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Vision   of   Escaflowne

    Well, this is my favorite anime of all time (which is why I named
myself after the name character).  It's a beautiful story set in 
another world called Gaea and has a medieval feel to it.  The story
begins with a young high school girl, Hitomi Kanzaki, and just about
what she's doing in high school one day.  She has a big crush on one 
of the school's track stars (she's a sprinter as well).  Well, one day
as she's practicing at night, this great light comes out of the sky, 
and a young man wielding a sword comes out battling a giant dragon.  
As everyone (including Hitomi's best friend and crush) are being 
chased, the young man (who is, incidentally, Van Fanel), kills the 
beast.  After some heated conversation between Van and Hitomi, the
necklace on Hitomi's neck begins to glow and Van and her are both
transported to Gaea (Van's home).  
    It is there that we discover that Van is a king and his kingdom
is being besieged by the Zaibach, who have large flying mechs (the 
weapons of destruction here are called Guymelefs, giant sword or other
weapon wielding mechs) that can become invisible and shoot large metal
wire of some sort.  Inevitably, his kingdom is destroyed, even with the
help of the master swordsman Valgus (who stopped one of the mechs with
his bare hands, but was eventually killed), and the intimidating Guymelef
Escaflowne, the royal mech that Van must awaken with a dragon's heart 
and his own blood.  The citizens flee, including Van and Hitomi, who is
now under his care, and escape into the forest.  Along the way, they 
meet Allen Schezar, a handsome former knight turned mercenary, who 
happens to resemble Hitomi's crush.  Together, with Allen's crew of
other mercenaries, they attempt to defeat the evil forces of Zaibach.
On a side note, Hitomi can read Tarot cards extremely well.
     Well, that's my description of about the first two or three episodes.
I left out a lot of part, but you get the idea.  This is a beautiful
anime.  Artistically, this is probably the most beautiful piece of work
I've ever seen in an anime.  Also, the music in this anime is the best
I've ever heard.  Both the vocals and the musical score are incomparable.
This was wonderfully done by Yoko Kanno, the legendary Japanese composer.
  However, the aspect of this anime that I like the most is the fact 
that it wonderfully melds action, romance,humor, and drama into an 
extremely well-made piece of work.  The mechs are incredible, but unlike 
many other anime, the mechs aren't the focus of the story.  It's the 
story itself, with its many plot twists.  It leaves you at the edge of 
your seat after every episode.  Although many people were disappointed 
with the finale, I felt that it was a pretty believable (albeit, not 
as exciting or dramatic as one might expect) ending.  A must see.  This 
is one anime you CANNOT miss.