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Episode 18: Gravity of Destiny

 

Review by Brian Shea

Original Review: April 1, 2006
New Review: September 11, 2014

 

Summary

 

Van's mother tells him his wishes will determine the future of Gaea and flies away, leaving an energist. Escaflowne's chest crystal glows as does the energist in his hand. A pillar of light appears around Hitomi and Escaflowne, transporting them away. Allen runs into the pillar of light and vanishes too. In Emperor Dornkirk's fortress, various scientists work and report to Dornkirk. Dornkirk says the day he has awaited for has arrived and says to redirect destiny. They do so and energy from all of the Zaibach capital causes the city to glow. Suddenly, the room grows dark as Hitomi, Allen and Van appear below on a lower level. Van runs up to Escaflowne but is unable to open the cockpit. They look up at the Destiny Prognostication Engine and wonder where they are. The floor below them rises up to the level where Dornkirk sits and he comes into view. Dornkirk introduces himself to them, and they realize they are in Zaibach. Van angrily draws Allen's sword, wishing to kill Dornkirk. Dornkirk says if Van was to kill him, it wouldn't do any good and that there would continue to be conflicts on Gaea. Dornkirk tells them he has the ability to predict destiny just like those from Atlantis did. Hitomi asks Dornkirk if he is Isaac and Dornkirk says that was his name on Earth. Allen mentions his father and Dornkirk realizes Allen is Leon's son. Dornkirk says he'll complete the Atlantis machine. Hitomi asks Dornkirk why he came to Gaea and blames him for all its problems. Dornkirk says battles and death would have been here even without him. He says he was puzzled by a question back on Earth, involving gravity. He wondered why it existed. He talks of destiny. He wondered what destiny was and of its principles. He spent all his time studying it but couldn't find the answer. As he lay on his death bed he still wished to know the principle of destiny. Dornkirk awoke in Gaea, where there was barren soil and weather. Civilizations were scarce, and people were in constant fear of invasion. Dornkirk figured that he came here to help them. He taught the people science and the nation of Zaibach was formed. He also taught people to create their own fate instead of waiting for invasion and the Zaibach military was formed. He says he then came to hear about Atlantis and their ability to create their own destiny. He says he has finally built a device to create destiny.

 

Dornkirk speaks how the Atlanteans created their own fate and created Gaea. Dornkirk said to find the power of Atlantis he had to find the power spot under Freid, and then Escaflowne, which is also required has now come into his grasp. Dornkirk says his invention to create fate, the Fate Alteration Engine has been completed. Hitomi thinks of all the deaths and hardships caused by Zaibach and says he was wrong. Dornkirk says that sacrifice was needed to accomplish their goals and that happiness for everyone will be created through his efforts. Hitomi says he's wrong, has a vision of the world blowing up around her and faints. Meanwhile, Millerna and Dryden look over the horizon on the Crusade. Dryden doesn't seem overly concerned about the others and says they are returning to Asturia. Meanwhile in Zaibach, the sorcerers analyze Escaflowne wishing to find out its secret, and desire to keep ahead of Folken. Hitomi wakes up in a cage; Allen and Van are in their own cages next to her. Hitomi tells them of her vision of the world blowing up; they question whether it was the destruction of Atlantis, but based on the size may think it's a possible fate for Gaea. Van thinks that if the Fate Alteration Engine is activated Gaea may be destroyed. Suddenly, Van starts clutching his heart as the sorcerers start tinkering with Escaflowne. Hitomi touches him and senses what's happening. She says that his desire could reach Escaflowne and control it from where he is. Hitomi says she'll help him despite the risk to herself. They hold hands and try to control Escaflowne. Dornkirk watches from but the vision of it suddenly goes away. Hitomi starts feeling the pain and tells Van to control Escaflowne. Suddenly, Escaflowne starts moving and pushes away the platforms around it. Escaflowne transforms into its dragon-mode and flies away. Dornkirk, watching, wonders if Hitomi has anything to do with this. Escaflowne breaks into the room where the cages are, enabling Van, Hitomi and Allen to escape. As they start flying away on Escaflowne, a Zaibach Guymelef appears in front of them. Allen and Hitomi hop off as Escaflowne fights them. Van tells them to go to the roof. Van finishes off the Guymelef in front of him and starts battling some others along with it. Dornkirk is able to see Hitomi and Allen again and watches them run through the halls. Allen attacks various soldiers and Hitomi senses which way to go with their pendant. They reach the roof of the building and look over at Zaibach. Hitomi wonders if the people of Zaibach are truly happy. Soldiers show up just and Allen is about to fight them when Van shows up in Escaflowne. Allen and Hitomi jump on Escaflowne and it flies away. A number of Guymelefs start flying after Escaflowne, about to attack. Van shouts out for Escaflowne to go faster and it transforms, quickly fleeing from the enemy. Watching, Dornkirk realizes Hitomi is the key to everything and that he must separate her and Van. Escaflowne passes by the Vione and Folken watches. As soon as it reaches a safe distance Escaflowne reverts to its regular dragon form. Hitomi thinks of Dornkirk, a man from the Mystic Moon.

 

Commentary

 

Yet another really strong episode, which brings us to the heart of Zaibach. It is interesting to finally get an episode located there after all this time. We learn a lot about Emperor Dornkirk including his past, how he got to Gaea and what he hopes to accomplish. Rather than doing evil deeds just for the sake of being evil, Dornkirk believes that he can redirect destiny in such a fashion to cause happiness for everyone, although he doesn't care about the bad things that must come to accomplish this. It is also an interesting reveal that Emperor Dornkirk is the famous historical figure Isaac Newton. One would never think that a historical figure such as he would end up being the main villain of an anime. After a short battle scene near the end our heroes are able to escape from Zaibach, bringing this part of the show to a close. Now that Dornkirk is aware of the power that Hitomi possesses his plans are bound to change.

 

Overall Rating

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Escaflowne Episode 18 Escaflowne Episode 18

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Buy the collection (eps 14-26) on Blu-ray/DVD from Amazon

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