Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam – 6

Is it just me or does nothing bad ever happen to Fam?

No, I’m not just talking about the bet where she could’ve potentially lost Millia, but in regards to everything she does.  No matter how risky or dangerous it is, nothing bad ever happens to Fam.  She’s effortlessly captured roughly a dozen airships now including most from the most powerful military in the world, flown directly into a fleet of battleships during a skirmish only to return unharmed and her ship undamaged, and she has flown around inside of these ships at Mach speeds without a single crash, collision, or even a near missing.  Most recently, she won a race against a world-class pilot in the most gimmicky way possible to prevent selling her friend into slavery and then feeling miserable about it.  Even when she tried multiple times to blow her cover when stealing that Ades battleship, she still ended up accomplishing her mission.  Hell, she even attacked the Silvius and got captured.  That’d be bad for everyone in the entire world but Fam.  The consequences of such an event resulted in a place for Millia to live and for her to set up her new government, some new friends for everyone, endless supplies at no cost, and a fun new adventure.  Anyone else and they’d be dead.  But not Fam.  I’d say Fam laughs in the face of danger but that’s not because she’s the embodiment of bravery and recklessness; it’s because danger hasn’t done anything to Fam and all and likely never will.

There is no fear in what Fam does, no matter how thoughtless or hazardous the activity is, largely because the series won’t do anything to her.  I’m not sure why though because plenty of unspeakable things have happened to Millia.  Think about her for a second in contrast to Fam.  She lost her nation, her role as Princess, and her Father in a span of a few hours.  Her sister was captured by the invading nation and used to summon Exile whose onslaught decimated her cherished home.  And she’s stuck with Teddy.  All abysmal things which make you feel sympathetic for the character.  Fam, on the other hand, has never had an adverse event in her life.  Okay, sure, she lost her family when she was a baby but the series did nothing to create an emotional tie between the two except use the word ‘Father’ and show his body (and we’re supposed to assume the rest).  But even that’s faulty since at that point, Fam has grown up living with her best friend and living an adventurous and free lifestyle, so maybe things worked out for the best in the end.  It’s strange to see such an intense contrast between the two main characters.  You’d figure the series would do something awful to Fam at some point already, but no she’s always smiling, being playful, and radiating with that arrogant and smug attitude.  She knows nothing bad will happen to her which is why she can always go on these impossible adventures and come back successful and without any harm.

I’d love to see something serious start happening to Fam as soon as the next episode.  Not only do I think it’s unfair to distribute all the bad stuff in the series to just one character but it would considerably improve Fam’s character.  For one, it’d be a reality check for her.  If something bad happened to her and her directly (not something like Millia getting captured, where she’d be the secondary character to that distressing event) it would totally sober her up and put her personality in perspective.  I’d love to see her go out on another wild mission but end up losing her Vespa vanship or something to strip her of her overconfidence and cockiness.  Or maybe have her do something that results in her hometown being attacked by Ades or some pirates or something.  I’d love to see her arrogant personality change to something more humble, similar to how Millia changed after she lost everything.

Another reason I’d like to see something bad happen to Fam is just to make the series a bit more realistic.  Even though we’ve seen Fam be a phenomenal pilot and show herself to be a clever tactician, it’s still impossible to believe all that she’s done.  She’s captured nearly a dozen airships from the most powerful military in the world and it hasn’t produced a response.  You’d figure there’d be a global manhunt for such a overwhelming criminal but it hasn’t even made a blip in the radar for the Ades military yet, at least that we’ve seen.  You’d figure that a country fighting multiple nations would keep better track of their resources or field a competent military but I guess those things aren’t necessary in this setting.  But if that’s the case, then I have trouble imagining that they’re successfully invading all these other nations.  Are their militaries even more incompetent?  Who knows.  But if there was a response from Ades in regards to all their missing warships and that they actually chased down Fam, then I’d be a bit more understanding.  Furthermore on this point, I don’t see how Fam could beat out a world-class racer in her first race in a course she doesn’t know with a stunt like that.  That race was decent to start but you knew that Fam wouldn’t lose not matter what and it would be by something stupid, too.  I would’ve loved to see Fam lose the race and then need to capture Millia and the warship from Roshanak in the next episode.  The series would’ve won a lot of points from me by doing that and I’d be raving about twist in the story.  But no, we got another crazy adventure from Fam turn out alright for her and all her friends.  Yawn.

I want to see all the characters change, grow, and progress, especially the main character Fam (who is also my favorite), but so far the only one to do that is Millia.  I want something serious to happen to Fam soon because that’s what will start her development as a character.  But the question before that is: why is she immune to anything bad?  It’s like the series is trying to protect her yet she still goes out on all these crazy adventures.  It doesn’t make sense to have it go both ways and it’s preventing her character from developing like it should, like with Millia.  Eventually, the series will change and Fam will need to respond to adversities but until then, her progress as a character will remain stagnant.

I suppose I was a bit negative with the main topic, so I’ll say something positive with this final bit.  The conversation between Millia and Roshanak in her suite was done wonderfully.  Roshanak is an interesting character, immediately seeing through the disguise and recognizing it was Princess Millia and then going about to test her resolve on reestablishing her nation.  On the surface, it seemed like Roshanak was just making small talk while Millia observed the race but really, Roshanak was questioning young Millia’s fortitude and providing insight into her upcoming hardships and opposition.  When Millia declared how she’d never sacrifice her honor and dignity just to take the easy way out, you knew that Roshanak was smiling, content with her answer, even though they never showed her reaction to the answer.  This was really the first time Millia faced any resistance in regards to restoring her nation and she passed the test with distinction.  She possesses the leadership qualities and the determination to revive her lost nation and this was the first scene to actually see those qualities.  I couldn’t be happier with that scene and how Millia responded.  Actually, you know what I said about Fam being my favorite character in this series?  Scratch that.  It’s Millia now.  And I don’t think she’s going to lose that position anytime soon.

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  1. #1 by Marina on November 24, 2011 - 2:55 PM

    Hah, as I’ve said before, I really think the anime should be named after Millia instead of Fam with the rate things are going right now. I agree that Fam is impervious to all danger, but I feel a change coming on after the talk between Gisey and Alis. Hopefully some conflict between pilot and navigator will turn things for the worse and slap Fam straight in the face.

    • #2 by avvesione on November 24, 2011 - 4:16 PM

      Yeah, your episode 5 post kinda inspired me to take this approach this week with this episode (although less a positive toward Millia and more a negative toward Fam). I’d like it if Fam and Giselle have an argument and break up for a few episodes. Something needs to happen to Fam to bring her head back down from the clouds.

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