Another added dimension in this revisit...? I have many more shows to compare ESCAFLOWNE to, now.
I’d actually forgotten how much Arabesque influence Gaea has (in parts, anyway), and when I see that stuff mashed up with the more front-facing European and Japanese elements, it’s hard not to think of that recent shonen darling, MAGI. Yes, I’m going to take another opportunity to dog on MAGI. Hopefully we all can learn from its follies, and how it reached, but fell ever so short, of ESCAFLOWNE.
I want to say that MAGI started its enthusiasm-dampening “Balbad” arc at around the eleventh episode, too, and there are several more parallels beyond that. Both shows see their heroes seeking aide in foreign kingdoms, then getting falsely imprisoned because some nefarious influencing is twisting the minds of the kingdoms’ rulers (who also happen to have strained personal ties to one of the leads).
The key difference, of course, is that ESCAFLOWNE keeps this Allen-focused arc concise so it can soon move on to the next conflict that centers on another heroes’ back-story. It doesn’t make us, the viewers, feel like we’re trapped in Freid for the better part of the season. It also makes sure that all four of the main characters have something to contribute, even though the main focus is on Allen. Van takes action against the doppleganger, and learns to tap into the titular “Vision of Escaflowne” along the way, while Hitomi steadily progresses in her abilities as a seer. Even Merle shows a bit of character growth.
There’s no case of Aladdin going into a coma or Morgiana just standing around while Alibaba takes up so much more screentime than he was ever equipped to. More to the point, there’s no thin and vaguely-defined mumbo jumbo. Unlike Care Bear style of nonsense that is the Magoi, the Vision is defined in concise and specific terms that spur Hitomi and Van along into a very dire moral conflict.
And that’s why an 18-year-old show seems far fresher than 12-month-old one.
Look up this episode, "Prophecy of Death" 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|