battleship (which was oddly reminiscent of late-biplanes/monowing racers and Legend of the Galactic Heroes FPA battleships) at the cross-section of the lower wing and main hull.

        Considering they’re still using Greek, and that a Guilder like Dio was able to order/pilot the Lasas quite handily, the Aide more or less altered course, which in this case, was easy to do. I figured the Lasas was already steepening it’s dive or rolling slightly to catch the already moving Impetuous. Altering course, or even shallowing out/pulling up from the already steep dive angle/triggering the levelling-out command at an earlier point would have the thing miss.

        And yes being a guilder puts you on a level above the peons. They were tasked, and most likely bred, to maintain Exile and Prester colonies. understandable if they come from some superior stock or was genetically altered.

        Jusuchin (Military Otaku)
  7. We’re heavily into “nothing this show could have done would please you” territory.

    I’ll grant you every complaint about the visuals (though its still way better than the original was much of the time), but the rest is just…

    Sometimes a story starts in media res, in fact, one of the number one things people have been complaining about this season is shows that actually have taken their time building up the characters and the world (Fate/Zero, Horizon, Shana 3 to a great extent), and here’s one that throws us right into the thick of things. And the complaint? “We don’t know the characters yet!” Its impossible to win, sometimes. Also remember the number 1 complaint about Last Exile (other than the CG) was that its opening episodes were dull. I don’t really agree, but I can see why people thought so.

    As of now, Fam is pretty much a stage prop, and Toyosaki Aki – a very good seiyuu – isn’t helping with her baby-doll performance. Aoi Yuuki is as stiff and bland as I’ve heard her as Giselle, and Millia as portrayed by Kayano Ai is strictly a Wikipedia tsundere princess.

    First of all what is a “baby doll” performance, precisely? Fam has been a stage prop to the extent that she’s not been a driving force (well, other than her choosing to hijack the Lasas is what got her involved in this), we’ve gotten some looks into her personality over these two episodes. She’s a bit brash, but actually has the skill to back it up, and tries to crack some jokes to lighten the mood. Giselle’s very serious, much more so than other Aoi Yuuki charactes (especially this season), but we know at least that she has eidetic memory.

    And calling Milia “tsundere” (which she may or may not be) is seriously jumping the gun. Over the last less than a day she’s had her entire life destroyed. I think she can be forgiven being a tad irrational about things. Nothing she’s done is unwarranted considering the pressures she’s under and the fear she must be experiencing.

    Also, so far Milia’s a bajillion times the character Inaho is. So in the Kayano Ai column at least, Milia’s a definite plus.

  8. I was really worried last week. But What happened this week get me reassured.

    Characterisation and how the world setting relates to individual characters are very important for the original series and I can feel them there after watching this week’s episode. They are there, just aren’t fully flushed out yet.

    Potential plot indicators include:
    i) Fam’s comment on “how everybody should just run away and sacrificing oneself for the country is pointless” is interesting
    ii) the complex history/relationship between Lilliana, Luscinia and Alauda (I kept on having the impression that Alauda was the Guild who help the then young Lilliana up after she had fallen. Maybe I am wrong) is definitely intriguing (much of it implied by the OP).
    iii)Not to mention we are yet to figure out the motivation behind Luscinia (felt like he is the Alex of this series).

    And actually, some of these substance and background GE mentioned lacking here weren’t flushed out till later in the original series either. We haven’t much character development on Claus and Lavie apart from they were willing to go extra miles for their vanship union tasks till 3rd/4th episode and we certainly didn’t get what the hell is going on between Anatory, Disith, Guild & the Silvana till much later.

    I think Guardian Enzo should really give more patience to the series and bear in mind that you probably watched the original LE on DVD and the lack of explanation on some of the themes was not so apparent since you didn’t need to wait for a week between episodes.

    horace ho
    1. I think I made it pretty clear in the post that I haven’t given up on the series by any means. But remember, I only have two episodes to go on here – what am I supposed to review if not the content of those two episodes?

      As for LE the original, I made a deliberate decision not to go back and re-watch it close-on before the airing of “Fam” and I think you’ll see if you read my post again that wherever possible I’m trying to observe on what’s happening in “Fam” without directly comparing it. That said, it’s perfectly valid to compare a show that calls itself “Last Exile” to an earlier show called “Last Exile”…

      1. There’s a difference between “comparing” and “complaining because its different”.

        Your glasses, they are rose colored. (just as my goggles, they are yuri)

        That being said, its almost certainly been longer since I last watched Last Exile (was at some point in 2007, remember it vividly, actually. Sat down with a friend completely on a whim and threw in the first DVD and we sat there pretty much all night marathoning it. Good times, good times)

        Last Exile and Fam have taken almost diametrically opposite approaches to their entry episodes, making any deep comparison fairly pointless.

  9. After two episodes, I really have no idea what Gonzo is trying to accomplish with this continuation of the Last Exile saga. My sincere hope is that they do.

    The thing is, this is Gonzo we’re talking about. So I’m sure as hell that they don’t.

    Still, the series is visually impressive and the story as a whole is quite interesting. So I’ll stick with it for a while.

  10. This review is interesting, as the only point I agreed with is the drop in the quality of the character. The CG integration with the “GN” particles and Fam’s piloting skill were pretty well done to get audiences hyped. The only real complaint was that they used screenshot 13 three times in a row almost.

    For the record, my background with the series is almost next to 0, as the original was far too long ago. LE:GnF is not made to appeal just to people who watched the prequel. Everyone knows the 3 episode rule. Slow story is enough to make people drop it before the show even begins, especially with audiences who have 0 patience whatsoever (judging the responses to Horizon as in Takaii’s reviews, Animesuki, and streaming floating texts, there are a lot of these people). The first two episodes have enough actions to allow them a breathing space in the next few to delve a bit into the stories without losing these new audiences, which from sampling fans across 3 different languages Gonzo actually did fairly well to set the hook so to speak.

    I thought the characters are not entirely as character-less as your perspective. Fam and Miria(Milia)’s interaction will probably be tied to the main plot (as suggested by the OP), and they both got enough development for I to care about them (especially Milia; the cut of her crying face at the end to the OP was an excellent choice). I don’t really know what you expect of the VAs, but their performances certainly seem up to par to give life to the characters while not especially praiseworthy.

    I can’t help but somehow think your review is a bit (if not heavily) biased toward comparison with the original, which I cannot help but feeling disconnect with some new viewers. While the last sentence suggest you obviously care a lot for the series, the review itself feels too highly polarized by nostalgia (while that is unavoidable, this one feels particularly apparent).

    PS: I thought this episode’s title is simple yet pretty clever.

    1. Kunagisa, there’s nothing I can do to prevent people from saying any criticism I make is because of comparison to the original. It’s a hopeless battle for me so I’m not even going to fight it – let them believe what they want. I was very clear that I am a fan of LE, and that I think it’s valid to draw comparisons between the two shows. I’m also trying very hard to base my assessments of “Fam” as much as possible to what’s happening in “Fam”. What people make of that is beyond my control.

      As for “breathing space to go and delve into the stories” – and even more important, the characters – that’s true. But the real test is, will they actually do it? I just want them to slow down a little and flesh things out a little. It’s not fair to compare to Fate/Zero, I know, but if you look at the job that show did re-establishing a premise for old fans while still developing a cast for the benefit of new viewers, I think the contrast with this show is pretty stark.

      1. They have 24 episodes! While its nice to have shows that sit down and do proper character and world building first (Fate/Zero, Horizon) its not the only correct way of doing things!

      2. That is true. I understand where you are coming from, but I’m just responding to the review as I see it.

        For the record (just for clarity’s sake), I liked the review (hence why I said it was interesting). I do enjoy the opinions of fans from the original, as long as I personally consider their stances are (mostly) valid regardless if they are neutral or opposition.

  11. Well.. That’s it.. I’m not looking into this any further.

    I’ve seen good criticisms for this show and GE gave out a couple of those. Though, frankly I’m getting tired wherever I go that most criticisms thrown at this show are viewed with rose-colored nostalgia glasses.

    Even though the show wasn’t as dramatic as the first two episodes of season 1, I’d rather watch this peacefully than get ticked off by a very vocal fan’s(?) unconscious babble.


    Regarding the episode, i find it good and enjoyable. A bit too quickly paced, but then again it’d be weird to let the whole thing slowdown all of a sudden when enemy forces are already approaching the capital. Eagerly waiting for next episode.

  12. While I do agree with GE with some of his points, I really liked this episode. The mysteries of the world and Exile are starting to pick up. I find things like the moons are actually “pieces” of Exile; the stuff about Alauda, like his Guild skills and his Vanship/Starfish hybrid vehicle, and Lilianna being somehow like Alvis quite intriguing….

    There might be flaws about this show, but I’m quite willing to continue through this series. I agree with what horace said, the thing and concepts of the first series weren’t flushed out till quite later. I’ll just have to have a mindset that Ginyoku no Fam is NOT the SAME as the first Last Exile…

  13. You’re such a shitty reviewer. This is exposition. Things will become clear as the series continues, there are already some hints that you prob haven’t picked up on. Like Fam’s emotional outburst at the sight of the dying father, and Hafez’s speech at the end….

    But you’re too busy using buzzzwords like moe and tsundere. And stop judging Japanese voice actors when you don’t even speak the language. You either like the voices or you don’t, you can’t judge objectively simply because you dont speak the language.

    1. Woah there man. Calm your tits down. Even if Japanese or English, the amount of emotion put into a voice or acting is apparent. And Guardian Enzo isn’t a “shitty” reviewer. And even if you think he is, stay classy and keep in mind that RC is a place of educated opinions and therefore, you need to think before you type.

      Personally Enzo, I think your a swell guy and I enjoy your reviews which are very friendly and inviting. As well as truthful! Don’t let them pull you down, dood :). But unfortunately, I have to agree with most of the others. This a very very negative review, one that just flows “dislike” and “hate” all over it. It’s still early in the series, and like you said, there’s more to come. Putting this much negativity on a series on it’s first 2 episodes is just a little too much. Keep at it though, after all, it’s all opinion based.

      1. Happy to respond to civil disagreement, Rin. I do think you’re reading a lot of stuff into the review that isn’t there, but clearly that’s how it came off to you so that’s legitimate. I just don’t know any other way than to honestly give me impressions of what I see, and so far I have only two eps to give my impressions on. I tried to make it very clear that I both hope the series addresses what I see as concerns and think it’s very possible that it will. A criticism of something in two aired episodes is not the same as a declaration that the criticism will still stand for 24 episodes.

        Again, just trying to make it clear what I was going for in the review. It didn’t come across that way to you and some other readers and I’ll certainly shoulder the responsibility for that, but you can’t write with the intent of pleasing everyone who’s going to read what you’re writing.

  14. Starting to sound like the Gundam comments section in here…

    I’m happy to discuss issues with my post with anyone who wants to have an adult conversation as time permits (as I’ve been doing on IRC for the last two hours) – I knew it would be controversial when I posted it. But if you throw a bunch of grade-school BS and personal insults at me, I’ll give you exactly as much attention as you deserve.

  15. LOL. It’s rare to have an negative review here, and it’s very welcome. It seems most users here aren’t used to it. So they say you suck and such. And YES people, they will compare to the first series. Since the characters WERE INSANELY BETTER on the first. If you didn’t watch it, stop watching this and go.

    Btw, why do you think an series is remembered? BECAUSE OF IT’S CHARACTERS. What I see here is a bunch of tropes. It feels like Guilty Crown, with the fast pace(which doesn’t make sense, since this is 2-cour). EVEN WITHOUT COMPARING to the original series, I still think they aren’t that good.

    Still, just episode 2 so far, a lot of positive arguments there. I’m sure GONZO will make this another masterpiece.

    1. I appreciate your comment, Leokiko, and thanks for not making it a personal attack. I wonder, though – is any review that has criticism in it a “negative review”? I don’t deny there’s criticism in it but there’s an awful lot of positive, too.

      1. I may have expressed myself badly. It wasn’t completely negative, but surely the amount of negative was higher than positive. That’s why is an negative review, in my opinion.

        And in RC, this much criticism doesn’t happen often, so a few may have taken it personally. Which I think it’s stupid, since this is just 1 person’s opinion. If one deliver such an outburst like Dwin, you are either an holed up otaku, or just a person trying to sound smart. Why take it so seriously, after all?

        One more thing, if your review was all with positive comments, I’m sure it wouldn’t have this amount of discussion(which I think it’s the purpose of an review).

      2. I do agree with Leokiko… There’s not many negative reviews in RC, so visitors aren’t just used to it, so they take things here personally.

        I doubt this anime will be a masterpiece (such a huge word), but I know this will be one of their better animes. But who knows…It’s still 2 episodes.

      3. “But who knows – it’s still two episodes”. Exactly – and that was the point of my post, or so I thought. I may see things as lacking in some areas I see as crucial, but it’s too early to make definitive judgments.

        Again, Leokiko, I appreciated what I saw as a supportive comment and I don’t think you expressed yourself poorly at all. I’m just interested in the broader notion of what constitutes a negative review. If that were a movie review in the newspaper who scored such things with stars, I would probably say it was a 2.5 star review. That’s hardly a hatchet job.

    2. Since the characters WERE INSANELY BETTER on the first. If you didn’t watch it, stop watching this and go.

      Were the characters “insanely better” after the first two episodes though? Comparing 24 episodes of character development to 2 is…well, the term that leaps to mind is “intellectually dishonest”

      As for Guilty Crown comparisons, Fam is clearly winning on characters, though its hardly setting a benchmark for that *cough*Fate/Zero*cough*Horizon*cough*. But I’ll certainly take Kayano Ai’s possibly tsundere and certainly distraught Milia over her inflatable sex-toy “I belong to you” Inaho.

      1. I agree with you, I may have said things without thinking. There’s still much to go. But so far, not impressed(that’s the point I was trying to make there). And indeed, GC’s characters are so shallow, that it’s painful to watch a scene without any action/explosions. At least we get an sex-toy…seriously, L

    3. We’ve yet to see the cast develop xD B

      it’s always a plus to me when the events or characters are serious.

      the new Last Exile may not be as serious as its predecessor, but it’s the more balanced one between the two.

    4. Since there’s all this talk about only having positive/optimistic views on RC, I guess it falls on me to say something.

      I’ve said this many times in the past before: I’m critical when I want to be, but don’t dwell on anything longer than I need to in order to make a point. I try to talk about what I like and dislike while refraining from drawing any premature conclusions about the series as a whole. I don’t see much point in “reviewing” a series on an episode by episode basis, hence why I hate it when people refer to my posts as “reviews”. I feel that you can only really formulate a “complete” opinion about something after you’ve seen everything that it has to offer. The only thing that I’d consider a “review” in my posts are the final impressions in the last episode, but even those aren’t trying to gauge a series by any particular criteria.

      I focus on providing personal impressions/views on what happened in the show without making critical comparisons to other shows. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to read impressions that just keep coming from a specific angle, be it comparing it to other works or constantly reminding everyone about what they don’t like. I’m not evaluating episodes here; I’m just letting you know what went through my mind as I watched it. I watch (and blog) anime for personal enjoyment, not so that I can criticize it. Who am I to judge anime and make critical statements about a series? I’m not some industry expert with years of experience producing anime, nor do I claim to be. What credentials do I have to make anyone weigh heavily on what I have to say about acting, music, storytelling, etc. I’m just a fan of anime and discuss it with other fans.

      Personally, I really liked this episode and it actually got me more excited about GONZO’s latest production. Yes, there are a lot of questions raised about where things are headed, but I think it’s only fair to give them a chance to tell the story they have in mind. I also like hearing Toyosaki Aki and Yuuki Aoi as Fam and Giselle, since they’re both using distinctly different voices compared to their previous roles.

      1. I also said right in the beginning that I’m critical when I need to being overly critical to the point that I’d write an entire post about why it’s a huge problem. I thought you would’ve learned that by now when people don’t want to hear a blogger complain week in week out about a series, leaving them wondering why you’re still covering it.

        If you want to play devil’s advocate Kiiragi, you might want to consider why a lot of people found your views disagreeable. It’s not simply because you talked poorly about a show, but also how you’d always go back to that same thought like a broken record. After the second or third post about it, people will realize you already have a predetermined disposition toward a show and will never see it any differently. 😛

        I already talked to Enzo about how I felt his remarks might have been a little premature, but are completely understandable since he said in his first post that he comes with with not only biases from LE, but a lot of expectations on what Ginyoku no Fam could become.

      2. I don’t really know how to respond to that, Divine, or even how to take it. I plead not guilty to the charges of “dwelling” on issues I feel were raised by the execution in the episode (and the premiere). If “what’s going through your mind” when watching an episode is sometimes “I have a problem with the way these characters I’m being developed” or “It would’ve been nice to have a little more background so I could appreciate the emotions I’m supposed to be feeling here” is it “constantly reminding everyone of what you don’t like” to point that out in a blog post?

        I refuse to post plot summaries – we have Wikipedia for that. I also refuse to sugarcoat what I’m feeling about a series, as I think people read blogs to get an idea of what the writer is feeling about a series he’s watching. There would come a point with any show where if I seriously disliked it, I’d stop blogging it – both for the benefit of the reader and my own selfish interests. Two episodes in on a series I consider a mixed bag is not that time.

        Lastly, I refute the implication that any and all critiques of “Fam” come from a comparison to LE. That’s a straw man and a cheap shot, but the easiest angle of attack for anyone defending “Fam” to take. I “cannot unsee” LE – I watched it, it’s part of my viewing experience. I deliberately refrained from re-watching the series once “Fam” was announced, even though it would’ve been helpful in terms of the nuts & bolts of the mythology, because I didn’t think that would be fair to the new series. By the same token, if you’re going to call a series “Last Exile” then it’s valid to assess where it fits in the larger context of “Last Exile”. If you don’t like any references to the original series, you’re not being realistic – because “Fam” is referring back to the original series all the time.

        I think the distinction between “thoughts” and “criticism” is a false one. A balanced overview of an episode is not a “review” per se, but it still contains criticism. Every episode exists both in terms of its contribution to the whole, and as an entity in itself. And it has to be assessed in terms of both those roles. That’s what I try to do and that’s what I plan to continue trying to do. I hope people are open-minded enough to have a civilized dialogue based on that. If not, that’s their own choice.

      3. You’re not supposed to take it in any way Enzo. That was more for people like to get on my case about being too “forgiving” when it comes to anime. I feel that I speak negatively about shows at times, though maybe not to the extent that some of the other writers tend to. It’s just a different take on blogging and there’s no “right” way of going about it.

        Even then, a lot of this doesn’t apply to your post. This is the first time you expressed your “concerns”, so you’re not reminding anyone of anything. Also, I mentioned that I can see where you’re coming from so I don’t see any problems with comparing it to Fam since this is its successor. My comment about more comparisons was in reference to what I have to put up with in Guilty Crown, and to a lesser extent, Gundam AGE, and how they keep coming up in the comments every week as the main form of scrutiny.

        “Criticism” probably wasn’t the best word there. “Scrutinize” would’ve been more appropriate. i.e. People purposely looking for reasons not to like a given show.

      4. Forgive me if I seem a bit oversensitive, because frankly I feel a lot like a punching bag at the moment so maybe I’m seeing phantom punches.

        To be honest, I think you’re selling yourself short because quite frankly I see criticism in your blog posts all the time. It’s important to remember that “criticism” is not an innately negative term. Any critical analysis – positive or negative – is criticism. You’re a critic whether you want to call yourself that or not, which separates you and this site from the vast majority of bloggers out there.

        I’ll be honest – I don’t think either of us has anything to apologize for and I’m sick of defending myself. I would encourage anyone to read Divine’s post about MPD episode 15 if you feel he’s not willing to address issues with a series in a critical way (and I don’t just say that because I agree with almost the entire post!) as just one of many examples of the balanced analysis that he does. And I would encourage anyone who feels that my post was too negative to re-read it and try to take the hurt feelings out of the equation, and I hope you’ll see that it’s actually very direct about what I thought worked in the episode and what I didn’t – and that there was a lot of both.

      5. Agreed on the criticism part. I should perhaps rephrase that to “looking for/focusing on faults”. I can kind of see how my comment looks like it was targeted towards you, so my apologies about that.

        As for feeling like a punching bag, welcome to Random Curiosity! This is what you (unknowingly) signed up for when you agreed to blog for a larger and much more vocal audience. 😉



        My main issue, Enzo, is that I feel you are unfairly comparing 2 episodes of Fam to 24 of Last Exile, granted, thats hard to avoid, you can’t unwatch Last Exile, after all, but many of your character criticisms don’t hold much water due to this. 2 episodes of Fam, especially ones that were focused much more on a large-scale conflict instead of the characters, cannot possibly hold a candle to 24 episodes worth of character development.

        Also I still disagree with both you and Divine about MPD15, and I don’t even know what went on in that Guilty Crown thread because I can’t motivate myself to give a damn.

  16. The original Last Exile was one of the defining series of anime for me years ago. That said, I’m enjoying this return to that world quite a lot.

    It’s a different take, a different look at this visually stunning world, through a different people, heroines and countries. So far, I haven’t been disappointed with the scope and the drama so far. Feisty heroines thrown into a war beyond their knowledge? Check. Giant airfleets and huge-scale combat? Check. Mystical mystery and allusions to some secret power? Check.

    Two episodes in, I’m really wanting to see how this pans out. Can’t see why there’s such baggage. Just go along for the ride, dudes. You’ll have fun more. There will be more payoffs for longtime fans as the series goes on, I’m sure, short of Lavie and Claus taking over the show.

  17. Quite the refreshing review, and I must say I agree with Enzo for the most part. “Stage prop” is a pretty good way of putting it.

    Really refreshing to read a ballsy review for once. Maybe that other RC blogger who’s currently going “Kyaa… Guilty Crown is teh AWESOME~!! can teke some lessons from GE.

  18. I can see what Enzo is saying. Heck, I agree on almost all of it.

    I was already disappointed when Gonzo made moe-like cast, hence having less serious characters or situations. It’s a good thing that our main character can actually turn serious.

    The previous Last Exile raised the bar too high for this anime to reach. Still, being a hardcore Last Exile fan, I’m not gonna nit pick on its obvious flaws, and just try to watch it for what it is. the new series may never surpass the older one, which everyone here might agree, but we all know it’s not gonna be terrible.

  19. Oh, How I wish the chivalric battles would go back -_-

    was the word ‘chivalry’ such a shallow word? I mean, it’s only been a FEW years, since people from the Anatoray, the Disith, and the Guild emigrated to the new land, and magically build many buildings and cities. Chivalry can’t possibly disappear that quick, right?

    Back in the old Last Exile, most of the time, even if the guild was not supervising a battle, people would still abide to the code. And now it’s totally gone here.

    1. For a “hardcore Last Exile fan” you seem to have completely missed the setting of this show. Ades and Turan are not people from Anatoray and Disith, lol. These people are from other Presters that had non-manic Guilds that returned to Earth like they were supposed to far earlier than the people of the Prester of the first series.

      1. fan of the old one, that is. I can’t see this anime becoming amazing YET.

        still… don’t you think the new series would be more interesting if it has chivalric battles? though we all know, those things is not what gonna make Last Exile amazing.
        I mean, the idea of smart people outsmarting dumb people is kinda overused.

      2. While I liked the Chivalrous battles, think of it this way. Mechanically, they represented what can be considered Napoleonic, or much better, American Civil War-era tactics. Remember Duke David Mad-Thane employed Vanships, then just couriers and racers, in battle. And even then, the Silvana was built as what can be seen as an analog to both the then ‘advanced’ cruiser/battleship designs. To me the Silvana was much like the early conversion ideas of Battleship-Carriers in the heyday of Naval Aviation.

        Now logically, this series represents a leap forward in times. The proliferation of Vanships to the point of these small Vespa-class types is much like the Roaring 20s/Depression Era style, and I can even see it in the mechanical designs of the ships. With Turan’s fast but lightly armed and armored ships analagous to the fast battleship/battlecruiser school and Ades representing the Big Gun school (which started to meld in the future due to better engines and the like).

        Okay I’m getting all over the place. As much as I liked to draw comparisons between the Last Exile universe’s mechanical designs and our own real world analogues, I’ll say this about Chivalrous battles in first series and now. Technology moved up. Chivalry is too costly (think of the Sommne in WWI).

        Jusuchin (Military Otaku)
  20. I’m taking this series at face value as I’m thoroughly confused. I WANT to enjoy it, but I can’t really immerse myself into this confusing setting. If I had actually rewatched Last Exile, then maybe some things would be more clear. However, I’m barely recalling the details from a series I watched 8 years ago. Ugh, I need to go dig out that old external drive.

    1. Dio as a main character would be interesting to say the least

      I think if the characters seemed more versatile it would be alright but they just seem very much intent on being stereotypical. If you looked at the characters in the first LE the characters had multiple sides, and this was a apparent from the onset, at least to me it was. Claus and Lavie would display a range of emotions and ideas throughout the series.

      I’m going to watch this due to the visuals and the general steampunk feel, but I’m worried about the characters ending up being bland and Gonzo simply checking off all the general stereotypical roles that they need to appeal to certain groups of fans in anime today. I guess in the end their haven’t been any characters that make me standup and take notice of them.

      1. Well, in Gonzo’s defence; unlike the original LE which was sort of an anniversary present to themselves (they were doing well back then, I figure), FAM is supposed to “save” them from financial peril. I can understand the need to appeal to a wider demographic in order to get ad-revenue and Blu-Ray sales, but somehow I don’t quite see this working in the Last Exile “universe”. The whole thing sort of has that “Nokia abandons their open source roots and signs pact with evil Microsoft” stink to it.

        Then again, my tastes are quite different from “hardcore” anime-viewers, I guess.

  21. Nice episode, but it was a little rushed and confusing… Still, it was much better than the first because it was about the conflict itself and not about the moe factor of the two main characters. LOL.

  22. Easy guys, I’m sure everything will be explained later, and that’s what I like about it, almost all Gonzo’s anime have this kind of rush at the beginning and explain everything later, so keep watching it 🙂

  23. “As of now, Fam is pretty much a stage prop” You know, that’s what I thought too after watching this the first time. After re-watching the episode I noticed Fam actually gets a lot of subtle character development that I didn’t pick up on the first time around.

    For example, when the three protagonists are in the jet stream on their way to Iglasia, Fam is talking about renaming the Lasas Fam Fan Fan, Millia calls the name weird, and Fam seems offended. Then Giselle agrees with Millia that the name IS indeed odd. This raised a lot of flags for me, why would Millia think the name is odd if they are from the same pirate tribe? Fam must be from a different Prester/Exile than the other Sky Pirates.

    Then after the king gives Fam his ring, and we witness that emotional exchange between Millia and her dad, it shows Fam staring at it contemplatively and says, “father… huh”. This coupled with the first thing I pointed out REALLY makes me think something is going on here, she doesn’t have a normal past, and is most likely an orphan. I’d be willing to bet that as the series goes on, this will get looked into at a much deeper level.

    Go back and re-watch the original series. You will begin to notice that characters mention things offhand that seem really trivial at the moment, but turn out to be important later on; much like what is going on here.

    One last thing, writing off Millia as a generic tsundere is very premature. Both her father and her older sister basically told her that they were going to sacrifice themselves, and that she would be asked to carry on leading the kingdom alone. Then she witnesses her sister summon a super weapon that destroys her home town, killing thousands of people. Millia is probably my favorite character so far. How is she going to deal with all this?

    Where are they going to take the story from here? I am a huge fan of the original series, and I admit that I was a bit wary of this sequel after the first episode, but after this last one… holy crap I did not see any of this coming. I am genuinely interested in these new characters, am anxiously awaiting to see what they do with the returning cast, and am very excited to see where they take the story from here. If GONZO plays their cards right, this could be the Zeta Gundam of the Exile universe. You just have to read between the lines a little bit if you expect to pick up on things early on, just like the original.

    1. It can be implied from the setting and Luscinia speach. Luscinia is trying to wipe out everyone that has returned, and says that the people of Turan was one of those groups that returned to Earth. How long ago, we don’t know, but certainly much longer than the main cast of the original being there. We know this because Fam only takes place 2 years after the original. Therefor the people of Turan came to Earth on a different Exile than the people of Anatoray/Disith. Meaning multiple Exiles.

      1. Ah, I see. From the night sky back in episode one. I hadn’t paid attention to that at all, and I would have likely gone many episodes without ever realizing there are six exiles if you hadn’t mentioned them. Thanks.

  24. The reason you’re a terrible reviewer isn’t because you gave this episode a negative review… it’s because you let your bias overstep logic. You barely mentioned any of the key (and interesting) points of this episode. Like how this story takes place on Earth, and how that implies how there are more than one Exile. All which are extremely intriguing and presented to the viewer in an interesting way. And stop trying to fit chars into archtypes after two episode when they weren’t even the focus of story so far.

    I may have been wrong to insult you, but all of my points still stand.

    1. Bare in mind that these ‘reviews’ as you call them are actually “Impressions”. Clearly this episode left a mixed ‘impression’ on Enzo and thus he spoke his mind on what he considered important.

      … it’s because you let your bias overstep logic

      By all means support this statement so that further discussion may be had.

      I hardly think Enzo was trying to _archetype_ the characters, it merely makes it easier in describing characters and giving a general idea on their personality and/or lack thereof. I find it puzzling that you can misjudge such a relevant comparison given your understanding of how little focus on the characters there has been.

  25. I think the biggest problem with the series so far is that they’ve failed to make us actually give two shits about what happens to Turan. The events of the first two episodes are highly compressed. They’re the kind of thing that take at least eight episodes of solid emotional build-up to elicit actual tears from the audience.

    Instead of feeling deeply moved by what I was seeing, I watched Show Spoiler ▼

    and felt precisely nothing. I mean, seriously? Who gives a literal shit? Except for the Lasas, all of Turan’s ships have shitty armor and weapons and get shot down like flies. If they had invested a little more into R&D and securing viable trade routes, they may have had something to show for it. Instead, they got fucking bitchslapped. Hell, if the pirates hadn’t been so busy screwing up the merchant routes during peacetime, maybe Turan would have been able to afford to put together ships that can actually hold their own in a fight! Never thought of that angle when they signed away their oh-so-awesome flagship and a consignment of wheat and Claudia to the pirates, did they?

    On a more positive note, this does make for a bit of an interesting set-up. Instead of being worried about the people of Turan, who basically just lost their capital and the entire war in the span of a few hours, I’m more worried about the other targets on Luscinia’s hit list. The guy comes across as a textbook genocidal maniac. Wonder what his Freudian Excuse is? “Wahhhhh, wahhh, those nasty Prester colony immigrants killed my mommy and daddy, fucked my sister and stole all the beer from my ice chest, wahhh!” Someone call a waahmbulance.

    I also wonder what Tatiana and Alister are up to. I hope they’re not working with those Ades jackasses, though indeed it appears they are. That uniform they’ve got on in the credits has the same sort of dark brownish-steel grey with red trim.

    Lastly, for some strange reason, I’ve been hoping to see the Silvana make a comeback or at least a cameo appearance. I mean, last we saw it, it was still on a Prester colony, but those Exile ships are what, like five kilometers in length? There’s no telling what you could transport in (or strap on the outside of) one of those. I know, I know; they said this series would be all about “new mechanical designs”, “new ships”, etc. I don’t care. I want to see the Silvana shooting them all down. If you ask me, that ship was the main character of the first series. I guess it just wouldn’t be the same without tactical genius Alex Row in the captain’s chair, though.

    1. I don’t think its bad that you didn’t feel much when Turan was destroyed, only so much can be done in two episodes. Turan’s destruction will be reflected in Milia, Turan was destroyed as a part of her character arc. And you may not “care” now, but the idea will be by the end of the show, you will see how that affected her.

      As for the Silvana, according to preliminary information…Show Spoiler ▼

      1. Exactly. There simply isn’t enough time in two episodes to get us to care too much, but that frees up the rest of the plot to go in plenty of other directions and explore a wide variety of situations and unique vistas; an opportunity that I sincerely hope they don’t squander.

        Like I said, this is an interesting set-up with a dash of exposition and one doomed hometown wiped clean off the map. The caring comes later, once the writers have actually had a chance to develop some of these characters. The way Fam and the rest deal with the crises presented to them should ideally reflect their experiences between now and that point.

        I’ve also been hoping that they throw a history lesson or two in there. There’s quite a sizable story gap between the last series and this one, despite them only being two years apart. From what we’ve seen thus far, it’s easy to gather that there are multiple Prester colonies, multiple Exiles, and multiple groups of colonists that returned to “Earth” at varying times. The previous series merely covered the trials and tribulations of the most recent (and perhaps final) group to return, hence “Last Exile”. So that leaves one question unanswered; what happened to them when they arrived? Did they integrate with the locals? Were they forced to scatter around and join up with different factions? Did they form their own country? Just what are Ades and Turan’s origins, anyway?

        Man, I love this series for its world-building!

      2. So, from what we know about the series so far, the Exiles were created as generation ships to set up safe havens for humanity while Earth was regenerated with nanomachines or something after millennia of abuse. Pretty standard science fiction fare.

        But here’s where it gets interesting. See, Luscinia’s whole shtick so far has been of the misanthropic variety. He claims that the colonists “should never have returned” to begin with. Why not? Isn’t he also from a Prester colony? If not, then where? Is he just being a whiny little hypocrite? Dude reminds me of Prince Maximillian from Valkyria Chronicles. I’m betting his whole deal is something along the lines of “OH NOEZ, I WAS TRAUMATIZED AS A CHILD BY STRIFE BOTH INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL! DEATH! DEATH TO EVERYBODY! MAYBE I CAN TRAUMATIZE SOME OTHER KIDS TOO, SO THEY COME AFTER ME SEEKING BLOODY REVENGE!”

        God, I’ve watched too much anime.

      3. One of the big problems is that Last Exile really blew its denouement, leaving many viewers with absolutely no idea what had happened. Things were only clarified in an artbook released years later. And thats no way to go about things (Kiddy Grade had a similar issue, actually).

        I’m hoping that Fam will both clarify the ending of the original, and be better paced so its ending isn’t a needlessly obtuse mess like the original’s.

  26. What I feel is that this will become a story of the three: Fam, Giselle, and Millia (I
    hope I got the names correct). I think the 2 episodes wasn’t concerned about who they
    are (a little now, a lot later), but the circumstances that brought them together (maybe
    that forth girl in the white thingie?)

    I think I benefit from not having seen the 1st and I believe some who have can’t separate
    the two cleanly, even if they avoided re-watching it recently. There’s always a nag.

    We know most of the city escaped, and there’s a genocide nut out there (did he perish?)

    I’m looking forward to following this.

  27. I read a fair amount of TV criticism (used here in the sense of thoughtful analysis) and there seems to be a growing trend of disproportionately negative responses (by readers) to critics pointing out negative aspects of the shows they’re discussing. Many people seem to forget that what critics are presenting is their opinion (though hopefully supported, informed opinion). It’s possible for two people to have two different but valid opinions about the same material. Another common response is to dismiss negative critiques as due to the “bias” of the critic. This is ridiculous. First, it’s impossible, even if it was your goal, to ever be free of bias. Opinions are based on a combination past experience and innate preference. Even if it were possible to be free of the former (it’s not) why would that be preferable? It’s still bias. Yet another response that baffles me is objecting to talking about a current plot line in the context of previous plot lines. If the show has done something sort of like what it’s doing now and it turned out badly the last time, shouldn’t I be wary of the current plot line. That’s not to say, of course, that I would (or should) dismiss it out of hand.

    To address some specifics brought up in these comments: Fam is a sequel. Not only is it inevitable that it’ll get compared to Last Exile, it’s completely appropriate. It’s not like the creators ignored the original when completing the sequel, so why should Enzo ignore the original when critiquing the sequel? That said, (and granted, it’s been a while since I saw the original) I think Enzo’s complaint about lack of characterization/reasons to care could equally be applied to the first few episodes of Last Exile.

    1. There are absolutely appropriate comparisons between the original and Fam, but what isn’t appropriate is to judge Fam at episode 2 by the standards of the complete original. Once Fam is finished, a thorough retrospective comparison can be conducted.

      1. The only reference to Last Exile is in the first line of the post. I don’t see any place where these two episodes are being judged by the standards of the first. Maybe you could clarify where Enzo is doing this?

        Enzo mentions the lack of characterization in these first two episodes. Do you not think the characterization was lacking? As I mentioned, I don’t recall the characterization being particularly good in the original, but it got better.

        The other main complaint I see him making is that it took a long time for the details of the conflict to become apparent. Was the nature of the conflict clear to you after the first episode? Do you think sufficient motives for the characters actions have been established? Again, I think you could have legitimately made the same complaints about the original.

        My point is, I think the problems Enzo has pointed out are legitimate, and even if you think the show is going to go somewhere good (I’m still pretty hopeful that it is) it’s still completely appropriate to point out flaws with what we’ve seen so far.

      2. So? Its two episodes in. I don’t expect to have a complete grasp on the intricacies of the characters and setting after two episodes. Especially for a two cour series. Thats the kind of thinking that has certain people (names not being named) screaming about how every sing show every single season sucks, because they insist on everything being perfectly clear by the end of the first episode.

        Anyway, everything Enzo’s written about this show has been skewed by his perception of the original. Just read some of his other entries for shows he has less baggage with.

    2. I think what people are mainly worried about is how GE’s chosen to judge it based on the supposedly-lackluster prior works of the screenwriters.

      In his defense, the first two episodes are indeed quite cliche-laden, but it’s much too early to write the series off yet. Even if GnF is not quite sticking to its roots completely, I quite admired how they gave us a plain ol’ dose of straight action, and the animation seems quite competent in most places so far.

      A lot of anime studios nowadays just don’t do pulse-pounding action sequences quite like they used to back in the late nineties/early aughts. Sure, there have been a few exceptions, but by and large, the past five years or so have been dominated by a lot of really sentimental, soap-opera-like shows with slower pacing and lots and lots of talking, probably because it’s a whole lot cheaper to animate. Hey, don’t get me wrong; I like that stuff too, especially when they use the slower pacing as a build-up for drama and weird experiments in storytelling.

      But sometimes, you just need the anime equivalent of a cheesy popcorn flick. So far, GnF seems right on target.

      Oh no. Look what I’ve done. Now I’ve jinxed it. They blew their budget on that last episode, and the next eight eps are going to involve a whole lot of sitting around and talking. Drat!

      1. Allanx, I think they may have blown the budget in the first ep! This one definitely wasn’t quite up to the same standard. But it still looked damn good.

        As I said in my post, the set pieces are excellent. Majestic, powerful, well-choreographed. As we already have Guilty Crown as a popcorn flick, I’m still hopeful Fam can be something more than that.

      2. I think what people are mainly worried about is how GE’s chosen to judge it based on the supposedly-lackluster prior works of the screenwriters.

        Imagine an author who has written several mediocre books in the past. You’ve read the first chapter of this author’s latest book and there are a number of problems with it. Given the author’s mediocre history, wouldn’t you be more concerned about flaws early on in the new book than if this was an author who had previously written several excellent books? I think I would. Doesn’t mean the new book might not be great, but generally you’d be wary mediocrity from someone know for mediocrity, especially when presented with potential evidence of mediocrity.

        In his defense, the first two episodes are indeed quite cliche-laden, but it’s much too early to write the series off yet.

        Perhaps you missed the first sentence of the last paragraph. 😛

      3. Perhaps you missed the first sentence of the last paragraph. 😛

        I did kind of skim through the review and went straight to speculating on what was going on in this episode. I suppose one of the reasons why I want this show to deliver on its promises so badly is because of how intricate the backstory is. There was a ton of stuff that they intentionally left a mystery in the first show, until they showed their hand right at the very end.

        These last two episodes have actually raised far more questions than they’ve answered, and I think that works quite well as a narrative hook, especially if you’ve watched the first series. I will be sorely disappointed if this show falls flat on its face just as the mystery unravels.

  28. I’m just wondering which “exile” fell. Was it just a random one that we know nothing about or is it possible that Dio’s warning not to shoot was about more than just “exiles” self defence system. Seeing that we don’t know which of the six (I think) “exiles” fell it is still highly possible that it was the “last exile” from the previous series. This is all just a theory though seeing that we don’t even know if the power to control an “exile” only allows for one “key”(Alvis,Liiana) for each “exile” or if any “key” works for any “exile” you simply need the proper command codes or whatever.

    p.s. feel free to correct me in the event that i’ve missed some piece of information about this becauses I have only seen the first anime so any other source of canon info I know nothing about.

  29. Well, it’s no Last Exile… but I don’t think the show is terrible.

    I do have a few issues with the episode. The way they infiltrated the enemy’s flagship really stretched suspension of disbelief. Things seem far too easy for a bunch of kids in a little vanship.

  30. I felt the same way about the war that came out of nowhere in the first two episodes, there was no build up and exile is suddenly summoned. So the beginning is a hook and there’s supposed to be a middle peacetime for character development? I don’t think Gonzo can afford to have the war ongoing for the entire duration of the series. The bad boss is going to have to survive for the last battle too, unless there’s another one.

    It’d be nice if Alvis’s exile or the Silvana came to help Turan or something. Wouldn’t that be cool, even if just for the last battle.

  31. Most of the comments here in a nutshell: “You are a bad reviewer because, even though you make valid criticisms, your opinions differ from mine.”

    I’ll never understand the internet.

    1. Let’s be fair here. This is a blog, so the blogger’s personal opinions and bias is certainly valid. He/They never claimed they were journalists. Heck, even journalism is mostly biased these days anyway.

  32. hmm… most of the comments i see here are criticisms on the blogger’s post… I’m not an expert or anything, but Divine’s posts, Guardian Enzo’s, Takaii’s, Kiiragi’s, or any other active/inactive blogger’s posts in this site, I’d take them as THEIR impressions or opinions, whatever their writing style may be. even if it’s still just one or two episodes, it’s still good reading posts like this… And it doesn’t have to be, like, they have to write what WE wanna see or read or know. To each their own. And I love all their posts, whether if it’s a positive one or negative. They have so many things to say, that even I might not have noticed in an episode or the whole show. This is what makes reading anime blogs fun and interesting, right? So to the whole RC family, keep up the good work! (and please don’t fight. =)

    1. I agree. I think the writers are just feeling pressured by the waves of complaints. Since RC’s readership has grown over these years, it’s definitely more difficult to deal with a bigger audience (esp. one so demanding). I think people have forgotten why there’s a comments section. It’s there for anime discussion, not an opinion box on what’s wrong and what’s right. Everyone’s (including the writers) here with their own opinions. That’s why I love coming to RC, because I get to read some of the most intelligently written impressions and different takes on an episode all at once.

  33. i’m loving the second eps, cliche riden? find other anime/movie that doesnt have cliche on them, its cliche done right if you really need to say its cliched anyway.

    i had a mixed bag of emotions in this episode, pity, anger, fuck yeah moment, sadness in just one episode, that actually speaks a lot for me, hopefully they maintain this kind of story telling throughout the rest of the episodes.

    gotta props gonzo though, episode 2 aerial war is perfect, the musical score are majestic and the whole desperate war scene was perfectly portrayed.

  34. Thanks Enzo for the review. I was having this uneasy feeling throughout the episode but I didn’t know what exactly; I just felt this Gonzo vibe all over again. After reading your post, I realize one of the biggest problem I have is that I don’t have connections with the characters at all. I like the graphics and all but I really hoped they had put more screen time for character developments. That’s more important than mere visuals. Hope they’ll do better in the coming episodes >_<

  35. If I were a troll(to which I am, most of the time):

    “Shitty show is shitty like it’s studio: Off models again? People who praise this are retards. People who watch this is scum.”

    Now if I were NOT a troll(to which I feel most of the time, especially when watching anime…)

    “HELL YEAH! Like how the show use 3D and 2D mix famous for Gonzo works. And the old cast is back? AWESOME! Tatiana is there, I wonder where Claus and Lavie is? The Moons are Exiles? I guess there are more than one type of Exile. I wonder if there will be LesYay between the trio? Hate this show’s Luci: No one uses a peace talk meet as an ambush, even IRL. GOOD WORK Gonzo! GOOD Work! And Welcome Back!

    Confused? You better be. 0_o’

    The MoonDogg
  36. After watching the episode I’m not sure anymore what are the detractors of this series are complaining about.

    Following the 3 episode rule, I don’t think of anything that could make this series less than interesting even in just 2 episodes.

    With just 2 episode aired in a 2-cour series I can’t really comment yet about the story, but the story is a mystery to me that I wanted to explore, I watched the original Last Exile, I like it. This series whether it’s a sequel or an alternate world, the first 2 episode is telling me I want more!

    Animation is beautiful, the mixture of 3D and 2D is looking impressive to me. Also I like the character designs.

    With a new series always comes new characters and so far Fam and the others already catches my interest, there is something about them that interest me – being female heroines are already a big win in my books, it’s just now a question how big their determination will be and that along for me is something to look forward too.

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