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.

* Full-length images: 13, 14




  1. Unlisted, I agree that the pandering is an industry-wide trend, but somehow it seems more out of place on a LE show than most other places. On the plus side, we at least seem to be seeing quite a few retro-feeling shows (many by veteran anime directors and writers) this season.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there’s no series I’m rooting for harder than this one – I really want to to realize its potential. But the clock is starting to run out.

  2. “This left me feeling like a bait’n’switch occurred after seeing last week’s preview”
    That was exactly my thought after the scene switched back to Fam and company. A pink kuma pantsu in Last Exile? That was certainly very out of place :/

    Seishun Otoko
  3. I disappointed they don’t explain what happen to silvius
    but I love to see how awesome Dio and Al happy face when see dio make me wonder that claus already not at al heart :p
    as for this episode I enjoy it,for me to see what Dian personality and her attitude make me happy and yes she already become 1 of my favorite character,the beginning of bond glacies with outsider(dian and fam) begin here and I hope to turn glacies and Anatory become ally.

  4. Did anyone else had a bad feeling seeing how scared Alviss seemed to be of those Guild assassins? It felt as if her fear of them could be rooted in her losing someone important to her because of them in the past. It looks like the chances of seeing our favorite Vanship pilot/co-pilot is getting dimmer by the episode. Or maybe its just Gonzo’s cruel way of leaving us old Last Exile fans hanging to that greatest of treasures called Hope.

  5. I’m sorry, I was too distracted by Fam adding Dian to her harem.

    BTW. I really hate how “fanservice” is being used as a pejorative, and especially by how certain people are suggesting that “pandering” is something that has only just started appearing in anime. Which is, quite frankly, complete bullshit.

    Fam is not perfect, and probably not as good as the original (though a lot of its flaws have been…smoothed over in people’s memories), but I’m continually astounded by how many people have their underwear-of-choice in a twist over it.

    I also fail to see how Nisemonogatari’s fanservice was any more “tasteful” than what we got here, though this episode will certainly be a hit with the “girl’s in damp shifts” audience.

  6. I think really, the problem in LE-fam & GC’s writing is failure in coming up with a believable and ultimately relatable character motivation (as well as communicate them to the viewer of course. But I suppose a believable motivation is 10 times easier to communicate).

    In LE1, Claus wants to cross the Grand Stream (which is defined fairly clearly as a real challenge) and wants to know what is really going on out there (more plainly speaking why the hell did they have to be submitted to Guild’s unfair rule?). These are all quite relatable as they transfer to real world aspiration such as Atlantic/Pacific crossing in a plane in the early 20th century as well as tyranny fighting that happened in various part of human history.

    Now Fam’s motivation? The Grand Race? Which is what exactly? She likes to fly for fun, which is Okey. But you expect to make the world peaceful again by doing just that? Really? That is exactly what Tatiana accused Claus for in the first series. Except that Claus wasn’t exactly like that and Tatiana misunderstood him.

    Dian was trying to engage an conversation about attitude towards flying, which could be interesting. But instead of letting that develop, the writer really killed it off with some fan service (namely that water splashing context).

    1. Well said. Some of the characters’ reasons for doing what they do lack substance. Not saying the writers can’t write but it feels like they took a shortcut so they wouldn’t have to do anything more complex.

      1. I can definitely agree that they are having trouble communicating with the viewers on a lot of things, like scale, inter character relationships, etc to keep us interested and attached. It’s letting a lot of potential go to waste and is definitely hurting the show.

        But if I look at it from inside the LE world, I don’t see anything weird about personal motivations at all. Fam is a racer, and apparently really damn good at it. Any professional would take their sport seriously. There’s clearly challenge and skill involved, even if it doesn’t seem that way because of studio decisions.

        As for the Grand Race, it’s basically their equivalent of the Olympics. I don’t see how it’s a trivial pursuit, or a lesser achievement to revive it. I think the reason that it would seem not as exciting as a race in the original series was because most of the time was spent off the track, focusing on the huge cast and where they were “when it happened”.

        Bottom line, I completely agree that the main problem that is holding the show back right now is lack of focus, lack of communicability, and, to a lesser extent, lack of subtlety when they do communicate intentions.

        But the characters themselves, their relationships, and the world they live in are incredibly robust, due to solid groundwork. The studio just needs to learn how to tap into it better and pick where they spend their time more wisely.

  7. Sometimes, I think the point of this series is missed – it’s about Fam. The last couple
    of episodes have shown more of what drives Fam – she pines for a return to simpler times
    when the greatest conflict between everyone was the Grand Race.

    I agree with Fencedude, too that labelling this and other recent series as otaku pandering
    is too harsh (considering its murderous reputation). I can see elements of this in Amine
    going back much further than 3 years. To me, it actually looks the same but the art technology
    maybe make it appear more prevalent.

    I like this series. It has avoided some clichés. I was impressed how they have not shown how
    the girls were rescued – but left that for our imagination (but who knows). Also, no one
    was seriously injured… But I admit, too, that the laundry list of parts needed to fix their
    ship seemed to outweigh how it appeared – Dian should have just bough them a new ship –
    too much time was spent on that, IMHO.

    I see this series architecture as a beautiful stone arch bridge, with some great stone work –
    but the mortar is mud – the plot points are well executed, but the flow between these points
    is, at times, very weak.

    Another thing I enjoy about this series is that, while we expect progressive character development,
    in Fams case she has remained basically the same, but we’re exposed to more of what makes
    Fam Fam. I like this approach in story telling.

    1. Agree with both you.

      Also, I agree, I think most of us would say fanservice is overused these days but to call this show overly pandering with it compared to the vast majority of other shows out there is a bit much since other than Fam, Giselle and Millia being on the cute side thanks to their character designs most of their actions are serious, exciting, adrenaline-filled action show epic flying moments, political moments (with Millia) and taking action in the middle of a war and trying to help out their allies moments or trying to connect with new ones, despite opening with the hanger underwear moment (and the rare occasional bit like the maid outfit or this hot spring) they really haven’t done a lot of actual fanservice panty flashing, nudity etc. compared to a ton of shows let alone recent shows that are given far more leeway despite being far far more pandering.

      I’m also with Fencedude on also not seeing how Nise’s fanservice was somehow more “tasteful”.

      Hmm, while I agree about the ship parts thing, not sure the time was wasted I thought they used it well, kind of like how the first series used it at various times to bond or break the ice between characters like this while fixing up a ship, like the mechanics, and even Alex shocked once doing it.

  8. Just posting to re-emphasize my view about too many studios these days choosing to cater to the lowest common denominator.

    Kind of shows Gonzo’s desperation. For sure, they were much better off (financially) in the old days and could afford to release panty-crap like Kiddy Grade or whatever, but they never stooped this low for their “tier 1” titles like the original LE or Gankutsu Ou.

    If you’re wondering why I’m even here:
    Just looking at the screenshots to see if I can pick up stuff that ties into the Last Exile – Sunadokei no Tabibito manga, which I’m finding more enjoyable.

    1. I’m not so sure about the hourglass-manga anymore, ever since that bizarre chapter with a very out-of-character Tatiana and Alister. Suddenly Alister is shaking and quaking in utmost delight every time there’s a conflict/uneasy-situation like some kind of drama-junkie. And Tatiana is making dinner for Claus to woo him? 0_0 (I always got the impression from the anime that Tatiana and Alister were kinda more than just friends, only that, since it’s a mainstream anime something like that would not be said out loud) Not sure what to make of all that though…it kind of irks me. Well, at least it’s amazingly well-drawn so there’s that.

  9. Well, what i not understand in this Time line (Episode 11 and Present)

    The Queen died in the attend to Save the Princess. Why they two Countries became Enemeys?

    Or have they changed the Story Writer from the First Episodes? Or they dont really have a “Red Line” for the Anime, and just think of 1-2 Episodes Ahead. Thats poor Story telling

    Now we get Mass Fights. Great, and the Main Actors still outside of the Main Stream

    You get it? Ades Military against Glacies. Therefore we got Ades Military against Turan.. Oh yes, i forgotten the Useless Ship Hunt between this… And they even wrote out the Remains of “The Reaper Ship!”. Not even Screen time… Reboot in the Middle of the Series? Guts or Dumb, either way it’s risky

    1. Ades are descendents of the Natives of Earth while the Turans and other nations are immigrant descendents of the people who left Earth and return in Exile ships. The Natives don’t like the Exiles because they feel they are stealing Earth’s limited resources and forcefully taking away their lands while the Exiles don’t like the Natives for discriminating them and denying their right to live on Earth.

      Because the previous Empress was assassinated by Exiles, Ades decided to forcefully unite the world for their late Empress and revenge for her death.

  10. Currently (and for the past few episodes), the larger world plot/storyline is significantly more interesting than whatever shenanigans that Fam gets into. The only reason left to follow Fam around in this show is because she is linked to the larger world events being played out. This episode gave the opportunity to provide further world building to let us know more about Glacies and have Fam interacting within but it wastes it showing a hot springs section (classic otaku pandering – checks off the requirement for hot springs scenes) and repairing of the vanship scooter which uses up more parts for replacement than what makes up the vehicle itself. If it weren’t for the larger world plot/storyline, I would have dropped it long ago.

  11. I like this series as much as I like the first so its quite saddening to read all the not so positive impressions about this series. I’m not saying I’m a huge fan of the franchise nor was it great or masterpiece, its a “very good series 8-8.5/10 at best. So far, I’m very pleased and happy with Fam and I’m enjoying it as much as I enjoyed the first.

  12. Once again, I find myself far more invested with the scenes involving either the villains or the original LE characters than Fam and her “harem”, as Fencedude put it in an above post. Gratuitous fan-service aside, all we really learned about Fam this week was that her attitude towards flying is pretty much a sloppy cut and paste of Clause’s. This was a major eye-roller for me because Clause, while a good character who did some wonderfully written growing over the course of his series, was more or less espousing the views that just about every other space opera anime protagonist I’ve seen tends to promote. It says a lot about my attitude towards the “Fam scenes” when I have to restrain myself from skipping ahead to more of the political stuff.

    I still see absolutely no point for Glaces to be an all-female country other than the fan service element. We still know nothing about why this is, and at this point I don’t see the explanation (if they ever give one) to be very satisfying.

    I’m looking forward to the next episode, since it looks like everything’s set up for another of the awesome, set-piece fleet actions that have kept me coming back to this series. I find this to be the one area where this series improves upon the original. After the excellent first battle in the opening episodes of LE, I was a bit disappointed when less of them were featured in the rest of the series. I’m wondering what Luscinia’s plan with the Federation immigrants will turn out to be. I personally think he’s planning on the auxiliaries taking a pounding from the Glacies fighters so that he has an excuse to downgrade their importance in the military, though based on the last episode his intentions for Chaos and co. might not be so sinister. I also liked Liliana’s line about not forgiving Luscinia, as it’s more or less debunked any suspicions of mind control or brainwashing that might have been lingering since her reappearance.

    At least some of the new characters are well-developed and memorable. Too bad they’re all villains.

    1. Realistically, I doubt that Glacies is an all-female country (well, that is if you can treat this anime as “realistic”). What’s that – zero birth rate? Well, unless they’re…androgynous.

    2. “At least some of the new characters are well-developed and memorable. Too bad they’re all villains.”

      At least, at the moment. In the original LE, Dio looked like a villain for most of the series as well, no? But after he got fleshed out, while I didn’t really come to like his character, he at least didn’t seem as…unhinged as he was portrayed to be, rather being more of a grown-up child.

      Still though, I agree. The most interesting characters so far aren’t the protagonists — The generals from Ades, the people from Anatoray and the Glaciesese.

      Also, I really want to know what happened to Clause and Lavie. Since Alvis is fine and just a bit older, Clause should be a bit older than Fam and a bit younger than Tatiana, no?

      Unless Clause and Co. were the “dear person(s)” that Alvis lost?

      1. Killing of the 2 most memorable characters from the original LE and having this Fam Fan Fart and her fish-faced sidekick as replacements….

        That would be a new low, even by Gonzo’s standards.

  13. (I have no knowledge of the first “Last Exile” so I didn’t have much expectations for this one aside from the hype.)

    When you think of this as a series about a world at war between those who stayed and those who fled and came back – and the motivations of the masterminds of the different sides – it is actually interesting.

    Thing is, it is presented in the POV of an idealistic, adolescent (is that redundant?) girl who is surrounded by girls and they all want their fairy tale/s to come true. It’s just a messy execution such that some things don’t go together, like one long story arc with elements popping everywhere (including fan-service that doesn’t help with anything AT ALL plot-wise). We initially saw Fam and Co. just caught in the mess, but now we actually know that they are connected to it via the murder of the first(?) Augusta. And there’s also the mystery of Fam’s parents – does that have any significance? (I secretly hope there is.)

    I actually think that it will all make sense in the end, but getting there is a quite a chore.

  14. What’s wrong with Fam’s motivations about reviving the Grand Race. I don’t see how it isn’t a serious and worth while cause. Does anyone think the Olympics are stupid?

    It’s supposed to play a role in driving home that war is hell, everyone comes in shades of gray, peace is good, etc etc.

    Also just because it isn’t shown in screen time doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Of course that’s something the studio has to work out how to put it into ACTUAL screen time, which they’ve been doing poorly.

    I wouldn’t imagine that they let men into the women’s bath in Glacies. Otherwise i should start packing.

    1. The Olympics aren’t stupid, but they’re pretty trivial when compared to a World War. It’s not that Fam’s motivations are bad, per se. It’s that they don’t mesh well with the politics and war that’s happening in the rest of the show. Races can be fun, but people would probably be more interested in making sure they can survive the battles. Honestly, it’s like the writer had this great idea for a story about war and the struggle for land and national identity. Then some producer came along and said, “That’s nice, but let’s tell it from the perspective of the characters from K-on”

      1. The Grand Race isn’t just a race though. It’s supposed to symbolize hope for global peace and global cooperation and the struggle to bring it back to life is directly at heads with global war. It’s a different means to the same end that the Ades Fed. is pursuing. The importance is in that it’s the antithesis of peace through war. The point of the Grand Race is that you can’t hold one when there’s immense distrust, xenophobia, and conflict in the world.

        And it’s just an overarching goal that’s supposed to anchor Fam in the coming times of hardship. It’s also there to show that she isn’t some fighter pilot or important captain but just someone swept along by incident and circumstance into the eye of the storm.
        Same way how crossing the Grand Stream was for Claus. He didn’t really think about doing it in the heat of battle.

        Also believe it or not but the Olympics play a massive role in real world geopolitics and international interactions. But that’s way off target.

        For those that came looking for a more heavy experience are clearly disappointed with having to follow Fam and I can’t really blame them. I’m one of them. Sometimes you can’t help but wonder what could have been done here instead or “what if ___” there.

        But lots of people mix up a bad show with simply not matching their idea and expectations of what exactly the show should be like. Again, I also do not exactly love the new take but at the same time it isn’t so terrible as many seem to make it out to be.

    1. Unfortunately it’s to bring to attention an ongoing issue that seems to be cropping up more and more. I’m not exactly sure that we’ve seen enough in the series to chalk up EVERYTHING the studio’s been doing as “pandering” to whoever by doing whatever.

      But at the same time it’s a fact that a certain part of viewership drives how studios animate and create works because the minority are responsible for an overwhelming proportion of the cash flow. And it’s distressing for people that don’t want to wake up one day where all the AAA titles are moe blobs.

      1. I agree that studios are not to blame for trying to make a living, which is why I vote with my wallet. But I also feel that such a seasoned veteran studio could achieve a better balance and more polished work, even under financial and internal pressure.

        That being said, I personally quite enjoy this series with all its new quirks and think Gonzo is doing quality work. Then again I have a huge bias because I love the LE universe.

        They could definitely use some shoring up in certain places that others have pointed out but saying this series has become a victim to moe creep is an exaggeration. At worst, they threw in a pinch of “appeal” and people are simply off put by the difference in focus. At least in my humble opinion.

      2. But I also feel that such a seasoned veteran studio could achieve a better balance and more polished work, even under financial and internal pressure.

        …have you ever watched a GONZO show before? If so, I can’t imagine how you could say that with a straight face.

      3. …have you ever watched a GONZO show before? If so, I can’t imagine how you could say that with a straight face.

        I could say that with a straight face. I’ve seen FMP!, N.H.K., Kaze no Stigma, LE, Druaga no Tou and they’ve all been perfectly fine. Granted it has been a while since I’ve seen them. They were all pursuing different goals but if my memory serves me well enough, they weren’t that bad. Not to say Fam is bad but most of the time it’s less than stellar.

      4. Druaga no Tou was…very uneven, at least as uneven as Fam is. Last Exile was probably the most…”highbrow” (ehhh…) anime they ever did, and while that certainly is the cause of some of the blowback Fam is getting, GONZO was not known for high quality, nuanced productions.

        As a general rule, I really liked most GONZO shows I watched, but very few were “great” shows. There were a few. Last Exile, FMP, NHK supposedly (never saw that one), but the majority of their output was pretty fluffy, and objectively “bad”, though I frequently loved them. Kiddy Grade is still one of my all time favorite shows, even though its really pretty bad if examined closely.

        But seriously, this show just had probably the most tame onsen scene in the last five years, and we’re complaining about fanservice? Seriously? Thats so ridiculous.

        Also, Dian’s Kuma-panties were adorable, and were revealed in what was actually a very clever way. You got just a brief glimpse of them, from a distance, and then a cloth covered seeing any more, so you were like “Did I really see that? Nah, no way”.

        Fam is not a masterpiece, and the pacing is certainly questionable, but goddammit, it does not deserve the shit it gets, especially not for fucking fanservice, and not from people praising Nisemonogatari (which, by the way, I love) to high heaven.

        Nisemonogatari has been nothing but “Fanservice”

      5. But seriously, this show just had probably the most tame onsen scene in the last five years, and we’re complaining about fanservice? Seriously? Thats so ridiculous.

        Either I failed to explain my point or you guys failed to see it. Anyway, I’m not complaining about the use of fan-service. I’m complaining about the use of fan-service when it replaces something more valuable. They could have done the same character building while doing much more meaningful universe building. They didn’t have to take us to an a hot spring to develop Dian’s character. It’s pretty random to be honest. The way they went about her development was very inefficient and lacking (Just as hoh points out in an earlier comment).

      6. While that may or may not be true (I thought it worked well, and without changing the entire situation that the four were in, the actual meaningful changes would have been pretty minor), its pretty much getting lost under people complaining about how “fanservice” is ruining Last Exile. No, mediocre writing is what, if anything, is “ruining” Last Exile. Personally I’m going to reserve actual judgement till the show is over, especially because the original show blew its ending pretty spectacularly in many ways.

        So yes, it “could have been done better”, but that can be said about so many shows that its largely meaningless, it was done the way it was done, and we have to live with that. Personally, I thought they did a good job of Fam conveying to Dian her ideals (which will probably help a lot when Fam and co. goes barging in to try and warn the Glacies forces…), despite the language barrier.

        Also, going back to your original post for a moment, this line leapt out at me:

        These are just a couple of the burning questions that need to be answered.

        I hate to point this out, but the original show was pretty terrible at actually explaining some really important aspects of the plot, and a number of things that happened at the end weren’t fully explained until an artbook released half a decade later. Pardon me for not being shocked that Fam is following in those footsteps.

  15. It might be thanks to me having not seen the first Last Exile, but I honestly think saying Nisemonogatari’s fanservice was appropriate and tasteful in comparison to this show is ridiculous. I’ll only agree that it’s better drawn, but as of now, the fanservice in Nisemonogatari isn’t really anything but just that ー fanservice. Why can that show do it and Last Exile can’t? Because Bakemonogatari already had it as a precedent?

    At any rate, this episode definitely left much to be desired, but fanservice is probably my last gripe in terms of LE…

    1. I am truly in awe of the logic that allows girls bathing (while wearing shifts!) to be less tasteful than Suruga writhing around nude for no reason other than to…have Suruga writhing around nude. Not that I’m going to complain about either, but to say the former is more pandering than the latter is pretty ridiculous.

    2. At any rate, this episode definitely left much to be desired, but fanservice is probably my last gripe in terms of LE…

      I agree. While the fanservice here doesn’t thrill me because it’s so ordinary and I think LE should be anything but ordinary, in the larger scheme of things it’s a small issue. Especially compared to the huge problems with the writing.

      1. Oh absolutely, but a lot of people wouldn’t know good writing if it walked up and smacked them in the face, but by god they can bitch about fanservice!

        (and yes, Fam’s writing leaves much to be desired, unfortunately. But at this point, either stop watching or deal with it. Thats why I don’t watch Guilty Crown anymore, for example. I can certainly think of plenty of way worse written shows than Fam though.)

      2. Guilty Crown is getting plenty of flak from fans, but it at least has the luxury of not being a sequel to a beloved original (register your Code Geass jokes here). Guilty Crown’s writing problems (which in contrast to Fam, IMHO, seem to be improving slightly) are only compared against itself – Fam’s writing has to measure up against LE. And not very well, unfortunately.

      3. As I said upthread, I’m reserving most of my final judgements on Fam’s writing till the end. I am firmly of the opinion that Last Exile’s writing in the final few episodes was quite poor in a number of areas, leading to questions that were unresolved for years (this was hardly unusual for Gonzo shows of the period, actually), especially concerning the titular “Last Exile”.

        We’ve really reached the point where people need to decide if they are in for 12 more episodes of this, or if they want to just stop. Its one thing to watch a 1 cour show you pretty much hate to conclusion, its quite another to do that with a 2 cour show.

      4. Ignoring that the single most common complaint about the original is its glacially slow pace.

        I don’t particularly agree on that point, but it is very, very commonly expressed.

        The original Last Exile is almost certainly better written then Fam, but I’m also not going to compare 24 episodes of a completed series against 12 of an ongoing one on anything more than superficial grounds.

        And, for all that, I like Fam a hell of a lot more than I ever liked Claus, who honestly I can remember very little about at this point.

        BTW, now Fam has equaled Claus in harem composition:

        Navi: Lavie – Gisey
        Princess: Sophia – Milia
        Silver haired pilot: Tatiana – Dian

  16. Though you call this “non-essential” progression. I enjoyed the ep a lot. The back and forth of “How can you fly in the Sky with a Ship like -this-” was good stuff, to me. It certainly wasn’t breakneck paced, but it felt logical and like a legitimate piece of the whole puzzle. … … … I still can’t wrap my head around “Illegal Move” Where the effort of the past 2~3 eps is wiped out by Millia’s sister swooping in and stealing it with a single word.

    But enough about that.

    I’m disgusted by Luscinia’s tactics of sending in the immigrants to fight his battle. Ghh, but I guess that’s ok. It’s about time we had someone step up as the BBEG for us to hate.

    1. The racial tension plays a huge role in this series and is one of the most interesting dynamics they have to play with.

      The Sky Pirates are, for example, not just pirates that fly. They’re the refugees of the Ades conquests, who try to scrounge a living, semblance of order and purpose after losing their homes. Despite lack of national unity, they trust and rely on each other to hold everything together and cooperate for common goals & interests and particularly large undertakings.

      I imagine their political position in the world is similar to that of Palestine, where they have gotten to the point where they have enough organization and influence that they are recognized by nations, though official diplomatic relations are vague or absent, except for the hostility toward the Ades Fed.

      It’s one of the things that they really nailed and really contribute to the show.

  17. Well i knew this was gonna happen. Alot of fanservice but barely any focus on the story. Guess you can’t have a 95% female cast and a solid story in one. With a 95% female cast its either fanservice or moe blob with a boring story. Why make the cast 95% female if it wasn’t just to pull of a load of fanservice, people should have noticed that way back when this season aired. It was destined to pander to otaku fanservice. The sold the old loyal viewers out for a chance to make some more money. May the original Last Exile R.I.P, i bet its turning in its grave after knowing about this season.

    1. That’s a really shortsighted thing to say Zero. How about all the anime that do have a majority female cast AND a solid story?

      Just to name a few…
      Ones that I’ve seen: Bakemonogatari (and by extension Nisemonogatari), Hanasaku Iroha, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, Kuragehime
      One that I’m told have fairly solid stories: Noir, Mouretsu Pirates (only 2 episodes in though)

      Anyway, my point is that a majority female cast says nothing about how a series will pan out. I don’t believe that this series was destined to “sell out” so to speak. It still has a pretty good premise but is overshadowed by less important things.

    2. In reality, anime is an overwhelmingly misandrist medium today if anything. Most casts are majority female, male MC’s are becoming more and more rare, and most males in anime are either neutered whipping boys, sex-crazed idiots or plain yogurt. Fam’s overwhelming gender bias is more obvious because it stands in such contrast to the first series, and I think something has been lost min the process. But it’s not the problem in and of itself – more a symptom than the disease.

      1. And denial is more than just a river in Africa.

        It’s self evident that anime is dominated by female characters today – I can hardly think of a less controversial statement. Males have no trademark on bad characters – there are way too many females still depicted strictly as sex objects. But the medium is overwhelmingly female both in terms of numbers and in terms of well-developed characters. Sorry if that conflicts with your persecution complex.

      2. I’m not the one who just declared that anime is “overwhelmingly misandrist”, so I’m not the one with a persecution complex here.

        There is a distinct difference between accusing someone of being misogynist (and Zero’s post most clearly qualifies) and making the broad, sweeping statement that the entire medium of anime, which like basically every entertainment medium anywhere has been overwhelmingly dominated by male leading characters, is “misandrist”.

        For all that anime does tend to have more female characters than, say, your average Hollywood movie, there are distinct misogynistic undertones (and, hell, overtones) to much of the fanbase reaction to things. Hell, just note how many people threw a fit because this show doesn’t have a male lead, for no other reason than that, well, there needs to be a male lead! If Fam were male, it would not change this show’s writing one bit, but you can be damn sure that there would be fewer complaints about her character.

        Yes, lots of male leads suck, but that is largely a result of the fact that there are lots of male leads, if there was more parity between male and female lead characters, I’m positive there would be approximately the same percentage of badly written ones across both genders.

        Now, there are a number of structural reasons why anime is more likely than most mediums to have a single male lead surrounded by a large cast of female characters, and why the converse is not nearly as popular, but unless you change the demographics of japanese anime fans, thats unlikely to change.

        Yes, I would like better male leads in general, but I would much prefer MORE female leads first. And if that grates on you, well, too fucking bad.

    3. I really don’t know how many people seems to equate female MCs, or anime with 95% female, to lousy stories. It’s either a sexist’s opinion or just completely overgeneralizing shows.

      You, sir, were completely wrong when you said that you can’t have a 95% female cast and a solid story in one. In fact, it’s correct to say you can have 95% female cast, fan service and a solid story all in one. To point out some I had seen: Mai Hime, Mai Otome, Strike Withces, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, Nanoha Series, Vandread, Strawberry Panic, Negima(as a manga), Hayate x Blade(another manga), Freezing(manwah), Railgun, The World God Only Knows and Gunslinger Girl.

      In reality, anime is an overwhelmingly misandrist medium today if anything. Most casts are majority female, male MC’s are becoming more and more rare, and most males in anime are either neutered whipping boys, sex-crazed idiots or plain yogurt.

      # Another ▼
      # Aquarion EVOL ▼
      # Area no Kishi ▼
      # Bleach (Manga) ▼
      # Guilty Crown ▼
      # Mirai Nikki ▼
      # Naruto (Manga) ▼
      # Persona 4 the ANIMATION ▼

      Don’t see that here…. Nope GE. I don’t see misandry here.

      The Moondoggie
      1. Moondoggie, it’s kind of silly to think that a handful of exceptions would disprove a trend – like suggesting a cold day disproves global warming. But even more when you have to reach for ones that are several years old, and that many of the properties you list have majority female casts anyway.

        Yes, shounen manga still have guys in them. Shocking. They also represent a tiny segment of the anime schedule, and none of what’s targeted at adults.

      2. BUT…. But your proposal of misandry in anime is still preposterous even if we do use more recent material.

        But where’s the misandry? Where is that male discrimination? To say misandry is to express the hatred or dislike of men or boys. I cannot see that on the case of most recent anime, especially this season’s Brave 10 or Another(even if Another IS a anime version of a famous horror novel).

        I think, you may have just use the wrong term for something you want to express. More like the reason that anime is mostly female because, forgive me too all if I sound sexist, women sells. Think about it: more than half of the fans are male. Female fans are a minority. To sell cute/sexy characters to fans is a common practice. And so we have Fam.

        But saying that this is a bad thing is wrong. Mouretsu and Rinne are prime examples of shows that has more females than males and yet doesn’t rely on moe. One year ago, another show shocked the whole anime world: even if it’s a mahou shoujo show, it’s not relying on moe and definitely not targeted for kids. Is there misandry in the three shows?

        The Moondoggie
      3. Sorry. I don’t know how you will term that one attribute that makes cute/sexy female characters sells so I used moe instead. If you can give a better alternative, feel free to share.

        The Moondoggie
      4. A handful of exceptions? You really think that? Let’s take a look at pretty much everything that’s airing right now. I say pretty much because I probably missed a few ongoing shows from earlier seasons that I don’t pay attention to and couldn’t find quick easy evidence that they were still going.

        I’m doing *everything* but I’ve broken them into groups: shows from more than a season ago, shows from last season, and then shows from this season.

        Majority female cast:
        Suite Pretty Cure
        Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam
        Shakugan no Shana III
        Zero no Tsukaima
        Milky Holmes
        Mouretsu Pirates
        Kill Me Baby
        Rinne no Lagrange
        Senhime Zesshou Symphogear
        High School DxD
        Papa no Iukoto o Kikinasai!
        Amagami SS+
        Ano Natsu de Matteru
        Recorder no Randseru

        Not Majority female cast:
        One Piece
        Sket Dance
        Cardfight Vanguard
        Hunter x Hunter
        Guilty Crown
        Gundam Age
        Persona 4
        Phi Brain
        Chihaya Furuyu
        Inu x Boku SS
        Natsume Yuujinchou Shi
        Brave 10
        Prince of Tennis
        Area no Kishi
        Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou
        Aquarion Evol

        Huh, look at that. 16 shows that have a majority female cast…. and 21 that don’t. Yeah, those shows not dominated by females sure are a rare exception.

        You what’s funny? If you split them up by male/female leads, its ridiculously lopsided in favor of male leads (27 vs. 9). And THAT is what people like Fencedude and myself are so pleased when a show like Last Exile does it, because its particularly rare in a show like this. Most of the shows with female leads (or at least without male leads) are magical girl shows, more slice-of-life type shows like Hanasaku Iroha or Tamayura, or its a comedy like Yuryuri, A-Channel, etc. It’s pretty rare in adventure/action shows like this, though we got a miracle in this season and got several of them (Moretsu Pirates, Rinne no Lagrange, Symphogear, and Inu x Boku SS all in one season was a miracle) as its rare to get even one. In fact, looking through my viewing log for last year… there wasn’t a single goddamn one in 2011 other than Fam. And yet amazingly, people were bitching about how it was such atrocity that the lead character wasn’t a male.

        And no, you don’t get to remove the Shonen Jump shows, especially when you’re blogging one of them. And it wouldn’t help your case much anyway. Female dominated shows still wouldn’t be the majority, it would be right about even with the not, and there would still be 2.5 times as many shows with male leads.

        You have a problem with male leads being lousy? Funny that. I have the same problem with most shows (and I wouldn’t consider Clause from the original LE to be better than “slightly above average”). This has nothing to do with misogyny and little to do with “majority female casts”, and that only connection is that the very nature of the shows results in creators rarely bothering to give the males a personality worth a damn because most of their audience DOES NOT CARE ABOUT THEM.

        I’m not saying you should like it. I sure as hell don’t, and many shows are dragged down horribly because of bland or outright terrible leads. But that’s a BAD WRITING problem, not a misogyny or majority female cast problem. Same thing for lousy stories in shows that have majority female casts. That means the writers are phoning it in because they’re too focused on other things.

      5. O come on mondoggie sure some of those you named did have and ok story but, Freezing, you got to be kidding me. That had the worst story of any anime i’ve ever seen besides maken-ki. Freezing with had a 95% female cast played so heavily on fanservice and female drama that it NEVER EVER focused on the true story. The story is about invaders from another dimension who come too attack ours with only high school females being able to fight them off. They spend the majority of the time fighting each other which usually ended in one or both of them fighting completely naked. Eventually it turned into a story about highschool girls being bitches to each other and a retarded incest drama than actually about fighting the invaders. There were more panty and boob shoots than actual story. I DARE ANYONE TO SAY THAT THIS ANIME HAD A GOOD STORY AND WASN’T FLOODED IN FANSERVICE.

      6. OK, here’s how it was: Freezing’s main plot isn’t about the Novas rather, it was about the internal conflict about the Pandoras. The Novas were the “Monster of the Arc” types. They weren’t anything but plot devices. The real story is about Sattelizer’s relationship with Aoi and the conflicts inside the organization. Noticed how most of the time, the interaction between the protagonists are with other humans and Pandoras? The anime’s fault is just that it didn’t reached the more recent chapters of the book. I mean, the decision to make an anime for Freezing was done way too early. They should have waited for more chapters.

        And how did you arrive to incest anyway? >:D

        As for fanservice, I did say that “it’s correct to say you can have 95% female cast, fan service and a solid story all in one.”

        Like I explained earlier, fanservice had been an important selling point of any story, not just anime. Cute girls sells. Sexy ones sell twice better. In a businessman’s POV there is no reason to not flood a story with cheap shots like this. It sells. With an awesome story and, if it is a sequel, an established name it will sell thrice the better, or so they think.

        But then there’s nothing bad about that right? Take Strike Witches for example. FREE PANTY SHOTS for ALL! But strip the fanservice and we have a solid story of a “what if magic and aliens are involved in WWII?”

        Solid story, but in the eyes of executives today, this isn’t enough. No sane self-respecting author is going to make a story with girls walking around(would you?) in their underwear, so I personally think he was forced to do it. But it made him famous.

        So tl;dr, fanservice is an important part of any story. It appeals to fans.


        The Moondoggie
  18. On matters regarding fanservice, I can give them benefit of doubt due to Gonzo’s financials at the moment, so the need to make LEGnF to be more mainstream than LE was. And the mainstream order of the day is moeshits, sad but forced to accept.

    But I cannot ignore some poor execution mistakes, or results of inexperience, that keeps stacking up. At least in last episode, I feel the episode could’ve focused more on Lukia’s attachment with Farahnaz. It’s certainly hinted to be stronger than Delphine-Cicada in LE, so they could’ve given more airtime there as it seems of more importance. And when exactly was his eye injured? They could’ve made his head twitched a little when the guy who called him “monster” shot him, we would understand that a bullet might’ve hit him there. They could’ve made him more traumatised, running amok and killing more rebels before Alauda steps in to calm him.

    In this episode, as some pointed out, it presents a great opportunity for us to learn more about Glacies, and should deserve more airtime than silly water splashing, undress-the-princess scene. Engage deeper conversations with Dian or show them taking a walk around town at least. No? Ok.jpg

    Also, what was Vincent doing to have let the very, very important Alvis out of his sight? It would’ve been slightly more logical if Alvis is seen running ASAP towards Dio, so that we can assume Vincent stayed back to protect Urbanus while telling her to get to Dio ASAP. That way, Alvis is in good hands, although still risky, but the risk is minimised. But we see her lost and surprised to see Dio. WTF?!

    And then there’s Fam’s behaviour towards Dian. After facing near death ‘lessons’ by Orang’s and Sadri’s fleet, at the very least, she should behave in a more matured manner. Her lack of manners during the dinner scene is most annoying and when engaging a serious conversation with Dian, ended up playing water splashing showed she was still inconsiderately childish and naive, not commanding of any respect. Is it too hard to make the main character at the very least not unlikeable?

    As some pointed out, even the villains are more maturely developed. It’s the little details such as Sadri looking somewhat uneasy that rescues this episode/show. Sadri certainly understood that Lukia was merely capitalising on the immigrant’s fear to force them to accept their order, which is literally their deathbed. He knew the immigrants, instead of refusing their task, would gladly take it in their stride as they, more than Ades people, have the need to show gratitude and loyalty to Augusta. It’s even shown directly afterwards how the Chaos felt blessed to be trusted by Augusta. That’s more of what we wanted, correct execution of plot.

    1. Discussing some topics you brought up as answers come to mind so bear with me. I know I ramble.

      While they could have rationed screen time better, I feel like we still learned plenty, or at least have a lot to think about, Glacies and Dian’s place there.

      Maybe Dian can’t leave the area because of her (maybe?) religious/ spiritual position as well as being a part of the military. Or, more probably, she was keeping them a secret from superiors and society at large and bringing them too far would be unwise.

      Glacies is also by no means a poor country considering that there appears to be a large market of not only machinery but also an abundance of food, despite the harsh climate, which naturally implies national prosperity and strength.

      The food was also an important centerpiece because of 2 things. First Dian’s spirituality, which maybe characteristic of Glacies as a whole or maybe people of her station, was a highlight during the ritual preparing of the goat (lamb?). Then the inclusion of vegetables, namely carrots in the meal also showed in a much more meaningful way how Dian felt about and treated the trio, since raw vegetables are valuable in the harsh tundra of Glacies. I assume they do not give POWs gourmet meals.

      I assume that Alvis was either forced to escape during the attack because she had no choice or Vincent decided she had a better chance outside while they tried to hold back the others at the ship. I would also imagine that they did not know exactly where Deus ex Dio was, as he was last seen fighting on the Sylvius, arriving in the nick of time to save Al.

      Finally, at this point, we can only assume that Fam is very intentionally made out to be this innocent girl rising up to occasion and incident when the time calls for it albeit in her own naive way. They seem to be trying to get this across by having her act out in a brash, immature, headstrong manner but still achieve her goals.

      I don’t think a character would just suddenly change from a brief moment of danger. She’s been living in danger all her life, flying, racing and pirating. She’s also very straight forward in her thinking and actions so it would be strange for her to rise to higher levels of “serious” conversation only at certain times. It’s much more natural to see her character bring those around her down to her level of thinking and win them over with her light-hearted charisma.

      Bottom line. Yes they could definitely use work on deciding what’s important to warrant actual screen time. They could also improve on making their own intentions clearer.

      It’s fine to not like Fam because a want of a more mature (relateable?) character but there’s nothing wrong with her character itself, though I do wish they would work harder at developing her relationships into something more complex.

  19. Such a dissapointment. -__- I hoped after 12 episodes it would turn around, but nope. I’m done with LE:Fam. I agree, it got infested with unneeded moe and a main character with no personality. Not even the cameo of Alvis can save it. LE:Fam could have been so good. Make Fam older, about 16/17 switch her Giselle’s personalities. Having a stoic, but genius pilot would have been more interesting.

  20. I guess I’m the only one who thinks the anime is perfect as is and doesn’t need any changing. Sigh.

    This was another excellent episode, Nice to see some character development and learn a little bit more about Glacies. Still not sure if the opening was a flashforward or happening at the same time as Fam waking up or not. Hopefully next episode will clear that up.

  21. hmmm, FLYING skit’s……”do yall even know what that is??? not the theatrical version of the word” anyway…..is anime dead, or have i GROWN uP??? TRICK QUESTION!!! a corpse is writing, but forget the dbl redundancy …it IS dead

    BROOKLYN otaku
  22. Ugh…after reading Last Exile – Travelers from the Hourglass(read up to chapter 4) I just can’t help but recalling how much I love those characters and how much I hate FAM (Millia and Giselle are decent)

    Also, Claus is basically Tatiana’s crush so…I wonder if it will be mentioned in the series, if there will be a chapter focused on Tatiana a bit. And Dio’s mention about someone she lost…I hope it’s not referring to Claus/Lavie there, meaning that by the end of the manga, they will die.

    Anyway, I’m still following this ”sequel” – Beaytiful scenarios with AWESOME battles, great soundtrack and a fairly good story that blend together well with this beautiful world. There’s the downside though: crappy characters, aside from, of course, the original ones (Dio, Tatiana, etc).

    1. After going back through the episodes, I believe the main reason that Fam hasn’t developed as far as Claus did in the span of 12 episodes is because of the plot.

      I would argue that the main focus of the first half of LE was Claus’ interactions with all the crew of the Silvana. Because of the rigorous work that his character went through, during heated arguments with Alex, confronting Tatiana’s overbearing personality, winning over the mechanics, and of course his dealings with Lavie, Al, & Dio, we got to see a complex personality.

      On the other hand, Fam is more or less free to move about and almost no complications with crew or companions with lasting effects. The problem is multi-faceted. It doesn’t seem like Fam does anything worthwhile because her choices never seem to have consequences even though she acts often without thinking.

      And because Fam is constantly doing things her own way, she ends up interacting only superficially with most of the other characters and so we only see one very constant side of Fam, making her presentation strong but very flat.

      The new characters aren’t lacking, it’s their presentation and the lack of focus that’s detrimental to how we see them. They need to start peeling back layers of Fam so we can see more of what she’s about, and soon.

      1. I agree with you. On the original LE, the focus was much more on the characters than on the plot. That allowed for a nice build-up story-wise and nice characterization. That also made the plot move slowly at the start, but for a world as huge as LE’s, it’s the best way (kinda like Mouretsu Pirates is doing now).

        Also, Fam’s overconfidence and personality annoys me. But that’s just my opinion. Oh, and episode 9 made me lose hope in any decent drama that this anime might have(that was the worst episode ever, even worse than the episode Millia took over the kitchen and declared a kingdom, not aware yet that she caused hundreds of deaths because of that).


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