Characters: The Vision of Escaflowne
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Voiced by Maaya Sakamoto (Japanese), Kelly Sheridan (English), Ilaria Latini (Italian), Julia Meynen (German), Pilar Morales (Catalan, series and Spain, movie), and Alma Wilhelme (Latin America)
The heroine and focus character of the series. Hitomi was just a normal high school student with a schoolgirl crush on her track team sempai
Amano when a string of events leaves her stranded on Gaea. To add to her problems, her latent psychic abilities (manifesting before only as hunches and surprisingly accurate Tarot readings) begin to explode in power, frequently barraging her with disturbing images of what is to come.Tropes that apply to Hitomi
- Fainting Seer: A rare case where said character is The Heroine.
- Friendly Rivalry: With Merle.
- Hair Antennae: Symbolizes her sunny disposition (and is not present in The Movie version where she is an Emo Teen, except in a childhood flashback)
- Identical Granddaughter: She and her grandmother Yuri◊ (when the latter was younger, that is) look exactly alike. Appearance-wise, the young Yuri was basically a long-haired Hitomi.
- Interspecies Romance: With Van, since he is a half Draconian.
- Joshikousei: Wears her very cute uniform like, 70% of the time.
- Love Epiphany: After she is briefly sent back to Earth, Hitomi finally realizes that the one she really loves is Van, and a year after has a vision of him.
- Loving a Shadow: Hitomi's crush on Allen is based on the fact that he looks, acts, and even sounds like her beloved Amano-sempai.
- Magic Skirt: The animators were explicitly instructed to keep away from giving her any Panty Shots.
- Memento MacGuffin: Her pendant, given to her by her late grandmother.
- Morality Chain/Living Emotional Crutch: Eventually she becomes this to Van.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: When Millerna asks Hitomi to do a tarot card reading on which man she should marry, she sees that Millerna's marriage to Dryden will go badly while her marriage to Allen will make her happy. Because Hitomi loves Allen too, she uses her power to switch a card (thereby altering fate) and tells Millerna Dryden would be the better choice for her. As a direct consequence of altering fate, the wedding is attacked by Guymelefs and nearly gets the couple killed.
- Ordinary High-School Student: A completely normal schoolgirl who ends up Trapped in Another World.
- Passionate Sports Girl: Subverted, as it's hinted that she joined her school's track team because she had a huge crush on the team captain Susumu Amano. Her running skills do come handy later in the story, though.
- Plucky Girl: Starts as a Girl Next Door, then must develop a stronger will as time passes. Eventually she becomes a textbook example of this trope.
- Power Strain Blackout: Her ability to see into the future, via Tarot Cards, often has this effect on her afterwards. It's eventually revealed that both the duration and the severity of her fainting spells is determined by her emotional state. Meaning, the greater her anxiety, the greater its toll on her following her vision; not to mention the part about her anxiety making those visions come true!
- Protectorate: To Van.
- Say My Name: "VAAAAAAN!"
- School Uniforms are the New Black: She wears her school uniform despite being on a completely different world. Justified in that the only other clothes she has with her are her running clothes.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: When Millerna dolls her up in a dress in Asturia, Van is left dumbstruck.
- Shorttank: Is kinda tomboyish, but not to ladette extremes.
- Spanner in the Works: The only thing that puts the Destiny Prognostication Engine through more hell than the Escaflowne: the love between her and Van.
- Trapped in Another World: She is stuck on Gaea.
- Tsundere: Type B towards Van.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Merle.
- What the Hell, Hero?
- Your Mind Makes It Real: Hitomi's visions are not set in stone — it's her anxiety over them that makes them come true.
Van Slanzar de Fanel
Voiced by Tomokazu Seki (Japanese), Kirby Morrow (English), Fabrizio Manfredi (Italian), Bjorn Schalla (German, Series), Robin Kahnmeyer (German, Movie), Angel de Garcia (Spain, Movie) and Jose Gilberto Vilchis (Latin America)The Hero
, pilot of the Escaflowne
and newly crowned king of the country of Fanelia. Van has the misfortune of having his kingdom burned to the ground on the day of his coronation, and is now forced on the run from the Zaibach Empire.Tropes associated with Van:
- Cain and Abel: With Folken. They make up at the end. And then, Folken dies.
- Cannot Spit It Out: He comes very close to confessing to Hitomi in episode 19...and then he fucks it up. Luckily, he gets it right at the end of the series.
- Declaration of Protection: He swears to protect Hitomi several times.
- Defrosting Ice King: He comes off as aloof and somewhat cold at first. Hitomi defrosts him fast.
- Determinator: "I...I can still fight!"
- Freakiness Shame: He is ashamed of his wings because they marked him as a descendant of the Atlanteans, who are universally disdained in the setting, but Hitomi (who comes from another world altogether) just finds them beautiful.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Half Draconian on his mother's side.
- He Who Fights Monsters: As the series progresses, Van starts cracking from the strain of the Break the Cutie process and gradually goes from a borderline Martial Pacifist to an all-out Blood Knight. Thank God for the Power of Love, or he might have gone off the deep end.
- Hot-Blooded: He's voiced by Tomokazu Seki. What else do you expect.
- Interspecies Romance: With Hitomi, since he is a half Draconian.
- Like Brother and Sister: His stance on his relationship with Merle. Her feelings are clearly beyond that, though.
- Love Hurts: Seeing Hitomi preferring Allen over him deeply hurts him, especially when he sees them kissing.
- Master of the Mixed Message: In episode 19, resulting in an Armor-Piercing Slap from Hitomi.
- Modest Royalty: Or to quote Hitomi, "He's a prince!?"
- Noble Fugitive: Despite being a king, he spends most of the series on the run from the Zaibach empire, who need him so they take control of the Escaflowne themselves. While the royalty of countries like Austuria are at least somewhat sympathetic to his plight, they're not entirely willing to risk their asses by truly granting him refuge.
- Noble Male, Roguish Male: The Roguish Male to Allen's Noble Male.
- Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: If this were the real world, there would have been no chance in hell of Van surviving episode 14, Draconian heritage notwithstanding.
- Parental Abandonment: Father is dead, while his mother disappeared in search of his missing brother.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Borderline. His hair isn't always there, like most examples, but it tends to entirely cover up one of his eyes -like in the picture- more often than not.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Official sources list him as 165 cm and 51 kg (5'5" and 112 lbs, just about) — in other words, absolutely tiny. He is introduced killing a dragon the size of a small building in single combat.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Allen's blue. It's even Color-Coded for Your Convenience.
- Say My Name: "HITOMIIIII!"
- Screaming Warrior: The inevitable result of letting Tomokazu "THIS HAND OF MINE GLOWS WITH AN AWESOME POWER!" Seki voice your Humongous Mecha pilot.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps: Thanks to his minimal shirt.
- Spanner in the Works: The Escaflowne's existence plays absolute hell on the Zaibach Empire's Destiny Prognostication Engine, which is why they're investing so much into capturing both it and it's pilot.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: Comes off as this at first.
- Synchronization: Halfway through the series, Van applies Hitomi's dowsing technique to gain more control over the Escaflowne. Unfortunately for him, the link works both ways — mentally and physically.
- Unstoppable Rage: Van just goes utterly apeshit on the Dragonslayers in the 14th episode.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: TV Van is not a case of this, despite the frequent Clothing Damage. Movie Van, on the other hand...
- Warrior Prince: You are not allowed to be King of Fanelia until you kick dragon ass in single combat. This is precisely what Van does in the first episode.
- Winged Humanoid: Due to being a Half-Human Hybrid of the Draconian race, Van has wings that he can "summon" when he needs to.
Voiced by Shinichiro Miki (Japanese), Brian Drummond (English), Peter Fletchner (German), and Óscar Flores (Latin America)
A member of the Knight Caeli that happens to bear an uncanny resamblance to Hitomi's crush, Amano. Allen is the sole, impeccable gentleman among a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits
that guard one of Asturia's outposts. Despite his near perfect outward appearance and demeanor, he's hiding quite a number of abandonment issues just below the surface.
And yes, the Goliath's hero unit in Starcraft
is named after him.Tropes associated with Allen:
- Badass: Among the biggest ones in the series.
- Badass Crew: He is the Captain of one.
- Betty and Veronica: The Betty to Van's Veronica for Hitomi's Archie.
- Big Brother Instinct: Allen has a thing for attaching himself to barely legal ingenues out of misplaced filial instinct.
- Bishōnen: Even prettier than Van, and that says someting
- Calling the Old Man Out: Allen wants to do this to Leon, his Disappeared Dad. Turns out Leon was Dead All Along.
- The Casanova: He even has the bastard son to prove it though he doesn't seem to do it on purpose; he just has a tendency to fall for women he can never be with, even if they do reciprocate, which they usually do.
- Chekhov M.I.A.: Both his father and little sister. His father Leon was Dead All Along, and his little sister Selena was forcibly turned into Dilandau.
- Chick Magnet: ... How many girls
- Daddy Issues
- Disappeared Dad: Turns out that he was Dead All Along.
- He also is one to Prince Chid, though it's likely Chid doesn't know it.
- Doppelgänger Replacement Love Interest: Hitomi feels attracted to him because his incredible resemblance to her sempai.
- Failure Knight: For not protecting his mom and Selena, and later for what happened between him and Marlene.
- Giant Poofy Sleeves: Contrasting with Van's chronical lack of sleeves
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Certainly a noble and knightly kind of character. He has a bit of trouble with the chaste part of the trope though.
- Knight in Shining Armor: From start to finish. He always does the right thing, even when it hurts.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Just look at his picture!
- Loving a Shadow: He's not looking for love so much as for a Replacement Goldfish for his missing younger sister.
- May-December Romance: Both legs of his Love Triangle are only 15. Allen? He's 21. (Justified as this is normal on Gaea, which is in a state much like Medieval Europe.)
- Noble Male, Roguish Male: The Noble Male to Van's Roguish Male.
- Officer and a Gentleman: A well-spoken, clean-shaved gentleman commanding a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits.
- Out of Focus: In the movie he is downplayed to a secondary character and the Love Triangle between him, Van and Hitomi is nonexistent.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Van's red.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: His reason for leaving his post as a Knight Caeli and accompanying Van and Hitomi.
- Stay in the Kitchen: He seems rather chauvinistic at times to Princess Millerna and Hitomi, though this is somewhat explained through his traumatic backstory in which his mother died of a broken heart and his sister disappeared.
Voiced by Ikue Otani (Japanese), Jocelyne Loewen (English), Christin Marquitan (German), and Claudia Mota (Latin America)
Van's closest, and clingiest
friend. She has quite the love-hate relationship with Hitomi, thanks to Van's feelings for herTropes associated with Merle:
- Cat Girl: She has cat ears and a tail.
- Childhood Friend Romance: She's a friend of Van's since early childhood, and makes no secret of the fact she's got a crush on him. Unfortunately for her, Van only views her as family.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: The main reason she's so hostile towards Hitomi, in the beginning, is because she's afraid she'll try and steal Van from her. Which she sort of does, but unintentionally.
- Cute Little Fangs: So cute.
- Dark-Skinned Redhead: Sorta, her fur is rather dark.
- Friendly Rivalry: With Hitomi.
- Genki Girl: Though not incapable of being serious.
- Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: When Merle manages to (literally) slap Hitomi and (not-so-literally) Van out of a dark vision, which saves their lives.
- The Glomp: On Van.
- Going Commando: Merle doesn't wear underwear, a fact that is shown quite often.
- Hopeless Suitor: To Van.
- If You Ever Do Anything To Hurt Him...: Merle begins taking this approach after it becomes obvious that Van is in love with Hitomi. Her anger at Hitomi in the second half of the series isn't because Van likes her more, but because Hitomi's Love Triangle indecisiveness is hurting him.
- Interspecies Romance: Wants this with Van.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: She eventually accepts the fact Van loves Hitomi and backs off.
- Morality Pet: Shares this role with Hitomi to Van.
- Mouthy Kid: She always has her heart on her sleeve... and that's not necessarily a good thing.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Merle's straightforward and child-like personality provides some... funny moments.
- Rose-Haired Sweetie: She has pink hair and is very energetic. She also fits the Fiery Redhead variety.
- Third-Person Person: In the original at times.
- Token Mini-Moe: She's just 12-13, so...
- Token Nonhuman: A Cat Girl traveling alongside humans, except Van isn't quite human either.
- Victoria's Secret Compartment: She uses her cleavage to store several of Hitomi's belongings in episode 8.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Hitomi.
- You Gotta Have Pink Hair
Princess Millerna Sarah Aston
Voiced by Mayumi Iizuka (Japanese), Venus Terzo (English), Antje von der Ahe (German) and Martha Ceceña (Latin America)
The youngest princess of Asturia who happens to be quite smitten with Allen, but betrothed to Dryden Fassa. Millerna is not quite comfortable being royalty, particularly since it she was forced to abandon her medical studies because of it.Tropes associated with Millerna
Voiced by Jurota Kosugi (Japanese), Michael Dobson (English), Stefan Gossler (German), and Jorge Ornelas (Latin America)
Millerna's fiance. A brilliant and successful merchant with a frank, laid-back demeanor and a massive generosity streak.Tropes associated with Dryden:
- Arbitrarily Large Bank Account: The repair bill for Escaflowne? 50 million, which one of the crew calculates is equivalent to two thousand years worth of their salaries. Dryden casually offers his entire fleet, causing his assistant to choke and sputter that the fleet is worth at least ten times that.
- Arranged Marriage: With Millerna.
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Played with. He and Millerna are a mild version of Belligerent Sexual Tension. They grow fond of each other as the series advances. At the end, Dryden decides he cares for Millerna, and might be in love with her, but after their disastrous wedding, he feels he still has to work hard to become truly worthy of marrying a girl like her.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: To a very mild degree, with Millerna.
- Bishōnen: Normally a borderline case, due to facial hair and overall unkempt appearance. But on his Wedding Day (clean-shaven, no glasses, Nice Hat, etc.) he's a classic example.
- Brutal Honesty: Dude never sugarcoats his words.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Establishing Character Moment: His first scene is in his airship. He's had an entire swimming-pool-sized aquarium installed in his room... so can romance the mermaid he freed and is transporting back to her home.
- Guile Hero: Very kind-hearted and rich, but also very cynical and manipulative when needed. See how he completely owned Allen with words alone and how he dealt with the creators of Escaflowne and got them to fix it, thus saving Van's life.
- Insecure Love Interest: Dryden gives Millerna back the wedding ring after their disastrous wedding, claiming that he's not worthy of her quite yet.
- Insufferable Genius: He is quite aware of how awesome he is, and is quick to point it out.
- Intrepid Merchant: To the T.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Abrasive, hedonistic, kinda selfish. Also generous, kindhearted and quick-thinking.
- Lennon Specs: In a medieval-like environment.
- Mad Corrupt Corporate Executive's Handsome Son: Dryden's father makes an appearance before him in episodes 6 and 7, where he pays to have Hitomi kidnapped. Dryden thankfully doesn't take after him in any way.
- Merchant Prince: He used his vast fortunes to secure a place at the Asturian court and now uses his political connections to gain even more money.
- Perma Stubble: For the most part until the botched wedding episode where he, surprisingly, looked quite dashing. Seriously, who would've thought?
- Rich Idiot with No Day Job: Dryden seems at first to be one of these. But is quite smarter than he looks.
- The Team Benefactor: An Intrepid Merchant, with zero fighting skills, who manages to join Hitomi and Van's little gang by providing funding (read: an ungodly sum of money) for the eponymous mech's mid-season repairs.
Voiced by Tessho Genda (Japanese), Don Brown (English), and Thomas Kastner (German)
One of the "three master swordsmen of Gaea" and Van's retainer/surrogate father. Balgus dies while covering Van's escape from Fanelia, but he nonetheless shows himself to be a major influence on both Van and
Allen in the past.Tropes associated with Balgus:
Voiced by Masato Yamanouchi (Japanese), Richard Newman (English), Horst Lampe (German), and Federico Romano (Latin America)
Emperor of the Zaibach empire. Through Atlantean technology and a Magitek
device known as Destiny Prognostication Engine, Dornkirk seeks to create a future for Gaea free of war — Even if it means burning down a city-state every now and thenTropes that apply to Dornkirk
Voiced by Minami Takayama (Japanese), Andrew Francis (English), Laura Lenghi (Italian), Claudia Urbschat-mingues (German), Albert Trifol Segarra (Spain, Movie), and Victor Ugarte (Latin America)
A complete and absolute psycho
, Dilandau is the man put in charge of capturing Van and the Escaflowne. He his happy to oblige to this order — provided he gets to blow a lot of shit up on the way.Tropes that apply to Dilandau
- Char Clone: An Ax-Crazy variant. He acts as The Rival to Van and even Allen to an extent, pilots custom red Guymelefs, and turns out to be Allen's little sister Celena. Basically, imagine if it was Sayla Mass who went nuts.
- Cosmic Retcon: This is basically what Fate Alteration does: it turns you into a totally different person, physically and mentally.
- Crossdressing Voices: Voiced by a woman in the Japanese version and several other language dubs. And actually subverted.
- Dawson Casting: At the time the English dub of the show was first produced, Dilandau's English voice actor, Andrew Francis, was the only actor to avert this, though whether his voice actually suits the character or not is still debatable to this day. His voice changes for the better in the movie.
- The Dragon: To Folken in the movie.
- Evil Albino: Seems at first like a straight example but then played with since his coloring seems to be the result of the Fate Alteration experiments.
- Fan Nickname: Quite a few, both in the show and out, from the civilized and fitting "The Diabolical Adonis" (It's one of the episode titles for crying out loud!) to stuff that's just childish and downright silly, like "Dilly" (it even rhymes with silly!).
- Freak Out: The Break the Haughty process somehow manages to make Dilandau even more fucked up. He spends several episodes freaking out in epic and continuous ways.
- Gender Bender: He's actually a girl named Selena Schezar that was mutated by Zaibach's fate alteration machines.
- A Glass of Chianti: Has a taste for red wine.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: His henchmen quickly learn that it doesn't take much to wind up on the receiving end of a beatdown from him.
- Hates Being Alone: The sole idea of being alone makes him more crazy than he already is.
- Karma Houdini: In The Movie.
- Laughing Mad: When killing and destroying, he has an Evil Laugh that would make The Joker himself proud.
- Long-Lost Relative: He is Allen's sister Celena Schezar.
- Meaningful Name: The name "Dilandau" is a pretty clear nod to Durandal, the legendary sword tainted with a curse of insanity to prevent it from being wielded by the wrong hands.
- Mid Series Upgrade: Well, more like end-of-series upgrade, but. He upgrades to a Guymelef called the Oreides four episodes from the end of the series. It appears to be a souped-up, stylized Alseides with dual flamethrowers/even more liquid metal claws (his only remaining soldier Jajuka also receives one, albeit in rank-and-file blue). In an aversion to this trope, however, the Oreides doesn't appear to do him much good, due to his increasingly-unstable nature, at least against main characters. Van pretty much takes it apart during the final battle with Escaflowne.
- Minor Injury Overreaction: Dilandau has what has got to be the most epic freak out ever over the cheek scar Van gave him.
- Moral Myopia: Only Dilandau's allowed to fuck with Dilandau's Dragonslayers, understand?
- No Pronunciation Guide: How do you pronounce his last name?
- The Ophelia: Becomes a male version post Freak Out. Then again, he is actually female...
- The Power of Friendship: The only thing keeping him sane. Yes, that is his sane mode. He might beat the shit outta the Dragonslayers, but if one of them is wronged by somebody else, the attacker will DIE. Just as a certain Master of Disguise.
- Psycho Supporter: To the Zaibach empire.
- Psychotic Smirk: One of his default expressions.
- Pyro Maniac: "BURN BURN BURN!"
- Quirky Miniboss Squad: His Dragonslayers.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: And they even seem to glow when he's feeling especially Ax-Crazy.
- Scars Are Forever: Maybe they wouldn't be if he'd stop scratching at it.
- Self-Harm: Has a tendency to pick at the cut on his face and reopen it, despite being warned that this will slow the healing. The Mook who first points this out to him promptly gets backhanded.
- Sissy Villain: But there's a very good reason for that.
- Slasher Smile: His other default expression.
- Slouch of Villainy: Does this whenever he's at his home base, usually while brooding.
- The Sociopath: Seems like a straight example at first, but after the loss of the Dragon Slayers he's shown repeating their names to himself sadly, and then we find out who he really is and how he got that way.
- Sociopathic Soldier: To an ungodly degree.
- Tykebomb: Dilandau is what you get when you kidnap innocent little girls, like Selena Schezar, and put them through Fate Alteration experiments.
- Undying Loyalty: Despite his horrendous treatment of the Dragon Slayers, they're devoted enough to him that their spirits show up to try and stop Van from killing him even after they all die.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Dilandau used to be a sweet little girl by the name of Selena Schezar.
- Villainous Breakdown: When all the Dragon Slayers are killed.
- Vocal Evolution: The movie was dubbed after the TV series, not surprisingly. But if you watch both the series and the movie in English, you'll notice it within seconds of movie Dilandau's appearance.
- White Hair, Black Heart
Folken Lacour de Fanel
Voiced by Joji Nakata (Japanese), Paul Dobson (English), Sergio de Stefano (Italian), Bernd Vollbrecht (German), and Jorge Santos (Latin America)
Van's long-missing brother. After his dissappearence ten years ago, Van finds his brother — only to find that he's serving as The Dragon
in Emperor Dornkirk's plans.Tropes that apply to Folken
Voiced by Kouji Tsujitani (Japanese) and Scott McNeil (English)
A soldier in the Zaibach troops, and a very special one. First, he's an anthropomorphic canine of sorts, having the looks of a dog (more seemingly, an Afghan hound.
Second, he took care of little Selena Schezar in her early Zaibach days, and was a sort of Big Brother Mentor to her.
Jajuka feels horrendously guilty because he was powerless to save Selena from the horrid treatment that turned her into Dilandau
, and becomes Dilandau
's follower in hopes that he'll be able to fix his error someday...
- Animal Motifs: He has the face and head of a dog, is also loyal and devoted as a well-trained one.
- Chekhov's Gunman: We see him first during Dilandau/Selena's brief stunt as The Ophelia. Later, he reappears with a vengeance.
- Failure Knight: Jajuka feels horrendously guilty because he was powerless to save Selena from the horrid treatment that turned her into Dilandau
- Gentle Giant
- Half-Human Hybrid
- Heroic Sacrifice: Shields Dilandau in the middle of the final battle, and dies begging him to become Selena again. His death triggers Dilandau's last Villainous Breakdown... and switches him back to Selena, the gentle girl he used to be.