Alternative World/First Night Guide: The Disappearance of the Priestess of Water

From EHOL

English Title: El-Hazard: The Alternative World
Japanese Title: The Alternative World of El-Hazard
Episode 1 - "First Night - The Disappearance of the Great Priestess of Water"

Written by: Neil Lafrenais

US Age Rating: 13 and up.


SYNPOSIS


As the original story line of El-Hazard continues, the Alternative World starts with Miz Mishtal and Mr. Fujisawa having recently married, Nanami Jinnai and Shayla Shayla still vying for Makoto Mizuhara's affection and the mysterious disappearance of the new water priestess

Nanami wakes up Makoto one morning to find a series of strange objects on his work desk. As soon as Nanami finishes asking about the contraptions, the objects start to act oddly with one another. This baffles even Makoto.

Meanwhile, Shayla and Afura Mann have to put up with Miz's constant reminders that she is happily married to Fujisawa. The conversation strays into a search party, after Miz notes that Qawool Toweles, the new water priestess, has not yet arrived.

Elsewhere, Makoto is walking through the jungle near Floristica, and finds a girl face down in the river. After a quick rescue, the girl introduces herself as Qawool. However, an encounter with the Bugrom, sent by Katsuhiko Jinnai (obviously), causes Qawool to scream, the end result, separating the two.

Jinnai is furious to learn that Makoto is the reason why his Bugrom didn't plunder anything from Qawool's ship. Jinnai has other problems though. Whilst attempting to rebuild the Roshtarian Bugrom Fortress, Jinnai sees that Bugrom Workers are seriously lacking. Unfortunately, when he informs Diva that she may have to reproduce, she gets the wrong idea and Jinnai has to face the horrors of "The Tent".

Just as the sun is setting on Floristica, Qawool finally arrives and dines at Nanami's restaurant. After being unable to pay, Nanami allows her to work at the eatery to work off her bill.

At Makoto's house, Makoto dreams about Ifurita being engulfed by a strange shadow of a man and an odd symbol. He wakes up disorientated and puzzled to see Qawool's shirt flapping in a non-existant breeze...

Back at the restaurant, after a quick rant from Miz, her and Qawool are reunited, and the search for the new water priestess is finally over.

As night falls, Princess Fatora finds Alielle in bed. Just as she leans in to serve up some loving making, Fatora finds out that "Alielle" isn't all she seems to be…



EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS


Jinnai suggests Bugrom reproduction. This leads to one randy Diva.

Jinnai: Diva, I'd like a word with you in private.
Diva: Private?

Jinnai: Mmhm. I'm sure you realise your population has dwindled. It's impossible to build a Bugrom empire without Bugrom.
Diva: It's depressing.
Jinnai: Well then, perhaps I could persuade you to... how shall I put this delicately? Produce more eggs.


Nanami wants to appeal well so she'll get all the customers she can. Except Fatora, of course.

Fatora: "Tasty food! I'm sure we'll eat here often."
Nanami: (sarcastic and slightly worried) "Wonderful."


Fatora's way of life.

Fatora: "Boys are of no interest to me."

But Ura wants to smell it more.

Ura: (noticing Qawool's shirt) What that? It smell nice!
Makoto: No Ura. (scoops up Ura) Don't touch.
Ura: Nya! Please! I want to smell it more! (paws for the shirt)


Nuff sed.

Fatora: You deserve a tongue lashing, you imp!


ANALYSIS

Rob's analysis
[Come on, Rob, voice your views! -- Neil]

Neil's analysis

The start of the final series of El-Hazard begins very much like the second OAV. In fact, I'd go as far as saying that one could bypass all of OAV2 and not be out of loop to what's going (and that is very optional for those who can't stand OAV2).

To be honest, I found this episode (and the one proceeding it) rather dull and quite repetitive of the sequel's successor, El-Hazard 2. If those who disliked OAV2 so much are hoping for something new and interesting in these first episodes, they should prepare themselves for disappointment. However, for those who want more of the same, Alternative World is probably exactly as you would want it.

As a new series emerges, a new character, Qawool Toweles, is introduced. She seems to only contribute to the "Makoto love triangle" in these first few episodes (which upsets Shayla and Nanami), but you have to wonder exactly what her connection is to Makoto's device, making her reasonably interesting for a few scenes at least.

Highlights of the episodes include a varied set of smiles at old characters back on form. Miz for one, amused me a lot this episode. Miz getting angry at anything is always good fun (as the "failed wedding" scene in El-Hazard 2 proves).

It's ashame that there was so little of manic lesbian, Fatora, and that one of her only big roles was a rather tired repetition of the "Alielle bed" scene (see the next episode for more on this) for the end scene. A rather large let down from the now infamous "Shayla kiss" scene.

Tim's views
[Speak, young Tim! -- Neil]

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