El Hazard

Official Blurb:

"Japanese high school students Makoto and his friends discover some mvsterious ruins beneath their school. They are suddenly transported into a magnificent world populated by fantastic creatures, the mysterious 'Eye of God', and of course, a princess in need of rescue."

"This series is created by the same writing and directing team as Tenchi Muyo - one of Pioneer Anime's most popular titles."

Director:        Hiroki Hayashi
Screenplay:      Ryoe Tsukimura
Copyright:       AIC/Pioneer LDC, Inc.       

Language Format: English Language
Running time:    75/90/75 mins
Certificate:     15/12/PG
Label:           Pioneer
Catalogue no:    PIO 10027/PIO 10030/PIO 10031
Price:           £12.99 each
Release Date:    12th Jan/Feb/6th April 1998


When Makoto Mizuhara is called upon to help impeach corrupt high-school President Katsuhiko Jinnai, he has no idea what trouble awaits him. Along with Jinnai, Jinnai's sister Nanami and their alcoholic, nicotine-addicted teacher Mr. Fujisawa, Makoto is pulled from Earth by the demon Ifurita to the mysterious world of El-Hazard. When he learns that the human tribes of El-Hazard are under siege from the Bugrom, Makoto is forced to impersonate the kidnapped Princess Fatora of Roshtaria in order to keep the alliance of human tribes together. He is sent to meet the three priestesses of Mt. Muldoon, the keepers of the only weapon capable of defeating the Bugrom invasion.

Unfortunately, Jinnai, Makoto's long-time rival, is in charge of the Bugrom invading forces, and manages to awaken the demon Ifurita, the ultimate weapon. Adding to this are the mysterious Phantom Tribe, who lives under El-Hazard, who are pursuing an agenda of their own..

Despite a slightly confusing ending, El-Hazard is a well-rounded series, with a typical grade-A Pioneer dub, animation that has a nice art style and a good colour palette and an excellent score that combines contemporary music with bursts of classical style. It mixes serious fantasy with bits of Tenchi Muyo-style comedy, while remaining watchable and enjoyable. A recommended purchase.

GRADE: A - A worthy series that ranks alongside Tenchi Muyo as one of Pioneer's best releases, and a must-see piece of anime. [Daniel Fawcett]