Spending A Week With Escaflowne

In the modern age of simul-dubs and Crunchyroll streaming, anime fans like myself are being lured to the idea that “new is always better.”

That being said, there are some real treasures in my DVD collection. One of them is The Vision of Escaflowne.

789bcc532d99a9838283315220d6e1b1-robotics-exoFor those not familiar with Escaflowne, it’s a 26-episode fantasy series from Sunrise. It’s also a mech show, which isn’t something that typically happens as a fantasy series. There are also themes of fate and destiny, often portrayed with Tarot cards. Hitomi, the main character, is a high school student and a member of the track squad. She’s played by Maaya Sakamoto in both her second voice role and first musical team-up with Yoko Kanno.

So, what are the big takeaways from watching Escaflowne in the span of a week?

  • A Mech Show Doesn’t Have To Follow A Mech Pilot. Hitomi is not a pilot. She does function as a mystic at times, but she’s our eyes and ears most of all. It’s through her that we see the horrors of war and the growing threat of the technologically advanced Zaibach Empire.
  • Genres Can Clash. Gaia is a fantasy world that can see “the mystic moon” (modern-day Earth). The Zaibach Empire is a science fiction nation. Hitomi is a shojo protagonist. Every element is treated like an essential part of the story, never treating anything like it doesn’t fit in the narrative.
  • Smaller Arcs Can Work. Often there are arcs that cross three or four episodes at a time. Several overlap to make a wider story web–and these are all the secondary plots.

That’s my fast look at the series. I’m thinking about rewatching Outlaw Star or Neon Genesis Evangelion next. Are you watching anything fun?

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