Last Exile Fam is living up to the original series.
But we start with a lull in the action to get us updated on various people. Little Sara Augusta is despondent because she couldn’t protect the nobles who were massacred last episode. She had failed their trust, unlike her wise mother. She comes off as a little naive, but she is a little girl, after all, and she has her heart in the right place. The trouble is, it’s clear she isn’t the one making decisions right now, it’s Luscinia. What happens when he turns against her? Again, that’s for future episodes. The other quiet moments involve Giselle and her quiet but obvious jealousy toward Millia, and her fear that Fam is turning from her. She’s young, too, though not as young as Sara, so all we can do is hope that she sees that what she feels is illusory. Near the end of the episode Fam says a few appropriate words to her, without knowing that anything’s bothering her. That’s the problem with quiet characters. Only Millia seems to know what’s going on, and she does her best to keep Giselle from distraction. For there’s work to do. A fleet of noble’s ships! Skyfish heaven! Let’s go!
In the first moments of this fantastic action scene the big crisis would seem to be the arrival of Fam’s old comrades who also want to steal a vessel of two. Damn it! Nothing like old friends to screw up your plans. Just when we’re wondering if Fam can snare a ship with all the competition swarming around him, an Ades fleet, or two or three, descends from the clouds and begins firing. It’s an ambush! NOW we’re wondering if ANY of them is even going to get out of this alive. There follows several moments of drop-dead beautiful animation, tempered by the desperate situation they’re in, and accompanied by a score loaded with fanfares. Absolutely amazing stuff. And through it all, providing the anchor, we watch as Fam and Giselle dodge explosives and think as hard as they can, until they come up with an improbable idea, which naturally works. And just as I was beginning to relax, they toss a cliffhanger at us for next episode.
This is what the original series did so well: the great plans of nations surrounding two young, resourceful heroes, well, that and great art, music and animation.
In Tamayura Hitose 8 Fuu and her friends step to the side while we watch some adults do some adult thinking. Well, Fuu is there, watching, but she’s really not the center of whatever little story this is. If there is a dilemma in this episode it would be “Is Shimomi going to give up photography?” And the answer is, “who knows?” My other answer is, if she does, she could easily make money modeling, for all the loving close-ups this episode gives her. Have her look somewhere off-camera with a wistful look, she could easily make some bucks. But I suppose the theme is wisdom and experience handed down (and around), as we discover that little tyke has taken up photography, inspired by Fuu, who was inspired by Shihomi. In the episode we discover that Shihomi is staying with Hoboro, er, Chimo (leading to the episode’s other big question, if you’re an adult), and the three of them visit another restaurant, run by Mihono, another mentor/friend. We hear them talk about switching jobs and why they like what they do, even if it means leaving something you’re good at. It’s a good lesson, though impractical for many in this lovely economy we live in now. In other words, it’s grownup talk, and Fuu tries to take it in using the “Ticket to the sky” metaphor, i.e., you are currently aimless, but it means there are so many possibilities. And no, Shihomi isn’t giving up photography yet.