El-Hazard, The Alternative World Vol. #4 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Friday, February 07, 2003
Release Date: Tuesday, January 25, 2000
The Alterative World comes to a close on a very disappointing note with this volume. What was an enjoyable but flawed series derails at the end and causes El-Hazard fans to simply say, "What the BLEEP!"
(Caution spoilers ahead)
So, The Spring of Life that powers all of Cretaria is actually another Eye of God. This isn't nearly as bad as the whole "Trigger of Destruction" thing from El-Hazard 2 (which just seemed like they recycled everything for that OVA). So, now all of Cretaria is under the threat of being destroyed and so are our ability to care.
I would like to state that up until this point of the show no one has really done anything. Sure the various characters have meandered around and stuff. But, they haven't done anything of real note. Gilda and Dall Narciss turn out to be the most interesting characters by a long shot (of course Jinnai is always interesting) and their conflict is the real story of this series. Now I know what you're saying: "I saw the other characters do important stuff." Yes, but they didn't do anything until the very end and the plot just seemed to by pass them.
Yeesh, the ending is just as anti-climatic as you can get. The farming colonies are in reality the pieces that form the Eye of God and once the gates of the Spring of Life are open they combine together. Now there are lots of people on these floating colonies but AIC felt that it wasn't important to show us what happened to any of them so they might all have splattered all over the city. But lets forget about the probable deaths of hundreds of innocent people and get on with pain. The main villain (The Master of the Universe) has finally gotten control of Castle Grayskull. No wait he has the Eye of God under his control and is planning on ripping Cretaria apart. Of course he's such a crappy one-dimensional character that I don't even know why he wants to do this but it's probably villain reason number 3 (I'm evil so I need no reason). Now we have a whole damn world on the verge of total annihilation and the tension and drama is building.
I have now problems with the "everyone returning back to where they were before" ending. Now if it turned out that everything didn't happen then that would a complete waste of a story and an insult to the audience. Of course the worst is yet to come.
The 13th episode is just a trainwreck that seems more like a fan fic gone horribly wrong then a bonus episode. Ok, every anime series (like comics, movies, novels, ect....) set a standard to what happens in the show and what is expected through out said show. Well, from the first and second OVA plus the rest of this series I came to except harmless adult comedy. So, when I saw this episode I was dumbfounded by the crossing of the line from adult comedy to pure sick perversion. Fatora (who I hate) goes way too far and almost rapes Qawoor. If this was a serious show (like say NYPD Blue or Law and Order) then I wouldn't have a problem with something like that. But, it definitely doesn't belong in a show like this.
If you're a big El-Hazard then you should check this show out to see if you like yourself. But, be forewarned: the show starts off strongly but crashes and burns at the end.
Mania Grade: C-
Audio Rating: N/A
Video Rating: N/A
Packaging Rating: A
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: C+
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
Running time: 75
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2