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VISION OF ESCAFLOWNE #5 - - Watch & Learn

The best STAR WARS movie you never saw?

FULL ADMISSION: I was first introduced to ESCAFLOWNE through the pages of a WIZARD magazine special. I forget what the exact title of it was, but it came out around ’98 and it included a list of “10 Anime You Need to Watch” (presumably after getting drawn into the field by DBZ and POKEMON). Other recommendations included RECORD OF LODOSS WAR and MACROSS PLUS, and the general pitch tactic was to use familiars from Western entertainment as bridge points. Spielberg’s reported love of CASTLE OF CAGLIOSTRO as his “favorite action movie of all time” was brought up for its entry, for example.

ESCAFLOWNE was presented as “the best STAR WARS story you’ve never seen,” and it proved to be an effective hook, because this was the series I sought out before anything else. The broad stroke parallels are certainly there. You’ve got an evil empire, you’ve got your heroes on the run following that evil empire’s eradication of their homeland and - - pertaining most to this episode - - you’ve got a central love triangle that puts a girl between a callow boy with a big destiny and a dashing older man.

Hitomi has nothing in common with Leia except gender, of course, and Allen isn’t much of a scoundrel, so I’d say he’s got less in common with Han Solo; but Van might as described as the hot-blooded Luke Skywalker. While Escaflowne itself isn’t ascribed with too overt of a lineage, it still serves the same Excalibur-like role in this Hero’s Journey as the lightsaber Luke inherits. And you don’t need to stretch your imagination that far to see how his relationship with the fallen Folken echoes the Vader father/son drama (though Folken is a far more… fashionable Sith Lord in this discussion).

Again, as I view this all after so long, these parallels come into sharper focus. I never really bought into the Campbell quest at the age I was at when I reading that mag, but it’s hard to deny now that these reliable, fundamental archetypes tend to resonate for a reason.

Look up this episode, "Seal of Brothers" 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
zaldaron Oct. 28, 2013 at 1 p.m.

Oh yes Cambell hit the nose on the head with his analysis though I think he might have made star wars into a bigger thing than it really should have been.

Marshal Victoryon Oct. 28, 2013 at 1:39 p.m.

Yeah once their on the ship it has that feel. But there is no wookie! So even when star wars it self has a story with no wookie it suffers.Tho i can see some similarities its not the same. Star wars it self has a http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0051808/ among other things in its back ground as well.

Kino88on Oct. 28, 2013 at 6:42 p.m.

I really enjoyed this show quite a bit, though the ending was kind of flat,

I loved its classic romanticism, and that beautiful soundtrack.

also there was a cat girl, which is better than a wookie,

Marshal Victoryon Oct. 28, 2013 at 7:30 p.m.

@Kino88: Hehe .I think wookies would disagree tho. Not sure where Merle in the star wars analogy she would fit.I liked her cat theif an all.In many ways she became a anchor to keep the show from being to dark.

No_name_here staff on Oct. 29, 2013 at 2:49 p.m.

@Marshal Victory said:

Yeah once their on the ship it has that feel. But there is no wookie! So even when star wars it self has a story with no wookie it suffers.Tho i can see some similarities its not the same. Star wars it self has a http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0051808/ among other things in its back ground as well.

Suppose it brings things full circle, having this one be explicitly about samurai in a fantasy feudal kingdom.

@Kino88 said:

I really enjoyed this show quite a bit, though the ending was kind of flat,

I loved its classic romanticism, and that beautiful soundtrack.

also there was a cat girl, which is better than a wookie,

I remember liking the ending when I was 13, but we'll see how much it holds up.

Catgirls are better than Wookies, I agree.

Marshal Victoryon Oct. 29, 2013 at 11:06 p.m.

@No_name_here: Ya i really would like to know how ESCAFLOWNE came about. It never felt like a copied theme but it does share a bit with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Carter_of_Mars_(novel) as well as STAR WARS which really did influance alot of anime ..which was influanced by http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0051808 so ya flull circle an then some.

Then again shonen shares alot of qualities with pulp fiction gene from years gone by.Tho genraly in a much lighter tone..As long as i like the picture i dont care what brushes were used.Would be nice to know the foundations .Good example would be http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O_Brother,_Where_Art_Thou%3FNot which its foundations is the Odyssey.

Dig Deeper into The Vision of Escaflowne

Hitomi,a young high school girl, is transported away from her everyday life to the "mystic moon". She finds herself caught up in a feudal fantasy world on the brink of all out war.

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