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Film Friday- The Vision of Escaflowne

Film Friday- The Vision of Escaflowne

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The Vision of Escaflowne (Japanese: 天空のエスカフローネ Hepburn: Tenkū no Esukafurōne, lit. Escaflowne of the Heavens) is a 26-episode Japanese anime television series produced by Sunrise Studios and directed by Kazuki Akane. It premiered in Japan on April 2, 1996 on TV Tokyo, and the final episode aired on September 24, 1996. Sony’s anime satellite channel, Animax also aired the series, both in Japan and on its various worldwide networks, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia. The series is licensed for Region 1 release by Bandai Entertainment.

The series follows a teenage high school girl named Hitomi, who finds herself pulled from Earth to the planet Gaea when a boy named Van appears on the high school track while battling a dragon. In Gaea, she is caught in the middle of a war as the Zaibach Empire attempts to take over Gaea. Van (King of Fanelia), with aid from Allen (an Asturian Knight), commands his mystical mech Escaflowne in the struggle to stop the Zaibach Empire. Hitomi’s fortune telling powers blossom in Gaea as she becomes the key to awakening Escaflowne and to stopping Zaibach’s plans.

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, Hajime Yatate, and Shoji Kawamori. 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.

Three pieces of theme music are used for the series. “No Need for Promises” (約束はいらない Yakusoku wa Iranai), performed by Maaya Sakamoto, is used for the series opening theme for the entire series, except the first episode in which no opening sequence is used. Performed by Hiroki Wada, “Mystic Eyes” is used for the ending theme for the first twenty-five episodes, while the final episode uses Yoko Kanno’s instrumental piece “The Story of Escaflowne ~ End Title” (ザ ストーリー オブ エスカフローネ~エンド タイトル Za Sutoorii Obu Esukafuroone ~ Endo Taitoru).

This series is just so amazing, it has everything you could want. There is mecha action, betrayal, true love, Issac Newton, knights, and some incredible music. The first time I watched this series I watch it all in two days. It was an wonderful ride and an anime classic that you must watch.

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Manga Monday- The Vision of Escaflowne

Manga Monday- The Vision of Escaflowne

vision-of-escaflowne

When high school girl Hoshino Hitomi dabbles with tarot cards she suddenly finds herself on a strange world called Gaea. With her new found friend, Van Fanel, the young prince of the devastated kingdom of Fanelia, Hitomi becomes involved in the battle against the Zaibach forces, an evil empire bent on conquering the planet. So begins the epic saga that was spawned by one the most acclaimed anime series of the past decade.

Three alternate retellings of The Vision of Escaflowne have been released in manga form, with first two manga series developed at the same time as the anime. Due to the radical changes in the anime series during production, these two manga series are very different from the original anime series and each other. The first series, also titled The Vision of Escaflowne was one of the first manga series to appear in the then new Shōnen Ace magazine from Kadokawa Shoten. Despite the anime series itself being on hold, Sunrise gave artist Katsu Aki the existing production and character designs, resulting in the first manga series having the heavy shōnen feel and curvaceous Hitomi that was originally planned for the anime series. Given free rein to change the story however he wanted, Aki’s version is a violent saga focused primarily on fighting and has Hitomi transforming into a “curvaceous nymph” that is the power source of the mecha Escaflowne. The series premiered in Shōnen Ace’s first issue on October 24, 1994 and ran until November 26, 1997. The thirty-eight chapters were collected and published by Kadokawa across eight tankōbon volumes. It was licensed for released in North America by Tokyopop with the first volume released on July 10, 2003. The Tokyopop English editions were also imported for distribution in Australia by Madman Entertainment.

In 1996, with the premiere of the anime series, Messiah Knight — The Vision of Escaflowne was created. This shōjo oriented adaptation was written by Yuzuru Yashiro and serialized in Asuka Fantasy DX from April 8, 1996 through January 18, 1997. Unlike the first manga, it focused more on the interaction of the characters and severely toned down the violence to the point that the mecha are not used for battle at all and The Escaflowne only appears near the end of the series. It was abruptly canceled after only 10 chapters and the end of the anime, due to the slowing popularity of the series. The individual chapters were released in two tankōbon volumes, at which time the series was retitled Hitomi — The Vision of Escaflowne.

A final manga retelling, Escaflowne — Energist’s Memories, was a collaborative effort of various manga artist around Japan to create 15 “mini-stories” related to the anime series. The single volume manga was published in January 1997 under Kadokawa’s Asuka comics DX shōjo imprint. Artist’s who contributed to the volume include: Tammy Ohta, Yayoi Takeda, Kahiro Okuya, Daimoon Tennyo, Kazumi Takahashi, Masaki Sano, and Kyo Watanabe.

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