The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Vision of Escaflowne: A Girl in Gaea

Title: Vision of Escaflowne: A Girl in Gaea aka Escaflowne: The Movie
Genre: Action
Company: BONES/Sunrise
Format: Movie; 95 minutes.
Dates: 24 Jun 2000

Synopsis: Hitomi is by no means your average student. She is sick of life and wants to just fade away. A dark figure appears to her one day and summons her to his world, a planet called Gaea. In this new world, everyone keeps calling her the God of Wings. However, will Hitomi become a god of salvation or… destruction?

The Highlights
Music: Same great Yoko.
Animation: Greatly improved from the TV series.
Story: Condenses a 26 episode plotline into 2 hours.
Character designs: May annoy fans of the TV series.

Caution! Do not come into this movie expecting Vision of Escaflowne, the television series. This is by no means, the Vision of Escaflowne we all know and love. However, if you can cut the ties between A Girl in Gaea and the television series, then you might be able to enjoy this, but it still does not impress very much.

A Girl in Gaea presents a darker version of the world of Gaea, which is honestly a very cool idea and ideal concept which earns the movie some definite style points. Along with an atmosphere change comes a whole attitude change for the characters; Hitomi is no longer the cheerful, upbeat high school student trapped in a new world she used to be. She is now, instead, a troubled young teen searching for a way out. And, the relationship between Van and Folken is much different in A Girl in Gaea. Folken now truly hates Van for being chosen as the true heir to the throne. Add a stylish and darker soundtrack, done by Kanno Yoko, to fit with the new style and it all looks pretty good. However, there are some differences between the series and the movie that should definitely have been left out.

The new character designs in A Girl in Gaea might disappoint some fans of the show. While some of the designs may actually look good and add to the dark atmosphere of the movie, most of it is just a big fat flop. Luckily these new character designs came with some new and improved animation. The new animation was a great blend of the new darker version of the movie and the original unique style of the television series. It was a great improvement over the television series which is saying alot considering how well Vision of Escaflowne was done.

Unfortunately where A Girl in Gaea really falls flat on its face is the condensed story. The real problem is that the story is too big for a two hour movie. Everything feels way too rushed. It starts out well enough, with some very well choreographed fight scenes, however in the middle it just seems to skip straight to the ending. Fortunately the ending played the part of the saving grace for A Girl in Gaea as it really brought the entire movie together. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late.

All in all, A Girl in Gaea did serve its purpose in keeping me occupied for two hours and I did, in the end, enjoy the movie quite a bit. Unfortunately it didn’t stand up to the awesome expectations I had after watching the televison series.

The Rating: 6
6/10

Reviewed by: DarkKanti

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