|12-07-2002, 09:02 AM||#11 (permalink)|
I also believe the series is better than the movie. Basically it comes down to the fact, that you cannot create the same kind of character depth and interactions in a movie like you can in a series. That is the main reason I perfer the tv series to the movie.
|03-29-2003, 09:46 AM||#13 (permalink)|
I liked the serie very much, I totaly agree with sotis..
would like that the story changes the ending.. to something better... but what can you do??
it was not that bad but it could get better....right??
|03-29-2003, 11:07 AM||#14 (permalink)|
Experienced Anime Fan
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: South Ataria Island
In the case of Escaflowne though, a lot of this series is about fate, and Hitomi's obsession with following whatever fate has in store for her. The typical obvious ending is the one that would seem to be "fated", but I think it shows a lot of growth for her as a character and for Van that they manage to break free of what fate might dictate and make a harder decision. It's not exactly happy, but nothing said that every story has to end with the same cliche ending. There are plenty of similar series to Escaflowne that end the typical way.
But really, that whole plot thread of fate that is central to so much of what happens throughout the series is really vital to the ending, and the choices that Hitomi in particular makes.
Anyway, I know a lot of fans dislike the ending, but I really think that if you take the time to think about it and its context to the larger story, you will see that Kawamori's choice made a lot of sense.
Note one of the ending scenes in particular where some of Hitomi's friends ask her to read their fortunes and she tells them she doesn't do that any more. One of the whole points of the series is surpassing fate, realizing that nothing is predetermined, etc...this is ultimately what Dornkirk realizes as well.
And anyway, like Macross, the series ending is still open-ended enough that there is nothing really final or definite about what ultimately happens to each character.... similar to Macross's ending, which was definitive, but left a lot out in the open in terms of what happened to everyone. In terms of status quo, Hitomi can still return to Gaea any time she wants.
With Kawamori's stories he's ultimately concerned with showing character growth and change and really focusing on the character relationships.... sometimes the choices made aren't easy or obvious or pleasant, but he tries to keep them with a logical consistency, and I think it works.
Anyway, I know i'm not going to convince anyone who was dissatisfied with Escaflowne's ending that it isn't any better, and you will most likely continue to be upset by the ending, but I hope you'll at least watch it again sometime and think about the importance of some of these themes and the character growth of Hitomi throughout the series. I really think that the change in Hitomi from the beginning to the end of this series is really remarkable, and makes her one of the more interesting characters I can think of in anime.
|10-06-2004, 04:08 PM||#16 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: México City
Escaflowne is a very good anime, about its discutible ending I think it was predictable on some way since rules in the classic anime shows that the temporal-space limits are definitive on the final destinies of the characters. This series develop a really good plot, nemesis and heroes, a great art design and a convincing message about human values.
Aku Soku Zan!
|01-17-2008, 05:41 PM||#17 (permalink)|
Experienced Anime Fan
Join Date: Dec 2007
I'm aware there's already a review for this, however I watched it recently so I wanted to review it while it was fresh in my mind. Yes, I intend to review everything I watch.
Escaflowne is an enchanting, fun, and refreshing mixture of shoujo and shounen elements - for about 13 episodes. Perhaps the writer and director got bored, or didn't plan things out correctly from the start, but whatever the reason, halfway through, Escaflowne all-around plummets and never rises again. Our journey through the series begins with Hitomi, an average high-school track star living her average shoujo-anime life when suddenly, as she is potentially seconds away from receiving her first kiss before seeing her lover off as he leaves the country, a boy wearing medieval armor and wielding a long sword appears. Along with him comes a land dragon which which he proceeds to do awesome battle before he and Hitomi are mysteriously teleported back to his world - one where the Earth can be seen in the sky. By the second episode, we see the boy, who's name we learn is Van, become king of the land of Fanelia minutes before it is attacked and razed to the ground. And so, King Van's quest for revenge begins with Hitomi in tow. Soon we meet the dazzling knight-in-shining armor Allen Schizard, who pilots his ship with his band of merry men and for 8 or so episodes we are delighted to partake in non-stop action, adventure, thrill, and some of the most well-animated fight scenes I've ever seen. There's also Dilandau, my personal all-time favorite villain. Right around episode 10, a war breaks out between the allies of Van and Allen and the evil empire with all the epic drama you might expect from a Lord of the Rings movie.
Things have gotten good. Which is why it becomes a problem when piles of crap begin to materialize and fling themselves against the fan during the mid teen episodes. It all begins in episode 15, after some very heavy drama and the disappearance of Dilandau, who doesn't return until episode 21 or 22. Pacing immediately becomes awkward, with random, short battles that seem to have been thrown in for the sheer sake of having battles as opposed to not. Episodes 17 and 18 are a sudden, massive dump of plot exposition using the cheapest tricks possible; such as a dream sequences to explain the motivations of the main characters in one episode, followed up by one where the good guys proceed to break into the enemy base, calmly listen to the main bad guy's entire back-story, and them promptly escape from said base.
Personally, I hadn't gotten to bothered by this portion of the show during watching, because the earlier episodes had been so good and I was sure that with the plot now out of the way, things could go back to normal. However, instead, things become very awkward very fast. For the next arc, there is little to no exploration, and the characters all spend more time dilly-dallying than staying focused on the plot. The addition of several new characters, complete with episode-drinking back-story, also serve to muck up the pace. My biggest gripe with this part of the show, though, is with the way all of the characters become annoying jackasses. It would be difficult to describe how this happens without spoiling anything, but Van, Hitomi, and Allen all manage to thoroughly earn my disrespect and none redeem themselves by the end of the series. Other characters continue to be explored, though the only really interesting one dies only 2 episodes after becoming important. Things do start to pick up again when Dilandau returns, but at this point the show has fallen too far to lift itself back up. The last few episodes are very rushed as well, making what would have been an excellent ending feel mediocre and needing.
Like it's story, Escaflowne's animation takes a major blow about halfway through the show. Beautifully animated and directed mech and sword battles are the most noteworthy quality of the earlier episodes, so when the battles become poorly directed, poorly animated, and infrequent, the show looses most of it's visual draw. Certain episodes wear their budget issues on their sleeves, and sadly, no battle scene past episode 13 lives up to anything before it, even in the final episode. Even so, the show has definitely aged well, and except for a couple misfit episodes, it carries the look of a high-budget production.
If you enjoy the sort of symphonic epics one might find in a Final Fantasy game, you'll probably enjoy Escaflowne's soundtrack. Not being into this kind of music, I wasn't really paying attention to it, but I thought it was nice enough to be deemed noteworthy to fans of the genre. The opening theme is quite catchy.
Like most fantasy stories, Escaflowne has a fairly large cast full of unmemorable characters who are given generic personalities for the sake of plot progression. Ignoring them, though, there are 3 characters who I'd consider important enough to be called "the main characters." First, Van, the King of Fanel who quests for vengeance in the name of his kingdom. Second, Allen Schezard, the chivalrous knight with a mysterious past. Finally, Hitomi, a girl from Earth who's really freakishly good at predicting the future. Though Hitomi and Allen are pretty much your average shoujo lead and love interest, they are fun to watch, and Allen is the kind of badass you can't help but love. Van is interesting for being one of the most concentrated and kind-hearted male leads around, making him easily likable. My favorite, though, is the psycho villain Dilandau - a completely bloodthirsty madman with a childlike, insecure mind who constantly bitch-slaps his compatriots. Unfortunately, as mentioned in the story portion, Dilandau disappears for a wile, and in the period of his absence everyone else becomes so annoying that upon his triumphant return (alongside awesome and seriously under-developed sidekick Jajuba) I found myself rooting for him to hurry up and kill all the other bastards. Even Dilandau has a dramatic character alteration near the end that is totally out-of-place and quite stupid. Despite that, I quite enjoyed it, because it happened to cater to a personal preference of mine, but I consider it a guilty pleasure. Oh, and the main bad guy is boring and unthreatening, literally sitting in one place throughout the entire series.
Escaflowne was a major disappointment; the first half was so incredible that I had been excited about each proceeding episode,more than ready to sing high praise for it, only to find myself wishing it had been different.
"Cute girls really should stick with other cute girls, hm?" - Milk Morinaga
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yo yo yo, word
My tendency's never returned
Received like a big fat jerk
I been silly, but not absurd
Cause you know that's what I heard
Tell ya thoughts that's most impure
So everything's splendid, sure
I just there to in-jure
|07-03-2008, 09:05 AM||#18 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2007
High school track star Kanzaki Hitomi, whose hobby of fortune telling sometimes gets all too real, wants nothing but a kiss from the captain of the track team. One day, she gets whisked away by Van Fanel to Gaea, the world from which Van hails. There, they go on the run from the Zaibach empire as Van masters Escaflowne, a guymelef. As time goes on, Hitomi and Van get caught up in entangling alliances and Hitomi has to sort out her own feelings.
In general, I felt Escaflowne's story was one of the best that I've seen in an anime television series. More than anything else, I felt it was perfectly paced; there was not a single filler episode, and all events that occured were somehow important to the story.
Although Escaflowne is a mecha anime, the mecha being the guymelefs, the story actually does not dedicate as much time to the battles as other anime, like Gundam or Zoids. In Escaflowne, the story primarily focuses on the characters, their relationships, and their solutions to their problems. It's the fact that Escaflowne dedicates more time to character development than to the mecha combat that makes Escaflowne's story so much better than most mecha-related anime.
Furthermore, although Escaflowne is a mecha anime, it is more of a fantasy series rather than science fiction. The world of Gaea is more shaped by the supernatural than technology, and the lead characters are generally more concerned with the former. Fate, especially, plays a really key part in Escaflowne. In other words, Escaflowne is not all about who can create the most powerful Guymelef, which is never even addressed.
In addition to the main problem being the Zaibach empire, all the characters have their own individual problems that they have to sort out. The biggest one is Hitomi's confusion over love. While helping Van, she has to sort that out as well as keep control of her fortune telling, which, as stated in the synopsis, can get all too real. Even with characters like Van or the swordsman Allen Schezar, defeating the enemy is not their sole concern. They want to defeat Zaibach more than anything else, but they have their own sources of motivation.
All I've said so far is positive, but nonetheless, the story is not perfect. One concern I have is that at times, Escaflowne was a little predictable. Also, I felt that the ending was a little rushed. With these flaws in mind, Escaflowne still has one of the best stories I have seen in a television series.
Escaflowne's animation is easily the level of an OVA. In fact, it looks almost as good as Cowboy Bebop, despite being a couple years older.
The character designs are beautiful and everything moves properly. The guymelef battles especially are a treat for the eyes. Also, the mecha themselves had a bit of an organic look to them. When they fought, it looked like two humans dressed in armor were fighting. While this statement can be mistaken for the cheesy effects in Power Rangers, fear not. What I am emphasizing is how two mechs sword fighting almost looks natural.
What I loved was the art. The colors were all bright and beautiful, which is quite appropriate for a fantasy anime like this one.
Occasionally, there is some CG being used and there is the occasional still shot, but neither is obtrusive.
I feel this anime, not Cowboy Bebop, is probably Kanno Yoko at her finest. Her music, mostly orchestral here, always fit the scene perfectly. Furthermore, I really liked the opening theme, "No Need to Promise". That song was just too perfect for Escaflowne.
Also, the voice-acting was tip-top. Sakamoto Maaya, who was 16 at the time, was perfect as Hitomie. After all, who would be better to voice a teenager than an actual teenager? Seki Tomokazu did a fantastic job as Van as well. You may recognize him from his role as Tokairin Shoji from You're Under Arrest!. Also, from Escaflowne, he went on to voice Katsura in the Rurouni Kenshin OVA.
The best part of Escaflowne is the characters. As mentioned before, the characters have their own driving forces when they work toward their goals. Also, no one is quite what they seem, particularly Van, initially comes off as completely arrogant. Other interesting ones are Allen Schezar and the insane Lord Dilandau. With all the characters around her, Hitomi serves as the voice of reason.
One of the best anime series I've seen in a long time and probably one of the best anime TV series ever made. All anime fans owe it to themselves to check this one out.