「First adjournment」

Boring recap episode is boring…

You’ll have to forgive me if I don’t send a lot of words to their noble deaths in describing this episode, which should have been titled “We Spent Too Much on All Those CGI Battle Scenes and the Creditors Are Still Out There”. I don’t begrudge Gonzo a little belt-tightening, given their financial condition and what they’ve spent (thank goodness) on making this show look good, but the ep pretty much speaks for itself – it’s clips of the first nine episodes (and sorry, no preview).

The only new stuff was really footage of Gisey in her cabin, writing a letter to her father, and eventually Millia joining in to help. The bottom line was that Gisey was totally in the wrong and completely selfish in her spat with Fam, and she’s very sorry she made Fam feel bad. And finally, we get a brief touch-base with Gisey’s Dad, who declares he’s on the way to check up on “those unruly girls”. So look forward to a visit from Atamora soon.


  1. It’s just a small review of what happened for the first 9 episodes, so you shouldn’t be surprised if you did get bored.

    And as for “We Spent Too Much on All Those CGI Battle Scenes and the Creditors Are Still Out There” unless you outsourced the job, making CG models are actually easy and cheap when you know how to do it yourself.

    The Moondoggie
  2. I’m not sure what I should be more mad about, the fact we got a recap episode with no preview again (which may show how bad gonzo is financially) or the fact that fam gets off scott free… again. >.>

  3. The whole reason why Fam’s helping out Millia in the first place is because the latter watched her home town being completely destroyed. That’s why Giselle came to realize that she was in the wrong after all. Fam didn’t bring Millia along to take out the Anshar because she was being selfish and giving Gisey the could shoulder; she just naively wanted to help Millia out.

    I suppose that’s one of the aspects of her character that makes Fam somewhat repellent, since I know from personal experience that people who act that way in real life don’t have any friends. People gravitate towards those who show they have what it takes to be in charge, and doing your best to act like a well-meaning sycophant doesn’t lend itself towards that goal. It’s sad, but true.

    So far, Fam hasn’t shown much in the way of serious character flaws, nor have her actions had anything besides good consequences. That’s the sort of thing I’d expect from a show intended for toddlers, not Last Exile. I’m just here for the eye candy, really. Honestly, the writing verges on cringe-inducing.

  4. I actually thought this recap episode was pretty well done, and not entirely pointless either since it helped explained Giselle’s breakdown at the end of episode eight, namely that she lost confidence as Fam’s navi.

  5. As far as recap episodes go, this one fell just short. Sometimes (although admittedly, quite rare), recap episodes are not a complete waste. These useful recap episodes take the time out to give you deeper character insight or a different point of view.

    A case in point: Macross Frontier’s recap episode was done from Grace O’Conner’s point of view, giving us her and the Galaxy collective’s take on events. It also gave us a lot of information about them, since prior to that particular ‘recap’ episode, the viewer knew almost nothing about them. It gave us a very different perspective, helped to explain the motives of the characters, foreshadowed heavily what was to come, and gave the viewer a lot of food for thought.

    It appears to me this episode wanted to do something similar, but fell short. While it did add and expand on Gisey, it wasn’t anything truly new or unexpected. It confirmed what we suspected, without really giving us solid new insight into her, Fam or Millia.

    It also does not introduce a new point-of-view (arguably, the best way to do this might have been to do the recap from the point of view of the leaders of the Ades federation, Glacies or Anatory-Disth. Altnernatively, a Tatiana’s + Alister’s focused recap would probably have been sufficient).

    I guess my point is this: recap episodes have gone out of style, but they don’t have to be useless. A lot of it depends on how much thought goes into the story boarding and writing. Clearly, like much of the series as a whole, the creators of Fam fell short of the mark that they appear to be aiming for.

  6. As far as I’m concerned, this show rocks whenever it features combat/politics as its centerpiece. Gonzo could have made Tatiana/Alistor the starring female duo and avoided a lot of the problems the story’s facing right now, but they didn’t because, if I’m looking at things right, two tweens on a sky-bike make better poster-children then two young women in uniforms. It’s a real shame, because a more military-oriented show could have offered up all the things that made the original great and then some (I for one was practically cheering around ep. 8 when the Sylvius showed off its fighter complement’s capabilities). I haven’t considered this show badly written until these last few episodes, when the true source of its problems was showed off so sloppily. Here’s hoping that now that particularly nasty hump is past the show can knuckle down and start taking itself more seriously.

    In other news, I finally gotten around to checking out the interquel manga that’s being serialized. Since I read somewhere that it’s being written by Gonzo employees, I can only assume that the writing problems in the show stem more from the writer’s inability to do more with the new characters they’ve created then from the capabilities of the writers themselves. The manga’s great so far, and I’m hoping it gets animated somewhere along the line because it’s OVA gold.

    1. I totally agree that the “Hourglass” manga is far better-written than this series, at least so far. In my view most of the problems stem from the fact that the series writer – Yoshimura Kiyoko – simply isn’t very good. Based on the track record that was my biggest worry from the beginning, and I would have loved to have been proved wrong, but so far…

      The reason I think the show does better when it focuses on politics/military issues is because those concept elements were written in a room full of the important figures in the P.C. – director, A.D., producers. And most of them were involved with the original LE. But when it comes to character development and dialogue, that’s mostly the series composer sitting in a room and writing it. And that’s where Yoshimura’s glaring weaknesses are exposed.

      Why Gonzo decided to reassemble most of the original team but bring in a decidedly mediocre writer is beyond me, but so far that decision (along with what I would describe as a too-transparent attempt to cash in on current trends in anime) is what’s keeping the series from really (pardon the pun) taking off. It may indeed end up being commercially successful – it’s too early to tell. But right now it’s not an artistic success once you get past the fascinating concept and eye candy.

      1. I generally don’t pay attention to writers (or any individuals really; too many Japanese names to keep track of) when it comes to anime, so I’ll take your word for it as far as the quality of the writer in question goes. I will posit that I haven’t minded any of the show’s writing/characterization outside of the Millie/Fam/Gisey triangle but then again I’ll be the first to admit that there isn’t all that much non-Millie/Fam/Gisey development these days so that’s only a small saving grace.

        Personally, I’m just hoping that the show just went off the rails with this one rushed and forced subplot and will return to the military/politically-charged space opera that was working better up through episode eight.

  7. These type of show’s………………………………………………………………………………………………or should i say, this “TYPE” of show……………

    BROOKLYN otaku
  8. After doing some thinking, I think I’ve managed to piece together the logic behind episode nine’s mess of a subplot. Basically, Fam was supposed to be seen as being motivated out of a selfless interest to help Millie liberate and restore Turan, while Gisey took on the role of the quintessential naysayer who just wants to go home and stay out of international politics. It’s a situation that happens in all manner of media, and normally it can be pulled off without too much trouble. The problem here is that Fam’s boisterousness belies the selflessness that might be easier to spot in someone like Claus (sorry for the original LE reference, it was just the first example that sprang to mind), while Gisey’s withdrawn personality makes it much easier for us as the audience to sympathize with her side of things. But once again, the fact that Fam has taken the lead in their partnership since episode one damages our ability to see Fam as being in the right here. I’m assuming that Gisey’s breakdown in episode eight was a clumsy attempt at making her sympathetic–I think that the writers didn’t anticipate the audience taking Gisey’s side right off the bat, or they wouldn’t be making so many passes at emphasizing how sorry Gisey is about the whole thing.

    Which is where the whole thing really falls apart, since it turns the problem into one about feelings than ideals. I’d be less disappointed in the setup if it were framed in a way that showed how the root of Fam’s motivation lay in helping Turan and the other countries in the face of Ades oppression rather than in her compulsive desire to be the center of attention and a rather vague desire to make Millie happy. In that sense, I could see where the show might be justified in showing Gisey just how wrong she is for wanting to go back and live in her peaceful home while the Ades war machine rolls over the rest of the world. That would have introduced a new perspective on a problem that was brewing for several episodes while connecting the personal dramas to the larger issues. But by having Gisey constantly beating herself up for how her outburst hurt Fam’s feelings the problem instead becomes that Gisey was selfish for asserting herself over a partner that has done nothing but assert herself for nine episodes. And that’s so blatantly putrid that it borders on bad fanfic material.

    The bottom line: these past couple episodes tried a tried-and-true story method, but they used it with the wrong characters and it fell flat on its face.

    Maybe I’m reading too much into the bad writing; I’m just trying to make sense of how any writer, regardless of skill level, could imagine the audience taking Fam’s side in all this.

    1. I just couldn’t stand Fam’s sensitivity, or rather, the lack of it. She showed no sign of being apologetic at all. She was told Gizelle had left the ship, and all she did was sigh. Then she forgot about it, and was seen playing hockey blissfully. Then, when Gizelle did show up, no apologies, no big feeling of relief that she’s back, no guilt, just said “welcome back”. What is this, “just as planned”? Not funny, gonzo. Not funny.

  9. Recap episodes where never in style as they have always been hated as a waste of time. But that never stopped production companies from doing them for as long as I can remember. Occasionally one is done right where they mix in alot of new footage with the old and some important things are learned. But sadly, this wasn’t the case here.

  10. Alright, it’s official, I quit this so-called Last Exile sequel. The clip show episode is the last straw.

    The show has been ridiculous thus far. It’s poorly written, the pacing is terrible, the tone is schizophrenic and it’s full of tired and childish characters. How can such a great and original show as Last Exile spawn… this?

    I think I know what is most wrong with this awful show. The protagonist. Last Exile had Claus, who was a much more believable protagonist. He had real problems, and limits. He had to overcome things and grow. More importantly, he was not the center of the show’s universe. The show’s biggest problem can be found in the title.

    It’s a shame Gonzo didn’t go out with its dignity intact. They had to make this. This, which without a budget, couldn’t pass for a bad sequel fan fic.

    1. This show has ups and downs, it can be great like most of episode 8, but then it’s taken down due to the main character. In the end Fam simply isn’t the most likeable character, her cheerfulness comes off as either annoying or at times arrogant, she doesn’t think ahead, she hasn’t really been forced to own up to her mistakes due to the plot saving her time and time again, it’s been made even more frustrating due to this whole Gisey issue where we are meant to see Gisey as the one in the wrong, when in truth it’s the complete opposite.

      All of this is even more highlighted by the fact that the other stuff in Fam is done well as well as being in the same spirit as the first LE. Claus and Lavie are by far superior leads to the trio of Fam, Gisey, and Milia, it’s not even close really, at least for me it is.

    2. I’ve considered giving up on it, but I’ve enjoyed the villains and Tatiana (save for last episode’s hockey fiasco) so much that I’m staying on for them and the eye-candy. Totally agree with you as far as Claus is concerned; his passiveness grated on me sometimes but then he’d go do something neat and character building and I’d be reminded of why I liked him. I highly recommend the “Travelers from the Hourglass” manga, which basically pics up immediately where the original series left off. There aren’t that many chapters out yet, but so far it’s been a great continuation of the character arcs from the first series.

    3. You can just treat it as a “spin-off” if you are so against calling it a “sequel”. Actually, that’s how some people call it since it only has part of the original “Last Exile feel”.

      The Moondoggie
  11. Well, I hope Gonzo doesn’t shoot themselves in the foot with this spinoff. I like it so far, but I’m more interested in in Tatiana, Alister, and Dio than I am Fam and Gisey. I am enjoying Murata’s trademark art deco/nouveau designs, though.

    I’ve always liked Gonzo’s stuff, Blue Sub, FMP, LastExile, Gankutsuou, and Red Garden. I think they did Speed Grapher, too. All of them are offbeat, unique and pretty.

    Gonzo takes a lot of chances, that’s what makes them interesting. It also serves to make them insolvent at times. I’d like to see them pull it together and put another memorable show out there.


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