Sunday, 7 April 2013

Completed: Escaflowne

before i do anything give me a moment of nostalgia if you would.
mmm ya.... right in the childhood.

though honestly.... of all the shows that exists.... WHY did they try and make this into a show for children? honestly.
oh and yeah... if you couldn't tell i actually like the english intro... again pure nostalgia glasses and i like Yakusoku wa iranai a million times more but considering it doesn't ever break into rap.... it's a decent english intro.

So yeah back in the day a show started playing on Fox called escaflowne, and someone can correct me if i'm wrong because my memories of childhoos are kinda crappy but i think it eventually moved to YTV which is a channel in Canada aimed kids, until Teletoon came along fox and ytv were the only channels we go anime on.

so.... what's the show about? why was it turned into a kids show?
lets find out.

now i'll be telling the plot of the uncut version cause...thats what i remember.... i barely remember the english dub other then that intro and the fact that it has allthse weird edits and jumps around a lot.

Hitomi is a young girl on a track team who also tends to be really good at reading Tarot cards, however one day a few odd things happen. She starts seeing a boy in short visions, she finds out the boy she has a huge crush on is moving and she hasn't had the chance to confess her love yet! so she asks him to time her run and if she gets under 13 seconds, a personal best for her, she would ask him for a kiss.
if you hadn't gathered by now YES i consider escaflowne to be, for the most part, a shojo title. i don't think it technically is but i consider it to be.
anyways she can't finish the dash cause a pillar of light appears infront of her and that boy she saw in the vision is now there and she bumps into him.
The others can't understand him but she can.... something that is never furthered and only mentioned the one time... awww.
anyways soon after a dragon appears and the two start fighting. the boy wins, rips out the dragons heart and a pillar of light grab both him and Hitomi.
She wakes up being able to see the earth and moon in the sky, apparently she is on another world called Gaea.
um... so stuff happens and eventually we find out Van, the boy, is king of this town that gets destroyed and so they leave to try and be safe and meet up with Allen and yeah... shojoness ensues with the occasional mech battle.
I love this show... yes i know it is actually classified shonen but it's not.
The story is about a girl trying to figure out how she really feels about everyone around her, she's trying to come to terms with the fact that she is special with being able to see the future and all and the fact that others may rely on her to the point of using her ability.
and no she isn't like "omg i so in love but with both of them... which do i pick?" she spends most of the show crushing on one guy but as time goes on she starts to realize her true feelings and then she has to come to grips with that.
the show also has a strong "why must it always come down to fighting" theme which for a show thats is probably half fighting it's a bit nice.
it does have one 'look into your soul to obtain new skill' fight but i think it only happens once and it feels honest.

though seriously this show is pretty old....

anyways the ending is my favorite part.
cause all that talk of who does she care for the most
all that realizing that Van is the one she loves with all her heart.
in the end... no one hooks up with anyone.
Hitomi goes back to earth and occasionally sees van in the distance.
Allan continues to be a knight to the princess... if he hooks up with her it doesn't matetr but i hope he doesn't cause he did have an illegitimate child with her older sister....
 but it doesn't feel like there was forced romance... in the end Hitomi had to 'return with the elixer' which in this case was having gone through a rough situation and grown up to be more confident in herself and less fickle. 
actually this follows the heroes journey pretty close now that i think about it... oh well if i compare the two we will be here all day.

anyways i like that a show that has romance in it doesn't forget that if they got together one of them would have to give up pretty much everything for the other.

End Spoiler

The good:
While the art is dated it still is really pretty... their noses are ridiculous but at least it wasn't just a single line (more on that in my first look of spring 2013), the animation is well done... even if their is some dodgy cg and the character designs are very unique.
The music is also really good... i mean... Yoko kanno? Maya sakamoto? both are amazing and Hajime Mizoguchi does a wonderful job of the score... one of a few anime soundtracks i own.

The not so good:
ending, even though i love it feels rushed, it needed another season/half season to flush it all out (considering it was meant to be 39 episodes originally it all makes sense)
It has a lot of Shojo elements for a shonen series and it has a lot of shonen elements for a shojo series.
if you like your anime clear cut between the two genres then this may not be for you... but honestly i think it's a perfect balance.

the bad:
things are brought up that should be be important and never really followed up on. this is probably just the part of me that feels everything should have meaning but yeah it was just little things in the end...

i really enjoy this show...

but~ how could they turn it into a kids show?
characters get killed in many gruesome ways, there are illegitimate children, theres talk of experimenting on children, characters get burned alive.
then there's all that icky romance and kissing stuff that just cannot exist in a show without turning them into cousins (here's looking at you Sailor moon and cardcaptors)
apparently they did eventually cancel the show cause they realized that the characters were going to war and people were going to die and if they edit it all out the show could probably be 13 episodes long.
or maybe they realized one character ended up changing in a way that they were worried the little kids would start asking.
or maybe they figure out it was stupid to turn something aimed at teenagers into something for children....
who knows...
either way got some laughs when i watched the uncut version and a silly english intro i get to be nostalgic over.


  1. I remember this show, and i loved it, but the only thing i hated about it was that Dilandau turned out to be the princess. That pissed me off because he was my favourite, and I really didn't care if it made sense for the story, I liked the character way better as a villain not as some boring princess, I would have rather he was killed off or something if they had to get rid of him. Even though you put this into the genre of shojo anime, if that is the case then it is a REALLY good shojo anime, and the only anime i ever liked with gundums.I don't remember the English opening, but I agree on liking the Japanese opening better.
    But I have to disagree with you on it being a kid shows, If they did aim it toward kids I don't see a problem with that. Kids need to be challenged with subject matter instead of always shown rainbows and sunshine, I first saw this show when I was very young and it didn't scar me one bit. I find that the best shows and the ones that still hold up today had strong storyline and plots that didn't treat you like you were a dumb kid. Although I don't remember this one too well (and I'm not into anime as much as I used to be) I'm glad you reviewed it because it has been at the back of my mine, nagging me to re-watch it.

    1. lol yeah i thought dilandau being the princess was a bit weak but in the end i see why they went that way.
      i did a little research after i finished writing this and apparently it spawn two manga adaptations... one shojo and one shonen so my statement of it being shojo is not completely correct but it's also not false.
      this used to be the only show i liked with mech but then i watched macross and i really liked that too but still those are the only two.

      but i need to clarify what i mean when i said "why did they make this for children"
      i didn't mean it was bad that they turned this into a kids show cause i watched it when i was under ten and loved it.
      what i mean what why would they look at a show where characters are literally getting slashed in half, gored and burned alive or shown with dead faces right in front of the camera... hell at one point something equivalent to a nuke goes off and kills everything.... why would a company as conservative as fox look at it and go "oh yeah.... that'll make a fantastic kids show... we just need to cut out all that violence stuff which is essential to the narrative.... those kids will be too stupid to notice."
      i'm all for not talking down to kids but when you think about how much anime was cut to ribbons back in the day why would they purposefully pick something that they actually had to abandon cause they couldn't edit it and have it make sense.
      i know the networks hadn't really realized that maybe if they played it at a later time slot for the intended audience for teenagers it would have been an even better response and again i'm happy i was able to watch it as a kid... i wouldn't have bought it as an adult if i hadn't... and then i would have missed out on a fantastic story.... but yeah just trying to clarify what i meant by "why would they make this for kids"
      i hope i made sense...
      if not tl:dr; why would you license something you know you have to cut out everything that made it good in order to play it on tv so the parents of the little ones don't get upset.
      also i think they tried to make van the main character instead of the main supporting character... even though hitomi is obviously the main.... ah whatever this comment is getting too long :P