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Nov 2, 2011

Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wing (Episode 2 review)

Episode picked up right where it ended off previously. Fam and Giselle were tasked to escort Princess Millia back to the capital Iglesia while Lilianna and the rest stayed behind to tackle the Ades Federation.

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The first half of the episode went at a much more comfortable pace as compared to episode 1 and I really thank the producers for taking time to build and develop the characters, namely Fam, Millia and Gisele. Time and attention was also given to allow the viewers to seep into the gravity of the invasion with scenes of the Turian citizens crowding at the train Station to escape.

 

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It was touching to see the impetuous and slightly annoying Princess Millia quick to rise up to her role as a leader and bearer of hope for the nation. The scene with the weak King of Turian was also delicately treated and seemed to trigger an internal development in simple minded Fam.

I don’t know about you, but I find beauty in a weak man staying strong for someone else. The whole emphasise on the ‘last Princess as a beacon of Hope for the nation’  theme though old fashioned, was realistically weaved and successful in allowing the viewers to feel for the characters.

The plan for Lasas, the flagship of Turian and Lilianna was to stay stealth and hide away in the clouds while waiting for a chance to crash head on into the Impetuous (Flagship of the Ades Federation). A pretty suicidal and naïve strategy if you ask me but I guess with their situation and inept armed forces, this was their only choice.

Unfortunately for them, their tracks was quickly exposed and Luscinia signalled to dispatch Alauda to tackle them. When Alauda faded into the shadow ninja style, I was all like “ Whatthefish ?! You send a SINGLE man after an entire battleship?! You have cannons no?!?!?!?

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The scene then cuts to Lilianna giving out directions like the dignified Princess she was, all crew prepared to crash head on to sink the enemy vessel. The Lasas turns and accelerates full speed towards the general's battleship.

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The artwork for the battle scenes was stunningly beautiful as usual. The realistic 3D vessels coupled with the amazing clouds in sunset colour tones were examples of perfection.

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The battle scene in this part took me a while to appreciate but when I did eventually get into the correct mood, I found the BGM so hauntingly beautiful. Somehow reminisce of Studio Ghilbi.

The mood of the music shifts to fit the scene and did a fabulous job in wrapping the audience into the plot. Then it finally got to me, the battle strategy was really, a suicide.

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The wonderful CGI of the battleships crossing fire, coupled with the sorrowful BGM and the realisation of the Turian Army’s grand suicide attack was an emotional moment that I once again, thank the producers for taking the time to develop.

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Everyone held their breath nervously and focused their sight on the anticipated collision and at that very crucial moment, the vessel suddenly geared off track and narrowly missed the enemy.

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Just as the Sky Pirates were going “WHUT?! What is Lasas doing?!”, the scene cuts to the interior of the craft. All solders down and Lilianna gone.

Dio, sensing something amissed, flew towards the craft only to see all the soldiers dead and on the deck of the vessel is Lilianna limp in Alauda’s arms.

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It was a pretty disturbing moment for me because I think I “Kya-ed<3” a little at how dashing Alauda looked =x. Had to consciously remind myself he is a despicable kidnapper =x

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Before Dio could do anything, Alauda did an anti gravity leap and takes off with Lilianna. That moment made my jaws drop and seemed to pave way for what was coming.

Dio then flew to inform Fam and gang about the kidnap and Millia begged little sky pirate Fam to save Lilianna. What came on next was like a flying scene from “How to Train your Dragon” and “AVATAR”. It was an exhilarating ride showing Fam, Giselle and Millia crashing into the Ades Federation's Commanding craft through the cracks of their rotary propeller and watching their Vespa zipping through the many wheels in the motor.

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That was one scene I felt both excited and disappointed with. The animation quality were good as usual but the camera angle in this scene appeared flat and didn't do the flight justice. It would have been so much more awesome if more dynamic angles were employed along with a more upbeat or groovable BGM.

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After some hiccups, Giselle the intellectual managed to find the blueprint of the craft and routed a pave that brought them crashing straight into the central command core of the vessel. Right in front of Luscinia, the Premier of Ades federation.

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It was another scene of extreme emotion. I was so torn between want to cheer for the heroism of the trio and wanting to slam my face into my keyboard. It was like *Palms*. Someone should teach them something about stealth 

So Fam, Giselle and Millia faced off Luscinia with Millia pointing a gun at he’s head and screaming for the return of Lillianna. And before you know it, Lilianna appears in the background with Alauda. I would also note that it appears she found time to change into a sexy low cut empire dress amidst all this commotion. I find amusement in guessing who helped her prepared that dress XD

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The episode pushes into it's final climax when Millia tries to kill Luscinia and the later begun chanting a poem that triggered a protective force field while eroding the entire bullet away. And the one in the middle of this blue mysterious force field, is Lilianna herself.

I swear my eyes popped out of it's socket when I saw the bullet going in slow –mo and Lilianna levitating. Truth be told, I wasn't expecting any Sci-Fi element for the series. I thought it was all going to be oil and grease and good old steam engines D:!

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The force field rapidly expands and destroys whatever it comes in contact with. Left with no choice, Giselle and Millia powered the Vespa to escape while shouting out to Fam who was in a daze. Fam our heroine quickly got her nerves back and did a beautiful jump back into the Vespa.

It appears Princess Lilianna might be hiding something as her outburst triggers not just the force field but the 'Exile'. A huge slab of Unverified Flying Object that looked bigger than their castle and shoots out spear like things when attacked.

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This is the part where a non-follower (me) of the previous instalment (Last Exile) feels a little left out. Because Dio obviously knew what that thing was and capable of doing as he shouted desperately for the soldiers of Turian Kingdom to cease fire against it. Sadly, his voice didn't managed to reach them in time and the Turian Army, without their leader chose to open fire at the massive enemy in front of them.

That action spelt the downfall and massacre of the entire kingdom as the Exile shoots out countless spear like weapons, smashing the capital into a pool of blood.

Overall, episode 2 was pretty much what i was looking forward to; progression in the story and character development. I also love the dynamic angles and movie like cinematography. It appears that as the story progresses, the producers intend to let the side characters have more limelight and vie for attention, which is just as well.

The final scene was heartbreaking and makes me wonder how Millia and Fam will take to the whole downturn. Shall look forward to episode 3!

Don’t forget to catch Last Exile - Fam, The Silver Wing Same day as Japan on Animax Starting Oct 15, Every Sat, 8pm!

More information here: http://www.animax-asia.com/shows/lastexile

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