Escaflowne Vol. #6 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Saturday, February 16, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, April 03, 2001
After running all over town trying to track down a copy, I finally was able to return home and watch the next two volumes of the absolutely wonderful Escaflowne. By this point in the show, you're hopelessly addicted and just have to know what happens next. And even though there are only three episodes on this disc, a whole lot happens.
The video on this disk is absolutely gorgeous. My only real complaint was there seemed to be a lot of rainbowing around the subtitles, but I can deal with it. The audio was very clear, and the menus work very well. However, the cover didn't exactly thrill me. Anyway, on to the content review.
SPOILER ALERT: By this point in the series, it would be impossible to discuss content without spoiling something, so if you haven't seen the show yet maybe you should wait on reading this one.
Escaflowne lives up to its reputation for breathless pacing in these three episodes. Other series would have spent at least twice as much screen time covering these events, but in Escaflowne there's hardly a line of wasted dialogue.
The first episode on the disc, "The Gravity of Destiny," has Van, Hitomi, and Allen finally coming face to face with Emperor Dornkirk. In typical megalomaniac fashion, Dornkirk kindly informs our heroes and the viewers all about his origins and his plans for the planet of Gaea. There's lots of info in his little speech, so pay attention.
After that bit of exposition, the remaining two episodes sets things racing towards what will doubtless be the series' last major story arc. The show's fantasy elements definitely start to take center stage here, with Dornkirk's Fate Alteration Engine being used to toy with destiny. In "Operation Golden Rule of Love," Dornkirk and Folken plot to separate Hitomi from Van by drawing her to Allen. The final scene is very well done and full of dramatic tension, which is backed up by Yoko Kanno's brilliant-as-always score. Next to Van's slaughter of the Dragonslayers in episode 14, this scene is probably my favorite in the entire series so far.
The last episode, "False Vows," focuses on the doubts Princess Millerna has on the eve of her wedding with Dryden (who I never liked, by the way). She asks Hitomi to do a reading, and Hitomi tries to use her powers to alter what the cards say. Mistake. Needless to say, the wedding goes all wrong and leaves her in a very dangerous situation. The episode is almost the perfect cliffhanger. You have no idea how hard it's going to be for me to wait until June for the final two discs.
Escaflowne continues to show why it's held in such high regard by anime fans everywhere. The story is excellent, the animation and music is beautiful, and the acting (by the Japanese cast, at least) is top notch. The only complaint I can really level against this disc is the complete absence of Dilandau, who is my favorite character in the entire series. If you saw the hack job they showed on Fox Kids, ignore it and give this series a second chance. You won't be disappointed.
KLH DVD 221; RCA 21" TV
Mania Grade: A+
Audio Rating: A
Video Rating: A
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: A
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Bandai Entertainment
Running time: 75
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2