Airing simultaneously in Japan and in South East Asia via Animax Asia, Last Exile ~Fam, The Silver Wing~” is the sequel to the phenomenal Gonzo series “Last Exile”. Once again helmed by Chigira Koichi, with character and mechanical designs by Range Murata and Kobayashi Makoto, “Last Exile ~Fam, The Silver Wing~” features new characters and new conflicts set in the same lush world as the original “Last Exile”.
In the first episode, we are introduced to the eponymous Fam Fan Fan — a brash and youthful vanship pilot allied with the Sky Pirates. Together with her wingman Giselle Collette Vingt, they take down enormous floating battleships they call Skyfish (or Kujira, literally “whales”) with their tiny, two-seater craft called a Vespa. These captured vessels are hauled off to the Sky Pirates’s hideout, where they are stripped and sold off for supplies and for profit. Besides Fam and Giselle, Dio Eraclea of the original Last Exile is also with the Sky Pirates — although he is very noncommital with his allegiance.
Meanwhile, the Princesses of Turan Liliana and Milia are at the Grand Lake — a body of water held sacred not just by their kingdom but also their enemies, the Ades Federation. There they hope to forge a peace treaty with the warmongering nation, however they are brutally betrayed when the Ades Federation — led by Premiere Luskinia Hafiz, open fire on the Turan ship the Lasas.
Unbeknownst to the Princesses of Turan, the Sky Pirates are also in the vicinity of the Grand Lake, hoping to cash in on the large flotilla of battleships. Fam gets it into her head that she wants to capture the Lasas, so she and Giselle convince the Turans to surrender their ship to them, instead of having to face the Ades Federation armada on their own.
Choosing survival with the Sky Pirates over capture at the hands of the Ades Federation, Princess Liliana hands over control of the Lassa to Dio — who had snuck into their ship undetected. To make their escape with the Lassa in tow, Fam, Giselle, and the rest of the Sky Pirates trick the Ades ships into firing at each other. In the midst of the confusion, Dio deliberately crashes the Lasas into the Grand Lake to make it appear to the enemies that the ship and its crew perished in the battle.
Back in the Ades Federation, Premiere Luskinia and his assistant Alauda are unconvinced that Princesses Liliana and Milia are dead, and they set into motion a plan that will have dire consequences for the Kingdom of Turan and its people.
From the very beginning “Last Exile ~Fam, The Silver Wing~” looks and feels very different from its predecessor “Last Exile” — even with the similar character design, visual style, and background music. While the first series started off pretty slow and steady, “Fam” has plenty of thrills, spills, and even major plot points from the get-go. It’s an exciting show to watch, even for people who have never seen the 2003 series.
The high points for me with the new series are definitely in the details. I really like the way they named Fam’s vessel — “Vespa” is an obvious nod to the tiny Italian scooters with the same name. Dio shouting out “Immelmann Turn!” brings you back to his adventures in the original Last Exile. The Sky Pirates’ habit of calling oversized battleships “whales” as well as “harpooning” them show flashes of inspiration from “Moby Dick”.
Last but not least, the visual vibe has Range Murata written all over it — and I love his art and toy designs like a crazy person ❤
This series is definitely something to look out for. Catch the rest of “Last Exile ~Fam, The Silver Wing~” the same day as Japan on Animax, starting 15th October, and every Saturday at 8PM. Already hooked? Share your thoughts on “Fam” in the comments box.