Escaflowne Vol. #5 (Mania.com)

By:Ibrahim Peasnell
Review Date: Saturday, April 27, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, April 03, 2001



The Review!
After watching another seventy-five minutes of Escaflowne, I'm back to bring you another review installment.

The tarot card based menus still continue to impress and stun me, even though they are identical to the menus that are used on the first disk.

The trailers that are featured on this disk are Mobile Suit Gundum, Crest of the Stars, Saber Marionette J and Angel Links.

The extra that is presented on this disk is another installment of Club Escaflowne. During this installment of Club Escaflowne, Mayumi Lizuka yet again plays the role of interviewer in this instalment of Club Escaflowne. The people that are interviewed in this installment of Club Escaflowne are Hirotoshi Sano (Mechanical Animation director), Hiroshi Ousaka (Animation Director) and Kimitoshi Yamane (Mechanical Designer), as this installment of Club Escaflowne continues the interview that was conducted in the previous instalment of Club Escaflowne. During this installment of Club Escaflowne, we again learn many interesting facts and details. Upon continuing the interview from the last instalment, we learn of the production crew's favourite scene and character from the series. Next, we get a different view of the production crew, as they share their thoughts of how Shoji Kawamori and Kazuki Akane put them under unneeded stress and pressure while producing this show. Also during this instalment of Club Escaflowne, we also get to learn of their individual views of how the sound effects were presented in the series. Also during this instalment of Club Escaflowne, we also get to learn of the reason why no hi-tech sounds were used, when doing the sound effects for the Guymelef's movements. Also during this interview, we also learn of any regrets that the production staff might have had while producing this show. Lastly we learn of the production staff's views and thoughts of the idea of doing a sequel to this series. While on this subject, we learn of their ideas of what they would like to incorporate in the sequel of Escaflowne if one were made. As with previous installments of Club Escaflowne, many humorous moments arise when this interview is conducted.

Content

The first episode on this disk continues off after last episode's cliffhanger ending, where Van is dealing with the spirits of the dead pilots that he has killed, when piloting Escaflowne. Upon seeing the truth of what is happening to Van, Hitomi decides to venture into the same plane as Van, in an effort to try and bring Van back towards reality. Also during this episode we also get a bit more information of Allen's background, as he recalls the story of how he meet Balgus we he was a little tacker. The rest of the episodes deals with Naria and Eriya trying to capture Escaflowne. Lastly in this episode, we get a little insight into Dilandau's past.

The second episode on this disk deals with Drdyen telling the story of Allen's father journey to find Atlantis. During this episode we get to learn of the adventure that he had, and the people that he encountered while trying to find Atlantis. While this is happening in Gaea, back home on Earth, Hitomi's mother is talking to Amano and Yukari about Hitomi's recent disappearance. While talking about Hitomi's disappearance, we get the chance to learn a little bit about Hitomi's grandmother. This episode basically explains all of the finer details of how the character relationships of the past relate to the current cast members. Meanwhile while learning all this, Dilandau is brought to get treatment by the sorcerers of Zaibach, as the previous fate alteration experiment that was performed on him wasn't a complete success.

The last episode on this disk deals with the Crusade entering through the gates of Atlantis. While on Atlantis, we learn all off the finer details about the world of Atlantis. While we learn about all the details about Atlantis, Van and Allen come front their past and destiny's. Also in this episode, we learn the truth about Hitomi's power and how it has caused anxiety towards Van and the other cast members. While all this is taking place, Naria and Eriya decided to enter the gates of Atlantis, in yet another attempt to capture Escaflowne.

The disk to me was a great disk, as many attributes about the show impressed and intrigued me. The first episode of this disk was a real highlight for me, as more creatures of Gaea are featured on this disk. The appearance of more catgirls is always a welcome site, as Naria and Eriya make their introduction in this episode. To me Nariya and Eriya reminded me of Dee Dee sisters that feature in the Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker movie, as they look exactly the same as each other, minus of course the skin colour difference. Also while watching this episode, I was intrigued about the mecha designs of Naria and Eriya Guymelefs, as they were bold and attention grabbers. To me, the flowing hairstyle that are featured on the top of Naria's and Eriya's Guymelef's, reminded me of rock stars and punk hairstyles. Lastly in this episode, the visual appearance of the plane that Van is walking on while fighting between life and death is absolutely stunning, as the artwork that is presented in this scene is just absolutely pleasing to the eye. The use of using softer colours and tone to present this scene looks absolutely beautiful, as the use of the tone and colours that was used in this scene reminded me of the scene of where Hitomi is dreaming at the start of the eighth episode. The second episode to me was rather unfullfilling, as hardly anything caught my attention due to so much happening in this episode. However what did catch my attention during this episode, was the scene of Dilandua being strapped to the table while Zaibach's sorcerors perform another fate alteration experiment on him. This scene made me feel sorry for Dilandau, as his screams of petrified terror can be heard echoing in the corridors, while the sorcerors start to experiment on him again. Also while watching this disk, I was intrigued about the sorcerors of Zaibach, as not much information is given about them and the experiment that they are performing on Dilandau. The last episode for me was very entertaining, as more details about Atlantis are revealed. While viewing this episode the thing that impressed me while watching this episode, was the visual appearance of how computer CG was again combined with cell animation to produce such a stunning visual, when Hitomi is reading the engraved language of Atlantis on the wall. However the real reason of why my eyes were glued to the screen during this episode, was of how the production crew decided to use colour contrasting in such an unique way, when presenting us with the scenes of Van's and Allen's journey while in the mystic valley. The use of colour contrasting that was used during these scenes looked absolutely beautiful and magnificent. The contrasting mixing of using white and grey when representing Van's realisation that is was time to become a more mature and responsible king was beautiful beyond any words that I can describe to you. The same to can also be said about the contrasting of blue and white, when presenting us with Allen's journey in the mystic valley. This is the first time I have seen an anime that has used colour contrasting in this unique way, and I all I can say is that the production crew have really out did themselves this time, when presenting these scenes. Also while viewing these scenes, the look of the scenes reminded me of the good old days of black and white television. In conclusion all that I can say is that, I am completely dazzled and amazed by the quality that the production crew as put in this show, as I can't wait to see how the show will continue to raise the bar of quality even higher.

Escaflowne is a stunning series that combines many elements such as art, music, voice, computer graphics and story into one great appealing show. I give Escaflowne my highest recommendation without any hesitation.



Review Equipment
PC-DVD Rom, Power DVD 2.5, 15.1" TFT Active Matrix Display and JBL Pro Speakers



Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: A-
Video Rating: A
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: A
Extras Rating: A
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Bandai Entertainment
MSRP: 29.99
Running time: 75
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Escaflowne