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] <Froborr> I have yet to get over how fantastic this opening is.
[14:00] <@Sylocat> Ohhhh yeah
01[14:00] <Froborr> Hey, I now know some of these people!
[14:00] <@Sylocat> There's still a couple we haven't met yet...
01[14:00] <Froborr> I can't actually remember their names, but I now recognize blonde guy and the prince and Merle.
01[14:00] <Froborr> Okay, I can remember Merle's name.
[14:01] <@Sylocat> Allen and Van
[14:01] <@Sylocat> (also, Van's king now, remember)
01[14:01] <Froborr> Oh, and also the green-haired guy and the Cliche Effeminate Villain BEcause Homophobia.
[14:01] <Arrlaari> King of ashes
01[14:01] <Froborr> Van and Allen are pretty much both kings of ashes at this point.
[14:02] <@Sylocat> 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] <Froborr> It is!
[14:03] <@Sylocat> He's just a little boy frying ants with a magnifying glass, kinda like Kefka
01[14:03] <Froborr> 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] <Arrlaari> Oh, they used the stealth cloaks effectively
01[14:03] <Froborr> Mostly due to Van's incompetence.
[14:03] <@Sylocat> "I can't STAND that heroic crap!" Best line ever
01[14:04] <Froborr> I will admit, the flying fortress design is seriously metal.
[14:04] <@Sylocat> What's on fire? It's all rock
[14:04] <@Sylocat> Oh well
01[14:04] <Froborr> Some rocks can burn!
01[14:04] <Froborr> That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
[14:04] <@Sylocat> True
[14:04] <@Sylocat> "Tough?" Allen has a gift for understatement
[14:05] <@Sylocat> Ah, Hitomi actually USING her fortune-telling abilities in a creative way!
[14:05] <Arrlaari> "TEST?!"
01[14:05] <Froborr> Did he LITERALLY just pat her on the head and then tell her to leave it up to the menfolk?
01[14:05] <Froborr> Fuck you Allen.
01[14:06] <Froborr> Drag the *what* out of there?
[14:06] <@Sylocat> Folken has eye shadow, I just noticed
01[14:06] <Froborr> Oh, they mean Van.
01[14:07] <Froborr> I thought there was, like, a component of it called "samurai."
[14:07] <Arrlaari> She called him a Samurai, probably because she doesn't know better
[14:07] <@Sylocat> Ah, notice how Folken can activate Escaflowne?
01[14:07] <Froborr> Yep. Is he the long-lost brother?
[14:07] <@Sylocat> Wait, Dilandau didn't even know who was in there?
[14:07] <Arrlaari> Rhetorical spoiler question
[14:07] <@Sylocat> I'd forgotten that
[14:08] <@Sylocat> It could be a cold reading... his daddy issues are pretty easy to diagnose
[14:09] <@Sylocat> So much for his "leave it up to the menfolk" schtick
[14:09] <Arrlaari> Anything to avoid having to talk about my feelings!
01[14:09] <Froborr> Yeah, they should have had her do it for a crewmember she'd never met and couldn't see.
01[14:10] <Froborr> "Because I'm your long-lost brother."
[14:10] <@Sylocat> Van doesn't recognize him because it's been like 10 years
01[14:10] <Froborr> da FUQ?
[14:11] <@Sylocat> Ooh, angel wings!
01[14:11] <Froborr> Oh, now Van recognizes him.
[14:11] <@Sylocat> Eeyup, that's their family secret
01[14:11] <Froborr> "Did I not mention my brother had FUCKING WINGS?"
[14:11] <@Sylocat> Oh, Van has them too... that was Hitomi's premonition in the first (or second) episode
[14:11] <@Sylocat> We just thought it was a metaphor then
01[14:11] <Froborr> Okay, that's crossing into spoiler country Sylo.
[14:12] <@Sylocat> Well, Hitomi already saw it in her premonition, so... but anyway, sorry
[14:12] <@Sylocat> Ouch
01[14:12] <Froborr> Yeah, btu I (a) thoguht it was a metaphor and (b) forgot it, so.
01[14:12] <Froborr> Also, agreed: ouch.
[14:12] <@Sylocat> Why did Folken drug him? He'd been unconscious until two minutes ago anyway
01[14:12] <Froborr> Because that's what villains do.
[14:13] <@Sylocat> (Allen is a douche, but I do like how he learns fast and changes his tune)
01[14:13] <Froborr> WOW, that's the most annoying noise Merle's made yet.
[14:13] <@Sylocat> Dilandau, don't touch that
[14:14] <@Sylocat> (but of course, he will, since he's an angry child who needs to touch everything)
[14:15] <@Sylocat> The rescue sequence begins!
01[14:15] <Froborr> Okay, Allen's plane is fucking awesome.
[14:15] <@Sylocat> Yeah... it's one of the best fantasy airships ever
[14:16] <@Sylocat> So, they're both knights AND sky pirates, IE, the best of both tropes
[14:16] <@Sylocat> Ah, of course, Mole Man is looting the place
[14:16] <@Sylocat> WHOA... four with one shot!
[14:16] <Arrlaari> That dude gets owned again!
[14:17] <@Sylocat> Yeah... Dilandau's henchmen are wimps
01[14:17] <Froborr> NO Hitomi.
[14:17] <@Sylocat> Oh, here it comes...
[14:17] <Arrlaari> I guess anyone who wasn't the type to get pushed around all the time would just be murdered or something
[14:17] <@Sylocat> True, Arrlaari...
01[14:17] <Froborr> Hitomi! No!
01[14:18] <Froborr> THIS IS A BAD PLAN
[14:18] <@Sylocat> Well, we already knew she could run the 100m in ten flat...
01[14:18] <Froborr> Fuck that's a logn long-jump for a high school kid.
[14:18] <@Sylocat> Ahahah, Merle's reaction
[14:19] <@Sylocat> Ahahah... that's how Hitomi finds out
[14:19] <@Sylocat> Ooh, Folken gives him his sword
[14:19] <@Sylocat> Ouch
01[14:19] <Froborr> Ah, a classic, the face-cut.
01[14:20] <Froborr> Van now has an enemy for life.
01[14:20] <Froborr> Well, one of their lives.
[14:20] <@Sylocat> Ohhhhhh yeah
[14:20] <@Sylocat> Facial scars are a permanent grudge
[14:20] <@Sylocat> (of course, Dilandau is pretty much everyone's enemy for one of their lives)
01[14:20] <Froborr> Doubly so if you're a villain stereotype rooted in homophobia.
01[14:21] <Froborr> (Not letting that go, btw.)
[14:21] <@Sylocat> (I am bravely resisting the urge to disclose another spoiler re: that)
01[14:21] <Froborr> Okay, so, that was still pretty darn cliche, but also *really fun*.
01[14:22] <Froborr> 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] <@Sylocat> And the Falcon
[14:22] <Arrlaari> 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] <Froborr> Was the Falcon the one with the crane or the drill?
01[14:23] <Froborr> Indeed, that was nice Arrlaari.
[14:23] <@Sylocat> The Falcon was Daryl's airship in FFVI
01[14:23] <Froborr> Oh, I was thinking FFIV.
[14:23] <Arrlaari> I thought Millenium Falcon
01[14:23] <Froborr> They're both named for it, Arrlaari.
[14:23] <@Sylocat> (maybe there was one in FFIV named the Falcon? I forget, it's been a while since I played FFIV)
01[14:24] <Froborr> The two main airships you get in FFIV are the Enterprise and the Falcon.
01[14:24] <Froborr> 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] <@Sylocat> Well, I attached such emotional strength to it, it made it more awesome
[14:25] <@Sylocat> (the Blackjack, its predecessor, had a casino)
01[14:25] <Froborr> Oh sure, I can understand that, getting it is one of the all-time great moments in the series.
01[14:25] <Froborr> Anyway, regardless, we are all agreed that Allen's is among the great airships?
[14:25] <@Sylocat> Ohhhhhh yeah
[14:25] <Arrlaari> They did some pretty cool moves this episode
[14:25] <Arrlaari> I haven't played a lot of Final Fantasies so I'm not familiar with the competition
[14:26] <@Sylocat> Hitomi's crazy-awesome long jump, and the fight scenes were pretty epic too
[14:26] <Arrlaari> It's notable that although Folken didn't die hunting the dragon, he did lose an arm
01[14:26] <Froborr> Wait, he did?
01[14:27] <Froborr> I didn't even notice, he keeps them under that cloak all the tiem!
[14:27] <Arrlaari> He has a prosthetic now
[14:27] <@Sylocat> Yeah... you saw his metal arm
[14:27] <Arrlaari> and I presume that he lost hte original to the dragon
01[14:27] <Froborr> Oh, I must have missed it/assumed it was some sort of armor.
[14:27] <Arrlaari> Taking the cloak off was a Big Moment
[14:27] <Arrlaari> so I noticed that the skin around his shoulder has burn scars
[14:27] <@Sylocat> Yeah, it introduced the angel wings
01[14:27] <Froborr> Oh wait, that's what the rivets on his shoulder were!
01[14:28] <Froborr> I just thought he was being badass. "Look at me, I screwed bits of metal into my chest."
01[14:28] <Froborr> A silly thought, in hindsight.
[14:28] <Arrlaari> And then they showed off the drug needle in one of his fingers
01[14:28] <Froborr> 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] <Froborr> Makes MUCH more sense now.
[14:28] <Arrlaari> Anyway, Folken being Van's brother was spoiled by the preview at the end of last episode
01[14:28] <Froborr> Glad I skipped it.
[14:29] <Arrlaari> That is a thing I think one should keep out of previews
01[14:29] <Froborr> Yeah.
[14:29] <@Sylocat> Agreed
01[14:30] <Froborr> 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] <Froborr> It helps keep her from being a standard-issue Staff Chick.
[14:30] <Arrlaari> And they went to the effort of establishing early that she's a track & field star
[14:30] <@Sylocat> Hitomi still seems ahead of her time and forward-thinking TODAY
[14:31] <Arrlaari> Allen Schezar, not so much
[14:31] <@Sylocat> Let alone in the 1990s
[14:31] <@Sylocat> (also, it was Arrlaari who pointed out that she needed to do the physical leap to save Van)
[14:32] <@Sylocat> Eh... I do like that, when Allen gets shown up, he actually learns from it
01[14:32] <Froborr> Oh, you're right. Sorry.
[14:32] <Arrlaari> Recently, I've been reading a lot about how one of the subtle and pervasive elements of sexism is automatically disbelieving women
[14:33] <@Sylocat> "Subtle?"
[14:33] <Arrlaari> Well the degree varies so it can be subtle
[14:34] <Arrlaari> 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] <Froborr> It's one of those things that's concentrated in some places but exists almost everywhere.
[14:34] <@Sylocat> Well, it didn't take until it was too late, in this case
01[14:34] <Froborr> And yeah, the Cassandra
[14:34] <Arrlaari> 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] <Arrlaari> 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] <Arrlaari> So at least that didn't happen
01[14:36] <Froborr> Sally in Nightmare Before Christmas is a good example.
[14:37] <@Sylocat> 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
01[14:37] <Froborr> Indeed.
[14:37] <Arrlaari> You actually do? Enthusiastically encouraging Usagi is a thing he does
[14:37] <Arrlaari> The irritating part is where Usagi gives him credit for helping her when that's all he ever does
[14:38] <@Sylocat> Well, you kinda do, but it still leaves too much of the focus on Mamoru
[14:38] <Arrlaari> Like if a football player thanked the cheerleaders every time he made a touchdown, that would come off as weird
01[14:39] <Froborr> 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] <@Sylocat> You know, I've never actually seen Phineas and Ferb
[14:39] <Arrlaari> I don't recognize the name.
01[14:40] <Froborr> 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] <Froborr> (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.)
[14:41] <@Sylocat> Eww
01[14:41] <Froborr> And it's pretty much a once-an-episode thing.
[14:41] <Arrlaari> 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] <Froborr> There *are* male Cassandras, thoguh. G'Kar for instance is explicitly described as one in JMS' commentaries.
01[14:42] <Froborr> Mulder on the X-Files.
[14:42] <@Sylocat> Well, with Mulder, it was (often) actually understandable
01[14:42] <Froborr> 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] <@Sylocat> Oh, definitely
[14:43] <Arrlaari> 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] <Froborr> 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] <Froborr> Though the option to play as a woman does improve things there.
01[14:46] <Froborr> All right, so, any final thoughts before I post this up?
[14:46] <Arrlaari> Commander Shepard has to deal with Global Warming tier denalism. There was a meme from it.
[14:46] <@Sylocat> Nothing comes to mind at the moment
01[14:47] <Froborr> Okay, see you all next weekend!
[14:47] <@Sylocat> See ya