Weekly Digest: 1/12/12 – Gundam AGE, Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam

[sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_13_[720p][10bit][79485DAF].mkv_snapshot_08.39_[2012.01.12_11.02.59] [sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_13_[720p][10bit][79485DAF].mkv_snapshot_22.08_[2012.01.12_11.27.31] Last Exile Ginyoku no Fam - 11 - Large 04

One of the shows in this digest made some real progress this week, and it should be pretty obvious which one it was…

Gundam AGE – 13

[sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_13_[720p][10bit][79485DAF].mkv_snapshot_02.47_[2012.01.12_10.56.43] [sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_13_[720p][10bit][79485DAF].mkv_snapshot_05.32_[2012.01.12_10.59.52] [sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_13_[720p][10bit][79485DAF].mkv_snapshot_11.29_[2012.01.12_11.11.39]
[sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_13_[720p][10bit][79485DAF].mkv_snapshot_12.24_[2012.01.12_11.12.34] [sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_13_[720p][10bit][79485DAF].mkv_snapshot_20.49_[2012.01.12_11.26.12] [sage]_Mobile_Suit_Gundam_AGE_-_13_[720p][10bit][79485DAF].mkv_snapshot_22.12_[2012.01.12_11.27.51]

This seems to have been the episode that Gundam fans were waiting for, and it’s easy to see why.  You can look at the first 12 eps as pure build-up, in a sense, and this one (and the next, by the look of the preview) as the payoff.  With the Diva reconfigured into a weapon using the AGE system and the Federation off their backs, there’s no reason anymore for Grodek and Co. to hesitate, and it’s off to war they go with all the requisite refection, speeches and death flags.  Largan reflects on his unrequited love for Millias, Woolf says cool stuff and Emily declares her desire to watch over Flit.

The battle itself is full of requisite flash and thunder, and it’s very well-produced.  It’s Flit’s heroism (recklessness?) that allows The Diva to get close enough to the UE warship to use it’s photon cannon.  Rast’s attempt at heroic death is thwarted by a Deux ex Madorna.  The UE warship, The Fa Bose, is destroyed – but Yark Dole and his Mini-me Arabelle Doi (Hirata Mana) don’t seem too concerned.  Desil is licking his chops at the prospect of doing battle with “Onee-chan” Flit, and poor Yurin is held prisoner and looks likely to be used as a weapon against Flit in the next episode. Apparently the hard-core fans have seen Yurin’s death as inevitable for a while, but the prospect still saddens me as she’s the best character on the show.  I don’t know if we’re headed for a “Cats, Girls & Spaceships” scenario, but it seems likely from the dramatic buildup and the preview that this battle sequence is going to conclude with some serious heartbreak, specifically for Flit.

Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam – 11

Last Exile Ginyoku no Fam - 11 - Large 09 Last Exile Ginyoku no Fam - 11 - Large 10 Last Exile Ginyoku no Fam - 11 - Large 16

Last Exile is back after a recap episode and a holiday break.  It seems an odd narrative choice to follow up a recep ep with a flashback ep, but this one at least was new footage and managed to fill in a few gaps in our knowledge of the Fam-verse.  One of the more interesting elements is the philosophical split that exists in the Ades hierarchy, and we get a look at how it developed.  As suspected, Luscinia does seem to have a higher goal of a sort but he’s a hard-core relativist, prepared to use any means to achieve the end he seeks.  There’s also some political background on how the current geopolitic formed, and some background on the Grand Race with requisite footage of cute-cute mini versions of all the girls in the cast.

As always, “Fam” is better with the big picture than the executions.  The notion of Luscinia’s troubled past is interesting – the Ades are generally more compelling than the “good guys” here – but the execution was clumsy and as so often happens, the meaning of what we were seeing was somewhat muddled by mediocre writing.  Generally speaking, the story seems to be treading water and has been for a while, and stagnation is never a good thing.  Frankly, I don’t much care about Fam and Gisey’s childhood and I don’t really feel as if we’ve been given any reason to care much about the Grand Race either.  I want to like this show more than I do, but the clock is ticking.

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6 comments

  1. A

    The Grand Race was more like a joke race to me. Besides the rather short course, it also lacked much of a challenge that could truly test the capabilities of a Vanship pilot and co-pilot. Heck, the Norkia Cup in the first Last Exile was miles ahead compared to this so called "greatest" race on Earth, and that was only a small level tournament organized by the town of Norkia, not an international event like the Grand Race. I even felt sorry for Fam for her ambition of winning that so called "greatest" race.

    The other thing that bothered me was where were all the guards? The race was an international event attended by numerous powerful foreign dignitaries, yet the absence of any guards or patrol units was just laughable. Luscinia and Alauda may be powerful fighters, but they are more the Queen's personal guards, so who were responsible for the safety of all those other VIPs? And why did the place where all the big names were socializing while the race was going on lack any railing at all? When loli Millia was feeling all excited watching all the vanships passing by, all the time in my head I kept on thinking how it would take just one accidental push to send any of the VIPs in attendance down to their deaths.

    I have to totally agree with you on the good big picture but mediocre writing comment regarding the Fam episodes thus far. Oh well, at least the previews show Alviss and Vincent are gonna be showing up next episode. Now that is what would make me waiting impatiently for the next episode.

  2. b

    Nice, thanks for the AGE post.
    And yeah, pretty much Yurin's fate is sealed now. It may take a miracle to change that but I'm not counting on it. About the only thing that may be unpredictable is if she will die in Flit's hands or not. History says that the girls who fall to the dark side(lol) just get killed in front of the protagonist's eyes by others so we'll see.

  3. d

    I've been away from anime and LiA for awhile now and I see that Last Exile has been relegated to combined Digests. Is it worth my time to continue watching it?

  4. Very hard to say. The writing is still mediocre, but we do have Vincent and Alvis in the show. I'm hanging on for a chance at Claus and Lavie, as there's no reason to think the writing will get any better.

  5. d

    Vincent? Alvis? Are those from the first?

  6. Yup. If you're not holding out for some geek-porn from the first series, I can't really see much reason to stick around.

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