Mania Grade: A
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- 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
Escaflowne Vol. #6
By Ibrahim Peasnell
April 27, 2002
Release Date: April 03, 2001
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 Gundum 0083, Cowboy Bebop, Blue Submarine #6 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 staff members that are interviewed in this installment of Club Escaflowne are Shoji Kawamori (Original Story, Story Editor & Supervisor) and Kazuki Akane (Director). The very first piece of information that we learn during this instalment of Club Escaflowne, is that we learn of any unexpected developments that may have occurred during the production of the show. On this topic, the staff members discuss of how they wanted Escflowne to be more of a girls show in presentation, as other members of the production crew had troubles in presenting this to the audience. Next we learn of the staff's views of how the concurrent themes such as war, romance, and fortune telling, were used in the series. After learning about this, we learn next of why tarot cards were used during the series instead of fortune telling cards. After learning about this, we learn of the why digital effects were used in the series. Basically the reason why digital effects were used in this series instead of it being completely done by hand is that, Kazuki felted that hand drawn animation and reached it's limit. They wanted to take animation to another level by incorporating the usage of computer images in this series. After giving the reasons of why they choose to use computers images in Escaflowne, the staff members continue to discuss a little bit more about how they used computer effects in the show. After learning more about the use of computer effects in Escaflowne, we learn next of the staff's favourite character from the show. Lastly, we learn about the scenes that they had to extra careful with, when producing this show. As with previous installments of Club Escaflowne, many humour situations arise when this interview is being conducted.
The first episode starts off with Van, Hitomi and Allen being transported to Emperor Dornkirk headquarters after being engulfed in a pillar of green light from his fate-altering machine. While at Emperor Dornkirk lair, we learn about his past, as he recalls the events of how he founded and created Zaibach. After learning Lord Dornkirk's past, we learn of how he created the fate alteration machine. After Lord Dornkirk informs Allen, Hitomi and Van about Zaibach's past, the heroes are caged, while Dornkirk adds Escaflowne to his fate-altering machine. While all this is taking place in Zaibach's headquarters, the crewmembers aboard the Crusade decide to head back to Asturia upon not knowing the exact location of where Van, Allen and Hitomi are. The rest of this episode follows the basic simply formula of escape from bad guy's headquarters scenario.
The second episode on this disks, deals with Zaibach's plan to get rid on Hitomi and the dragon from being close to each other, by carrying out an operation called Golden Rule of Love. While Zaibach plans and prepares operation Golden Rule of Love, Princess Millerna decides to marry Dryden. The rest of the episode deals with operation Golden Rule of Love being played out.
The final episode on this disk picks up after the events of operation Golden Rule of Love being played out, as Van, Hitomi and Allen ponder their thoughts and actions of the events that have transpired between them. Also in this episode, Nariya and Eriya backgrounds are freashed out, as we are shown the events of how they meet Folken. Also during this episode, Nariya and Eriya blood are replaced with fortune blood, to intensify their luck. Meanwhile with all this taking place in Zaibach, back at the palace, Hitomi conducts a fortune telling for princess Millerna. The second half of the episode deals with the wedding of Drydren and princess Millerna. However as this is an anime wedding, the wedding doesn't go to plan, as the wedding is interrupted by the luck infested Nariya and Eriya.
Upon completing this disk, many things about the 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 transformation sequence that Escaflowne goes through in mid-flight, while being chased by Zaibach Guymelefs. The transformation sequence that Escaflowne goes through in mid-flight, reminded me of transformation sequence that the Valkire fighters go through when changing from Ger-walk mode to Fighter mode in Macross. Also while watching this disk I was also intrigued about the sorcercors of Zaibach, which are featured in this episode. In this episode we are shown their motive to dismantle Escaflowne, as they what to discover the power that makes Escaflowne so great, so that they can be at the same level/league as Folken. While viewing the second episode of this disk, this episode to me has one of the openings that I have seen for an anime TV series to date. The nightmare/visual image that is shown of Hitomi swing her pendent around while countless Escaflowe's are shooting out beams of light from their shoulders, and completely destroying many Zaibach flying fortresses and Zaibach itself, is a great visual and sequence to start off the show with. As this episode started out on a good note, this episode only got better and better, as operation Golden Rule of love was playing out. The cinematic use of switching between the actors (Folken and Eriya) and then seeing the actions of how it effected Allen and Hitomi was just absolutely brilliant. The music that is used in this scene when operation Golden Rule of Love is playing out, is absolutely brilliant and stunning, as the music intensifies and enhances the drama of this scene. The last episode of this disk didn't really grab my attention as much as the previous episode. However there were a few things in this episode that did catch my attention. In this episode, the scene of where Nariya and Eriya are battling each other at the beginning of the episode to me was the highlight of the episode. This scene reminded me of the scene at the start of the Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker Movie, where the Dee Dee sisters perform athletic movements while battling Batman. The usage of computer CG and cell animation are again combined yet again, to deliver another stunning visual effect. The blending of computer CG mixed in with cell animation to present us with the scene of Lord Dornkirk speaking to Folken via the primitive television tube looks absolutely beautiful and crisp. Lastly while watching this episode, I was intrigued at the mecha designs and colours of the other knights of Asturia's Guymelef's, when Dryden and princess Millerna get married. The reasons behind of my intrigue of the mecha deigns and colours of the other knights of Asturia Guymelef's is that, this is the only time in the show, that we get the chance of view these Guymelefs in all their glory.
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.
PC-DVD Rom, Power DVD 2.5, 15.1" TFT Active Matrix Display and JBL Pro Speakers