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El-Hazard: Wanderers

JPEG image Type: T.V. series
Genre: science fiction, fantasy, lost history
Dub/Sub: Subtitled
Length: ~25 minutes per episode
Copyright date: 1997
Animation quality: 7.5
Why: al+, v, mt, n
General overall quality: 8
Distributed by:Pioneer Entertainment

The opening scene is that of a high school festival. All the various clubs are present, except for the mountain climbing club, which does not exist because it does not have any members.

Katsuhiko Jinnai is also present. Jinnai is the school president and a megalomaniac in training. In his mind, his arch enemy is one Makoto Mizuhara, the chief member of the science club.

Much to the annoyance of Jinnai, Makoto has constructed a large science project that is to be shown at the festival. Normally, this would be fine, except that the combination of Jinnai's fiddling and the general unpredictability of the project created a hole in space. A tunnel, as it were, which leads to the world of El-Hazard.

JPEG image Makoto and Jinnai, along with Jinnai's sister Nanami and Mr. Fujisawa, a teacher are all drawn into this new world. Once there, a wide variety of natives appear. This includes, Rune Venus, a princess and the Bugrom, a race of giant bug-like creatures.

The adventures of the stranded Earthlings really begin to take off in volume 2. In episode 3, Makoto and Mr. Fujisawa gain some respect when they save a village from the schemes of Jinnai.

Starting in episode 4, the Earth adventurers along with a young guide named Alielle, continue to search for a way back home by searching out three powerful priestesses who control powerful Ancient Magic. The first priestess is Miz Mistal who controls water. She also wants to get married, and sees great potential in Mr. Fujisawa. However, she does not have a method of getting back to Earth. The second priestess is named Afura Mann, who controls wind. She is also a book nut, but seems to be lacking a library to keep her books in. Makoto has an idea, however, and builds her a library. None the less, she also does not know how to get back to Earth. The final priestess is named Shayla-Shayla and controls fire. Her main problem, however, is that she has lost the Shrine of Fire in a game of chance to a mysterious person. This person is, of course, Jinnai. In order to get the shrine back, Makoto has to play against Jinnai in the same game. However, in the end, Shayla-Shayla does not know how to get back to Earth, either.

In volume 3, there are several reunions. In particular, Nanami finally links up with Makoto and the rest of the Earthlings. In episode 10, a very special type of cat appears. This cat, which is usually a wild thing, reacts to Makoto when he helps it heal after the cat was attacked by a wild doglike beast. The cat is named Ura.

A demom god named Ifurita, who looks like a young lady, shows up in volume 4 and is acquired by Jinnai. Jinnai hopes to use Ifurita's power to conquer all of El-Hazard. Episode 11 and 14 are a couple of nice episodes that show off, again, the certain nobility of Makoto.

Volume 5 begins by telling the tail of Shayla-Shayla and Afura Mann and how they came to be where they are today. The Eye of God, an ultimate weapon sort of thing, is introduced in episode 17 and Nanami is kidnapped in episode 18 by her brother, when she is mistaken for the princess.

The El-Hazard T.V. series is a retelling of the story presented in the El- Hazard OAV series. It is fairly high quality, both in animation and story.

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There are a number of differences in the story between the OAV and T.V. series. In particular, Fatora, Run Venus's younger sister is missing. Makoto, therefore, does not end up in a dress at the end of the second episode. The Eye of God does makes its appearance in episode 17, however. Makoto, himself, is also quite different. In no way in the OAV series, was Makoto ever considered a science genius. In volume 2, another difference is that Alielle is not a girl chasing nymphomaniac, mostly. In volume 3, the armor cat appears and is directly "attached" to Makoto. Ifurita shows up in episode 13, but is quite a bit different then the one in the OAV series.

Without a doubt other differences are likely to appear as the T.V. series progresses.

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