MAJOR SPOILERS!!! Do not read if you don’t want Last Exile ruined for you.
So this sequel to the first hit anime is an interesting change. Many things about it are the same (imagery, graphics, tone), but other things have changed (dynamic, intensity, pace). I struggle with whether I think it is better or not; the fast pacing certainly serves it well, but the convoluted story line left me in utter confusion most of the time and grasping for how everything fit together.
This may be counted as a spoiler, but it could also save you a lot of confusion in the long run if I explain the plot in this way. This show was set four years after the first (there’s a manga that spans that course with the characters from the first) in the original home world of Earth; apparently the world Claus and Lavie were on was somewhere the Exile had taken them to escape from the environmental destruction that was occurring hundreds of years before. A lot of them have returned on the Exile only to find themselves in another war zone. They are not, however, part of the main story. Sorry.
The main characters of this story are Fam, a young Sky Pirate girl, and the exiled princess, Millia, whose home land has been destroyed. The story is set during a troubled time when the original people (those that didn’t leave on the Exiles) are angry at those who have returned on the Exiles over the last couple hundred years. They feel that these groups of people have no right to the lands that they have usurped on their arrival back.
Most of the main characters are young girls which is probably my only complaint. I like them, I do, but their naivety and innocence is frustrating with the much more high-stake intense war that is going on. They are very cool people, but unlike Claus and the other characters in the first they don’t have as much of a growth.
The ending is very intense, by the way. In fact I could scarcely watch it, because it was just so morbidly stressful. Just one thing after another kept happening where it just felt like a whirlwind of information, plot realizations and wrap-ups and just constant death, to be frank. I felt the tempo of the story was off and the main characters, while interesting and enjoyable, were not the heroes I was expecting and left everything a bit hampered and unrealistic.