Foreign Friday: Last Exile

Okay, this one isn’t a manga, or a novel, at least in the US. It’s an anime, and before you scoff at the idea of cartoons, realize that we are influenced by them. Just because it’s animation doesn’t mean it ca’tn impact you. As for anime, I find that the Japanese have a great art style, and the music arrangements can be amazing!

Anyway, this week’s Foreign Friday is Last Exile, an anime.

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The Story

It’s the dawn of the Golden Age of Aviation on planet Prester, and retro-futuristic sky vehicles known as vanships dominate the horizon. Claus Valca – a flyboy born with the right stuff – and his fiery navigator Lavie are fearless racers obsessed with becoming the first sky couriers to cross the Grand Stream in a vanship. But when the high-flying duo encounters a mysterious girl named Alvis, they are thrust into the middle of an endless battle betwenn Anatoray and Disith – two countries systematically destroying each other according to the code of chivalric warfare. Lives will be lost and legacies determined as Claus and Lavie attempt to bring peace to their world by solving the riddle of its chaotic core.

The Characters

Claus Valca and Lavie Head are just trying to make it in the world, flying their fathers’ vanship as messengers. Claus is a talented pilot, but he is quiet, and is troubled by the happenings “in the sky.” Lavie is energetic and practical, aiming for stability.

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What I Thought

Last Exile is special to me, since it is the first anime that I ever watched in full. From it led the discovery of manga, and with manga came a whole realm if inspiration for stories! The story deals with war, the fear of loss of natural resources, and of course friendship. While the plot is good, and the character development is decent, what struck me were the CG animation for key action scenes, and more importantly, the music. Dolce Triad created an amazing score for the series. I was disappointed to discover that there was no book that it was based off, and no book written from it. Its a good example of Steam Punk, and got me interested in the genre. I felt it was definitely worth watching!

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