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Last Exile - First Move (Vol. 1) (2003)

Mayumi Asano , Chiwa Saito , Eric P. Sherman , Kristi Reed  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

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Last Exile - First Move (Vol. 1) + Last Exile - Positional Play (Vol. 2) + Last Exile - Discovered Attack (Vol. 3)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Mayumi Asano, Chiwa Saito, Paul St. Peter, Crispin Freeman, Yukana Nogami
  • Directors: Eric P. Sherman, Kristi Reed, Kôichi Chigira
  • Writers: Eric P. Sherman, Kristi Reed, Gonzo
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Geneon [Pioneer]
  • DVD Release Date: November 18, 2003
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000C8AQU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #278,269 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Last Exile - First Move (Vol. 1)" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Noted designer Mahiro Maeda gives this sci-fi adventure a striking, muted look that mixes elements of Buck Rogers, Weimar Germany, and Napoleonic France. Childhood friends Claus and Lavie dream of becoming a top Vanship team: daring pilots who serve as mail couriers, flying their small ships to dangerous destinations. Just as they're about to win an important race and establish the reputation they desire, Claus insists they stop to aid a disabled ship. The pilot entrusts them with Al, a mysterious little girl who is being pursued by an angular mecha-ship. Although Lavie and Claus are clearly in over their heads, they promise to see Al is taken to safety. The storytelling in this new action-adventure is considerably less polished than its original visuals, and the filmmakers fail to set up the odd, war-torn world of the series satisfactorily. (Rated 13 and older: violence, minor profanity, tobacco use) --Charles Solomon

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keep on trying, keep on flying. I will be the light August 25, 2004
What do you get when you apply GONZO's trademark combo of CGI and cell-animation to a steampunk world of flying airships and 1800's mechanical devices? Well, how about you toss in a Harlock-style captain, a stoic ace, an evil organization or two, a cute little girl with mysterious powers, and two of the most likable lead characters you are likely to ever come across? (and that's not describing the half of it)

Indeed, studio GONZO has been hit-and-miss for me for a while now. I greatly enjoyed Blue Submarine #6, while I HATED Vandread. Since Mecha and sci-fi is really my thing, I've been holding tight till now. Stellar reviews made me check out Last Exile. It has definitely been worth the wait.

While much has already been said about the absolutely astounding quality of the animation of this show, really I don't think enough can be said. It's more like an OVA or a movie than an animated series, with few still shots and very consistent quality. The CGI and cell-animation blend better than any other show GONZO has ever made. And the use of light and color is captured just right, being neither bland, nor too flashy. Perfect.

The soundtrack is also quite amazing, making me think of some of the better work of Yoko Kanno. It's a beautiful mixture of old-style European themes, drum rhythms, and orchestral magic. Kind of makes you want the soundtrack...

Of course an anime is ultimately worth watching because of its story and its characters. As I said before, this series has two fantastic lead characters. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. As the show goes on and more main characters are introduced, we come to know them largely from their actions (at least for the first few discs). That is to say, the character devlopment is well done.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Beginning of An Amazing Story June 7, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Last Exile - First Move is the beginning of an amazing, wonderous tale of truth, deceit, bravery, failure and success. The three main characters, Claus, Lavie and Alvis, are all characters everyone can relate to. They are young, naive, caring and loving, but they must face the real world of back stabbing, betrayal and intrigue.
The series starts off a bit slow, but with each episode you begin to find out more and more about the world these three young people live in. It is a world at war with itself. We know very little about the the "enemy", only that they "fight without honor or chivlary". We begin to realize the real "power" behind all that is happening is the Guild, a race of advanced beings who seem to have fun causing problems for the people of this world.
Claus and Lavie become involved in the war accidentally when the pilot of another Vanship crashes after hitting Claus and Lavie's Vanship during the "big race". That is when we first meet Alvis, or Al, as Claus and Lavie know her. Al is a innocent child who holds a dark secret that the Guild wants. But we are left wondering what that "secret" is.
The animation is first rate and the sound tract is fantastic. I recommend you get the soundtract along with the DVD.
"Last Exile" is a top notch thriller and first rate example of the Japanese of Anime.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every saga has a beginning... January 19, 2004
Last Exile is one of the best anime series I've ever watched. It's not a series really, but one long movie. Meaning, the episodes are not just connected - this is one continiouse story. There are no monsters of the week or such.
The closest thing I can think of is "Crest of the Stars", but with a vast sky instead of the space. And with a top-notch animation and design. The main characters are a couple of kids, working as couriers on their vanship (a kind of plane). They try to earn their living and while delvering a "package" they get mixed-up in the war. There is a race in the second episode, which reminded me of pod race in "Phantom Menace", only it was more exciting.
The weak point of this DVD is that it doesn't yet give you the real feel of the series. This is really only "First Move". It sets the board and only hints at the great game ahead of us. And two months is too long to wait before the next several episodes.
If you liked "Crest of the Stars" or books like Tad Williams "Memory, Sorrow and Thorn Trilogy" try out this series.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moves the bar a notch higher... April 7, 2005
There has been so much good anime come to the USA in that past year or so that I'm only now getting to Last Exile. Frankly, my reason for putting this series of was that mech/tech war anime is not my favorite genre. That, and the fact that I had no clue how good it actually was. So here I am one DVD later wondering what dark closet I was hiding in.

About three seconds into the opening animation you are going to realize that this is a no-holds-barred, no dollar left unspent production. Set in an alternate history at a point that would be just after World War One, the settings and machines are fantastically detailed, animated with a classic combination of CGI and artwork that will perpetually amaze you. There are whole sections of these episodes that are so well done that you wouldn't even mind if there was no plot at all.

But a plot there is, and a good one as well. Two young vanship pilots, Claus and Lavie make their living as messengers, trying to win glory as racers. On the morning before a race they accept a mission to deliver a message to David, Duke Mad-Thane, the commander of the Anatoray fleet at Minagith, where a battle with their enemies the Disith is taking place under the auspices of the Guild. The Disith break with traditional warfare, and Claus and Lavie must deliver their messages in the middle of a battle gone wrong.

The story continues with the vanship race, where Claus and Lavie's valiant efforts are wasted when they witness the crash of another vanship and come to the rescue. Suddenly they are drawn back into the intrigue of the Guild as they accept a mishion to deliver Alvie, a mysterious young child, into the relative safety of the great ship Silvana. And thereby hangs another cliffhanger or two.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Wake up sleepyhead
Imagine a world divided into two warring nations, full of airborne warships, political tangles, and a strange little girl that everyone is trying to get. Read more
Published on May 15, 2009 by E. A Solinas
1.0 out of 5 stars Unanswerd Questions
If you like having plot holes filled and questions answered than you need to avoid this anime like it is the plague. Read more
Published on April 17, 2009 by Christopher
5.0 out of 5 stars First Impression: Whoa
I'm going to start this review by saying that Last Exile is a stunning series, at least from what I saw in the first volume. Read more
Published on February 8, 2006 by Antonio D. Paolucci
5.0 out of 5 stars TO THE SKIES!!!!
When i watched the first DVD i was sceptical, everyone talks about this series because of it's slow and confusing start (wich is true, i know now), this anime really takes off on... Read more
Published on September 2, 2005 by ALONSO DE ALBA
5.0 out of 5 stars there is a reason for all the 5 star ratings
yes there is a reason everyone except one reviewer gave this five stars(frankly I dont know what anime that guy watched because last exile is awesome) This is without a doubt one... Read more
Published on August 21, 2005 by Geoff
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Long and very involved.
I was blown away with this series. I have looked for something else like it and the only thing that comes close is Miyazaki's work. Read more
Published on July 23, 2005 by Thomas Carden
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Designs and Concept; Poor Execution and Story
CGI is one acronym I never like to see in the credits of an anime. I hate CGI with a passion when it finds its way into cel-drawn works, especially when the contrast is night and... Read more
Published on June 16, 2005 by The Otaku
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Anime Series
One of the best anime series. There's a good mix of action and drama. I bought the whole set so I can watch it again and again.
Published on June 5, 2005 by Lenin
5.0 out of 5 stars Just another anime show thats all
The series is great what I don't understand is if "Last Exile" is rated 13 up for violence profanity tobacco use why would amazon give it a G rating. Read more
Published on June 4, 2005 by Ronnie Clay
5.0 out of 5 stars The sky's the limit. A lesson in captivating.
Personally, I never rent anime. I just use my most trusted reviews and intuition, including reading the story, of course. Read more
Published on March 22, 2005 by Smeequat
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