El-Hazard, the Symphonic World

Saturday Soundtrack # 8

El-Hazard (the Symphonic World)

original score and orchestration by Seikou Nagaoka, SM Records, Ltd. 1990

I wish I could give you more information about this one, but the entire booklet is in Japanese. Also, I have not seen the series or the one-off video version. So this is only about the music.

The background is this: The film series began as a seven episode original video adaptation of the manga. The series, titled El-Hazard: The Magnificent World, was popular enough to be remade into a twenty-six episode Japanese television series, The Wanderers, set in an alternate timeline. A second four episode OVA series, El-Hazard: The Magnificent World 2 and El-Hazard: The Alternative World, a thirteen episode TV series with a follow-up special were later released on laserdisc. There is also a videogame.

The story focuses on four people from our world, three high school students and their teacher, who are mysteriously transported to the fantastical world of El-Hazard, which is threatened with a massive war between the human nations on one side and the insectoid Bugrom tribe on the other. To add further complexity, the quartet’s transportation has a side effect, in that each of them gains a unique special ability.

This, however is the music. It’s a symphonic re-composing of that used for the original series, and it is re-scored for the orchestral format, thus the name El-Hazard The Symphonic World.

Enough about the film/video/manga. This is about the music, right? Okay, so we forget about the track names and just listen. That’s what were here for. If you search this out – and I hope you do –  you may find it described as or listed as classical music. That;s fine, it’s pretty musch what it is. I can’t say too often that film music needs to stand alone and that it’s the classical music of our times. This is a good example.

This music has all the best qualities of a great soundtrack: a memorable theme, fine orchestration, both rousing and peaceful moments, a sense of movement and flow beautifully interwoven. A cliche comes to mind: Try it, you’ll like it.

Here are the track names as promised above. They are not very descriptive, but this is about the best you’ll get.

EL HAZARD – THE SYMPHONIC WORLD (11 tracks, 47:57)
01 – Prologue, El Hazard Overture
02 – Peaceful Kingdom – Distant Land
03 – Evil & Conspiracy, Invasion
04 – Ifurita’s Power
05 – Iurita’s Prayer
06 – Ifurita, Love & Distress
07 – Eye of God, Final Crusade
08 – Epilogue I
09 – Epilogue II
10 – Epilogue III
11 – Epilogue IV

NOTE: I bought my CD of this years ago, at the manga and anime store at University of California, Irvine. That store is gone, but such stores are scattered around the country as anime continues to have a huge following in the U.S. You can find this album on trade and free Mp3 download sites, mostly among the anime and manga crowd. Be cautious when downloading from unknown sites, as always, though I had no trouble trying it as a test.

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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8 Responses to El-Hazard, the Symphonic World

  1. Patti Abbott says:

    What led you to buy or even find a CD that you knew little about? How did you come upon it? I would never be so adventurous.

  2. Richard says:

    Patti – at the time I had gotten interested in anime and had purchased several films. I noticed a couple of them had good music, so I went looking for soundtrack CDs and in the course of my search I discovered the anime store at UCI. The student employees were pretty knowledgeable about the music and they had a large (several hundred) selection, including some they would play for customers. I heard the opening cut of this. That and the world “symphonic” in the title were enough to convince me.

  3. I love the music in many anime films, but I never thought it might available on CD. Thanks for opening my eyes, Rick! I’ll be seeking this one.

  4. Richard says:

    It’s not easy to find, George. Luck. You might also look for the soundtrack to Princess Mononoke.

  5. Evan Lewis says:

    As long as I don’t have to look at those annoying, ubiquitous manga eyes while I listen to it, this sounds great.

  6. Richard says:

    That’s the manga / anime style, Evan, but you don’t have to see anything but the cover shown here.

  7. Richard says:

    Got it, Patti. Thanks.

  8. Icy EyeG says:

    Hi there, I know it’s been years, but I’d like to request something from you. Is it possible to take some pictures/scans of the album cover art (front, booklet and back if possible) and submit them to https://musicbrainz.org/release/119cc7e2-a402-42bd-b650-943e4258ce5f ?

    The version you own from El Hazard The Symphonic World is different from mine (yours has 11 tracks, mine just 7), so it would be nice to some more information about it in the database.

    In case you don’t know, MusicBrainz is a public database of music metadata and is ran by a non-profit foundation.

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