The Wanderers: El-Hazard
The Wanderers is a television remake of the original El-Hazard OAV series. The basic premise is still the same. Makoto, Nanami, Mr. Fugisawa and Jinnai are all the unfortunate victims of Makoto's science experiment gone drastically wrong. They all travel to El-Hazard where they begin some fantastic adventures.
There are numerous differences between the OAV series and this television offering. Princess Fatora no longer exists in this series, meaning Makoto no longer has to dress up like her. Rune Venus is much younger and becomes a love interest for Makoto (this guy gets all the luck). Galis and the phantom tribe no longer exist, so that entire subplot is removed. In the dubbed version Alliele has had her lines changed to remove her lesbian nature. It's pretty obvious where the changes were made, though. Probably the most drastic change is Ifurita. No longer is she the cold, cruel, kingdom-stomping demon-god that she was. Now she's a cute little girl who doesn't want to hurt anyone. At first I was really annoyed with this, but once you get used to her, she is kind of funny and charming.
The story still follows the basic outline of the original series. Jinnai gets control of the Bugrom army and makes life unpleasant for the inhabitants of Roshtaria. Since this series is so lengthy, there are a few episodes with stories unrelated to the main plot (for example, we get to see the origin of the three priestesses). It still winds up being an epic tale between good and evil, but it's different enough to make it worth watching if you've seen the original El-Hazard.
The art and animation are pretty good, but not up to par with the original series. The same voice actors are used and they do a great job. The songs were also dubbed in English, but with rather sub-par results. It's unfortunate, since most of Pioneer's dubbed music is usually pretty good.
Overall, The Wanderers is a fun ride with some of my favorite characters. If you liked the original El-Hazard, you should enjoy this series, as well.
The Verdict: * * * * (good)
|last modified: 05-26-03||The Anime Critic and associated content © 1999-2003 Pete Harcoff. All rights reserved.|