Escaflowne Vol. #2 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Saturday, February 16, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, December 05, 2000
Betrayal and Trust is much better than the first volume, with better episodes, video, audio, and extras. What is really cool though, is every episode on this disk is a classic.
The first episode is probably my favorite one on the disk. I dunno, I've always been a fan of rescue mission-type shows, and that's what happens in this episode. Hitomi is learning her powers brilliantly and can detect where Van is. Folken appears like he's gonna be one weird dude in this episode, saying corny lines all over the place and doing strange stuff. For instance, he doesn't take sides in this episode. One minute he's on Dilandau's side, then Van's the next. Speaking of Dilandau, all fans of him will extremely enjoy this disk, as he gets numerous amounts of screen time.
The second episode is probably the weakest episode on the disk, and that's saying a lot really, since it has its own merits. Hitomi saves Van (again!) by using her track abilities and her ability to predict the future from Dilandau's claw. It was cool to see Van shout, "Is this how Zaibach operates?!" to his brother's face, assuring him he won't go with him to be a part of the evil Zaibach empire. I imagined how Dilandau would be punished, but apparently it wasn't too bad. Not even close to what your parents would do to you in that kind of situation. One thing I found interesting, is when Hitomi, Princess Millerna, and Van went out on the town in Asturia, Hitomi played the song "Tomadachi" with a CD. When I watched the dub version, the song was still in Japanese. I'm almost positive Maaya Sakamoto sang the song in English, and therefore I was surprised they didn't use that version of the song in this version.
The third episode resorts to using soap opera-ish story lines intertwined with each other. Princess Millerna's getting married (the girl who Hitomi doesn't like too much) because her father, King Aston, ruler of Asturia has arranged her wedding for her. Problem is, Millerna's in love with Allen, who's in love with both Hitomi and Millerna who also once loved a girl named Marlene (mentioned in this episode). Typical, eh? The really cool thing about this episode is when Hitomi was kidnapped, she thought she was being saved by Allen, but it was Van who finally saved her bacon (it's about time Van did something useful, isn't it?). After seeing this episode, I'm fully convinced Dilandau needs to be locked in a comfy padded cell somewhere. He just burns cities down and kills people and enjoys doing it, so yeah, he's psycho.
Episode 8 really just involved Van, Hitomi, and Merle entering a Energist mining field, where Van attempts to destroy the energists in that area so Zaibach can't use them to power them. After some interesting antics happen (including Hitmomi's pager ringing, yeesh), Van manages to break free of captivity and save the day for once. Also, that vision that Hitomi has had since episode 1 has finally been brought to reality, when Van reveals his secret (he has wings, therefore he is what they call a Draconian) and saves Hitomi from crashing into the rocks below.
Once again, audio and video sound and look fine, so I won't go into detail there. I like what Bandai did this time around with the lone extra they had and made a spoiler screen for it. Club Escaflowne sounds awesome from what I've heard so far, so I can't wait to check it out when I'm done with this series. I still like the packaging they use and hope they keep up the good work. Menus are the same as the last time, with a cool animated opening and music being played on each of them, though there are a couple of songs on the menus that I haven't heard yet in the series. Trailers are also on this disk, but I can't really count them as extras even if they are cool, they're just promo material so Bandai hopes you buy some more of their disks. Yes, it's a great marketing tactic, but I don't think they are real "extras." I guess we'll never get any more extras besides Club Escaflowne from this point on. Damn.
Escaflowne continues to be a great series and I hope the disks keep up the good pace. And even if they don't, that "Free Tarot Card Set" will be there at the end of it.
Panasonic 19" TV, Apex AD-703 DVD Player
Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: A+
Menus Rating: A+
Extras Rating: A-
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Bandai Entertainment
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2