a.k.a. Shinpi no Sekai El Hazard
Everything is crumbling around Jinnai Katsuhiko today. After pretending he discovered the ruins that appeared during an earthquake in the high school basement, his own sister exposed this deception along with allegations that he rigged the latest student presidential elections… and on national TV, no less. Kind, caring and one step above Jinnai in every field, Mizuhara Makoto is the only witness of the fraud. His testimony will be delayed indefinitely for the ruins’ powers are somehow activated and transport Jinnai, Jinnai’s sister, a teacher with a drinking problem and himself to a parallel universe beset by war.
summary by Kjeldoran
Reviewed: 01/28/2005 by
Highs: Stylish design; funny; doesn’t drag the slightest
Lows: Elementary characters; antagonists are only there for show
Hayashi Hiroki, creator of Tenchi Muyo! and Battle Athletes, is now recognized for his lighthearted series where comedy interacts with action and drama without hindering the story. In fact, the storyline in El-Hazard sets an incredibly dynamic pace that won’t let you off the hook until you’ve seen it all.
The title is not misleading; El-Hazard truly features a magnificent world. Colorful, imaginative and detailed are only a handful of its many attributes. A nation of evil thirsty for global domination does not make for the most complex storyline, but many elements make it break free of its typecast, and it manages to accomplish what it’s set out to do: provide a pleasurable experience for three-and-a-half hours.
Character development could be better. As entertaining as they might be, most were mere stereotypes seen too often in the same genre. Jinnai, for example, had the opportunity to be a pivotal character for this series, but instead wound up as the token comic relief. His introduction to the Bugrom is disregarded, and no information is given about the lady he serves; we know she wants to conquer the world for some reason but that is certainly not up to scratch. As much as he was an interesting character in the first episode, the party’s trip to El-Hazard results in his comedown.
El-Hazard‘s characters reach a plateau in development too early, but this anime makes up for it with great design and tempo. An amusing series decked out with action and drama; nothing more, nothing less.
El-Hazard: The Magnificent World can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.