Much of the fun in Last Exile : Fam, is watching the affairs of great nations at war contrasted with a kid’s more innocent goals.
The inner workings of the Ades Federation is interesting now, but it’s only going to show its promise later, when Luscinia really gets his hands dirty. Right now, he can mutter evil things to his aide and wave at innocent Sara Augusta through the window. Meanwhile, Sara should be one of the good guys, er, girls. She wants a peaceful, happy world. But she doesn’t seem to realize that Luscinia’s plans for achieving this include conquest and bloodshed, and most probably, her betrayal. That’s the juicy stuff we don’t see yet.
And then there’s Fam and Gisey. Sure, Fam likes Millia and supports her government-in-exile, but she’s just as interested in vanship racing and reviving the Grand Race (which, apparently, needs a free Turan). Not to mention capturing seven more Federation ships to get out of Titania’s debt. With this in mind she jumps into things without thinking, in this case a vanship race she can’t possibly win, placing a bet that puts this exiled government in jeopardy.
We get three different scenes at once. Luscinia tells the folks whose vanships were taken by Fam that they are all traitors, and kills them on the spot. I’m not sure what his game is here, unless it’s to seize their property for his own goals. Whatever, it’s cruel. Then we have Millia, dressed as a boy, talking with Baroness Roshanak during the race. If Fam wins, Roshanak’s ship becomes Fam’s booty. If she loses, Millia will become Roshanak’s plaything (tsk, Fam, Fam, Fam!). But there’s more going on here. Roshanak clearly recognizes Millia, but doesn’t let on. Why does she not simply seize her? Also, if she loses (and of course, she does) and her ship is taken, then she will be in the same position as those Luscinia murdered. She isn’t aware of that incident, but you get the idea that it wouldn’t change her mind much. I have the feeling we’ll see more of Roshanak in later episodes. As for the race, it’s pure kids entertainment. The creators are sparing no expense with the art and animation during action scenes. They’re so fluid that it’s impossible to get a single screenshot that does them justice. Of course Fam/Gisey wins, hooray, and the crew loses a lot of money on wagers, ha-ha! And it balances with the intrigues and bloodletting nicely.
How do you get the Ben-To characters into swimsuits and still have a thrilling battle for half-priced food? Easy! Make it a pool episode! While most of the episode is devoted to the usual theme of boys ogling girls while splashing about in the water, it gets entertaining when the water park’s version of bento battles begins. It works because it’s so over the top, well, and because the battle is well-done again, though many of the visual things they usually do don’t work as well with splashing water. In the end, bento should be fought over on dry land. And while we’re at it, baseball should always be played during the day and never in a dome. And football should always be played when it’s snowing. That’s what I think.
Kimi to Boku 8 is in two halves. The first half shows the predictable result when you get the five lads working on a manga story for Yuuki’s club. It’s typical for this show, but interesting that Yuuki actually disapproves of the result rather than not caring at all. Which doesn’t mean he changes his mood at all. The second half is more entertaining, as Ryunosuke, a Manga club member who, for some reason, idolizes Yuuki, tries to come up with his own manga, using Yuuki as the hero. So we get to see Yuuki’s calm indifference ruin a series of cliché-ridden genre tales. The Lone Wolf and Cub (I assume) spinoff was my favorite. It’s hard to see why star-struck Ryunosuke draws him that way, even with his explanation at the end, but it’s funny enough.