I finished watching another animé series—my most favorite at that—on my smartphone. Granted, I could have achieved the same by watching on a TV or computer, but I would have dragged myself to so. Sometimes, watching a big screen can be lousy, probably because you feel you have limits in movement and on how you position your body while watching. But on a miniature screen, you can go anywhere, ride on anything, and be in any position—all while enjoying your show.
Where was I? Ah yes—my most favorite animé: The Vision of Escaflowne. I come from the generation that grew during the influx of animé in the Philippines. I’m sure each member of the “animé generation” has had/still has a favorite series.
As a favorite, you would think that I regularly watch every episode of Escaflowne. On the contrary, this is just my second time to watch this series. (The first was in 1999-2000 when it was aired on GMA-7.) I spent some time crawling the web for free download links to a DVD-esque quality of every episode and finally, I have completed it! I was also able to download the movie (Escaflowne), and two OST albums namely, Escaflowne: Over the Sky and The Vision of Escaflowne: Lovers Only.
I’m one happy Escaflowne-addict!
Why I Love It
Basically, the genre of this series is what I’m a big fan of. It’s got swords and mystics, travels through a dimension, dragons, mecha, battles, fate-alteration and emotion-manipulation, drama, and some comedy.
Oh, of course there’s the proverbial love story: Girl falls for long-haired senior-high sprinter when suddenly, she gets transported to another world. In there, she falls for a look-alike of the senior-high sprinter—only, he has longer blonde hair, is a top-notch swordsman and knight, & is over-aged. (Talk about being fickle.) Meanwhile, shorter-haired brunette guy, who’s in fact a young king (and appropriately aged at that), falls in love with the girl; however, his feelings aren’t reciprocated. In short, he’s emo.
As with other animés, the movie is different from the series in terms of continuity. It’s a condensed form of the entire 26 episodes of the series. It’s gorier and presents a darker psychology of its characters. Another difference from the series, albeit one that I didn’t like, is the change in character designs. For example, those who were supposed to look royal, i.e. Princess Millerna Aston, looked like a bandit; while the supposedly classy knight, Allen Schezar, turned out to be an edgy resistance leader.
But still, the movie did a good enough presentation to serve as a summary of the series.
Probably one of the selling points of Escaflowne, the OST is composed mostly of neo-classical orchestra and choir music. It’s got the right blend of inspiration, contemplation, and suspense-thriller. I love it! perfect for various moods: Reminiscence, joy, love, sadness, anger, and fright.
It’s undeniable that the soundtrack also has a blend of Japanese pop. The two prominent songs are, of course, those used as the opening and closing themes of the series, respectively: Yakusoku wa Iranai (Promises Not Necessary) and Mystic Eyes. The first is a terrific choice for an opening theme, while the second has a groovy mid-tempo beat.
An agitated heart calls the dragons . . . & hate and fear create conflict.
—Van Fanel, The Vision of Escaflowne: Episode 26
Released in April 2, 1996 on TV Tokyo by Bandai Entertainment and Madman Entertainment, this animé series was regarded as a masterpiece. Although it didn’t do well as expected within Japan, it became a worldwide hit. Egan Loo, a writer for Animerica, noted that this series had the “most dramatic music in a soundtrack,” for an animé.
I wished the producers thought of adding a few more episodes to allow more room for story-development. There are several twists in the story, all of which require more sequences and episodes to be properly portrayed. There were some instances while watching wherein I was confused or surprised at the sudden change of events.
But, oh well. It would take more than those flaws to make me give up on my most favorite animé.