Film Friday- The Vision of Escaflowne

ecsaflowne-anime

The Vision of Escaflowne (Japanese: 天空のエスカフローネ Hepburn: Tenkū no Esukafurōne, lit. Escaflowne of the Heavens) is a 26-episode Japanese anime television series produced by Sunrise Studios and directed by Kazuki Akane. It premiered in Japan on April 2, 1996 on TV Tokyo, and the final episode aired on September 24, 1996. Sony’s anime satellite channel, Animax also aired the series, both in Japan and on its various worldwide networks, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia. The series is licensed for Region 1 release by Bandai Entertainment.

The series follows a teenage high school girl named Hitomi, who finds herself pulled from Earth to the planet Gaea when a boy named Van appears on the high school track while battling a dragon. In Gaea, she is caught in the middle of a war as the Zaibach Empire attempts to take over Gaea. Van (King of Fanelia), with aid from Allen (an Asturian Knight), commands his mystical mech Escaflowne in the struggle to stop the Zaibach Empire. Hitomi’s fortune telling powers blossom in Gaea as she becomes the key to awakening Escaflowne and to stopping Zaibach’s plans.

While the anime series was in production, two very different manga retellings were also developed and released: a shōnen version of the story entitled The Vision of Escaflowne and a shōjo retelling titled Hitomi — The Vision of Escaflowne. In addition, a second shōjo adaptation called Escaflowne — Energist’s Memories was released as a single volume in 1997. The story was novelized in a series of six light novels by Yumiko Tsukamoto, Hajime Yatate, and Shoji Kawamori. A movie adaptation, entitled simply Escaflowne, was released on June 24, 2000, but bears only a basic resemblance to the original series. Four CD soundtracks and a drama CD have also been released in relation to the series.

Three pieces of theme music are used for the series. “No Need for Promises” (約束はいらない Yakusoku wa Iranai), performed by Maaya Sakamoto, is used for the series opening theme for the entire series, except the first episode in which no opening sequence is used. Performed by Hiroki Wada, “Mystic Eyes” is used for the ending theme for the first twenty-five episodes, while the final episode uses Yoko Kanno’s instrumental piece “The Story of Escaflowne ~ End Title” (ザ ストーリー オブ エスカフローネ~エンド タイトル Za Sutoorii Obu Esukafuroone ~ Endo Taitoru).

This series is just so amazing, it has everything you could want. There is mecha action, betrayal, true love, Issac Newton, knights, and some incredible music. The first time I watched this series I watch it all in two days. It was an wonderful ride and an anime classic that you must watch.

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One thought on “Film Friday- The Vision of Escaflowne

  1. Escaflowne was what first got me into anime. At the time I thought it was brilliant, and while I’ve seen a few that might actually be better, none are closer to my heart.
    I really liked the marriage between relationship driven social plots, and the strong backdrop of war, destiny, and fate that create very large scale consequences for what might otherwise be very personal conflicts. And Yoko Kanno did such a fantastic job with the music.
    My only regret is the length of the series.
    Around the 2/3 3/4 mark there are a couple episodes that feel rushed, and there are definitely characters who deserve more screen time, but all in all I think they did an admirable job telling the story they had with the time they were allotted.
    And the DVD/Bluray has some great behind the scenes conversations with the cast and crew.

    Like

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