Dilandau in Detail

Just the stats, ma'am

Age

Equivalent of 15 Earth years

Birthdate

Red, 8th Moon (equivalent of 8 August)

Birthplace

Unknown

Height

175 cm

Weight

61 kg

Family

Unknown

Affiliation

Zaibach

Debut

Episode Three

Voice

Minami Takayama

(This information comes from the
Vision of Escaflowne Compendium.)

A closer look

Dilandau is the captain of the Dragonslayers, or Ryuugekitai, an elite mecha unit within the Zaibach army. He inspires absolute loyalty and quite a lot of fear in his men - or perhaps I should say boys, because the Dragonslayers are all about Dilandau's age. With a managerial approach that involves a lot of yelling and slapping people, Dilandau is not exactly a people person.

The most important thing to know about Dilandau is that he is insane. To borrow a phrase from the Presidents of the United States of America, totally feather-pluckin' insane. But not in an unattractive dribbly way, no, Dilandau is insane with heaps and heaps of style. As their name suggests, the Dragonslayers' mission is to capture Van Fanel, referred to in Zaibach's communications as The Dragon. Dilandau is especially keen to do this, as long as he gets to kill Van afterwards. Owing to an unfortunate incident in which Van cut Dilandau's face with a sword (given that Dilandau was trying to kill him at the time, he might be excused for this), Dilandau sports a rather becoming scar on his right cheek, and is hellbent on getting his revenge for this.

Dilandau is very aware of his own beauty - this is why he's so pissed about the scar. Everyone has certain central beliefs around which they organise their lives, and Dilandau's articles of faith would probably be 'I am beautiful,' 'I am dangerous' and 'Fire is fun.' Like other major epics of science fiction and fantasy (Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings spring to mind), Escaflowne is about the end of an old world and the beginning of a new one. In Dilandau's case, this destruction is particularly horrific, as he loses everything he depends upon (well, okay, he still has fire). Although Van is the central suffering hero of the story, and his losses are undeniably terrible (his entire kingdom is destroyed by the Dragonslayers before his eyes; he can escape, but can't save the people he loves), he is the cause of a great deal of Dilandau's suffering, and I find it fascinating that the series definitely places a moral burden on Van for this. It is not okay to kill people just because you're the hero. That's the kind of depth and complexity this show has.

And in the same way, although Dilandau is quite definitively a villain (perhaps the best anime villain ever), he is a complex character with whom we are compelled to have a certain amount of sympathy. His gender ambiguity is one of his most striking traits - hands up who else wasn't sure if he was a boy or a girl, the first time they saw him and heard him speak. (His voice actor, of course, is female, but this is not uncommon for the voices of boy and bishonen characters in anime. Minami Takayama also does the voice of the young Prince Chid zar Freid.) Dilandau walks on the edge. Hell, Dilandau is the edge.

I can't say a great deal more about him without getting into serious spoiler territory. So please, either proceed to the Spoilerama page, or direct your browser to www.animevillage.com and order all the tapes! (I swear they are not paying me.)

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