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 was licensed for Region 1 release by Bandai Entertainment. It is currently licensed by Funimation.
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 mecha 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. 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.