The tragedy on which the entire series hinges.
Reaction of Fortune opens with Hitomi standing before the Fortune Twins as The Hierophant is almost immediately revealed.
The Hierophant is about education, about establishing a world view, and it is entirely appropriate to Hitomi in this episode.
If only the price wasn’t so high.
Eriya reaches out with her guymelef to pick up Hitomi, who has a very determined expression on her face.
Van charges towards Hitomi as Naria’s guymelef malfunctions, giving him an opportunity to reach Hitomi. As they come closer Dornkirks vision is obscured and the Luck Intensifier also malfunctions.
Van is knocked back and as the artificial eclipse ends Naria and Eriya are struck by seizures of some sort. The artificial luck blood fluctuates, Eriya drops Hitomi. Allen catches her.
Folken orders them to withdraw but Naria’s energist fails and she crashes. Eriya returns to the fortress at Naria’s request.
Back in Asturia the clean up begins as the wounded are gathered. Under a bridge Naria has escaped from her guymelef.
Hitomi is claiming full responsibility but Dryden isn’t buying it. He points out that the attack probably would have come anyway, and he doesn’t believe in fortune telling anyway (or so he says). Millerna apologises for forcing Hitomi to do the reading, and comforts her as she cries.
I don’t think that Hitomi accepts Dryden’s version, or at least not fully.
Back on the fortress, Eriya is not well and Folken is watching over her treatment. Dornkirk criticised the decision to withdraw them, and you can tell that Dornkirk’s callousness is affecting Folken.
Eriya expresses confidence in Naria. There’s an interesting variation here between the subtitle and the dub. The subtitle implies a connection between the two, that Eriya can feel Naria and knows she’s OK (ish). The dub is simple confidence that Naria is skilled enough to take care of herself.
Of the two I think the subtitle is the better translation, or at least feels better in the context of the episode.
Either way Naria is infiltrating the palace despite the continuing seizures. Hitomi is helping with the wounded whilst Allen and Van discuss the threat to Hitomi.
The direct threat is obviously a step too far for Van as he reveals Folken’s heritage and identifies him as the target to go for to bypass the Luck Soldiers and protect Hitomi. That Folken is Van’s brother comes as a major surprise to Allen.
On her own in the palace, Hitomi’s shoe lace breaks just as Naria arrives to spirit her away.
Merle isn’t far away and spots Hitomi’s shoe lying abandoned. Cue the reactions and alarms.
Allen is remembering all those who have left him (or died).
As Naria continues to suffer, Hitomi begins to see her past, including the violent death of her parents as Naria and Eriya hide in the woods. It appears that Folken saved them from slavery, and Hitomi also sees the Luck blood transfusion.
Which appears to be wearing off as the cart that Naria is using to flee towards a harbour crashes. Again there’s another significant variation in the dub here. In the original the crash just happens implying that it is just bad luck, in the dub additional dialogue from Hitomi implies that it was bad driving. I think that this was also a bad decision in the dub translation.
Things are getting worse for Naria, and Hitomi could flee but chooses to bandage Naria instead. Hitomi tries to persuade Naria to come back with her.
Dornkirk advises Folken that Hitomi will appear at the harbour, and instructs Folken to dispatch Eriya. Folken objects, Eriya is still too weak, but Eriya asks to go despite clearly not being well.
Van is aloft in Escaflowne as Eriya approaches and flies straight past. The luck effects kick in and Escaflowne almost crashes again. But if he can’t get near Eriya, Folken is another story.
Van uses the dowsing ability to seek out the fortress.
Hitomi is still trying to persuade Naria towards another path when Naria slaps her.
This is the moment when Hitomi learns her lesson, but alas too late for too many.
Once again she hears Varie warning her about an uneasy heart calling forth a sad reality.
Once again she hears her grandmother telling her to trust her feelings.
Hitomi decides to trust her feelings and expresses her belief that Naria is not a bad person. Eriya arrives and Naria tells Hitomi that serving Lord Folken is all she needs to be happy.
Van makes a spectacular entrance into the bridge of the fortress. At that moment Naria ages years in a few seconds, and collapses to her knees.
Once again Hitomi tries to help and this time Naria gives her name and pushes Hitomi away.
Naria and Eriya return to Folken without Hitomi as the Crusade arrives overhead.
Van confronts Folken and is about to strike him when Eriya arrives. Escaflowne’s energist triggers a chain reaction in the fortress and it begins to sink from the sky.
Naria and Eriya die in Folken’s arms and are just happy to be there at last.
This is not a good moment for Dornkirk to come back on the line to discuss this simply as a reaction of misfortune (as in “equal and opposite”) to the artificial good fortune, or to brag about the success of the experiment.
Folken has had enough, says so, and escapes just in time in a guymelef, as a tear runs down his cheek.
This is a desperately sad scene: that the Fortune Twins who had so little good in their lives can die so happy is utterly tragic.
The only thing that redeems this scene is that Hitomi is starting to grow up. She is taking responsibility for her decisions, for her visions.
Hitomi is starting to act the right way, believe the right things, and do so for the right reasons.
As will be seen in the coming episodes it still won’t be easy, but the true path to the end of the story starts here.
In essence this is where Hitomi acquires the world view (the Hierophant again) needed to eventually succeed. Arguably Folken realising, and turning away from, the callousness of Zaibach is also a representation of the card but a relatively minor one in my view.
Day 1 – Fateful Confession / The Tower
Day 2 – The Girl From the Mystic Moon / Ace of Serpents
Day 3 – The Gallant Swordsman / Death
Day 4 – The Diabolical Adonis / The Hanged Man
Day 5 – The Seal of the Brothers / Judgement
Day 6 – Capitol of Intrigue / Justice
Day 7 – Unexpected Partings / The Chariot
Day 8 – Sub vs Dub
Day 9 – The Day the Angel Flew / Temperance
Day 10 – Memories of a Feather / Ace of Birds
Day 11 – The Blue-Eyed Prince / Knight of Beasts
Day 12 – Prophecy of Death / The Devil
Day 13 – The Secret Door / High Priestess
Day 14 – Red Destiny / The Emperor
Day 15 – The Gender of Escaflowne
Day 16 – Dangerous Wounds / The Magician
Day 17 – Lost Paradise / The Star
Day 18 – The Guided Ones / Wheel of Fortune
Day 19 – The Edge of the World / The Empress
Day 20 – The Gravity of Destiny / The World
Day 21 – Operation Golden Rule of Love / The Fool
Day 22 – False Vows / The Moon
Day 23 – Reaction of Fortune / The Hierophant
Day 24 – ???
Day 25 – The Black Winged Angel
Day 26 – Storm Premonition
Day 27 – Fateful Decision
Day 28 – Zone of Absolute Fortune
Day 29 – Eternal Love
Day 30 – Looking Back at The Vision of Escaflowne