Saturday Soundtrack # 8
El-Hazard (the Symphonic World)
original score and orchestration by Seikou Nagaoka, SM Records, Ltd. 1990
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.