El Hazard: Alternative World
Water priestess Miz has finally
Why did Mokoto's device transport them there and how? What mysteries lay behind Creteria's power source? What does Bugrum Queen Diva mean when she says she requires Jinai's "assistance" for making more Bugrum?
First there was the Magnificent World OVA and it was good. Then there was Wanderers which was a disaster, and the Magnificent World 2 OVA which was pointless. I'm hesitant to try any more of this franchise, but figured I might as well do the full tour at this point. After the first episode I knew it would be better than Wanders, so I stuck with it. Whether it was worth it is a tough call.
Alternative World introduces yet another girl to the harem, like they needed to meet some kind of quota. She hardly has a personality, but I didn't find her particularly annoying. The rest of the cast continues their usual antics, including Mokoto: poster boy of blank slate males. It's frustrating that El Hazard can't make characters work with so much potential. "The gang" is transported into another world, but not together. Shayla and Jinai travel together, which seems like a comedy gold mine but hardly anything happens. I wouldn't have thought that possible if you told me the setup before watching this. Shayla should have a crush on Jinai, making it a love triangle with Diva. Now THAT'S a series I'd watch.
The environment is a welcome and needed addition to keep things fresh. The story is has interesting ideas, so it's easy to follow at first. Then as time goes on, it drags. Alternative World follows multiple characters lost in the new world, but it's mostly irrelevant. They run around with insufficient comedy or fun fluff to support it. There simply isn't enough material (or story) to fill 12 episodes, and everything could have been accomplished 4. I stuck with it, convinced the story would go somewhere good. The end becomes yet another "Oh no! The Eye of God will destroy the world" plot. Studio AIC went through the trouble of creating an alternate dimension to do that story... AGAIN? Then *poof*, everything is fine / happy ending.
I hoped this could salvage the franchise. Instead it proves the studio doesn't know what they're doing. I hesitated watching each episode, yet found the show itself to be an easy watch. It's filled with too much junk considering the story accomplishes almost nothing, but isn't especially objectionable. Ifiruata is mentioned (even shown on the cover for some packaging) yet this has nothing to do with her (*cough* desperate to capitalize on her popularity?).
El Hazard starts and ends with Magnificent World
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