El Hazard: The Magnificent World 2

OAV - 4 episodes

This show also goes by the name 'El Hazard OAV' (episodes 8-11) and continues from the original 'El Hazard: The Magnificent World', occurring during the time between the end of the original conflict and the final concluding scene of that series.

Having saved El Hazard but being unable to get home, the people from Earth have made new lives for themselves on El Hazard. Makoto has been spending his time trying to find out how the Eye of God works so they can get back to Earth and Mr. Fujisawa is about to get married to Miz. Unfortunately Fujisawa was drunk at the time of the proposal and has realised he needs time to 'find himself' before committing to married life. Unfortunately that means leaving Miz at the alter, so everyone decides to help her go and look for him. Meanwhile, Princess Fatora has had her eyes on Shayla-Shayla and Nanami, who both have their eyes on Makoto. Since she and Makoto are almost identical she decides to get them by impersonating him, with a little help from Alielle. In the deserts of El Hazard the last remnants of the Bugrom are busy looking for a place to live and Jinnai and queen Diva stumble upon a ruin, containing a being who they hope will let them take revenge against their foes.

Being a continuation of the original El Hazard OVA series they are very similar in theme. This time round there is less fan service but the comedy is still the same and it lives up to its predecessor quite well. However, you never really get the same sense of immersion that you did with the first series and there seems to be less focus on El Hazard as a place and more on the characters, who you already know from the first instalment. Strangely, none of the priestesses have their technological/mystical combat devices, instead casting magic directly like regular fantasy mages. It does seem a strange oversight considering how they made a point of showing them during the casting clips in the first part. I particularly miss Shayla's pull string machine.

The animation is probably the big annoyance with this series and was probably done on a smaller budget. The animation itself is still nice but the actual detail of the drawing is lower and the hair, particularly on the priestesses, is far more simplistic. The designs for the new characters are nice but more generic than the returning cast, although Jinnai's Bugrom armour is rather fun. The music is still in the same style, but if anything is slightly more immersing than that of the original, and it is nice to have a new opening track, as I prefer this one far more. I just feel it works better with the show than the old one, although neither the opening or end were dubbed this time (the cute 'Boys be Free' song from the first series credits was re-done quite well in English).

If anything, the English dub is better in this series than the last one. Whether this is because you get used to the English cast or because they have had more time to get into their rolls I'm not actually sure, it is probably a mixture of both. The new English only jokes are not as good this time round but the acting as a whole just seemed better.

If you liked the first series you'll like this, unless you decide to pick it apart for where is doesn't quite match the last one or are expecting it to be superior. It doesn't quite measure up to the original but does manage to be a worthy continuation.


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