A recent addition to the wide world of anime (Japanese cartoons), Escaflowne has become one of the most popular, and one of my own, because of its wide range of characters, sophisticated art style, and one of the most creative storylines in its genre.
The Vision of Escaflowne revolves around Hitomi Kanzaki, a high school girl who is training for the 100 meter dash but is unable to break 13 seconds. One day, she learns Captain Amano, whom she had a huge crush on, is leaving the school. She asks him if she breaks the 13 second mark, will he give her her first kiss. During her run, a beam of white light erupts in front of her, and to make a long story short, after a number of events, she is whisked away to another planet, Gaia. This planet is invisible to Earth but the Earth (also known as the Mystic Moon to Gaians) and the moon can be seen in its sky.
From there, Hitomi is thrust into a strange medieval world filled with knights, guymelefs, flying ships and the ravages of war. She must learn to survive in this strange world with her new friends, Prince Van Fanel or the dashing knight Allen Schezar - who either care deeply for her or want to use her strange fortune-telling powers to their own advantage. What is her role in all this and will she ever get back to Earth?
The art of Escaflowne, directed by Hiroshi Osaka, is highly detailed. There are many complex "guymelefs" (forty- to fifty-foot medieval robots; it takes a little explaining, but it all works for the best) which can fly, shoot liquid metal from one arm, and have shields which make them invisible. The landscape of this planet,