Last Exile poster

Last Exile

In the world of Prester, flight is the dominant mode of transportation, made possible by Claudia Fluid: a liquidized form of the crystals that are produced on the planet. An organization known solely as "the Guild" has absolute authority over the skies, with a monopoly on the engines that make use of this fluid. Moreover, as ecological disasters destabilize the warring countries of Anatoray and Disith, the Guild also arbitrates in the disputes between the two. Caught in the middle of the conflict are Sky Couriers, piloting small, two-person vanships that fly freely through the sky. Last Exile follows the adventures of two teenagers who dream of surpassing their parents: Claus Valca, son of a famous vanship pilot, and Lavie Head, Claus' best friend and navigator. Their job as couriers entails passing through an air current called the Grand Stream that separates the hostile nations, which even standard airships struggle to survive. However, when they take on a high-rated delivery to bring an orphan girl named Alvis Hamilton to the battleship Silvana, they get dragged into a much greater conflict that pits them against the might of the Guild. (Source: MAL Rewrite)

Ranking 855

User Count13764
Favorites Count205
Start Date8th Apr 2003
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank855
Rating Rank911
Age RatingPG
Age Rating GuideTeens 13 or older


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Claus and Lavie progress in the endurance race, but Dio and Lucciola continue to challenge them. Duke Henry Knowles raises the bid price on the Exile artifact, spurring interest among the other auction participants. As Alex attempts to outbid the others, Guild Maestro Delphine Eraclea challenges him and finally raises the bid price to 50 billion Claudia, at which point one of Knowles's men puts a gun at the back of Alex's head, threatening him not to continue bidding. On their final pit stop, Tatiana and Alister pick up a cargo of explosive charges for their mission. When the auction ends, Duke Knowles takes Alex outside and reveals that he wants to avenge the death of his son, captain of the Goliath. Claus and Lavie pull ahead of Dio and Lucciola in the final lap after only filling part of their fuel tank at the last pit stop to lighten the vanship and win the race. At precisely midnight, the explosive charges dropped by Tatiana and Alister destroy Horizon Cave's power generators, leaving it in darkness. Seizing the opportunity, Alex kills Knowles's men and escapes. When the artifact is taken to Delphine, it is discovered to be fake. The true artifact of Exile is revealed to be a Mysterion, one of four phrases with corresponding answers that will reveal the secret of Exile. Graf, the butler of House Hamilton, entrusts Alvis and the Mysterion to Alex. After the race, Lavie tells Claus that she does not want to fly in a fighter vanship but will continue to serve as his mechanic. Claus understands her decision and makes a promise that they will fly together again to cross the Grand Stream. Dio and Lucciola, who are able to see in the darkness, offer to tow Claus and Lavie out of Horizon Cave to the Silvana.



"Last Exile" is one of my absolute favourite anime, but it's one for which I often find difficult to justify why I like so much. For sure, most of the criticisms levelled at it is fair, even if there are ones I don't agree with. But despite being flawed in many ways, it's still an anime I simply love to bits.My viewing experience for "Last Exile" seem to be opposite to a lot of other people's. For one thing, I didn't think the animation is the greatest thing ever. I liked it well enough, with its impressive CG capturing the feeling of a smokey steampunk world very well, but the characters faces often lacks consistency, and as much as the dreary, washed out colours matched the steampunk settings, I didn't find it particularly appealing... perhaps I just prefer bright and colourful things :D And for some strange reason some scenes are very clearly drawn while others seem to be covered by a thin grey veil, even when there's no mist/cloud around. It's almost as if the cloud effect worked so well that the animators got a bit over excited and just started using it on random scenes. A lot of people seem to find the beginning of "Last Exile" hugely intriguing but the progression of it disappointing, but again here my personal experience is quite the opposite. The first couple of episodes didn't really pique my interest \*that\* much, but as the story progressed I got more and more into it. One thing I do agree with though, is that the story is isn't well explained, with the ending feeling especially hurried, leaving behind a plethora of questions unanswered. However, despite all of this, the twists and turns along the way are more than enough to keep me devouring up the episodes. A few plot holes aside, I think the story has bundles of potential. While a lot of other series feel like they could have done with a few less episodes, "Last Exile" could have done with another half season or so, and if the extra episodes gets used properly to explain things, I think the story could have shown itself to be something amazing. What is actually amazing though, is the whole feel of "Last Exile". With a concept that includes unlikely heroes and princesses, awe inspiring battles, and a rogue ship that has a legendary reputation as the invincible battleship, captained by a man whose motives are shrouded in mystery, "Last Exile" is like a fairy tale on an epic scale. The atmosphere owes much to the magnificent music production the series is blessed with. The sweet, angelic vocal harmonies of Dolce Triarde does much to enhance the enchanting, fairy tale aspects of the show; the instrumental tracks shows off a wide variety of sounds, ranging from almost celtic sounding folk that strengthens the humble settings that the main protagonists comes from, to the majestic orchestral tracks featuring brass instruments that often heightens the epic qualities of the battle scenes with their bugle-like calls. Probably the only track that I didn't take a liking to is the rather bland opening theme (which, ironically, most people appear to love).The dramatisation in "Last Exile" is exceptional. Each important plot twist and development is heavily punctuated for maximum impact, and most of episodes end with a dramatic flourish that had me craving for the next episode right away. The large scale battles, despite taking place in the air, really captures the feel of a proper naval battle, and is one of my favourite aspects of the show. The booming cannons, the billowing smoke and the recoils that rocks the ships as they fire a broadside... these sequences are grand to the extreme and breathtaking to watch. In fact the brilliantly orchestrated battle at Dragons Fang is hands down the best ship battle I've ever witnessed in my years of watching anime. It has everything - drama, twists and some of the most sophisticated of tactics being put into operation. And the climax... WOW! It may not have the brilliant tactics involved at the battle of Dragon Fang, but the high running emotions and the highly stacked stakes made it about as good as anything else I've seenThough Claus and Ravi make a decently likeable pair of central protagonists, the side characters are far more interesting, as it's often the case. My personal favourite is not actually one of the more popular characters like Dio, but Alex Row, the quiet, mysterious captain of the aforementioned invincible battleship. I know that his type has been seen many times in other anime, a notable one being Amon from "Witch Hunter Robin", who has a similar, brooding demeanor. However, Amon, despite always acting cool etc, never does anything that's actually useful or spectacular, whereas Alex Row, through the course of the series, shows himself not only to be a superb marksman and a brilliant strategist, but also as a man driven towards a single purpose by an unyielding, almost demonic will. I love the fact that his uncompromising personality added a subtly cynical touch to the end of the final battle. And what's more, unlike other silent, mysterious characters, his backstory really clicks with his personality, and so he's not someone who's the way he is just for the sake of being cool... like Amon.Other side characters, though interesting as well, mostly aren't developed as well as they could have been. Moran Shetland soon disappears into obscurity after making a notable entrance, and when he appears again, his personality turns out to be less notable than his entrance; Dio, who seems to be a crowd favourite, doesn't really interest with me all that much, so I'm not too bothered about him. However I would liked to have seen more of Dio's interactions with Luciola after I saw him feature in an incredible episode called "Castling Luciola" (nearly all the episode titles have references to chess, which is a nice touch). Though I enjoyed the episode immensely, it could have been even better had it been backed up by more character development. For a couple of episodes, "Last Exile" also toys with the idea of adding romance into the story, but what starts off as intriguing ends up as bewildering instead, since they drop the idea after a couple of episodes and it just kind of fizzed out. "Last Exile" is a work that shows off the best and the worst aspect of Gonzo - the incomplete building of a fascinating world; the incomplete development of an enthralling story; it lacks focus but has brilliant production and dramatisation in abundance. Luckily, this is Gonzo on a good day, where, for me at least, its strengths greatly outshines its weaknesses - despite the flaws I can perceive when putting "Last Exile" under micro scrutiny, I find the overall macro affect to be something truly special. It's a series that seem to extrude this spellbinding, magical element that dreams are made from, and it completely captured my imagination.

So... I finished Last Exile 10 minutes ago. First thing's first : the story. The action takes place in a steam-punk/SF world and the details in the show make the good use of these elements. In the first episodes you can see a lot of flying machines, strange clothes and all sorts of locations that characterize a steam-punk universe. All of this is very well represented with beautiful animation. Actually the animation is the best part about the series. Aerial battles are amazing and the vanships are very detailed. Unfortunately I only got to see this in 720p on a 17' monitor...but it must be a real eyegasm to see it on a big screen TV. I will do this sooner or later. Sound and characters... well this is where the bad things start to show up. I need to listen to the full OST but the opening theme is really good. There is a certain "fighting/dancing scene" where the music is memorable. Moving on to the characters... well some of them were great some were just to fill up the empty space. The only noticeable thing is the close relation between Claus and Lavie. Sophia is boring as hell, Alex is dull once you see that all his lines are in the same area and Mullin... well let's just say that he is one of the characters put in just to fill up the empty space. He has no actual value for the show.As usual, I keep the bad things for the end. First of all, the steam-punk theme was a great ideea and it was very well made. Why did they have to screw it up with the SF...? There are some huge holes in the plot and the fact that you only know detailed stuff only about Lavie and Claus does not help at all...In conclusion, I think that Last Exile was made more for the eye and less for the brain. If you can ignore the weak character design and weak story and just be able to be amazed of the beautiful animation and sound, than this is a five star anime. It's awesome. However... I can't do that. With all the stuff lacking I can only give it a 6.

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