For those of you who are not familiar with the movie, it is not a sequel or a prequel. It is more of an alternate telling of the Escaflowne story. Hitomi, a young high school student has lost her interest in life. She fears things will never change, is so depressed that she hopes that somehow she will just fade away. What she doesn’t expect is that her desire to escape would catapult her into the mythic world of Gaea. From a young highschool student, she finds herself thrust into the role of the Wing Goddess, who can call up Escaflowne, a terrible suit of giant armor destined to destroy the world. Can she learn to open her heart to the suffering of others so that she can save the world from total holocaust? Or will her denial result in the destruction of Gaia? If you’re entirely new to the world of Escaflowne, you’re in for a treat. Anime hasn’t seen anything like this before, and probably won’t see it again for years to come.
Although I didn’t really care for the character redesigns, I have to say that visually Escaflowne is a spectacular movie. The movie was faster paced and to the point and the characters were darker and had more flavor to them. For those who like the show dubbed, they’ll enjoy the movie, although I’m guessing most people will stick with the Japanese track outside of a quick look-see.
Escaflowne: the Movie is a good film, it’s easy to see how people could think it’s great. A few character issues, and the generally short run time keep me from thinking it’s great, but it’s a very enjoyable movie that sucks you in very well. The true high point for me about this film was that the score was created by the same team as Cowboy Bebop. Yoko Kanno score permeates through the film and actually keeps your attention a whole lot longer than anything the script has to offer. After watching the series, I found this movie to be an excellent summation of everything in its entirity. However, those who haven’t seen the series may find it a little hard to follow, as some characters have little or no introduction.
I can’t lie because it can get a little boring and dark with too much talking and badly dimmed scenes, even the heart pounding music cant bring you out of a power nap. But, I was very skeptical as to whether or not I’d like this movie, since I didn’t particularly enjoy the time I spent with the TV series. The movie was breathtaking. The animation quality, the art style, character design, everything in the artistic realm of this movie has been improved from its television form. Again, I’m not sure how much it would appeal to fans of the TV series. However, if you’ve never seen Escaflowne, I’d say this is a good place to start. It feeds you the plot with relative consistancy, and it’ll probably get you itching to see the TV series, too. But if you’re like me and you love the show and everything about it, then you may walk away complaining.