Last Exile: Fam of the Silver wingsepisode four made good use of the first series’ soundtrack as Fam bites off more than she can chew.
This episode seemed a bit disjointed at first — the rapid cuts (probably the same technique used to great effect in the aerial battle in the second half) didn’t really gel for me as a way of telling the domestic story. That said, I did appreciate the joke in the cuts contrasting the domestic scene of potato croquettes and the poor sods on surveillance/tracking duty high above the Silvius.
But we see Fam’s enthusiasm infecting Millia, even as she doubts the wisdom of their scheme. Gisele makes a wonderful naval-engineering otaku as she muses over the odd characteristics of the design hinted at by Dio’s blurry photograph. And we hear a little about Dio’s sudden appearance among the pirates, and how they find him useful, if a bit enigmatic.
I enjoyed the asymmetric warfare techniques employed by the pirate youth auxiliary: ink to blind the ship, small explosives to deafen it. Best of all, using balloons to immobilize a larger, faster ship was a cute adaptation of the way Arctic people use inflated bladders and harpoons when hunting diving mammals (pulling the balloon down through the water fatigues the animal until all it can do is float panting on the surface). It’s still pretty bogus, but it’s bogosity with charm. The sky-pirates had better be successful, though, or their prey will escape with all their valuable magnets.
And finally, a ship with fighter support! This is something that was missing in earlier battles. We only get a glimpse of captured scooter-jockeys, but that glimpse showed us that Tatiana wasn’t the only vanship defending the Silvius.
Mysteries: Tatiana did not seem surprised to see Dio show up, and I would not be surprised if she knows Millia. It is not for nothing that the titles of the episodes of both this series and the last are drawn from chess lore.