Whoooo boy… a pager saves Hitomi from the snake man? Yep yep yep. This is a product of the 90’s.
(Not like I ever used a pager anyway. Little Tommy P was definitely too young to use one when they were in vogue. Still rather quaint to think about how useless they look now in comparison to texting...)
Not much else has really dated the series, so far, unless you count the art style. There was an interesting infographic floating around recently that broke down how the rendering style of anime/manga has generally evolved over the decades. We might do a whole Vice Pit on the topic some time, but ESCAFLOWNE does pretty much fit the style ascribed to the 90’s - - especially with the pointy noses and harder lines rendered on the faces.
Maybe it fits into some greater evolutionary scheme, plot wise, too. I’d be curious to figure out what the “magic scissor” of the mid-90’s was, and the heroes of this series don’t really fit into my little screed about shonen heroes last week because this was never strictly a shonen.
However, given my earlier observations about how ESCAFLOWNE seems to be intentionally confounding gender roles, it might actually be a subversion of whatever hero tropes were popular in its time. Van and Allen handle their respective hostage situations in distinctly different ways - - the former cruelly slaying all the bad guys while the latter uses much-less destructive subterfuge and a bit of feminine mystique.
The scene where Allen sees Millerna off with a kiss really puts a point on this for me. Allen is pretty much the model love interest in a shojo female fantasy - - a dashing older man who’s smoothly mastered all the social graces of a gentleman - - while Van is basically the brash shonen male fantasy who has no interest in any of that mushy stuff. I don’t know if the show’s necessarily weaving any point in Hitomi’s ultimate preference of one over the other. It might just be a shrewd scheme to offer identification points for different audiences...?
Look up this episode, " The Day the Angel Flew " and decide for yourself, then read my thoughts on the previous episode here.
About the Author
|Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk|