>>Previous Mental Notes

>Songs For Dilandau & Casting Dilandau

Mental Notes

This is the place where I'll share a bunch of little thoughts about Dilandau, and Escaflowne in general, that just don't fit anywhere else. My brain throws these things up and I may as well do something with 'em, right? Please note that spoilers may occur anywhere in this page. If you don't like 'em, leave now!

The 'V' Word
Can you say 'Van Slanzar de Fanel'? I knew you could. (Although what the hell kind of middle name is Slanzar?) Dilandau hates him, with an obsessive fury that borders on passion. And out of loyalty to Dilandau-sama, a lot of his loyal fans (some of us like to call ourselves Dragonslayers) profess to hate him too. I don't, and because I don't want to be accused of disloyalty, or looking for a slap or anything like that *^.^* I'd like to explain why.

First of all, I make no secret of the fact that I just like Van, on his own merits. He's brave, he's gorgeous, he's got wings... what's not to like? Oh yeah, he made someone I also really like miserable and furious, scarred him physically and emotionally, killed practically all his friends and workmates and generally contributed to him getting even less sane than he already was.

In other words, Van is Dilandau's nemesis, and vice versa. I think that's really important. Your nemesis is, by necessity (the necessity of poetic justice, anyway) part of you. I see them as parallel souls, with Dilandau as Van's dark mirror, a twisty funhouse reflection of him. They are both beloved leaders among their own people; they each destroy the other's kingdom (literal or figurative), stripping away everything they depend on. Both, interestingly, have an animal/human companion (in Dilandau's later episodes, anyway) who acts as a grounding influence for them and provides unconditional love and support, helping them to become what they must to survive.

There's a visual reinforcement of this inverse parallel: Dilandau's fair complexion and ashy hair versus Van's honey-coloured skin and black hair; Dilandau's ornate clothing and armour versus Van's simple shirt and pants. When we first see Van he is literally a dragonslayer, laden with protective clothing and gear, but when he casts off his armour he seems to become more really himself. When Dilandau recovers his senses after his first bout of physical instability, he first rips off his shirt in a frenzy (anguish? despair?), then pulls on his shiny leather coat as he prepares to return to the running battle that his life has become. Later, when he reverts to Celena, she casts away the outer garments of a Dragonslayer again, turning up at Allen's house in just shirt and pants, barefoot. I may be reading too much into this, but I see it as a way of linking the characters and visually signalling what they discover about being true to themselves.

If there had never been a Van, there would hardly have been a Dilandau. What would he have been? Just another soldier on the winning side; a soldier with his own flamboyant style, but not the character I find so fascinating. Van provokes him to his worst madness and greatest splendour: if Dilandau is a jewel, Van is the setting; if Dilandau is the music of a song, Van is the lyrics; if Dilandau is a hot-dog, Van is the mustard *^.^* I can't hate someone who makes Dilandau shine. The two boys are interdependent in terms of character development and journey. I wouldn't get to enjoy Dilandau's journey, strange and tragic as it is, if Van hadn't started him on it, so there you go.

Besides, he's so cute! *^.^*

The Dilandau Art Collective
Remember the Dragonslayers I was talking about, Dilandau-sama's fans? Many of them are very talented people, producing fanart of high quality, which really shows their love of Dilandau. (I drew a picture too, but whether I'm one of the very talented ones is in the eye of the beholder *^.^*)

If you're interested in seeing some of this art, two very good galleries exist, one in Dilandau's Lair, and one at Lady Alseides' Dilly and DragonSlayers Page. If you'd like to know more about the people responsible, check out The Dilandau Albatou Fan Club, because they're mostly members and would like more Dilandau fans to join! (Tell 'em Sarah-neko sent you.)

And finally, if you'd like to see my picture, please click here. I was originally going to draw Dilandau-sama asleep, but I like his eyes too much so it turned into Dilandau-sama just waking up. I'm letting this stand as a Mental Note because it took me a couple of hours to draw it and there's only so much I can do!