Escaflowne: Girl in Gaia

2vttu8g Retelling month coming to an end as I review a movie that re-introduces a story with a much different look then before. New art, modified character designs, but the same story about a girl named Hitomi who gets teleported to the world of Gaia. This is Escaflowne: Girl in Gaia.

Hitomi is a girl with depression who wishes she could disappear. She gets her wish and transported to the world of Gaia where she meets the warrior prince, Van. Together the two of them must use the “Dragon Armor” called Escaflowne to retake the world. There is a prophecy though which talks of a “winged goddess” who will bring destruction to the world. Is this about Hitomi and will she destroy the world?

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The change in art is the most noticeable change from the show to the movie. The characters look much darker and harsher in their tone and the landscape and scenery shots are a wonder to behold. The movie does lacks the fun and lighter moments which were in the series as it seems to follow the art and keep a much harsher tone throughout the entire film. This change is what divides the fans of the series. Some like it and some hated it but for the most part everyone is happy the characters no longer have the pointed noses they did back in the original series.

The characters also have a change from what they were in the series. Van becomes a much tougher warrior from what he was in the TV series and gets the addition of having psychic powers. The first five minutes of the movie show him boarding an enemy vessel and slaughtering the crew. Hitomi gets a change too. She is much less love struck than she was in the show. The character may have changed but they are still very intriguing to watch.

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The mecha overall remain the same but there isn’t as many of them as their were in the show. Instead of everyone and their mother having a robot, they are much less common an occurrence. When the enemy Guymelef (the mecha for the series) makes its appearance it is a big deal and a lot of people are killed because of it. This change is a odd choice but the fight between the enemy and Escalowne is an intense battle that is one of the best parts of the film.

Overall, the Girl in Gaia manages to tell the story of a girl being taken to another world and meeting a prince with a Giant Robot in far less than half the time and half the mythology. Despite this lack of ability to cover all the points from the original, the movie is very good and it a great treats for fans of the series. There you have it, the end of the first themed month for this blog. Next up, time to take a step back to a first in a franchise.

RATING: B+

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Vision of Escaflowne

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Today’s series had an interesting premiere when it was shown on American television. In order to be eligible for broadcast enough content needed to be cut that several episodes were able to be merged into one, including the very first episode. If you can`t tell today’s series is the Vision of Escaflowne. I promise not to make any comments about the pointy noses.

High School girl Hitomi wants nothing more than to confess her love to her first crush and be the best track runner she can. Unfortunately for her this life is shattered when a young prince named Van appears before her. Soon she is whisked away to Gaia a fantasy world where people fight in giant robots called Guymelefs. As trouble grows, Van awakens the legendary Guymelef Escaflowne to help him as he works to fight against the evil empire of Zaibach.

Escaflowne was a series designed to appeal to both males and females. For the guys we have intense action and giant robots and for the gals we have romance and good looking men with long flowing hair. Other series try to incorporate this elements but some how forget to get the balance right usually forgetting that on top of just good action and intense romance their also needs to be some type of story to top it all off with. The story of Escaflowne though is deep, mystical, and has fans insisting even today that a sequel to the series should be made.escaflowne_versus

Id be in the wrong if I didn’t address Hitomi as a character. Yes she is a bit annoying and way too focused on the wrong guy in the series, focusing too much on Alan despite the fact that Van is the man she is obviously meant to be with. That and the fact that she actually bends fate to her will but for the totally wrong reasons result in large amounts of chaos to unfold. Other than that shes a perfectly lovely character.Vision-of-Escaflowne-Escaflowne

Basically Escaflowne is a classic that everyone needs to see. Sadly most people cant get over the crap job done with the American broadcast and others who insist the English dub is horrendous (personally I liked it. I don’t really see what all the complaining is about). Still, I highly recommend that everyone tracks this series down and watch it. Use the original Japanese if your not a fan of the dub

Rating: B+