Monday, October 24, 2011

Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wing

Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam, otherwise known as Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wing is the sequel to Gonzo’s original Last Exile series. It’s difficult to guess how much time has passed since the original series’ timeline, as only a few clues have been shown for fans. This is a new series with completely new characters and settings. Well, mostly… The only original character from Last Exile to appear in Fam, The Silver Wing is Dio. Do not be alarmed by this, as Gonzo has been hinting at Dio’s return in early trailers for Ginyoku no Fam.

I have so far seen the first two episodes that Funimation has streamed on their website, and I must say I am intrigued by the new series. Yet at the same time I am a little worried. The plot centers itself on Fam Fan Fan (what kind of name is that?!) and her navigator Giselle (Gisey). Unlike the original Last Exile where we witnessed character progression between Claus and Lavie for much of the series, Fam and Gisey are barely introduced in medias res. They are part of a team of sky pirates who hunt ships for… some reason. If there is an indication for why they are sky pirates I likely missed it.

The main plot features two princesses, Lilliana and Millia, of an empire named Turan that is under attack by the Ades Federation. Its leader’s name is Luscinia Hafez. Peace talks were supposed to be negotiated but that clearly doesn’t happen, and somehow Fam and Gisey get involved to the point where the save Lilliana and Millia. Suddenly Fam is caught up in a war and a great story is likely to develop.

The first two episodes of Last Exile: Fam of the Silver Wing should have been aired back to back in my opinion. They both compliment one another very well and create a flowing narrative that shouldn’t be separated by a week’s time. Characters are introduced, the main plot is stable, and the action is exciting. Yes, large-scale airship battles return in Ginyoku no Fam.

My main issues with the series so far are its lack of a main character and the attitude that Fam gives off. You would think that Fam is the main character because her name is in the title, but her character is not developing at all. Instead I feel like the main characters are Lilliana and Millia, because the story is more about them and their country compared to Fam’s adventures. I also have a hard time believing Fam’s character and the attitude she boasts whenever something serious is happening. In one particular instance of the second episode Fam jumps off a platform in midair, potentially risking her life. But we see a close up of her face and the smirk that compliments it. It’s as if she can’t take anything very seriously, or that she’s too good for the situation at hand. I haven’t seen any realistic qualities in her yet and this makes her a dull character to me. But maybe as the series continues on she will grow in ways I would never imagine. I really hope that’s the case.

*Image credit to Funimation.

-Jared C.

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