Just getting this stuff up as I find it. I went through and ranked all the characters between 1 and 3 on their fan swing animation.
3- Hits very big in front and behind, and as such is nearly impossible to escape without pushing your opponent to the ledge or using a very invincible or fast hitting up+b style attack from behind.
2.- Hits behind, but in a small area, usually up high. Short characters escape very easily, while larger ones can have as hard a time as with a 3.
1- Barely hits behind, if at all. Very easily escaped by almost all characters in all situations.
0- Yeah, only hits in front AND moves the user forward. EXTREMELY easy to escape. Almost a joke.
Of course, the fan user can anticipate your directional inputs and smash directions when escaping from behind them and turn around. This gap in attack, however, is nearly always larger than if they didnt stop to turn, and gives you time for slower startup attacks that allow escape. Also, some characters (perhaps based on weight?) are able to escape out of the TOP of some fan swings. Toon Link, Lucario, Jiggly, and Sonic were noticable able to do this without much effort at all.
I gave .5s to the ones i had questions about, but they either belong in the step above or below where i placed them.
Lv3 Fan Swingers-
Peach, Bowser, Diddy, Wario, Link, Toon, Zamus, Kirby, Olimar, Falco, Falcon, Pikachu, Squirtle, Ness, G&W
Lv2.5 Fan Swingers -
Lv2 Fan Swingers-
Mario, Luigi, MK, Pit, IC, Charizard, Lucario, Jiggly, Lucas
Lv1.5 Fan Swingers-
Lv1 Fan Swingers-
DK, Yoshi, Zelda, Gannon, Marth, Ike
Lv.5 Fan Swingers-
Fox, Wolf, Ivy, Samus
Lv0 Fan Swingers-
I know the distrobution seems uneven, but thats due to the way I ranked it. Lv3 is genuinely dangerous, while level 2 and down is not at all (though 2s can be situationally, based on matchup). So, 17 dangerous swingers vs 22 not so much.
Remember, the fan is still a powerful item, but im trying to give you the information you need to escape and bring its use back to reality.
Next, ill be taking a character with a rank 3 swing and testing to see which characters have a solid way out (Samus up+b from behind). Stay tuned, true believers!
Edit - Made a mistake. Samus is actually a .5, she moves forward with her fan swipe as well.