Blu-ray Review: Last Exile: Fam – Part 2

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Last Exile: Fam – part 1 provided plenty of surprises and interesting twists so what does this second instalment bring to the table? The answer is destruction and plenty of it, but what did we think of this second part and what does the Blu-ray offer? Find out in our Blu-ray Review of Last Exile: Fam – Part 2.

Synopsis:

Years ago, humanity abandoned the ruined Earth. Generations later, with the planet again capable of sustaining life, mankind returned. In the skies above the reborn world, rebellious young Fam and her best friend Giselle make their living as Sky Pirates. Atop sleek Vespa Vanships, the girls dart fearlessly through the clouds, capturing and selling airborne battleships for profit. It’s a life of care-free swashbuckling – until the Ades Federation attacks.

The only nation to remain on Earth during humanity’s exile, The Ades Federation wages war against those who returned only after the planet’s darkest days had passed. When Fam and Giselle rescue a princess from the clutches of the rampaging Ades armada, they join the young royal’s battle to save her Kingdom from destruction – and undertake the impossible mission of uniting humanity in peace.

Our View:

Last Exile: Fam – The Silver Wing has a lot to live up to, especially when compared to the complex but emotional story of the first series and luckily the first half lived up to its reputation, but what can we expect from the second half – well pretty much the same except a lot more intense battles, a few revelations and some familiar faces, all of which are presented beautifully in this Blu-ray release.

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Continuing on from where the first part ended, which saw a climatic confrontation between our heroes and the Ades federation, we find Fam recovering in a hut inside the frozen continent known as Glacies, a place where people once thought as enemies of Turan reside. The Glacies segment of the storyline introduces some amazing new concepts into anime voice-work, as the characters speak Russian, even in the English Dub. This “language-barrier” also creates some comical tension between the main cast of characters with Millia often acting as translator. Interestingly this concept of speaking Russian, which was done to mimic the original Japanese version, continues on throughout the remainder of the series. It’s not a “one off” and the characters don’t spontaneously start speaking English in the next episode either, it’s impressive voice-work and, more to the point, adds a strong sense of cultural realism to the show.

Of course this means that there is a fair amount of subtitles to read, even in the English Dub, with subtitles being presented in Yellow (for Russian speakers) and White for everyone else, but white subtitles will only appear if you are watching the Japanese Audio version. Moving away from the “unique” audio options, this second half of the series seems slightly ‘relaxed’ compared to the first half, as throughout the first half of Disc 1 Fam, Giselle and Millia, fix their ship, have races and attempt to communicate with lost comrades. While our main characters do these tasks there is a darker storyline taking place, as not only does the Ades Federation go to war with Clacian but Premier Luscinia Hāfez relinquishes his command to take part in his own desires, something which a member of the Ades Federation isn’t too pleased with and arranges a coalition between all the countries that suffered destruction from Premier’s wrath.

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War is a constant theme in this second-half of the series, as those who were initially destroying the world under pretence of “peace” uncover the truth, which leads them to arrange a rebel federation for the sole purpose of stopping Premier and his intentions. It’s explosive, it’s emotional and provides a few laughs in the process. Mind you this isn’t Last Exile: Fam’s biggest surprise, the biggest surprise is familiar faces making an appearance, but as older, more knowledgeable characters and interestingly each with their own story to share.

 Extras:

It’s not just the episodic content (and voice talent) that has a lot to offer to the viewer as the extensive collection of extra features is also worth taking a look at, especially if you like cast interviews and promotional materials.

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As with all anime releases most of the extra features are located on the second disc, with the exception of an English Cast Commentary which is available on the first disc.

  • Disc 1:Episode 17 English Cast Commentary with Cris George (ADR Director), Caitlin Glass (Dyan) and Gwendolyn Lau (Vasant)

Disc 2:

  • Episode 21 English Cast Commentary with Monica Rial (voice of Sara), Leah Clarke (voice of Giselle) and Jad Saxton (voice of Fam)
  • Spinoff Anime CM Series “Friday Night” Episodes 8 to 13
  • Promotional Videos
  • Anime Expo 2011: Part 2
  • Text less Opening Songs
  • Text less closing songs
  • US Trailer
  • Trailers

As I mentioned there is a lot of additional content to go through, with notable content being the English Cast Commentaries, which provide opinions of the show and information on how the show was dubbed (especially the Russian segments), as well as the second half of the Anime Expo Interview. Both of these items provide an “insight” into the production of the series, with the Anime Expo video containing a Questions and Answers segment with the director of the series.

Of course that’s not all, as the remaining episodes of the Spinoff Anime CM Series “Friday Night” are included, each of which providing some comical entertainment, and the original Japanese Promotional Videos that were used to promote the series.The Final extra features on this Blu-ray release of Last Exile: Fam – Part 2 are trailers for other anime releases, two of which are presented in English (Evangelion 2.22 and Eden of the East Movie 2) while K-On The Movie trailer is presented in Japanese with English Subtitles. While the trailers may be slightly old (especially Evangelion and Eden of the East) it is nice to see them included and it rounds out a pretty extensive collection of extras, especially for an anime release.

Specs:

Media:  BD 50 x1, BD 25 x1
Region: B
Running Time: 3:15:59 (Disc 1), 1:13:26 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio:  Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (English), Dolby TrueHD 2.0 (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Aspect Ratio
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

Personally I’ve always found Last Exile’s storyline to be confusing and slightly complex, a fact which isn’t helped by the unique character names and multiple accents, however after spending some time with both series it seems this all adds to the realism of the franchise, especially in this Part 2 release of Last Exile: Fam.

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As I mentioned earlier the main focus is war, with it bringing varying nations together in a joint attack on Premier Luscinia Hāfez and his insidious plans, with the ultimate goal being true world peace – something which everyone wants. it’s taken awhile to get here (maybe too long) but this allowed weaker characters to develop and become stronger, something which Millia intends to prove to older sister by showing she can lead a nation to peace.

The performance of the voice actors, both in the English and Japanese dub, is to be commended – especially the English Dub, as not only do English speaking voices provide an accent (so you know that people are from different countries) but English speaking voice actors were used for the Russian scenes. This isn’t something you see (or hear) every day and it is top quality entertainment and when you combine it with the 5.1 Dolby TrueHD surround sound you receive a truly realistic and cinematic experience. Last Exile: Fam provides an experience, both in Audio and Visuals, as both are absolutely astounding (especially in this Blu-ray release). There is a few minor issues with this Blu-ray, presumably due to agreements with the original licensor, but audio options cannot be changed during playback (they can only be changed from the pop-up or main menu) additionally the English Subtitles are locked to the Japanese audio track, meaning you cannot watch it in raw format. For me these are small issues that do not affect the overall performance.

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Last Exile: Fam – The Silver Wing –Part 2 continues traits left over from the first half and concludes the story, in slightly explosive fashion, so if you enjoyed the first half (and to an extent the original series) then you’ll have a clear idea of what to expect from this. While it’s not recommended I do advise watching the original Last Exile and then this sequel, as while not obvious the storylines do overlap, a fact which is shown in this second half of the Fam-Silver Wing Series.

Score: review-stars-5

Last Exile: Fam – Part 2 will be available on Blu-ray and DVD from the 3rd February 2014.

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About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

One Response to Blu-ray Review: Last Exile: Fam – Part 2

  1. Pingback: Last Exile Fam The Silver Wing part 2 review roundup

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