Last EXILE
AKA: Last Exile, ラストエグザイル
Category: TV, 26 episodes
Studio: GONZO DIGIMATION, 2003


US Distribution: Geneon Entertainment

Genre: Action, Fantasy, Science Fistion, Drama




Plot Synopsis:

Prestel, a world ravaged by an industrial revolution, many humans now live on plateau's above the clouds. And sea of clouds below, and an endless sky above, humans brave the their world in large battle airships, and small two-man Vanships.
Enter Klaus Valca, a 15 year old boy piloting the Vanship left behind by his father, after his disappearance. Together with his childhood friend, Lavie Head, he takes on delivery missions of low importance.
However, one day, a mysterious girl Alvis Hamilton, entrusted to them by a dying Vanship pilot. He requests that Klaus deliver Alvis safely to the battle airship Silverna, and they get dragged into a war that shakes their peaceful world.

Now, Klaus and Lavi must follow their hearts and dreams to brave the gargantuan Grand Stream, ensure the safety of Alvis, and unravel the mysery of EXILE.

Story:(9.5/10)

The story of Last EXILE is really most excellent. It is really a refreshing change from most recent anime. This anime features no notable levels of violence, no mature themes, and no over-endowed females with no personality. Yet this anime still manages to capture the attention of it's viewers through it's simplicity. The story really get's you to care about what happens to some of the characters, and you find yourself watching to know what happens to them. Perhaps the most interesting feature of this anime's story however, is the world in which it takes place. Much of the anime takes place above the clouds, as the surface was ruined by an industrial revolution of sorts. As the anime progresses you learn more about the world, it's inhabitants, the various kingdoms, the mysterious Grand Stream, and EXILE. If you are looking for a story of simple basis, but a strong progression, you will not be dissapointed.



Characters:(9.5/10)

The characters of Last EXILE, are also really great. They are all reasonably developed, and each have a disting personality. The reason I gave such a high score however, is that none of the characters annoy me. There are no whores, no morons, no knaves, and no extreme hair colours. I was so very relieved that there were no pink-haired females in this anime, as they would have killed the entire atmosphere. Some anime can get away with such things, but others simply can not. Last EXILE seemed to be the type of anime that might try to throw a few pink haired characters in, luckily, that was avoided.

There are some really interesting characters here, in particular Dio. the deveopment on Dio is really well done, in my opinion. Every character serves a purpose, whether they it seems like it or not. Very well done.



Animation:(10/10)

When I first saw Last EXILE, I was stunned at the animation quality. It was incredible. Now, this is taking into consideration that the anime was made in 2003. The animation has vibrant, yet pleasing colours that never go overboard. The motion of the characters and environments is quite impressive. What struck me most, perhaps, is the seemlessly integrated CG. It flows so well with the animation, it is beautiful. The animation is really a treat for the eyes, especially the Vanships and the Grand Stream.



Soundtrack/Voice Acting:(8.5/10)

Well, there is really not too much to say here. The background music is almost perfect, and always suits the mood. The voice acting is well done, none of the voices seemed out of place. I particularily liked Dio's voice, especially when he yells "Immelman Turn!".

The reason why the I only gave it an 8.5, is that while the soundtrack is perfect for the mood, none of the tracks are really memorable. With some anime you find yourself hearing the background music in your head long after you have finished the series, .hack//SIGN and Tsubasa Chronicle come to mind. However with this, the background music does not tend to stick with you after you stop watching. Or rather, that is my experience. The opening them, "Cloud Age Symphony", was a nice touch. It is rare that an opening song has both tune and lyrics that suit the anime. Excellent choice there.



Overall:(9.6/10)

Overall, a magnificent anime. With a length of 26 episodes, it is a perfectly paced adventure sure to capture the hearts of it's viewers. This anime could easily have been ruined in a number of different ways, however, it overcame those possible failures and came out a stellar piece of work. I highly recommend this anime to anyone seeking something a little different from the anime of recent years.