An anime series, written by the same screenwriter who did Slayers; alternates between comedy and drama, with lots of action. Maze is half-fantasy, half-mecha, sort of like Vision of Escaflowne. There are Orc-like things and lizards steeds and faries and such, plus magicians who, um, do magic, with something called "folm", or "Phantom Light". Folm is the raw power source for magic, sorta like the fantasy equivalent of The Force, but you can also use folm to fling around great big laser beams and fire balls. (Whheee!) Folm also powers the mecha of the series, which are called demi-armor. Demi-armor is a slightly-organic looking version of the standard anime mecha, but there is a noticble lack of swords being used by the mecha. Demi-armor is also different from most mecha in that it can be magically summoned from some other-space, so you don't have to lug it around with you.

Like in Escaflowne, a young woman from Earth is transported to this world of magic, a world known as "Mega Burst Space". Unlike Escaflowne, the heroine, Maze (pronounced the same as the English word maze), starts off in Mega Burst Space, and has amnesia, only remembering that her name is Maze. She finds that part of her house made the trip with her and, falling out of the sky, crushed an Orc-like creature called a demi-human. This saved the princess of Bartolon, Mill Baruna. Mill is really grateful to Maze, and likes her lots and lots! ;-)

Mill was on the run because the cult Jaina took over her kingdom and killed her parents. Maze takes it upon herself to defend Mill, and discovers that, in this world, she is an Illuminator, who has the power to manipulate "folm". This power enables her to pilot the mecha (demi-armor) Dilguard, which is a family heirloom of Mill's, and which only Mill can summon.

After her first fight, Maze discovers that she turns into a man when the sun sets. Since she's non-violent, and he loves fighting, he fights a lot better than her. He's also a real lecher, and makes the moves on Mill whenever he can.

They soon pick up some companions, Solude Suforuza and Aster Torege, who are demi-hunters; they're so good at fighting that they can take on demi-armor users without any demi-armor of their own. Soon afterwards they pick up the fairy Randy, and then Saris Rapier, a female knight, and Dolnard Wol, a prime minister.


  • Female Maze: A young woman who was attending college; pretty much a typical college student. Kind and caring, and really hates fighting, even to the point of avoiding it when it's necessary; she can generally only manipulate folm to defend other people or when she's really, really pissed.
  • Male Maze: Likes fighting and blowing things up, and is very good at manipulating folm; huge ego, self-centered, and rather jerkish. He's an extreme lecher, and the only one in the group who likes him is Mill.
  • Mill Baruna: The barely pubescent princess of Bartolon; cheerful, energetic, and somewhat clueless. Refers to Maze as "oneenii-sama" ("big sister/brother"), and is in love with both of them ("I like big sister, and I like big brother, so I really really like big sister/brother!") Bursts into tears whenever she thinks Maze is angry with her or is going to leave her.
  • Solude Suforuza: Demi-hunter. Her weapon of choice is four inch long throwing needles, which she can hurl with deadly accuracy. Thinks female Maze is really sexy, and has some affection for her as well.
  • Aster Torege: Demi-hunter. His weapon is a big ass sword, which is longer than he is tall, and he's pretty tall. Looks like a muscle-bound jock, but he's actually pretty smart. He also thinks that Maze is sexy, since he seems to share tastes in women with Solude. In fact, the first day the pair met Maze, they performed what can only be described as "synchronized groping" upon the poor Maze.

    Both demi-hunters can perform limited short-range teleportation.

  • Randy: A butterfly-winged fairy with pink hair and an annoyingly high-pitched voice (at least in the dub). Seems to be in love with Maze (she claims she's helping Maze not because of a common goal, but because she likes Maze). Can create protective forcefields and do a few other things with folm, but generally isn't that helpful; when scared, she hides in Maze's cleavage.
  • Saris Rapier: Female knight and leader of the royal guard of Bistal. Her father raised her as a boy, and she fell in love with the king of Bistal and dedicated her life to him. She's lead a pretty screwed up life.
  • Dolnard Wol: Prime minister of Bistal. Slightly lecherous, his favorite way of fighting is throw bombs and run away.

Expanding on the information above, there is also an two part OVA series. It begins with a short recap of the story so far, but knowledge of the tv-series or manga (I'll come to that later) is really required to understand who is who and what their relationships are. The story is set and taken from the middle of the manga and deals with king De Den Den (Number one one the "Stupid Names in Anime" Top Ten list...) who is building a citadel impervious to Folm-Magic, at the cost of his citizens, who are starving and the fairy folk, whom he enslaved to work for him. Maze, Mil and her friends come into the kingdom, and after quite a bit of hilarious exploits (most memorable: The Dungeon of Death and the Quiz Show) and with the help of the Kings offspring, Princess Mix and Prince Nuts (their names would rank way up there, too!) manage to convince King De Den Den back to good.

The content is a bit more mature than the tv-series, with more fan service and sexual encounters (although one does not see the act itself).

Now, onward to the manga: Originally, the TV and OAV series are both based on a 6 volume manga series published by Kadokawa Comics and written and drawn by by Omishi Rei and Akahori Satoru. As the series has been adapted from the manga, it features the same character design and largely the same story.

Finally, going all the way back to the roots, to the original basis of the series, there was a japanese paperback novel series that started in 1993, of which I own the first two volumes. As I have not read them yet, not seen any others, I don't know if there is more than those two books.


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