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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
I'm loving it so far, I can't wait until I can find somebody that has vol. 2 in stock. Buy it, you'll love it.
The closest thing I can think of is "Crest of the Stars", but with a vast sky instead of the space. And with a top-notch animation and design. The main characters are a couple of kids, working as couriers on their vanship (a kind of plane). They try to earn their living and while delvering a "package" they get mixed-up in the war. There is a race in the second episode, which reminded me of pod race in "Phantom Menace", only it was more exciting.
The weak point of this DVD is that it doesn't yet give you the real feel of the series. This is really only "First Move". It sets the board and only hints at the great game ahead of us. And two months is too long to wait before the next several episodes.
If you liked "Crest of the Stars" or books like Tad Williams "Memory, Sorrow and Thorn Trilogy" try out this series.
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.