Mania Grade: A
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- Audio Rating: A
- Video Rating: B+
- Packaging Rating: A
- Menus Rating: B
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: All
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 75
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: El-Hazard
El-Hazard, The Alternative World Vol. #2
By Chris Beveridge
April 18, 2002
Release Date: September 14, 1999
El-Hazard, The Alternative World Vol. #2
What They Say
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
Dream Open, Paradise in Heaven
Business is booming for the Messenger of Love
The Forbidden Labyrinth
Romance is in the air for Miz and Rune, for they have found their true loves. Unlike the ruler of Creteria, Dall Narciss, whose infatuation is ignored by the naive Water Priestess, Qawoor. Even Fatora thinks she's in love. But what kind of relationship could she have with Gilda, the head of Creteria's militia? Then there is Makoto who is diligently seeking the secret behind the Spring of Life, an artifact that might have the capability to send them back home - that is, if it wasn't dying...The Review!
With the second disc in this four disc series, we've hit the middle mark of the show. How are things faring?
On the audio side, we have a solid presentation of a stereo TV mix with no distortion and clean clear dialogue. Directionality isn't used as expansively as it has been on several other recent TV series discs, but it's there and well used when needed.
The video on this disc almost seems like a step down in the Pioneer level though. Beyond the opening sequence where you can see shimmering on the "drawn" map, there are several instances of prominent line noise shimmering throughout the disc. Your TV size and calibration will of course either enhance or decrease this, but I found it very noticeable throughout the disc in places and was disappointed at it.
The packaging is done very well. The front cover has some gorgeous and vivid artwork. How can you go wrong with Jinnai and his favorite Bugrom, Groucho? The insert with this release is also quite well done, with a lovely picture of Ms. Miz and Mr. Fujisawa along with all the chapter marks. Very nice design overall.
Unfortunately the menu takes it down just a peg, since you're left wondering if you've selected the right section. This isn't as bad as the newly release Goldfinger DVD (where every cursor movement is gold and then a slightly darker shade of gold) but it made me wonder if I made the right selection once or twice.
This disc contains episodes five through seven, or as they like to call them, Night's five through seven. Each episode focuses basically on one group of characters.
Night five deals with Miz, Fujisawa and Afura as they realize they're not in Roshtaria anymore. After a couple of amusing moments ("Drop him" "Don't touch me there!") the group happens upon a farmer who resembles a nicely built older version of Tenchi with a manly voice. Ok, it's not really Tenchi, it's just the AIC curse. They need some new character design templates. Things get interesting in this episode when they find out that none other than Princess Rune is staying with him...
Night Six deals with Makoto, Qawoor and Nanami as Makoto tries to unlock what' wrong with the energy source in the Kingdom. The perpetually silly Emperor has Nanami trying to find out if Qawoor likes him while Nanami is trying to make some fast money that she'll never really use. There wasn't a lot going on in this episode, but small things are being set into place here with some of the characters and their motivations.
Night Seven brings Fatora, Alielle and her brother into the same city. Fatora's just a really fun character, especially with her devilish eye on every hot woman in the place. Gilda mistakes Fatora for Makoto of course and Alielle and her brother just cause mayhem wherever they go.
Overall, these were some fun episodes that had us laughing out loud in several places. Things are moving along especially now that with the next disc we'll be moving into the second half of the series where the pace will begin to quicken. I'm enjoying this ride!
English Language,English Subtitles,Japanese Language,Shayla Ending without Credits
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.