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on 19 April 2009
I bought this boxed set as an impulse buy, not expecting too much, just something to fill my evenings. I was, however, pleasantly surprised; from the moment I started watching, I couldn't stop - to the detriment of my sleep cycle :P. The animation is beautiful and the airships are wonderfully realised, with a story that doesn't let go.

An anime must have!
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on 11 October 2014
Another great creation by Gonzo with a nice looking box
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on 21 March 2009
Easily the best animated series I've seen in a while, with a story and characters that make you want to keep watching.
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on 1 November 2009
Certainly one of the best Anime Series ever created. Great Visual Style, strong, likeable characters and breathtaking Action.
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on 30 March 2008
Well, I've no bones with the packaging, so no loss of stars for that. This deserves all five.

I am not a devotee of anime by any means, most of it that I've seen is purile and annoying. However, there are some real gems out there and this is one them and while not suitable for very young children, it will have a very broad appeal. This is not a cheesy romance, not a sci-fi fest, not a violent supernatural bloodfest, not a swords and sorcery fantasy epic, nor is there any macho brutality, nor any barely clad females. This is what we used to call fantasy before Dungeons & Dragons came along!

This is a beautifully realised world, the societies and their costumes remind me of the Autrian-Hungarian empire, the floating battleships that fight with cannon and muskets are more Victorian, while the small flying vanships are pure art-deco. It has all been produced in a fusion of 3D and traditional cell animation that the Japanese pioneered and continue to do so well. (if only Disney and Dreamworks would pay attention to this)

The two main characters are two young orphaned pilots, Claus and Alvie but the cast quickly grows, with an impressive range of histories and motives, involving the viewer ever more deeply in the plot. The pace of the story telling never lets up, and each episode leaves you ready for the next - so, if you buy the boxed set, expect to be watching it all in one or two marathon sessions. Although I have mentioned the scope of the character development, don't imagine that this impacts on the amount of action either - you will see many arial battles and races which will leave you awe struck.

ADV titles can still be a bit on the expensive side but I got my copy from Amazon for under £30 - that's worth every penny for the 10+ hours of first class entertainment.
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Imagine a world divided into two warring nations, full of airborne warships, political tangles, and a mysterious riddle that will decide all their fates.

"Last Exile: The Complete Series" is full of all these things, filled with glorious CGI, likable characters and some truly brilliant plot twists near the end. The plot becomes kind of knotted up in the last lap of the series, but it's still a beautifully rendered story about love, friendship and occasionally revenge -- and it's rendered in such beautiful animation that it simply sweeps you away.

Vanship pilot Claus Valca and his buddy Lavie Head are in the middle of a race when they encounter a mystery pilot being chased by a Guild star-ship. His cargo: a little girl named Alvis.

Unfortunately, getting Alvis safely to the rendezvous is no easy task -- especially when the ship picking her up turns out to be the legendary, deadly Silvana. But Claus and Lavie don't want their new friend to be alone and frightened, so they manage to make their way onto the Silvana, and end up becoming part of its crew. Of course, the head vanship pilot Tatiana Wisla isn't too happy about that.

And life aboard the Silvana is anything but boring for the two teenagers. Claus and Lavie take part in a vast vanship race, a battle with the overblown Goliath, a rebellion against the Emperor, and a crash landing in the middle of the desert. And Claus has caught the interest of the whimsical Dio of the Guild -- the younger brother of the cold-hearted, calculating Delphine.

What's more, the Silvana's journey is somehow wrapped up in the mysteries of the Grand Stream, a search for revenge by the Silvana's captain, the secrets of the Mysteria, and the very future of their world. What is Exile, and where will it lead?

"Last Exile" is one of those series that blurs the lines of genre and style -- it feels like a more ethereal brand of steampunk, complete with Victorian trappings and advanced airships. It's full of glowing light, vast expanses of cloads and flowing cities, and beautiful mountainous landscapes and clouds that could have come straight from a Hayao Miyazaki movie. Not to mention some brilliant airborne battles.

The many subplots of the series unspool gradually throughout each episode, twining together as the plot goes on -- such as Alex's vendetta, the plans of the villain Delphine, and the mysterious Grand Stream that seems to be central to the mysteries of Prester. The dialogue is rather run-of-the-mill, but the carefully-drawn world (complete with water shortages and a fictional fuel called "claudia") make up for that, as well as the tangled political clashes that stretch from one episode to the next.

The last few episodes are a bit of a mindbender. The plot becomes a bit tangled up, before twisting into a startling revelation about the world of Prester -- which admittedly, while carefully foreshadowed, is quite a surprise when it's revealed.

Claus and Lavie make a likable pair of protagonists -- he's mellow, sweet and rather laid-back, while she's fiery and easily upset ("This is OUR vanship, and YOU can't touch it!"), so they end up playing well off each other. And the supporting cast is a pretty solid one, with a ride range of personalities and plenty of likable minor characters (like the mechanics). Among the standouts: the melancholy and mysterious Alex Rowe, Alvis, the whimsical and tragic Dio, and vanship pilot Tatiana (who develops a crush on Claus).

"Last Exile: The Complete Series" has a few odd twists, but it's a solid and atmospheric anime series that glides slowly to a rather startling conclusion.
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on 9 January 2008
Like the last reviewer i can't fault this anime series. At first i wasn't sure if it was my type of thing given the shows and movies i normally watch, however after seeing a few episodes i was hooked, not only by the excellent animation, the plot but also by the characters.

Its hard to liken it to any other anime i have watched recently, though if i was pushed to i would say it reminded me of Laputa: Castle in the Sky as well as having some of the more basic plot aspects of a show like Scrapped Princess.

Like most anime shows which run for 26 episodes or longer, it starts a little slow but if you stick it out you will not be disappointed!

.... now for the packaging. Yeah, the box at first seemed interesting with all 7 discs in one case.... but then thats it, there is nothing else in there. No book, no leaflet or postcards, even the disc episode list is printed on the inside back cover. In order to read that you either remove the cover itself or empty the case of DVDs!

The plastic case is very poor quality and will not stand up to much accidental damage. Would have been nice to have it packaged a little bettle like the Ghost in the Shell: SAC thin set but don't let this put you off buying a great anime series... yes thats the whole series... in one go!! Cases can always be replaced.

A must for anyone into anime.
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on 10 March 2008
This is in my opinion one of the rgeatest anime series ever, and I'm so glad its finally out in one collection. Unlike the other reviewers I can't fault the box. It's not all that common for collections to come with goodies, especially not in the UK, so I wasn't expecting any, and why do you need the cheap extras when it's the series that matters?

The box design itself is great. It's just a large DVD case about the size of two normal cases, with all seven discs fitted neatly inside, so unlike a regular box set it takes up hardly any room at all. Well worth the money.
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on 20 August 2007
The series is fantastic, 5 stars easily.

However, the DVD packaging in a Scanavo 7/One Overlap DVD case - all 7 disks. The plastic casing is very thin at best, and easily cracks or snaps. Also the disks aren't held in the case very well and easily become dislodged, and damaged. especially if you are ordering this online.

It is very difficult to obtain a replacement box too.

They should have packaged each individual disk in it's own thinpak box with an outer sleeve like the US version, or the Ghost In The Shell: SAC series boxsets.
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on 26 July 2009
Last Exile is without doubt one of the most well written, well animated, and well acted (in both the original Japanese AND English Dub) of all animé.

The story is set in a time apart (not really the future, not really the past) in a genre somewhat akin to that of "Steampunk".

The series follows the tail of two "Vanship" pilots (something like a mail man and his navigator) as they join fates with the crew of a large battle airship in the midst of a attritional war.
Watch as these two adventurers attempt to end a cycle of endless fighting, and change the lives of all whom they encounter.

I have regular "animé nights" with my friends, I have yet to meet a person who doesn't absolutely love this series.

If you don't love Last Exile, you are NOT an animé fan!
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