Escaflowne Vol. #8 (Mania.com)

By:Ibrahim Peasnell
Review Date: Saturday, May 04, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, June 05, 2001



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

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: Crest of the Stars, Jubei-chan, Mobile Suit Gundam and Gundam 0083.

The extras that are featured on this disk are: Playstation game footage, Escaflowne movie trailer and Mayaa Sakamoko Concert Video.

Review

The first episode on this disk continues after last episodes cliffhanger ending, with Hitomi returning back to Earth, to find out that she is reliving the same day and events, of when she was transported to Gaea. While Hitomi is on Earth and reliving the same day and events of the first episode, this opportunity allows Hitomi the chance to change the fate of those that she cares about. As Hitomi thinks about returning to Grea, Grea is facing it's own problem's, as both sides mass their forces for the upcoming finale. Also in this episode we get a bit of background information about the role that the sorcerers play in Zaibach.

The second episode deals with Zaibach and the allied countries of Asturia, commencing the battle that will decide the ultimate fate of Grea. After dealing with the preparations for the big finale, and saying their farewells to their closest friends, the big finale finally commences. While the fate of Gaea is being fought over, Hitomi and Folken are transported to Zaibach's headquarters, where they confront Lord Dornkirk. Also in this episode, we learn why Folken's wings are pitch black.

The final episode of Escaflowne deals with the unknown fate that awaits Gaea, as we also finally get to learn the truth about Dilandua's past.

Upon completing this disk, many things about this show have impressed me, while also leaving a lasting impression on me. While watching the first episode of this disk, the thing that caught my attention in this episode was the percentage ratio of new footage that was used in this episode, compared to the percentage of old stock footage that could have been reused in this episode. This episode to me was very intriguing and engaging, as the new scenes that were used in this episode, continued to add more layers of emotions and complexity to characters personalities, instead of just being a recap episode. Also in this episode we get another song being played, as Hikari No Naka E, is being played in the background of this episode, when Hitomi is slowly making her way home from school. The combination of music and animation yet again delivers yet another tender and emotional scene, when these two elements are combined. While the song Hikari No Naka E is played through this episode,!
the visuals of the show changes to a lighter tone of colours, to reflect and enhance the emotions of Hitomi. Also while viewing this episode, I was glad to see more airtime dedicated to Yukari and Amano, as these two characters aren't given much screen time in this series. Also by going back to the characters that are featured on Earth, it was a nice little break from the regular cast, that are featured in this series. As there are many things happening when Hitomi returns back to Earth, there are also many things are occurring in Grea, as we get a bit more insight into Dilandua's past. This episode also features a brief appearance of Jakiura, the half/human deer protector of Dilandua. The sight of seeing Jakiura again, was a welcome sight, as it is always intriguing to learn more about how the natural creatures of Gaea behave and act

While watching the second episode, many things about this episode intrigued and impressed me. The second episode on this disk to me defines what war can make people think and feel. An example of this is Van, as he is fighting against the Zaibach Guymelef's. Van is suffering, due so seeing the ghosts of the Guymelef pilots that he has killed, when piloting Escaflowne in the battle. Another example of how war can make in inhumane decisions while in the heat of battle, is the General of the Basram clan. The General that's in charge of the Basram ship, is willingly to sacrifice his own men and the men of his allies, so that he can reduce the number of the Zaibach forces. The General of the Basram clan does this because, he feels that the Zaibach army is overpowering them, and if they do lose at least they have reduced their army size. The scene of where the General of the Basram's clan drops their ultimate weapon from their levitation ship, reminded me of the same sort of bombing !
scenes that occurred in Barefoot Gen and Grave of the fireflies movie. Also while watching this episode, I was delighted again to hear the whistling theme Fatal, which Folken whistles, when the show doesn't focus on the themes of war in this episode. This episode to me was very sad, as my favourite character unfortunately dies in this episode. After seeing my favourite character die, I was guttered about the fact that if Folken hadn't had died in the series, there was a chance that I could see a scene of Folken and Van embracing each other, after spending many years apart from each other. However this was not case, as the image of these two standing together side by side of each other, would have definitely been a beautiful sight to see. The cinematic use of using black and white colour contrasting, is used to great effect in this episode, to portray and enhance the emotions of the flashback scene that Van recalls, when he realises what has happened to Folken. Also, the still !
visual image that occurs at the end of the flashback scene that

While watching the last episode of Escaflowne, I was intrigued and impressed with the cinematic techniques and stunning visuals that are presented in this final episode. Firstly, the combination of computer CG and cell animation look absolutely beautiful, when displaying the ripple effect of the green pillar of light, that travels past the soldiers on the battlefield, when the Atlantis machine is tested to it's full potential. Also in this episode, the Guymelef sequence that occurs between Van and Allen, looks amazing detailed and fluid, as some of the choreography of the fight sequences that occurs between them in this episode, looks somewhat similar to the dueling scene that occurs in the opening theme. Also while watching this episode, the flashback scenes that goes and explains the truth about Dilandau's past, look absolutely stunning, as the colour scheme that is used to depict these images, are rather bright and soft in tone, to reflect the nature of Jakiua's character. !
The cinematic use of panning still images, is used to great effect in this episode, to depict and enhance the emotions that Van and Hitomi feel for each other, when Hitomi talks to Van about Gaea's fate. Lastly while viewing this episode, the scene of where Hitmoi leaves Gaea forever, looks practically vibrant and stunning, as two Draconians are perfectly interlaced around Hitomi, when she leaves Gaea.

In Conclusion, Escaflowne is a stunning series that simply deserves to be in everybody's DVD collection. The combination of the following elements such as art, music, voice, computer graphics and story telling, makes this series such a stunning and magnificent series to own.



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



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