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Last Exile is a 26-episode animated television series created by Gonzo in celebration of the company's 10th anniversary.[1] The steampunk fantasy series was directed by Koichi Chigira, and character designs were created by Range Murata.[2] The story is set on a fictional world divided in eternal conflict between the nations of Anatoray and Disith, and sky couriers Claus Valca and Lavie Head must deliver a girl who holds the key to uniting the two factions. Last Exile aired in Japan on TV Tokyo from April 7, 2003, until its final episode on September 29, 2003.

The series was licensed for English language broadcast and distribution in North America by Geneon Entertainment (then Pioneer Entertainment) in June 2003. Geneon premiered its dubbed version of the series in TechTV's Anime Unleashed programming block on March 8, 2004. The first 13 episodes aired nightly until March 14, 2004. The remaining 13 episodes premiered on December 6, 2004, with new episodes airing each weeknight until the series concluded on December 22, 2004.

ADV Films owns the license for the series' English release in the United Kingdom, and distribution rights in Australia and New Zealand are owned by Madman Entertainment. Last Exile was licensed for regional language release in France,[3] Germany,[4] and Sweden.[5] On December 26, 2008, American production house Funimation Entertainment announced it was taking over production and distribution of the show from Geneon.[6] Last Exile has also been hosted at the streaming media website Crunchyroll.[7]

Two pieces of theme music were used for the series. "Cloud Age Symphony", performed by Shuntaro Okino, was used as the opening theme for all 26 episodes, and Hitomi Kuroishi's "Over The Sky" was used as the ending theme.[8]

Episode list

Last Exile's episode titles were originally given in English, as displayed at the beginning of each episode, and use terms from chess.

Episode # Title Director Screenwriter Original airdate[9] English airdate[10][11]
1 First move
"Fāsuto mūvu" (ファースト·ムーヴ)
April 7, 2003 March 8, 2004
"First move" is the opening move in chess.[12]

The lone battleship Silvana locates a Disith fleet crossing the Grand Stream and destroys several ships in a surprise attack. After the remaining Disith ships escape, the Silvana withdraws from the Grand Stream. In the frontier town of Norkia, 15-year-old pilot Claus Valca and navigator Lavie Head prepare their vanship for the Norkia Cup race. On their next job call as sky couriers, Claus and Lavie accept a mission to deliver two letters to Duke David Mad-thane from his family. Mad-thane, an officer in the Anatoray navy, is leading a battle against a Disith fleet at Minagith under the supervision of the Guild. After a victory in the opening engagement using musketeers, Mad-thane's fleet continues to battle the Disith in artillery combat. However, the Anatoray fleet meets a surprise attack from a new Disith fleet as Claus and Lavie arrive on the flagship Claimh Solais to deliver the letters.
2 Luft Vanship
"Rufuto Vanshippu" (ルフト·ヴァンシップ)
April 14, 2003 March 8, 2004
"Luft" is the German word for "air". In chess, a luft allows the king to escape from a back rank mate, a move usually made by a pawn. The episode title carries a dual meaning of a vanship acting as a decoy or a vanship in the sky.[13]

In the surprise attack by Disith, several Anatoray ships are destroyed in the opening engagement. As Guild members continue to watch the engagement from above the battlefield, they note that Minagith will fall to Disith forces. Word arrives at the Anatoray capital that Duke Mad-thane's fleet is losing the battle, prompting the Emperor to order an unknown asset sent to a safe place away from the Guild. As the Disith attack continues, Claus and Lavie are forced to leave the bridge, unable to deliver the message tube to Mad-thane directly. They realize that the second message tube from Mad-thane's daughter, Holly, was not delivered. While Mad-thane gives the order to fight to the last ship, Claus interrupts over the speaker system to read the message written by Holly expressing her wishes that her father returns home. Anatoray soldiers attempt to stop Claus and Lavie but are held back by musketeer Mullin Shetland. After hearing the message and ridding himself of feeling ashamed, Mad-thane orders his fleet to withdraw. Claus and Lavie create a smokescreen for the retreat with their vanship but are told by a red vanship that they are in the line of fire. At the same time, the Silvana appears and fires at the pursuing Disith. Given this chance, the Anatoray fleet escapes, and the Silvana and the red vanship disappear under the clouds. Claus and Lavie return to the Mad-thane residence to bring news of the Duke's safety. They also find out that they will be starting at last position in the Norkia Cup race after missing the time attack.
3 Transpose
"Toransupōzu" (トランスポーズ)
April 21, 2003 March 9, 2004
Transposition in chess employs a switch in tactics. In the episode, Claus switches from the race to his work as a courier, and Alvis is handed over from Ralph to Claus.[14]

On the day of the 75th Norkia Cup race, vanship courier Ralph Wednesday is being pursued by several star-shaped fighters and is wounded. Meanwhile, Claus and Lavie pull ahead to challenge defending champion Hurricane Hawk towards the final stage of the race. However, as Claus takes over the lead from Hawk, Ralph's vanship crosses their path. Hawk's and Ralph's vanships crash into the trees, and Claus decides to pull away from the race despite being in the lead. Claus and Lavie find the dying Ralph, who is on a mission to deliver a girl named Al. The two decide to take over Ralph's job, but are discovered by one of the fighters. To allow Claus and Lavie to escape, Ralph acts as a decoy and sacrifices himself by detonating a bomb near the fighter. Claus and Lavie escape by the river and discover that the girl must be transported to the Silvana into the custody of Alex Row.
4 Zugzwang
"Tsūku tsuwangu" (ツーク·ツワング)
April 28, 2003 March 9, 2004
A chess player is said to be in zugzwang when he or she is forced to make a bad move.[15]

Claus and Lavie take the unconscious Al back to their residence. While Claus plans an escape route through underground water canals to avoid detection by the star-shaped fighter, Lavie attempts to talk him out of the mission and reports rumors about the mysterious Silvana. When Al wakes up, they hide the fact that her caretaker Guita had died with Ralph Wednesday. Later that night, the fighter discovers their location and wrecks the house. The three escape through the canals in the vanship, and Al finally realizes that Guita has already died. The fighter discovers them near the end of the canal and damages the vanship, forcing an emergency landing in the temple ruins outside Norkia. It captures Al and is about to kill Claus when a gunshot causes the fighter to collapse.
5 Positional play
"Pojishonaru purei" (ポジショナル·プレイ)
May 5, 2003 March 10, 2004
By making a positional play, a chess player maneuvers his or her pieces in the long term to gain advantage against the opponent.[16]

Alex Row takes the unconscious Al into custody and leaves with the Silvana. Not wanting to leave Al alone, Claus quickly repairs his damaged vanship and drains fuel from the downed fighter, but Lavie is hesitant about the decision. While in pursuit, they discover that the fuel composition was more pure than what they have used before and suspect that the fighter belongs to the Guild. When Al awakens, the Silvana's executive officer, Sophia Forrester, greets her as Alvis Hamilton. Claus and Lavie catch up to the Silvana, but it opens fire on their vanship as they attempt to board. Short on fuel, Claus is forced to make an emergency landing on the lower deck of the ship as it stops firing. Claus and Lavie make their way to the hangar and find the red vanship they encountered at Minagith. They get into a fight with the flight deck crew, but are stopped by Tatiana Wisla, the vanship's pilot.
6 Arbiter attack
"Ābitā atakku" (アービター·アタック)
May 12, 2003 March 10, 2004
An arbiter acts as a referee in chess. In this episode, the Guild, which mediates the conflict between Anatoray and Disith, is the one who conducts the attack.[17]

Guild members Dio Eraclea and Lucciola discover the downed fighter and its dead pilot in the temple ruins. When reviewing the fighter's video records, Dio takes an interest in Claus. At the Anatoray capital, Tatiana reports to the Emperor that Alvis has been safely delivered. Aboard the Silvana, Alvis is reunited with Claus and Lavie. Claus is taken to meet Alex, who asks him why he wants to protect Alvis and why he flies as a pilot. Before Claus can answer, they are interrupted by approaching Guild fighters. The Silvana, unable to effectively defend itself, is boarded by several fighters. Lavie questions the Silvana's reputation as the safest place in the world. Unable to escape on their damaged vanship, Claus asks that he and Lavie be allowed to join the fight on a spare fighter vanship.
7 Interesting Claus
"Intaresutingu Kurausu" (インタレスティング·クラウス)
May 19, 2003 March 11, 2004
The episode title points to Claus as the center of interest, just as a unique chess move that generates particular interest.[18]

Claus and Lavie enter the battle in a spare fighter vanship; however, Claus experiences some difficulty in maneuvering the craft. Dio takes interest in Claus as he begins to have a better grasp of the vanship. After observing Claus complete a Scissors and an Immelmann turn, Dio dubs him "Immelmann" and decides to enter the battle, as does Lucciola. However, instead of shooting down Claus and Lavie, Dio toys with them to the point at which he achieves a lock on them before disengaging, and repeats the process several times. Lavie, fearful of being killed, experiences a redout when Claus attempts to escape from Dio's fighter. Midway through the battle, Tatiana returns to find the Silvana under attack and also engages Dio's fighter. Lucciola disconnects his fighter from Dio's and begins to engage Tatiana. Dio decides to stop playing with Claus, but all Guild forces are recalled before he is able to fire on the next target lock. Back aboard the Silvana, Tatiana is angry that Claus was given permission to fly a fighter vanship and criticizes Lavie as a poor navigator.
8 Takeback
"Tēkubakku" (テークバック)
May 26, 2003 March 11, 2004
A takeback allows a chess player to undo his or her moves, something that is usually discouraged.[19]

The Silvana arrives at the station Casino Royale for repairs, and its crew is given temporary shore leave. Lavie again meets Mullin Shetland, who resigned his commission on the Claimh Solais after the battle at Minagith and intends on joining the battleship Goliath, also docked at the station. While Alvis is asleep, Claus also decides to look around the station and meets Tatiana's navigator, Alister Agrew. Mullin introduces himself to Count Knowles, commanding officer of the Goliath, who ridicules Mullin for wearing his survival medals. In the final bird race of the evening, the Goliath crew manipulates the field to allow its favored bird to win. On seeing this, Lavie becomes angry and accuses them of cheating. The Silvana crew uses this as an excuse to fight with the Goliath crew. Meanwhile, station owner Walker informs Alex Row that an object related to Exile will be auctioned in the black market under the guise of a vanship race. Mullin reveals that the Goliath escaped from the battle at Minagith without putting a fight, to which Knowles takes offense and threatens to kill him. Walker breaks up the fight, but Knowles challenges Alex to a ship-to-ship duel. When both ships leave the dock, Knowles realizes that he has challenged the invincible Silvana and orders his ship to begin firing before the duel commences. Unscathed, the Silvana returns fire with its newly installed weapon and sinks the Goliath in one volley. Lavie gives Mullin a self-made survival medal.
9 Calculate Alex
"Karikyureito Arekkusu" (カリキュレイト·アレックス)
June 2, 2003 March 12, 2004
In this episode, Alex Row brings several strategies into play, just as a chess player calculates his or her moves in anticipation of the opponent's future move.[20]

When Mullin offers to help Claus and Lavie repair their vanship, he is recruited to join the Silvana flight deck crew as a mechanic. Hearing from Sophia that the Silvana is en route to Horizon Cave, Claus and Lavie decide to take a rare opportunity to participate in its famous eight-hour endurance race. Participants are assigned vanships by lottery and must make them airworthy in time for the race. Tatiana, who also joins the race with Alister, objects to working with Claus and Lavie, but Alex ignores her protests. As the race is about to begin, Sophia briefs Tatiana and Alister on their true objective in the race. Dio introduces himself and Lucciola as a race challenger to Claus and Lavie, who do not welcome their presence. At the start of the race, Claus's and Lavie's vanship refuses to start, and they are forced to join several seconds late. Dio provokes Tatiana into a head-to-head race despite Alister's attempts to remind her of their mission. As the black market auction begins, Duke Henry Knowles joins Alex and notices his disinterest towards the initial items up for bid. However, as the final item of the auction, an artifact believed to be a gateway to the legendary Exile, is introduced, Alex opens the bid with a surprising 10 million Claudia.[Note 1]
10 Swindle
"Suindoru" (スウィンドル)
June 9, 2003 March 12, 2004
When a chess player finds him or herself in a disadvantageous position, he or she can make a swindle to trick the opponent and achieve a win.[21]

Claus and Lavie progress in the endurance race, but Dio and Lucciola continue to challenge them. Duke Henry Knowles raises the bid price on the Exile artifact, spurring interest among the other auction participants. As Alex attempts to outbid the others, Guild Maestro Delphine Eraclea challenges him and finally raises the bid price to 50 billion Claudia, at which point one of Knowles's men puts a gun at the back of Alex's head, threatening him not to continue bidding. On their final pit stop, Tatiana and Alister pick up a cargo of explosive charges for their mission. When the auction ends, Duke Knowles takes Alex outside and reveals that he wants to avenge the death of his son, captain of the Goliath. Claus and Lavie pull ahead of Dio and Lucciola in the final lap after only filling part of their fuel tank at the last pit stop to lighten the vanship and win the race. At precisely midnight, the explosive charges dropped by Tatiana and Alister destroy Horizon Cave's power generators, leaving it in darkness. Seizing the opportunity, Alex kills Knowles's men and escapes. When the artifact is taken to Delphine, it is discovered to be fake. The true artifact of Exile is revealed to be a Mysterion, one of four phrases with corresponding answers that will reveal the secret of Exile. Graf, the butler of House Hamilton, entrusts Alvis and the Mysterion to Alex. After the race, Lavie tells Claus that she does not want to fly in a fighter vanship but will continue to serve as his mechanic. Claus understands her decision and makes a promise that they will fly together again to cross the Grand Stream. Dio and Lucciola, who are able to see in the darkness, offer to tow Claus and Lavie out of Horizon Cave to the Silvana.
11 Develop
"Diberoppu" (ディベロップ)
June 16, 2003 March 13, 2004
By developing his or her pieces, a chess player makes them more active, as in deploying pawns into a more optimum position. The characters are revealed to build on their swindles in the previous episode.[22]

Following Claus and Lavie aboard the Silvana, Dio and Lucciola allow themselves to be captured. At the Anatoray capital, the Emperor begins to distrust Alex's actions and sends the Urbanus to retrieve Alvis. Alex interrogates Dio, who tries to gain his trust by telling him that the Mysterion passed by House Eraclea. He also reveals that the three Guild houses holding the remaining Mysteria have been purged by Delphine. Vincent Alzey, captain of the Urbanus, requests to meet with Alex. Alex asks Claus to fly escort for his flight to the meeting, to which Tatiana objects. Alister defies Tatiana and offers to be Claus's navigator. Alex informs Vincent that he will not hand over Alvis and will fight to keep her aboard. Dio and Lucciola meet Lescius, the Silvana's chief engineer and a former member of the Guild. Dio then finds Alvis by herself elsewhere and reads her one of the Mysteria, after which she falls into a trance and wreaks havoc on the ship's systems.
12 Discovered attack
"Disukabādo atakku" (ディスカバード·アタック)
June 23, 2003 March 13, 2004
In chess, a discovered attack is made by a queen, rook, or bishop when another piece shielding it moves out of the way. The episode title describes the ways in which Alex and Vincent anticipate traps to outmaneuver each other.[23]

Alvis awakens, and the Silvana's systems return to normal, but she does not remember anything that happened. Alex, who has returned from his meeting with Vincent, orders the Silvana to intercept the Urbanus at a region of sunken reefs called the Dragon's Fangs. For the upcoming battle, Tatiana appoints Claus over Alister as her navigator, causing Dio to suspect that she is picking on Claus. As the Silvana enters the reefs guided by its fighter vanships, the pursuing Urbanus and two sister ships seal the escape route behind them. Continuing through the reefs, the Silvana is surprised by two more battleships ahead of them. While pinned by one battleship, Alex orders the Silvana to quickly ascend. Vincent, waiting above the clouds, orders one of his ships to ram the Silvana, but it accidentally rams the friendly ship attached to her and they destroy each other. Vincent orders the other two battleships to anchor tethers to the Silvana and sends the Urbanus on a ramming attack. However, Alex orders the Silvana to fire on the surrounding rock formations, causing them to collapse and pull down the two battleships. The Urbanus is forced to withdraw, but the Silvana cannot detach its tethers. Tatiana and Claus watch as the Silvana sinks below the clouds.
13 Isolated pawn
"Aisoreiteddo pōn" (アイソレイテッド·ポーン)
June 30, 2003 March 14, 2004
An isolated pawn in chess has no pawn of the same color on an adjacent tile and is cut off from support.[24]

Tatiana and Claus are forced to make an emergency landing after their vanship hits the Urbanus. Claus, who remains optimistic that the Silvana and its crew are intact, attempts to repair the vanship but cannot bring its engine to generate enough power. Tatiana, despairing the loss of her best friend Alister, cannot feel the same way as him about their circumstances. Meanwhile, an evacuation is underway in Disith, but ships experience difficulty in generating enough lift and are destroyed when they crash back to the ground. Tatiana reveals to Claus that she comes from a noble family abandoned by the Anatoray government because they are too poor to move into new urban areas. Although once reaching the top of her class in the military academy, she was eventually forced to discontinue her studies. Tatiana realizes that Claus and Lavie are the children of Hamilcar Valca and Georges Head, respectively, the vanship courier duo who attempted to cross the Grand Stream to deliver a peace proposal to Disith ten years earlier. Claus is finally able to give the vanship enough lift to glide across the desert, and the two head to one of the Silvana's secret shelters. When they arrive, Claus and Tatiana are captured by Disith soldiers. They escape when the female soldier guarding them rushes to the arriving Disith migration capsules. However, the soldier finds that none of the capsules carrying civilians made the journey.
14 Étude Lavie
"Eteyūdo Ravi" (エテュード·ラヴィ)
July 7, 2003 December 6, 2004
An étude is a musical composition created for practicing a skill. This is applicable to chess in the form of a practice match.[25]

While Lavie recovers from her injuries on the crashed Silvana, she dreams of her childhood with Claus, whose family moved to Norkia and became neighbors with Lavie's. Their fathers, Hamilcar Valca and Georges Head, immediately became best friends and teamed up as a vanship pilot and navigator. Claus's mother, Justina, took care of Lavie as if she was her own daughter. Valca and Head taught their children to fly a vanship and assigned them mock courier missions. Lavie recalls her father's two friends, a male vanship pilot and a female navigator, but cannot remember their names. One day, Valca and Head received an assignment to cross the Grand Stream to deliver a peace proposal to Disith and left with their two friends. However, Valca and Head lost their lives in the attempt, and Justina died not long after. In a separate dream, Alex Row sees the two vanships in the Grand Stream. After they were orphaned, Claus and Lavie began training to fly a vanship. They were eventually forced to sell their house to save the vanship and began training for courier missions. When Lavie finally awakens, she finds herself crying from the memories. Dio and Alister finally locate Claus and Tatiana near the field of Disith migration capsules. Claus is reunited with Lavie and informs her that their hometown of Norkia has fallen to Disith.
15 Fairy chess
"Fearī chesu" (フェアリー·チェス)
July 14, 2003 December 7, 2004
Fairy chess is a variant of the game that employs unconventional rules and variant pieces. In this episode, character development occurs without regard of previous arrangements and shifts towards a different objective.[26]

Claus reports to Alex that Disith has become uninhabitable and that he and Lavie can no longer return home to Norkia. Rumors circulate throughout the ship about Claus and Tatiana, making Lavie upset and unwilling to speak to Claus. However, Claus does not seem to understand her actions and wants her to come to better terms with Tatiana. Alister warns Tatiana not to read too much into Claus's care for her when they were in the desert. Meanwhile, Vincent is stripped of his command of the Urbanus after losing four battleships against the Silvana and is assigned to the fleet defending Norkia. The Emperor of Anatoray decides to take advantage of Disith's collapse and plans on escalating the war, to Prime Minister Marius's objections. When Marius learns that the Silvana has completed its repairs, he decides to keep the news from the Emperor. Dio reveals a photo of Claus's and Lavie's fathers in Alex's possession, prompting Claus to confront the captain. Alex confesses that he is the surviving pilot from the mission to deliver the peace proposal to Disith and the former owner of the vanship Claus and Lavie are flying. He recounts how his fiancée, Euris, and Claus's and Lavie's fathers died and the memory of seeing Delphine smiling when he flew away from the Grand Stream. Alex tells Claus that he is fighting to destroy Exile, which reinforces the Guild's authority in the world. After receiving a pigeon post from Marius warning of the Emperor's actions, Sophia reveals herself as the Princess of Anatoray. Conflicted between her responsibility to the throne and her desire to stay aboard the Silvana, Sophia is comforted by Claus. She suddenly kisses Claus as gratitude.
16 Breakthrough
"Burēku surū" (ブレーク·スルー)
July 21, 2003 December 8, 2004
A breakthrough occurs in chess when breaching the opponent's defense, often through sacrifice. In the episode, Sophia, the Emperor, Prime Minister Marius, and Disith forces attempt to break free of their respective situations.[27]

Sophia leaves the Silvana to return to the Anatoray capital. When General Vitellius informs the Emperor that Duke Mad-thane has engaged the Disith fleet in Norkia, Prime Minister Marius pleads with him to spare the Disith, who have recently lost their homes. However, the Emperor has already put the Disith envoy to death and places Marius under house arrest. Mullin begins to question why he remains on the Silvana, and reminisces his days as a musketeer. Alex finally considers launching a strike at the Guild, and Claus reveals to Lavie that their vanship belonged to Alex. When Sophia arrives at the capital, she also pleads with the Emperor to set aside differences with Disith and face their challenges together, but he declines and imprisons her in the tower. Sophia is visited by Marius, who raised her after his daughter Euris died in the Grand Stream, and is asked to remain in the tower until after his plans for her to become Empress is completed. That evening, Disith forces make a surprise attack on the Anatoray capital, whose defense fleet is stretched thin. In the confusion, Marius assassinates the Emperor but is fatally wounded himself. As Disith forces enter the capital, Vincent heads to the tower to prevent the Emperor's men from killing Sophia and takes her to safety on board the Urbanus, taking command of the ship again.
17 Making material
"Meikingu materiaru" (メイキング·マテリアル)
July 28, 2003 December 9, 2004
A chess player is said to be "making material" when he or she owns more pieces of greater value than the opponent.[28]

In the Emperor's absence, Sophia orders the Urbanus to stop General Vitellius from attacking Disith in compliance with a ceasefire. The arrival of Duke Mad-thane's fleet forces Disith to withdraw. The following day, a vanship courier arrives with a message from Walker, who invites the Silvana to Horizon Cave for repairs and resupply. Lescius reveals himself as a member of the purged House Dagobert and entrusts Alex with the third Mysterion. Prime Minister Marius, a member of the purged House Bassianus, also sent the final Mysterion to Alex before his death. The Silvana finally arrives at Horizon Cave, currently used as a training base for an assault against the Guild. Although the Guild suspects of a rebellion, Delphine decides not to take immediate action. At the base, Claus meets Mikhail Wednesday, elder brother to the late Ralph Wednesday from whom Claus took over the duty of delivering Alvis. Claus and Lavie are also reunited with fellow vanship pilots from Norkia after Duke Mad-thane, who was inspired by Claus's and Lavie's actions at Minagith, called for all pilots to fly as fighter support.
18 Promotion Sophia
"Puromōshon Sofia" (プロモーション·ソフィア)
August 4, 2003 December 10, 2004
In chess, a promotion is the conversion of a pawn to a queen, rook, bishop, or knight. This corresponds Sophia's elevation to Empress and taking a greater role in the conflict against Guild.[29]

Sophia arrives at Norkia to parley with Disith commander Nestor Messina and reveals to him a copy of the peace offer lost in the Grand Stream ten years earlier. As a gesture of goodwill, Disith supplies Anatoray with a map of the Grand Stream's air currents and a recording of Exile's acoustic signature. Mullin decides to rejoin the musketeer squad and meets the female Disith musketeer, who introduces herself as Dunya Scheer. They are informed that the capture attempt of battleship Claudia units will occur on the Guild's Covenant Day,[Note 1] when 17-year-old youths pledge their allegiance to the Maestro. Before the Silvana leaves dock, Claus, Lavie, and Alvis say goodbye to Mullin. The formal alliance between Anatoray and Disith is signed at Sophia's coronation as Empress. Claus, Tatiana, Dio, and Lucciola arrive ahead of the Silvana to send congratulations, but Delphine's ship appears from the clouds above and rains down rose petals as a declaration of war. Dio, realizing that he has been found by his sister, panics and flies his vanship erratically. When Alex sees Delphine's ship above the site of the coronation ceremony, he immediately orders that it be destroyed, but his crew refuses to comply for fear of killing Sophia.
19 Sicilian Defence
"Shishirian Difensu" (シシリアン·ディフェンス)
August 11, 2003 December 13, 2004
The Sicilian Defence is a popular opening move in chess, allowing a player to counter the opponent's initial advantage.[30]

After Delphine's ship leaves the coronation ceremony, the Silvana heads to the Dragon's Fangs, where it finds the Urbanus flying under the imperial banner. Sophia proposes that, using the chart provided by Disith, the two ships search for Exile six days ahead of Covenant Day in the Grand Stream. Using acoustic torpedoes and echolocation, the Silvana's listening officer Wina Lightning will match Exile to its acoustic signature. Sophia reveals to Claus that Alvis is the key to turning Exile against the Guild, but vows to keep her safe. Alvis finds out about the Guild's upcoming Birth Week and plans a birthday party for Dio, who does not wish to return to the Guild. At Norkia, Duke Mad-thane witnesses a Disith ship fall from the sky while delivering water to drought-stricken regions when Delphine recalls its Claudia unit. Meanwhile, Dunya and Mullin continue their training at Horizon Cave. As the Silvana and the Urbanus enter the Grand Stream, the first acoustic torpedo is launched.
20 Grand Stream
"Gurandosutorīmu" (グランドストリーム)
August 18, 2003 December 14, 2004
"Grand Stream" is an anagram of Grandmaster, the highest title a chess player can attain.[31]

As the Silvana and the Urbanus continue their search for Exile, Sophia briefs the vanship pilots on their strategy to capture it. Sophia asks Dio to fly as Claus's navigator, but he refuses from fear of being found again by Delphine. At Horizon Cave, Nestor proposes that the Claudia unit capture plan be accelerated after the Guild recalls several units, but Duke Mad-thane appeases him to wait for the scheduled operation on Covenant Day. On the final day of the Guild's Birth Week, Alvis surprises Dio with a birthday party, much to his delight. After days of searching, the Silvana and the Urbanus locate Exile, and Dio agrees to fly as Claus's navigator to assist in its capture. The Guild locates Dio on board the Silvana, and Delphine orders Lucciola's brother Cicada to retrieve him at all costs. As the vanship squadron attempts to anchor cables onto Exile, the ship's defense system activates, but it is able to complete their objective after identifying an unprotected section of the hull, with Dio's help. Alex hands Marius's Mysterion to Sophia and tells her to return to the Urbanus. Just before Claus and Dio return to the Silvana, Guild fighters land on the flight deck.
21 Rook Dio
"Rūku Dīo" (ルーク·ディーオ)
August 25, 2003 December 15, 2004
The rook piece in chess symbolizes a castle, and it can be implied that Dio has returned to the Guild stronghold, where he will take part in the Rite of the Covenant.[32]

When Claus and Dio return to the Silvana, the crew is missing. When they go to search the bridge, they find that Delphine has captured Alvis and the ship. Tatiana and Alister sneak a transport carrying Sophia back to the Urbanus. Alex comes out of hiding to attack Delphine but is defeated by Cicada. Delphine takes Dio back to the Guild along with Claus, Alvis, and Alex, and orders that Exile be secured before they leave. On the Urbanus, Vincent promises Sophia that he will recapture the Silvana. When they return to the Guild, Dio is taken to prepare for the Rite of the Covenant. Delphine indulges in the world's rarest delicacies at dinner, causing Claus to become upset about her disregard of the hardships of the people of Anatoray and Disith. Dio is reunited with Claus and Alvis, but they find that his personality has changed and he no longer recognizes them as friends.
22 Queen Delphine
"Kuīn Derufīne" (クイーン·デルフィーネ)
September 1, 2003 December 16, 2004
The queen is the most powerful piece in chess.[33]

After the Urbanus locates the Silvana and ensures its safety, Sophia returns and is surprised that Claus has been taken. Covenant Day arrives, and Dio takes part in the Trial of Agoon to claim inheritance of the Maestro's position by participating in mortal combat against other Principals. Claus, who cannot bear to see Dio fight, worries that he may die. At the same time, the operation to capture Guild Claudia units commences at Horizon Cave. On the Silvana, Lavie finally completes the repairs of her and Claus's vanship. Delphine takes Alvis and Claus to the location of Exile, where they find its defense system has begun attacking Guild ships as well. Exile attacks Delphine's ship but stops when it senses Alvis's presence. Delphine reveals that Exile is a colony ship used by those who first settled on their world. Alex, who has been injected with a truth serum, recites the Mysteria, and Alvis responds to each one. However, he reveals that he has not read the final Mysterion before entrusting it to Sophia. Delphine then receives word that Dio is the Trial's victor.
23 Castling Lucciola
"Kyasuringu Rushiora" (キャスリング·ルシオラ)
September 8, 2003 December 17, 2004
Castling is a special move in chess that allows for the king's defense by sending a rook into battle. As the title suggests, Lucciola acts as a rook to protect Dio, who has become the king after completing the Trial of Agoon.[34]

In a flashback, Delphine introduces a younger Dio to his new servant, whom he names Lucciola. At the Guild stronghold, Delphine greets Dio as the new Maestro. Using the Urbanus as shield, the Silvana heads into Guild territory to recapture Exile. Meanwhile, Anatoray and Disith soldiers seize the Guild's Claudia units. In the ensuing fight aboard one of the battleships, Mullin is seriously wounded. Delphine learns of the uprising and recalls the units. Lucciola, who can no longer bear to see Dio's condition, tells Claus to leave with Alvis and Dio while he covers for their escape. Before they leave, Lucciola gives Alvis a device allowing them to communicate with the Silvana. Lucciola goes to face Delphine and defeats her guards, including his brother. Before Delphine kills him, Lucciola remembers that Dio has accepted him as more than a servant in their childhood.
24 Sealed move
"Shīrudo mūbu" (シールド·ムーブ)
September 15, 2003 December 20, 2004
Sealed moves force chess players to guarantee their next move before adjourning a lengthy game to prevent an unfair advantage. In this sense, it carries the nuance of a fixed or predetermined destiny.[35]

A portion of the Guild fortress breaks apart and falls away from the Grand Stream into Anatoray. Claus escapes in the vanship that was brought with them to the Guild stronghold and takes Alvis and Dio to Norkia. Dio is then left in the care of the Mad-thane residence, which has been converted into a makeshift hospital. Claus takes Alvis back to his wrecked house, where they stay overnight. The combined Anatoray and Disith alliance fleet launches a surprise attack on the Guild fleet and, helped by the vanship squadrons, emerges victorious. It continues to pursue the withdrawing Guild ships into the Grand Stream. When Claus and Alvis are finally able to contact Lavie and the Silvana with Lucciola's communicator, they are told to make a rendezvous at the Dragon's Fangs.
25 Quiet move
"Kuwaietto mūbu" (クワイエット·ムーブ)
September 22, 2003 December 21, 2004
Quiet moves in chess threaten the opponent's position but do not involve capturing pieces.[36]

Exile indiscriminately attacks both the alliance and Guild as they approach the ship, forcing the alliance fleet to fall back so that they do not lose more ships. Claus rendezvous at a fueling station in the Dragon's Fangs and makes the journey to the Grand Stream, switching vanships and navigators after each leg until he is reunited with Lavie. On the way, Claus dogfights with two Guild fighters, destroying them with Tatiana as his navigator. When Exile receives a pulse signal, it begins to retreat from the Grand Stream towards Disith, followed by both fleets. At the Casino Royale, the last checkpoint before the Grand Stream, Claus and Alvis reunite with Lavie, who holds the message tube containing the final Mysterion. They fly together in Claus's and Lavie's vanship, whose body has been reinforced for the journey in the Grand Stream, but are intercepted by Dio, who has run away from the Mad-thane residence in a separate vanship.
26 Resign
"Rizain" (リザイン)
September 29, 2003 December 22, 2004
A chess player can resign to concede loss of a match in anticipation of a checkmate.[37]

Exile enters Disith territory, followed by the Guild and alliance fleets. The alliance fleet loses one-quarter of its ships after Exile continues its indiscriminate attack, but Sophia orders it to continue at all costs to defeat the Guild. In the Grand Stream, Dio pursues Claus's vanship and relives their race at Horizon Cave. However, when he realizes Lucciola is not with him, Dio falls into despair and is thrown off his vanship by a gust of wind. Just as the alliance fleet falters in its attack, the Urbanus leads the remaining ships in protecting the Silvana as she makes a final attack at Delphine's ship. Alex, still a prisoner of Delphine, catches her off-guard and strangles her before breaking her neck. As the Silvana destroys Delphine's ship, Wina hears Alex's final words at her listening post. Claus and Lavie finally cross the Grand Stream into Disith, completing the feat that their fathers could not achieve. There, they find the remaining alliance fleet and bring Alvis to Exile. Claus recites all four Mysteria, to which Alvis responds, and Exile sheds its defensive cocoon to reveal a starship. Inside it, Claus and Lavie find their fathers' vanship and remains. The world they have been living in is revealed to be in the shape of an hourglass, and Exile takes Claus, Lavie, and many others to a new, conflict-free world. Claus and Lavie are reunited with Dunya and Mullin, the latter of whom has recovered from his injuries. They are joined by Alvis, Tatiana, Alister, Holly Mad-thane, and several children.

Volume DVDs

Japanese releases

Japanese distributor Victor Entertainment released a total of 13 DVD compilations of Last Exile between July 23, 2003, and July 21, 2004. Limited version releases were also available for the first and eighth volumes that included an art poster and an action figure each. A complete seven-disc boxed set was released on November 21, 2004. The deluxe edition of this set included a model of Tatiana's and Alister's red vanship, a short fiction on the Battle of Otranto,[Note 2] unpublished articles on the series, and illustrations by character designer Range Murata.[38]

Victor Entertainment DVD releases[38]
Volume Released Discs Episodes   Volume Released Discs Episodes
1 July 23, 2003 1 2 8 February 21, 2004 1 2
2 August 21, 2003 1 2 9 March 24, 2004 1 2
3 September 21, 2003 1 2 10 April 21, 2004 1 2
4 October 22, 2003 1 2 11 May 21, 2004 1 2
5 November 21, 2003 1 2 12 June 23, 2004 1 2
6 December 17, 2003 1 2 13 July 21, 2004 1 2
7 January 21, 2004 1 2  
Box July 23, 2003[Note 3] Box February 21, 2004[Note 3]

North American releases

Last Exile received a respectable amount of attention in the United States. Pioneer Entertainment (later Geneon Entertainment) licensed the series in June 2003, two months after the first episode aired in Japan,[7] and released the first compilation DVD volume on November 18, 2003.[39] After Geneon ceased distribution of its licensed titles in 2007, the series was licensed to Funimation Entertainment,[7] and a four-disc boxed set was released on May 5, 2009.[40]

Geneon Entertainment DVD releases
Volume Released Discs Episodes
1 November 18, 2003[39] 1 4
2 February 3, 2004[41] 1 4
3 April 6, 2004[42] 1 4
4 June 8, 2004[43] 1 4
5 August 10, 2004[44] 1 4
6 October 12, 2004[45] 1 3
7 December 14, 2004[46] 1 3
Box set October 4, 2005[47] 7 26

Other releases

Madman Entertainment, Last Exile's licensor and distributor in Australia and New Zealand, released a seven-disc compilation set on February 15, 2006.[48] The series was also licensed by ADV Films for distribution in the United Kingdom.[49]

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 In Last Exile, Claudia is an element used as both currency and a lift-generating fuel additive. It can also refer to engine units aboard aerial battleships, known as "Claudia units". For further information, see its entry in the list of fictional elements, materials, isotopes and atomic particles.
  2. In episode 11, Vincent Alzey reveals that he and Alex Row once served together in the Anatoray military during the Battle of Otranto.
  3. 3.0 3.1 In addition to bonus materials, the limited edition first and eighth volume releases also included storage boxes for volumes 1–7 and 8–13, respectively.

References

General
Specific
  1. "A-Kon News". Anime News Network. June 1, 2006. Retrieved May 14, 2008. 
  2. Arnold, Adam (January 2004). "Last Exile: A Time for War". Anime Fringe 5 (1): 2. Retrieved August 3, 2009. 
  3. Script error
  4. Script error
  5. Script error
  6. "Funimation Licenses Gonzo's Last Exile Anime". Anime News Network. December 26, 2008. Retrieved July 30, 2009. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Yadao, Jason (January 25, 2009). "Mysteries multiply in 'Last Exile' anime". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved August 1, 2009. 
  8. Script error
  9. Script error
  10. "Tech TV Updates on Last Exile". Anime News Network. January 29, 2004. Retrieved May 14, 2008. 
  11. "Last Exile 14-26 on Anime Unleashed". Anime News Network. November 18, 2004. Retrieved May 14, 2008. 
  12. Script error
  13. Script error
  14. Script error
  15. Script error
  16. Script error
  17. Script error
  18. Script error
  19. Script error
  20. Script error
  21. Script error
  22. Script error
  23. Script error
  24. Script error
  25. Script error
  26. Script error
  27. Script error
  28. Script error
  29. Script error
  30. Script error
  31. Script error
  32. Script error
  33. Script error
  34. Script error
  35. Script error
  36. Script error
  37. Script error
  38. 38.0 38.1 Script error
  39. 39.0 39.1 "Last Exile, Vol. 1: First Move". Borders Group. Retrieved August 5, 2009. 
  40. "Last Exile: The Complete Series". Borders Group. Retrieved August 5, 2009. 
  41. "Last Exile, Vol. 2: Positional Play". Borders Group. Retrieved August 5, 2009. 
  42. "Last Exile, Vol. 3: Discovered Attack". Borders Group. Retrieved August 5, 2009. 
  43. "Last Exile, Vol. 4: Breakthrough". Borders Group. Retrieved August 5, 2009. 
  44. "Last Exile - Grand Stream (DVD 5)". Right Stuf. Retrieved August 5, 2009. 
  45. "Last Exile, Vol. 6: Queen Delphine". Borders Group. Retrieved August 5, 2009. 
  46. "Last Exile, Vol. 7: Sealed Move". Borders Group. Retrieved August 5, 2009. 
  47. "Last Exile - The Murata Range Complete Set Edition". Amazon.com. Retrieved August 3, 2009. 
  48. "Last Exile Collection (Fatpack)". Madman Entertainment. Retrieved August 3, 2009. 
  49. "ADV Films UK Press Releases for February 2005". Mania. January 7, 2005. Retrieved August 5, 2009. 

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