Tenkuu no Escaflowne cover
Tenkuu no Escaflowne poster

Tenkuu no Escaflowne

Hitomi Kanzaki is just an ordinary 15-year-old schoolgirl with an interest in tarot cards and fortune telling, but one night, a boy named Van Fanel suddenly appears from the sky along with a vicious dragon. Thanks to a premonition from Hitomi, Van successfully kills the dragon, but a pillar of light appears and envelopes them both. As a result, Hitomi finds herself transported to the world of Gaea, a mysterious land where the Earth hangs in the sky. In this new land, Hitomi soon discovers that Van is a prince of the Kingdom of Fanelia, which soon falls under attack by the evil empire of Zaibach. In an attempt to fight them off, Van boards his family's ancient guymelef Escaflowne—a mechanized battle suit—but fails to defeat them, and Fanelia ends up destroyed. Now on the run, Hitomi and Van encounter a handsome Asturian knight named Allen Schezar, whom Hitomi is shocked to find looks exactly like her crush from Earth. With some new allies on their side, Van and Hitomi fight back against the forces of Zaibach as the empire strives to revive an ancient power. [Written by MAL Rewrite]

Ranking 1049

User Count11314
Favorites Count205
Start Date2nd Apr 1996
Next ReleaseInvalid date
Popularity Rank1049
Rating Rank1308
Age RatingPG
Age Rating GuideTeens 13 or older
SubtypeTV
Statusfinished

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Vision of Escaflowne has something of a name for itself in anime history for being an an attempt to appeal to both shonen and shoujo demographics at the same time. Featuring mechas, swordfights, explosions, stuff burning etc. alongside bishonen male protagonists in a love triangle with the regular everyday girl from another world seems to be a lot of its selling point, and as a result, it's often fondly remembered as a true anime classic of the 90s.Escaflowne revolves around a teenage girl named Hitomi Kanzaki, an everyday ordinary girl who happens to like reading tarot cards. Or so that was the extent of it, until one day, she ended up being whisked away to the mysterious world of Gaia with a dragon-slaying teenage boy who was returning. As it turns out, Hitomi has ended up in the midst of a world about to break into full-blown war, as a result of the strange actions of the nation of Zaibach.The first, and most obvious problem, as you may have already guessed from the synopsis, is our main character Hitomi. She is basically just what you would expect from what has been said... a bland, overly moral cliché, existing mainly for the female side of the audience to project themselves onto, as she is paired up with both of our handsome bishonen leads. And unfortunately, they aren't anything impressive either. Van Fanel is an angsty prince who sees his kingdom destroyed at the start of the series, and if you just noticed the clichés rack up, you're not the only one. He also happens to be the one that Hitomi will obviously get paired with by the end of the series. He is balanced out by Allen, who happens to be a charming, charismatic ladykiller who excels in basically every field he participates in. He had the most potential of the three, but by the end of it he's honestly not all that interesting. Throw into this a number of annoying supporting characters (along with one who happens to be pretty awesome), and you have a relatively poor set of protagonists.However, this is mostly where the bad in Escaflowne ends. The plot in Escaflowne manages to be very solid, enough so to balance out the poor leading cast. The directing is even better, building some excellent scenes with solid action, mostly revolving around the mechas (referred to as Guymelefs). When talking of Escaflowne, you will probably end up hearing a fair bit about the Guymelefs, and with good reason. The steampunk design that they use makes them an excellent contribution to the mecha genre. In fact, the steampunk vibe in general is probably one of the most solid things about Escaflowne.On top of this, while the protagonists are rather underwhelming, the antagonists certainly fare better. Dornkirk, Folken, and Dillandau are a far better trio than Hitomi, Van and Allen, with the latter being quite firmly the most memorable character in the series due to being batshit insane. Folken is Van's brother, and has more than a handful of similarities to a certain Star Wars character (I won't say who, but you can probably guess) and I mean that as a compliment. And Dornkirk, the Big Bad, does sit back for most of the series, but can be rather menacing when he is directly involved, and provides some very interesting motives.From a production angle of things, Escaflowne was excellent for its time, and in technical terms it's still very solid, but unfortunately the art and animation have aged quite a lot. Most notably in the case of the infamous CG dragons. The character designs are clearly the thing that have aged the worst, though. Saucer-like eyes and misshapen noses are everywhere in them. The soundtrack is by Yoko Kanno, so odds are I don't really need to say anything else because it's freaking Yoko Kanno. The voice acting in the original Japanese is also excellent, with Maaya Sakamoto providing her debut role as Hitomi, and Minami Takayama gives a standout performance as Dilandau. Unfortunately, the dub does not even come close to shaping up. None of the actors involved really seem to grasp the concept of "acting", nor do any of them sound remotely convincing in their given roles.Overall, Escaflowne is definitely an enjoyable run, but I really can't see where it gets its status as a classic from. It's far too flawed to be deserving of a 16-year legacy, nor has it really contributed anything good to anime as a medium. Nonetheless, it's still quite a solid story if you can get past the main characters.Final words: Overrated, but still quite good.Story/Plot: 8/10Animation/Graphics: 7/10Music/Background: 9/10Characters: 6/10English Dub: 2/10Overall: 7/10

If you are a Shōjo fan, watch it. If you are a Shōnen fan, watch it. If you are a Mecha fan, watch it. If you are a Steampunk fan, watch it. If you are a Fantasy fan, watch it. If you are a fan of Anime in general, watch it. This show was a big departure from what I was used to watching and it took me almost 9 to 10 years just to be able to watch this series and the reason that I did not watch this series at first was because of not just availability for me but also because some of the artwork that I had seen of the Mechs was not that good quality and it was ultimately because of Yoko Kanno that I Eventually watched this show \[BD Release\] and I am glad that I did watch this series back in February-March of 2014 and finally I bought the show \[OAV Bandai DVD Release\] in December of 2014. The Vision Of Escaflowne was an Orchestral Bombing and Emotional Ride with it's music, probably Yoko Kanno's greatest work. I can't recommend it enough. The Vision Of Escaflowne Original Soundtrack 1 - Over the Sky \[Epic and Beautiful\] The Vision Of Escaflowne Original Soundtrack 2 \[Emotional and Beautiful\] The Vision Of Escaflowne Original Soundtrack 3 \[Emotional, Slightly Epic and Beautiful\] Escaflowne The Movie: A Girl in Gaia Original Soundtrack \[Emotional, Epic and Beautiful\] The Vision Of Escaflowne - Lovers Only \[Emotional, Epic and Beautiful\] If you want a In depth review, i suggest reading roriconfan's review if you have not already read it.

Critic's Log - Earthdate: March 22, 2013. Review #42: The Vision of Escaflowne. ****Sometimes there are things in life that fortune will smile upon, but is it wise to toy with fate? There is no fate but what we make for ourselves. We have the power to change the future. With that said, let's explore the world of Gaea with... The Vision of Escaflowne   High school student Hitomi Kanzaki is a freshman and is talented in Track and Field. She somehow transported from Earth to the magical world of Gaea, where she meets a young prince named Van Fanel, and is caught up in his quest to unite the countries of Gaea against the ominous Zaibach empire. On the way, she discovers an hidden secret and strives to unravel layers of mystery surrounding Van, his past, and the giant machine known as Escaflowne.   To be technical, this is a Sunrise production and this anime is proof that the animation in this show has aged very well. Some poeple don't like some of the character designs in this show because they always point out that the "noses" looked a little odd or something. This didn't bother me too much. The show does look like your typical 90's anime but there was a bit of a game changer regarding the animation because from what I've heard, This anime had not only hand-painted animation cels, but it also had computer-generated special effects which was brand new for an anime to pull something like this off. That was one thing that intrigued me concerning the animation. If the opening wasn't enough, there's more good stuff when it comes to this factor of an anime. The animation is gorgeous.     When it comes to music, Escaflowne was composed by two musicians. One of them was Hajime Mizoguchi and the other is Yoko Kanno (who would later be well-known for her music scores for animes such as Cowboy Bebop, Wolf's Rain, and Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex. This was probably her first major hit of a music score. The score involves orchestra and trust me... This soundtrack was epic. You won't be disappointed. However...Get used to hearing that name "Escaflowne" more often in the entire soundtrack, it's a running motif.     When it comes to the voice acting, The Japanese cast is superb and terrific from start to finish. Hitomi just so happens to be Maaya Sakamoto's debut role and she really makes a first impression for her voice acting talent and she would later become a big name in Japanese voice acting up to the present time. Tomokazu Seki is also pretty good as Van. Shinichiro Miki plays a great Allen. Ikue Ohtani is pretty good as Merle. Jouji Nakata is terrific as Folken, and Minami Takayama sounds like he had way too much fun as Dilandau. The standout extras in the subbed version include Juurouta Kosugi as Dryden, Mayumi Iizuka as Millerna, and the late Masato Yamanouchi as Dornkirk.     Now Before I get to talking about the dub, let's get inside the TARDIS and travel back in time to the year 2000. Escaflowne first aired in the U.S. back in 2000, but it was short-lived.   This would be commonly dubbed the "Fox Kids" version because there were numerous edits to each episode, it had its own exclusive opening which I don't really think suits the show much. The main character focus was switched from Hitomi to Van to make the show appeal to young boys. It was cancelled because of low ratings and trust me when I say this... you're better off with the show in it's complete uncut form. The English dub in the FOX Kids Version was also not very good. I wish the dub could have been better when they actually dubbed the whole series because the Dub of Escaflowne has some of the worst voice acting out there and I tried really hard to get used to this dub but I couldn't. The tones didn't fit most of the time, some vocal tones were placed right but not acted the way it could've been and it was bad right from the first minute, it didn't sound like they were trying hard enough and I immediately went to subs right after the first minute, it really was that bad of a dub, but allow me to say this. Kelly Sheridan is much better as Sango than Hitomi, Kirby Morrow is better as Miroku than Van, Brian Drummond was actually decent as Allen, Jocelyn Loewen was not that good as Merle. Paul Dobson (yes, the voice of Naraku from InuYasha) is actually decent as Folken. The lowpoint of the dub has to be Andrew Francis as Dilandau. You know what, he has had better roles since Dilandau     Back on topic, If you are planning on watching this anime dubbed, just go right to the subs on this one, you're better off watching it subtitled than watching it dubbed. I hope someday this anime gets a re-dub, but I'm guessing that's asking too much.   When it comes to characters, they aren't really too perfect when it comes to development but this is redeemable as the show progresses. Hitomi is your average high-school girl who has a crush on pretty much anyone that looks really attractive. Understandable, she does appear to just stand in the sidelines as the conflicts are taking place (Sometimes...) But there are times where she does get involved to confront the issues that would take place. Hitomi is a not the typical "Damsel in distress" She is actually wriitten pretty well in an above average level. There will be a point in the series where she'll realize what she is really doing and I'll let you figure out the rest. Van and Allen are also interesting characters. I like some of the dynamics between Van and Allen. Folken was an interesting case as the show progressed and Dilandau was a bit delightful if you like characters that are insane. Merle is simply the sidekick for the show and I guess she was alright too. The only issue with the characters is that the main cast is developed well but some of the minor characters weren't.     What makes The Vision of Escaflowne remarkable is the story. It starts off pretty decently, but as the story progresses, it gets a bit complex and it even starts being a little thought-provoking too. I was hooked after I finished watching the 14th episode of this show and I wanted to know how the show would end because it was really getting good. It did get more interesting around the second half and it did not disappoint...too much. Escaflowne was on a perfect track record until the show was on its last 3 episodes. If I heard right, Escaflowne was supposed to have a second season but the studio or whoever was behind it told the staff to end the show instead. Apparently that was the case. This all led to Escaflowne having a rushed ending. It was a good ending but the rushed pace is pretty obvious. Does that really hurt the chances of people liking the show after it's done? No, it really is a fantastic series. Fantasy buffs (kinda like me) will very much enjoy the show for how much effort that was put into Escaflowne. Kazuki Akane directed this terrificly for the most part. If you haven't seen The Vision of Escaflowne, then what are you doing, looking at my review? Sit down and give this show a try because I don't say this lightly... It is really an anime classic that truly deserves a viewing.   The Vision of Escaflowne was available from Bandai Entertainment, you know what that means... It's sadly out of print. The manga by Katsu Aki was available by Tokyopop and it is out of print, Another manga named "Messiah Knight - The Vision of Escaflowne" never was released stateside. a third manga named "Energist's Memories" also never made it stateside, The light novel series was also never released stateside. The Escaflowne movie was available by Bandai Entertainment, like the show, it too is out of print.   With all that said, The Vision of Escaflowne is a true work of art because it wastes no second of it's timeframe. The animation is gorgeous even if some people find the character designs a little odd, it has epic music, it has some memorable characters, an interesting story and pretty much anything a Fantasy buff would want to see in a classic anime. It isn't perfect but it does have a very good track record.   I give The Vision of Escaflowne a 9.7 out of 10, it is EXCELLENT!   Feel free to leave a comment

Is it a fantasy? Is it a mecha? Is it a drama? Or, are genres dumb and inadequate for categorizing The Vision of Escaflowne? Indeed, this anime could fit under a lot of different headings because it is an amalgamation of elements from several genres, but it definitely pulls off its own unique style and story. There really isn’t anything out there like The Vision of Escaflowne, and that alone makes the series worth watching. First and foremost, Escaflowne is a drama. There are political elements, mechs, and a diverse, expansive fantasy world. These are flavor for a mature, well-written drama. And great flavor they provide, with unique looking Guymelefs, the mechs; floating islands reminiscent of Laputa; striking human and animal half-breeds (dolphin man anyone?); the character designs with their pointy noses I haven’t seen anywhere else; culturally diverse costume designs; the art, particularly shading in the hearty sunsets and attention to the cast; and a great musical repertoire involving Yoko Kanno. Understand why it’s hard to classify such an anime? It’s absolutely not worth the trouble to attempt such a thing with Escaflowne because it is simpler to watch it. The drama is a straightforward love triangle that drags on through the twenty six episodes, often on the back burner. However, the “dragging on” is time well-spent fleshing out a medium-sized cast and exploring various types of love. The intricate, detailed characters bear complex feelings and motivations that mimic reality, where people are just as immature and misunderstanding of themselves. In addition, the show portrays an enormous range of loves between characters. There’s romantic love, first of all, featuring many of the main characters: Hitomi, Allen, Van, Millerna, Dryden, and so on and is as multiplexed and confounding as it is on the other side of the screen. Then, there’s sibling and filial love that are present on multiple occasions and just as obtuse. These areas are where the show hit home, though I belatedly realized I should have been looking for these things all along! Argh! A complete re-watch of the show is in order so that instead of anticipating the next plot twist, device, or battle, I could read between the lines of the characters’ stories. The plot, while consistently paced, is super quick and dizzying. It isn’t always easy to keep attention on the characters because random devices and plot elements have a habit of popping up on an almost episodic basis. All that goes to say, keep your sights on what is done tremendously well: the cast, their interactions, and their feelings. There’s still a few things to mention, including flaws. There’s exceptional foreshadowing, like the first episode, which honestly depicts exactly the themes and atmosphere for the remaining twenty five episodes. As for weaknesses, many lie in the details, such as Balgus, a knight that has less impact on the viewer than on the characters due to the fact that he is in only one episode; the repetition of a couple things, namely Dilandau’s blood-thirsty psychosis; and trying to keep track of all the random, esoteric technology that Emperor Dornkirk keeps babbling about. The unrelenting pacing is a mixed bag. Things don’t get dull, but you’ll be hard pressed to understand both the plot line and complex characters. Lastly, the politics and magic of Gaea are treated as secondary interests when it comes to explanations and the conclusion, though they are key to the story. Crazy stuff happens and you just have to accept it. These shortcomings can jolt the viewer out of the experience and make things feel second-hand, not first-person. The show makes up for these by not falling head-over-heels for the love-conquerors-all trope or petty crushes with no rhyme or reason. It one-ups most stereotypical animes and movies, with their shallow, narrow emphases on romantic love. These rarely reveal the deep-seated reasons and complications behind characters’ feelings, nor express the convoluted variety of love within the human heart. With a complex and mature view of it’s characters and set in one detailed fantasy of a world, Escaflowne is one-of-a-kind.

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