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|Average Rating: 9.50|
Red XIII's review
We’re well into the second half of Last Exile now, and it’s about time to start thinking of the series’ inevitable conclusion. To that end, the main objective of this instalment is to get all the pieces in place for what will hopefully be a finale worthy of this outstanding series.
Picking up where the last volume left off, Last Exile #5 thrusts us straight back into the action as the Disith continue their attack on Anatoray. The conflict is soon over, however, as the now-Empress Sophia brokers an alliance between the two sides so that they can attack their common enemy- the Guild. With success in this venture entirely dependant on taking possession of Exile, the Silvana and the Urbanus are sent into the Grand Stream to locate and secure it in time for the fleet’s attack.
The sight of Sophia dressed in her imperial finery is a visual reminder of how much has happened since the beginning of the series, and indeed, in this volume it seems to be time for the cast to evaluate how far they’ve come, and where they want to go from here. For Claus and Lavie, a reunion with their fellow pilots from Norkia helps to remind them just why they love flying in the first place, and prompts a reconciliation that heals the rift that has grown up between them. Meanwhile, Mullin chooses to return to the life of a musketeer, and even Tatiana seems more at ease with herself as she decides where she truly belongs. At the core, these are the same characters we’ve come to know over the course of the series, but the experiences they’ve shared have helped them to grow and mature- making them all the more likeable for it.
The future is not bright for everyone, however, with Dio in particular clearly dreading his impending coming of age and the inevitable reunion with his sister Delphine. Despite finding him somewhat irritating at first, Dio has become one of my favourite characters, and it is easy to sympathise with him given what we’ve seen of Delphine. The Maestro of the Guild is certainly a character everyone can love to hate; like a cat observing its prey, she watches over the Disith and Anatoray alliance, waiting to make the final, deadly strike.
Characterisation aside, there is also plenty for action fans to get their teeth into this volume, starting with the Silvana and Urbanus’ tension-filled search for Exile within the dangerous currents of the Grand Stream, and culminating with a high stakes vanship mission. I won’t spoil the details here, but suffice to say, it’s exciting stuff that ends in the usual cliffhanger style.
It’s also worth noting that the animation quality remains excellent even this late in the game, with the series’ trademark attention to detail making everything from the coronation of Empress Sophia to Alvis baking a cake for Dio into a visual treat. The soundtrack is equally worthy of mention, with both aspects of the presentation really bringing the story to life on our screens.
Last Exile has been a captivating experience from the beginning, and this volume is no exception. Like the game of chess which inspires so many of the episode titles, this instalment has been all about setting up the pieces in readiness for the conclusion, and I for one am looking forward to seeing how this particular endgame will play out.
Screenshots (click to pop out)
|Score:||9 out of 10|
|Review By:||Red XIII|
|Date Published:||Thu, 17 Nov 2005|
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