Episode 2: The Girl from the Mystic Moon

Was it all a dream? Or was it an illusion? All I know is that I was only 13 seconds away from getting my first kiss when I found myself being chased by a giant fire-breathing iguana and arguing with a psychotic, teen-aged swordsman. Talk about a streak of bad luck...

Hitomi: And now I'm on an alien planet about to be eaten by wolfmen. Something tells me I need to get myself a new agent.


Hitomi: Meep...

Van: Chill. They're friendly.

Ruhm: So then, your little dragon hunt took you to the Mystic Moon, eh? Is that where you picked up Little Miss Looksnervous over there?

Van: Yeah.

Hitomi: Um. Excuse me. What is the Mystic Moon?

Ruhm: Duh. It's only the bigginest object in the whole honkin' sky. Up there.

Hitomi: Oh, so up here they think the Earth's a moon. How ironic. I wonder what they call the MOON, then....Uh-oh... Reality fading again...

Vision: What's black and white and red all over? Today's vision du jour featuring blood, death and destruction! Enjoy! Oh, and get used to seeing shit like this from now on...

Hitomi: ...I get the feeling I'm in for a bumpy ride here. And I don't mean on account of the wagon.

Ruhm: Here we are, kids! Last stop! Fanelia! Land of windmills, big-ass trees and pseudo-Japanese architecture!

Hitomi: Wow. They really know how to make a visitor feel welcome here. I swear the whole town must have come out here to greet us.

Merle: VAN-SAMAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!! I'm so glad you're back! *lick lick lick*

Hitomi: Well there's something you don't see every day: A cat showing genuine affection for it's master. The fact that the cat happens to also be half-girl is probably something else which isn't normal...

Balgus: Welcome home, Prince Van. Nice to see you didn't become Dragon Food.

Van: Thanks Balgus. Behold! A Dragu-Energist!

Townspeople: PRINCE VAN! YOU RULE!!!

Van: Yeah. I do now. That's what THIS thing says, anyway...

Hitomi: A prince? Mr. Nomanners McSpindlylimbs is a PRINCE? Whoa.

Townspeople: Yay! Coronation time! Time to party like it's A. D. 999!

Hitomi: *Sigh* What am I going to do? here I am, stuck here in a palace on some scenic fantasy world when I could be back home in Japan, cramming for my exams, angsting over Amano, dodging dangerous Tokyo traffic, living in a teeny tiny----uh.... why am I so anxious to get back home again?

Merle: Peek-a-Boo! Hey you. Weird girl. Keep your grubby, foreign, lower-class mitts off of Lord Van. Got it?

Hitomi: What ARE you talking about?

Merle: Don't play innocent with me. You've got the stench of "potential love interest" all over you. Now if you don't mind, I'm going to go rifle through all the stuff which was conveniently mysteriously brought over with you from the Mystic Moon. Ooh. THIS looks interesting...YOINK!

Hitomi: Hey! My pendant! Come back here! *puff puff* Geez, for a track star, I sure am out of shape....Hey, waitaminute. What's going on in this dark room over here?

Balgus: Alright then. Show me what you got.


Balgus: Lord Van, you suck. You're not charging aggressively enough. You have to attack me like you're trying to kill me.

Van: But I don't want to kill you. I hate violence and war and icky stuff like that.. (Boy, this sure is a far cry from the way I am in the movie, isn't it?)

Balgus: You must learn how to kill, Lord Van. Especially since you're going to be a king now. It ain't all sitting in big chairs, waving from balconies and getting harassed by paparazzi, you know. Oh. We have a visitor.

Hitomi: Unhhh. Hi.

Van: Oh, it's YOU. Hmpf. According to the Rules of Shoujo, I still have to be a jerk to you. At least until the first major crisis where I'll be in need of your skills comes along.

Hitomi: I see. Well, until then, I'll just keep acting like a fish out of water; smiling sheepishly at everybody....maybe commiting a cultural gaffe or two...

Merle: Boy, are you stupid. Here, take your pendant back. And remember. I'm Van's ho. You keep away from him, you foul temptress!

Hitomi: Could this place get any weirder? At least I don't see any sign of those big scary-ass robots that were in my visions earlier...

Big Scary-Ass Robots: Do-de-do, do-de-do...Don't mind us. We're just out for a walk in the woods...Do-de-do, do-de-do...

Enemy Guymelef #1: Hey, guys, I know what let's do. Let's cloak ourselves using the CG cloaking effect from Predator!

Enemy Guymelef #2: Only if we can spy around using "prehensile periscopes" that look just like the ones in War of the Worlds. (Remember folks, we're not ripping off these films, we're paying homage to them!)

Townspeople: Coronation time! Boy! What a red-letter day! We're sure nothing will go horribly wrong on this special day of all days!

Balgus: Lord Van, you look very regal and dignified in that oversized ceremonial armor. *snicker* No. You do. Really. *snort*


Man on horseback: Zaibach is attacking! Wait... The viewers aren't supposed to know it's them yet. Damn you, Ocean Studios!

Van: Oh great. I no sooner take charge around here and I'm faced with a national crisis caused by unseen terrorists which I'm ill-prepared to deal with. I feel like a bishounen, feudal fantasy-world version of George W. Bush.

Balgus: Well, like George W. Bush, you're going to have to take a backseat to the action while we, your competent underlings, handle this crisis. You take the girl from the Mystic Moon and head to the shrine in back. If worse comes to worse, take Escaflowne and split.

Luva, Asona, Yurizen: All-RIGHT! It's ass-kicking time!

Enemy Guymelefs: Our claws are made of liquid meh-tahl. *KA--SHHUUNNNK!!!!!*

Luva, Asona, Yurizen: Urkkkk... Okay. So we didn't exactly specify whose ass was gonna get kicked, did we?... *die*

Van: Even though I hate gears and fighting, I'm going to activate Escaflowne and fight those invisible intruders myself. Let's see... I just slice my finger, let it run onto my Dragu-Energist here...raise that sun'bitch above my head...intone some serious-sounding mumbo-jumbo...all while trying not to get hit by lightning or falling over onto the Rotating Floor of Death...


Hitomi: This is the point in the American version where the generic techo-music should be starting up...

Chorus: Screw techno! Nothing screams "cool" like a big, brawny, liturgical CHORUS! ESSS-CAAAA- FLOOOOOO-NAAAAAAYYYY!!!!

Hitomi: My God. It's the big white fighting robot I saw in my vision earlier... Bitchin'...

Van: Okay. We just insert Energist A into Chest Crystal B...


Van: Yeah, yeah, I get it......Now I can jump in this baby and head on out to fight the invisible giants!

Hitomi: Um. Excuse me. I know THIS IS ANIME™ and that the Law of Technological User-Benevolence will most likely be on your side if you attempt to pilot a mecha as complicated-looking as this one, but do you really think that's a good idea?

Van: Don't get your fuku in a bunch, lady. I've read the owner's manual.

Enemy Guymelefs: FEE FI FO FUM! We smell the blood of a bish-ou-nen!

Van: Get the fuck out of my kingdom you over-sized invisible bastards!**SWING! SLICE! SMASHHH!!!!**

Enemy Guymelefs: Make us! **SLASSHH! CLANG!! ASS-KICK!!**

Van: Damn! I can't fight 'em if I can't see them!

Hitomi: Well, I can see 'em! I wonder if that's a significant plot poi--VAN! THERE'S ONE TO YOUR LEFT!!!!

Van: What th--? *PARRY*


Balgus: I got dibs on it! **SWINNNNG!!! CRASSSHHHH!!!** Heh heh. Taking out enemy Guymelefs is a breeze thanks to my Ginsu 7000! Lord Van! Grab the girl and run!

Van: I won't leave you! A hero never runs from a fight!!

Balgus: A smart hero does if he's outnumbered! I've rescued you and helped ensure your escape! There's only one thing I have left to do before I fufill my role as your Obi-Wan Kenobi-esque mentor!

Enemy Guymelef #1: GRRR! You die, Joe! **SHOOT**


Balgus: --And that's get brutally killed before your eyes. Ugghh... Ow.... Now, take the girl and escape, Lord Van. Escape so that you may one day return and rebuild your kingdom for your people who so bravely buggered off when danger threatened. *dies*


Hitomi: Gee. Wish there was something I could do. Besides freak out, that is...

Enemy Guymelefs: We'll get you, my pretty! And your little doll, too!

Van: Melefs to the left of me, melefs to the right. Here I am stuck in the middle with you, Mystic Moon girl. Although you look like you're about to blow a rod...

Hitomi: *whimper* Everything happened as I foresaw it would. Damn. Why can't my powers stick to predicting USEFUL things, like lotto numbers and sniffing out cheating boyfriends like in the Miss Cleo infomericals? It just makes me want to scream. **FLASHH!!**

Merle: Whoa. A column of light just shot into the air. Either Hollywood Video is holding a grand opening down there in the valley, or Lord Van is in trouble. In which case my default response would be to yell: VAN-SAMMMAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!

Kawamori Shouji: CLIFFHANGER! Ha! Zinged ya again!

Thousands of Anime Fans: You. Really. Suck.

On to Episode Three: The Gallant Swordsman.