Last Exile: Fam, Ep. 10 (Thoughts)

Since the previous episode (9.5) was almost solely a recap, I’m skipping my thoughts on it and moving onto “Illegal Move”, where Fam becomes infinitely more interesting with Vincent’s commanding presence, Turan’s official alliance with Anatoray-Disith, Alvis’s return as the operator for Anatoray’s Exile, and Princess Liliana’s union with Luscinia.  And even though I expected the majority of these, the episode still surprised me with Princes Liliana’s claim of an alliance with Luscinia and the following annexation of Turan.  Fam does an almost complete change of tone with the most serious clinch we’ve seen yet.

The opening scene at Grand Lake where Vincent and Princess Millia officially bring their nations together set me on edge since it resembles Turan’s earlier attempt to come to peace with the Ades Federation.  As that attempt ended in Turan’s demise, it was hard to not expect any immediate complications this time around.  There are new players, including an older Alvis.  Her introduction lacked the sparkle that I had hoped for since it consisted of Dio bringing our three girl protagonists for an exchange of names and smiles.  Her role at them moment was to solely inform the audience of the inherited connections to the Exiles.  Maybe her first scene doesn’t bother people new to the franchise, but I would have expected something a little more thoughtful for us older fans.

I also was saddened about Alvis’ change of seiyuu since I had become fond of her voice in the original LE.  Regardless, I hope Hanazawa Kana is able to bring her talent into play and give us a memorable performance.  Guardian Enzo of Lost in America makes a good point by noting that “…using KanaHana hints at the kind of otaku pandering that has infiltrated the series in many ways.”  We were warned from the very first episode with the opening’s revealing shots of our female characters, then the later scene where Fam almost kills herself sleepwalking off the ship while wearing next to nothing.  I would like to think that Alvis will be developed more as a character with intellectual worth than as a nod to the original, or as some type of “otaku pandering.”  Her introduction gave us very little to go on for what to expect from her, but I look forward to seeing what kind of role she will fill.  I’m especially curious to see which close friend of hers has died.  Lavie? Claus?

Perhaps the most moving scene of this pivotal episode is the return of Princess Liliana.  Up until then, the certainty of her death has been largely unknown.  It’s no surprise that her survival comes as a surprise to Millia, as well as to the people of Turan.  Unfortunately, Princess Lilliana is escorted by Luscinia, and the two do not hesitate in resuming control of the newly-formed Turan and proclaiming it united with the Ades Federation via annexation.  Liliana’s change of attitude is shocking, and I can’t help but suspect some type of Guild brainwashing like what was used on Dio in LE.  If that is the case, then her condition is reversible given time.  I’m even more wary of this possibility given the mixed signals she sends–first her lack of care for Millia’s life, then her seeming satisfaction with seeing her little sister escape unharmed.  However, unlike brainwashed Dio, Liliana’s eyes appear unclouded and her decisions seem like those made by a lucid mind.

Fam has surprised me in the past with its ability to raise the tension and make me truly worry about whether or not our protagonists can get of various situations, but this is the most worrisome one yet.  With the Silvius completely surrounded not only by Luscinia and Lilliana’s ships, but also by Fam’s own captured AF battleships now loyal to the older princess, I don’t see our ragtag crew escaping.  The infiltration of the Silvius headed by Alauda and disabling of the engines makes a retreat looks even more impossible.  I have no doubt that Fam, Gisey, and Millia will be rescued from their AF vanship pursuers by the nearby Glacies patrol, but I don’t hold such firm hopes for the Silvius.  I’d actually be more interested in seeing them lose and temporarily captured.  This anime has been up and down for me, but “Illegal Move” is a definite up in the direction that I desire for the show.

2 thoughts on “Last Exile: Fam, Ep. 10 (Thoughts)

  1. I don’t think Kana Hanazawa as Al is another method of otaku pandering but I can understand how some would see it that way. Why I don’t see it as such is because KanaHana was in the original Last Exile as Al’s best friend, Holly, and was her first voice role in an anime (she must’ve been 13 then). I figure the series wanted to keep her around since she worked on the original, is clearly one of the most talented seiyuu out there, has probably the best name recognition (at least for otaku) in the industry, and was appropriate for the role. Just my thoughts on the issue.

    And going back to the post, I did get vibes of when Dio was brainwashed when we saw Lilli emerge from the battleship but I don’t think they went through the same process. I’m wondering if she has a plan concocted or something but she seemed happy or relieved when she saw the vanship carrying Millia escape from the battlefield at the end of the episode. Not sure what to make of that yet. This episode really pushed the anime in an upward trend and I’m excited to see what happens with the Glacies border patrol ship next time around. I always love seeing cultures clash, so next episode should be fantastic!

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    • I completely forgot about Holly! I wonder if she’s the death referred to in the episode..O_o Listening to KanaHana’s voice, however, it does sound suitable to Al’s character. Breathy and sweet.

      Yes, the brainwashing notion was just that, a notion, but I couldn’t help remembering the horrid actions Dio took after it happened to him. I just couldn’t understand how Liliana could cut off Millia so easily like that, and even order the attack on the ship she knew housed her sister. Even if she was absolutely certain that Millia would escape, the risk was too great. I’m really, really interested in seeing what’s really going on with Lilliana and Luscinia.

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