Friday, August 16, 2013

RNG Anime Review - Last Exile

by: Ana Bruja-Khayos

The first time I heard of Last Exile is was almost 8 years ago.  At the time I used to work for several studios and worked 16 hours day everyday and didn’t take breaks simply because I could not afford too. My friend Matt would keep an eye on me and make sure I didn’t work my self to death along with my friends Jeremy and Felice.  Back then, it  was the era of high hope for the 3D industry.  It was starting to become more affordable for studios to create 3D graphics and it was easily being implemented on everything from commercials, tv series, animated series, and film.  Great times... great times...

My friend Matt lent me his box set of Last Exile and said it was good.  So I took him on his offer and watched the series during the in between few moments of down time I had.  The box set had a picture of two children on a vehicle of some sort painted with great earthy tones that added to the steampunk look many of us have learned to love.  It made the corner of my mouth curl up since the the other steampunk material I’ve ever enjoyed at the time was Disney’s the Rocketeer.

About the show

As the series opens up, you see the same two young kids on the box set name Claus Valca and Lavie Head flying what you quickly come to learn is a vanship.  Their job as sky couriers is the most reliable and fastest form of communication followed by the courier pigeon.  Each job they pick up in mid air comes with different danger rating.  The higher the rating the more dangerous it is but the better it paid. Other ways these kids would pass the time is to race their vanship against other pilots and dream about following their fathers footsteps by going to the Grand Stream and cross over.

Claus and Lavie live a very average existence in this world.  You get the sense that these two young kids have a been through alot together in their young lives and have deep bond of family. Their daily life is simply full of hard work and barely getting by with little money, some food and low quality water.  Their world is currently suffering from a major division between governments fighting with giant warships and  even higher power known as the Gill. As these war are happening, Claus and Lavie stumble upon a dangerous mission to protect a little girl called Al.  She seems to be of great importance and simply holds the key to discovering what Exile really is. 

With Al as their cargo they go beyond their borders to discover a whole new world where the battle is real on a day to day basis. Alongside the Captain and the crew of the Silvana, Clause and Lavi find themselves fighting to bring down the evil force oppressing most of the word called the Gill all while protecting Al and learning about themselves, the value of their relationship, what is truly important to them.

About Last Exile

Last exile is one of the those series that if I understand correctly it was not a manga first developed into a series.  The manga was developed much later on.

Gonzo Studios compiled an experienced crew that had a unique history for this project.  Director Kichi Chiira, production designer Mahior Meeda, and character designer Range Murat had worked together in one of the first CG anime series produced called Blue Submarine No. 6. With all the FX needed for the show you can see why they were a unique fit for this series.  The 26 episode show Last Exile first aired in April 7,2013 till September 29,2013.  The show was so popular a few months after it first aired it was dubbed in English and distribute in Europe where it also became very popular.

After 9 years from it’s original day view, Last Exile was brought back in both Manga style and in another short anime series called Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing.  The manga was launch on 2011 and is still ongoing today, however the anime series aired from October 15, 2011 to March 23, 2012 and is now dubbed in English as well.  Fam, the Silver Wing has the same director from the original series which make me very excited about seeing the new series.  There is another Manga series being produced under the name Last Exile and that is Last Exile: Travelers from the Hourglass.  The series was also started in 2011 and is still ongoing today.

Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing

Final thoughts

Last Exile is a show that in my book goes into the classic list. The world has a 1900’s to 1920’s look to it with hints of Art Deco Movement implemente in some of decor of the ships, vehicles, and some of their structures. It is visually pleasing and is great series to watch.

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