I can not tell you anything that the other reviewers have not. I had not picked this up because it looked like something more for a younger audience. Well while there is very little blood and there is no nudity or fan service to really speak of yet this is something that I was very surprised with.
Visually this is a thing of beauty because of the CGI, the animation itself is well done. Yet it is the blend of the two that makes it stand out in my mind. The story line moves ahead at a good pace and you get so many very well developed characters. Take for instance Dio, whom was my favorite sub character, although he did not have the biggest part he added so much more to the story.
This story is about a teenage boy and girl who have lost everything except each other and their Van Ship. They start out as air delivery messengers and are happy with that then they deliver a message that brings them into the problems of war. From that point on you are meeting new characters that bring new problems.
As I said...this took me by surprise. It has a rich story and is a beautiful thing to watch which also means replay value. When it is all said and done everything is wrapped up for a well done ending.
Gonzo is a studio that has had a very diverse range of shows that it has made but Last Exile is by far the best, and one of the best animes out there. It has a steampunk aesthetic which always adds a hint of mystery and romance to the setting, which is great considering the plot requires just that. It is an uplifting story with a lot of heart, sure to make new and old fans alike enjoy.
Warning: This anime actually has plot, character development, and depth. This is not for folks that want plenty of blood and guts fights, sword and sorcery, and/or fan service from unrealistically proportioned female characters. This is one of the classiest shows out there.