Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing - Episode 11

It's flashback time as Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing returns from the Christmas break, seeing as leap back a decade to a simpler, happier period of the show's world.  Well, that's the plan anyhow...

With the world brought to peace by the hard work of Queen Farhanaz, this week's episode more specifically focuses upon the Grand Race so beloved of Fam and friends - indeed, we spend much of the episode following a much younger Fam and Gisey on the one hand, and Millia and Liliana on the other as they both go about their respective business enjoying the big day, even crossing paths briefly in the case of Fam and Millia.

Amidst all the celebrations surrounding this major event, designed to bring the various peoples of the planet together, there are clear signs of unrest throughout - with wars and prejudices still fresh in so many minds to say that the current peace is an unsteady one would be an understatement, while even Farhanaz clearly has troubles eating away at the back of her mind for while she feels wholly responsible.  Given that backdrop of unrest, there's arguably little surprise that the award ceremony for the winner of the Grand Race turns into a bloodbath right in front of the eyes of Fam and many, many others, with supposed freedom fighters happy to take whatever lives are necessary to end what they see as Farhanaz's oppressive dictatorship.

Given the misty eyed reminiscences of the Grand Race and both Fam and later Millia's over-riding desire to bring it back, it's actually rather a surprise to see what I was expecting to be a fun and rose-tinted view of said event a decade earlier turning out to be anything but.  I'm not sure what impact (if any) the events we've seen here will have on the remainder of the series at this juncture, but it's certainly an intriguing time to let us in on this part of the Last Exile story, and for all its flaky animation (particularly during its climatic scenes which were laughably bad in places) it left a solid enough impression on the viewer as an attempt to fill us in a little more fully on the turmoil gripping its world back in the present day.  Fam, the Silver Wing continues to get more right than it does wrong, and that can only be commended against the backdrop of a series that seems more ambitious at times than we've maybe given it credit for.

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