Almost anything that is in production will go through massive changes before it's a final product. One most commonly discussed area is in videogames; for popular ones, finding a "beta" version can be a big deal. It often can show things that the designers originally intended to do, but later scrapped for one reason or another. Finding these things is purely nostaglic value, because most often what they eventually decided to stick with usually turned out better in the end anyway.
El-Hazard is no different! In it's early planning stages, things came and things went. I'm always interested in finding out exactly what such things were, and here are at least a few I've dug up; let's start with some conceptual art.
Concept art is, of course, initial art to try to get a visual grasp on a concept. Early concept art will most likely consist mainly of character designs, as you really can not produce too much until you've had a character model you like and have desire to work with.
This image depicts an older, wiser looking Makoto. Still very similar to the Makoto we've come to know, this one probably would've had a "geekier" role in the show... at least, that's my guess. In a way, though, I kind of like the style as well.
While I can't be totally sure, I believe this image is one of Princess Rune. She looks about 10 years older then her eventual show self; or at least, has a whole lot more hair.
Princess Rune (2)
This is apparently further development on the Rune image... or at least, that's my assumption. It's quite possible the first "Rune" was actually Fatora, and this is Rune as she stood from the same time period. (If I could read the Japanese in the picture, it probably indicates something of the nature.) Either way, Rune appears only a tad different, mostly outfit-wise, then her final version counterpart.
This picture is almost funny to look at, seeing how Fujisawa ended up as the skinny beanpole that he is. Although obviously still a smoker, Fujisawa certainly has quite a body build. It also seems he might've had a larger ego (check leftmost image.) An interesting relic of the planning stages indeed.
Ah, Jinnai, the lovable [yeah right], villanous twerp. The major differences seem to be an elongated face, and a less-insane, more "casual evil" type of look in his face. The hair is also more wirey. In a way I kind of like it... perhaps how it would look if Jinnai didn't have it all gel'ed up?
A closer-to-final version of Jinnai. He still seems to carry a larger chin. I think the major lacking in this image is the amount of hair.
Ifurita actually seemed to change relatively little, at least as of this image. Mainly she seemed to gain more of an outfit; there she almost looks to be wearing nothing but some shredded rags tied together.
The Bugrom Queen certainly had a few modifications. This one actually appears perhaps kinder, with much less "bugginess" to her.
Queen Diva (2)
Only noticable difference I can see is her hair is a little wilder. Otherwise, it seems all of her Bugrom Queen unique features are in!
A lot of images depict Allielle in a hood. She did wear a hooded outfit in much of the first OAV, so it makes sense, but she didn't actually wear it on her head like much of the art shows. One notable difference in this image, she sure is taller!
Lastly, we have an adorable little Ura! It appears she is much more of a kitten then a cat. Actually too much like a regular kitten, who knows if Ura was even "living armor" yet?
8/18/02 -- Here's a few more interesting bits on the Bugrom:
Bugrom ... with tools?? Granted they utilize catapults, but these Bugrom are
fashioning digging assistants, a hammer, an ... amulet?
Could this suggest a slightly smarter Bugrom? Hmm... the hammer WAS used, I believe, to break rock in Magnificent World (under Jinnai's direction); however with all these other elements... they surely seemed like dropped ideas of some sort.
WRONG, and I now correct myself. The hammer was used in Magnificent World, and the other two are legitiment planning sketches... FOR THE WANDERERS.
The "amulet" is actually a lighting device Makoto geared them to use when tunneling underground, and the interesting shovel rigs are for, yes, digging. In the same episode I believe. (#11 if memory serves.) This proves that ya gotta be careful. :P
Ura has gained more of her special "El-Hazardian Living Armor" cat features, such as the wicked mohawk. But it's still indefinate if she was actually to be "living armor" yet.
These are surely hard to come by; I'm only including this one to note that it appears a slight change of scene. Of course, this is just an artist sketch of the scene, but it seems the script called for Fujisawa walking in on this twisted event, rather then waiting until morning.
Well, concept art is great and all, but what about things that actually make it into the show? Those can be hard to find; I'm sure there are cut scenes that were actually animated but cut, perhaps for time reasons, out there somewhere. Or if not still existant, at least "once were". I don't personally know much about cartoon production process, so I'm not completely sure if a cartoon can/will be produced before it's completely finalized, i.e., they make "test run" scenes to see if they like how the characters are interacting/look on screen. I'd imagine you'd almost have to do this at least in the beginning. I've taken a few images from the OAV 1's intro sequence to at least bring up a few questions.
Shayla Shayla Beta Beta?
Certainly not all that incredibly interesting or significantly different by itself, it's just something to notice that she seems to be doing "full body" flame firing, yet in the actual show it comes from a concentrated section of her wrist/hand(s).
Allielle with a Sword
You read right! Look at these frames from the intro sequence:
It's very brief, and honestly I'm not sure if it should be paid attention to or not. But let's look at it this way; all Allielle did in the first OAV was tag along, be noisy, and provide little real help in any way. So why is she whipping out a nice length sword and going into fighter stance?? I think this is possibly an older design idea for Allielle that may have even made it quite late into development. Wielding weapons became more of the interest of her brother, Parnasse.