"When Nabosu, the king of Megaronia, finds himself in the possession of the awesome power of an ancient race, he sets upon a course of conquest. Seeking further remnants of the ancient race, he plunders the four Holy Islands of God until at last his brutal tide sweeps across to the island of Eija. Slaughtering the queen and king, and taking their son, Elluri, as a hostage to ensure the allegiance of the Eijian people, Nabosu now rules the world... But in the very ruins of the technology that has brought Nabosu to power lie the seeds of his downfall. In an ancient manuscript are the words that confirm the truth of the prophecies of the Eijian holy book; prophesies that one day the land shall be conquered, but that vengeance would come swiftly in the form of a chosen one, who will rally the people and, with the fiercest ship on the earth, vanquish the blasphemous invaders and wipe Megaronia from the very face of the world. Her name is Eira, and this is her story."
Director: Noriyasu Kogawa Screenplay: Noriyasu Kogawa Copyright: JVC/Jam Creation/J.C.Staff VHS version: Language Format: English Language Label: ADV Films Volume: 1 2 3 4 Running time: 45 mins 40 mins 40 mins 40 mins Certificate: 12 12 12 15 Catalogue no: VHSEL/001D VHSEL/002D VHSEL/003D VHSEL/004D Price: £12.99 £12.99 £12.99 £12.99 Release Date: 11th Aug 1997 8th Dec 1997 2nd Feb 1998 4th May 1998
Ellcia is the legendary Ship of God, and this series tells of how the ship is resurrected from its watery grave of a thousand years, and is used by the pirate girl Eira to exact revenge against the evil Megaronian Empire. The empire is built upon the rediscovery of ancient technology from the past civilisation, which was destroyed by Ellcia. Episode one set the initial scene, where Ellcia has been raised from its watery grave, and with Eira, and some of her crew captured by the evil Lady Crystel, daughter of the Emperor, and Phelkis, one of her officers. At the start of each episode is a summary of what has gone before. Episode two tells how an evil spirit trapped inside Ellcia is freed, how Eira and her crew escape from Lady Crystel onto Ellcia, and after demonstrating Ellcia's power by destroying Crystel's command ship, flee into the ocean. Episode three brings revelations about who Eira actually is, and that three seals need to removed from Ellcia before it will achieve it's full potential. Eira frees the first seal and sets off to release the second and third so she can gain revenge on the Megaronian empire. Meanwhile, the evil spirit freed in episode two has taken over the shape of the Emperor's prophet. Phelkis has been building a ship in secret with which he wishes to conquer the world, and is just about to launch it when Crystel, who knew about it all along and wants to use it to capture Ellcia, arrests him for treason. Phelkis is freed by manipulation of the spirit, and escapes with the ship. The episode closes with the first salvo fired by Phelkis against Ellcia.
The animation of Ellcia is of a good standard, although the character drawings are not very detailed, except on the main characters and the ship itself. The plot holds very few surprises, and is a standard fantasy one where a girl discovers she controls an amazing power, and is a lost princess of a realm destroyed by the evil empire. This is not to say that this is a bad production, only that it is not an excellent one. I came away with the general impression that this was intended for children, not adults, although there are some points which children would not understand, such as Phelkis's argument that man created God, and there is a fair amount of blood being spread around. The dubbing was of a fair quality, although the lapses into and out of 'pirate speak' was irritating.
In summary, I enjoyed watching this, although it is not high on my list of potential purchases. If you have children old enough to see this, they will probably enjoy it a lot more, as there is plenty of action and a simple plot. [Andrew Walmsley]