Kanzaki Hitomi is a sprinter, and today is her school’s time trials to select the runners for the up-and-coming prefecture track meet. She arrives just in time to watch the boy she likes participate. Amano Susumu is a skilled runner, breaking the 11 second barrier for the 100 meter sprint.
However, when it’s finally her turn to run, Hitomi experiences something strange. As she races down the track, a vision of a boy holding a sword appears before her. As she collides with him, she finds herself staring at a war-torn plain, towered over by huge mecha. As she falls again, a winged figure reaches out and grabs her hand.
When this vision finally comes true, Hitomi is drawn into a world filled with war and sadness. Gaea. The boy is Van Fanel, King of the destroyed kingdom Fanelia. He fights aboard the Escaflowne, trying to reclaim his kingdom and save Gaea from the evil Zaibach empire.
Zaibach is attempting to control the forces of destiny and the only thing standing in their way is the shadow of Escaflowne and the girl from the phantom moon, Hitomi.
And so it is that Hitomi and Van battle against overwhelming odds to save a world. And find eternal love.
The Vision of Escaflowne is an epic love story told on the backdrop of a fantasy medieval world at war. The kingdom of Fanelia has fallen to the Empire of Zaibach who has designs on conquering Gaea. The surviving king needs to warn the rest of Gaea – and avenge his kingdom. But then a girl comes into his life who claims she is from the phantom moon (Earth). She has visions and can even predict the future. With her power he might stand a chance. But then there is also the power of love that threatens to draw them together.
Like I said, Escaflowne is in essence a love story, but with so many different elements to it that it makes for a thoroughly engrossing story. Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Escaflowne caters for all.
Hitomi, the fortune-telling girl who seems to control destiny and fate on Gaea. Van, the king of a destroyed kingdom with vengeance on his heart. Allen, the knight of heaven, caught between womens’ affections. All the characters of Escaflowne are given life and a purpose. And as the secrets of Gaea unfold, so do their own past lives and histories.
The animation is of a high quality, and the mecha are particularly nicely designed. My only complaint is the weird way in which they have opted to depict a character’s nose. Everyone seems to be related to Pinocchio.
The voices are excellent, but they could have done with a better musical track. That said, the opening theme is quite pretty.
All in all, this is an engrossing series that caters for all. Really enjoyable and well worth a watch for all anime lovers.
(Historical Note: It would seem my writing was quite poor back in February 2004. After all, that was when this review was first written!)
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vision_of_Escaflowne