Last Exile -Fam, the Silver Wing- World Premiere: Part One – Spoiler-free Impressions

So I was quite fortunate to be able to attend Anime Expo 2011. Particularly, I managed to get a half-decent spot to view both the World Premiere of the first episode of Last Exile -Fam, the Silver Wing- (shortened as Last Exile Fam from here on) and the Gonzo panel that proceeded it. As the second entry into Last Exile, Fam will be one of Gonzo’s first projects since they stopped doing anime after Saki and Shangri-la in 2009¹. Hopefully, I can be of service to people while they are forced to wait for the public premiere. This will be the first post of three; the other two posts will be a detailed summary of the first episode with significant amounts of spoilers and notes on the Gonzo panel that happened afterwards, where much discussion on the production details of Last Exile Fam were gleaned and dropped.

Fam's delicious garters *_*

The poster they circulated at Anime Expo of this is quite wonderful to behold

Now, I’m hardly the largest supporter of Gonzo nor can I say that Last Exile is actually in the realm of my favourite shows (that is, I cannot say it’s 10/10 or even 9/10), but I can say with confidence that this first episode was a solid showing for Gonzo’s first anime in quite a few seasons. The normal airing of show will not start until October, and the director and producers noted the episode was barely done in time for the AX2011 premiere, so they’re working on about 3 months of buffer. Let’s hope this will help them maintain decent production values.

I anticipate the opening sequence will rub a lot of more serious fans in the wrong way, and while the staff is almost identical to Last Exile‘s, I can also see a lot of people may already be leery of the show, considering its twin heroines for protagonists and their few but very calculated moe traits. The first episode I cannot say dismisses all of those fears, but I think the writing has been sober enough that I don’t believe it to be anything to be concerned about.

Admittedly, my last viewing of Last Exile was a very long time ago. However, service for the old fans I assure is not lacking. Additionally, I believe they’ve even improved the attention to detail accorded to the military tech and situations, which is as per usual for Suzuki Takaaki (Last Exile, Strike Witches, Strike Witches 2)². On the visual front, the colour palette seems to have broadened from Last Exile‘s paler, starker palette, and lends itself to giving many things a richer feeling. The vehicles the characters use are still rendered using 3D CGi, and how can I say this? While Gonzo has improved a bit with using CGi, it’s only as integrated as say, Infinite Stratos‘s was, to pick a recent example. Additionally, characters in the vehicles are rendered in 3D CGi too, unlike in Last Exile where they had to be drawn in due to technical limitations on CGi back in 2003. Considering the fast-paced cuts and exciting pace of the combat, however, this isn’t a huge issue, but I would be lying if I denied that the CGi use is not easy to notice with some scrutiny.

To say simply, the first episode of Last Exile Fam was a great and very promising first episode for the new series. Please check it out without concern when it airs! I am confident that it will be able to satisfy at least as wide an audience as the first did, if not capture more. If you’d rather not take my word for it though, and don’t mind spoilers, please look forward to my next post on the subject, where I’ll forgo my usual distaste for sharing plot details to give you all the nitty gritty details I was able to fit into my notes while still actually watching. Hopefully, I’ll give a working representation of just how the first episode was like. Please look forward to it.

  1. They did do the short animated cutscenes for Blazblue Calamity Trigger in 2010, however. They were also contracted to cooperate in animation for anime like most companies are. They just did not produce any anime of their own in that time.
  2. Anime Expo also credits him with GUNxSWORD, but I can’t actually find another place that corroborates that information.

About ToastCrust

Generic procrastinator and Japanese Media hobbyist.
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11 Responses to Last Exile -Fam, the Silver Wing- World Premiere: Part One – Spoiler-free Impressions

  1. Marina says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your impressions of the premier. I’m a huge fan of Last Exile and was bummed that I couldn’t make it to AX this year. It’s also really nice to hear that the color palette of this new series is broader, as that was one of my few complaints about the original.

    • ToastCrust says:

      You’re welcome! It’s too bad you weren’t able to make AX :<
      If I remember correctly, the color palette in the first show was actually a decision made tied to certain details about the plot and setting of it ;)

  2. misaki says:

    I intended to go to the Gonzo panel only, but since the anibomber showed up, everything got pushed back half an hour and I ended up seeing Fam, the Silver Wing. It was pretty cool stuff and a great launchpad for Gonzo’s comeback (as opposed to Nyanpire, I guess..)

  3. Eldachleich says:

    Last Exile is the whole reason I went to anime expo this year, well that and being able to buy as many hats with ears as my heart can take. Last Exile is my favorite anime. There is no debate in my mind over this. And I must say, your right. I was disturbed. I’m still disturbed. I was, and still am, very excited. I was lucky enough to be sat in the second row back in the very center. As were all my friends. We loved it (even though the one person in front of me kept blocking out the MOST important words in each sentence with his head). But we all sat in a very perturbed silence for about a half hour after. Later that night at the hotel, and a couple anime and cartoon related drinking games later (take a shot every time zazu is annoying in lion king, every time the male character saves someone with the strength of will and heart, two shots if its a bad guy, and every minute a character in dragon ball z monologues) we all came to the same conclusion. It was a feeling of knowing and impending doom. Deep inside we all knew where it was ending up, where the anime was going. We knew who they all were, and their purpose. But none of us could admit it to ourselves. It is like some sort of deep inner betrayal that your brain does its best to block off. But deep down you know its there. After days of discussing it, we still dont know exactly what were afraid of. We like the characters, the art, the plot, the style, everything. Were not afraid its going to leave us disappointing, or hollow feeling. I think were more afraid of being right. Alot of other felt the same way I found out. I’m doing a terrible job at explaining it but… Please do go out and see it. Make a point of watching it. Just hardcore fans know this, As soon as you see his face you’ll feel it too.
    Is that when it happened? During the premiere? I got back and everyone was asking me how scared I was of the bomb, and how long we had to stay out after it was evacuated. I had no idea what they were talking about.

    • ToastCrust says:

      Wow, how to reply to this?

      Cause I was just talking about Fam’s garterbelts.

    • soldatoflife says:

      Seriously, I just watched the episode 0 my friend at my anime club somehow found in raw format a while back and well, I COMPLETELY understand what you mean. I’m afraid, no, terrified that they destroyed the culture, the mature, the very depths of one of my favorite anime series. They chose to go mainstream and attract a more young and fresh audience that doesn’t think twice after watching a series more than it was: entertaining, fun, cool, lighthearted, etc. What I think went wrong is that they put in charge the person that wrote the story of Final Fantasy Unlimited and some series of Yu Gi Oh in charge of the script, which in my opinion is a suicide for any story worth telling.

      I’m a bit late on my reply, but I just started now looking for every bit of info about this now that I know that the first episode is coming out very soon.

      • ToastCrust says:

        To be fair, aside from the scriptwriters, the staff is largely identical, and the scriptwriters generally take a backseat in deciding things, they just do the technical work of actually deciding which words to use.

        I’d anticipate that it’s the Director (Koichi Chigira) and Takaaki Suzuki (he’s not listed on ANN, but he handled the cultural and technological background info for LE, and is doing it for LE2 as “military accuracy advisor”) who’ll make most of the executive decisions regarding the story and particularly world details.

      • Hi! My name is Jessie and I was the official Fam at the AX Last Exile-Fam, the Silver Wing premiere. We found out today that the FUNimation footage was on episode 0 and we haven’t seen it. We’re trying to track it down since well… it’s exciting to be on TV. If you could point me in the right direction, I’d be really grateful!

      • Nevermind! We found it!

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