The Vision of Escaflowne (天空のエスカフローネ, Tenkū no Esukafurōne, lit. "Escaflowne of the Heavens") is a 26-episode 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.
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.
The series focuses on the heroine, Hitomi Kanzaki, and her adventures after she is transported to the world of Gaea, a mysterious planet where she can see Earth and its moon in the sky. On Gaea, Earth is known as the Mystic Moon. Hitomi's latent psychic powers are enhanced on Gaea and she quickly becomes embroiled in the conflicts between the Zaibach Empire and the several peaceful countries that surround it. The conflicts are brought about by the Zaibach Empire's quest to revive the legendary power from the ancient city of Atlantis. As the series progresses, many of the characters' pasts and motivations, as well as the history of Atlantis and the true nature of the planet Gaea, are revealed.