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Let's watch Last Exile!
Sapphire Blue

[table of contents]
Episode 1: First Move
If you want to watch along with me, the episode can be found here.

First thing we see is this opening. Pretty cool, huh?

After it’s done, the first scene begins. It’s very windy, with dark clouds everywhere. We see someone flying a small airship that’s attached to a much larger one. The pilot, whose name is apparently Tatiana, is ordered to return to the ship. She refuses, requesting a few more seconds. A woman with glasses and brown hair refuses, but a dark-haired man lets her do it. He tells Tatiana to “make sure [she] finds it.” We have no idea what “it” is, but it must be important to them if they’re out in this kind of weather looking for it.

Tatiana looks around for a moment, and then is told to look in front of her. Three crystalline objects come into view. She says she found them – a Dysith fleet. She begins to report their location back to the others. When she’s done, the dark-haired man tells her to return to the ship. The woman repeats his orders.

Tatiana continues her report, saying that there are fifteen enemy ships. The ship she’s attached to prepares to fire at the fleet. They fire the cannons and hit the other ships, successfully destroying some of them. Tatiana says that the targets were hit, but they’re still on course. They fire again, but it looks like they miss this time. Tatiana’s small ship is still being pulled in, eventually landing on deck. A crew of men in yellow jumpsuits come out to assist her.

The brown-haired woman tells them to exit the Grand Stream. The ship begins to descend, and the crew is told to prepare for impact. We get a strange image of what appears to be the ship passing through a portal into clear skies.

The scene changes completely, showing a flock of white birds flying over what seems to be a crater on the ground. It zooms in, showing a small town somewhere inside the crater. A group of buildings is shown, followed by a single street.

Now we see inside a building, as the camera pans to show us a small aircraft that looks a lot like the one that Tatiana was flying. We see a blonde-haired teenage boy with goggles, wearing a brown T-shirt. He appears to be doing something to the ship. Looks like he’s drilling holes or putting in screws or something. A teenage girl with short red hair, a cropped top, and brown work pants is shown pulling a bucket of water out of a well. She puts some water in a pot on the stove, and sees a bottle of coins on a table. She’s seen through the bottle, getting angry and taking out a cleaver. She starts talking while cutting meat, saying something about the enemy invading somewhere and prices going up. I honestly can’t even make sense of what she’s saying, but she certainly isn’t happy. The boy, who happens to be in the next room over, looks freaked out. The girl, having calmed down a little, opens the door.

She’s seen pouring two mugs of tea, and asks the boy about how much weight they’ll be able to take off the ship. He tells her that he got rid of 30 ounces by drilling holes (so THAT’S what he was doing) in the frame. He takes a bite of a sandwich, and tells the girl that it’s pretty good. In the process, he establishes that the girl’s name is Lavie. Then he goes back to talking about the ship, saying that a few more holes can bring it up to about 40 ounces. Lavie glumly says that that’s about all they’ll be able to shave off it.

The scene shifts to a gorge, with flags visible on either side. A percussion sort of sound is heard as the “camera” moves backwards through the gorge. Lavie notices the sound, and tells the boy (whose name is apparently Claus) that it’s time to get to work. She shoves a sandwich into his mouth and throws some clothes at him, mentioning something about an acceleration booster.

They begin to prepare their little ship, and the scene shows off some Conspicuous CG on the dashboard and gauges. Believe me, it’s NOT the first time we’ll see that trope in action. Claus mentions qualifying for a race, but Lavie says they just have to be back for the time attack.

More close-ups of the CGI dashboard. Claus tells Lavie to start the engine. A tube detaches from the ship, and it begins to fly. Lavie mentions someone named Hurricane Hawk, saying that won’t be undefeated for long. Sounds like they’re getting ready for a race of some kind. Guess we’ll see that later. The door of the shed opens, and the two of them climb into the airship. It launches off a ramp and begins to fly. It is, of course, very obviously CGI. Pretty much all the airships are, and we’ll be seeing a lot of those. It’s jarring at first, but you get used to it after a while. We see many aircrafts in the sky around them, all of which appear to be going to the same place. They fly through the gorge we saw earlier. Two men are seen preparing some kind of cylinder attached to a ring. Another ship goes by and one of the pilots grabs the ring. Another ring is prepared, and someone else takes that one.

We see Claus and Lavie flying over. Lavie looks around, looking at the posters stuck on the walls of the gorge. She seems to spot one she likes, because she starts flashing a light and making her request. Sounds like this mission has a 3-star danger rating. Claus seems surprised at that, so they probably don’t do too many missions like that.

They fly by and grab the next ring. As they fly away, the men say that Claus flies almost as well as his old man. The scene fades out, changing to something in the sky. Someone gives permission in the name of the Guild for a battle between Anatoray and Dysith to begin. He is thanked for his efforts. As the “camera” zooms out, a fleet of airships becomes visible through the room’s glass floor.

Meanwhile, Claus and Lavie’s aircraft flies towards some kind of estate. They land on a convenient stretch of concrete edged by water. The two of them get out of their aircraft and walk towards the mansion. Lavie runs towards a fountain, exclaiming that the water is so clean you can see through it. Clean water must be hard to come by in this world, which is hammered in by her wondering if you don’t need to boil it before drinking it. Claus takes a drink, and seems satisfied, so she tries too. All she succeeds in doing is getting her head wet. She says she’s going to go get the canteen, but bumps into a butler instead. Claus says that the two of them are from the vanship union, so it sound like we finally have a name for those little aircrafts we’ve been seeing. The butler tells them that the madam is waiting.

We get a brief shot of the warships from before, and then see them in a room with a woman’s voice speaking. Apparently, she doesn’t want children going into danger by accepting the job. Lavie protests, saying they’ve never given up on a job before and don’t plan to start now. The butler says that their record is excellent, and the two of them keep insisting that they want the job.

We skip ahead to the butler bringing in another cylinder. We see the woman who was speaking. She tells them to bring the message directly to someone named Mad-Thane, and not to give it to anyone else. Suddenly, a little girl trips, and drops yet another cylinder. This one is silver, unlike the gold ones we’ve been seeing. Claus picks it up, and the girl says it’s for her father. One can assume that the woman is Mad-Thane’s wife, and the girl must be his daughter. Claus steps towards Holly, the girl, and tells her that her letter will receive extra-special attention.

An eyecatch appears, signifying that we’ve reached the middle of the episode. After that, we return to the warship fleet. We see a group of soldiers, dressed in blue uniforms with tall hats. One of them looks nervous. As he sits there, he repeats the same phrase over and over again: “Dysith bullets will avoid Mullen Shetland’s body.” The first time I watched this, I couldn’t tell what he was saying. But yeah, Mullen Shetland is his name, and this won’t be the last time we see him. He technically hasn’t been introduced as a character yet, though, so that’s all I can say – I’m trying to write this liveblog as if it’s my first time watching.

We switch to the bridge of one of the airships. A man towards the front says that the signal has gone up for the battle to begin. He announces that they will begin battle by sending out the musket squad. Why would they have guys with guns in a “naval” battle, you ask? Well, you’ll see how that works.

We see a red-haired man towards the back, presumably the commander of the ship. He announces that he’s pleased to be there, and says that they will do battle in a fair fight and bring forth their best efforts.

The other man picks up a phone-looking thing, telling the rest of the crew about the importance of this battle. He also establishes that the red-haired man is Mad-Thane, and he’s the commander of this fleet. The man continues, telling the soldiers that they must fight for Anatoray, and for their emperor. He tells them always to fight with pride and chivalry. The camera, however, keep switching back to Mullen, who is still repeating the same phrase.

Mad-Thane gives the command to advance, and the other man repeats it. We get a brief glimpse of Claus and Lavie, who appear to be on their way to their destination. All the soldiers stand up and begin to load their guns. They start pumping something, which implies that the guns are powered by air pressure. I can’t help but be reminded of those big squirt guns I used to play with when I was a kid.

Mad-Thane declares that the musket squad is ready, and gives the order for them to advance. A hatch opens up in front of them, revealing a Dysith ship across from them. They have their own musketmen, dressed in red jackets with strange pointed helmets covering their faces. The Anatoray soldiers aim their weapons. At the captain’s order, they begin firing. We see flashes, and men going down on both sides. Mullen’s line moves towards the front, and he runs forward as the men beside him are shot down.

Meanwhile, Claus and Lavie are at a refueling station. Since their message is for Mad-Thane, they’ll be flying directly into the battle. Makes you wonder why this mission was only three stars. The maximum danger rating that a mission can get appears to be 10, so 3/10 doesn’t seem to do this justice.

Back at the battle, a report is made that 50% of the enemy musket squad has been defeated. We then get a shot of the Anatoray musketmen, most of which are lying on the ground dead. Mullen is still alive, but he’s no longer wearing a hat. He just stands there, staring into space.

Claus and Lavie’s vanship is seen approaching the warships. As it flies by one of them, you can see just how tiny the vanship is compared to the other ships. They fly by the open area with the dead soldiers. Lavie is appropriately upset, but Claus tells her to pay attention to flying.

The fleet has been trying to get a ceasefire from the enemy, but they’ve declined the request. They close up the gate where the musket squad was, and as it closes, the dead bodies fall back into the ship along with Mullen.

Finally, both sides begin firing their cannons at each other. Makes you wonder why they even have the musket squads. There doesn’t seem to be much point to it. After a little while, Anatoray seems to be winning. A discouraged-looking Lavie starts signaling the ship with her light, requesting to land and telling them that they have a message. Permission to land is granted. The two of them fly the ship onto the rear deck. After they land, the two of them introduce themselves to the crewmembers that are on deck. As they move through the ship, Lavie asks their guide if they won. The man says it was a huge victory for the fleet, and they continue on.

All of a sudden, something hits the ship from above. A report is given to the bridge saying that one of the fleet’s ships is going to sink. The ship in question sinks beneath the clouds and explodes. Whoever was firing keeps doing so, raining cannon fire onto the Anatoray fleet. Apparently, this is against regulations, and the man asks where the Guild is.

The shot changes briefly to some kind of floating structure above everything, and then we cut back to the battle. Lavie, having reached the bridge, says that there was already a victory, so what’s going on?

With that, this ending plays, signifying that the episode is over. After the ending there’s always a little preview of the next episode, but I won’t cover that. I think it’s more fun for you guys to be surprised.

Writing this took a LOT longer than I thought it would, but anyway, that’s the first episode. We’ve seen our main characters, but the plot hasn’t really gotten started yet. The first three or so episodes are just introduction. Nonetheless, they’re still important. Don’t be surprised if you’re having trouble figuring out what’s going on. This show just throws you in, and it takes a while to start explaining things.

Expect relatively slow updates for now. I still have to finish my Luminous Arc one. Besides that, my classes are going right now, so that limits my free time. On top of that, Pokémon Black and White are coming out in two days, and that’ll occupy a significant amount of my time. :P I will try to update, though, so don’t worry too much.

I hope you guys like the liveblog! If you do, please keep checking for updates. :D
4th Mar '11 1:14:24 PM flag for mods
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