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Origins of the Character
Hitomi Kanzaki is the main protagonist in the Escaflowne Universe. Her character design and personality is different in all versions of Escaflowne manga, movie, and anime, but she is always a Japanese high school student who is transported to the world of Gaea. Escaflowne is primarily a mecha-anime which has an expected standard to cast a male lead. As the series went through more pre-production it was found better to switch the protagonist to a female, Hitomi Kanzaki. Nobuteru Yuki was hired as the lead character designer and claimed Hitomi his favorite character because he was able to design her from scratch. She is usually cheerful and fairly ordinary but is a remarkably strong woman. She often stands up for himself and fights back against men who try to control her life.
Hitomi's name can be translated into "pupil" or loosely interpreted as eye, or an "eye that can see the invisible". In the manga version of Escaflowne, The Vision of Escaflowne and Messiah Knight, her name is Hitomi Hoshino which can be translated into "eye of the stars".
Hitomi in the Escaflowne Anime
The Hitomi in the Escaflowne anime is her most identifiable version. She is a normal 15 yr. old Japanese high school girl and a tarot card hobbyist. Her classmates constantly hound her for predictions regarding their romances and she happily obliges. Hitomi is also part of the school's track team with her best friend Yukari Uchida both who have a crush on the team captain, Susumu Amano. Along with her tarot cards, Kanzaki also possesses a pendant when swung, moves in perfectly timed increments. She lends her pendant to Amano and makes a bet with him. Using the pendant as a timer, if she can do a 100 meter dash under 13 seconds Amano would have to kiss her. Susumu Amano agrees but the challenge is interupted by a pillar of light that transports a young man and a dragon engaged in battle. Hitomi helps the young man who identifies himself as Van Fanel but is transported with him to Gaea after he defeats the dragon. Amano reaches out to Hitomi and although he doesn't reach her, the pendant does.
Hitomi using her pendant
When Hitomi arrives to Gaea, an invisible moon to Earth, Van warns her the people consider everything from her world, the Mystic Moon, a bad omen and evil. Van comes up with the plan to hide her identity as a traveler from a far region to explain her clothes that greatly differ from Gaea fashion. Hitomi learns the slaying of the dragon is part of a right of passage for Van's country to crown their king. When Van comes back successful he is made the new king of Fanelia but his country is attacked by the Zaibach Empire. The Zaibach forces hold a tremendous advantage with their invisible guymelefs but Hitomi learns she can see them with the use of her pendant. Van activates the Escaflowne but his master, Balgus, tells him to escape with Hitomi because he is not yet skilled enough to deal with the invaders.
As the series progresses Hitomi quickly becomes the center of attention of the main male characters and the Zaibach Empire. Van Fanelia initially is only interested in her precognition ablities but falls in in love with her. Allen Schezar, a skilled knight of Astoria, momentarily falls in love with her as well and proposes to her. Emperor Dornkirk, the leader of the Zaibach Empire realises Hitomi is responsible for blocking his visions eventually sets on a quest to capture her as well.
Hitomi's fortune telling abilities are greatly amplified while she is on Gaea and she gains multiple powers as well. She doesn't need the use of her tarot cards to predict the future which comes to her as visions. Her preminitions almost always come true but Hitomi constantly changes their outcomes particularly when it comes to saving Van's life.
By the end of the series Hitmoi learns the secrets to Gaea and the connection she has with Gaea. She falls in love with Van and admits her feelings to him and he responds in kind. She leaves Gaea and returns to her own world claiming that she and Van can see each other as much as they like. Hitomi also drops her tarot card reading hobby and rejects requests from her classmates to read their fortunes.
RelationshipsHitomi and Amano Susumu
Amano Susumu is Hitmoi's first crush and when she learns that he is transferring to study abroad she issues the challenge that he has to kiss her if she runs 100 meters sub 13 seconds. It's alluded that the crush is mutual because he agrees and worries for her safety when Van's battle with a dragon is transported to Earth. Hitomi greatly misses Amano when she first arrives to Gaea but she eventually forgets about him. Later she discovers her best friend Yukari is also in love with him and encourages her to confess her feelings to him. It is revealed later Yukari and Amano become an item at the end of the series.
Hitomi and Van Fanel
Hitomi and Van start off with a very antagonistic relationship. Van is rude when addressing her and forcibly drags her along. Although Hitomi doesn't appreciate the way Van initially treats her she saves him from death multiple times. Van equally returns the favor. She falls from the Escaflowne at a high altitude but Van jumps after her and uses his wings, something he doesn't do for others. He also saves her from some lizard men who kidnap her. Expecting Allen to come to her rescue she is surprised to find out it was Van. He eventually becomes so militant in protecting Hitomi he almost loses his humanity insuring she is kept safe, but it brought back to his senses by Hitomi.
Hitomi and Allen Schezar
Hitomi experiences some transference for Allen Schezar because of his resemblance to Amano. Their first meeting is a result of Allen saving her from being robbed by a mole man. Allen provides refuge for Van and Hitomi where she begins to have a crush on him that lasts through most of the series. Allen begins to show some affection for Hitomi as well but is amplified by a device created by Emperor Dornkir. Their amplified feelings led to Allen and Hitomi kissing with Van catching them in the act creating even more tension between Allen and Van. Allen proposes to Hitomi at some point but rejects him because she realizes its nothing more than a form of Allen trying to control her. She loses her feelings for him and falls in love with Van Fanel.