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[ café reviews ]

Tenkuu no Escaflowne
Maboroshi no Tsuki no Shoujo
(The Girl from the Mystic Moon)

Distributed by: Bandai (Japan), (North America)
Length: 25 minutes
Rating: NR, parental guidance suggested
Format: Original Japanese, Subtitled, Dubbed (VHS/LD/DVD)

[ plot summary ]

Hitomi finds herself transported to a strange land along with the young fighter who slew the dragon back on Earth. What is this strange land that Hitomi finds herself in? Gaia an undetected and unseen land not on the earth is home to a number of unusual creatures including the dragons which attacked Van. Having found themselves near Van's land of Fanelia, Hitomi finds herself exposed to a number of unusual creatures including trader wolfmen who travel from market to market.

Much to Hitomi's surprise, Van is no other than Fanelia's new king having slain a dragon and retrieving the drag-energist within the dragon's body. However, Van's coronation does not go according to plan when Fanelia is suddenly attacked by an unseen enemy. Who is the hidden enemy and what do they seek?

[ capsule review ]

This second episode builds on the initial impressions from the first episode. The music especially continues to astound viewers as the range of melodies grows and does a beautiful job of enhancing the viewing experience. Likewise, the animation continues to be solidly detailed although it becomes clear that much of it is computer generated / enhanced. Even so, the combination of the stronger music with good animation makes for a truly enjoyable episode.

The story in the first half of this episode moves rather slowly as Hitomi finds herself in an unusual land, and as such the boredom that she feels as she has no idea what to do with herself in Fanelia is keenly felt by the viewer. Even so, things don't stay slow or serious for long as we have some comic relief coming from Merle as she confronts Hitomi about being too familiar or close with Van. However, even with this bit of humour, action builds soon thereafter ensuring that viewers are not lost due to lack of movement in the story.

The voice acting in this second episode is a touch weaker than in the first. While the main characters are still solidly portrayed, some of the minor characters, particularly the wolf-man, are a bit weaker. Merle, the little cat-girl however is solidly portrayed by Ootani Ikue and shows good flexibility in portraying a wide range of emotions from jealous annoyance, to smugness, to relieved happiness.

I have to admit that watching Van slice his thumb to make his pact with Escaflowne still makes me cringe. The idea of deliberately slicing my thumb, especially in the meat of the digit just does not sit well. Not that it's exceptionally painful or anything; it's the idea of it, much like the idea of deliberately giving oneself a papercut.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of this episode is the play between the story as it unfolds before us and the music. Truly the two play off each other incredibly. Indeed the final scene in this episode is one such example where the voice acting, music and animation work together to make a strong scene.
- JYN 00.10.16

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: 4 stars N/A N/A
Direction: 4 stars N/A N/A
Acting: 4 stars N/A N/A
Animation: 4 stars N/A N/A
Music: 5 stars N/A N/A
Translation: N/A N/A N/A
Overall Rating: 4 stars N/A N/A

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Page last modified 2000.10.23