‘Exception’ is an anime that follows a crew aboard a spaceship that has been assigned the mission to terraform a new planet for humanity. The series is now streaming on Netflix.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
Mack, Nina, Oscar and Patty are part of a crew that has been artificially created through a method known as ‘printing’. Their real selves are in cryosleep for 100 years.
Their mission is to find a planet suitable for terraforming, to allow their real selves to land on it in the future. For this, planet X-10 has been selected.
The four wait for the fifth member, Lewis, to be printed using the biological 3D printer called ‘The Womb’. Before this, a solar flare hits the spaceship.
Lewis turns out to be a mutated version. The crew believes that the solar flare caused this. They decide to sedate the misprint further but it wakes up and kills Nina.
Mack is hell-bent on exterminating it and the incident further encourages him. Nina is re-printed. All vote on killing it, except Patty, who is sympathetic to it and thinks of it as a living being, not a monster.
Despite Mack’s efforts, misprint Lewis is just too strong and fast to hunt down without proper weapons. Oscar has an encounter with misprint Lewis, and finds out that it’s quite human and begins conversing with it through messages.
A proper version of Lewis is printed even without the crew harvesting bio data from the misprint. He is needed as he has the code for the Atmospheric Transformer required for the mission.
Oscar hides his acquaintance with the misprint, and even agrees to help it acquire a cooling core to build a cocoon for itself to survive in cryosleep until humanity arrives.
However, the RA bomb, which was supposed to be used on X-10 to help with the terraforming, has been stolen. Misprint Lewis is immediately suspected.
But he contacts Lewis and attempts to convince him that it was already stolen before he entered the room.
The two versions collude to find out the real culprit, locking up the other four. It is also revealed that Lewis’ ultimate motive to complete the mission is being given permission to print his dead love, Kate, if successful.
They figure out that the bomb was missing 15 minutes before the solar flare, and the one who stole it deleted the video footage prior to that. The misprint Lewis wasn’t even printed then, so he’s off the suspect list.
Mack is seen deleting data before the flare and becomes the prime suspect, but he claims he only did it because life forms were detected on the planet, which would make it unsuitable for terraforming. He didn’t want the mission to be halted.
He asks Nina to re-print him without the memory after the flare to prove he’s innocent. When she is unable to kill him, he does it himself.
The new version shows no inclination towards stealing the bomb, he is considered incorrupt by the two versions of Lewis, and he begins helping them find the real felon.
Oscar and Nina fake a fight and lure misprint Lewis. Taking advantage of this opportunity, they take it out and flee. The real culprit reveals themself subsequently.
Exception ending explained in detail:
Who is responsible for stealing the RA bomb?
Misprint Lewis and Mack find a smaller version of The Womb. Another version of Patty (Let’s call her Patty B) shows herself, which was printed in the other Womb. Patty was the real malefactor all along.
She is part of a different organisation that uses Alternative Intelligence, which was what humanity escaped from in the first place.
They found out that the ‘Planetary Development Agency’ hid data about the existence of living beings on the planet. The two Pattys’ sole objective is to prevent the terraforming of X-10 and save the organisms.
What caused Lewis’ misprint?
Patty also reveals that she was the one responsible for Lewis coming out as a misprint. She stole genetic material from his data to help print eyes for authorization.
This shouldn’t have affected the print, however, the flare’s radiation ended up causing a genetic mutation in Lewis.
Misprint Lewis tells her he would have been angry with her, but he now believes he came out this way due to fate. The misprint is what exposed Patty’s plan to stop the mission.
Does the crew stop the two versions of Patty?
Oscar joins Patty’s side as discovering new organisms on the planet would shoot him to fame and he wants to do it for his family.
Nina causes a blast on the ship and the battle continues outside. The normal Lewis is stabbed by Patty, and the misprint promises to fulfil their dream, safely taking Kate’s genetic material stored in a butterfly-shaped pendant.
The RA bomb has been planted inside the Atmospheric Transformer, but the crew manages to find it and plans to send it away, to prevent the machine from exploding.
Misprint Lewis battles the two Pattys and manages to tie one to the RA bomb. As she flies away, the other version follows and both die in the explosion.
Oscar succumbs to his injuries during the scuffle and Mack cannot take shelter in time. Almost the entire crew that began the mission together is wiped out.
Is X-10 successfully terraformed?
Only Nina and misprint Lewis survive. They continue the mission together after building graves for the fallen crew members.
With time, misprint Lewis dies as well. Nina releases the beanstalk, launching plants across the continent, which results in vegetation for survival.
Nina is lonely, but The Womb has been damaged and there isn’t enough biomaterial to print her fellow crew members. She continues the mission alone and the plants form a canopy.
The organisms present on the planet are unable to survive in the new soil. While this only applies to the continent with the canopy, the entire planet will become the same if humanity arrives.
Before perishing herself, she reveals that humans will arrive on the planet and decide whether it is fit for living or not. She then dies, but not before recording the request to resurrect Kate.
Is Kate reprinted?
Those who fulfil the mission were promised the chance to print their loved ones. Nina’s request is granted and a new Kate is printed.
She is fascinated by the environment and comes across Lewis’ grave. She is shocked to find Lewis before her eyes, and questions how this is possible.
He shows her the new world they have built and humanity has another chance. The authentic selves eventually arrived on the planet and this is the very first Lewis. After over a century, he was able to reunite with Kate.