How to participate in the liveblog chat:
Option 1: Whenever you watch the episode, comment on this post as you watch with whatever responses you feel like posting!
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Chatlog below the cut!
01[14:00] I have yet to get over how fantastic this opening is.
[14:00] Ohhhh yeah
01[14:00] Hey, I now know some of these people!
[14:00] There’s still a couple we haven’t met yet…
01[14:00] I can’t actually remember their names, but I now recognize blonde guy and the prince and Merle.
01[14:00] Okay, I can remember Merle’s name.
[14:01] Allen and Van
[14:01] (also, Van’s king now, remember)
01[14:01] Oh, and also the green-haired guy and the Cliche Effeminate Villain BEcause Homophobia.
[14:01] King of ashes
01[14:01] Van and Allen are pretty much both kings of ashes at this point.
[14:02] In the dub, Dilandau’s voice sounded like a 10-year-old kid… which I think is a great interpretation of his character
01[14:02] It is!
[14:03] He’s just a little boy frying ants with a magnifying glass, kinda like Kefka
01[14:03] Also, I like that despite very obviously being The Super Mecha of Prophecy Escaflowne doesn’t actually have an easy time in every battle.
[14:03] Oh, they used the stealth cloaks effectively
01[14:03] Mostly due to Van’s incompetence.
[14:03] “I can’t STAND that heroic crap!” Best line ever
01[14:04] I will admit, the flying fortress design is seriously metal.
[14:04] What’s on fire? It’s all rock
[14:04] Oh well
01[14:04] Some rocks can burn!
01[14:04] That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
[14:04] “Tough?” Allen has a gift for understatement
[14:05] Ah, Hitomi actually USING her fortune-telling abilities in a creative way!
01[14:05] Did he LITERALLY just pat her on the head and then tell her to leave it up to the menfolk?
01[14:05] Fuck you Allen.
01[14:06] Drag the *what* out of there?
[14:06] Folken has eye shadow, I just noticed
01[14:06] Oh, they mean Van.
01[14:07] I thought there was, like, a component of it called “samurai.”
[14:07] She called him a Samurai, probably because she doesn’t know better
[14:07] Ah, notice how Folken can activate Escaflowne?
01[14:07] Yep. Is he the long-lost brother?
[14:07] Wait, Dilandau didn’t even know who was in there?
[14:07] Rhetorical spoiler question
[14:07] I’d forgotten that
[14:08] It could be a cold reading… his daddy issues are pretty easy to diagnose
[14:09] So much for his “leave it up to the menfolk” schtick
[14:09] Anything to avoid having to talk about my feelings!
01[14:09] Yeah, they should have had her do it for a crewmember she’d never met and couldn’t see.
01[14:10] “Because I’m your long-lost brother.”
[14:10] Van doesn’t recognize him because it’s been like 10 years
01[14:10] da FUQ?
[14:11] Ooh, angel wings!
01[14:11] Oh, now Van recognizes him.
[14:11] Eeyup, that’s their family secret
01[14:11] “Did I not mention my brother had FUCKING WINGS?”
[14:11] Oh, Van has them too… that was Hitomi’s premonition in the first (or second) episode
[14:11] We just thought it was a metaphor then
01[14:11] Okay, that’s crossing into spoiler country Sylo.
[14:12] Well, Hitomi already saw it in her premonition, so… but anyway, sorry
01[14:12] Yeah, btu I (a) thoguht it was a metaphor and (b) forgot it, so.
01[14:12] Also, agreed: ouch.
[14:12] Why did Folken drug him? He’d been unconscious until two minutes ago anyway
01[14:12] Because that’s what villains do.
[14:13] (Allen is a douche, but I do like how he learns fast and changes his tune)
01[14:13] WOW, that’s the most annoying noise Merle’s made yet.
[14:13] Dilandau, don’t touch that
[14:14] (but of course, he will, since he’s an angry child who needs to touch everything)
[14:15] The rescue sequence begins!
01[14:15] Okay, Allen’s plane is fucking awesome.
[14:15] Yeah… it’s one of the best fantasy airships ever
[14:16] So, they’re both knights AND sky pirates, IE, the best of both tropes
[14:16] Ah, of course, Mole Man is looting the place
[14:16] WHOA… four with one shot!
[14:16] That dude gets owned again!
[14:17] Yeah… Dilandau’s henchmen are wimps
01[14:17] NO Hitomi.
[14:17] Oh, here it comes…
[14:17] I guess anyone who wasn’t the type to get pushed around all the time would just be murdered or something
[14:17] True, Arrlaari…
01[14:17] Hitomi! No!
01[14:18] THIS IS A BAD PLAN
[14:18] Well, we already knew she could run the 100m in ten flat…
01[14:18] Fuck that’s a logn long-jump for a high school kid.
[14:18] Ahahah, Merle’s reaction
[14:19] Ahahah… that’s how Hitomi finds out
[14:19] Ooh, Folken gives him his sword
01[14:19] Ah, a classic, the face-cut.
01[14:20] Van now has an enemy for life.
01[14:20] Well, one of their lives.
[14:20] Ohhhhhh yeah
[14:20] Facial scars are a permanent grudge
[14:20] (of course, Dilandau is pretty much everyone’s enemy for one of their lives)
01[14:20] Doubly so if you’re a villain stereotype rooted in homophobia.
01[14:21] (Not letting that go, btw.)
[14:21] (I am bravely resisting the urge to disclose another spoiler re: that)
01[14:21] Okay, so, that was still pretty darn cliche, but also *really fun*.
01[14:22] And Allen’s airship has, in a single episode, jumped into the ranks of the all-time greats along with things like the FFV airship, the Epoch, and Flammie.
[14:22] And the Falcon
[14:22] I find it notable that Hitomi had to do something brave and athletic in order to get into position to deliver her warning
01[14:23] Was the Falcon the one with the crane or the drill?
01[14:23] Indeed, that was nice Arrlaari.
[14:23] The Falcon was Daryl’s airship in FFVI
01[14:23] Oh, I was thinking FFIV.
[14:23] I thought Millenium Falcon
01[14:23] They’re both named for it, Arrlaari.
[14:23] (maybe there was one in FFIV named the Falcon? I forget, it’s been a while since I played FFIV)
01[14:24] The two main airships you get in FFIV are the Enterprise and the Falcon.
01[14:24] The Falcon in VI was mostly interesting for the circumstances in which you get it, it was a pretty generic Final Fantasy airship otherwise.
[14:24] Well, I attached such emotional strength to it, it made it more awesome
[14:25] (the Blackjack, its predecessor, had a casino)
01[14:25] Oh sure, I can understand that, getting it is one of the all-time great moments in the series.
01[14:25] Anyway, regardless, we are all agreed that Allen’s is among the great airships?
[14:25] Ohhhhhh yeah
[14:25] They did some pretty cool moves this episode
[14:25] I haven’t played a lot of Final Fantasies so I’m not familiar with the competition
[14:26] Hitomi’s crazy-awesome long jump, and the fight scenes were pretty epic too
[14:26] It’s notable that although Folken didn’t die hunting the dragon, he did lose an arm
01[14:26] Wait, he did?
01[14:27] I didn’t even notice, he keeps them under that cloak all the tiem!
[14:27] He has a prosthetic now
[14:27] Yeah… you saw his metal arm
[14:27] and I presume that he lost hte original to the dragon
01[14:27] Oh, I must have missed it/assumed it was some sort of armor.
[14:27] Taking the cloak off was a Big Moment
[14:27] so I noticed that the skin around his shoulder has burn scars
[14:27] Yeah, it introduced the angel wings
01[14:27] Oh wait, that’s what the rivets on his shoulder were!
01[14:28] I just thought he was being badass. “Look at me, I screwed bits of metal into my chest.”
01[14:28] A silly thought, in hindsight.
[14:28] And then they showed off the drug needle in one of his fingers
01[14:28] Also I thought the claws he injected the poison with were some kind of glove, but that’s his robot hand, isn’t it?
01[14:28] Makes MUCH more sense now.
[14:28] Anyway, Folken being Van’s brother was spoiled by the preview at the end of last episode
01[14:28] Glad I skipped it.
[14:29] That is a thing I think one should keep out of previews
01[14:30] BTW, going back to earlier comment from Sylocat: Total agreement on Hitomi’s long-jump. She has to use both her mystical and physical skills to save the boy, which is still fairly rare for a female character.
01[14:30] It helps keep her from being a standard-issue Staff Chick.
[14:30] And they went to the effort of establishing early that she’s a track & field star
[14:30] Hitomi still seems ahead of her time and forward-thinking TODAY
[14:31] Allen Schezar, not so much
[14:31] Let alone in the 1990s
[14:31] (also, it was Arrlaari who pointed out that she needed to do the physical leap to save Van)
[14:32] Eh… I do like that, when Allen gets shown up, he actually learns from it
01[14:32] Oh, you’re right. Sorry.
[14:32] Recently, I’ve been reading a lot about how one of the subtle and pervasive elements of sexism is automatically disbelieving women
[14:33] Well the degree varies so it can be subtle
[14:34] And I think it shows up a lot in fiction, a plot point where a woman Knows Something but no one believes her until it’s Too Late
01[14:34] It’s one of those things that’s concentrated in some places but exists almost everywhere.
[14:34] Well, it didn’t take until it was too late, in this case
01[14:34] And yeah, the Cassandra
[14:34] I’m having trouble thinking of specific examples other than Cassandra who was cursed to never be believed even after she was proven right
[14:35] But I have this impression of the plot point where it’s not unreasonable to test her claim but everyone programmatically dismisses the notion and she’s helpless to avert something
[14:35] So at least that didn’t happen
01[14:36] Sally in Nightmare Before Christmas is a good example.
[14:37] And once Allen believed her, he was downright encouraging and helpful, even enthusiastic… you sure don’t see THAT kind of thing from Tuxedo Fedora
[14:37] You actually do? Enthusiastically encouraging Usagi is a thing he does
[14:37] The irritating part is where Usagi gives him credit for helping her when that’s all he ever does
[14:38] Well, you kinda do, but it still leaves too much of the focus on Mamoru
[14:38] Like if a football player thanked the cheerleaders every time he made a touchdown, that would come off as weird
01[14:39] Okay, just thought of a great example where (unlike Sally, who eventually gets proven right and redeemed in the eyes of others) the female character is NEVER believed, and it’s all played as a joke: Candace, the older sister in Phineas and Ferb.
[14:39] You know, I’ve never actually seen Phineas and Ferb
[14:39] I don’t recognize the name.
01[14:40] It’s a really good, funny show as long as you never think about the fact that the writers have made a running gag out of gaslighting the stereotypical annoying older sister.
01[14:40] (Note that the characters don’t gaslight her, the writers do–it is the forces of plot contrivance and coincidence that cause all the evidence to evaporate every time she thinks she’s caught her brothers in the act.)
01[14:41] And it’s pretty much a once-an-episode thing.
[14:41] The Cassandra plot always irritated me because I never picked up on the message that automatically disbelieving women is a “natural” thing to do. I also didn’t notice that it always happened to women.
01[14:41] There *are* male Cassandras, thoguh. G’Kar for instance is explicitly described as one in JMS’ commentaries.
01[14:42] Mulder on the X-Files.
[14:42] Well, with Mulder, it was (often) actually understandable
01[14:42] But you see the difference, right? Male Cassandras are these towering tragic heroes at the centers of their narratives. Female Cassandras exist to be ignored by the hero.
[14:43] Oh, definitely
[14:43] Another example is Commander Shepard (Mass Effect). Player specified but a man in all the promotional material except that the box art for 3 is reversible.
01[14:44] Never played Mass Effect, but yeah, just from being the main character of a video game its safe to assume Shepard is at the center of the narrative.
01[14:44] Though the option to play as a woman does improve things there.
01[14:46] All right, so, any final thoughts before I post this up?
[14:46] Commander Shepard has to deal with Global Warming tier denalism. There was a meme from it.
[14:46] Nothing comes to mind at the moment
01[14:47] Okay, see you all next weekend!
[14:47] See ya