Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam – 14

With the much anticipated battle between Glacies and Ades finally here, this episode of Blast Exile turned to a militaristic one full of impressive warships, fiery explosions, and several intriguing revelations.  But the battle that lasted for most of the episode wasn’t as particularly enjoyable as some of the previous episodes despite involving the two greatest nations waging a full-scale war with each other.  What was wrong with the airship battle in this episode of Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam?

What bothered me throughout the battle and for most of the episode was the general sense of chaos on the battle from the viewer’s perspective.  The way the battle was directed, we never seemed to have a solid perspective on what was going on.  Though the battle progressed in a logical and appropriate fashion, the camera was whisked around the battlefield from airship to airship and character to character giving us no frame of reference to where we were on the battlefield and only up to our memory to recall what was currently happening in their situation.  At one point, we see Dian flying in the air attacking the Vanguard, then go to another to another three scenes, then she’s launching off again without any explanation to when or why this is happening.  This sense of chaos really hindered my enjoyment of the battle since I never knew where I was in relation to what was going on.  I couldn’t tell how close anyone was to the Glacies fortress, where the fleets were originating from and where they were on the battlefield, or where Fam, Millia, and Giselle were flying to and from.  If there had been a map that periodically flashed during the battle to denote their positions on the battlefield, then the progression of the battle would’ve been easier to follow and made more sense to me.  That would’ve also made the battle more enjoyable to follow, as well.

One other problem I had with the fight is that things just seemed to happen rather that feel like a battle was taking place.  Obviously the entire battle was scripted before it was written and it certainly felt that way.  It seemed like Ades and Glacies got together before and wrote out the plans for the war, something along the lines of ‘you do this, then I do this, then you counter with this, then I surprise you with this, then you…’ The fight felt clockwork or formulaic in that sense.  Thought it did hit all the points it wanted to make and do everything it wanted to do, it hurt the overall enjoyment of the battle by feeling so unnatural.  Really, this is a tedious thing to nitpick in an episode like this but I couldn’t get my mind off the issue throughout the episode.  Perhaps I would’ve enjoyed more cross-communication within each military to have them explain what’s going on elsewhere and what their changing plans of action were but it would have to be executed just perfectly for it to cure this problem of mine.

Besides those two minor disturbances, I did enjoy watching this battle finally transpire thought I’m not surprised at the result either.  Like previous episodes featuring fleet after fleet of expansive warships and brigades of vanships, the art and animation were at its finest in Last Exile, making the episode a pleasure to watch.  I’m starting to get over the whole copy/paste CGI armies we see all the time and the ridiculous number of airships we see everywhere, too.  Plus seeing the characterization during the battle was excellent, especially with the Ades generals and Dian.  And I’m interested to see what happens next with Glacies since it appears they’re heading to almost certain defeat in the next episode.  With roughly 10 episodes remaining, it will be interesting to see what happens next since Glacies was the last formal military with a chance of defending itself from Ades and Ades should be free to rule the entire Grand Lake region.  Perhaps there will be some internal struggles up next for Ades?

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