Gaea is an alternate dimension that was created from the combined wishes of the inhabitants of Atlantis when it started to sink into the ocean. Gaea has 100 different countries. On Gaea, Earth is known as the Mystic Moon. Gaea’s size, mass, atmospheric composition, temperature belts, and even seasons is the same as to those of Earth. Though it has a lesser gravity as seen with some of the jumping and acrobatic feats of some of the show’s characters. The 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 Earth and its moon in the sky. Hitomi’s latent psychic powers are enhanced on Gaea and she quickly becomes embroiled in the conflicts between the Zaibach Empire led by Emperor Isaac Dornkirk and the several peaceful countries that surround it. The conflicts are brought about by the Zaibach Empire’s quest to revive the legendary power from the ancient city of Atlantis. As the series progresses, many of the characters’ pasts and motivations, as well as the history of Atlantis and the true nature of the planet Gaea, are revealed.
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. 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.
The Vision of Escaflowne is one of my favorite anime and one of the first anime that may have inspired the whole “Transport to Another World” (Isekai) genre and made it so popular today. This series is a mixture of fantasy, modern setting, action, adventure, romance. I think it hit every genre it can. Technically, this is a mecha anime, but it is based on magic more than science.
Despite being over 20 years old, The Vision of Escaflowne still holds up pretty well and worth a (re)watch.
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The Vision of Escaflowne Season 1 (1996)
A collection of notable music and song from this series.
– “ザ・ストーリー・オブ・エスカフローネ~エンド・タイトル (The Story of Escaflowne ~ End Title)” by Yoko Kanno (ep 26)
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Photo by Nicolas LB, Jon Flobrant, and Yvette de Wit on Unsplash.