Following up on my complaint about Netflix streaming not having enough content, I’ve discovered something even more annoying: apparently content that’s previously been there is rotated or otherwise phased out.
I’d been working on translating the Greek text from the Japanese TV show via Netflix Streaming, but got sidetracked and didn’t get through the entire thing. When I went to go through a few more episodes today, I was helpfully greeted with this:
Not only is there a limited selection, apparently it’s not even consistent.
Note: Since it looks like Netflix pulled these episodes from their streaming catalogue, and I haven’t been able to locate another source, there won’t be any more translations for a while past these from the first 5 episodes.
There’s a lot of Greek in Last Exile, and not a lot of resources out there for translating it. I’ve managed to find a translation for two of the words on the side of the Anatoray airships, but that’s about it. I’m in the process of taking screen captures of every unique instance of Greek text that appears in the show, and will probably enlist friendly Greek-speaking anime fans on Reddit to crowdsource the translation process – they were very helpful in translating “dikaios” (“righteous”) and “poleo” (“trader”) on the side of the capital ship.
Update 1: I’ve worked through the first five episodes. They all seem to be Japanese, translated to English and transliterated into Greek more than actual Greek words.
“FATCHICKIN”, named after racer Fat Chicken who owns that vanship.
“A creature, righteous trader”
“RECONNAISSANCE UNION NO WEAPON”
The bottom line on the large segment of the survival medal, Μαραη Σηεζλπω reads as “Mara Sizelpo” and is styled like a name, possibly a placename.
WARNING Tunnel Inport (spelled “OARNING”)
Update 1: I’m working on getting the Greek script translated where possible. Progress here.
I just finished watching Last Exile, a 2003 Steampunk anime series set in an alternate universe combining the normal varieties of steam-powered machina with inspiration from the Golden Age of Aviation. The series is visually stunning with beautiful clockworks and intricate attention to detail; the characters are well-rounded and multidimensional and the episodes are only 24 minutes long so it was very easy to watch one or two, or have it playing in the background, and not really have to spend a lot of time on.
I’ve never really been interested in anime before, having only watched a few examples of the genre while in college at the urging of my roommate at the time. I’m finding, however, that I may have dismissed it too readily. I started out watching a fan-subtitled Japanese version, but the text translations were so poor I wasn’t accurately able to follow the story so on the third episode, I switched to watching the American version which happens to be available on Netflix. Super convenient!
Spoilers are no fun, so I won’t give away the ending or any of the central plot twists but I will go over the broad strokes a bit.
In a divided world, warring nations Anatoray and Disith engage in massive air battles using airships powered by “Claudia units”, technology provided by the secretive and all-powerful Guild who act as something of overseers. “Your planet can’t support so many of you!” their leader says. “If you were allowed to do anything you wanted, you’d breed like rabbits and then you’d go extinct! That’s why only myself and a privileged few are allowed the pleasures of life.”
Following this pattern, the people generally live in filth and fight over access to water. Climate change has cast the nation of Anatoray into a deep drought, while turning Disith into a frozen wasteland and the nations are at war over resources. Anatoray capital airships are the most compelling in the series, striking corrugated metal sides, many heavy guns, the large crests and the words “dikaios” (“righteous”) and “poleo” = (“trader”) in Greek. All of the text in the series appears in Greek, and there’s a lot of it. I was lucky to find the translation of the Greek on the air ship; there are other translations out there I have not been able to locate yet.
Large-scale airship battles are frequent throughout the series and are always visually impressive.
While not explained outright in the series, in the ephemera it was assumed that the Disith would be invading Anatoray from the Grand Stream above; this is why the guns on Disith warships were primarily on the bottom, with Anatoray warships guns being primarily on top with the expectation of firing upwards at incoming attackers. This configuration made ship-to-ship combat in the same plane somewhat difficult, though. There were also several special ships:
Most personal transportation is in the form of a “vanship”, an airplane-like vehicle that is very quick and maneuverable. Styled with the wide grills and corrugated siding common to 1920s aviation:
I highly recommend the series. It’s not without a few things I felt could have been improved upon, however.
- Visually stunning.
- Fast-paced action.
- Compelling story driven by complex characters.
- English translation is quite good.
- Interesting technical application of non-photorealistic CGI combining hand animation with computer effects which, according to my reading, was actually fairly difficult at the time.
- Some of the voice acting is a bit strained, but this tends to be the style of Japanese shows, extra vocal emphasisin places.
- A couple of places in the show, the plot didn’t really connect up well. I was left wondering “how’s I get here?” for 10-15 minutes before I figured it out.
- The ending felt a bit rushed. There was 24 episodes of build-up, then it was just sort of over.
- Battles with the Guild ships weren’t nearly as “epic” as they could have been, seeing how they’re basically an unstoppable force.
Overall, I’d say I give the series a 7.5/10. Definitely worth watching, if you like steampunk stuff and don’t mind anime.