Escaflowne: The Movie (A Girl in Gaea) Print
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R4 DVD Reviews
Sunday, 15 August 2004 00:00
Escaflowne: A Girl in GaiaI've had a copy of Bandai's R1 release of Escaflowne: A Girl in Gaea sitting on my shelf for nearly two years - but thanks to their defective first pressing & the practicalities of exchanging a disc when you're outside the US (and I did try), I've had to wait until know to see the whole thing. Now just to see if it was worth the wait...

I'm going to cheat a bit here - if you want a full & detailed summary of the movie, you'll find it at Escaflowne Online. I'll settle for saying that it's essentially a retelling of the TV series, with a few significant changes, partly to the story but mostly with the personalities on the characters (for example, Hitomi has gone from being a fairly cheery person to almost suicidal). Whereas the TV series put the emphasis firmly on the story & in particular the 'relationship' between Van and Hitomi, the movie goes squarely for the eyecandy approach - and there's no denying that it looks extremely good.

The main problem to the approach that's been taken is that the changes to the characters' personalities manage to make them a much more unlikeable bunch than they were in the TV series, and you need to be able to like the characters before you can really enjoy the story - take away most of the good point & leave them as a bunch of dynsfunctional fighters, as has happened here, and a lot of the appeal goes out of the window.

Left to rely on its stunning visuals alone, Escaflowne still manages to almost be a good film, but not quite. As it is, it's lacking, and ends up more as a curiosity for fans on the TV series to check out, to see how the story could have been. Those watching without any prior knowledge of Escaflowne may find it has little appeal.


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