The "El-Hazard" References
A look into the many reference inside and outside the world of El-Hazard. From Tenchi Muyo! to the Marx Bros., I list the many trivial homages and references relating to El-Hazard in some way. -- Makoto
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki (Japanese Original Animation Video series) (1992)
A previous project that Hiroki Hayashi, the director of the Magnificent World OAV, was working on for AIC and Pioneer. The series basically follows the life of Tenchi Masaki, who releases the demon known as Ryoko. Sounds familiar doesn't it? Although it starts off looking like and going in the direction of El-Hazard, the style is far more calm. The characters also get to relax a lot more (especially in the second OAV, which Hayashi had no involvement in). The best way to relate this to El-Hazard is to pick out the Makoto, Nanami and Shayla love triangle and times it by 10. That's the concept. Ryoko and Ayeka fight for Tenchi's affection, whilst other alsorted beautiful girls make up this romantic comedy. Recommended viewing.
Like all successful franchises, Tenchi spawned many retellings, spin offs and merchendise after it's first OAV, but none have been particularly good and the first will always remain the best and most charming (as is the case with El-Hazard).
Notes: The TV series of El-Hazard (The Wanderers) heavily references to these series, usually in the form of onscreen images (eg. Fujisawa tearing down a picture of Pretty Sammy (a spin off from Tenchi) in Episode One).
Lord of the Flies by William Golding (Book) (1955)
A group of boys crash and get stranded on an island during a mysterious future. The main characters, Ralph, Piggy and Jack, are all fish out of water characters, who change in character with the lack of their older society enforcing any rules.
Easily compareable are the characters of Jack in the book, to Jinnai from El-Hazard. Both characters display small amounts of power in their home society (Jack is head choirboy and Jinnai is school president) but then become corrupt and evil in the new settings (Jack becomes leader of a primative tribe on the island and Jinnai becomes the Bugrom General on El-Hazard). Of course, El-Hazard ends with a much nicer tone than Lord of the Flies does (the boys almost end up killing each other), but the similarties are obvious. Worth a look, if you can be bothered (I was made to read it in school for my final exams :B).
Digimon Adventure (Digimon - Digital Monsters) (Japanese Television Series) (1995)
Not really infulenced by El-Hazard (they were made in the same year, for crying out loud), I had to mention it, purely because I feel one could find merit in watching this if they enjoyed El-Hazard. The concept is essentially the same. Some kids get warped to a "Digi World" during their stay at summer camp and become stranded there. The major difference being that the kids also fight with collectable monsters in an attempt to stay alive in this new, alternate setting.
Primarily inspired by Lord of the Flies, I mention this series for being animé, and therefore more popular than reading a book (as most of the audience of this website are animé fans). Again, this series spawned many a sequel. However, these were more flexible with the whole Digi World concept. Obviously being a half popular animé series, this show sold out to merchendise and such, instead of becoming more interesting. Blah.
The Marx Brothers (1920 - 1949)
Ah, yes, finally a reference to the outside world in El-Hazard itself. It is well known that Jinnai gives his Bugrom
names in Episode 2 of the OAV. The names (Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Gummo, Zeppo and Magaret) are reference to a group of
comedy actors (and a comedy actress) in the early 20th century called the Marx Brothers. Recently, me and Rob have
been debating about how AIC/Pioneer got the rights to mention them in their show. Rob is set on the idea that BOB Marx
(the English VA for Jinnai) is to credit, but I disagree.
[Rob: Am not, I was merely playing a curiosity credit ;p]
Anyway, not really knowing much about Marx Bros. films myself, here is a handy link if you care to learn more about them:
The site includes all the filmography and such for the comedy act, if you're really interested.