Review

Escaflowne Best Collection

Synopsis:
Escaflowne Best Collection
Hitomi is a normal high school girl, but everything changes when a guy from another place -- a separate world known as Gaea (of which Earth is a "visionary moon") -- warps to her school ground while slaying a dragon. Hitomi is beamed back with him, and gets caught in the middle between Van's kingdom of Fanellia (with his various compadres) and the Zaibach Empire, who are endowed with mysterious mecha capable of zapping an entire countryside in only seconds. To combat it, Van and his friend/rival Alan use Guymelfs -- transforming mecha working through energist, which is a power source extracted from dragons. Hitomi falls in love with both of the young men, but at the same time, her power of fortune telling is telling her things she doesn't want to know.
Review:
Vision of Escaflowne was one of the best anime ever made, period. The character development, pacing, and wonderful artistic styling (not to mention the insanely great music) flow together flawlessly to create an intricate (if not cliche) story that certainly deserves watching... But NOT like this!

Here we have the entire 26-episode TV series compressed down to only 3 hours -- less than a third of the original running time. How anybody doing this project expected to do this and still maintain some modicum of story cohesion I can't imagine. Yes, the story is got across, but at what price? Massive amounts of character development is missing, some of it very important -- like the foreshadowing of Hitomi's psyonic abilities!

There should simply have not been an attempt to tell the complete story in less than a third of the running time. The editing is well done, but without a clear outline of a small part of the plot that should have been focused on (whatever it may have been), the result is a muddled, fast-paced, confused mess. The magic, the emotions, even the mood of the series have all been reduced to the pacing of a Japanese toy commercial. Even with additional narration from Hitomi, one can barely follow the plot, never mind any emotional effects!

What we have here is a concept flawed to its very core. A sword & sorcery shoujo anime was not meant to play out like a bad thirty-second spot for the latest Bruce Willis movie. I really wish AnimeVillage would have instead brought out the uncut episodes of this series instead of attempting to market this as an alternative to the entire boxed set -- Those at least have some bit of redeeming value.
Grade:
Production Info:
Overall (sub) : D+

+ Good editing, and it WAS a great anime.
Rips a wonderful story to shreds. Unwatchable pacing.

Director:Kazuki Akane
Script:
Akihiko Inari
Shoji Kawamori
Hiroaki Kitajima
Ryota Yamaguchi
Screenplay:Shoji Kawamori
Storyboard:
Kazuki Akane
Kiichi Hadame
Shoji Kawamori
Shougo Kawamoto
Nobuhiro Kondo
Nobuhiro Takamoto
Yoshiyuki Takei
Shinichiro Watanabe
Yuji Yamaguchi
Yuki Yamaguchi
Unit Director:
Kazuki Akane
Shougo Kawamoto
Ikuro Sato
Yoshiyuki Takei
Shinichiro Watanabe
Takeshi Yoshimoto
Music:
Yoko Kanno
Hajime Mizoguchi
Original creator:
Shoji Kawamori
Hajime Yatate
Character Design:Nobuteru Yuki
Art Director:Junichi Azuma
Animation Director:
Hirokazu Hisayuki
Yasuhiro Irie
Hironori Kanno
Takahiro Komori
Shigeki Kuhara
Hiroshi Osaka
Takuro Shinbo
Hiroshi Takeuchi
Tetsuya Yanagisawa
Mecha design:
Junya Ishigaki
Mahiro Maeda
Koji Sugiura
Kimitoshi Yamane
Sound Director:Kazuhiro Wakabayashi
Director of Photography:Kazunobu Okeda
Producer:
Masahiko Minami
Yumi Murase

Full encyclopedia details about
Vision of Escaflowne (TV)

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