Despite the fact I haven’t seen the full series yet (only 18 of the 26 eps), I’m going to attempt to tell about Escaflowne, also known as Vision of Escaflowne. As I suck at summaries, I copied the next part from Anime News Network:
High school student Hitomi is transported from Earth to the magical world of Gaea, where she meets boy prince 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 ability and strives to unravel layers of mystery surrounding Van, his past, and the giant machine known as Escaflowne.
First of all, if you wanna get an idea of these series, the main weapons they use in this world are Guymelefs (spelling may be wrong), which is basically a Gundam like machine, but different. In a way they are less advanced, but they also have stuff like cloaking devices. Seems to be a mix of steam/weels technique with some magic like fuel (dragon heart).
In this whole story, it focusses so far on 3 characters. There is Hitomi, who is your usual earth high school girl, who seems to like sports (judging on the first ep), but also likes to ‘predict’ the future of friends and such with tarot cards. Also, she has this pendant from her grandmother, which has some mysterious powers from time to time. The exact role is slowly revealed by now, but so far it acts pretty random or when Hitomi focusses on it.
Now, Hitomi is just plain annoying. Later on, she gets random visions, mainly about disasters, making her freak out big time. The way she acts is just…meh. Also, she can’t seem to decide who she likes better. The guy back on earth, Van or Allen Schezar. Honestly, make up your mind girl! I don’t like girls who freak and scream the whole time, period.
Then there is Van, who oddly reminds me of Heero from Gundam Wing (and yes, there are actually GW/Esca fics out there by people who also noticed the similar looks and made crossover fics about it). While he’s pretty much a reserved person at first, Hitomi seems to make him open up a bit, accepting peoples help, getting some sense in his head (one of the few good things she has done). His past is quite cool (don’t wanna spoil it really) and a tad tragic, as it concerns an older brother who joined Zaibach, aka the bad guys.
Last is Allen, a knight who joins Hitomi and Van (along with his group of fellow fighter guys, almost pirate like). His past just got revealed and is even more tragic than Van’s past. Vision of Escaflowne seems to give all the characters a dramatic story… Basically a father who left him and his mother to chase after a big mystery for money, him becoming a bratty teen fighting everyone as a result, till a king found and beat him in a fight, getting him back on the right track and eventually making him a knight.Then he got a love affair with the princess (daughter of the king, though noone ever found out, it seems) and possibly a kid with her too, before she married a king from another kingdom.
Now, the biggest issue about Escaflowne is that it simply is too confusing. I’m watching the whole DVD set with a friend of mine, and we both are very confused about what exactly is going on. We get the main idea, but they keep adding so much stuff, that we lost track of it. Looks like we have to rewatch all eps several times to understand it completely.
Though the really biggest issue is the drawing style. Their noses are huge!!! Very pointy and all and sometimes even deformed. Still not used to it…makes us wince everytime it happens from certain angles.
And the biggest mystery so far is the gender of one of the characters, a bad guy to be exactly, named Dilandau. Not only is he/she very scary, crazy and sadistic, but nothing really reveals his/her gender (not voice, no decent views on chest either). Friend who let us borrow the first dvd said something about it being some plot twist in the future…so only time will know, I guess. Darn you Japanese voice actor :P If any of you have seen it, no spoiling please.
So yeah, my attempt to write something about Escaflowne. Sorry for the delay, peeps.
EDIT: Watched the remaining 8 eps and I feel like adjusting my semi-negative opinion about the series.
For one, in the end, some of the stuff that confused me made sense now. Also, Dilandau's gender issue was one heck of an unexpected plot twist. Me and my friend thought we knew the gender at some point, but in the end, it turned out to be way more complicated.
However, I wasn't really satisfied with the ending. Especially concerning a certain pairing. But I guess that's just my own silly opinion.
Overall rating: Nice anime, though a tad confusing and some annoying chars, but worth watching :)