OVA/DVD Review by Neil Lafrenais

From EHOL

EL-HAZARD - The Magnificent World - DVD Box Set
Recommended retail price: $119.98 (Amazon.com)
US recommended age rating: 13 and up.
UK BBFC rating: Suitable only for those of 15 or over.
Discs: 3
Contains

Disc 1: EL-HAZARD - The Magnificent World OAV (Episodes 1 - 4), OAV Art Gallery, Pioneer Products Screens.

Disc 2: EL-HAZARD - The Magnificent World OAV (Episodes 5 - 7), OAV Line Art Gallery, OAV creditless opening and closing, OAV DVD credits.

Disc 3: EL-HAZARD - The Magnificent World 2 OAV (Episodes 1 - 4), OAV 2 Art Gallery, OAV 2 creditless opening and closings, dimension tables, OAV 2 DVD credits.

Technical Review:

Visuals

Discs 1 + 2: Absolutely stunning. I was suprised to find out they were not given the THX treatment, the effects are that vibrant and spectacular. Note, that when pausing the DVD, the visuals become jagged, these make sure the visuals during play look as crisp as possible when moving. The only let down is if you're watching the DVD on 50hz PAL and the slow down is apparently showing the jags DURING play.

Score 9/10



Disc 3: Not too shabby, but rainbowing and blurs are apparent throughout. This makes the second OAV look less polished than the first, making me assume that the second OAV was not remastered at all before transfering the original film onto DVD. This, added with EH2 already inferior art style, does not make for a good score.

Score 5/10



Audio

Discs 1 + 2: Contains the original Japanese 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo track, a dubbed English 2.0 Hi-Fi Stereo track and a newly created (for the Laser Discs, from what I've read) Japanese 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround track. A nice varity and the real let down is that the English track is a) not in Dolby Digital and b) not remastered into a 5.1 track. Another irritation is that the 5.1 Japanese DTS track, available on the Japanese DVDs, is not included in this boxset.

Score 8/10



Disc 3: Contains the original Japanese 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo track and a dubbed English 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo track. Nothing really interesting to comment on here, but again, no remastering of the Japanese (or English) track has been attempted, which is ashame, but not a big loss.

Score 7/10



Subtitles

All discs: Contains a single English subtitles option if you want to watch the original Japanese. Please note that on disc 1 + 2, the English subtitle option is only for the Stereo Japanese track, and not for the new 5.1 track.

Score 6/10



Extras

All discs: All discs contain an extensive Art Gallery, creditless openings and closings and DVD credits. The packaging comes complete with a DVD booklet, containing listing for chapter stops, even more credits and printed promo art on each page. The discs also contain a suitable amount of audio Easter Eggs, featuring the characters commenting on various screens and openings.

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