Vision of Escaflowne showcases extreme sibling rivalry
When magic and technology can alter the fates of individuals, their loyalties and identities become blurred, adding another layer of complexity to personal and political relationships. An overconfident megalomaniac, Emperor Dornkirk, manipulates Gaea, Escaflowne’s Visionof the world, to obtain his idea of utopia by any means, which caused conflicts all over the world. Although this conflict is on a large scale, its main messages and motivations shine through two siblings: Van and Folken Fanel and Allen and Celena Schezar.
Folken Fanel leads Emperor Dornkirk’s industrial Zaibach empire while the elite troops are led by a manipulated and controlled Celena Schezar. Celena is experimented with becoming a super soldier, losing her identity and emerging with a different, maniacal male personality: Dilandau Albatau. Celena’s lost identity and Folken’s loss of humanity epitomize the negative aspects of Dornkirk’s utopia.
The Fanel brothers are driving forces and symbols for opposing sides in the conflict, with Van as a symbol of hope or potential freedom and Folken as a symbol of despair and colonialism. When Van realizes that his brother is alive and has been a guiding force within Zaibach, the Empire that demolished their homeland of Fanalia, it makes the conflict extremely personal. Their story turns to tragedy as Folken’s motives are revealed.
Like most members of the Zaibach Empire, Folken found himself convinced of Dornkirk’s vision for utopia after being saved by the science of the Empire. Folken is endowed with a prosthetic arm which comes to symbolize his initial corruption and his separation from the traditional values of his land. Folken’s initially adversarial role gives way to a fittingly brotherly stance as he awakens to Dornkirk’s corrupt methods of obtaining utopia.
Folken’s attempts to manipulate fate with Dornkirk shortened his lifespan and blackened his wings. When Van realizes his brother’s condition, it motivates him to stop Dornkirk’s machinations. Van and Folken’s rivalry stemmed from different perspectives. However, as their family ties reignite, they rediscover their shared quest for a peaceful world, allowing them to push beyond their limits and defeat a much greater adversary.
Brother Schezar’s situation is even more complicated than that of the Fanels. Allen’s sister is assumed to have been dead for years, only to be revealed to be alive but living as a different person, Dilandau Albatau. Zaibach altered his identity and appearance to create a super soldier who would lead a high-tech mech in Dornkirk’s war.
Dilandau is a terrifying example of Dornkirk’s alteration experiments. Dilandau and Celena exist as separate beings in a shared body, both struggling to retain their sense of identity and self. However, human experimentation with fate altered Celena to the extent that the other entity within her became intense rivals with her brother Allen.
The rivalry between Allen and Dilandau is forged with chivalry and honor as Allen despises Dilandau’s methods. Dilandau’s deep-rooted fear of being alone leads to stealthy or underhanded tactics to keep him and his crew alive. The experiences that shattered Celena’s identity leave her alternate personality incomplete and in tatters.
After a severe loss, Dilandau returns to Celena and reunites with Allen at an old family estate. Allen’s commitments change when he realizes the truth about Celena and Dilandau. Diladau’s identity fades in the final battle after Celena and Dilandau’s guardian sacrifices himself to save their lives. Allen later protects a reborn Celena from Van, who is unaware of Dilandau’s complex identity.
As these two sibling rivalries dissolve, Zaibach’s hold on Gaea dissipates. Folken and Celena’s connection to their true selves or siblings can overcome Dornkirk’s manipulations. Sibling rivalry has become a central part of EscaflowneThe war that further solidified Van and Allen’s belief in tearing down the Zaibach Empire. Escaflowne beautifully establishes the potential for a family to defeat an internal or external adversary, even when family members start on opposite sides of a conflict.