Lurkers' Retreat

Pioneer LDCE

1: PIO 10027 Dub
Cert 15

2: PIO 10030 Dub
Cert 12

3: PIO 10031 Dub
Cert PG

LE: PIO 10055
Cert PG

El Hazard

Preleased at Shinnenkai in 1998, El Hazard is the name of an alternative world into which Mokoto is flung by a mysterious woman who emerges from ruins buried under his school, along with Nanami and Katsuhiko Jinnai and teacher Fujisawa. As a result of their journey, each one picks up an unusual power, and each is flung into a situation at odds with their hum drum existance back on Earth. El Hazard is going through a war with the Bugrom; basically giant bugs, with whom Katsuhiko teams up, while Motoko has to impersonate a kidnapped princess, a job he isn't too thrilled with, Nanami is stuck out in the desert trying to make ends meet, and Fujisawa has the worst problem of all... he might just have to give up the booze!

An interesting title, though the initial plot is hardly original (Escaflowne comes to mind for one), though the use and layout of the other world and the twist in time lines that appears to be employed here with regards Ifurita, the demon god, could be quite good if it plays out right, as does the Shadow Tribe bit. The animation and dub actors are very similar to Tenchi-Muyo, but that's hardly surprising! At the time of writing, AIC were in the process of sorting out the wherewithall for a second series, so this could be a title that could rival Tenchi, though Ura might not be as cute as Ryo-Ohki, but that's a matter of opinion! A good start to 1998 from Pioneer!

Final thoughts: Hmmm... who would have thought Fatora was like that?!?

[5 stars]

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