October 18, 2011
The sequel to Last Exile, Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam (Fam of the silver wing), hereafter, Fam has premiered. It is a steampunk adventure tale. Two young women fly through the skies as part of a pirate group, and have an adventure with princesses and stuff. Scamp has already commented on how this latest installment seems lighter in tone than the original. I agree, and I also agree that Last Exile supplies something that recent anime hasn’t delivered.
Old school anime used to be full of Space Opera: Science Fiction series about great civilizations in conflict. Shows like Harlock, Banner of the Stars, and Legend of the Galactic Heroes were big adventure tales, with extended battle sequences. Most recent Science Fiction in anime is smaller in scope (like Steins;Gate, an extreme example that focuses on a single invention, or No. 6, and Guilty Crown that look at a single civilization that is at war with itself). The Last Exile franchise bucks that trend, by showing battles at grand scales like classic Science Fiction anime, like Macross used to deliver, but with a steampunk twist. Here the fleets are not starships, but sky ships.