The Fate Alteration Engine activates the Zone of Absolute Fortune, causing the sky over Gaea to turn a light green. The Zaibach forces realize what has happened. Dornkirk tells Hitomi that this will grant everyone’s wishes and make them all happy, but Hitomi is skeptical of this prediction. The Zaibach army retreats. However, the leader of the Basram army declares war on the other allied forces, hoping to take over Gaea. The Daedalus, Cesario and other armies do the same and start fighting each other. Allen takes out multiple Guymelefs, realizing what’s happened. Gaddes watches in shock on the Crusade. Suddenly, a Basram ship approaches and slams into the Crusade, causing it to lose a levistone and crash on the rocks below. Van realizes what is happening. Dornkirk tells Hitomi people’s thoughts are causing this to happen. Dilandau arrives and takes out multiple troops. Dornkirk wonders why people can’t escape the fate of war. Hitomi and him are both surprised at what’s happening. Jajuka is unable to find Dilandau, and thinks of when he was placed in charge of taking care of him when he was a little girl, Celena. He takes off to find him. Hitomi asks Dornkirk to stop the machine; he says fate can’t be stopped once started and this must be the fate of Gaea. Van takes out more troops and sees Dilandau. Dilandau attacks Van, but Van chops off his Oreides‘ right arm and leg. Dilandau shoots at him, but Van takes off his other arm. He is about to finish off Dilandau when Jajuka flies in his way and is killed. Before dying, Jajuka tells Dilandau it is alright to turn back into Celena. Shocked, Dilandau remembers when the sorcerers took her away from Jajuka years before and changes back into Celena. Van charges Dilandau, but Allen gets in the way. Allen tells Van that killing Dilandau won’t do any good and tells Van that Dilandau is his sister. Van thinks Allen has gone crazy. They battle, and Van blocks Allen’s attacks. The Crusade crew watches the battle, as does Hitomi. Dornkirk tells her that’s their fate. Van and Allen continue to battle, blocking each other’s attacks. Both look happy battling each other, and Dornkirk says their wishes have been granted. Celena gets out of her Oreides and watches. She thinks of Allen and calls out for him. Allen looks at her and Van is able to strike Scherazade in the head.
Escaflowne‘s sword has gone right through Schezarade’s head. Van sees a vision of Hitomi, who tells him to stop fighting, saying Gaea will end up like Atlantis. Van says he will avenge the death of his brother and save her, but Hitomi says fighting isn’t the answer. Hitomi wonders why Van won’t understand him. She sees Folken, who says when two wishes collide they cause bad things to happen. Hitomi realizes that her wish has bound Van and sees him trapped in a web. The web comes undone as Hitomi says she loves Van. Hitomi stands in a windy field looking at the sun, and Van hears what she is saying. Scherazade collapses and Allen gets out to see his sister. She faints but awakens saying how she wanted to see him. Allen says he heard Hitomi’s voice. Van heads to Zaibach on Escaflowne to get her. Dornkirk realizes that fate can’t be controlled. Hitomi says there is no predetermined fate. Van heads towards Zaibach, but Escaflowne goes out of control. Van flies off of Escaflowne with his wings and heads to Dornkirk’s fortress. Seeing Van’s feathers, the soldiers stop battling each other. Van flies over Zaibach into the fortress. He heads through the light towards Hitomi. Dornkirk says the Atlantis Machine can’t be stopped. Van smashes right through it and Hitomi jumps into his arms. As they fly away, Dornkirk sees how their feelings surpassed fate and vanishes. The Fate Alteration Engine shuts off. The soldiers stand in the battlefield watching. On Earth, a few girls talk and ask Hitomi for a tarot reading, but she says she doesn’t read fortunes anymore. Fanelia is being rebuilt. Hitomi and Van talk at the grave of Van’s family. Van goes to Escaflowne and takes out the energist, and tells Hitomi it will no longer be needed. Hitomi and Van talk and he says they can see each other whenever they share a common feeling. Hitomi gives Van her pendant. They hug while the spirits of Van’s parents, Duke Freid and Marlene, Folken with Naria and Eriya and Balgus watch. The pillar of light appears and Hitomi is sent back to Earth. Merle, Allen, Celena, the Crusade crew, Millerna, Eries, Dryden, Chid and the Mole Man watch and say farewell to Hitomi. On Earth, as girls talk about Amano and Yukari, Hitomi looks over the water and sees Van. She says she’s doing fine.
A great end to a great show. All the loose ends are wrapped up in this episode, including what happens when the Zone of Absolute Fortune is activated, the truth about Dilandau/Celena, and many other things. We also get to see a really good battle between Allen and Van, a matchup we haven’t seen since the third episode. Surprisingly enough Dilandau and Van’s final encounter ends quite quickly, with Van winning easily. The show wraps up quite nice, allowing Hitomi to return to Gaea whenever she wants. A great conclusion. I know the ending is controversial with some fans, since Hitomi went back to Earth, but she still has the ability to return to Gaea whenever she wants. She certainly may see Van again. Rewatching this series for the first time in several years, its place as my favorite anime of all time remains. Having been cut from 39 to 26 episodes in pre-production, Escaflowne packs an intense story and an absurd amount of character development into only 26 episodes. The characterization is handled practically perfectly, the plot is always fast-paced and exciting, and there’s hardly any filler whatsoever. Evangelion, which came out roughly at the same time may get more acclaim, but there’s no doubt in my mind that Escaflowne was the best mecha anime of its era.
Original Review: April 1, 2006