El-Hazard, The Alternative World Vol. #1 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Saturday, February 16, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, August 10, 1999
Overall Rating: 2.5/5
The basics: The menu - very basic. Switching languages and subtitles is a little confusing at first. I couldn't tell if the small icon or the large stripe of color was the selected item. (It's the small icon.) Sound: 2.0 stereo in Japanese & English (as expected for a TV series). Picture and animation: As expected for a TV series, but still rather creative.
Having watched the first and second OVA series, and the first tape from the first TV series, I was very excited when I heard about the second El Hazard TV series. Since this second TV series is a continuation off of the OVA's, I expected the same quality of animation and story. Unfortunately, I was disappointed.
The plot basically goes like this: Miz is retiring, and her replacement as great water priestess is a young but very talented girl. During her inauguration ceremony, the entire crew gets transported to a new "alternative" world which is very different from both Earth and El Hazard.
The OVA series (I can't vouch for the 1st TV series) featured several strong women in love with a super nice boy. This TV series has gone the way of the Tenchi in Tokyo series by changing the original women in making them more shallow and extreme (excepting perhaps Nanami) and by adding a new, super nice, super polite and super weak female character to fall in love with the heart-of-gold main male character. This *girl* is supposed to be a great priestess. OK, AIC did add a very strong female general, but they also added a very flaky male king. Maybe TV audiences in Japan want more shallow characters than OVA watchers?
In general, the episodes were slow. There were way too many seconds used up in pans, fades, and where nothing interesting is happening. I went from excitement, during the first opening credits, to a general feeling that I was wasting my time. There were few moments and funny scenes I found interesting.
This is a DVD that I would suggest for my friends to rent or borrow first before deciding to purchase. But, who knows? If you loved the changes in Tenchi in Tokyo, you might just love this series, too. I plan on renting the rest of the tapes or reading a story synopsis to get the rest of the plot.
Mania Grade: NA
Audio Rating: N/A
Video Rating: N/A
Packaging Rating: N/A
Menus Rating: N/A
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2