User Reviews (4)

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  • Warning: Spoilers
    Like the movie version of Escaflowne, this original video animation is a darker and somewhat more violent retelling of the anime series in which it was inspired. While the three main characters are the same of the original series, the story and the setting are completely different. Also some of the secondary characters from the original series have here a completely different personality (For example, there are characters that while in the series were good, here play the role of villains or antagonists) On the good side, the animation was quite better in comparison with the television show. The designs were more polished, and the atmosphere had a darker treatment (In many ways, the story of this video animation is even darker than the second season of the series, without any kind of comedy relief. The main plot is more dramatic and intense, involving more violence and death) On the bad side, this retelling lacks of the good characterization of the manga and the TV show, focusing more in the action than in the development of the plot. Everything happens way too fast, and not in a satisfying way. While it was still entertaining to watch, it was also disappointing at the same time. I guess that the fans of the original "Rayearth" will appreciate it more. Personally, I think that this could have been way better.
  • The Rayearth OAV series is one of the best works CLAMP has produced. People familiar with the TV series will find delight in seeing their favorite characters presented in new ways, but the series demands very little knowledge of the TV series, making it easy for almost anyone to watch. Shidou Hikaru, Ryuuzaki Umi, and Houoji Fuu are longtime friends who fear their separation after graduating from school. But, new forces are coming into Tokyo, threatening the populace and throwing the three girls into the battle. The animation is typical CLAMP (read: beautiful), but better than the TV series. The plot is darker than the comparatively bubbly TV series, but I found it more enjoyable this way. The characters are an assortment of faithful to the series and newly created personalities, but are still as captivating as always.
  • The alternate spin on the story of Magic Knight Rayearth is interesting, especially in how it differs in tone from the original. Much darker ambiance in this setting.

    However, the quality of the translation is rather poor for being "professional", and I find that it detracts from enjoyment of the show. Unfortunately I first saw it on VHS and had no option to turn off the often-inaccurate subtitles. Even if you don't understand Japanese, you will probably notice that some of the lines are either clunky or don't seem to fit the scene. For example, one of Ferio's lines is translated to mean exactly the opposite of what it does, and viewers going by that translation will get a different idea of his character. That was a particularly inconvenient line to mess up, while others seem to be skewed simply because of lazy or outright incompetent translation.

    Bottom line: enjoy, but take the English translations with a grain of salt. Unless they've bothered to redo them for recent editions, their quality is probably surpassed by a fansub floating around somewhere.
  • As her graduation comes closer, Hikaru, Umi and Fuu realize their lives are going to change abruptly in some weeks. They are going to move and maybe they won't be seeing teach other for a long time. They gather under a cherry three which is said to be enchanted and ask for their friendship to remain eternally strong.

    Suddenly a magical rabbit-like being –Mokona- appears and unchains a series of terrible events first in Tokyo and then in the rest of the world. The decadent planet of Cephiro has arrived to Earth in order to accomplish the orders of their mysterious princess. While some of the strongest warriors of Cephiro appear, Clef (a priest from the magic kingdom who doesn't agree with the invasion) and Mokona choose the girls to go through a divine mission that will save their planet and their friendship awakening three warrior deities.

    "Rayearth" is a three-chaptered mini-series which re-tells the story of the comic book "Magic Knight Rayearth" and its popular 1994 adaptation on TV. As it is usual in the works of CLAMP group, the standards of animation quality are really high (even for nowadays) with haughty backgrounds, graceful movements and stylized character design.

    The plot might sound too apocalyptic for those who followed the previous adaptation, but in its darker, melancholic and compelling tone "Rayeath" gets viewer's attention easily. Its heroines are well depicted with emotional depth and many layers of personality, although some others may remain superficially treated. It's mainly a series about a tragic separation and a fight for the three girls to survive not only this huge battle but also for their friendship to remain the same.