Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam – 16

Unlike the friendship between Fam and Giselle, one that has endured numerous hardships and still remains strong, the relationship between Fam and Millia is a bit more complex.  Should you ask either character, the answer regarding their friendship would be that they are dear friends yet their actions don’t always support these words.  Perhaps the greatest obstacle in what’s keeping this relationship to be one as close or resilient as Fam’s and Giselle’s is an issue that extends beyond the difference in class and status between the princess and the pirate.  What’s hindering the friendship of Fam and Millia is that they don’t treat each other as equals.

Though Fam and Millia are spending their lives together after the fall of Turan and the two share an friendly bond with each other, there is a bit of distance that separates the two unlike between Fam and Giselle.  That distance is mainly comprised of how one treats the other, that they treat them by their status rather than a friend.  This is not always the case but it happens enough to be noticeable and this episode reiterated the point numerous times when Fam and Millia were in the presence of Augusta Sara.  It’s worth noting that the friendship between the two is strong enough that Millia brought Fam and Giselle along with her to her confidential meeting but that’s about the best it gets this episode.

The best example of this was during the tour through the palace with Vasant leading Millia to Sara.  Fam has the awful habit of speaking before thinking which, combined with her imprudent personality and lack of social grace, caused her to quite loudly and rudely disrespect the palace of arguably the most powerful person in the world.  Millia has been around Fam long enough to expect such embarrassing moments to occur but rather than explain to Vasant that’s how her friend usually behaves and ask for forgiveness, she quickly scolds Fam for her senseless remark.  It doesn’t take much time before Fam strikes again, this time more personal in front of Sara herself, and Millia responds again.  This time, Millia does more than look cross and asks for an apology and promises discipline to her outlandish subordinate.  On clear display, especially during the second incident, was a power gradient between the two where Millia put herself above Fam, helping show the inequality between the two.  That’s not the say all friends wouldn’t behave like Millia did but for comparison sake, Giselle’s reactions to both events showed more concern and fear of repercussion for Fam than saving face around royalty.  Not to mention Fam and Giselle displayed similar reactions (embrassement) while Millia showed something different (anger/disappointment).  This isn’t the only time the two have interacted like this but it is one of the clearest and most recent examples that indicates how they act toward each other at times.

Likewise, Fam does not treat Millia like she treats her other friends around her but unlike Millia, Fam elevates Millia to a position higher than her own.  True, Millia is an esteemed and beloved princess while Fam is a scrappy and gifted sky pirate, so there is a difference in class between the two but that space has failed to erode even with the two living and doing everything together for probably months.  Fam continues to treat Millia like the princess she is and serves her as such.  Fam takes the brunt of the hard work and labor for Millia.  The whole incidence of stealing 15 battleships was not done because Millia asked as a friend to help restore her nation but partaken in by Fam on behalf of Millia due to her status as princess.  And it’s not like Millia is repaying Fam for all the effort she gives to Millia but that could be partially because Fam is content with her life and only desires the revival of the Grand Race (which I’m sure Millia will fully support once her country is reestablished).  In this case, Fam is acting like the hero to the damsel in distress, performing all the brave duties and overcoming hardships not because she knows the person and is friends with them but because of Millia’s status and Second Princess of Turan.  You don’t see Fam do the same toward Giselle, relentless and tirelessly aiding her in taking care of her family, nor do you see Giselle doing the same back toward Fam.  If the second part sounds confusing because you see Giselle around Fam all the time and participating in Fam’s heroic deeds, Giselle is there to help Fam accomplish her goals.  Fam, on the other hand, is doing these duties for Millia rather than helping her out with her goals.  Like I mentioned before, the relationship is complex.

However, the relationship is not always like this and there are times when Fam and Millia treat each other as equals.  These situations are rather infrequent compared to the rest but were most evident during the time stranded in Glacies when they were both removed from their familiar elements.  Here, the two acted akin to how Fam and Giselle always interact.  This goes to show that the relationship isn’t straightforward as the examples above would specify and that it is multifactorial and under constant flux.  It also shows that the relationship may progress to the final stage where Fam and Millia treat each other as equals while retaining their princess and pirate standings.  But for the two to begin down this path, the two will need to communicate more with each other and grow to understand each other more.  The initial friendship showed this to help form the complicated friendship we see today but there has been little to show the advancement since then besides the time they flew as pilot and navigator against the Ades fleet in the first half of the series.  Imaginably the two will end up with a friendship like Fam’s and Giselle’s by the end of the series but it will require some trials and time to test what their friendship truly is.

During the flashback to the Grand Race, it showed Sara as an infant when her mother, then Augusta Farahnaz, was assassinated.  During the present, we see Sara in her mother’s role commanding her nation in dire times.  But somewhere in this timeframe, a transition of power must’ve occurred.  It’s foolish to consider that power was immediately transitioned to a baby, especially following an assassination, so someone within Ades must have assumed power following the death of Farahnaz and led the nation during its darkest moments.  And it’s unlikely it would’ve been Luscinia since he was merely a bodyguard and had yet to join the military which he quickly rose rank.  No, someone else must’ve lead the nation of Ades following the death of Farahnaz until Sara felt comfortable as Augusta and assumed the position herself.  But what if she never took that position?  We can see she’s clearly a child who’s overwhelmed with the political strife and military conquest presently tearing her nation and the world apart.  What if she waited until she finished more of her education and had a firmer grasp of her power?  What would have happened to Ades and the world in the meantime?  And who was the leader who held the power between Farahnaz and Sara, would they have been able to prevent the escalation of war?  These questions have no answers right now (although I believe Sadri, the eldest commander of the military, took control following Farahnaz’s assassination) but they’re interesting to think about, especially since we saw quite a bit of Sara in this episode and how troubled she is with the current events in her nation and the world.

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