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Escaflowne Vol 8: Forever and Ever

(return to disc)

Content rating: 8
Posted 2003-09-14 by StupendousMan
Endorsed by Cacophanus on 2003-10-10 11:15:00

The great war between the Zaibach Empire and the Alliance, the twisted web of emotions between Hitomi, Allen and Van, the guilt of the treacherous Falken, the blazing hate of Dilandau -- all come to an end with the final three episodes of Escaflowne. All the story lines are resolved, in a neater fashion than I would have imagined. Good job!

The first episode deserves special attention for the way it repeats verbatim large sections of the very first episode. Hitomi is thrown back onto Earth, and back in time, to the day before her fateful solo run. So many of the snippets of conversation which seemed humdrum and ordinary when we first heard them (or, for those of us who watch the subtitles, saw them), are touched with poignancy. Like Hitomi, we now know what is going to happen, and see more deeply into things that were hidden. I must admit that I felt a twinge of I knew it! when we found out about Yukari's feelings for Amano. I'm surprised that Hitomi never saw it earlier.

And that's symptomatic of the series: the best moments so often feature the minor players. Merle and Dryden both come through in the clutch, proving what it means to love someone: to do whatever it takes, regardless of the pain it might inflict on oneself, to make the loved one happy.

Folken reminds me in a way of Turin Turambur, the doomed hero from The Silmarillion. It seems that no matter what he does, it always turns out to yield the result opposite his intention. Well, he would be the first to admit that anyone who betrays his country and causes the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians probably doesn't deserve very much sympathy. At least he looked happy in his "ghostly-blue-Jedi-outline" moment at the end.

The big surprise at the end is the secret identity of one of the major characters in the drama. It's well hidden, so quite a shocker, but makes perfect sense. It even explains that one very wierd sequence a few discs ago: you know, when a pretty young woman picked up a snail, stared at intently, then started to turn psychedelic colors? It all makes perfect sense now :-)

The ending is sad and sweet. But not tears-welling-uncontrollably sad, like the final few episodes of Cowboy Bebop. Just melancholy. I guess it's fitting: considered as a whole, I found Escaflowne good, sometimes very good, but not great. Perhaps that's praise too faint. I recommend this series, especially to fans of romance, swordplay and steam-powered mechs. Oh, and those who find cat-girls irresistible, too.

Equipment used when writing this review:
Sony DVD player, JVC 27-inch TV, stereo speakers, and a slight headache. Sigh.

Content: 8 Video: 7 Sound: 9 Packaging: 6 Menu: 6

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Other reviews of this disc:
Escaflowne Vol 8: Forever and Ever by CmdrTaco (Rating: 7.60)
The final volume of Escaflowne concludes this entertaining entertainingly and cleanly. There are twists and turns. There's a battle. There's a gigantic machine changing the fates of the world. There are mighty robots battling it out....(continues)
Content: 8 Video: 8 Sound: 8 Packaging: 6 Menu: 8

Escaflowne Vol 8: Forever and Ever by rgmoore (Rating: 8.20)

A fitting end to an oustanding series. Escaflowne managed to save some of its best episodes for the end. The ending is not perfect, but it is definitely one of the best done, most satisfying conclusions to a series I can remember....(continues)

Content: 9 Video: 8 Sound: 8 Packaging: 8 Menu: 8

Escaflowne Vol 8: Forever and Ever by iste00 (Rating: 7.00)

The other night I went to the mall and purchased the last two volumes of Escaflowne, thinking that they would be a satisfying conclusion to a series that so far I thought was amazing. Sadly, the last volumes did not live up to my...(continues)

Content: 7 Video: 8 Sound: 8 Packaging: 7 Menu: 5

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