Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam – 15

Continuing with my nonsensical nomenclature for this anime, we’ve seen the series go from Last Exile to ‘Late Exile’ to ‘Last Week’s Exile’ to ‘Lost Exile’ to ‘Blast Exile’ to this episode which receives the moniker ‘Fast Exile’ due to the completely random, high-speed aerial race between Fam and Fritz.  Not a bad set of developments in this episode, with Millia and Fam battling with conflicting emotions, Ades generals having second thoughts after using Exile on Glacies, and Vasant and Sara already taking action to thwart the tyrannical Luscinia.  And with the developments in this episode, I can say good-bye to a theory of mine that I’ve had for most of the series.

Since around the beginning of Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam, I’ve seen concepts, themes, and ideas that paralleled this anime with World War II.  Of course, it was not a perfect replication of the war; otherwise everyone would’ve noticed the obvious analogy and turned it into a heavily discussed or debated topic.  Regardless of whether it was apparent or subtle, there were distinct features of this anime that resembled World War II.  Perhaps the most obvious would be the Ades Federation being the equivalent to Nazi Germany.  And of this theme, the military is the most recognizable.  The Ades military uniform mirrors a Nazi commander’s with its dark grey shirts with red details, silver insignias, crosses (not unlike the Iron Cross) and decorative hats.  The military of Ades is also the world’s most powerful, in terms of size and strength, and the most technologically advanced.  The military of Ades also believes in their militaristic conquest, too, as do the faithful and supportive nationals who cheer on their leader and military officers.  And it doesn’t stop here either, there is even evidence of Nazi Germany in the way the war has unfolded.  Similar to how Germany annexed Austria and parts of Czechoslovakia before the invasion of Poland, Ades annexed small nations around her boarders with Chaos being the most notable example.  Going from here, you could consider the first battle of the anime, the one between Ades and Turan, to be comparable to the Nazi invasion of France.  Similarly, if we’re assigning sides to the nations of Last Exile, Glacies is clearly Russia (language, environment, everything), Kartoffel could be England despite meaning ‘potato’ in German (helping its allies throughout the war, heavily bombed but never successfully invaded), and Anatoray could be, depending on how the story progresses, the United States or something (joining the war late?).  Some of the technology seen throughout Last Exile Fam has also resembled World War II era military technology and weaponry, particularly some of the artillery and anti-aircraft we’ve seen.  Beyond these, I’m sure there are other subtleties and peculiars a more astute follower of the anime and expert on the Second World War would find but these were enough to convince me there was a dominate theme throughout Last Exile Fam.  But now, I’m not so sure anymore.

What happened in this episode helped dispel this simple theory of mine by providing more discrepancies than support and continuing on a recent trend away from the World War II model.  For one, I was not expecting Ades to conquer Glacies but rather end similar to how the Nazi forces stalled at Stalingrad before being pushed back.  The Glacies Exile in the previous episode helped entertain that idea more as it was a defensive Exile but it was no match for the Exile of Turan which seemed to decimate the fortress between episodes.  There are also holes in the theory with which characters represent which historical figures.  Obviously assigning Luscinia the role of Hitler would be logical but his active role in each battle and fact he was not the true figurehead led me to dismiss this idea.  I was under the impression he was more analogous to Erwin Rommel or another Field Marshall than the actual leader of the nation which seemed to fit his role better in the anime.  If that were the case, however, then Sara would’ve had to fit the role as some sort of loli Hitler and that idea never worked, especially with the developments in this episode with Sara and Vasant choosing to go against Luscinia now.  Similarly, none of the other members of the anime fit any other historical figures either, although I did toy with the idea that Vincent would be like George Patton and Alvis could be J. Robert Oppenheimer or something.  That still makes me laugh.  Also the fact that Ades used Turan’s Exile and Glacies had their own, too, kinda through off the idea that Exiles were like atomic weapons.  The Silvius and the Guild never fit anywhere either.  Elsewhere, there were other holes in the theory and it felt like trying to explain each one with concepts from this anime were like trying to make excuses for a flimsy theory.  The developments in this episode were what put their theory in its coffin.  Though it was accurate in some areas and could be modified to fit the anime better, part of the reason behind the theory is that the two were more similar than not and reducing it to the degree that it has become makes it seem like there were only haphazardly borrowed themes and ideas rather than an analogy or clever storytelling.  Still, it was fun while it lasted and, should the anime change so that there is more evidence to support this idea, then perhaps the theory might make a comeback in some form or another before the last battle hears its final gunshot.

I’ve started to forget about the old cast members of the original Last Exile now since the Silvius has disappeared and we’ve only had minor updates on the characters, like that brief scene at the start of episode 13 with Dio rescuing Al.  Part of me wants those characters to stay out of this anime and have this one be more individualize and stand-alone, but at the same time, I want to see everyone again because I like them more than any of the new characters except for Millia.  The older characters really haven’t done much of anything to impact any of the new characters or the story which is somewhat disappointing, too, and it sometimes feels like they were only included for this anime to attach the name ‘Last Exile’ to it and to remind us how outstanding the original version was.  Oh well.  Since they’re in this anime, I do want to see them again but only if they begin to play more of an important role rather than cameos who remind us of the original.

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  1. #1 by Marina on January 31, 2012 - 4:17 AM

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with conceding that this show most likely was inspired by World War II–despite the similarities, I never thought it was this show’s intention to perfectly mirror the actual events of the war. And if it had done so, I would have found it to be a mere copy and annoyingly predictable (not that it isn’t already predictable to a degree). Your original notion for the theme isn’t too off the mark, so don’t knock yourself too much :)

    • #2 by avvesione on February 2, 2012 - 11:32 PM

      Yeah, I should’ve known better but I was really entertained by the idea and kept trying to see how it’d fit. Guess I got a little too excited with it and bought into the idea, so I did set myself up for disappointment. With that said, you’re right that there are a lot of similarities, so I shouldn’t be this harsh on myself. Maybe something will change down the road…

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