I had quite a few expectations for Vision of Escaflowne because my roommate loves it so very much. She made me wait to watch it until I had seen quite a few others on her list because it is one of her favorites. The nice thing is that I wasn’t disappointed at all. This anime is really wonderful and I didn’t see any flaws that could indicate its age. I really enjoyed this anime and would recommend it to both shoujo and shounen viewers, even if they are like me and tend to watch newer series. This show is still noticeably original despite everything else that is out there. Read on for more!
The plot follows a young girl named Hitomi who lives an average school life with her friends. She is a star track runner and has a huge crush on her captain, Amano. When she finds out that he is leaving for England she decides to confess and does so by trying to beat a running record. She ends up seeing a vision during the race brought on by the pendant that her grandmother gave her for good luck and a armored boy appears in front of her during the race. This boy is followed closely by a dragon that wreaks havoc around the school until he defeats it with the help of one of Hitomi’s visions. Before she can do anything else, Hitomi and the boy are sucked into a pillar of light and sent to his planet, called Gaea. The boy’s name is Van Fanel and he is the king of a country called Fanelia. The story follows Hitomi as she tries to find a way home while coping with her newfound powers on this planet. Gaea is also in the midst of a war brought on by the conquering country of Zaibach. Hitomi meets many people along the way, including the chivalrous Allen Schezar and learns of the giant robots the soldiers use to fight, including the mysterious and powerful Escaflowne piloted by Van.
The characters of this show were really nicely developed. Each of them had many major changes in their behavior and lives throughout the series. My particular favorite was Van because he had to deal with so much in the show and he changed a lot, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. He was a very well thought out and likable character and I enjoyed his presence in the plot. Hitomi is also a character to be noted because she really fit into her role very well. At first I felt like she was a typically useless female lead, but she really changed my mind by the end of the series and I was really proud of her strength. This show does a really good job at disguising the show with action and male heroes when it is truly about Hitomi and her role in the salvation of Gaea. I thought it was really well done. There were also minor characters like the evil soldier Dilandau who really had some interesting plot surrounding them. I enjoyed that every character contributed to the show in some way.
I loved the plot of this series. It only felt slow maybe two times and this feeling didn’t last long. It was exciting to watch and unique in the plot devices. I didn’t feel like it was reaching or borrowing plot from too many other sources. At its heart this show was a wonderful love story as well that developed in a proper and natural way. You found yourself rooting for this couple to find each other the whole time because of how much they obviously cared for each other. The show didn’t feel rushed to me and the last couple of episodes were really enjoyable. I couldn’t stop once I started the last three episodes. This show is a perfect example of successfully mixing romance and action, something that I have mentioned in the past as a criteria for a high rating for me.
The music was really good in this show as well. It always went with the action and plot perfectly. There is something cool about watching a huge action scene and hearing a male choir chant “Escaflowne” over and over that really gets to you. The animation was also really nice, especially for its age. The style threw me off at first, but I really ended up enjoying the character and scene design by the end. This anime really looked very nice and I didn’t notice animation inconsistencies.
This series is a wonderful classic that any self-proclaimed otaku should take a look at. I really enjoyed it a lot and it has probably been my favorite off of my shoujo anime summer list. This show will be good for a long time, no matter how old it gets, and I think that is pretty cool. Just make sure to watch the japanese version to get the real effect. I give this anime a 4.5/5 for my anime review.