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High school student Hitomi Kanzaki, depressed and despondent, wishes to disappear from her world. Her wishes are heard in the alternate world of Gaea where a battle for absolute control is raging! Magically, Hitomi is suddenly transported to this other world and is bestowed with the power to decide its ultimate fate!Written by
Mike Eisenberg <email@example.com>
The stadium where Hitomi first meets Folken and is drawn into the world of Gaia is modeled on the historic and famous Kasumigaoka National Olympic Stadium (Kokuritsu Kasumigaoka Rikujo Kyogijo) in the Shinjuku ward of Tokyo, where the 1964 Summer Olympics were held. Some of the most distinctive elements in the stadium, such as the colored rows of seats, large scoreboard, lights, and field track are directly visible in the film. The stadium was demolished in 2015 to make way for a new stadium constructed for the 2020 Olympics. Another visible Shinjuku landmark in the film is the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, which Hitomi sees from the train while she is out shopping with her friend Yukari. See more »
[to Folken, struggling to get up]
You destroy all of Gaea... your sadness will not go away.
How would you know?
See more »
Only fun for those who have seen the series, if then
First of all, I watched this movie once before I even saw any of the series, so I was fairly confused--especially by the amount of characters who appear for a few minutes and then disappear. I knew it was supposed to be a retelling and not a summary of the series, but even on that level, I didn't really "get" Hitomi's reason for caring so much for Van all of a sudden, why that blonde captain (Allen, as I learned later) was even there, or what the hell Dune (or Folken, take your pick) was all about. The confrontation with Dune was so incredibly anti-climactic that I almost hoped for that old horror cliche of the villain coming back to life a few times to up his kill stats. No such luck, though.
Having just gone through a marathon session with the series (all twenty-six episodes in two days), I decided to watch the movie again this morning. Well, I had fun identifying all the characters from the series, who were all--down to the cat girls--developed into realistic characters throughout the television series, and it was kind of interesting to compare Hitomi's character (in the movie, she's totally depressed but realized the pain she was causing others; in the series, she was lively, but in being so, she missed the signs that she was hurting people). However, the story (which recasts Hitomi as a "Winged Goddess" figure instead of a girl with skills at fortune telling, and Van into an uncontrollably violent person, but sweet and gentle when he's not killing people) isn't all that interesting (and seems to have been more influenced by the Evangelion series and movies than by Escaflowne), and 96 minutes is far too short a time to tell what should have been a sweeping epic. Instead, despite the claims that it is a retelling, it ends up feeling even more like a truncation of the series.
That said, I thought the animation was good (in an anime genre sort of way--I wouldn't expect a lot of other people to care too much for it, the way that even anime haters tend to like Studio Ghibli films), and the design for Hitomi, though not as kawaii as the series, really did fit with the darker tone of the movie.
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