Sunday, February 24, 2008

Last Exile

I would like to apologise for the lack of anime reviews lately I have gotten a job and therefore have not had much time to myself. But fear not, I plan on getting back on track and aim to write a review every week if I don’t get too busy. And if any anime magazines want to offer the Peebody a job my services are always available and I will work for peanuts.
Last Exile is one of the best examples of steampunk on the market today. This anime was directed by Koichi Chigira (other works include full metal panic and gate keepers) and produced by GONZO studios. Last Exile runs for 26 episodes and first aired on Japanese TV (TV Tokyo) in April 2003. A combination of 2-D and 3-D CGI was used in this anime with great effect. And the soft tones of the animation and colour work with the art deco in the anime.

Last Exile is set on the planet of Prester, a world that is divided in two halves. One half is Disith, which is locked in an ice age and the other half is Anatoray, a green and lush land. The two worlds are separated by the grand stream a hurricane like environment in the skies where the Guild (a class of people that run Prester as they are more technologically advance) lives and the only way to get from Disith to Anatoray (or visa versa) is to cross the grand stream. The story centres around a young vanship pilot Claus Valca and his life long friend and navigator Lavie Head. Both are 15 years old at the being of the series and have been living together since both their parents died when they were younger. Their lives are forever changed when they take over a mission from another vanship pilot that has been mortally wounded while trying to escape from the Guild.

The two have to escort a young girl Alvis Hamilton to the Silvana (a battle ship). After the captain of the Silvana Alex Row takes Alvis, Claus decides he has to make sure Alvis is safe, and the two go after the Silvana. Claus and Lavie are allowed to stay on the Silvana and they soon adjust to life as part of the crew. Alvis holds the key to ending the war between Disith and Anatoray and the Guild want her. The rest of the anime fallows the Silvana and its crew’s struggle to bring an end to the Guild and the war.
I really liked this anime; the story line is very good and flows well (although the end does get a little confusing and you may need to look for further info on the net to get it as I had to). I said it at the start and I will say it again, the soft wash in the colour and the character design is so visually appealing that you can watch this anime for hours. A lot of the main characters have some sort of unhappy past that has been caused by war and this gives the anime depth. If you like steampunk then you will love Last Exile, if you like anime with a good storyline and lots of battle scenes then you will like this anime. I think this anime has something for everyone and if you’re looking for something new give this a try.
photos via photobucket