Publisher: Pioneer Video
Type of Anime: Movie
Watched Subbed/Dubbed: Subbed
When I first saw this movie, my initial reaction was that I liked it better than the series. After further reflection, I see them as different takes on a similar story. The movie is far more serious than the anime.
For instance, when we first meet Hitomi on Earth, we learn that Hitomi has just quit the track team and is contemplating suicide. She admits to her friend, Yukari, that she couldn’t go through with it.
Not long after, Hitomi walks alone into the stadium and soon meets a mysterious man who asks her to fulfill her destiny as the Wing Goddess. Suddenly, the world goes dark, and Hitomi finds herself in the midst of the battle between Van and his enemies for Escaflowne.
The war on Gaea is going strong, with Black Dragon Clan lead by Folkien destroying everything they can. His ultimate goal is to use Escaflowne to destroy this world.
Much of the movie revolves around Van’s fight with Folkien but without the future predictions and Atlantean mythos from the tv series. It’s more of Van’s struggle – both for his king status and his inner struggle with himself. Hitomi’s role is one of companionship – to support Van in his struggles and by doing so, to find the will to live on, herself.
The movie also focuses more on the ongoing war that has taken over Gaea than the relationships that developed in the tv series. Several characters don’t even appear, and some that do are drastically different from their roles in the tv series.
That said, this movie does an excellent job of using elements of the tv series to create a wonderful tale without compressing 26 episodes into a movie length feature.
Escaflowne is beautiful, from the character designs to the fighting choreography. The character designs are modeled off the tv series, but are tweaked to fit with the darker style of the movie.
This is one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard from an anime. Luckily, it comes with the 3 DVD special edition.
If you’re looking for the future predicting, tarot card reading Hitomi from the tv series, you’re not going to find her here. Hitomi actually starts off as very alone and depressed – a girl that wishes she could fade away. By interacting with Van, who has issues of his own, they both kind of regain a fresh outlook on life.
Category: Anime Reviews