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Escaflowne: The Movie
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 01/02/2001

Synopsis:
Hitomi Kanzaki is a depressed young girl who just wants to disappear off the face of the earth. She actually gets her wish one day when a strange man appears and seemingly summons her. Hitomi suddenly finds herself in the midst of a war-torn world called Gaea, where she is believed to be the "goddess of wings". According to the legend, the "goddess of wings" has the power to either save or destroy all of Gaea, depending on what she wills. One side wants Hitomi to be the savior, but the other side wants her to be the destroyer... what fate will Hitomi choose for Gaea? Will she usher in a new beginning or the end of everything?
 
Review:
First off, Escaflowne the Movie has absolutely nothing to do with the TV series. It's an independent thing, neither a sequel nor prequel.
 
While Escaflowne the Movie features a familiar cast of characters, I wouldn't say that they are the same people we saw on the original 26-episode series. The names are the same, the faces are similar, but the characters are totally different. One good example is the main character, Hitomi. The Hitomi in this movie is not only a miserable girl; she has suicidal tendencies to boot (a far cry from the happy, shiny Hitomi on TV).
 
Plot-wise, I found Escaflowne the Movie a bit lacking in substance. We are presented with a sibling rivalry. Prophecy has chosen one brother (Van) to lead a country, which displeases the other brother (Folken). Thus, a jealous Folken decides to destroy all of Gaea instead... so the two brothers vie for Hitomi's will (which is really no contest as you'll see, since Hitomi is basically a good girl and is obviously attracted to Van). Characterization is weak. It is never even explained why Hitomi feels her life is worthless. Neither Van nor Folken are given much development either. All the other characters like Allen, Millerna, Merle, Dilandau, etc. are just eye-candy and don't do anything significant. These people just seem to pop up, say or do a little something, and then disappear. Another thing I have against this film is it's so anti-climactic. You'll see what I mean when you watch the final confrontation between the two brothers.
 
Escaflowne the Movie is undeniably an audio-visual masterpiece. The art and animation are nothing short of superb. The characters (with the exception of Hitomi and Van) have all been given make-overs. Princess Millerna for one has gone from blonde (on TV) to some sort of redhead (see 2nd screenshot below). Like the original series, the music features the exemplary genius of Yoko Kanno and the enchanting vocals of Maaya Sakamoto (and that's yet another soundtrack for my CD collection).
 
Overall Escaflowne the Movie isn't bad, it's just... disappointing (more so if you've experienced the TV series). I had expected more since "The Vision of Escaflowne" has always been one of my all-time favorite series.
 
Miscellanies:
I wish they could've ended this movie differently.

Screenshots
Escaflowne: The Movie
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Review Title:
Escaflowne: The Movie
Alternative Titles:
A Girl in Gaea
Type:
Movie
Episodes:
1
Duration:
95 Minutes
General Rating:
3.5 out of 5 stars
Aired:
2000
Suitable For:
Teens
Genres:
Adventure, Drama, Fantasy,
Mecha, Romance
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