With action, drama, romance, and lots of outrageous comedy, El-Hazard was one of the best anime series to come out of Japan last year. It has all the qualities needed for a hit anime: amazing artwork and animation, an engrossing musical score, and, most importantly, a captivating story. It is no wonder that El-Hazard was voted "Best Anime OAV Series" at this summer's Anime Expo convention.
The story centers around Makoto Mizuhara, a bright and androgynous student at Shinonome High School. Yes, I said androgynous. You'll see why I mentioned that as the story unfolds. Makoto has recently discovered strange ruins on the school's grounds. However, the student body president, Katsuhiko Jinnai, takes credit for the discovery. A budding megalomaniac (with lung capacity to match), Jinnai is convinced that Makoto is his destined lifelong enemy. Where does he get this crazy idea from? Well, most recently because Makoto is the only witness to the fact that Jinnai rigged the school's elections. Also entering the picture are Fujisawa-sensei, a good if occasionally inebriated teacher, and Nanami Jinnai, Jinnai's entrepreneurial younger sister.
Comparison with the hit series Tenchi Muyo! is inevitable, as the director, Hiroki Hayashi, and much of the production staff for the two series are the same. But El-Hazard is distinctly different from Tenchi. I would describe Tenchi as an action series with lots of humor and occasional dramatic moments. El-Hazard is at its core a love story (with lots of humor and action sequences). At any rate, you won't want to miss an episode of El-Hazard.