A 2011 anime series from GONZO, sequel to the 2003 series Last Exile.Taking place two years after the original, Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing focuses on Fam and Giselle, "vespa" pilots who work as Sky Pirates capturing battleships. But things change when they rescue Princess Liliana and Millia of the Kingdom of Turan, which is being invaded by the powerful Ades Federation led by Liliana's old friend, Premier Luscinia.The Silver Wing is historically significant as the first ever animated TV series in history to be broadcast specifically to take advantage of home-3D-television technology (invented by SONY) on network TV. Silver Wing is simulcast on the same day on both Japan and Asia on Animax Asia.Start lining up for your 3D glasses, people...Not to be confused with the Silverwing book series or its animated adaption.
Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing provides examples of:
All There in the Manual: The connection between this series and the previous Last Exile is explained in the recently-published (and still ongoing) bridge manga Sunadokei no Tabibito/Wanderers From the Hourglass. Also the specialization of each Ades fleet is only revealed in the serialized Silver Wing manga.
Amazon Brigade: The all-female interceptor squad from Glacies. Supplemental materials initially hinted that this was true for their entire country, with the all-female population maintained via cloning or similar means, but this was disproven in Episode 13, where it was shown where exactly the men were all this time.
Animal-Eared Headband: The ear warmers on Fam and Giselle's headphones are shaped like ears, and in case this was too subtle, they both have furry tails attached to their fannypacks. Fam's cat tail is more obvious but Giselle seems to have a rabbit tail even though both of their ear warmers look the same.
Attack Drone: Unmanned Guild Starfish fighters surprisingly fill this role for this season, serving as an internal defensive system for the Grand Exile. They are less effective compared to the manned fighters from the previous season, however.
Awesome, but Impractical: The Grand Exile's Wave Motion Gun. Each shot can vaporize entire fleets of warships, or even decimate a country's capital. However the pylons the beams are fired from are destroyed after each shot, meaning they can each only be used once. And there are only eight of them.
Justified, since they're actually repurposed engines, so they're not optimised to be used as weapons.
Battleship Raid: The raid on the Impetus in episode two. Happens again at the climax of the series with Fam and her friends, Tatiana's vanship squadron, and whole segments of the Anatoray-Disith fleet charging into the Grand Exile.
Big Damn Heroes: The Silvius in episode 17. The Silvana and the Anatoray-Disith fleet for the Alliance forces in episode 20.
Bigger Is Better: The Grand Exile is huge◊, and is on an altogether different scale than the Turanian Exile and the Last Exile ( in the linked image, shown beside it for comparison). It is obviously imposing and very very intimidating.
Bilingual Bonus: The use of the Greek alphabet makes its return in Fam... with hilarious results for those who can actually read the 'letters' shown in the show. Case in point* It looks like that word salad was copied from random places on the internet, including a guide for a mission for EVE Online: ◊.
It's also a bit painful, though, considering that it's clear whoever was typing simply changed their keyboard layout to Greek and typed as if it was English, without realizing that Greek letters don't directly correspond to Roman letters (especially not Roman letters as used in English).
Augusta, the title used by the Empresses of Ades, is the feminine version of the official title of the Roman Emperor. Historically, it was only used by the wives of emperors, but it's perfectly accurate for a reigning empress also.
Kartoffel is German for potato, just as "Spargel" is German for asparagus, "Kürbis" is pumpkin, "Zwiebel" is onion, "Pilze" is mushrooms and "Karotten" is carrots. Judging by the diet of Fam, Gisey, and their family, there are a lot of kartoffels in Kartoffelnote the correct plural would be "Kartoffeln"!.
Bait-and-Switch Credits: Just one example: Dio did eventually kill Alauda, but he did so in a relatively restrained fashion on a Silvius hangar deck instead of the larger-than-life fight outside of the falling Turan's flagship like in the opening.
Break the Cutie: Happens with surprising frequency. Victims include Giselle (who the Skyship Hunt took its toll on) and Augusta Sara (who couldn't take her generals trying to kill each other).
Brutal Honesty: Fam is not afraid to insult people not matter how rude it is... even when it's by light signals and to her Captain and to the child empress Sara.
Call Back: Fam wins a race the same way Claus did in the first series: by dumping her excess fuel in the final lap.
Catch Phrase: Some phrases are repeated often enough to be considered one, like the Adesians' "Gloria Augusta!" (and "GLORIA!!!" in general), or the Sky Pirates' "Good tailwinds!" and "Those birdbrains!".
Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The major Ades Federation fleets are all color-coded to match the capes used by their commanding generals. Oddly enough, the fleet under Premier Luscinia's command avoids being this way.
Combat Tentacles: The defensive systems of the Exiles make their return here, to deadly effect.
Continuity Nod: Numerous. The first episode alone features the Birthday Song, a recitation of Exile's Mysterium, and the appearance of the eponymous spaceship. Then there are the returning characters, like Dio, Tatiana, Alister, Claus, and Lavie.
Curb-Stomp Battle: The Ades Federation pretty much steamrolls any enemy fleet they come across with little effort, and in the event they do run into serious resistance, they can simply summon an Exile to do the work for them.
For the latter they need a Key (and their Mysteriums); as of the start of the series they knew of only one, Liliana, although their enemies do not necessarily know this.
While Fam and Giselle are extremely skilled at stealing ships, their attempt to capture the Silvius showed them just how out of their league they were.
Easily Forgiven: Although it makes sense that they let Dian walk free after her heroism during the final battle, the fact still remains that she shot Liliana, so it's still odd that Fam would act as friendly toward her as she does.
Empty Chair Memorial: Dio flies his vanship by himself, leaving the back seat empty in memory of his navigator and best friend, Lucciola. That said, he's okay with having passengers as long as they don't use the controls.
Fanservice: The first scene of the first episode has Fam sleep-walking and stripping to her underwear and bungee jumping off the deck with a cord keeping her from falling. Liliana's introductory scene involves a wardrobe with an emphasis on (clears throat) very, ah, sheer fabric.
The opening song begins with the three leading girls standing casually naked in the Grand Lake, any possible explicit anatomy tastefully obscured by Gisel's schematic book and clouds of white swan feathers; the result conveying an adorable and pure innocence found in church-paintings rather than lustful pornography (the FUNimation/Animax Asia/Niconico simulcast zoomed this in to head & shoulder modesty shots).
Invoked and Parodied with Millia's Meido outfit in episode 5. She attempts to use this to her advantage. Hilarity ensues.
Slightly averted in episode 12, with Fam and her friends joining Dian for a soak in the local hot springs. None of the girls go bathing naked, and are in fact dressed in very modest knee-length blouses.
Fantasy Counterpart Culture. Also crossed with Culture Chop Suey. Present-day cultures and nationalities seemed to have faded away in the several centuries leading up to the events of the anime. On the other hand, both the Native and Exile societies have developed from some interesting legacies.
The Ades Federation seems to have been founded by Middle Easterners, due to the Arab, Turkish and Persian influences present. On the other hand, it also has aesthetics reminiscent of Prussia and Nazi Germany, is home to various cultures and has elements of the Roman Empire to boot (such as the use of Latin).
Glacies has a strong Russian element to it, with bits and pieces of Scandinavia as well as a fierce neutrality reminiscent of Switzerland.
The Federation: The Ades Federation, which interestingly is ruled by an Empress. Federated monarchies aren't all that rare even in Real Life. And Ades Federation really is a federation of various nations, both Exiles' and Natives', united under a single monarch. Which exist in an uneasy peace due to the aforementioned Fantastic Racism and lot of hardly forgotten mutual grievances. The infamous purge instigated by Luscinia was apparently caused mainly by these tensions.
Foreshadowing: The stylized white winged figure on Augusta Sara's personal standard. It's actually the Grand Exile.
Glorious Mother Russia: Glacies seems to be vaguely Cold War-era Russia in theme. This is most clearly visible in the fact that its citizens speak Russian; but its location in the frozen north, its isolationism and militarism, and its use of rockets that look very much like those used by real-world space programs all contribute to the effect.
Gratuitous Russian: The Glacies seiyuu trying to speak Russian... The result is barely or not intelligible most of the time. It gets better later in the series, and one of the seiyuu is even a Russian native speaker.
The English dub uses native speakers for Dian and Viola, dodging the issue for the most part.
Grey and Gray Morality: Oh boy, let's just say once you know more about all of the factions, you'll be hard to support or despise any of them.
The Ades Federation at first looks like evil fascists wanting to rule the world. But then we learn the war's true purpose is: Ades seeks to reclaim and return the lands stolen by the Exile nations to its original Native inhabitants and unite the nations in peace. Furthermore, Ades' generals are good people who care about their subordinates and are like a family to Empress Sara, and their Premier Luscinia is a great leader and statesmen to the Ades people. He also allows the nations the Federation conquers to still be (mostly) ruled by its own selected leaders. He cares about Sara like her surrogate big brother and wants to fulfill her late mother's dream of united world peace. However, Luscinia's war against the Exile nations is also in part driven by revenge since it was Exile terrorists who killed Sara's mother after the Grand Race, which led Luscinia to believe it was impossible to unite people by peace and the only way to unite them was by force, even if it means assassinating dissidents, conquering nations, sacrificing hundreds of soldiers lives and using an Exile and Guild technology. Furthermore, the Natives are racist to the Exiles due to fact their ancestors stayed on Earth during its crisis while the Exiles left, with the latter only returning centuries later to resettle. As such they believe that the Exiles have no right to the lands they currently hold.
Then there's the Exile nations of Earth who at first look like peaceful nations trying defend themselves against the conquering Ades, but as the series progress their good guy image is shattered after their histories are revealed. First we have the Turan Kingdom ruled by reasonable and kind leaders like the King and Princess Liliana but their nation's founding isn't so rosy when it is revealed that the kingdom's founders forcefully drove out and stole the land from its native inhabitants. Even now, the Turanians don't like the idea of the natives returning to their homeland, which Millia learns after seeing her officers showing disgust at seeing Ades sending the original natives back to Turan. In fact, almost all of the Earth Exile nations (with the possible exception of frigid Glacies) exist now because they drove out the natives from their homeland, which forced most of them go to Ades, whose land is a poor place to grow crops. With that kind of suffering, it's no wonder the Natives hate the Exiles and started the war between them. Even when there was a chance for peace between both sides, it was destroyed by Exile terrorists when they killed Sara's mother, the one who started the peace talks, all because they wanted to avenge their comrades. Their actions made things worse and that led to Luscinia's Start of Darkness and his ambition to forcefully unite the world. When the anti-Luscinia coalition is finally formed, most of the Exile nations aren't interested in peace and only want to kill Luscinia and his men as revenge.
Goggles Do Nothing: Slightly averted. Fam and her friends do wear goggles while flying their vanships, but they also spend an equal amount of time with the things off.
Hair Decorations: Inevitable with Murata as character designer, but Millia in particular - she doesn't even take them out to sleep.
He's Dead, Jim: Liliana's death is made final when Millia inherits her ability to control Turan's Exile.
Heterosexual Life-Partners: Fam and Giselle, Tatiana and Alister, Sorush and Orang, even Luschinia and Alauda in the past. Last Exile loves its best friends.
Dian and Viola might be this, although it is hinted that their relationship might have a different dynamic.
Late-Arrival Spoiler: The list of characters and voice cast, which were revealed before the first episode aired, revealed that Dio Eraclea is still alive after the original series. He also shows up in the opening and in the first episode.
Lighter and Softer: The brighter color scheme used for the show, as well as the happy-go-lucky titular character Fam make the series seem this way at first, but in many ways Earth is just as bad as how it was in Prester, especially with a continent-wide war that's been raging on and off for at least a decade. The only difference is that the Guild doesn't have a direct hand in the trouble, but even then their legacy and influence can still be felt in the technology they leave behind.
Lost Technology: Anything Exile-related can be seen as this way, as the tech can no longer be replicated since the world has a much lower technological level than how it was six hundred years prior.
Meaningful Name: Anatoray-Disith's Exile, the eponymous Last Exile, is both the last ship made in the Exile Project (and as such the most advanced), and the last Exile ship to return with its people to Earth.
A Nazi by Any Other Name: You need only look at the Ades heavy industrial ships, oddly Prussian uniforms, and see Luscinia's actions against the other nations, and those who stand against him within the federation to see that they're basically a bunch of Sky Nazis. That Luscinia began the political purging of apparent dissenters for the stability of the State in the Augusta's name is just the fascist icing on the swastika cake.
Nice Hat: In a surprising departure from the previous series (where only Delphine wore anything of note), many characters sport impressive headwear this time around, such as the princesses of Turan and the generals of Ades.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Dian's attempted assassination of Luscinia not only fails, but she accidentally kills Liliana in the process and most likely derailed the peace both sides had just agreed to.
Off Model: While much of the animation is good, you can tell where the animation budget did and didn't go and characters go off-model often enough. An example from episode 5.
Ragnarok-Proofing: The Grand Exile, at first glance, is remarkably well-preserved and still in functioning order after more than six hundred years of dormancy. Later subverted in that, once Fam and her friends infiltrate it, it is revealed that it's seemingly unfinished and actually falling apart from the lack of maintenance.
Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The Sky Pirates are essentially a collection of refugees and survivors of nations conquered by Ades. Incidentally this is used word-for-word to also describe the alliance between nations that formed to take down Luscinia.
Reasonable Authority Figure: Princess Liliana was reasonable enough to accept the Sky Pirates help to escape the Ades Federation fleet despite Millia's disgust that they had to surrender their ship to them later.
Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality: Glacies seems to practice some type of gender segregation. While both genders are part of their military, their air wing seems to be completely all-female, with the males taking up ground support and maintenance roles. The males are not seen outside of their main headquarters, which led many to initially think that the country was literally mono-gender. Their high leadership seems to be made up completely of (old and middle-aged) men (who look suspiciously like the Patriarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church).
Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Represented by Fam (The Idealist) and Luscinia (The Cynic) over their idea of peace. Fam believes that peace can be achieve by both sides talking and understanding each other, but she naively doesn't realize that talking won't help when the sides in question are too blinded by hatred and revenge to even try. Luscinia on the other hand sees that peace can only be achieved by uniting people by force since he believes people are too unreasonable in general, so much so that he doesn't realize that there are still people who are willing to talk and settle things peacefully.
Start of Darkness: Episode 11 shows the Start of Darkness of the Ades Federation in general and Luscinia in particular.
Super Prototype: Much like its predecessor the Silvana, the Silvius is this.
Surprisingly Good Russian: The people of Glacies speak very good (if somewhat Japanese-accented) Russian. Indeed one of the voice actors is a native speaker.
In-series, even if Milia can understand Glacian/Russian, it seems rather unlikely that she would be able to properly translate all of the names of parts that Fam and Giselle needed from Dian.
The only one speaking good Russian is Viola, whose voice actress is natively Russian. The rest deliver a rough phonetic approximation of their lines in that way you get when they're not sure which words to stress and end up stressing none at all and sounding like a damaged robot that's trying to speak.
Talking the Monster to Death: Fam tries to do this with Luscinia, to get Sara back from him. Subverted in that he was already planning to release her to begin with, but Fam's speech did manage to impress him.
Millia and Liliana's middle names, Cutrettola and Merlo, mean Wagtail and Blackbird in Italian.
Luscinia and Alauda are named after genera of birds, specifically the ones that include nightingales and skylarks respectively.
As with the original series, groups of people tend to have names based in the same real-world language. Guild members and Turanians share Italian, Giselle's family is French, Adesians are mostly from Persian (leading to Luscinia Hāfez being a meaningful mixture) with titles from Latin, people from Anatoray are Greek, there are a few minor Sky Pirates who are German, etc.
The Stoic: Four of them: Luscinia, Alauda, Tatiana, and Dian.
Translation Style Choices: A rather bizarre one over the Glacias Rocket fighters nickname. The fansubs and Nico Nico subs translate and calls them "The Winged Priestesses" but the Animax Asia subs translate and calls them "The Winged Witches". The thing is the former translated from the Japanese subs when the characters spoke Russian but latter's broadcast didn't have the Japanese subs as they translated from the Russian dub.
Considering they're a reference to "The Night Witches", Russian female pilot squadrons of World War II, the latter is correct.
Used to Be a Sweet Kid: According to Liliana, Luscinia used to be a nice person. We see just why he changes in Episode 11.
Weapon of Mass Destruction: In a setting that features fleets of flying battleships carrying enough ordinance to flatten a good-sized modern city, Exile technology is seen as this. This is ironic, when one considers their original purpose.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Ades Federation has a reason for conquering other nations. Their Empress wants to see the lands stolen by the immigrants of Exiles returned to its original inhabitants and the only way to do that is to destroy those nations' armies and force them to surrender. Their ultimate goal is ironically world peace, which they see as requiring a single world government (namely, theirs).
Episode 2. Liliana is kidnapped by Luscinia, who reveals to the protagonists that their world is the original home world of the colonists who left in Exile ships, including the one from Prester in the first series. Liliana is revealed to be an Exile activator just like Alvis, and the six moons in the sky are Exile ships. Luscinia activates one of the Exiles to destroy Iglasia, the capital city of the Turan Kingdom, killing everyone there including the King himself.
Episode 10. Liliana is revealed to have been convinced to join Luscinia, and dissolves the Anatoray-Turan alliance, forcing the Turanians to turn against Anatoray. At the same time, the Sky Pirates' hideout falls under attack by the Federation, Guild operatives infiltrate and disable the Sylvius, and Fam, Gisey, and Millia are forced to flee in their damaged Vespa from a squadron of Federation fighters.
Episode 11: Liliana first met Luscinia, then a Battle Butler to Augusta Farahnāz, and apparently develops an immediate crush on him. And then universally respected and loved Farahnāz was assassinated by the very same Exiles whom she tried so valiantly to integrate with the Natives, due to some (entirely justified) grievances, turning Luscinia into the Knight Templar that he is now.
Episode 19: Luscinia kills Vasant and takes Sara to the Grand Exile. A battle ensues afterward between his forces and the others. Sara is the key to activate the Grand Exile, which is what Luscinia was looking for all this time. He then proceeds to wipe out almost the entirety of both fleets with a Wave Motion Gun. Cue ominous music over the credits instead of the usual ending theme.