[Syncet] =\ Last Exile anyone? by Syncet
April 28, 2008, 2:00 am
Filed under: Anime, Random

Unfortunately, after the last post, we got even busier. As I sit here in front of my desktop, tapping out these words, I’m wondering about the huge workload waiting for me, and my wondrous ability to procrastinate till such a pile even managed to form. I haven’t really dedicated my time to this site. I keep saying I’ll do it when I’m really free, but what ends up happening is I don’t ever finish my work, and slack in between my work a lot. =\ I got problems sorting out my time. need.to.take.control.of.mylifeman..

Anyway. Yes, I’m surprised we’re still holding out. Anyway, recently, I went back two two relatively old anime series. One of which is Last Exile. I can’t personally say it’s heavenly, but it’s really good. Its character development is really emphasized on, and it is this point which made it so good. Its plot on the other hand…can’t say that I really understood the ending.

One thing about Last Exile is that it has a sort of laid back atmosphere. Steam power and ships and all. It’s very fantasy-like. I especially like the start. With the playing of the BGM “A Morning in Norkia” while introducing the main characters- Claus Valca and Lavie Head. The BGM really gives the dreamy mood and is very apt. =)

The use of no BGM and many intervals of Last Exile are also masterfully done. There are anime where the lack of background music is placed at so horrible intervals, it sounds awkward. Last Exile’s is perfect =). It really gives the feeling of reality, and yet fantasy at the same time. In reality, there is no background music. The background noise however, can be heard, things like the vanship engine powering down etc.

I mentioned on liking the character development a lot. It’s the strength of the whole anime. Even minor characters are given depth and worked upon. To give depth to almost if not all characters in 26 episodes is no easy feat. However, this probably resulted in the…confusing ending. Anyway yes, let’s take a look at Mullin Shetland- the musket soldier whose fate is somewhat interwoven with the main characters of Last Exile.

I really enjoy the way they portrayed him in episode one. It was striking enough to compel me on towards the end to see the development of his character. He only says one line throughout the first episode over a few short parts. “May Disith’s bullets pass Mullin Shetland’s body by…” the constant repetition of the line showing his fear of death in the skies during the battle. If I were in his shoes, I’d think I’d be doing the same, chanting words to calm myself. There is a saying “No man’s an atheist in a foxhole”. The nervousness of the soldier just before battle, his hands slipping and wasting away a bullet. His incessant chants to reassure himself mentally while the enemy bullets butcher the first line of soldiers. They did all that in one episode not taking more than half of it, and that’s jsut a relatively minor character.

For those who’ve watched it. I’m sure you will agree with the beautiful depth carved into the characters. To those who haven’t watched it, you should, and focus on how each character is developed through the course of the anime.

Even the use of how the characters treat water in the anime illustrate the different personalities and upbringings. In Last Exile, there are several quality levels of water, depending on the cleanliness of the water(if I’m not wrong). First Water is the best, only available to the Guild (the…so called nobility of all civilisation, and tyrants) and then there is Second Water, Third Water and the lowest grade. Second isn’t mentioned in the anime. Claus and Lavie are orphans, Lavie’s family being poorer than Claus’ when they were young and their parents were still alive.

Third water to them, is a luxury. They treat water like treasure, for it is the very thing that sustains life. (call me an asshole, I won’t tell you where the parts that illustrate this all are, you go find them yourself =p) The soldiers, who have relatively clean water and meals are provided by, the captains, the nobles of the society- just under the guild, and the kings of their nations- they all have water freely provided, unlike Claus and Lavie. About these people, Lavie said this, which really did strike me. “”Lay down your life for chivalry,” huh? We(Claus and Lavie) live off vegetables that’re basically weeds and meat that most would throw away, and we even bake our own bread, but there are still some days where we’ve got nothing to eat and are too hungry to sleep. Have these guys drunk so much clean water and eaten so much good food that their brains have turned into mousse. Chivalry can kiss my ass!” Sorry for making so many references to the first episode haha ( I was planning to write this article one month ago after I finished the anime, but I delayed it just too much.) The Guild, they can even use First Water, to wash food to get rid of certain tastes- wasting the precious water. Using it for trivial purposes.

Without anymore umm additions to this article, I will let those of you who haven’t watched it to go watch the rest, and those who have watched it either just recall this good anime. I won’t comment on the plot because well, I didn’t get it towards the end. Oh yes. Last Exile proves that without fan service, and brilliant character development, a good anime is very very possible. It highlights the importance of the fleshing out of characters in an anime.

Oh gosh. Back to my homework. =\ Sorry about the incredibly short post on this incredibly good anime. I don’t think I’m doing justice to the anime at all =(


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