Look up into the night sky. You see the moon and the stars (or if you're an astro major, probably just lots of clouds). But did you know that there's another world there? Not too much farther than the moon is Gaea, a planet sort of like Earth, but not really. It is a place where magic exists, but so does science. Where the time feels medieval and the technology is unlike any seen on this planet. Where dragons breathe fire and the armor of knights are large robots. It is a wondrous land, and don't you dare call it El-Hazard.
Hitomi Kanzaki is a typical high school freshman, bright and cheerful with a charming personality. Among her friends, she's famous for her accurate tarot readings. A promising member of the school track team, Hitomi also happens to have a crush on the team's star runner, Susumu Amano (Amano-sempai).
Van Fanel is a typical heroic prince: brave, caring, and naively hot-headed. He is the successor to the throne of the small kingdom of Fanelia on Gaea. However, in order to assume his place as king, Van must acquire an Energist stone, the heart of a dragon. As implied, this is usually accomplished by killing a dragon.
As we begin, Hitomi has learned that Amano-sempai has been invited on an exchange program to train overseas. She is faced with the possibility of never seeing him again. The night before Amano-sempai is to leave, Hitomi asks him to time her in the 100 meters. If she can beat her goal of 13 seconds, then she will declare her feelings.
As Hitomi takes off down the track, she is interrupted by a boy materializing in the middle of her 100-meter test. The boy is Van, who had been combating the aforementioned Energist-containing dragon, which appears soon after. Through the confusion, Van defeats the dragon with Hitomi's help. As Hitomi talks to Van, trying to figure out what happened, a beam of light shoots out of the sky, taking them both back to Gaea.
And thus starts The Vision of Escaflowne, a story about Hitomi, Van, and a mysterious world just beyond the moon. Welcome to Gaea.
The Vision of Escaflowne was shown as a 26-episode television series from 4/2/96 to 9/24/96. The title is based on a King Arthur legend. It was created by Shoji Kawamori (Macross Plus) and Hajime Yadate. In addition, it features an amazing soundtrack by Yoko Kanno (Macross Plus) and Hajime Mizoguchi (Please Save My Earth). Escaflowne has received a very large following among fans in the US on the heels of Evangelion. Containing action, drama, fantasy, as well as big mecha, it mixes together many genre into an excellent story.