‘Exception’ Ending, Explained: Do The Characters Accomplish Their Mission?

Welcome to the Ending Explained for Exception, a new anime series on Netflix that brings together a number of the most talented artists in Japan. The series is directed by Yuzu Sato and written by Otsuichi, with music by Ryuchi Sakamoto and character designs by Yoshitaka Amano. The series tells the story of a group of scientists aboard a spaceship on a mission to build a new home for humanity on a distant planet. However, a malfunction in one of the printers that brings them back to life ignites a series of events that will culminate in a terrifying adventure.

The anime really was made by a dream team of veteran artists, and the result is one of the most interesting-looking anime of the season. The series tries to bring the designs of Yoshitaka Amano to life by making use of full CGI technology. While the animation is not as impressive as what Angel’s Egg did in the 80s, the series still manages to have a certain mystique that can only come from Amano’s designs. This story is about hard decisions and even harder answers to questions no one wants to ask.

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The following paragraphs contain spoilers for Exception. Read at your own risk.

Do The Character Accomplish The Mission?

The series begins with the introduction of the entire crew on a mission to Planet X-10. The planet is meant to become the new home for humanity. However, to make it inhabitable, the planet needs to be terraformed. The terraforming process began many years ago, before the protagonist of the story woke up. Actually, the entire process seems to be on schedule, and a new planet for humanity is on the horizon. Because no life can survive hyperspeed traveling, the humans have to be built once they arrive at their destination.


We are introduced to the crew members in the order they are printed. First Nina, then Mack, then Oscar, and Patty. Each member is responsible for surveying and maintaining one of the many systems that make the ship function. Nina, for example, is a doctor, so she takes care of medical issues. Meanwhile, Patty is a botanist, and her work entails that she needs to propel the development of plants and other things the crew and future humans can use as food.

However, the ship was struck by a solar flare after Patty is printing. The solar flare’s direct result is that the crew’s last member, Lewis, is misprinted. He takes the form of a monster, closer to an animal, a werewolf, than an actual human. The crew decides to dispose of him and reprint Lewis as a proper body. However, the misprinted Lewis wakes up and kills Nina. She is reprinted along with a new Lewis, but this new Lewis makes contact with this misprinted version. Together, they find out that someone has stolen a device called the AR Bomb, which is needed to finish the terraforming process.

The two Lewises join forces, and they capture the rest of the crew. They believe there is a traitor on the crew. Someone who doesn’t want the mission to succeed. They spent a long time searching for clues or any way to determine who the traitor was. They manage to clear up Mack from suspicions, and they also discard Patty as a possibility because she was the last before them to be printed, so she couldn’t have had a lot of time to steal the bomb.

Who Is The Traitor Inside The Ship In Exception?

However, later when Nina, Oscar, and Patty manage to capture the other three inside a prison, Patty reveals herself as the traitor. There are actually two Pattys. It is revealed that she was the first to be printed and not Nina. This gave her the ability to take the bomb without anyone noticing. The other Nina was printed using a small printer hidden inside the ship by the organization she works for. Patty plans to make the bomb explode along with the ship and leave on the planet, researching the planet’s life.

To release the environmental protection, she needs Lewis codes. He accepts it because if the bomb explodes, and they are not on the planet, the memory of the woman he loves will disappear, and he won’t be able to print her in the future. Patty reveals she works for an organization that wants to protect the life that is already there on the planet. Terraforming the planet would mean the death of the species. It isn’t migration; it is an invasion, says Patty.

Mack and Lewis use a drone to escape from their prison, making the ship crash on the planet. Patty stills wants the bomb to detonate and kill everyone. However, in the fight, misprint Lewis kills them both. The bomb does explodes, and Mack, Oscar, Lewis, and the two Pattys die. In the end, only Nina and misprint Lewis survived the calamity. They decide to continue the project, but Lewis dies soon after, and his cells begin to tear themselves apart.

Nina keeps working by herself. She knows she won’t be able to see the planet in its ultimate form, but he leaves a message for the people in the future. She leaves Lewis and his loved one’s data so that they can be reprinted in the future. As the series ends, we see ships finally arriving at the planet, which now looks like paradise. We see a reprint of Lewis and his loved one, Kate, finding each other on the new planet, realizing they have a new opportunity in life.

  • Nelson loves all things related to storytelling. He has spent most of his life studying narrative, applied across all mediums; film, TV, books, and video games. Mulholland Drive is his favorite film.