The Vision of Escaflowne

From Academic Kids

The Vision of Escaflowne ( Japanese: 天空のエスカフローネ;Tenkū no Esukafurōne or Escaflowne of the Heavens) is a 26-episode anime television series by Sunrise. It originally aired in Japan between 1996-04-02 and 1996-09-24. It has elements from the genres of shōjo, shōnen, romance, and mecha, and has since inspired a shōnen and shōjo manga series, and an Escaflowne theatrical movie.


Background information

This series focuses on the heroine, Hitomi Kanzaki, and her adventures after she is transported to the world of Gaea, a mysterious planet where she can see the Earth and moon in the sky. On Gaea, Earth is known as the Mystic Moon ( Japanese: 幻の月 maboroshi no tsuki or Phantom Moon). The design of this world mixes common fantasy elements from different cultures (such as knights and medieval fashion alongside samurai) with science-fiction technology such as floating ships and the giant armors known as Guymelefs. The latent psychic powers of Hitomi are enhanced on Gaea and she quickly becomes embroiled in the conflicts between the Zaibach Empire and several more peaceful countries. As the series progresses, many of the characters' pasts and motivations, as well as the true nature of the planet Gaea are revealed.

An important part of this anime are the huge mecha battlesuits, called Guymelefs, which are used by the Knights of this world to battle each other. Escaflowne, which is mentioned in the title, is one of those Guymelefs.


  • Hitomi Kanzaki (神崎ひとみ Kanzaki Hitomi) — A girl transported from Earth to the world of Gaea. Hitomi is a track sprinter at school and practices tarot card reading as a hobby. She discovers she is clairvoyant, an ability that begins to warp Dornkirk's visions of the future. Her destiny is connected with Van's.
  • Van Fanel — The brash young half-draconian king of Fanelia who must learn to cope with drastic changes in his life after Fanelia was destroyed by Zaibach. He pilots Escaflowne, a mystical armour, to which he is connected by blood. His destiny and Hitomi's are linked. He pilots the Guymelef Escaflowne after which the series is named. He has angel wings which allow him to fly.
  • Allen Schezar — The gallant knight of Asturia who seems to provide a foil for Van and a second potential love interest for Hitomi. He lost his younger sister, Celena, his father disappeared, and mother died shortly afterwards when he was a child. While he captures the heart of Princess Millerna of Asturia, he is a noted womanizer. He's a member of the Knight of Caeili, Asturia's elite knights. A gifted swordsman from young age, by learning under Balgus he became one of the greatest swordsman of Gaia.
  • Folken Strategos — The Strategos ( Japanese軍師 gunji or tactician) of Zaibach, Folken is revealed to be Van's older brother and the original heir to Fanelia. He, like Van, is half draconian and thus he has also angel wings. His wings have turned black, a sure sign that his life is coming to an end. Alltough draconians have a long lifespan, Dornkirk's experiments have left their toll.
  • Dornkirk — The leader of Zaibach and main antagonist of the series. He is said to be the equivalent of 200 Earth years old and is hinted to be Isaac Newton (alltough this is highly debatable). He continually tries to see into the future with his destiny prognostication machine to create an ideal future for Gaea by unlocking the secrets of Atlantis, which Hitomi's visions of the future and Van's connection to Escaflowne continually interfere with. His idea of an ideal future is the creaton of a "zone of absolute fortune", in which everyones dreams would come true. However, it is that very power that destroyed Atlantis in the first place.
  • Merle — A cat-girl and childhood friend of Van. She is jealous of Van's increasingly close relationship with Hitomi, but eventually sees that Hitomi means no harm to Van and warms up to her. Her family died when she was very young and now follows Van.
  • Balgus — is one of the three master swordsman of Gaia and a general of Fanelias army. He served under Van's father in his younger days, and later left to travel around Gaea, searching to improve his skills. He met Allen and trained him for a time, but when Van's father died he returned to Fanelia to look after Van and his mother. He died when Fanelia was sacked while saving Van. An unofficial translation of his name is Vargas.
  • Millerna Aston — The third princess of the kingdom of Asturia who is in love with Allen Schezar. However, she is betrothed to the merchant, Dryden Fassa. Millerna's ambition was once to become a doctor but was forced to give up her medical studies by her second sister, Eries. Her eldest sister, Marlene, is deceased and was once the wife of Duke Freid and the mother of the Duke's son, Chid.
  • Dryden Fassa — A knowledgeable, successful, and generous merchant who is also a part-time scholar. He is engaged to Millerna through his father Meiden, a friend of Asturia's king. He's perceptive and open-minded and well aware that Millerna is in love with Allen.
  • Dilandau Albatou — The leader of an elite group of Guymelef pilots in Donkirk's army. He is also somewhat of a maniac and his mysterious past unfolds as the series ends.

Countries and places

  • Gaea — A mystical world the sky that Hitomi visits and the series takes place. Earth can be seen as a moon in the sky. It was created by the Atlantians.
  • Mystic Moon — This is what the residents of Gaea call Earth. It has a reputation for being a cursed place among the people of Gaea. It appears as though the people of Gaea know nothing about what the Earth is really is, although Hitomi is hinted (and later shown) not to be the first person to go to Gaea from Earth.
  • Fanelia — A small kingdom in Gaea ruled by the Fanel family of which Van is king. It is demolished by Zaibach near the beginning of the series and it rebuilt at the very end of the series. Fanelia bears some similarities to feudal-era Japan.
  • Asturia — A major kingdom in Gaea that was initially allied with Zaibach before leading an alliance against them. The country is a monarchy and it's greatest warrirors are known as Knight Caeli. Asturia bears some resemblance to Renaissance-era Venice.
  • Freid — A duchy in Gaea that is ruled by the Fried family. It has an aniecnt artifact the Donkirk needs to complete his plan to revive the power of Atlantis. This artifacts draws the attention of Ziabach who invades Fried. Fried is said to have been based on Thailand.
  • Zaibach — A large powerful nation ruled by Donkirk that possesses very advanced technology. They seek to create a new era of peace by controlling the world and are led by Donkirk. Zaibach is similar to Industrial Revolution-era England.
  • Atlantis — An ancient, mysterious civilization on earth that was destroyed. The reason why it fell is that they created a device to to turn human will into energy. The few survivors are known are known as Draconians and live on Gaea, although it is unknown how many Draconians are left. Most of the main characters of the show visit the ruins of Atlantis late in the series.

Seiyū and composers

This series marked the anime debut (in a lead role) of Maaya Sakamoto as the voice of the main character Hitomi Kanzaki and the singer of the opening song Yakusoku wa Iranai as well as many other songs in the series.

The music, composed by Yoko Kanno and Hajime Mizoguchi, is of a decidedly Middle Eastern flavor, though it also incorporates different styles such as contemporary, classical, and Gregorian chants.


As there are many different releases and spin-offs of Escaflowne, this section will help with discerning the differences.

Bandai's now-defunct Anime Village label released a "Special Edition" in North America created by Bandai Visual in Japan. This "Special Edition" was the entire 26-episode story arc condensed into three VHS tapes. In 1998, Anime Village marketed this edition as the Vision of Escaflowne Best Collection.

Escaflowne briefly aired on the Fox Kids network in an edited form between August and October of 2000, but was canceled. This Escaflowne was modified for content and to fit the tastes of teenage boys. Because of this, it has been nicknamed Foxcaflowne.

A 23-episode version, heavily cut for content and timing, and with a different title sequence, aired several times on the Fox Kids channel in the UK.

Vision of Escaflowne has aired on YTV in Canada under the title Escaflowne and with the some of the same problems that the Foxkids version had.

The unedited 26-part series has since been released on bilingual DVD box sets in the US and UK. In October 2004 Bandai again released an Escaflowne box set that uses slim DVD cases, but the content appears unchanged from the original box set release from 2002. This re-release also includes Escaflowne, The Movie.

TOKYOPOP released the shonen manga in English in the United States in 2003. (The shōnen manga series actually debuted in Japan before the animated series did, due to the animated version's long pre-production process.) The American translation is imported to Australia by Madman Entertainment.


Escaflowne was originally a story known as Air Cavalry Chronicles which utilized the more typical transforming fighter-plane mecha in lieu of more knight-like Guymelefs. In fact, much of the nation and mecha names originated from that pre-production outline. (Certain design elements of Air Cavalry Chronicles were eventually adapted into various elements of Macross, a franchise co-created by Shoji Kawamori.)

External links

es:La visin de Escaflowne fr:Vision d'Escaflowne it:I cieli di Escaflowne ja:天空のエスカフローネ pl:The Vision of Escaflowne


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools