May 19, 2009

Art Influences Art

With the weather being horrible of late, the family and I have been looking to old videos and such for entertainment. This is how I happened to go back through the whole one season series of Escaflowne nearly a decade after first discovering the tale.

At first it just looked interesting in the promos, and I was bored. If the local public schools had allowed early graduation back then, I would have graduated at Christmas. So having read all the books which interested me at the time, not actually having a challenge in school, and being between ideas for my own work, I decided I'd give the new series a shot. If nothing else, I figured it'd be good for a laugh.

I did laugh at first. It seemed as trite as any children's show, and the brewing tension between the main three females was amusing. However, something began nagging at me. There was something off about the series, and I couldn't quite put my finger on it. So I naturally checked out the videos when the series was canceled halfway through, and it didn't take long to discover why something seemed off. They'd cut huge chunks out of the original material to squash it into the desired rating.

Not that it was "adult" adult, but it did have some strong language, suggestive images and themes, and lots and lots of violence. I mean, they had to cut so much from the Freid story arc, they squashed three episodes into one simply to hide the fact one of the main characters discovers he has an illegitimate child.

Anyway, after I began seeing all the cut material, the story really pulled me in. I rewatched the series after the first time through to see if I could decipher the mythological influences and symbols woven throughout the story. In doing this, I was delighted to discover I recognized the kata Van keeps practicing throughout the series. It's the first in the basic series of katas used in Kendo, which I began to study through what limited training Sensei Hardyman was able to provide. (I wasn't about to attempt writing swordplay without understanding at least the basics of handling a sword!)

The mythological influences and symbolic images in the series are still fascinating, but as I rewatched this old series this past week, I began to see instances where the series influenced my own writing. Nothing big. It's just little things here and there.

For a fairly accurate and entirely amusing look at the main characters, check out these which character are you image results. (The language is crude in parts, so you might not want to let the kiddies read.) Unfortunately, the quiz is long since defunct.

* The image is a screne cap from "City of Ingrigue."

No comments:

Post a Comment