Last Exile - Volume 4: Breakthrough Review
With the Anatorary army advancing, Claus and Tatiana must head out in a vanship to defend the Silvana. Meanwhile Lavie is conjuring up memories from the past, whilst elsewhere Sophia must prepare to leave the ship.
The fourth volume of Last Exile looks at the fragility of its stock characters and the motivations behind their actions. Starting with Tatiana writing home to her parents it shows her in a light that’s far from the cold exterior that we’ve come to know. She’s soon sent out with Claus and after a hectic fight they’re forced to land in the desert. Here Tatiana opens up to Claus, knowing that in her mind she’s faced with an impossible to escape predicament. This leaves Claus to take charge in an effort to get the broken vanship running again. A nice parallel soon begins to form when we see how each of these characters turn around, and Claus who once depended on Lavie now has to face tougher challenges ahead. Elsewhere Lavie’s state of mind continues to decline, worried at how Claus is beginning to change, and not knowing just how his relationship with Tatiana has been playing out. It’s now a crucial time for Lavie who is so despondent that she cannot concentrate on her work or anyone else around. During her time of reflection she remembers long back to her childhood days, when she first met Claus.
This presents us with a very strong episode that looks at how Claus and Lavie became best friends and how their fathers taught them everything they know about aviation. We see how the family worked together to achieve the greater goal of making it to the Grand Stream, until the disappearance of the children’s fathers and Claus’s mother prompting them to work together and follow in the footsteps of their parents. They sell their house so that they can keep the vanship, and from there it’s all they can rely on to make a living. Furthermore Lavie recalls two other people, best friends to their fathers, and it’s later on that their identities become known. And so later on in the volume Captain Alex Row finally reveals some truths to Claus about his past and his intentions to destroy Maestro Delphine and capture the exile so that he can change the world for the better. Perhaps the bigger surprise here though is that of Sophia’s role, who now must leave the Silvana and take up her position of royalty. To save on spoiling I shall not say anymore; the series is becoming hard to talk about without ruining the experience for everyone.
Tatiana and Claus are forced to crash land in the desert. As a result their vanship’s Claudia containment tank breaks, which forces them to come up with a way to fix it. As they work together Tatiana opens up to Claus and their pair come closer to forming an understanding about one another. But their trouble is far from over when Disith soldiers make their way toward their location.
In her sleep Lavie remembers back to when she first met Claus and how their fathers taught them about taking to the skies.
Claus and Tatiana have made it back safely to the Silvana, but Lavie’s attitude toward her best friend is noticeable different. Meanwhile Dio presents Claus with a photograph of his father, which Alex has kept in his possession. When Claus approaches Alex on the subject he’s in for some truths. Elsewhere Sophia has just received an important letter.
Sophia has been called to the imperial city but her father, the Emperor, immediately throws her in the tower for misconduct. While he fights against the Disith, Sophia remains helpless, until Vincent arrives on the scene to take her away onboard the Urbanus.
ADV presents Volume 4 with some nice artwork. Claus, Lavie and Alvis grace the front cover, and on the inside we get a full width, text free picture of the trio at the vanship’s cockpit..
Last Exile is presented in an anamorphic 1.85:1 aspect ratio which looks great. GONZO‘s use of hazy sequences tend to highlight artefacts and provide most of the transfer's problems, though this is slight and not distracting. With the pacing of the series' action sequences it is good to see them being handled well, with no visible pixilation or blocking, aside from some light banding. Otherwise the series is superb looking, with brilliant colour tones and detail that are finely rendered in amongst its computer generated machinery.
ADV offers a choice of English 2.0 or Japanese 2.0, both of which are excellent tracks, with the latter grabbing my attention. There isn't much difference between the two, both have clear dialogue and make full use of the score and accompanying effects. Take your pick. Optional English subtitles are included. These are of the usual standard, no complaints here.
A small collection of photos taken from the Last Exile Tokyo Collection precedes a short art gallery and a very brief vanship guide. ADV previews for Aquarian Age, Gad Guard, Gravion, Get Backers and Crono Crusade round off the disc.
The latest volume of Last Exile proves to be a detailed and exciting continuation of the series. It’s great to see GONZO starting to divulge more behind its characters, while the quality of animation and writing is solid all round.
Last updated: 27/06/2018 00:52:49