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What ESCAFLOWNE Demonstrates About Mecha

Episode #7 -- Watch & Learn -- It's about the feels, man.

That’s just your all-purpose castle roof, isn’t it?

First, you’ve got Van and Allen advancing their tense rivalry through a sparring session. Then Millerna strolls in and, after Van politely excuses himself, she tugs at Allen’s heart-strings a bit. Finally, Hitomi peeks in to pine wistfully while her crush seems to be falling into the clutches of the snooty rich girl. All within about five minutes. All around the same spot.

It’s all the stuff of high school silliness, for sure… and that’s exactly why it works.

One thing I’ve learned from watching who-knows-how-many shows for this site, episode-by-episode: no matter how complex a fantasy world gets, it’s often the most basic emotional interest that keeps you coming back each week. Even when I’m watching a show that’s crawling up its own butt with mumbo jumbo, I’ll still be intrigued to keep watching if it’s dangling basic relationship conflicts - - will the girl get the guy? Will the estranged father and son mend fences? -- over all the episodes. They’re some of the easiest buttons to push, sure, but they’re honestly the most effective.

Mech suits might sell figurines, but it’s ‘shipping’ like this (relationships of all types) that honestly hook a premise deep into fans’ headspace. Check out any Tumblr feed or artist alley print rack for proof of that. It's been 15 odd years, and I still think ESCAFLOWNE is so impressive for how it's able to satisfy both interests.

Ask people about the show and they’ll say the Guymelefs are cool, certainly; but they also follow it up with a winsome coo about Hitomi’s romantic misadventures. And that's answer to the question posited in the title here. Who cares about the mechs if we don't care about who's piloting them?

Look up this episode, "City of Intrigue" 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
Marshal Victoryon Nov. 4, 2013 at 2:56 p.m.

Yeah the sword mechs are not the stars of this show. But they are well done.The early suting up sceens really sale the stempunkish style to them .Tho the cloacks are bit odd really .Good place for huge batle banners but their just colors.

What you descirbe about the will it or wont it aspect rings ture to this show but many good long runing anime. From Bleach to Case Closed they have a draw wil they or wont they story hook that keeps the neet other stuff in the back ground.

I prefer my mech shows with the mechs as props not the stars of the show.This show i do consider probly the best sword mech show i have watched with Break Blade right behind it.

Kino88on Nov. 4, 2013 at 8:34 p.m.

I also think this show was worlds better then Eureka Seven, but that's just my take.

also if there was ever a show to make a case for old school anime over modern computer cell animation, this would be a top contender for me, it is just beautiful.

zaldaron Nov. 5, 2013 at 7:41 p.m.

Hmm maybe this is why Gundum doesn't work for me as it doesn't push the feels button just the ohh cool mecha button...?

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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