There is a site on the Internet that can tell you anything you want to know. Platonic Chain. The question is, if this endless knowledge is available, just what would you want to know?
Three girls, Hitomi, Rika and Kanae have access to this site. These are their stories about just what might happen in an all to possible “Network World” of tomorrow.
Back in 2002 Apres and United-Asia Entertainment took a risk and produced a short (24 episodes at five minutes per episode) series entitled Platonic Chain, a story about three girls and their interaction with an omniscient website known as Platonic Chain. Platonic Chain knows everything about everyone and can be used for the most wonderful human interaction queries. The stories focus on how the girls might interact with each other and the world if such a web of information existed.
The stories are well told and are often funny, in a fantasy drama romance sort of way. The characters are reasonably well developed (given the short run time mind you) and all have their distinct possibilities, but in reality, all of this takes a back seat to the animation which happens to be the real star of this particular show.
Back in 2002 CG was just starting to be introduced to anime, and often used in conjunction with more traditional hand drawn animation. Platonic chain flipped this on its head and did a completely CG rendered series, a triumph for the visual technology at the time.
Look, it has decent voice-acting and a groovy opening track, but at five minutes a pop the show isn’t really worth the time unless you need a small gap filler. That said, if you are keen on seeing a fantastic victory for computer animation (and this particular cel-shading technique) that happened twelve years ago in the world of anime, then it is certainly worth checking out even just as a history lesson!
A pleasant little oddity in other words.
Related Link: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=1826
Last weekend certainly didn’t rank up there with the weekend before it in terms of social events, but it was nevertheless good to have wifey and child back in my life, even if wifey was working at the guest house for pretty much the whole weekend!
Friday and Saturday was Chantelle’s Cookies & Cakes market preparation and market day respectively, and pleasingly the market went fairly well for Cheryl and myself, netting in a decent amount of sales and in the end being quite a plesant affair, what with us sandwiched in next to the cheese lady and Claudia, my favourite German baker. We even got a surprise visit from Terrance and his mom, as well as from both Mom’s cousin Marilyn and Karl’s mom Sue during our day of trading (which we extended a little in the end in order to cope with the flurry of purchases right at the death of the trading hours). Mom and Dad did a stunning job of looking after Jessica while I was busy with the market, while back home Chantelle had gotten a good start during her split with regards to all the baking for orders she had been commissioned to do, including the concrete-themed cake for Hypenica’s Tuesday Concrete.TV launch!
Sunday saw Jessica and myself spend an epic number of hours in the mall, hunting down a new long-sleeve warm top to finally replace the old Kopano long sleeve top that I’ve been wearing since at least 2003 now! (We did actually find something in the end mind you, an awesomely warm bright red jacket which I picked up at Pick ‘n Pay for a paltry R250. Chantelle keeps making the sounds of ambulance sirens every time I wear it, but still I like it, so there! :P)
While Jessica and I were out happily walking Somerset Mall from end to end, Chantelle on the other hand put the finishing touches on the spread she was commissioned to do for Andy’s Stork Party, and from all accounts it was quite the hit – as expected I might add!
At last Sunday evening rolled in which meant that Chantelle and I could finally spend some time together – which of course we did by inviting Terrance and his also currently visiting South Africa Japanese girlfriend Hitomi, Evan and Natasha (with little Evalynne of course), as well as Ryan to come through to Gordon’s Bay for a lovely evening braai, which saw plenty of conversation, baby playing, Shaun the Sheep, and of course the Olympics, not to mention a delicious combo of brownies with ice cream to sweeten the whole deal.
Of course, this late evening braai meant the house is still looking like a hurricane hit it (and we’re onto Wednesday already), but nevertheless, it was totally worth it! :)
So yeah, not too shabby a weekend then.
(Oh, and Chantelle totally completed her Concrete.tv cake over the course of Sunday evening – which turned out pretty awesome as well in case you were wondering! Stolen from Hypenica’s FaceBook album:)
16 The Guided Ones
Dryden continues his reading of Allen’s father’s diary. It speaks of how he gave up his home, his family, his possessions, all to try and find the legendary Mystic Valley in order to solve the riddle of the power of Atlantis and see a certain girl once more.
That girl was Hitomi’s grandmother. While searching for the valley, Allen’s father met another man searching for it. His name was Isaac. He too was from the phantom moon, just as was the girl that had appeared before Allen’s father so long ago. Could it be that Dornkirk is that same man?
On Dryden’s directions, the Crusade is headed towards the Asguld continent, where the legendary home of the Dragon clan, the Atlanteans, is rumoured to be. But Dornkirk is aware of this and orders Folken to intercept them. Although Diladau has been taken from his command, Folken still has his trusty feline guymelef warrior sisters, Naria and Eriya.
The gate to Atlantis will be opened.
17 The Edge of the World
As the light from the gate of Atlantis engulfs the Crusade, Van, Allen and Hitomi vanish into nowhere. The Crusade struggles on, in the hopes of locating Hitomi and the others amongst the ruins of Atlantis – The Mystic Valley.
As Hitomi traces the ancient Atlantean script, the history of Gaea and the secret of Atlantis is revealed. The people who dwelled in Atlantis were from the phantom moon, Earth. Their power became so great that they were able to fashion a machine to surpass God. This machine is able to convert wishes into reality. The people of Atlantis changed their appearance and even took on wings. But their arrogance brought their downfall.
In an attempt to prevent future generations from repeating their mistakes, they created Gaea, a beautiful and serene world. But with these revelations comes another. Is it because of the anxiety within Hitomi’s heart that this sad chain of events have come to pass?
Meanwhile, Allen has to battle the demons of his father Leon and his mother Encia. He has to learn what drove his father to do what he did.
And Van? Van has to battle the demons of the Dragon clan’s bloody past. To claim a bright future he must accept the sadness of war.
18 The Gravity of Destiny
The Escaflowne’s energist starts glowing, as a beam of brilliant light engulfs the Escaflowne, Van and Hitomi. As they begin to disappear, Allen too charges into the beams of light.
They find themselves standing in a strange and foreboding room, filled with the grinding and churning of machinery. They have arrived in the heart of Zaibach, lair or Lord Dornkirk.
On Earth, Isaac was obsessed with gravity. Yet is such an unseen force exists, what is the source of it? What is the thing that draws people together? The answer: Destiny. Isaac devoted his life to try and understand this. However, the answers just didn’t come.
One day he awoke to find himself in a strange place overlooking a barren land. He had been called to Gaea and the land was Zaibach. Seeing himself as the people’s saviour, he rebuilt the land into the mighty nation of Zaibach through his incredible knowledge of science.
But then the legend of Atlantis became known to him. A machine that could turn wishes into reality. A machine that could alter destiny. And he has finally completed it.
All that now stands in his way is the dragon known as Escaflowne and the mysterious girl from Earth, Hitomi.
19 Operation Golden Rule of Love
Allen, Van and Hitomi successfully escaped Zaibach aboard Escaflowne and are now safely back at Asturia. Dryden and the rest of the Crusade’s crew has also made their way back to Asturia. Surprise comes when Millerna reveals her wedding plans to Dryden.
Meanwhile, Dornkirk is still unable to see the bright future he so desparately seeks. The answer lies in splitting the dragon and Hitomi from one another. Whilst the armies want to do it by force, Folken has an other idea. He wants to achieve this aim through the use of the gravity of love.
Using the fate alteration machine, Folken hopes to break apart Hitomi and Van and instead bring her together with the Knight of Heaven, Allen Schezar. And with the fate alteration machine, this wish is more than possible to grant.
20 False Vows
Plans are underway for Princess Millerna’s wedding to Dryden. The day has arrived and Millerna is prepared to look her finest. But she still harbours doubt over this marriage and asks Hitomi to do a fortune reading for her.
Reluctantly, Hitomi does just this. But as the reading progresses, she realises that it is not looking good at all. Millerna and Allen are even destined to become lovers. After just sharing her first kiss with Allen, Hitomi tries to see if she can change destiny. If she can impose good fortune on Dryden and Millerna. But one shouldn’t play with fate.
Meanwhile, Folken completes a dangerous step in the game of catching Escaflowne and Hitomi. By infusing Naria and Eriya with luck enhanced blood fused by the destiny altering maching, Naria and Eriya now quite literally have all the luck in the world. They are literally untouchable.
And their first target is Asturia, the girl from the phantom moon, Hitomi Kanzaki.
21 Reaction of Fortune
As the luck intensified soldiers, Nariya and Eriya, capture Hitomi, Van jumps into action. But his movements trigger a strange malfunction in the luck intensifier, causing it to reverse its effect. Eriya escapes, but Naria comes crashing down to the ground.
Eluding the ground forces, Nariya is hurt and her body is betraying her. But she is still dangerous and her mission to capture Hitomi is far from over.
Meanwhile, Van comes to a startling conclusion. Because no one can come close to the luck intensified soldiers, the only solution lies in killing the man pulling their strings. The man who betrayed Fanelia. The man who serves Dornkirk. Zaibach’s Strategos. Folken Lacour de Fanel. His brother.
And no stealth manteaux can keep Van away.
22 The Black-Winged Angel
In Asturia, Allen, Dryden and the rest of Asturia’s advisors hold a meeting to determine how they should retaliate to Zaibach’s unprovoked attack. As things are going, a large majority feel that it would be best to simply hand over Hitomi to the empire and maintain the peace treaty.
In Zaibach, worry is still present over the continued interaction between Hitomi and Escaflowne. The sorcerors are worried, but Dornkirk still has his trust in Folken. But the four generals are getting edgy, wanting to know how Dornkirk is going to handle Asturia.
However, while all this is going on, Van is preoccupied by one thought only. The elimination of his brother, the one behind all the pain.
As a prince of Fanelia, Folken failed in his task of slaying the dragon to become the king, losing an arm in the process. He disappeared after that and the rumours began. He fights alongside Dornkirk to bring about a future free of fear and anger, in the hopes that it will be a world free of war. But he has now become disillusioned with Dornkirk’s methods.
But all this won’t quell the bloodlust within Van, as he and Hitomi head towards Fanelia to confront this black-winged angel.
23 Storm Premonition
Returning with Van and Hitomi, Folken seeks asylum in Asturia. Of course, the people can’t openly trust him, but with his knowledge as Zaibach’s Strategos he proves to be invaluable to their efforts in facing Zaibach. The countries of Gaea form alliances. And prepare to defend against the advancing Zaibach together. This may be the beginning of the first Great War in Gaea’s history.
Hitomi is left in a quandry when Allen tells her of how Prince Sid is his and Princess Marlene’s illegitimate child. And even more troubling. Allen has asked her to marry him.
But with Dornkirk watching everything, Zaibach is aware of the alliance and its plans. An preemptive strike is planned on their meeting place. Leading the attack forces is the newly awakened Diladau. With his forces now consisting of only one, the dog man Jajuka, Diladau prepares to feed his bloodlust.
As Van and Allen head into the harbour, a flying fortress decloaks its stealth manteaux – and launches the attack.
24 Fateful Decision
When the pillar of light disappeared, so did Hitomi. Her wish granted, she has been returned to Earth. But her point of return is a little backwards in time. Resulting in her knowing what is going to happen next. Could Van and all of Gaea just have been a dream?
Meanwhile, Allen gets a startling surprise. From nowhere his long lost sister, Celena appears. But she has lost her memory and can say nothing. But something is not right. They say Zaibach sorcerors experimented on live humans to achieve their ideals. And just what is Diladau’s past?
Van can’t stop thinking of Hitomi. Although he hasn’t sorted his feelings for her out yet, he knows he must see her again – even if he has to race Escaflowne right to the Phantom Moon.
What will Hitomi decide? Does she want to live out in reality, or does she want to go back to the blood-soaked Gaea – and to Van?
25 Zone of Absolute Fortune
Van and Hitomi have returned to a battlefield. The warriors of Cesario can’t stand against the soldiers of Zaibach. They need to hold their line until the Alliances main forces arrive to back them up. But with few forces left, they can’t hope to achieve much. However, Van agrees to lead them into battle – on the condition they escort Hitomi to the castle for her own safety.
Meanwhile, Dryden decides on a course that calls him away from Millerna. Now that Hitomi has cleared her feelings for Van, Allen must accept that she has spurned his advances. But so too may have Millerna.
Allen and Van are amongst the advancing Alliance forces, heading directly for Zaibach. The battles are intense and soaked with blood. A Basram general can’t take the losses they are suffering and decides to launch their ultimate weapon. It doesn’t matter who is on the battlefield below. All shall die in an explosion of light.
And then there is Folken. To end all this, he knows he must travel to Zaibach and defeat Dornkirk, even at the cost of his own life. Hitomi too knows that there lies the way to stop Van’s suffering. But all this is simply playing into Dornkirk’s Zone of Absolute Fortune.
26 Eternal Love
With Dornkirk’s fate alteration machine working at full capacity, his Zone of Absolute Fortune has become a reality. This is the power that Atlantis once controlled. The power to make man’s wishes a reality. Once started, it cannot be stopped.
But as Zaibach falls, the alliance start falling on each other. Former allies begin fighting. And the killing continues. Could it be that man wishes for a state of conflict? Does war rule the wishes of man?
But for some, the war never ends. Diladau/Celena continues fighting in the red guymelef. The time to end Van and his/her rivalry has arrived. But Allen is also on hand to try and save his sister. Will it be these two friends who kill each other?
Hitomi realises that it is her emotions that are binding Van. It is because she loves him. Across time, space and dimension.
But he loves her too.
11 Prophecy of Death
Allen, Van, Hitomi and the others are imprisoned by the Freid monks. Zongi, still in the guise of Plactu, wishes to learn more about this mysterious girl capable of seeing the invisible guymelefs. So he arranges an interogation session. She falls under his hypnosis fine enough, but when his and her hands meet around the pendant, things go a little awry. Hitomi envisions his past and his future – and it contains death.
But as the traumatic vision fades, it becomes apparent that Hitomi’s vision had more immediate effects as well. Hitomi collapses, her heart stopped from beating.
Can Prince Sid find it within himself to trust Allen enough to free them to try and prove their innocence. Van must try to stop Zongi from revealing Hitomi’s secrets to Zaibach. But fighting against invisible guymelefs is not that easy – unless you have been taught to envision things in your mind.
01 Fateful Confession
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 she comes too, she finds herself staring into Susumu’s face. She fainted, and is recovering in the infirmary. Susumu notices the pendant around Hitomi’s neck, and asks her about it. The pendant was a gift from her late grandmother, and has a rather special property. If you swing it like a pendulum, it manages to accurately keep time.
Uchida Yukari, Hitomi’s long time friend, lets her in on something. She overheard Amano talking about leaving Japan. If Hitomi wants to say something to Susumu, it will have to be tonight.
Hitomi plucks up the courage and asks Susumu to accompany her to the track that evening. She asks him a favour. If she can break the 13 second barrier on the track, she would ask that he take her first kiss. From a distance, Yukari watches, cheering her friend on. But as Hitomi begins her run, a blinding flash of light appears. The boy from her vision materializes right before her.
But before her questions can be answered, he is joined by a great Earth dragon. As the dragon rears to attack, the mysterious youth leaps in to thwart it. Hitomi, Yukari and Susumu take off, running for their lives. However the dragon gives chase, the mysterious youth not far behind.
When the battle is finally over, a brilliant light bathes the boy and Hitomi. As she opens her eyes she finds herself staring at an unfamiliar sight. The planet Earth and the moon.
06 The City of Intrigue
Van, Hitomi and Allen make it safely to the capital of Asturia, Palas. There they are greeted by the lovely princess Millerna. Allen’s men take care of the Crusade and the guymelef units while Allen, Hitomi, Van, Merle and Millerna head back towards the palace.
But even as Allen gives his report to King Aston, Zaibach’s moves become apparent. They have already reached the king. And in order to maintain the peace treaty between Zaibach and Asturia, King Aston demands the handing over of Van and the Escaflowne to Folken.
Meanwhile, Hitomi and the other cruise the local bazaar. But in the distance, Van spots his brother Folken and gives chase. He simply can’t understand why his brother has joined with this war-mongering nation. But as Folken explains, the Fanelia Folken died when he lost his arm to a dragon. The Folken of now joins Zaibach in its holy war to end all wars.
But even as Folken tries to bring Van over to his side, Diladau has other ideas. Spotting Van from afar, Diladau decides to unleash a long range attack. Powering his energist to the max, he launches the Claws of Chleama with deadly effect.
Meanwhile, King Aston also has plans for Van. And for his guymelef, Escaflowne.