(Anime Review) Escaflowne: The Movie

Now I am warning you guys now.  I am taking this movie in the point of view of someone that hasn’t seen the anime series.  This is mainly because I am a person that hasn’t seen the anime series yet.  I do plan on watching it in the future, but I was a massive cheap skate when it came to  the kickstarter and just wanted the movie.  At some point, I will acquire this series or watch it on Funimation’s streaming service when the time comes.  I’m not a person that watches anime series illegally.  That’s just wrong.

(STORY)

So stop me if you haven’t heard this one before.  A depressed school girl named HItomi doesn’t want anything to do with the normal world and just wants to vanish away.  Coincidently, she gets sent to a fantasy world called Gaea and is called the wing goddess.  She controls the power of the dragon or a fantasy mech suit called Escaflowne.  (Name drop here) So yes, it is that kind of escapist story with a twist to it.  Hitomi ends up feeling better by helping somebody that is more depressed then her for much more complex reasons then teenage angst.  Through conflict and romance, she finds what is missing in herself before heading home.  I guess that is cliché as well, but whatever.

(Characters)

Since this a film that I ninety plus minutes long, there is only two main characters to speak of.  I’ve already talked about Hitomi’s arc, so you know her.  The other character is the character Hitomi helped, Van.  Van is the king of the dragon clan, though he doesn’t have any followers.  This causes him to go on missions by himself hoping that he will ended up dying in one of them.  This is all changes when he meets Hitomi.  First he wanted to kill her for sending away Escaflowne, but ended up almost as a couple.  It’s quite wonderful.  He may also have special powers and wings.

There are a lot of side characters in this movie and enough time is spent to give them personalities.  Still, they aren’t given any sort of arc.  They do add some texture to movie itself, but I wish more could be done with them.

(Art/Animation)

My god this movie is beautiful.  I’m talking about all visual and sound aspects.  I can’t find much for animation, but just look at these two screen shots.  They speak for themselves.

escaflowne-mech-duelescaflowne-in-the-rain

The shot composition, the detail, the mood and everything.  It’s all there.  This is Studio Bones at their conception and you can tell they started with a bang and never left that bang behind.  Believe me, the animation fits perfectly with all of this.  It’s So fluid and so realistic.  Everything feels like it has so much weight to it.  I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen throughout the entire film.

(Sound)

The soundtrack is from Yoko Kanno.  If you don’t know who this person is by now and what works she has been apart of, then what are you doing watching anime?  Seriously.  She is the best anime composer EVER. Okay, maybe not ever because there is some other people I would name as great as well, but I love Yoko Kanno’s work. Her material flexibility is fantastic because I doubt you can listen to bunch of random songs from her and then know it’s her.  The score provides the tone for the movie and does it amazingly.  I might have to buy this one.  Okay, I’m done fanboying about this now.  Ignore this part.  IGNORE IT.

I should also mention something about the new dub.  It’s pretty great.  Having watched this in Japanese too, I feel like the new voice actors really capture the characters in a believable manner.  I’m not surprised, because Funimation is more then decent when it comes to dubs.  There have been some duds, but what company doesn’t?

(Final Thoughts)

Escaflowne the Movie is more of a visual spectacle than anything else.  While there are some great characters on screen, either their arcs have been seen a million times before or nothing is done with them.  The story has also been done a thousand times by now and continues to be done over and over to this day.  That doesn’t mean it’s bad though.  Just makes it a little predictable, but the execution is good.   It’s also a great feast for the eyes and the ears.  So yes, please give this one a watch.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Cat says:

    The movie was really made as a gift to fans for supporting the series with newer technology, style and story to make it engaging, because the movie is basically an AU to the series~

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Thank you for telling me that. I would have never known otherwise. I really need to get to the series at some point….

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Adam says:

      I agree. Much like the 1984 Dune film, I feel that Escaflowne the movie was mostly made for fans of the show. It’s a visual treat, but without the backstory of the show I feel the plot of the movie is rushed and a little hard to follow. But as you say, it’s visually breathtaking.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Scott says:

        Eh yeah, the backstory would have helped some of it. I still had a good time with it though.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Adam says:

        That’s all that really matters, though it may spoil some plot twists for the show. Still worth a watch though.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Cat says:

        It was. Without having watched the show, the movie makes no sense, is rushed and you don’t get a good feel for all the characters. But it was a great treat for me, seeing them in a different style of art, more mature themes playing through it 💖💖

        Liked by 2 people

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