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Vh ep24 01
"This love they have for each other... This emotion of theirs... Can it surpass even that fate of war borne by man?" - Emperor Dornkirk
Both The Vision of Escaflowne and Escaflowne: The Movie revolve around the central relationship between Hitomi Kanzaki and Van Fanel. Hitomi and Van's love for each other is a powerful force that changes both Hitomi and Van's lives and the lives of those around them.

In the anime Edit

"I worry about you so much... I care about you so much... Why can't you understand?" - Hitomi
"Hitomi, I want you to stay with me from now on." - Van
While running track, Hitomi has a vision of Van preparing to carry out the Rite of Succession to ascend the Fanelian throne. His task transports him to Earth where he meets Hitomi. Hitomi's pendant helps her warn Van when the dragon is attempting to attack him, and he is able to kill the dragon with her help. Even though Hitomi saved Van's life, he is quite ungrateful at first, and resents her during their first few days on Gaea together.

Whenever Van is in danger, Hitomi has visions that warn her, and in several cases, risks her life to warn Van. Additionally, the dowsing power granted to her by her pendant helps Van spot the Zaibach Guymelefs that use stealth-cloaking technology. Van begins to return this same concern for Hitomi, even sprouting his wings, in spite of the stigma surrounding his heritage, to save her from falling to her death. Early on, he promises her that he will find a way to return her to Earth, no matter what.

Hitomi and Van also learn about each other's family. Hitomi learns that Folken is Van's brother when she goes to warn him that Dilandau is going to attack him. Soon afterward, Hitomi talks about her life at home with her parents and her younger brother. Van confesses that with Fanelia destroyed and Balgus gone, Merle is the only "family" he has left. Hitomi learns through a series of visions and Van telling her about his father's death and his mother and Folken's disappearance.

Van asks Hitomi to help teach him how to dowse. Escaflowne's Energist and Hitomi's pendant develop a connection, and soon Van is able to visualize Hitomi's pendant in his mind in order to locate enemies. This allows Van to merge with Escaflowne as he develops both a stronger bond with Hitomi and with Escaflowne.

After he murders Dilandau's Dragonslayers and sees their ghosts, Van goes into an unresponsive state, trapped inside his own mind. Hitomi attempts to snap him out of it, and gains insight into his psyche, but Merle's voice is what makes him return to consciousness. While the group is in Atlantis, Hitomi learns the importance of believing in the ones she loves, and her belief in Van and Allen helps rescue them from being locked in their memories.

When Van and Hitomi are imprisoned by Emperor Dornkirk, the sorcerors begin to dismantle Escaflowne, and Van experiences severe pain. Van and Hitomi hold hands in order to get Escaflowne to move so that they can escape from Zaibach. During the ordeal, Allen recognizes their closeness, and becomes jealous because of his nascent feelings for Hitomi. Their closeness also does not go unnoticed by Emperor Dornkirk, who remarks that "when the dragon and the girl come close, the image of the future wavers." On multiple occasions, he remarks that he cannot see the future. Hitomi and Van's love, which also manifests in the increasing power of Escaflowne, prevents Dornkirk's ability to see the future. Because of this mysterious quality he does not understand, Dornkirk vows that he will attempt to separate Hitomi and Van.

When the group returns to Asturia, Hitomi gets stressed about Millerna having asked her for a reading, conflicted over her feelings for Allen and her perception that Millerna, nervous about the wedding, still loves Allen. Van gives her a piscus fruit to drink, and tells her not to go around with a sad look on her face. Hitomi recognizes that he is trying to make her feel better. However, as Folken remarks, Van does not yet have the courage to "cross the line": to tell Hitomi he loves her. After his failed confession, Hitomi slaps him and runs away, allowing Dornkirk and Folken to execute their plan to draw Hitomi and Allen together. Van sees Hitomi and Allen's kiss and walks away dejected.

Van and Hitomi go to Fanelia to meet Folken together. Hitomi tells Van that it isn't a trap, and that Folken has good intentions. Van reiterates his promise to bring her back safe, whether it's to Earth or to Allen. When Folken seeks asylum in Palas, Hitomi continues to trust him, and her willingness to put faith in his brother has an effect on Van.

Hitomi sees that Van's wish to protect her results in his desire to fight. Sickened by that, she asks to go home, and is returned to Earth in a pillar of light. While she is away, Van is comforted by Merle, who tells him that she realized he was in love with Hitomi before he did, and encourages him to go find her. While Hitomi is home on Earth, Van calls out to her: she sees feathers in various places as she goes about her day. Hitomi relives the events of the day she met Van, and Van takes off on Escaflowne, and during Hitomi's run around the track, the two are reunited with a hug.

In the final battle, Emperor Dornkirk activates the Zone of Absolute Fortune, allowing Van and Allen to live out their wish of fighting each other. Distraught by the fighting, Hitomi confers her thoughts to Van, telling him there's no reason to fight Allen. Van remarks that she's just worried about Allen, but she corrects him that she cares and worries about him so much. Folken tells her to believe in him, and she recognizes that her emotions and her thoughts "bind" Van, because she loves him. Her realization of love allows Van to put down his sword and Allen and Celena to be reunited. Allen tells Van he heard Hitomi's voice, and that she's waiting.

Van flies Escaflowne toward Zaibach and the Fate Alteration Machine. Thinking about Hitomi causes Van, in a burst of emotion, to sprout his wings and fly. Emperor Dornkirk watches as Van flies through his telescope, shattering it, picks up Hitomi, and flies away carrying her. Confounded by the power that their love holds, he fades from existence, and the Zone of Absolute Fortune is ended, allowing the people of Gaea to have free will once again.

Van and Hitomi share their goodbyes with a hug. Hitomi gives Van her pendant, and remarks that she'll never forget him, and that they'll always be able to communicate through their thoughts. She returns to Earth in a pillar of light as Van bids her farewell. Back on Earth at a train station, Hitomi sees Van, winged, sitting on a rock and looking at her. She tells him she's doing just fine, and he smiles.

In the movie Edit

"It's sad being alone. It's painful. But if we're together... At times we may hurt each other, and we may even part. But that is not the end. I'll always be with you." - Hitomi
Hitomi is called to Gaea by Folken and ends up in the cockpit of Escaflowne. Van discovers her inside, and supposes that she might be the Wing Goddess. Suddenly, Escaflowne ascends, and Van, angered by its sudden disappearance, blames Hitomi and threatens to kill her.

When Hitomi is taken in by the Abaharaki, she learns from Merle that Van's homeland, Adom, was destroyed by the Black Dragon Clan, and that he has been fighting alone. Merle tells her that Van has a softer side that he doesn't always show.

During the battle with the Black Dragon Clan, Hitomi is kidnapped by one of the members of the Beast Clan who has been forced to work under the Black Dragon Clan. Van tells the beast he doesn't want to fight him, and asks him to drop Hitomi. Before he can do that, Dilandau kills the beast, and Van and Dilandau fight. Their battle sunders the earth below them, and Hitomi falls into the resulting chasm, only to be saved by Van as he suddenly sprouts his wings.

When they land, Van falls unconscious, and Hitomi, noticing that he is bleeding, attempts to care for his wounds. Jajuka appears carrying the corpse of the Beast Clan member, and tells Hitomi about the burden of loneliness Van has to bear as a soldier. Hitomi says she will stay with Van until he realizes he is not alone, because she understands what it feels like to feel hopeless about life.

Hitomi takes Van to Adom, where the denizens of Adom help take care of Van and give Hitomi a place to stay as well. When Van comes to, he and Hitomi have a discussion. She asks about the Black Dragon Clan, and he shares his past with her: his brother Dune, whose Black Dragon Clan name is Folken, killed their father because the oracle stated that Van would be the one to succeed the throne rather than his older brother. Hitomi tells Van that they are kindred spirits, both sharing the burden of loneliness, and says she wants to be by his side.

Hitomi and Van depart Adom and arrive in Torushina, where they go to a bar to meet the Abaharaki. Hitomi soon finds out that her role as Wing Goddess is to call Escaflowne, but that there is a possibility she could destroy the world. When Escaflowne descends, Hitomi tries to stop Van from fighting, but he is determined to stop Dilandau, who is controlling the red Dragon Armor, from wrecking Torushina. Millerna tells Hitomi she has to believe Escaflowne won't destroy the world in order to stop the bad destiny from happening.

Van's anger and desire for revenge results in Escaflowne turning black and trapping him inside his own mind. Hitomi runs out in front of Escaflowne and tells Van to stop, and due to her pendant is able to get a view inside Van's mind. Van tries to shut her out, telling her she can't understand his loneliness, but she tells him that she does understand, and that she will be there for him. Van comes back to his senses, and Escaflowne turns into its dragon form and they ascend to Folken's fortress, where Van confronts Folken with the intention of killing him, only for Jajuka to arrive and slay him, causing the collapse of the fortress. Van flies out of the fortress holding Hitomi.

After the final battle, Hitomi, Van, and Merle return to Adom. Van and Hitomi go to the edge of a cliff, and she asks how long she can stay here. He replies that the Mystic Moon will call her back, and she tells him that they will be together forever. Hitomi asks Van if he can hear "her" (Sora's) song. He has a vision of her with white wings on her back, and right afterward she vanishes, having returned to Earth.

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