Folken Fanel is a male character that features in The Vision of Escaflowne.
Folken Lacour de Fanel (フォルケン・ラクール・デ・ファーネル Foruken Rakūru de Fāneru?) was a male inhabitant of the world of Gaea with him being the first born son of King Goau Fanel and Queen Varie Fanel. He was a prince of the kingdom of Fanelia with him inheriting his mothers Draconian nature by having wings despite having a human father. Following his birth, his mother had a second son that was Folken's younger brother named Van Fanel who showed love and care towards with him reading to him when he was a child. During his teenage years, his father Goau died leading to Folken being the next in succession to become King of Fanelia. As was custom, he was required to gain the title by right of dragon slaying and went alone into the woods to kill one of the large beasts. He encountered the beast but despite his preparation he failed in his task with the dragon taking his right arm and leaving Folken alone in the forest to die after it wandered away. Folken was prepared to die and lost consciousness as he bled from his wounds. In Fanelia, it was believed that he had died with his mother Varie becoming heartbroken and she went into the forest to find her son only to disappear wit her believed to had died as well. However, he survived and was taken in by the Zaibach Empire at the hands of its Emperor Dornkirk who along with his sorcerers had saved Fanel's life along with giving him a cybernetic arm to replace his lost limb. When he awoke, he was horrified to discover his new arm and was now within the confines of the Zaibach Empire. It was during this time he claimed that he saw the vision of the world that Dornkirk had intended and swore fealty to the Emperor. For a time, Folken had trained to become one of Zaibach's sorcerers and was knowledgeable in their arcane sciences. It was due to his successes that he reached the rank of Strategos within the empire and operated as a senior agent of the emperor. At some point, he encountered a pair of orphaned cat people sisters named Naria and Eriya who he saved from a group of humans when they jumped off a cliff to escape their pursuers. He sheltered despite them initially being hostile and attacking him but he felt pity for them where upon he gave them new names. His sheltering of them led to the pair becoming extremely loyal to Folken with the two sisters actually being in love with him. At another time, he approached the Doppleganger Zongi who was grieving after accidently killing his brother who he did not know was disguised as an enemy soldier. Folken promised Zongi that he would break the eternal cycle of warfare that the Dopplegangers faced and offered them salvation in exchange for his loyalty. Zongi thus swore fealty to Lord Folken and became his servant where he operated as a spy as well as assassin. Afterwards, Emperor Dornkirk through his Destiny Prognostication Engine had uncovered that a shadow had been cast over the future he had been engineering from the world. He determined that this shadow was cast from a dragon that resided in Folken's homeland of Fanelia and tasked the Strategos with ending the danger. Thus, he was given command of a Zaibach Floating Fortress with Lord Dilandau Albatou operating as his agent along with his Dragon Slayers.
Despite his orders, Dilandau had proceeded with destroying the city causing the people to flee. Opposition was faced by an Ispano Guymelef that was Escaflowne piloted by Folken's brother Van Fanel. The Escaflowne was actually the dragon that affected the future that Emperor Dornkirk was charting with Lord Folken ordering the Guymelef captured. As such, the Dragon Slayers were dispatched with this task. Initially, Dilandau and his followers failed in achieving their goal.
Personality and attributes
When he was young, he was noted to had black hair but whilst at Zaibach and into his adulthood this turned white.
Such was his charisma that he inspired a great deal of loyalty among others. It was through his actions that he secured the loyalty along with love of the sisters Naria and Eriya who were willing to die for him. Similarly, the Doppleganger Zongi had sworn to serve Lord Folken as his spy and assassin.
According to Nariya, though she and her sister loved Folken he did not feel the same way. She said that he cared for them but that there was no love. Despite that, the two sisters only trusted him and were willing to die for him. They were so glad to had met him and even to die with him standing by them. Serving under him was claimed to be all that was required to make them happy. Thus was to the extent that they would not let anyone make Lord Folken feel sad. Folken was not above putting the pair through an experimental procedure that replaced their blood with Fortune Blood. The process turned the cat women into Intensified Luck Soldiers but at the cost of their full lifespan. However, he later showed concern for them and called them back to him despite this being against Emperor Dornkirks orders. In fact, he shed tears following the sisters death.
It was said that he still cared deeply for his brother Von.
Folken became dedicated to achieving the vision of Emperor Dornkirk that was planned for the world. After the death of Naria and Eriya, he became disillusioned with Dornkirk and turned against him. Despite that, he believed that Dornkirks theory were correct but it was his methods that were wrong. Thus, Folken intended to change the world and make it according to his image.
Powers and abilities
His Draconian heritage meant that he himself was able to manifest wings of his mothers people with these initially being white but in time turned black. After his encounter with a dragon, he lost his right arm that was replaced by Zaibach sorcerers with a cybernetic limb that he could operate. It was also equipped with a number of added tools such as the nails being able to inject a sedative allowing him to render people unconscious by inserting the needle into the neck. Folken was also shown to be a skilled swordsmen with him being able to disarm his brother Van Fanel with a single strike.
Due to Dornkirks Fate Alteration experiments, the lifespan of Folken had been greatly reduced which meant he was slowly dying. A visible manifestation of his body deteriorating was his wings turned black.
As a senior Zaibach Commander, he commanded his own Floating Fortress named the Vione that contained its own complement of troops along with Guymelefs.
- Folken Fanel was voiced by Japanese actor Jōji Nakata with Paul Dobson voicing him in the Bandai dub and English actor Vic Mignogna in the Funimation dub.
In other media
- The Vision of Escawflowne: