Predictably, the cliffhanger in the last episode is resolved without much fuss by a very effective Van, and thus allows us to delve into the topic of this week’s episode: Fiery passions. Although we’ve seen Hitomi gazing with longing eyes over Allen, it has been left on the backburner for the rather paltry endeavours of rescuing Van and brave escapes. With the inclusion of Princess Millerna to the cast, now comes the complications, and the show goes shoujo on us once again.
I don’t say this as a bad thing, since the first episode did it so well, and Van is too intense on his warrior-ring like so:
If you’ve been paying attention to the show, the revelation in this episode shouldn’t come as a surprise. After mentions from Episode 1 (Van moments before going off to slay some dragons) and Episode 3 (the conversation before meeting with Emperor Dornkirk), it is finally revealed Van and Folken are brothers. The former’s pretty pissed off that the brother he thought died during the very ritual he went through episodes ago is on the other side, and the latter just likes to be enigmatic as all get out because of some big Gaea-saving Plan the dear Emperor has. It cements all those floating bits of info into one of the major conflicts of the show in a natural way that unveils quite a bit but not TOO much.
First off, hard to believe the stupid losers at Saban and Fox would start here when it aired the butchered Escaflowne on Fox Kids. You’d think censorship and it treating you as stupid (what with all the forced flashbacks) is bad, but the worst part is what they did with the music. No they didn’t replace Yoko Kanno’s score; they kept it, but shifted it around so much that it no longer felt right in the very show it was made for. Even worse, they overused the most iconic BGM in the series, and made it legit tiresome to listen to. That’s like… a war crime, man.
To celebrate 20 Years of Escaflowne, I’ll be following the original schedule of the Japanese run and doing weekly write-ups for its episodes. If you’ve been following my Cross Ange and Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans reviews you know what to expect. Also though, expect with each episode an extra section where I cover a memorable piece of music from the series by the legendary Yoko Kanno. Hope you enjoy.