November 5, 2011
Last Exile – Fam The Silver Wing – Ep4: New Ship On The Block
Perhaps Fam was reaching too high. Perhaps the Silvius is too lofty a goal for her to reach for. You can’t fault her too much for wanting to take over the legendary ship that is all but a ghost to the rest of the world. It’s the new ship on the block and already it’s showing to be a ship far more advanced than anything the planet has seen before. Curbing her enthusiasm aside, Fam of course doesn’t know the same thing we (or most of us at least) know: The Silvius and it’s crew don’t mess around.
It may be shrouded in mystery, but it sails for a purpose.
At dinner Fam and Giselle talk about the mystery of the Silvius and try to learn as much about the ship from the sightings of the ships and conjectures they make based on it’s design. They do correctly deduce a lot of the ship’s functions, but at the same time remain apprehensive about a ship fabled to be the most powerful in the world. Millia talks about her fears and questions Fa as to why they’re all bothering to do this for her. The answer Fam gives is evasive at best. The following morning after again sleepwalking, the alarm sounds, and it’s time to capture the fabled ship.
Despite all the good ideas and excellent piloting, the ship and her crew proves to be more than a match for the sky pirates. Even Tatiana herself, now the captain of the ship, comes out to school Fam on piloting. In the end they are captured in their last act of desperation, and Fam given an ultimatum: Capture 15 ships, or you never leave the Silvius. We all know what she chose.
While we learned previously that the Exile of the original series was likely the latest one to reach Earth, we learned that it was in fact at least a very recent 2 years ago. The Silvius was first seen two years ago and it’s reputation of appearing and disappearing has given it a legendary status in such a short time, similar to it’s reputation in the original. It’s probably the newest ship in the skies and all current information suggests that it may also be the most advanced non-Exile ship on the planet. It’s most likely that the tech came from Exile itself. As for Exile’s agenda on this planet, and it’s apparent focus on ships from the Ades fleet, we can assume they share as similar distaste to Ades’ intention to cleanse the world of those who have returned from exile.
Dio has been with the Sky Pirates for around 6 months, and some theorize that he’s with them as an agent of sorts for the Silvius’ crew. I think it’s also possible that he’s simply taken to the free wheeling kind of upon arriving on the planet. Whatever the case may be it’s obvious that he maintains contact with the crew of the Silvius, though it seems they still don’t like him that much. Again, his happy-go-lucky lifestyle hides that fact that he knows much, much more than he seems. He still keeps Lucciola in his heart despite all the smiles.
Millia has to be given props for braving Dio’s flying and habit of doing spontaneous Immelman turns. It shows that she no longer wants to sit everything out like a pampered princess. She wants to live and to learn, to take an active part in the battles to come if she is to really take back the kingdom and the sister she had lost to the Ades federation. She is by this point a much different person than she was in the third episode. Cutting of the hair is often seen as a symbolic attempt to change oneself and become a better person, as seen in stories like Tales of the Abyss and Final Fantasy IX. She intends to fully back it up by joining the assault on the Silvius as well.
As for the… uh… yuri/lesbian/LesYay undertones… yeah perhaps your mileage may vary. Sometimes I think it’s nearly impossible for two female or two male characters to be close without the fandom having the yuri goggles on too tight. Fam calls her a friend, and hopefully, that’s all they ever will be.
“I do it because you’re my friend.”
It’s a very cliche and thus very common answer. Most of the leads of these types of stories declare their selflessness and altruism through a declaration of friendship. Fam doesn’t actually say it out loud but implies she does it because she wants to do it for Millia. However if there’s anything I’ve learned watching anime all these years, pure unadulterated selflessness is rare, and I find it more plausible to think that Fam’s intentions on doing what is deemed to be impossible does not simply hang on her just wanting to do it for the princess. I’d think that Fam has her own intentions too, something deep and possibly connected to her past. She was too young to remember what had happened to her parents but the idea that it might be connected isn’t implausible.
Revenge or something similarly sinister? I don’t think so. She doesn’t seem to be the type of character to hold such a grudge even if she does know that Ades was responsible for their deaths. Still I think that there is a bigger, deeper reason for acting the way she does. It doesn’t diminish her selfless intentions Millia, but in the end gives her a more personal stake in the war at hand. Whatever this, if such a reason exists, is known only to her at this point. If one does exist, I expect to see it eventually and perhaps as one big climactic revelation.
Tatiana’s threat and offer reminds me a lot of the offer the original crew gave to Claus and Lavie, and like that one this is an offer they can’t refuse. I assume Fam’s acceptance is part of her intentions to help Millia, herself, and her own pride as the first harpoon. Thus it seems the quest to build a fleet of captured ships begins.