A rate of 7 star difficulty can quickly change the life of a sky courier. Last Exile is a steampunk sky-venture that follows Claus Valca and his navigator Lavie Head through a tough courier mission that killed a more experienced pilot and plunges them between 2 warring nations and the Guild, an organization that seemingly enforces the rules of war.
The Guild ensures the conflict between the two nations Anatoray and Disith continues according to their rules. They hand out just enough technology to each nation to increase the kill count but not to give either nation the edge. Claus and Lavie only seek to keep their cargo, a young girl named Alvis, safe. They soon discover Alvis is the key to something called Exile.
Lavie Head is Claus’s navigator and mechanics. Moody and outspoken, she makes sure Claus knows her displeasure with his decision to become a combat pilot to protect Alvis. She swings between being Claus’s best friend and sibling and to a nagging wife. she keeps her feelings for Claus suppressed, but they surface time to time with jealousy
Alvis Hamilton, an 11 year old, is the Guild’s primary goal. Referred to as the “key to Exile” and simply “the cargo,” she grows close to Claus and Lavie.
The cast of supporting characters and villains is large but each are well designed and memorable.
The world of Last Exile is rich in details. It is a rusty world of steampunk industry, but it just serves as the backdrop and not the focus. Many of the craft in the series was based upon actual drawings from the early 1900s. The animation is rich and smooth. The backgrounds are detailed down to softly billowing steam. The series leans heavily on 3d computer animation for much of its flight scenes. The combination of tradition and computer animation is seamless and well done. The art is just superb in design and execution. The storyline is complex and chock full of questions and dangling threads that the viewers have to wait to be resolved. The pacing is excellent with cliff hangers and just enough reveals to keep the viewer hooked.