El Hazard

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“El Hazard - The Magnificent World” is a 7-episode OVA, released from 1995 through ’96 and a sequel OVA, “El Hazard 2 - The Magnificent World” (1997). It was so successful that it was redone mid-run in a slightly different version as a 26-episode TV series, “El Hazard: The Wanderers” (1995-96), and the original OVA series was followed up with an additional TV series “El Hazard: The Alternative World”, in 1998.

Top student, star athlete, super bland, passive, get-along, completely personality-less, Makoto Mizuhara, finds ancient ruins in the basement of his high school. Within these ruins lies the ancient “Demon God” (life-sized female windup battle dollie - requiring a windup key!) Ifurita. For over 10,000 years she has waited for this moment to see her one-true-love, viewer stand-in Makoto, and use the last of her life force to send him back in time. Along with Makoto, she inadvertently also sends drunken, chain-smoking, history teacher who gets no respect, Masamichi Fujisawa; home-cooking, entrepreneurial, always looking to make a buck/yen/whatever, fellow Shinonone High School student Nanami Jinnai; and Nanami’s brother, the Student Council President, vote rigging, megalomaniacal, self proclaimed rival to Makoto, Katsuhiko Jinnai; on this mystic ride through time and space to “The Magnificent World” of El Hazard.

When they get to El Hazard, they are immediately caught up in the conflict between two separate powers vying for supremacy: the Alliance, headed by the country of Roshtaria’s Princess Rune Venus, and the Bugrom Empire, ruled by Queen Diva; both manipulated behind the scenes by the alien, alienated, sub-rosa Shadow Tribe, led by the vengeance seeking Galus. With Roshtaria’s second princess, Fatora Venus, gone missing, the Alliance (with piss-poor military border defense) is unable to wipe out the Bugrom, as both princesses are necessary to activate their ultimate weapon, The Eye Of God, a satellite death ray rip-off of Star Wars’ Death Star (genocidal good guys?). In order to keep her absence a secret, and retain their country’s position as head of the Alliance of separate kingdoms, Roshtaria’s advisors convince, or rather force through imprisonment, implausible-plot-device-Fatora-look-alike Makoto to cross-dress…uh…impersonate Fatora. Meanwhile, Katsuhiko lands in the Bugrom Empire, and sees this opportunity as the will of God that he should rule all of El Hazard with the Bugrom Army, Mwahahahahaha!

An elaborately plotted version of the formulaic, fan pandering, bevy of battling babes, brain-dead, harem anime (Created and Directed by Mr. Harem himself, “Tenchi Muyo’s” Hiroki Hayashi). Popular in its day, it generally fails to hold up over time as most of its humor falls flat, and none of its large cast of stereotypical characters is executed particularly well or is especially appealing (except for Katsuhiko Jinnai, “A true ruler does not destroy the land he wishes to conquer.”, who rules!). However, this show has amazingly beautiful detailed backgrounds, and some attractively designed characters, and possesses moments of great visual beauty.

 El Hazard 01

 El Hazard 02

 El Hazard 03

 El Hazard 04
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Curator: guyvariii
Gallery Created: 1/21/2004

Presentation 8.65/10   Collection 9.12/10   Overall 8.70/10   Votes 65 votes
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