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Episode 5: The Seal of the Brothers

 

Review by Brian Shea

Original Review: April 1, 2006
New Review: September 5, 2014

 

Summary

 

The Zaibach Guymelefs pursue Escaflowne in the air. Dilandau shoots at Van multiple times and hits him. Escaflowne transforms back into its humanoid form and lands on the ground. The Zaibach Guymelefs land right in front of him and become invisible. Van, not being able to see them can do nothing. Suddenly, Escaflowne is held from behind by one of the invisible Guymelefs. Dilandau removes the stealth cloak for his Guymelef revealing it to be right in front of Escaflowne. Dilandau pounds on Escaflowne with his Guymelef's fists until it collapses. Folken above in the Vione tells him to stop and bring Escaflowne aboard as they need the pilot alive. Later, the passengers of the Crusade fly to where Van was captured but see only flames. Allen is confident that they will not kill Van, but everyone on board still wants to attack the floating fortress. Hitomi says that she can find out where Van is using her abilities, but no one believes her. She asks Allen to test her so she can prove herself. Meanwhile, the Vione hides in a nearby crater hidden by numerous floating rocks called Levistones. A few Guymelefs are sent out to find the Crusade. Folken and Dilandau walk up to Escaflowne. Folken cuts his finger with his sword and puts his hand on the crystal on Escaflowne's chest. This causes Escaflowne to release Van. Van falls to the floor unconscious. Dilandau recognizes him from before and Folken tells him that Van is the king of Fanelia. The Zaibach pursuit units fly over a nearby cliff, not noticing Crusade, which is being repaired below. Inside, Hitomi does a tarot card reading, seeing things about Allen's father, whom Allen hates and blames for abandoning his family, and she says in the near future Allen might see him again. Hitomi gets nervous, thinking Allen is angry, but he says she can stop, she has passed the test. He pulls out a map and asks her to tell him where Van is. Van wakes up in a dark room where Folken is whistling a song of Fanelia. Noticing his sword on the table, Van grabs it and demands to be taken to Escaflowne. Folken says he can't escape, so Van tries to kill himself by slitting his throat with his sword. Folken knocks the sword out of his hand. He then removes his cloak and shirt, revealing a fake arm and wings. Van looks in shock, realizing that Folken is his brother.

 

Hitomi tries to find the Floating Fortress on a map to no avail. Meanwhile, Van demands to know why his brother abandoned his country and then destroyed it. Folken doesn't answer any of his questions, but tells him to come see Emperor Dornkirk. He knocks Van out by pricking his neck with one of his mechanical fingers. Hitomi has no luck finding the floating fortress until Merle gives her the bandage Van put on her before. With that, she is able to find its location, in a mountain range where levistones gather. After hearing this Hitomi passes out. Inside the Vione, Dilandau walks up to Escaflowne and holds his hand up to the crystal on its chest, wondering how Folken was able to open it. At that very moment, the Crusade flies over the crater and descends. Inside, Dilandau touching the energist causes a reaction, shaking the Floating Fortress and waking Van. The Crusade approaches and anchors itself to the Vione. The men run onboard and battle with Zaibach soldiers. Van listens, puzzled in his room. Most of the Zaibach troops are defeated. Allen makes his way to Escaflowne and is attacked by Shesta. Allen easily overtakes him and has him bring him to Van. Hitomi and Merle are onboard the Crusade when suddenly Hitomi has a vision of Dilandau attacking Van from behind. Allen opens the door to Van's room and they escape. Hitomi looks over the six meter gap between the Fortress and Crusade and decides to jump over it despite Merle's warnings. She is successful and heads to warn Van and makes it to the hangar right after Van. Folken, on the platform above throws Van's sword down to him and leaves. Dilandau approaches Van from behind and Hitomi yells out to warn him and Van blocks. After exchanging blows a few times, Van hits Dilandau in the face with his sword. As Dilandau falls to the ground crying, Van and Hitomi escape. Allen and the others get back onto Crusade and they escape as Dilandau and Folken watch. Van thanks everyone for rescuing him. Allen says to head for Palas, capital of Asturia, as Van looks angrily at his sword.

 

Commentary

 

A really good episode, one of the best of the early ones in the series. The episode holds some nostalgia for me as it was the first episode of Escaflowne I ever saw, back when it aired on FOX Kids in the summer of 2000. It was easily enough to get me hooked on the show. In addition to containing some exciting action sequences, the episode contains a lot of important events such as Hitomi convincing Allen and the others of her ability to see the future and Dilandau receiving a scar on his face from Van that will cause him to become obsessed with getting revenge. The biggest however is the plot twist that Folken is Van's long lost brother. Unfortunately the scene is a bit marred in the dub where Folken calls Van brother far before revealing that he has wings, and Van has no reaction to it until that reveal.

 

Overall Rating

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Escaflowne Episode 5 Escaflowne Episode 5

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Buy the collection (eps 1-13) on Blu-ray/DVD from Amazon

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