(Catch up on previous episodes here)
This week I was able to make my way back on board the rebellious airship Silvana to visit in with Claus and Lavie on their continued adventures in what is turning out to be one of my favorite anime series of all time. When I last left off, the young vanship pilot Claus, along with navigator Lavie, was engaged in a marathon vanship race and leading, while the mysterious Alex Row was planning to get his hands on the last exile, a cube shaped object believed to have powers as of yet unknown to the viewer. It's the unknown to the viewer part that is making this series so fantastic for me.
So often television force feeds the viewer its plot in large, easily digestible portions. Like any great quest novel, Last Exile is content with revealing one little clue at a time and trusting the viewer to piece together the information over the course of the show. In these three episodes, the viewer is gradually getting a better understanding of the larger political intrigue that has only been hinted at up to this point.
It turns out there has been some recent turmoil with the Guild, which we now know is made up of several different houses or families that seem to behave much the way that royal families operated centuries ago. The little girl Alvis is apparently the last of the Hamilton House and the true heir. She also has some great power related to some, as of yet unknown, prophecy as evidenced when one of the members of another Guild house is able to put her into a trance that causes intense energy surges simply by reciting her a few lines of a poem. It's been clear from her entrance into the show that Alvis is important and I like that we are only now finding out the real nature of her role.
Nearly half-way through the series, the characters are beginning to change and take on what will most likely be their missions for the rest of the show. Each of the main characters seems to have their own quest to pursue, sometimes bringing them together and sometimes leading them apart. I've been very impressed with how well constructed this aspect of the show has been. But of course, like any good story, when things are getting to deep on the revelations, the storyteller needs to step back and mix in the action.
The last of these three episodes ends with an epic air battle that sees the Silvana taking on five of the Emperor's war ships and apparently being sunk at the end. What will happen next? I can't wait to find out.