Escaflowne Manga Review
When I first picked up Escaflowne to read I expected something different. I have seen only a few episodes of the anime, but I know the general plot. This manga however is written after the anime series. Yuzuru Yashiro explains the story of Escaflowne in a different way. The characters are still there in the story, just in a different way. The story was good and really did not use a lot of machinery. The Escalfowne was not even present in the manga until the last few chapters.
In this version of Escaflowne, Hitomi has inherited her grandmother’s tarot cards and pendant. Van is from Gaea and a prince of the Fanelian kingdom. His family also has the ability to go to the Mystic Moon or Earth. He is forced to go to obtain the key to unlocking Escaflowne. Hitomi’s pendant happens to be the key. Hitomi is sucked into the world of Gaea with Van. She meets up with Allen, who is really different from his anime counter part.
Eventually you learn that the reason Hitomi was brought here was not to activate Escaflowne. Dunkirk had wanted to bring her grandmother back. He had once fallen in love with her and sealed the Escaflowne and gave her the key to take back to the Mystic Moon. He used Van’s brother Folken to get the key and Hitomi there. Folken uses him to get the key to the Escaflowne though. Once this occurs, Van is faced with having to kill his brother to save Gaea.
Hitomi is the main character of Escaflowne. She is the quiet and bright student in the class. She is just a high school student which lives with her mother. She inherited a great many things from her grandmother and some from the world of Gaea. Van is the hero of the story. He is a hard headed teenager seeking revenge for Fanelia’s destruction. He intends to use Hitomi to get back the Escaflowne and activate it.
Allen is a prince of Asturia. He only wishes to help Van due to the fact that Zaibach is a common enemy among the other empires of Gaea. He is an intelligent person and does have good intentions. Gadeth is a former Zaibach fighter, but has since become a mercenary. Allen hires him to protect Van and Hitomi from the Zaibach forces.
In the Zaibach forces, Dunkirk is the ruler. He is only trying to reconnect with his lost love from the Mystic Moon. Folken is using him so he can get to the key to take over Gaea with the Escaflowne. He is a cold and heartless character.
There are of course other characters in the manga, but these are the only ones that are really important to the story. The other characters may have similarities to the anime, while some are just completely new tot he story.
There are of course a lot of major differences in the manga and anime of Escaflowne. For instance the Escaflowne is unlocked and used in the first episodes of the anime series. In the manga the Escaflowne is not even unlocked until the last few chapters. No one even uses it to do anything. Van is just given the key and that was all.
Another major difference was how characters looked. Folken and Hitomi was the two major ones. Folken looked more like Zagato from Magic Knight Rayearth than the original in the anime. Hitomi looks different, but only because of the hair. The long hair really makes a difference to her character.
There are also a lot of characters that did not even make the manga series. The twins that follow Falcon around were never mentioned. Nor was their race even mentioned. Merle is never mentioned in the manga. Instead a character named Noir. He has a bird named Subaru which follows him around.
Escaflowne was a great manga. I have not read the other two versions yet, but the one by Yuzuru Yashiro was definitely a good story to read. The story was more focused on the characters and how they dealt with what they were handed rather than fight. The story was a just a bit weak. The character focus was great, but still some more fighting would have been nice.
Overall Grade 5/10