El-Hazard 2

Most of the time a sequel is never as good as the original. Considering how great the first El-Hazard OAV series was, it's no surprise that El-Hazard 2 isn't up to par with it. This isn't to say El-Hazard 2 doesn't try, though, and it succeeds in being quite fun to watch. Following the events of the first El-Hazard series, things appear to have settled down in the kingdom of Roshtaria. Miz Misthal and Mr. Fujisawa are busy with wedding preparations, Makoto studies the mysterious El-Hazard technology, and Nanami has opened a new restaurant. Naturally, things won't remain peaceful for long. Jinnai decides to once again attempt to conquer El-Hazard and it's up to the forces of good to stop him. The same wacky characters that populated El-Hazard are back. Rune Venus is noticeably absent, except for a brief narration at the beginning of the series. We get to see a lot of Princess Fatora as see grabs the spotlight for the first couple episodes. This is a mixed bag, seeing how she is an annoying, spoiled brat. And if you thought Alliele was bad, you'll find she was nothing compared to the antics of Fatora. A new villain, Kalia, makes her debut in the form of a young demon-god. I worked up a pretty good hate for her and found her almost as annoying as Fatora. The story follows the same recipe as the first series. This ends up being El-Hazard 2's biggest weak point, though. While the first El-Hazard was an epic tale, this series takes place on a much smaller scale. Instead of entire kingdoms clashing together, we only get the central characters in conflict. It's not entirely a bad thing, but I was hoping for something more grand. The art and animation aren't as good as the first El-Hazard, but they provide some decent eye-candy. The same voice actors are used as in the first series, so the results are top-notch. If you're an El-Hazard fan, you'll definitely want to watch this series. Even if you haven't seen El-Hazard before, you can still watch this without being lost. Overall, it's a fun romp through the world of El-Hazard, not as good as the first OAV series, but close. The Verdict: * * * * (good)

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