This week’s episode started off exhilarating enough. We find Alvis running away from the Ades assassination team headed by Alauda who is attacking Anatoray. Dio swoops in to save the day and takes out pursuing [black] guild assassins. They promptly get away in a nearby vanship. Cut to the OP… The next 20 minutes are more or less wasted on nonessential progression and Fam melodrama with fan-service sprinkled in. This left me feeling like a bait’n’switch occurred after seeing last week’s preview.
There’s just something inherently different between the fan-service that shows like Nisemonogatari provide and the kind we get from Last Exile -Ginyoku no Fam-. The fan-service we received from Nisemonogatari this week was appropriate and (dare I say) tasteful (not to mention well drawn!). Exile on the other hand was neither. I share the sentiment when people say that it doesn’t belong in Last Exile because it really doesn’t.
The original had this feeling of maturity and seriousness while Fam is almost completely lacking in those areas. Guardian Enzo said (back in his post on episode 10) “otaku pandering” has “infiltrated the series in many ways”. I’m inclined to agree. I’d go a step further and say the anime industry not just the series. This is the way the industry has been operating these last few years though so I’m not very bothered by it (because who doesn’t like the occasional K-ON!) unless the rest of the episode doesn’t deliver.
The biggest disappointment here is not the use of fan-service but the use of fan-service to cover up deficiencies in material. It doesn’t seem like they’ve written enough for a two season anime. Instead of the episode just aired, they could have used the wasted time to focused on the Glacies culture. How about revealing a little bit of the lands newly settled by those who recently came back on an Exile? These are just a couple of the burning questions that need to be answered. Another example in deficiency in plot material is the use of recap episodes…Do we really need another? (LE is slated to have another one if I’m not mistaken).
Don’t let my words overshadow the fact that there were a few worthwhile scenes sprinkled throughout the episode. For example, the beginning of the episode was very well done. It had me at the edge of my seat because it was great to come back to the present day in the middle of an attack. Also, another interesting bit was the exchange between Luscinia and Liliana. It leads me to assume she was just doing what was best for her country even if she had to endanger her beloved sister. Judging by the preview it’s back to grandiose battles next week. Hopefully we can get some real progression in the next episode.