Visions of Escaflowne

Three official retellings of The Vision of Escaflowne have been released in manga form, with two of these being written at the same time as the anime. Due to the radical changes in the series during production, the manga series are very different from the original anime as well as each other.

The Vision of Escaflowne (Katsu Aki/shonen)[]

Katsu Aki manga vol 1

The first series, also titled The Vision of Escaflowne, was one of the first manga series to appear in the then-new Shonen Ace magazine from Kadokawa Shoten. Despite the anime series itself being on hold, Sunrise gave artist Katsu Aki the existing production and character designs, resulting in the first manga series having the heavy shonen feel and curvaceous Hitomi that was originally planned for the anime series.

The series premiered in Shonen Ace's first issue on October 24, 1997 and ran until November 26, 1997. Kadokawa Shoten also released the series in eight tankobon volumes from April 1995 through January 1998.

The Katsu Aki manga was licensed for release in North America by TOKYOPOP. The first volume was released on July 10, 2003. The TOKYOPOP English editions were also imported for distribution in Australia by Madman Entertainment.

Hitomi: The Vision of Escaflowne (Yuzuru Yashiro/shoujo)[]

Yuzuru Yashiro manga vol 1

In 1996, with the premiere of the anime series, Messiah Knight: The Vision of Escaflowne was created. This shoujo adaptation was written and illustrated by Yuzuru Yashiro and serialized in Monthly Asuka Fantasy DX from April 8, 1996 through January 18, 1997. When the tankobon volumes were published, the series was retitled Hitomi: The Vision of Escaflowne.

This adaptation has not been licensed for an English language release, but has received a fan translation.


Volume 1[]

Hitomi Hoshino is a Japanese schoolgirl who enjoys telling her friends' fortunes with tarot cards and has a special pendant that is a memento of her grandmother. One day outside her school, following a vision of a fire, she finds a boy named Van who has sustained serious injuries from an attack on his homeland of Fanelia. The mark on the back of his hand matches the mark on the back of her tarot deck. She takes the boy home to her house where she discusses the situation with her older brother Mamoru and her mother.

Van follows her to school the next day and asks for her pendant. Just then, a path opens from Gaea to Earth, and a dragon appears, followed by the knight of Asturia, Allen Schezar, who defeats the dragon. Van learns from Allen that Fanelia is only rubble and that Escaflowne is under control of the Zaibach Empire. Hitomi learns about the existence of Gaea and learns that her pendant is the key to opening the seal to Escaflowne.

A floating fortress appears in the path from Gaea to Earth, causing Hitomi to feel sick as the three of them are suddenly transported to Gaea. They visit the nearby village of Aegis, where Allen lives with his sister Celena, to have a discussion. Allen explains that he used the path opened by Zaibach to get to Earth, and that it is difficult to open a path at will, so Hitomi can't easily return home. Van expresses a desire to return to Fanelia and avenge his destroyed nation, but Allen tells him not to act so rashly especially when he's injured.

When Hitomi asks if Gaea is at war, Allen explains that Fanelia was a powerful nation due to its possession of Escaflowne, and that it acted as a mediator whenever there were skirmishes or conflicts. But now that Zaibach has demonstrated that Escaflowne can easily be taken, the balance of power has been upset and the stage set for possible war. Asturia formed an alliance with Freid and Basram to counteract Zaibach's plans. However, Zaibach is still a mysterious nation and Allen discourages Van from simply rushing in to fight them.

Van takes off on his horse the next morning toward Fanelia. Allen and Hitomi follow him and see that Fanelia was completely destroyed and lies in ruin, with all of the citizens having been killed by Zaibach. The heavy rain forces them to stop in a village near the Asturian border, where Hitomi gives Van a reading. She finds out that Van has an older brother. Van says he is dead, but according to the cards, Van will meet him soon again.

Gaddes, an old friend of Allen's, comes in and introduces himself to Hitomi and Van. Van recognizes Gaddes' uniform as that of Zaibach, but Gaddes explains that he no longer belongs to the Empire and that he is now a mercenary for hire. Allen asks him to take Hitomi and Van safely to Asturia and leaves to go meet the King. Allen gives Gaddes his earring, a symbol of Asturian knights, to keep. In the evening before they have a chance to set off, Zaibach troops led by Falco and an unnamed woman attack. Gaddes tells Hitomi to hide while he faces off against the troops. Hitomi tells Van not to go anywhere because she had a vision in which he got hurt again, but he disobeys her and leaves on his horse. Hitomi runs out of hiding to tell Gaddes that Van left, but as she does, she is kidnapped by Falco and the woman and taken aboard the floating fortress.

Van meets up with his brother, Folken. At first he doesn't believe that he's Folken until he shows the symbol on his hand and explains that he had a body double stand in on the day he was "killed." Van remembers when he was a child and Folken told him that he wanted to see a world free of conflict. In the present, Folken tells Van that he and he alone will rule Gaea with Escaflowne, and attempts to kill him. Gaddes comes and rescues Van and tells him what happened to Hitomi.

They continue along the road until they meet a dying Asturian soldier who tells them that Asturia was attacked by Zaibach. Van wants to go to Asturia so he can talk to his brother, recalling the old Folken who wished for peace, but first, they get onto the airship following the floating fortress. When they get inside they see that all the soldiers have been knocked out, and they meet a young boy named Noir and his hawk, Subaru. Noir was the one who knocked out the soldiers using sleeping gas. Van and Gaddes tell Noir that they need the ship so that they can rescue their friend, and he agrees to pilot it for them.

Aboard the floating fortress, Hitomi, locked in her cell, is called to by Dornkirk, who calls her by her grandmother's name, Yuri. Hitomi has a vision of her grandmother going to Gaea and meeting Dornkirk. He told her grandmother to take the pendant with her so that the seal to Escaflowne would never be broken, and Hitomi ended up with the pendant afterward.

Dragons surround the floating fortress; Van guesses they are drawn to Hitomi's pendant. Noir maneuvers the ship around the dragons and Van and Gaddes come aboard the floating fortress. Hitomi begins to walk toward Dornkirk and Folken steps in her path, attempting to take the pendant. Van interrupts, telling his brother that he's not the brother he knew. Before Van and Folken can face off, Noir tells them to get down to the ship so they can escape. An explosion in the engine room causes the floating fortress to crash, but not before Hitomi, Van, Gaddes, and Noir escape.

Volume 2[]

Noir learns that Hitomi came from the Mystic Moon. Van explains that Zaibach plans to conquer all of Gaea by reviving Escaflowne. Hitomi explains that Dornkirk sealed Escaflowne, and Van doesn't believe it because Dornkirk's the emperor of Zaibach and Escaflowne was sealed over 200 years ago.

Gaddes asks Noir to have his hawk send a message to Asturia to notify Allen that they're safe. Later, the Asturians receive Allen's earring, sent by the hawk, and discuss their plans for war. They send Allen out with the Crusade. Van believes that if Asturia is freed, the alliance will begin to mobilize for war. He tells Hitomi to go back to Earth rather than stay on Gaea while Earth and Gaea are close together, telling her that he was worried about her during the conflict. Hitomi is suddenly returned to Earth in a pillar of light.

Hitomi comes home where she tells her mother that she went to Gaea and everything she learned about her grandmother. Hitomi expresses a desire to go back, but her mother discourages her, telling Hitomi that she is not her grandmother. Though Hitomi's mother doesn't want her to go back, she eventually concedes, telling her to believe in her grandmother and to come back home eventually. She returns to Gaea where she tells Van that she wants to come along, and he agrees to let her come.

In Zaibach, Dornkirk scolds Folken for letting Hitomi escape. Dornkirk's form is finally revealed, as a young man whose youth is kept by being hooked up to machines. Folken asks Dornkirk why he needs Escaflowne, and disconnects several of the wires on his machines. He then walks out to meet Falco and the woman and tells them that he's taking charge of Zaibach now.

[Chapter 7-10]

Escaflowne: Energist's Memories (collaborative)[]

A final manga retelling, Escaflowne - Energist's Memories, was a collaborative effort of various manga-ka around Japan to create 15 "mini-stories" related to the anime series. The single volume manga was published in January 1997 by Kadokawa.

It also has not been licensed for an English language release.