Vision Of Escaflowne Review Page
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Vision Of Escaflowne
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David Seid 9.9

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Vision Of Escaflowne Review

Before I get into the meat of this review, I strongly suggest you STOP HERE AND WRITE OUT YOUR REQUEST LETTER for as many episodes of this title as are available! During the time it takes to read this review, you have put off having one of my three favorite anime series for a couple of minutes longer!

Alright, for those of you who are not easily convinced, I will now convince you:

In Escaflowne, Hitomi is an above average track and field participant who also enjoys telling fortunes using tarot cards. She has a crush on Amano who is the track star of her shool. In an attempt to win Amano's affections, and have him give her her first kiss, she attempts to break her previous time in front of him. This is when all hell breaks loose. As she is in the process of running the track, she sees a light come down from the sky and Van Farnel appears along with an earth dragon.

To make a long story short, after Van battles the earth dragon (created by beutiful computer animation), both Hitomi and Van get transported back to his world (Gaia) where the real story begins.

Gaia is a world where you have knights in shining armor, but mecha as well. Escaflowne is one such geimlef as they are called in the series, but Escaflowne and Van have a blood bond that goes beyond man and machine. As the story progresses this bond becomes crucial as Van and Hitomi have to overcome the evil and insane Dilandau and his superiors of the Zaibach empire, one of wich appears to have some type of tie to Van.

As the story progresses, its large scope becomes more evident, with kingdom against empire, and knight against knight. Also, a major part of the story lies in Hitomi and Van's relationship. Hitomi has to learn the difference between school girl love, and real true love.

Now that the basic idea of the story is out of the way, I can now tell you that this series has by far, the BEST SOUNDTRACK of any anime series EVER. The classical music score by Yoko Kanno is superb, and holds up brilliantly against any music I have heard, period (buy all 4 CDs - they are worth the $)!

The story is also excellent. It takes a couple episodes to really get going, but be patient; it gets better with each episode. The final episode in Escaflowne is the best I have ever seen, and it brought me to tears (more than once I confess).

The animation is unbelievable. It is far and away the best animation of a TV series to date. It is very fluid, colorful and has a realistic feel to it. When Hitomi runs, she actually runs like a real track star, not all flimsy and stupid like the majority of anime women. Also worth a mention is the seamless integration of computer and hand drawn animation used in the series. The computer animation is mainly used for the unbelievably good looking special effects, and sometimes on incredibly detailed creatures. The computer animation in Escafowne is the first I have seen that really enhances the show's look, without going overboard or looking cheesy.

The voice actng is also excellent. Hitomi for example has a "real" sounding voice, as opposed to the helium sucking women of most anime titles (finally someone did something about this!). The voice actors for Van and Allen Schezar (another main character in the series) are also standouts. My personal favorite, however, is Dilandau with his psychotic sounding voice and Chaotic laughs.

The character design is well done, but does take some getting used to at first. The noses on many of the characters are a bit (well more than a bit) too long for my taste, but once you get used to them, the rest of the character designs are great (as well as the mech designs). If you felt Van looks similar to Parn from Record of Lodoss War, the reason is the designs in Escaflowne were done by the same character designer.

I guess I have made it clear by now that Escaflowne is unsurpassed in its greatness, so if you are looking for action, romance, fantasy or drama REQUEST THIS TITLE (see all the time you would have saved by stopping at the first paragraph)!

Review By David Seid

Art/Animation:Storyline:Character Design:Music: