After an immeasurable amount of loss, destruction, pain, and death, Luscinia readily backs down at the simplest idea of a young girl having dreams of a better world. And with that, the wars have ceased, peace is realized, and the world can forget about its problems and work toward the future that everyone wants. Seriously, why is it that anytime ‘hopes’ or ‘dreams’ or ‘I believe in you’ or any of that bullshit enter in at the end of an anime, nothing makes sense anymore and the story goes from respectable to ‘why the hell should I care anymore?’ Seriously, this is the ending they were aiming for?
Throughout the whole series, from the time of Farahnaz’s death 10 years ago up until his final moments aboard the Grand Exile, Luscinia had a master plan for solving the current world’s troubles. And after enacting it for the better part of 10 years, militarizing his nation, annexing several others, and destroying virtually every other, Luscinia had become the most powerful and influential man in the world. So why is it that when talking to Fam about her hopes and desires that he readily backs down from this position when he nearly accomplished his goal? All that emotion, manipulation, and time was wasted as soon as Fam opened her big mouth about the Grand Race again. Seriously, what the hell? It’s not like there it was a bad story or bad characterization to begin with but seeing Luscinia back down without any fight or response is just a terrible way to end the series, especially after all that build up and the emotion of everyone else in the anime as they fought the Grand Exile. Not only that but why did he need to kill everyone during these moments, too, if he accepted some random girl’s words on what she wanted to see in the future? Pathetic.
And this is why I have a problem with ‘hopes’ and ‘dreams’ and all that kinda bullshit in stories: it always works. I’m sure there’s a few cases where it doesn’t but the villain is always tried to be painted as a ‘good guy’ or ‘misunderstood hero’ at the end and then accepts these terms to seal the deal. After that they feel bad about fighting him and then go on their merry way and everything is fixed immediately after their death or demise or whatever. Seriously, if you watched the original Last Exile, you know the Guild wasn’t about all this bullshit anyway. They loved to watch death and destruction and to control the world in the palm of their hands. They don’t give two shits about any of this bettering the world crap or listening to people’s dreams and whatnot. Why is it that the Guild in this anime is such a pussy compared to the Guild from the original? If they could’ve seen this happening, they would’ve come in and kicked everyone’s asses before it got to this level of disappointing. But unfortunately, that’s how the series ended with this complete reversal of a character and absolutely dreadful climax to an already disappointing story.
That being said, everything after these scenes was amusing and enjoyable. I have a huge problem with having hopes and dreams be the conclusion to a story like that in an anime but I have not qualm with seeing it realized in the story. The whole scene with the Grand Race turned out to be rather satisfying and amusing, especially seeing the entire cast together again for amusement and fun. It was nice to see everyone have a smile on their faces and interacting with each other in a positive manner. The inclusion of Claus and Lavie at the end, especially their reunion with Al, was heartwarming and encouraging. And that line by Dio before the react, dedicating it to Lucciola is, without a doubt, the pinnacles of this sequel. These callbacks and references to the original really strengthened the finale for me though it could not completely overshadow what happened earlier that irked me more than anything. Still, the series was able to make the finale enjoyable with that final sequences of the Grand Race. It’s a shame we never saw Claus and Lavie fly again but we can keep those thoughts alive in our hopes and dreams… and now it’s Gonzo’s turn to back down and make a sequel to Last Exile that follows Claus, Lavie, Al, and Dio around. Yeah, if hopes and dreams was able to work for you anime, it should be able to work for me, too!
What was the whole point of the kids making that sand drawing in the middle of this episode? Are we supposed to understand these kids are professional artists, able to plan and coordinate a massive drawing like that pointed toward the skies? And what ever happened to that drawing? Did Fam and Giselle see it and appreciate the work they did? It was an impressive and adorable drawing but it really didn’t fit in well with the episode or tie into anything meaningful. So while I liked the drawing, it didn’t make much sense at all or serve any purpose. Then again, I could be saying that about almost anything that happened in the series. Oh well, might as well end this series on a positive note and leave that drawing as the last point for this anime.
#1 by mwnanamai on June 23, 2012 - 9:59 PM
Apparently this anime want to convince us that a dude who exterminated at least 2 cities with a doomsday device, was barely stopped by Dio sacrificing an Exile as shield, used his own soldiers as cannon folder -the Chaosians-, ordered no quarter against his mutinied ex-colleagues and gold bloodily killed the female general and her whole body guard escort … is somehow a good guy.
Even the whole political machination, with the defection of the Chaosian General and the uneasy alliance with rest of the Glacians and other rebels, were made childish by Fam babbling ”hope”.
Killing Luciola in an impressive hand-to-hand combat would have been the only acceptable hand to this anime, the dude have at least +10 000 people who want to see him dead because of the number of people He killed.
#2 by avvesione on June 27, 2012 - 9:39 PM
Yeah, it seemed an unintelligent and unrelatable move for the anime to try to portray Luscinia as a good guy or someone to feel sorry for at the end given everything he did. The fact that he was able to give Sara back and smile and be happy for the future did not fit his profile at all throughout the entire series and seemed like a last-minute revision to try to make it seem like he was trying to better the world. It didn’t make sense and the finale suffered as a result. Did not agree with it at all and it sounds like you (and most others) agree with me as well.
#3 by illogicalzen on July 4, 2012 - 12:20 AM
This entire series was clunky from start to finish, and while there were some interesting moments it ultimately failed for me. This was partly down to terrible characterisations, and that is not just the ridiculous way in which Luscinia stops his grand plan for world domination, but also in terms of every other main character in the series. I cant think of a worse set of lead characters in any other recent anime, except for perhaps Guilty Crown, but then at least Shu had his moments. Fam was incredibly annoying and didn’t change in any real way throughout the series, not to mention that the plot was full of holes big enough to drive a truck though. This was a sorry excuse for a sequel to one of my favourite series of all time and while it looked beautiful it was a decidedly shallow series.
#4 by avvesione on July 4, 2012 - 2:25 PM
I pretty much agree with you on every point except on Millia. I thought her characterization was done well from the middle of the series onward when she began to realize the situation she was in and accept her responsibilities. Her storyline of trying to chase after her sister while restoring her nation in the face of constant danger and annihilation was what kept the series going for me and the main source of my enjoyment and interest in this series. The greatest flaw of this anime was that Fam was the main character and not Millia. The whole anime would’ve been so much better had it been shown through Millia’s point-of-view because it would’ve put more emphasis on her storyline instead of all that shitty pirate stuff. But yeah, I pretty much agree with everything else you said.
#5 by illogicalzen on July 5, 2012 - 7:20 AM
You have a point actually, Milia does change and become an interesting character as the series progresses, unfortunately by the time she does change I had already lost interest in the story. I did initially drop this series around episode 9, only to pick it back up towards the end, and even then I found myself ignoring large sections of the anime. Ultimately it was a series with an interesting concept but terrible execution that was only made worse by a central character who was unbearable. If Milia had truly been the central character I think I may have managed to watch this series from start to finish without too much trouble though. I think in the end they tried to add to the Last Exile universe, but in doing so forgot what made the original series so good.
#6 by avvesione on July 5, 2012 - 11:21 AM
Yeah, it believe it was intended to be “Last Exile was popular, let’s do that again to get popular again” without taking into consideration why it was popular and just used its namesake. I also wondered how the anime would’ve fared had it not had the Last Exile name or characters and been its own standalone series with just a similar setting and themes. But I guess we’ll never find out unless someone watched this one first w/o knowledge of the original Last Exile.
#7 by Iju on September 18, 2015 - 9:51 PM
oh wait – have you seen S1 first? i don’t see a review of that one. S1 is purely awesome.
#8 by avvesione on October 1, 2015 - 2:19 PM
I watched Last Exile long before I started this blog, so I don’t have a review of it up here. However, I will say it’s one of the best anime I’ve ever watched, and I’m happy to hear you enjoyed it, too.
#9 by Iju on December 24, 2015 - 10:20 PM
ah ok then! :D