Encounter a world of wonder and fantasy! Three high school students and one of their teachers are mysteriously transported to the magical world of El Hazard. There, they discover hidden talents, lost technology, an empir... more »e of sentient bugs, and enough adventure to fill a lifetime! The long-awaited DVD compilation of the seven original El Hazard OVAs and the four OVA's from El Hazard 2 are finally here! From the writer of Tenchi Muyo and the animation studio behind Bubblegum Crisis, Tenchi Muyo and Ah! My Goddess comes another side-splitting comedy of epic proportions filled with beautiful women, strange enemies and action-packed adventure!« less
A Mildly Disappointing Release of an Incredible Series...
Carl Malmstrom | Monument, CO USA | 08/07/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"El-Hazard, next to Tenchi, is the most enduring series AIC has put out and this boxset is the first time that the original OVA (i.e. direct-to-video) series has been available in DVD format in the US. However, also like the Tenchi Muyo phenomenon, none of the sequels, follow-ups, and 'reimaginings' have had the same impact as the original.In a nutshell, El-Hazard is the story of a high school student who, along with two classmates and a teacher, get transported to another world across space, time and possibly dimensions. The prevent one war between two races on the planet they arrive at, cause another and ultimately find themselves intimately involved with a doomsday device from that planet's distant past. This is an incredibly synoptic description of the series, but to get acrosss the full nuances of the series, I could write for pages. Needless to say, though, that the story itself has far more humor, adventure, romance and generally neat storytelling than my description implies.As for the DVD set itself, though, Pioneer has missed a few great opportunities here. While the addition of a 5.1 Dolby track is excellent (the difference is noticeable even on my archaic TV), the other extras leave a bit to be desired. There's an art gallery, creditless openings and endings and an explanation of all the different worlds across which the El-Hazard metaseries takes place. It's all pretty standard stuff. No 'making-of' section, no look at the development process, no original trailers, and no interviews with the creator, producer, etc. - in other words, none of what really makes special DVD editions shine. ... While the packaging is gorgeous, the sound great and the video everything you'd expect from a DVD, I honestly wouldn't recommend picking it up unless you (a) have a system that will do serious justice to the extra quality, (b) don't have the original OAV on tape or laserdisc or (c) for some reason really like El-Hazard 2 - in which case you'd be getting a decent deal. Serious otaku will probably disregard this advice, but serious otaku will have probably already long-since ordered the set before reading this review anyway. So, in short, the series is, as always, wonderful, but Pioneer really could have done a better job with this DVD release. Perhaps someday they'll rerelease it on DVD at a lower price with more bells and whistles..."
The Fujisawa & Jinnai show
two-for-neptune | Michigan, USA | 11/19/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Plot: Makoto, a high school student, ends up in a basement room at his school where a mysterious woman awakens and tells him she's been waiting for him for a long time. Makoto has no idea what's going on as she uses the last of her strength to send him to another world, a world called El Hazard. Makoto's teacher Mr. Fujisawa, his friend Nanami and his rival Jinnai also get sent to El Hazard. Makoto is mistaken for the missing younger princess of the country, Fatora, and is talked into impersonating her (which in itself is very funny). The adventure continues from there.My thoughts: Very, very funny. Has two of the funniest characters in anime, Mr Fujisawa and Jinnai (and one very funny platypus-ish-thing in the first episode). Mr. Fujisawa and his drinking/smoking is hysterical, as is Jinnai and his laughter (my favorite anime villain). Those two characters alone are worth watching El Hazard for, but they aren't the only good ones. There's also Shayla-Shayla, Allielle, Fatora, Nanami, Miz, all who are funny also. All around well done, 10 times better than the El Hazard TV series, "The Wanderers". I agree with the reviewer that mentioned the dub is good, Fujisawa and Jinnai especially well done.I gave 4 stars instead of five because it is very funny, but there were a few parts in the last episodes that I thought dragged a little and weren't as funny as the rest of the series. To me there also didn't seem to be much depth or development to the characters. There's also that outfit Makoto wears that makes him look like a girl, it just bugged me.Not for children, I would say 15-16 and up because of the drinking/smoking, a little nudity, and adult situations."
Beautifully produced Boxset
Zack Davisson | Seattle, WA, USA | 04/24/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There is no doubt that the original "El Hazard" is one of the best of American released animes. The comedy is raunchy and clever, the characters are funny and the story finds the touching human element in a wacky sex comedy. Top notch all the way around."El Hazard 2" loses the "clever" part and just focuses on the "raunchy." It is not bad, but it is nowhere near the quality of the original. Worth watching, but not really worth buying on it's own.The boxset itself is the real showcase. It is just so...pretty. The artwork is outstanding, and the whole thing is a real presentation. I am not usually sold by nice packaging, but this one did it for me. A great series, and OK series wrapped up in a fabulous package. Not perfect, but worth having."
Not worth $107
Justin T. Moore | 11/11/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I purchased my version of El Hazard from a zShop for 19 bucks and I am SO glad that I did. That said, the first series is worth watching for two main reasons: overt lesbianism and Jinnai. The former is self-explanatory while the latter (Jinnai) is without a doubt the best character in the series (despite the fact that he is the antagonist). You can't say that any of the characters are very deep or well developed, but throughout the first series Jennai is by far the most satisfyingly fleshed-out character, as well as the most ammusing and true to his nature. This superiority is all the more appearant when he is contrasted with story's main character who is shallowly developed and in no way engaging. And this is what makes the second series (all four dismal episodes) so tragic: they nerfed Jinnai. He could never have been called a genius in the first series, but he was decidedly intelligent, cool, pragmatic, supremely self-confident and an effective leader (even though he was also manic and delusional). In El Hazard II, as if in response to the world recoiling at the sight of a humorous though competent villain, they have turned Jinnai into a slapstick-idiot persuing his increasingly nebulous ambition with foolish abandon. I suggest purchasing El Hazard through...alternate means,... watching the first series and discarding the second. Let's face it: even lesbian humor gets old when the writing sucks and the characters are empty."
My favorite anime comes to DVD!
Jonathan T. Backer | Los Angeles, CA USA | 08/14/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"El Hazard is my favorite anime title? Sailor Moon, Dragonball Z, Evangelion, Escaflowne, FLCL, Ranma, and Tenchi are all wonderful, but pound-for-pound (dollar-for-dollar), you can't beat El Hazard. There is more entertainment in the first 7 OAVs of El Hazard than in most SEASONS of other anime titles. It takes everything I like about anime and does it RIGHT. While it doesn't break any new ground, it is the most sucessful mixture of action, adventure, comedy, drama, and romance that I've ever seen.Unlike Tenchi (which many compare it to), El Hazard has NO plotholes or last minute story changes. Like Tenchi, El Hazard has memorable characters (everyone loves Shayla-Shayla), great artwork and a "just plain fun-to-watch" aspect to it.Also, while I don't usually like English dubs, the English dub of El Hazard is phenominally good! Yes, even better than the original Japanese. The voice-work of Jinnai and Fujisawa are especially brilliant.Boxed sets can be expensive (I know, I own a LOT of them), but the El Hazard boxed set is hands down, the BEST purchase I've ever made on one. I guarentee you'll love it!"