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Exclusive review: Inu-Yasha:
Rumiko Takahashi's (Ranma 1/2, Maison Ikkoku, Mermaid Tales) new hit TV series in Japan
  Rating: PG
  U.S. Distribution Rights: Bandai Entertainment
  Genres: Fantasy, Mecha

Vision of Escaflowne, The (TV)
Alternate Title: Escaflowne

Description:    Hitomi Kanzaki is a typical highschool girl. One thing that makes her different from any other people is ? that she can read fortunes with tarot card ? very well. Everything starts as she is encountered a mysterious swordsman from another dimension called Gaea, and then transported into that world. Van Fanel is the name of the swordsman. The day he becomes the king of Fanelia, many invisible giants invade his homeland. With his robot-like mecha, Escaflowne, and Hitomi's ability to foretell the future, the journey to save the Gaea starts.

Overall Grade: 96.25% (A)

The Escaflowne: A Girl in Gaia (Movie) Review

  Reviewer #1: Sun Yang
  Episodes reviewed: 1-26 (Subtitled)
Grade: 96% (A)
   Incredible series! I can't say enough of it. I was so surprised when I found out that this was made for TV series. The quality of the art, music, voice, and every other things are so beautifully done. Reason why this is so good?

The music is one thing that everyone notices. Kanno Yooko san did the music for this exquisite series, and I highly recommend you the soundtracks. There are 5 soundtracks, including the beautiful collection "Lovers only." Overall, the music is classical and operatic, but no matter what kind of music you listen to, the music to this series is as beautiful as field of flowers. You will never regret buying them.

The voice actors are so good too. First of all, Sakamoto Maaya chan. Maaya chan did the voice of Hitomi Kanzaki. When she did the voice, she was only 16 and this was her first major debut as a voice actress. Her beautiful voice is just like hearing an angel talking. And of course, it is the perfect voice for Hitomi, 16 year-old highschool girl. She is also a very talented singer whom now sings mostly Kanno san's songs. She has two CDs of her own out so far. Both are collaboration work with Kanno san. First album is called Grapefruit, which includes most of Escaflowne songs. The second is called Dive, which has all the new songs. Dive is EXCELLENT. If you have ANY clues of how beautiful human's voice can be, well, listen to Maaya chan's voice. I can't say enough of her voice >_< (Of course, rest of cast members are all very good too! Especially Van's voice~~!)

Art of the series is great too. It has a ... different style than other anime you have seen before, but I know if you are person with some brain, and some wit, you will like it. I don't know what to say, some say that the development of plot was little too fast and weak, and I somewhat agree with those arguments because I wasn't really satisfied with the result of what Hitomi and Van's relationships has become. Anyhow, overall ? Escaflowne is a very satisfying series with nearly best combinations of art, music, story, and voice. Watch it, I highly, highly recommend it. ^_- (BTW... the short for Escaflowne is NOT ESC. It is ESF.)

  Reviewer #2: Aimei Wong
  Episodes reviewed: 1-26 (Subtitled)
Grade: 94% (A)
   The Vision of Escaflowne is definitely one of the best animated TV series I've ever seen. The graphics are great; the story is great; the action is great; the music is great?well, you get the idea. It has everything you would want in a good anime. It is also a very captivating anime. Once I started watching it, I couldn't stop it. Every episode leaves you at a cliffhanger, and you just have to go on watching it. And trust me, there is no one episode that will disappoint you.

The character designs may feel a little weird when you first watch it. Eventually, you will get used to their pointy noses and the halo that's always on their heads regardless of the lighting conditions. The only thing that I would really complain about in this anime is Hitomi. To be honest, I don't like her. (Yeah, now all Hitomi fans are all going to gang up on me?) On Earth in her own ordinary life, she likes her Amano-sempai. After she met Allen on Gaea, her feelings turn towards him. Then later on, somehow all of a sudden she's in love with Van. I have no idea what happened. Can't this girl make up her mind?

The designs of the Guymelefs are amazing. I'm totally awed by the Escaflowne. When I saw it fight for the first time, I was already in love with it. Then when I saw it turned into a flying dragon, I was like, "Woo baby!" It was just TOO COOL!!!!

So, after all this talk, what am I trying to say here? The Vision of Escaflowne is one of those things that you would HAVE TO see. Trust me, you won't regret it.

  Reviewer #3: Christine Liu
  Episodes reviewed: 1-26 (Subtitled)
Grade: 98% (A+)
   What makes Vision of Escaflowne so great is that it seems to cover all genres in one whole story - and all 26 episodes of it too!!!! ^^ It is fantasy - dragons, magic and faraway places. It is drama - family divisions and painful pasts. It is action - swordplay and the hunt for the mega robot or mecha known as Escaflowne. Escaflowne itself, is a robot that seems to be the one that decides Gaea's fate, not to mention all the other giant robots (that are in the series called "guymelefs") - covering the genre of mecha. There's even a little comedy on the side too whenever Merle is around (she is known to Van as part of his "family" though she doesn't see it that way!! ^_~) who always annoys Hitomi. Plus there is a bit of romance too?hehehehe? But that's what makes it such a cool anime - that it covers all these genres and is able to pull it off as a great anime series!! Not to mention the animation is just soooo beautiful and awesome!!! (Those guymelefs looks soo cool and they move pretty swiftly too!!! whoa!!!)

Yes I agree with Relena and Blueberry - the animation is great but when I first saw the anime, I was like, "Whoa!! Check out their noses!!" But that is something you will get over with easily?^^

Also, after the end of every episode, it's like I am just itching to see what will happen in the next episode!! And how they concluded the series was actually pretty good and sensible - totally unlike what is expected or seen in anime I saw. Yet it is nothing like a "Huh?!?!?" ending you know? What's another cool thing about the anime are the songs? I especially like the beginning and ending songs - the beginning song, Yakusoku Wa Iranai ("I Don't Need Promises") and the ending song, Mystic Eyes. Loved those "Escaflowne" chants throughout the movie too!!! Heheheh!! And the fast beat drums?woo ha!!!! ^^

Anyway Vision of Escaflowne is definitely a must see anime for anime fans!!! ^^ Great story, great anime, great EVERYTHING!! Characters are likeable too!!! Oh yea, and if you check out our "About Us" page, you'll find that many of us listed Vision of Escaflowne as one of our favorite animes!! Need I say more!?!? *^____^*

  Reviewer #4: Clyde Adams III
  Episodes reviewed: 1-26; Subtitled
Grade: 97% (A+)
   The Vision of Escaflowne is an epic fantasy adventure. It is wonderfully animated, with great color and imagery, showing the master hand of Shoji Kawamori (Macross Plus). The score by renowned composer Yakko Kanno is marvelous and memorable. The voices, especially the clear, vibrant voice of young singer Maaya Sakamoto, who plays the main character Hitomi and sings the title song, are nearly perfect. Most important, it has a great, fresh and original, masterfully paced story. Almost every one of the 26 episodes delivers a fresh surprise, but a surprise that fits, not one that adds pointless complexity. The protagonist, 15-year-old schoolgirl Hitomi Kanzaki, is appealing and sympathetic. Transported into the mysterious world of Gaea, she finds her knack for fortune-telling blossom into a formidable second sight. She copes with deadly and terrifying situations, tries to do the right thing, summons up courage when she needs it, and falls in love a little too easily (well, she is 15). In Gaea, dragons fly, beast-people live, and wars are fought with giant robot-suits. A conflict is unfolding between the independent kingdoms and the empire of Zaibach, which has its own mysterious agenda, involving a machine to alter destiny and the lost power of Atlantis. I give The Vision of Escaflowne my highest recommendation.

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