Title: Last Exile
Genre: steam punk, action, sci-fi, fantasy
Released date: April 8, 2003 – September 29, 2003
Director: Koichi Chigira
Animated by: GONZO Studio
Comment: With steampunk and Victorian style atmosphere, Last Exile looks different from other action/adventure anime right from the beginning. It starts with large scale battle between Anatoray and Desith fleet with stunning visual effects that immediately draws viewers into this fantastic world and at the same time cleverly introduced us the two protagonists, Claus and Lavie. Then the main plot emerges when they are entrusted with an extremely dangerous mission to deliver a girl, Alvis, to the legendary ship, The Silvana.
The first half of the series is simply unstoppable. There are many amazing battle scenes, great chasing sequences and exciting vanship race. The second half after Claus and Lavie becomes the Silvana’s crew focuses more on the character development and their backgrounds, the game of power between the two nations and the Guild before it reachs the very memorable climax. I love Last Exile’s script because it had many layers. There were the stories of the internal conflicts and struggles of individual character, the relationship between them and larger stories concerning the international warfare and politics. I especially like Alex and Sophia. At first there relationships seems simple enough as the captain and first officer. But as the series progresses, the viewers learn that Sophia is Anatoray’s spy and princess and the only reason she remains loyal to Alex is because she loves him. While Alex is so consumed in his tragic past and vengence that he overlooks everyone’s feeling and he barely seems alive. The conclusion of their relationship in final episode is both sad and touching. You must see it yourself.
The anime are full of details as the main plot and subplots are effectively and simultaneously told that it can be wearing if one watches more than four or five episodes continuously. The animation quality are great. The mixture of 2D and 3D images workes very well and the original soundtrack by Dolce Triad is one of the best, in my opinion. To put it simply. Last Exile has complex and interesting characters, imaginative script, grand battle scenes, heart stopping action, tragic love stories, intense political issues. This anime has everything and succeeds in every aspect. Conclusion: This is a perfect anime and one of my all-time favorites.