Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam – 12

Okay, so I was only joking in my previous post when I said I should call these ‘Late Exile’ but this is ridiculous.  Hell, late isn’t even appropriate anymore, I should just dub these ‘Last Week’s Exile’ but even that’s starting to feel like it’s not enough.  Geez, this is getting bad.  Real bad.  So let’s take a quick flashback to last week’s episode which was a flashback to the fated meeting of the entire cast of Last Exile ten years prior to the present timeline of Last Exile (which was last week but now this week).

If you’re still with me and not caught in that abysmal transition sentence, I’m here to talk about the flashback episode of Last Exile with the Grand Race and the assassination, not the most recent one which I’m already several days late on (ugh, don’t remind me).  But the flashback episode did provide us some necessary insight into the world before the current wars, the personalities and peaceful lives of everyone during prosperous times, a transition point in all the character’s lives, and it set the stage for the current timeline of events where the current story takes place.  In other words, this episode did everything to explain the characters, the setting, and the basis for the story of which we are watching.

Perhaps most significant from this episode was seeing the magnanimous Late Queen Farahnaz grace the world with her presence and influence all the characters around her, especially the dependent Luscinia and the impressionable Liliana.  Not only could you see the authority and respect she commanded throughout the world but you could feel it too in the way everyone acted around her.  And it was simply not for her power alone but her compassionate and thoughtful personality, too, that is a portion of her triumphs.  We can finally begin to understand why she is such a dignified and worshiped figure in the anime now after finally seeing her during her supreme reign.  I do wonder what the world would’ve been like had her life not ended that day.

Speaking about that, what’s with the assassination?  Did we receive any explanations on who the assassins were and why they targeted Queen Farahnaz?  This episode answered or at least quieted a bunch of questions of mine and did a fantastic job of incorporating and developing all the characters of the series so far (even though having them all there at the same time is incredibly cheesy but it’s worth it when you consider what the episode did development-wise) but it stuck a thorn in my side when I received no resolutions on the assassination.  They seemed like common folk rather than sanctioned killers from a foreign land but it seemed like everyone loved the Queen or at least not enough to want to kill her and spill the balanced world into one of turmoil, chaos, and death.  I hope we do find out more about this assassination before the anime wraps up because it’s something that now itches me in a place I cannot even begin to starch.

Lastly, I do like how the episode developed Liliana’s character and showed why she has such a fervent connection with the enemy.  As we saw in this episode, the young princess already had admired the grand Farahnaz before meeting her and recalled all her accolades when the two first met.  Then, when she tripped and was helped up by Luscinia, the blush was a dead giveaway that she began to develop a crush on our main baddie.  That crush probably still exists in some form today which explains her following of Luscinia and his wicked actions.  And to crown the sympathizing with Ades, the Queen used her body as a shield to protect the young princess which, judging from her previous behavior of her as a role model, must have devastated her beyond recovery.  All these plot points come together to provide a solid background on why Liliana has ties to Ades and does a reasonable job on why she favors Ades over Turan.  Besides the crush, I feel she believes Ades has the power to restore the world to what it once was under Farahnaz and believes the military conquest is a necessary step toward this peace.  Perhaps we’ll learn more about her actions in the present when we see her confronted but for now, these seem like reasonable assumptions based on what we saw.  And while all the characters had important developments, it seemed like Liliana had the most significant of them all and was one that I was most eager to discover.  Consider this to be one of the most satisfying episodes of the series for me in terms of characters, setting, and plot.

On my trivial side, I am curious about the history of vanship or airship racing in this world.  This seemed like the first time the Grand Race took place but it seemed, judging from all the people, the enthusiasm, and preparations (besides security) that this was a massive event that the world looked forward to on an annual basis.  But it wasn’t.  The fact that it was a race used to celebrate world peace tells of its universal acceptance and love in the world.  That also means that racing had already been established in the world and is a favorite around the globe.  But to what degree?  Where are races held?  What influence and culture do these races have on their own?  How do they affect the world beyond these vanships and pilots?  I’d love to learn more about these tangential facts but these are some of the things that are never developed in anime due to a lack of awareness, depth, or usually time.  Maybe there will be some literature or manga that will fulfill these answers but I hardly ever remember these interests myself and, by the time the next episode airs, these thoughts are long gone from my mind and into simple nothingness.  Ah, a bit depressing but that’s the way it goes it seems.

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  1. #1 by Myssa on January 18, 2012 - 7:41 AM

    A lot of the motives of the assassins can be implied through the bulk of the episode itself, starting with Farafnaz’s comment to Liliana (while she was fiddling through her prayer bracelet) that she wasn’t counting prayer repetitions (like when praying the Rosary), but instead the sins that she had. Add this with the little scene with the younger Vasant, and one could see that, while Ades was able to gain enough peace so that the Grand Race could be eventually held, getting to that point likely involved a lot of blood and hardship, and likely lives of innocent people caught in the crossfire. With this in mind, it’s very easy to see just how many would resent the previous Augusta’s attempts, as it’s a peace bought through the suffering of other people.

    Ironically, if many are right, it’s actually not the Natives that offed the previous Augusta; instead it’s the Exiles, who the empress had been trying to help in the first place.

    • #2 by avvesione on January 18, 2012 - 4:31 PM

      Thanks for the comment and all that information!

      I talked about this with a friend and we were both thinking something along the same lines. Given the constant wars between the people returning from Exiles (Chaos, where Vasant is from, is one example) and the people who remained on Earth (Ades), it’s no surprise to see some hatred remain. Just look at the locket from one of the assassins that shows his family (likely casualties from the war). Farahnaz knows it, too. But still what we received really wasn’t that fulfilling. Exactly what happened during these wars that lead to this? Why was the Queen the target? I could go on with a few others but those were the two biggest questions I have after seeing her die. That’s why I’m a bit disappointed with the whole assassination scene.

      • #3 by Myssa on January 18, 2012 - 10:17 PM

        I think Farahnaz was singled out as the target simply because she’s the ruler of Ades, and as such a scapegoat for everything that her country had done, directly or otherwise. Not to mention the fact that killing her, in front of countless witnesses, would serve as a massive statement to everyone who thinks that any peace won through trampling over their neighbors is a worthwhile peace.

        • #4 by avvesione on January 19, 2012 - 12:44 AM

          True, I guess a parallel in the real world would be something like what happened to Franz Ferdinand before the start of World War I. I guess it’s not unreasonable but I would’ve liked something more solid on this than what we got. Oh well, what you said is a suitable answer to my questions and that’s about all we’ll get on this matter, so I better just take this and be content with it.

  2. #5 by Joojoobees on January 20, 2012 - 8:03 AM

    Ha ha! I’m even later than you on this series.

    “having them all there at the same time is incredibly cheesy”

    That is my big criticism with this episode. There have been several times when I thought that I understand what LE:Fam was going for, but it still came off kind of dumb. There is a nice reason for wanting all of your characters to join in one place as kids who are living in peace, when their adult lives set them up as enemies on the battlefield, but that doesn’t make it come off as anything other than contrived and “incredibly cheesy”.

    • #6 by avvesione on January 20, 2012 - 3:30 PM

      I don’t mind that they’re enemies now, I just thought it was lame that everyone was together all at that moment and all having a good time before and then seeing the assassination first hand. It felt a little bit too much. I realize they wanted to show everyone’s past and how that moment changed their lives, so the easiest way was to have everyone together rather than flipping through a thousand different locations to see the influence of the events but it came across as cheesy and unnecessary. But whatever, it was still a good episode.

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