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Last Exile: V.1 First Move (ep.1-4)
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Japans top anime creators bring a richly romantic action/adventure fantasy in an imaginary planet where retro-futuristic sky vehicles permeate the skies. Against this lavish background are the lives of young and heroic van ship sky porters Claus and Lavie who are forced to take on the mission to deliver a mysterious girl, Alvis, to the battle ship Silvana. Before they know it, they become entangled in an aerial adventure between two countries griped in an eternal war of magnificent air battleships.
Noted designer Mahiro Maeda gives this sci-fi adventure a striking, muted look that mixes elements of Buck Rogers, Weimar Germany, and Napoleonic France. Childhood friends Claus and Lavie dream of becoming a top Vanship team: daring pilots who serve as mail couriers, flying their small ships to dangerous destinations. Just as they're about to win an important race and establish the reputation they desire, Claus insists they stop to aid a disabled ship. The pilot entrusts them with Al, a mysterious little girl who is being pursued by an angular mecha-ship. Although Lavie and Claus are clearly in over their heads, they promise to see Al is taken to safety. The storytelling in this new action-adventure is considerably less polished than its original visuals, and the filmmakers fail to set up the odd, war-torn world of the series satisfactorily. (Rated 13 and older: violence, minor profanity, tobacco use) --Charles Solomon
Top Customer Reviews
"Last Exile Volume 1 - First Move" is a pretty promising opener to this sci-fi/steampunk series, presenting a rather familiar-yet-very-different world where floating battleships filled with Napoleonic-dressed soldiers duke it out in the skies. The gorgeous CGI and solid writing form a pretty good basis for the series, and we get at least one enticing mystery introduced.
Claus Valca and his buddy Lavie Head are messenger couriers -- and in the interest of making enough money to soup up their vanship, they take a message to the Mad Thane commander. Who is in the middle of a battle. Of course, things turn nasty quickly -- Claus and Lavie get in trouble with the Mad Thane's officers, while the Guild just sits by and does nothing.
Later they start dead last in a vanship race, but Claus' superior piloting skills quickly put them in the lead. Then they see a Guild star-ship chasing a dying vanship pilot, who gives them a little blond girl named Alvis to take care of. And though Alvis seems to be an ordinary little girl (whom Claus and Lavie quickly become fond of), she has ties to the most infamous battleship of them all -- the Silvana.
"Last Exile" is one of those series that blurs the lines of genre and style -- it feels like a more ethereal brand of steampunk, complete with 18th/19th-century trappings and advanced airships. It's full of glowing light, vast expanses of cloads and flowing cities, and beautiful mountainous landscapes and clouds that could have come straight from a Hayao Miyazaki movie.Read more ›
The series starts off a bit slow, but with each episode you begin to find out more and more about the world these three young people live in. It is a world at war with itself. We know very little about the the "enemy", only that they "fight without honor or chivlary". We begin to realize the real "power" behind all that is happening is the Guild, a race of advanced beings who seem to have fun causing problems for the people of this world.
Claus and Lavie become involved in the war accidentally when the pilot of another Vanship crashes after hitting Claus and Lavie's Vanship during the "big race". That is when we first meet Alvis, or Al, as Claus and Lavie know her. Al is a innocent child who holds a dark secret that the Guild wants. But we are left wondering what that "secret" is.
The animation is first rate and the sound tract is fantastic. I recommend you get the soundtract along with the DVD.
"Last Exile" is a top notch thriller and first rate example of the Japanese of Anime.
Episode 1, it starts out with a vanship flying in the Grand Stream searching for a Disith fleet. The vanship is from the battle ship Silvana. The pilots of the vanship catches sight of their enemy and destroys them. That same day in Norkia, the 2 main characters Claus Valca, and Lavie Head are revealed. Claus is a vanship pilot and Lavie is his navigator. They are on a mission to deliver a message to Mad-thane, but to get to him, they have to go through a battle field between the Disith and Anatory.
Episode 2, Claus and Lavie have delivered the message to Mad-thane, but he is losing the battle. Claus and Lavie try to help, but then another vanship appears in the battle and bombs a Disith ship. The Silvana appears and begins to fire upon the Disith fleets, which helps the Anatory ships retreat from the battle. After the Anatory fleet has made their escape, the Silvana disappears. Claus and Lavie have accomplished their mission and return home.
Episode 3, Claus and Lavie are participating in a race now and have to start dead last, because they finished their mission the day before last. While Claus and Lavie are racing, another vanship pilot is being attacked by a Guild starship. Before Claus and Lavie are at the final corner of the race, the pilot being chased by the guild crashes into them.Read more ›
modern} featuring all that would be expected of classic sci-fi: hotshot young pilots, drawn into a
great war beyond their abilities to affect where meet mysterious and legendary characters and get
themselves involved in a strange mystery. The fact that this describes the basic details both of the
general plot of Last Exile (without going into specifics), and of dozens of other sci-fi epics besides, should indicate the enormous debt this series owes to its many predecessors.
Unfortunately, besides the stunning visuals and impressive music, Last Exile fails to
improve upon the basic formula it adopts as its story, providing a plot and characters that are
fairly stock for anime in specific and sci-fi in general. In the initial episodes, the director lingers
upon impressive scenes of floating airships (once again, a stock convention in anime) to an
amount that is sometimes excessive, as if the film-makers were glorying in the beauty of their
Story and character are sketched out fairly well in the initial episodes, and the
development of character, plot and world follow a gradual and intriguing yet predictable path.
There is little in this anime, beyond the animation, that has not been done before, in many cases
better, including such shows as The Vision of Escaflowne, which shares many of the same
elements of Last Exile without its dependence on formula.
Nonetheless, Last Exile is an entertaining series, if fairly derivative, with enough action
and mystery and amusement to please fans weary of more of the same, even if Last Exile is,
ultimately, just more of the same.
Most recent customer reviews
This anime is a great beginning to the series. It opens up a world of flight, and adventure. If you are a fan of Action/Adventure, this is for you.Published on June 24 2004 by Matt
Firstly, this show has beautiful visuals. I don't think anyone can refute that. Unfortunately, joining them are flat, two-dimensional characters and a dull storyline. Read morePublished on June 12 2004 by Barrett Williams
I love this series. I saw it on Tech tv once and instantly bought it through this site. Granted the first volume is the worst, but still great. I usually hate most animes. Read morePublished on May 9 2004
I "always" considered that 3-D animation can not be converted with average animation and this good anime proves me wrong. Read morePublished on April 5 2004 by Commisar_Lenin
This anime features a terrific and engaging storyline. The true star, however, is some of the most stunningly beautiful animation I have ever seen. Read morePublished on March 29 2004 by Army Doc
I have never been a huge fan of anime, but this series has made me a believer. Not only is the mix of 2D and 3D animation among the best I have ever seen, but the world depicted is... Read morePublished on March 10 2004 by OAKSHAMAN
Let me first say that I have absolutely no problems with Last Exile. The plot, characters, and world blend together to form a show that is unlike anyother. Read morePublished on Feb. 28 2004
This is absolutely the most stunning, facinating, perfect anime I've ever seen. Nothing marrs Last Exile. The animation is even better than . Read morePublished on Feb. 25 2004 by Jenn