Wow. It’s been a year hasn’t it? These upstart rapscallions, once on the verge of utter defeat, now are the biggest names in both the regular and black market. Unlike the last serial Gundam series that had two seasons (Gundam 00), Iron-Blooded Orphans kicks off without any big down note where our heroes are in a lesser position of power than before. After the well-deserved victory they scored last season, they need this moment to shine, and shine they did.
Oh boy, this is an episode I’ve been looking forward to. The penultimate episode of Escaflowne is one of those kinds of episode that does its best to try and wrap up just about every lingering character arc. In a show like Escaflowne where its end is pretty darn definitive, this is both a necessary and proper venture. However, does it go a good job in that regard and we’re left satisfied in the end of it? Well, yes and no. I’ve never been really gaga about this episode, even if I’m aware of the momentous events occurring in it, and even after so many years since my last watch of it, it still remains.
This is one of the weaker episodes of Escaflowne for me. To be sure, it isn’t TERRIBLE, but after a rather exceptional cliffhanger (which in the original Bandai release bookended Volume 6), it’s underwhelming. Picking up right after her surrender, Murphy’s Law is revived due to Van’s intervention, and messes up Naria and Eriya’s luck, revealing the flaws of the fate alteration experiments. The events of the first few minutes are sortof anticlimactic, not just because of the aforementioned cliffhanger, but also after that Next Episode preview with only one line from Folken: “Why don’t you understand, Van!?”