The swordwork is excellent and the script/plot keeps to the manga, due to Koike composing the screenplay. WAY better than the Lone Wolf and Cub TV series.
Wakayama Tomisaburo isn't the handsome Ogami in appearance, but he does a sterling acting job and fits the role perfectly.
Ah, anime. I love you so...
Of course, this film is my favourite of all-time! It beats out classics like The Empire Strikes Back and Akira. My only problem is how Disney/Buena Vista screwed up the english translation in the dub and the sub-titles. Come on you idjits, it's a forest, not a "jungle"-- and the pronunciation of Ohmu as "Ohms" is quite irritating. Thank goodness for my bootleg copy in japanese with english subs. Maybe the Disney people ought to read some manga once in a while. If you really liked this version of the film, please take the time to find Hayao Miyazaki's original manga of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. The anime, even in the original japanese, is but a abbreviated nod to the literally thousands of pages of beautiful drawings.
One of the review blurbs on the cover states that Last Exile wasn't anime, but instead art. I couldn't agree more. I'm one of the original "fan boys" since latching onto classics like Astroboy, Marineboy, and Kimba back in the 1960s and I didn't really expect the artistic nature of this series-- intelligent storyline, interesting characters, and stunning visuals.
The term "Steam Punk" gets thrown around a lot lately, but Last Exile really is such, and then some.
This series is a must-get for the animation fan's private collection!