Wanderers/Episode 1 Guide: Drawn in to the Land of Adventure

From EHOL

English Title: El-Hazard: The Wanderers
Japanese Title: The Magnificent World of El-Hazard (TV Series)
Episode 1 - "Drawn into the Land of Adventure"

Written by: Rob Showalter
Edited by: Neil Lafrenais

US Age Rating: 13 and up.





SYNPOSIS



The school is getting ready for some type of annual festival. Students are setting up themed booths all around Shinonome High School. Nanami is distributing boxed lunches, eventually waiting for Makoto to join her for lunch. But it seems Makoto, absent-minded as he is, is working in the science lab and completely forgot.

However, the student council meets about a very important problem concering questionable funding decisions regarding the festival. School president Jinnai calmly states that he is aware of some "comprimises", but states that he is completely innocent of alledged document forging. He then gives a statement about his royal supremecy and silences the council.

Towards the evening, long after school is over, Nanami finds Makoto working in the lab. Nanami is initially upset about Makoto forgetting about lunch and walking her home that day, but she sits to work with him on his experiment. Jinnai suddenly walks in, and tells Makoto his quietly humming devices are making too much noise, thus he's breaking school regulations. When Makoto argues that he has full permission from his teacher to work, Jinnai flips it around as another attempt to undermine his authority and manipulate the student council. Nanami sticks up for Makoto, of course, and says that Jinnai is just blaming everything except himself for his own incompetance. Jinnai then says that he doesn't have HIS permission, which to him overrides the teacher, and if Makoto doesn't stop his work, then the entire science club is getting it's funding is revoked forever.

The next day, Makoto is being praised on TV. As Jinnai watches, he remembers all the times in his childhood that Makoto managed to out-do him. Once in gym class, another time when he stole his ice-cream to please little Nanami, and finally when on a Valentine's Day Makoto got all the girls, and left Jinnai muttering in a doorway. Jinnai decides he needs to take Makoto down, and the best way is with a scandal... unfortuantely, Jinnai foolishly shouts his plan out loud in the hallway, where the entire student council happened to be at the time.

Late that night, Fujisawa awakes from his sleep and plans to do a check around the school grounds to make sure everything is safe. Meanwhile, Makoto's experiment is completed, and "should work now", although he's not sure what to do with it. Fujisawa manages to wander into the room, and they all gather in his classroom for a "quick drink" before going home.

Jinnai then wanders into the now-abondoned room of Makoto's devices, and throws girl's underwear about the room to hopefully ruin Makoto's character. On the way out, however, Jinnai trips on some wires on the floor, and proceeds to tamper with Makoto's device. Makoto runs in, and tries to stop him. Jinnai explains to Makoto that Makoto had deliberately left presidency to build this machine to destroy him. Eventually a dimensional rift caused by the malfunctioning of Makoto's machine envelopes Makoto, Jinnai, Nanami, and Mr. Fujisawa and pulls them through a dimensional hole... Makoto awakens in a place foriegn to him...




EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS



Students put a large size picture of a "generic" anime girl "Pretty Sammy", who is in such things like "Pretty Sammy the Magical Girl" and "Magical Project S", spin offs from the Tenchi Muyo! series (thanks Neil), in front of Fujisawa's classroom window

"Hey, what're you doin'? You can't put that thing in front of my window! ... Hmph, anime fans!"


Some girls are rather cruel about Fujisawa's hobby

Girl in group: "Mr. Fujisawa! I don't see the mountain climbing club booth anywhere around this year!"
Fujisawa: "Aw, get out of here! You know the reason! ... (sad) Got no members."



The most obvious foreshadowing ever; president Jinnai addresses the student council

Jinnai: "You're ordered to treat me like I am. Did you forget that I am the president of Shinanome? My reign is supreme and I rule over you all! You're merely little bugs who should pray that I don't crush you under my royal feet!"


Nanami just bugging Makoto whilst he tries to work

Nanami: "Makoto-chan. How much longer will you be, Makoto-chan?"
Makoto: "Makoto-chan? Will you forget it with that? We're in high school y'know."
Nanami: "But... it's your name. Your name's Makoto, right Makoto-chan?"



Makoto has just finished his project

Nanami: "So, got a name?"
Makoto: "Not yet."
Nanami: "Oh, don't play dumb with me. You were on lunch TV today, c'mon, you can tell me!"
Makoto: "Um, Mizuhara's Electrical Something?"



Jinnai has finished his plan to destroy Makoto; well I guess we know what Jinnai was doing

Jinnai: "It's even better then exposing him as a cheat! Makoto the sex fiend! Caught raiding the girls' gym lockers!"


It's sad that this works on Makoto

Jinnai: "Flying saucer. Look."
Makoto (looking): "Huh?"



Makoto looking at the now open dimensional hole

Makoto: "Huh, what is that?!"
Jinnai: "The fruits of your own destruction! It's perfect!"



ANALYSIS

Rob's analysis
[Coming soon]


Neil's analysis

A new series and a new universe, the "El-Hazard: The Wanderers" TV series starts out just as the OAV, with new elements and ideas added for better or for worse (I find the latter to be more common, personally).

This introductory episode isn't too bad, but it certainly isn't anything ground breaking. I found the concept of Jinnai knowing Makoto since childhood "hokey" to say the least. What was worse, is the fact that the reasons for Jinnai going insane are painfully childish and are definitely pushing it, at best. Jinnai may be obsessive, but he knows what's important. Icecream, indeed.

I did find some of the madman's plots against Makoto quite amusing though ("Over here… and here… they're everywhere!"), and he does have a lot of memorable and easily quotable lines ("The fruits of your own destruction! It's perfect!").

All in all, it's passable. Don't expect to find the truly breath taking scenes you'd expect from the OAV, however.

Tim's views
[Coming soon]


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