Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam – 22

Though my criticisms for this sequel are unending, there exist a number of aspects of this anime that I genuinely enjoy and appreciate.  Though most of these are references or byproducts from the original series, there are some new elements to Last Exile: Fam that are pleasing to me.  And though there are many tracks borrowed from the original, the soundtrack to Last Exile: Fam is one of the best elements of this anime.

Perhaps my favorite aspect of the soundtrack to Last Exile: Fam is how it matches the setting in terms of instruments, melody, and energy.  Throughout the anime, a sense of unease and pressure is felt whenever Millia, Fam, and Giselle venture from place to place and partake in whatever risky or whimsical activities they seem to find.  With the world thrust into unending war and the various nations in a tense state, the music comes through and is able to mirror the emotions of how the characters and the people feel at this time.  The way many tracks draw out their notes and the frequent use of strings as primary instruments in these tracks really promotes this atmosphere and comes across as an effective way to transmit the mood to the audience.

Not only that but these tracks are enjoyable according to my preference in music.  While many anime are able to utilize classical sounds and go for an orchestrated theme, Last Exile: Fam is able to have everything come together to make many enjoyable tracks.  And these favorites are not simply limited to a certain subset or genre of music.  It doesn’t matter if the song is intended for fast, action-packed scenes or thoughtful, emotional ones.  The soundtrack for Fam just sounds right and trying to go further in explaining why I enjoy it with my minimal knowledge on music would be wasteful and embarrassing.  Let’s just say Last Exile: Fam’s soundtrack is one of the best for the year.

And a notable reason for enjoying the soundtrack so much is the fact that it has reused a few tracks from the original.  These tracks aid as a reminder to what the series is based off of and help connect the two series together through these eight years.  Not only do these tracks serve a purpose in the anime given their function, but they also bring back a sense of nostalgia from parallel scenes of the original, especially the vanship/airship fights.  Having watched the series immediately before starting Fam in October, I was able to keep the beloved and treasured soundtrack of the original fresh in my mind while I watched Fam and was able to connect tracks from the beginning.  This helped me notice the soundtrack of this anime more and helped me differentiate between new and old songs played in the background.  And with an ear primed to pick out every track that played in this anime, I was able to realize my appreciation for this soundtrack early and was able to enjoy this aspect of the anime from the very beginning.  As the series wraps itself up in the next episode, I’ll continue to remember the soundtrack as a favorite from this anime.

A curious thought came across my mind with this episode and that is how different would the world have been without the presence of Luscinia as Premier of Ades?  Suppose all the decisions were left to a council headed by Sara and these wars never started.  There’d still be the constant tension in the world and the existence of idle Exiles, so the world would not have been perfect, but what steps would Sara and the others have taken to better and improve their world?  Rather than showing a war for the duration of the series, it’d be curious to see how the nations go about this conflict through other means and how the airships and vanships would be used to solve these problems.  Rather than a sea of warships shooting bullets and missiles at each other, the anime could have been more personal by showing the pilots and vanships more closely, like the original, and given the series more a human element than the constant reliance of warships and other technologies in their pursuit for peace.  Would it have made the series better?  Who knows, it depends on what the anime would’ve done in this case.  But it’s just something to think about to consider how vital and influential a character Luscinia is and how his ideals shaped the entire anime.

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