The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Tenkuu no Escaflowne

Title: Tenkuu no Escaflowne
Genre: Action/Drama
Format: 2 volumes
Mangaka: Yuzuru Yashiro

Synopsis: Hitomi’s grandmother left her with two things after her death; a deck of Tarot cards with a weird design, and a pendant. One day at school Hitomi was using her cards to predict the future of a friend of hers, but the vision involves flames, destruction, death and a monster. This images were so real that she fainted, as soon as she woke up and headed back home, she finds a young man, lying at the entrance of the school, but what is more curious about this man, is that he has the same design as his tarot cards tattooed in his hand. What relation can connect this young man to Hitomi’s grandmother?

Great backgrounds and character design.
Plot: Different from the anime.
Characters: Strong main characters, secondary could have used some work.

Tenkuu no Escaflowne offers a short, soft, swift and enjoyable reading that will last for the good amount of two volumes. In those volumes a magnificent and fantastic story will unfold, opening doors and windows to the arrival of something different with the turn of each page. Soon after starting the manga a new world full of death and destruction is smashed right in front of our eyes and with the presentation of a new world, we meet new characters, with dream, desires, goals and convictions.

This is where Tenkuu no Escaflowne suffers the most. While the main characters are completely developed, the secondary characters leave a lot of blank space to fill, yet the villain has enough to make things work, yet more background wouldn’t hurt him either. Yet the lack of background and development for the secondary characters can’t shadow the amazing story which is drawn beautifully. With vivid backgrounds we are transported to Gaia, with amazing detail to mechanical designs we can feel the destructive power of the floating fortress’ and with the same amount of detail, facial expressions are nearly human.

Fans of the anime shouldn’t expect the same thing. Since the manga doesn’t spin around the relationship between Hitomi and Van as much as in the anime. Instead, it spins around the hunting of dreams, understanding of the past and present and to over come hateful feelings.

With great art, a terrific story, a decent message and developed main characters, the only thing you can ask from Tenkuu no Escaflowne is; more of everything. More background and development on many interesting secondary characters and more pages to read. But nothing to fear, while you are left wanting more, once you realize that the main plot has been successfully covered, you start recovering from the burning need of wanting more.

The Rating: 8

Reviewed by: Dtortot

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