Tenkuu no Escaflowne literally translates as "Escaflowne of the High Skies," but is more commonly known as "Vision of Escaflowne." This series is just... spectacular. Twenty-six episodes of amazingly beautiful art, political intrigue, strange prophecies, steam-punk technology, and really, really hot guys combine to make this, hands down, one of the best series out there. Escaflowne is the story of a young girl, Hitomi Kanzaki, who is transported to the world of Gaea. She befriends the young King Van, the gallant knight Allen, the naive princess Millerna, and many others along the way. The story is complicated and twisted, and one truly cares about the characters. I love this show.
The first time I watched it straight through, Escaflowne struck me as a show about war-- The main emphasis seemed to be battles, death, and the fall of an empire. However, a repeated veiwing revealed subtler depths. This time it seemed to be a show about love and loss, finding oneself, and learning to accept others. Hitomi was no longer a bratty schoolgirl with physic powers, rather, she was a lost, confused, naive girl who had wandered into the middle of something she had no control over. Van's own pain over the loss of his kingdom was much clearer, Allen's character suddenly seemed much deeper and more tragic than before. Perhaps this change came about because, in the meantime, I had seen the movie several times. A Girl In Gaea is clearly a story about people, rather than countries. For whatever reason, I've recently found new reason to love Escaflowne, and fully encourage anyone to watch it if and when they can. Tenkuu no Escaflowne is a singluar example of anime at its best.