The Anime-zing Race 2

Episode Four

Authorís Notes
Thanks to everybody who responded with their opinions on this and Level 2. What seems to be the popular consensus is that people wouldnít mind seeing less frequent AR2 episodes if it meant getting Level 2 up faster. Since progress on episode six has been very slow (all the cool stuff happens in the second half of the episode, but Iím stuck on the Detour), Iím going to move back to every two weeks starting after episode five. Given my real-life commitments and the manga, I canít guarantee that Iíll be incredibly timely with Level 2, but if it makes you feel better, there will be a new stage of that posted Sunday.

Recap
Satoshi: (VO) Last week, on the Ah, My Goddess leg of the Anime-zing RaceÖ

(Shot of the various alliances being formed.)

Satoshi: (VO) Teams began to turn to each other for support, through multiple alliances.

Yukito: (VO) An alliance with Riley and Yamaki was very natural. Weíre always in the same group, and we get along very well with them.

(Shot of May, Max, Koji, and Koichi checking in simultaneously.)

Satoshi: (VO) Despite success with May & Max, Koji was full of doubt.

Koji: (VO) We are definitely going to regret this.

(Shot of Yukari and Minamo leaving Nabiki and Kasumi behind.)

Satoshi: (VO) While Yukari wasnít patient enough to stay allied with Nabiki and Kasumi.

Yukari: (VO) Weíre basically relying on them to make decisions for us. Thatís not how we do things! As teachers, we are called upon to be leaders, not followers!

(Shot of Jessie and Ayla ripping through the Detour.)

Satoshi: (VO) After being left behind by Noboyuki and Tenchi, Jessie and Ayla fought back in order to claim revengeÖ

(Shot of Keitaroís bike failing.)

Satoshi: (VO) But it was Seta & Keitaro who were left by the wayside, becoming the third team eliminated.

(Rapid shots of the nine remaining teams at various points in the race.)

Satoshi: (VO) Nine teams remain. Who will be eliminated tonight, on the El Hazard leg of the Anime-zing Race?

**** ANIME-ZING RACE ****
12 TEAMS OF 2:
TOUYA & YUKITO (Best Friends / Students- Cardcaptor Sakura)
KOJI & KOICHI (Twin Brothers- Digimon)
JESSIE & AYLA (Rivals- Battle Athletes)
MAY & MAX (Siblings- Pokťmon)
SETA & KEITARO (Master & Apprentice- Love Hina) {ELIMINATED}
NABIKI & KASUMI (Sisters- Ranma Ĺ)
LINA & GOURRY (Traveling Companions- Slayers)
YUKARI & MINAMO (Best Friends / Teachers- Azumanga Daioh)
NOBOYUKI & TENCHI (Father & Son- Tenchi Muyo)
MINATO & YUKINA (Sisters-In-Law- Nadesico) {ELIMINATED}
CHIHARU & YAMAZAKI (Classmates- Cardcaptor Sakura) {ELIMINATED}
YAMAKI & RILEY (Dating Co-Workers- Digimon)

13 LEGSÖ
15 SERIESÖ
6 COUNTRIES, 6 DIMENSIONS, 3 PLANETS AND 2 SPACESHIPSÖ
**** THE ANIME-ZING RACE ****

 

Leg Four
(Shot of the temple at dusk. Everybody inside is enjoying themselves.)
Satoshi: (VO) This is Tariki-honganji, an old temple outside Nekomi, Japan. Inside live the three goddesses Urd, Skuld, and Belldandy, along with mortals Keiichi and Megumi Morisato. The place has additional visitors tonight, as itís the third Pit Stop in the race.

(Shot of Yukari and Minamo checking in.)

Satoshi: (VO) Teams checked in here for a mandatory rest periodÖ

(Shot of May fighting Skuld at the ice cream bar.)

Satoshi: (VO) That allows them to eatÖ

(Shot of Gourry trying to relax, but unable to with Urdís arms clutched around him.)

Satoshi: (VO) ÖsleepÖ

(Shot of Tenchi trying to explain his situation to Kasumi, Keiichi, and Belldandy.)

Satoshi: (VO) Öand mingle with the other teams.

(Satoshi is walking down the courtyard with an envelope.)

Satoshi: The nine teams have no idea where theyíre heading next. Theyíll have to figure it out with clues found in these sealed envelopes.)

(Shot of Koji looking particularly disinterested in all of Mayís chatter.)

Satoshi: (VO) Can Koji co-exist with his new alliance partners May & Max?

(Shot of Jessie and Ayla checking in emotionlessly.)

Satoshi: (VO) And will Jessie and Ayla continue to build momentum after escaping elimination last leg?

 

(Shot of Yamaki and Riley checking in right before Touya and Yukito.)

Satoshi: (VO) Yamaki and Riley, and Touya and Yukito, were the first teams to arrive at 1:11 PMÖ

(The next morning, both teams prepare to shove off.)

Satoshi: (VO) Theyíll depart at 1:11 AM.

(Touya and Yamaki tear open the clues.)
[YAMAKI & RILEY- Dating Co-Workers- 1st to Depart- 1:11 AM]
[TOUYA & YUKITO- Best Friends / Students- 2nd to Depart- 1:11 AM]
Touya: Find the ruins below Shinanome High School in Matsuyama.

 

(Shot of an airplane taking off, followed by a taxi going to a typical Japanese high school basement. Mild-mannered royalty impersonator Makoto Mizuhara tells us why.)
Makoto: (VO) Teams must fly 350 miles to the city of Matsuyama on the island of Shikoku. Once they land, theyíll have to find my school, Shinanome High. Theyíll have to head down to the basement to gain access to the mystical ruins below, where theyíll find their next marker.

 

(They spring for a joint cab and head off to Narita Airport.)
Yukito: (VO) The biggest advantage to an alliance with Yamaki and Riley is that we make two new friends in the process. As much fun as it is with just myself and Touya, it becomes doubly so when weíre with company.

(Back in the cab, Touya brings up a topic of interest.)

Touya: SoÖ exactly how do you know each other?

Yamaki: What do you mean?

Touya: You say you work together, but it must go deeper than that.

Riley: UmÖ yes, well, we do work together. But we also are in a relationship.

(Yukito smiles.)

Yukito: Lovely! So what was it that made you two realize you were meant for each other?

(Riley and Yamaki look at each other nervously. Finally, Yamaki turns to Yukito.)

Yamaki: Unrelenting sexual tensions and a bottle of sake.

(Touya sweatdrops, and turns to Riley. A little embarrassed, she slowly nods.)

Riley: And a fear of being aloneÖ that was a big one for me.

Yukito: Wow, a pair of young lovebirds who only have eyes for each otherÖ

(Riley and Yamaki eye each other, both confused.)

Yamaki: What about you two?

Riley: Yeah. Whatís your story?

Yukito: Our story? I donít know, itís both unbelievable and fascinating.

Yamaki: Go on.

(Touya leans forward.)

Touya: I donít knowÖ do you believe in ghosts?

Yamaki: Do you believe in strange little monsters running around Tokyo?

(Touya scoffs.)

Touya: So youíve met my sister.

 

(May and the bros take off next and also hop into a joint cab. Unbearable silence for a while before May starts talking.)
[KOJI & KOICHI- Twin Brothers / MAY & MAX- Siblings- 3rd to Depart- 1:25 AM]
May: HmmÖ Iím a little disappointed in you two.

Koichi: Whyís that?

May: You two havenít started fighting over me. I mean, Iím availableÖ and everybody says Iím cute. Is it not a tempting offer?

Koichi: Sorry to disappoint you May, but Koji and I have formed a bond so great that you wonít ever see us fighting.

Koji: (sotto) Not in our human forms anyway.

May: Human forms? You have non-human forms?

Koichi: We used to.

Koji: Turning into giant monsters to save the worldÖ

May: Wow! That would be so cool! To travel with a couple cuties like you two, transforming into giant monsters andÖ well, given how strong the bad guys are, thatís probably not very fun. Maybe Iíll just watch.

Koichi: Thereís no shame in that.

Koji: To be honest, while it was difficult, it taught me so much about myself, and my bond with Koichi and my friends. I feel like a different person because of the experience.

May: (skeptical) You just say that to impress girls, donít you?

(Koji is caught off-guard, and struggles to think of a comeback. He canít, and turns away angrily.)

Max: Donít worry, Koji. If you ask me, itís working.

May: (angry) Quiet you!

Koichi: May and Max are really nice. They certainly make things more interesting. Time will tell how successful we are as an alliance, but Iím glad to have them along for the ride. Max is always entertaining, whether he means it or not, and May isÖ wellÖ sheís hard to put into words.

 

(Downtown, Yukito is coaxing someone into getting online. Yamaki, Riley, and Touya wait outside.)

Touya: So you two are a couple then?

Yamaki: I believe we made that clear.

(Touya cracks a smile and lets out a short laugh.)

Yamaki: Whatís so funny?

Touya: Youíre the only team thatís getting any during the race.

(Riley immediately blushes.)

Touya: Is that considered an unfair advantage?

Riley: WellÖ

Yamaki: I wouldnít assume too much Touya.

Riley: YeahÖ the first couple legs were a bit stressful. Considering how often we argueÖ

Touya: (smiling) But your team has the key to ending any argument.

Yamaki: If it keeps us in the race, we will use any advantage we haveÖ

(Riley slaps her forehead.)

Riley: Look, I donít mind telling you, but donít spread this around to the other teams. Weíre not used to having this out in the open.

(Yukito arrives.)

Yukito: Good news! I reserved tickets for a 9:45 flight. Touya, why donít we take a train to Haneda now and share a hotel room when we get there?

(Now, itís Touyaís turn to blush.)

Yukito: Whatís wrong?

Riley: Good idea, Yukito. Weíll get the cab.

Riley: Itís really new for us. We have never been this open about our relationship. Now, Touya and Yukito know about it, and soon everybody will. Itís freeing, but Iím a little scared about what people might think about me dating my boss.

 

(Lina is counting the money as Gourry puzzles over a map.)
[LINA & GOURRY- Traveling Companions- 5th to Depart- 1:34 AM]
Lina: You have 50 roshtal for this leg of the race. Wonder where weíre goingÖ

Gourry: This map says Matsuyama is on a different island in Japan. Maybe they use a different currency.

(Lina snatches the map away.)

Lina: HmmÖ Honshu uses yen, this Shikoku place uses roshtalÖ makes sense. Letís go.

(They pile into a cab.)

Lina: Considering how many times weíve screwed up, the fact that weíre still in the middle of the pack is pretty good. Most of our big advantages, like my magic, have been neutralized, but our disadvantages, like Gourryís head, still remain. But weíre not discouraged yet!

 

(Everyoneís favorite teachers are next to leave.)
[YUKARI & MINAMO- Best Friends / Teachers- 6th to Depart- 1:40 AM]
Minamo: Shinanome High School. Didnít you apply to work there?

Yukari: YeahÖ they turned me down because my interview didnít go well.

Minamo: What happened?

Yukari: Fell asleep on the table.

(Minamo turns to Yukari, mouth agape.)

Yukari: (defensive) Hey, it was their fault for scheduling the interview the day after Valentineís Day!

Minamo: Hangover?

Yukari: That is the single most evil holiday on Earth.

Yukari: Separating from Nabiki and Kasumi was necessary because they were holding us back. They can do things however they want to, but Iím not going to stick around and look for a way to beat the system. Our goal is to move fast, and they werenít doing it.

 

(Next upÖ the Tendo sisters.)
[NABIKI & KASUMI- Sisters- 7th to Depart- 1:51 AM]
Kasumi: Looks like we have to find another computer.

Nabiki: Yeah, and this time we only have to get tickets for the two of us.

Kasumi: Donít forget the cameraman and sound person following us.

(Kasumi smiles and waves to the camera while Nabiki slaps her forehead.)

Nabiki: Careful Kasumi, you donít want to run through the fourth wall.

Kasumi: But weíre outsideÖ

Nabiki: Come on!

(They hustle to get to a cab.)

Nabiki: Everybody seems to be talking about Noboyuki turning his back on Jessie and Ayla, as well as Seta and Keitaro. I donít know what the fuss is about. Yukari and Nyamo screwed us over at the beach yesterday, but does it look like I care? No! Because weíre all here to play the game. Stabbing people in the back and screwing them over is just part of the fun!

 

(May and Koichi are waiting outside an apartment building in town, keeping the cab there.)

Koichi: UmÖ May?

May: Yeah Koichi?

Koichi: (nervous) I was justÖ umÖ wondering if you were serious before?

May: About what?

Koichi: About Koji and I fighting over you?

May: I was just curious. I mean, it was a silly question. Iím just lightening the mood, you know? Why?

(Koichi looks up at her.)

Koichi: Because...!

(May turns to the building as Koji and Max walk out.)

May: How did it go?

(Max smiles and proudly flashes a ďVĒ sign. Koji shakes his head.)

Koji: Why are the talented ones always the most annoying?

Max: Weíre booked on ANA flight 585 departing from Haneda Airport at 9:45!

May: Way to go Max!

 

(Yukari and Minamo ride in a taxi as it speeds through the nearly empty streets.)
Minamo: (VO) There was no chance of getting an online connection anywhere around here, especially without Nabikiís help. So we figured the best bet was to get close to Haneda before the traffic started backing up. We found a hotel and decided to try our luck in the morning.

 

(Nabiki is at a public phone with Kasumi. She shakes her head and hangs up.)

Kasumi: Any luck?

Nabiki: Everybodyís closed. Doesnít matter, the really early flightís sold out. No sense staying around here. Letís go.

(Kasumi exits the booth. Nabiki does, then quickly comes back to collect the change out of the phone.)

 

(Tenchi rips open the clue as Noboyuki watches the front door, nervously.)
[NOBOYUKI & TENCHI- Father & Son- 8th to Depart- 2:12 AM]
Tenchi: Find the ruins below Shinanome High School in Matsuyama.

Noboyuki: Matsuyama. GoodÖ letís get out of here and find a nice, safe hotel.

Tenchi: Donít you want to look for a flight first?

(Tenchi follows his father into a waiting cab.)

Tenchi: During the Pit Stop, Dad, as noble and brave as he is, basically avoided Jessie and Ayla like they were a disease. I tried to reason with them, but they werenít listening. And why should they? We turned our backs on them, and later turned our backs on Keitaro and Seta. I want to win just as much as Dad doesÖ but I donít want to be the bad guy.

 

(In the cab, Noboyuki explains the situation to Tenchi.)

Noboyuki: All I heard during the Pit Stop was that Jessie and Ayla are after our heads. The best place for us to be right now is wherever they arenít. Besides, Iím sure the first teams already got the first flight to Matsuyama. So it doesnít matter, right?

Tenchi: (uncaring) SureÖ if you say so.

Noboyuki: Are you with me Tenchi?

Tenchi: Dad, just do what you want.

(Noboyuki leans back, a little concerned.)

 

(Jessie and Ayla calmly walk to a cab from the temple.)
[JESSIE & AYLA- Rivals- Last to Depart- 2:19 AM]
Ayla: Remember Jessie, we canít just focus on one team. There are seven other opponents to worry about.

Jessie: Donít worry. We have to catch up to them before we can focus on anything.

(They get into the car and drive off.)

Ayla: Right now, the important thing is to not be so concerned with Noboyuki and Tenchi. We are fortunate to still be in the race, and we canít let our anger lead to failure. Dealing with Noboyuki and Tenchi is only a minor goal. Winning the race is still the top priority.

 

(Haneda Airport is virtually empty, except for Lina and Gourry dragging their bags through it.)

Lina: HELLO!!!

(Nobody answers. In fact, she hears her own echo.)

Gourry: I donít think anybodyís here.

Lina: Theyíre just being difficult.

(She cups her hands.)

Lina: I KNOW YOUíRE HIDING! GET OUT! WE NEED TICKETS!

Gourry: Itís three in the morning, Lina.

(Lina sees a sign on a counter.)

Lina: Doesnít open until 6. Letís find a bench or something.

(They camp out on a nearby bench without much difficulty.)

Gourry: Camping out on benches isnít a big problem. Weíre used to sleeping on the ground. Obviously weíd rather be staying at an inn, but weíll make due with what we have.

 

(Time lapse at the airport. Nabiki and Kasumi arrive very early. Nabiki is tired.)
[5:20 AM]
Nabiki: Iím still not used to this.

Kasumi: You wanted me to wake youÖ

Nabiki: Thatís fine. Anybody else here?

Kasumi: I see Lina and Gourry on the bench over there.

(Nabiki turns. Lina and Gourry are still fast asleep.)

Nabiki: Beautiful. Whereís the ANA counter?

(They find it, and approach it. Naturally, itís still closed.)

Kasumi: It doesnít open until six.

Nabiki: ExactlyÖ

(They stick around for a little while. A woman approaches the office door. Nabiki immediately swoops in and intercepts her.)

Nabiki: Excuse me, do you work here?

ANA Worker: Yes. We open at six.

Nabiki: Thatís a problem. We really need to get on the 9:45 flight toÖ

ANA Worker: Like I said, we open at six.

Nabiki: Weíre in a race, and thereís going to be a ton of other teams lining up here at six. We need some sort of edge, and you could really help us out with that. Imagine being able to take care of a customer now instead of dealing with us during an early rush.

ANA Worker: WellÖ I suppose if itís some competition and itís importantÖ

Kasumi: It really is.

ANA Worker: (relenting) Fine, come on in.

(Nabiki and Kasumi step inside.)

 

(At the same time, Minamo is shoving Yukari awake in a nearby hotel room.)

Minamo: Come on, Yukari.

Yukari: Didnít you say the early flight was sold out?

Minamo: But we need to try to get the second flight. I didnít check when the third one leaves.

(Yukari forces herself out of bed.)

Minamo: You really should be used to getting up early by now. Besides, you get up early every day for work.

Yukari: That doesnít mean Iím used to it!

 

(Lina and Gourry are awoken by a door opening. Lina rubs her eyes in that direction.)
[5:30 AM]
Lina: Huh?

(Nabiki and Kasumi exit the still-closed ANA counter. Nabiki discreetly tucks away their boarding passes.)

Lina: Wait a minuteÖ

(Lina stands and marches up to the sisters.)

Lina: What were you doing in there?

Nabiki: Why do you want to know?

Lina: Because we need to talk to those guys about getting a flight!

Nabiki: What, this one?

(Nabiki holds out her boarding pass.)

Lina: How did you get those?! The counterís closed!

Nabiki: Thatís our little secret.

Lina: Well, I have my own secret to get tickets.

(Lina walks up to the door and starts pounding on it.)

Lina: Open up! I know youíre in there!

Kasumi: I donít know if that will work. Besides, we got the last seats for the 9:45 flight.

(Lina slumps to the ground.)

Lina: What?

Kasumi: Weíre going to get breakfast. See you in Matsuyama!

 

(A half-hour later, the counters open. Lina and Gourry have made it to the JAL counter, where they are the first in line. They are able to get tickets to Matsuyama without incident.)
[LINA & GOURRY- 1st Team on Flight 2]
Gourry: See, this wasnít so hard, was it?

Lina: I guess not, but it still irks me that those two were able to get tickets ahead of us.

Jessie: Who did?

(Lina and Gourry move to the side. They discover that Jessie and Ayla are next in line at JAL, with Yukari and Minamo behind them.)

Gourry: Nabiki and Kasumi. They snuck in a half hour early and talked their way onto the ANA flight.

Minamo: (to Yukari) I told you we shouldnít have gone ahead of them. Now theyíre on an earlier flight.

(Jessie and Ayla finish their business, and Ayla takes the boarding passes. Minamo talks to the same clerk about booking the same flight.)
[JESSIE & AYLA- 2nd Team on Flight 2]
Yukari: Damn that Nabiki. Before she was using her powers for good- helping us! Now sheís using her powers for evil- not helping us!

Ayla: Excuse meÖ

Yukari: What?

Ayla: Did you bother to check when this flight leaves?

Yukari: No. All that matters is that they leave at 9:45, and weíre stuck on a later flight.

Ayla: Precisely. We depart at 9:50. Itís only a five minute difference.

(Both Jessie and Minamo look at them and sweatdrop.)

Yukari: (fuming) Insurmountable!!

(Jessie and Minamo face fault. The JAL clerk bends over the counter and looks down at Minamo.)

JAL Clerk: Would you still like to book that flight?

(Minamo raises a hand from the floor.)

Minamo: HaiÖ

 

----

 

(Two planes take off for Matsuyama. Shot of each team on the flight, including May continuing to flirt with Koji and Koichi.)
Makoto: (VO) Teams are aboard one of two flights to Matsuyama, where they have to head to Shinanome High School. On the first flight is Yamaki & Riley, Touya & Yukito, May & Max, Koji & Koichi, and Nabiki & Kasumi.

(On the second flight, Noboyuki is desperately making sure he doesnít cross paths with Jessie or Ayla.)

Makoto: (VO) On the second flight, arriving only five minutes later, is Lina & Gourry, Jessie & Ayla, Yukari & Minamo, and Noboyuki & Tenchi.

(Overhead map shot as a line heads to the western part of the island Shikoku.)

 

(The first plane lands. During the mad dash through the airport, Koji and Koichi are able to barrel through, pulling May and Max along for the ride. The other three teams are hot on the trail, however. Koji and Koichi get the first cab.)

Koji: Do you know how to get to Shinanome High School?

Cabbie: Yep, my cousin goes there!

(Koichi makes sure May and Max get a cab as well.)

Max: Weíll follow you!

Koichi: Great!

(Koji and Koichi climb in. May and Max hop into a second cab.)
[MAY & MAX- Siblings- Currently in 2nd Place]
May: Just follow them.

Max: They should be going to Shinanome High School.

(Max sits backwards and watches the remaining three teams get into cabs.)

Max: Now thatís the way to do it!

Max: In airports and train stations, it really helps to be a little smaller so we can weave through the crowds. Koji and Koichi have a double advantage, because they also are tough enough to not get jerked around!

 

(Kasumi is reading a map while Nabiki leans forward to talk to the cab driver.)
[NABIKI & KASUMI- Sisters- Currently in 5th Place]
Nabiki: Just follow those cabs ahead. Weíre all headed to the same place.

Driver: Iíve never seen two girls in such a hurry to get to school.

Kasumi: Oh myÖ we donít have to go to class, do we?

Nabiki: That would be a boring Detour.

 

(The teams on the second plane are through the gates. Jessie and Ayla claim the first cab, followed quickly by Yukari and Minamo. Noboyuki and Tenchi get theirs just after Lina and Gourry.)
[NOBOYUKI & TENCHI- Father & Son- Currently in Last Place]
Noboyuki: Just followÖ

Tenchi: Just follow? Look who weíre following, Dad. Lina and Gourry always get lost! Why donít we try getting there our own way for a change?!

Noboyuki: Good idea! Let them get lost!

Tenchi: Thatís not what I said.

(Noboyuki looks up the location and relays directions to the driver while Tenchi sits back idly.)

Noboyuki: Tenchi was disagreeing with pretty much everything I did for awhile. It wasnít that he wasnít helping, but he was always critical of me. I was beginning to think it was becoming a problem.

 

(Yukari and Minamo are hot on the tails of Jessie & Ayla.)
[YUKARI & MINAMO- Best Friends / Teachers- Currently in 7th Place]
Minamo: Are they going the right way?

Yukari: HmmÖ I donít know. I thought we were supposed to turn right back there.

Minamo: You sure?

Yukari: Yeah. Theyíre taking the long way!

Minamo: Great, then letís go the short way.

(The driver turns as Jessie and Ayla continue to go ahead.)

Minamo: Good thing youíve been here before.

Yukari: YeahÖ of course I took the train there last time.

 

(At the school, Koichi pays the driver as Koji gets their bags out. Koichi immediately turns to help May and Max do the same. Both teams run into the school and head to the basement. Max pulls out the clue.)

Max: It says weíre supposed to gain access to the mystical ruins down here.

(Koji silently proceeds down the hall, where things get very dark.)

Koichi: Are you scared May?

May: Of course not! Kojiís holding onto meÖ

Koji: No Iím not.

May: Max, get off me!

Max: Sorry!

Koji: ShhÖ

Koichi: What is it?

Koji: Sounds like the floor isÖ

(The floor gives way and the kids fall to the depths below. They land on a lower level.)

May: What was that?

(Max stands up.)

Max: They said weíd gain access to the mystical ruinsÖ they just didnít say howÖ

(The remaining three pick themselves off the ground to see they are in an ancient temple. At the center is an empty coffin, basking in a mystical blue light. May, Max, and Koji walk up to it. May leans forward.)

May: I wonder whoís supposed to be in hereÖ

(Instead of answering her question, an oni jumps into her arms.)

May: Ah! Whatís this?!

Max: Itís an oni, remember?

Koji: Apparently weíre supposed to hop dimensions.

Koichi: I found the route marker.

(Koichi helps himself to one as May takes another.)
[KOJI & KOICHI / MAY & MASATO- Currently Tied in 1st Place]
Koichi: Use the oni as demonstrated before to go to the world of El Hazard. Go to the city of Floristica and youíll find the route marker at the town gate.

May: Thereís a note in hereÖ

(May pulls out a second sheet of paper in the envelope.)

May: PS- Donít screw up using the oni. Iíll be seriously pissed if I have to pull you out of the wrong dimension. Love, Arumi.

 

(Rapid shots through the voids of time and space to the magnificent world of El Hazard, and the capital city of Roshtaria, Floristica. The place has a traditionally Arabic feel to it. Makoto stands outside the town gate.)
Makoto: Without a demon god to assist the process, teams will need to go into the world of El Hazard using the provided oni. If executed properly, theyíll find themselves in Roshtariaís capital city of Floristica. Theyíll have to ask around to find the route marker outside the town gate.

 

(All four share an oni as the little critter draws a circle. The four stand in the center, holding hands, with their backs to each other.)

May: I hope this worksÖ

Koji: Iíve been through strangerÖ

May / May / Koji / Koichi: Kyu Kyu Noritsuge!

(In a flash, they are hurtled through a void.)

 

(Nabiki and Kasumi are out of the cab and are running toward the basement.)
[NABIKI & KASUMI- Currently in 5th Place]
Nabiki: Any sign of team bishounen?

Kasumi: (correcting) Nabiki, Rileyís a bishoujo.

Nabiki: Never mind, theyíre probably already inside.

(They hurry inside as another cab arrives. Noboyuki hustles out, while Tenchi lags a little in getting his bag out.)
[NOBOYUKI & TENCHI- Currently in 6th Place]
Noboyuki: Címon Tenchi, I think we jumped a few spots.

Tenchi: (uncaring) Iím comingÖ

(They run in.)

 

(The land of El Hazard. Touya, Yukito, Yamaki, and Riley are right in the center of the busy Floristica marketplace.)
[TOUYA & YUKITO / YAMAKI & RILEY- Currently Tied in 3rd Place]
Riley: Landing successful, sir.

Touya: Amazingly, thatís not the strangest thing Iíve been through.

Yukito: Not by a long-shot.

Yamaki: Are you done chatting? We need to find the town gate.

(Touya and Yukito walk in one direction. Yamaki and Riley shrug and follow them.)

 

(Yukari and Minamo proceed cautiously to the basement and head down the hall.)
[YUKARI & MINAMO- Currently in 7th Place]
Yukari: Donít worry, Nyamo. This canít be any scarier than whatís in the basement at our school.

Minamo: What exactly *is* in the basement of our school?

Yukari: Itís too scary. Donít ask.

Minamo: You donít know, do you?

Yukari: I donít think anybody does. In fact, now that I think about it, our school doesnít even have a basement.

 

(Nabiki and Kasumi successfully launch into El Hazard as Noboyuki and Tenchi fall into the ruins. Tenchi stands up and rubs his behind and Noboyuki runs to the route marker.)

Tenchi: I didnít think Iíd ever have a new worst day in my life, butÖ

Noboyuki: Tenchi!

(Tenchi shakes his head.)

Tenchi: What do you want now?

Noboyuki: Look, Tenchi, we need to have a talk. Iím starting to question whether or not youíre committed to winning this race.

Tenchi: What gave you that idea?

Noboyuki: You seem to have a problem with something.

Tenchi: Dad, I have a problem with lots of things! First offÖ

Noboyuki: Could you please put those on hold until the end of the leg?

Tenchi: I donít know if I can go the rest of the leg with youÖ

Noboyuki: So maybe we should go for the Fast Forward so we can sit down and talk about this!

(Tenchi shakes his headÖ then looks up.)

Tenchi: WellÖ I guess thatís not such a bad idea. I mean, I donít want to give up on this completely.

Noboyuki: So youíre with me?

Tenchi: Fine. I donít feel like finding out what else this leg wants to throw at us.

Noboyuki: Great! Neither do I!

(Noboyuki opens the Fast Forward clue and immediately frowns.)

Tenchi: What?

Noboyuki: Never mind, we have to go into this El Hazard place first.

 

(Shot of the royal palace. Satoshi stands before the princesses Rune Venus and Fatora.)
Satoshi: Thereís only one Fast Forward hidden on each leg of the race. The first team that finds it can skip all tasks and go directly to the Pit Stop. But once a team uses the Fast Forward, they canít use it again for the rest of the race. Theyíll need to decide when itís most advantageous to go for it.

(The princesses gracefully walk through the halls of the palace, as underlings stand aside groveling.)

Satoshi: (VO) In order to maintain security in the land, the princesses of Roshtaria, Rune Venus and Fatora, often resort to stand-ins to keep the other nations calm in case one of themís kidnapped. To claim the Fast Forward, a team will receive the royal treatment- a procession through the halls of the palace, followed by the opportunity to sit in on a council meeting. Naturally, one will be dressed as Rune Venus, the other as Fatora.

 

(Koji sees the town gate, and the route marker. He leads the other three to it and takes a clue. Max also takes one.)

Koji: Detour- Stealth or WealthÖ

 

(In a forested area outside of town, local madman and disgraced Shinanome class president Katsuhiko Jinnai gives us a stirring rendition of the Detour tasks.)
Jinnai: A Detour is a decision where a team must choose one of two tasks. This time, the choice is between Stealth and Wealth.

(Shot of a clue box deep in the forest, guarded by a few giant bug creatures called bugrom.)

Jinnai: (VO) In Stealth, teams must invade a forest outside of Floristica to find their next clue. However! The clue is well-guarded by my army of bugrom! Teams will have protective armor, but getting past my hordes may prove impossible.

(After a round of his laughter, rivaling Naga and Kodachi in annoyance, he continues. Shot of a diner inside town, set up like a Japanese ramen shop. Entrepreneurial Nanami Jinnai serves a few locals.)

Jinnai: (VO) In Wealth, teams will have to scour Floristica for the Shinanome Diner, owned and operated by my slimy sister Nanami. Teams will work for Nanami, and must earn 10 roshtal in tips, equivalent to about three thousand yen, before Nanami will give them the next clue.

 

(Back at the route marker, Koji and May learned all of that, but without Jinnai to annoy them.)

May: I donít knowÖ I donít like the idea of giant bugs.

Koji: Weíre doing it, thatís for sure. We canít be stuck busing tables while the other teams get ahead of us.

Max: You and Koichi might be used to fighting giant bug armies, but May and I arenít.

Koichi: Youíll be fine. If they say itís involves Stealth, then maybe we just have to be quiet to get through.

Koji: I donít know if they can handle that either, Koichi.

May: Well, weíll give it a shotÖ

(They run out of town and run toward the nearest forest.)

May: (VO) I was really nervous about the bug challenge. It was the first time we did the more demanding Detour, and I didnít know how Max and I would shape up.

 

(Jessie and Ayla arrive in El Hazard, but they are immediately taken in by the place.)
[JESSIE & AYLA- Rivals- Currently in 8th Place]
Jessie: Well, this is something elseÖ

Ayla: I suppose we have to find the town gate. Do you know which way to go?

Jessie: Well, we have to go somewhere.

(Given their size and their clothing, they are very conspicuous, and struggle to make it through the crowded marketplace.)

Jessie: The marketplace in El Hazard was the first real culture shock we had. Weíre used to crowded terrain, but the place looks thousands of years old. Ayla and I were completely blown away by how different it all was.

(More shots of the Floristica marketplace as the teams run through it, some a little hesitant.)

 

----

 

(At the ruins, Lina and Gourry perform the ceremony.)
[LINA & GOURRY- Traveling Companions- Currently in Last Place]
Lina / Gourry: Kyu Kyu Noritsuge!

(They arrive safely in the marketplace. Lina smiles.)

Lina: Now this is a little closer to home!

Gourry: Weíre supposed to find the town gate.

Lina: Right!

(They confidently barrel through the crowd.)

 

(Noboyuki and Tenchi head into the royal palace.)
[FAST FORWARD- Royal Treatment]
Tenchi: (VO) We clearly aren't operating on the same page. We each want to run this race a different way, and I'm really upset by the way Dad's playing. So instead of arguing to the point where we get eliminated, we agreed to take the Fast Forward. And then I found out what the Fast Forward was.
Noboyuki: Hi! We're here for the Fast Forward.

Tenchi: Do we really have to dress up like girls?

Makoto: Don't worry, it's not so bad.

(Makoto leads them through the palace, but stops after a few steps.)

Makoto: Actually... yes it is.

(Makoto continues to walk. Noboyuki shrugs and he and Tenchi follow.)

Makoto: But at least you don't have to worry about Fatora's mistress...

Tenchi: Well, that's a relief.

Noboyuki: Hold on... mistress?

(That's the cue for Alielle, everybody's favorite 16-year-old lesbian nymphomaniac!) Alielle: So who gets to turn into Lady Fatora this time?

(Makoto sizes them up and points to Tenchi.)

Makoto: Probably this one.

(Alielle gets up *real* close to Tenchi.)

Alielle: You're not as cute as Lady Fatora, but I suppose you'll do.

Noboyuki: Wow Tenchi, you found a girl who doesn't have a crush on you!

Makoto: (to Tenchi) How many?

Tenchi: Five.

Makoto: Four for me.

(Makoto points to Alielle.)

Makoto: Five if I'm dressed as Fatora.

(Makoto and Alielle continue down the hall. Tenchi follows, nervous.)

Tenchi: So when I'm dressed as Fatora...?

Makoto: If she's not humping your leg I'll be surprised.

Alielle: I never did that! When they passed you off as Lady Fatora I went straight for your...

Noboyuki: Maybe you should make me Fa...

Makoto / Alielle / Tenchi: NO!!

 

(Nabiki and Kasumi arrive at the clue marker.)
[NABIKI & KASUMI- Sisters- 5th at Detour]
Kasumi: Stealth or Wealth. I think I know what you want.

Nabiki: If it's all right with you.

Kasumi: Oh, yes. We have to earn money at a diner. We can handle that, right?

(Nabiki smiles and they head back into the city to find the diner.)

Nabiki: (VO) Given how different we are, it's great when we're on the same page. We didn't have to think twice about the Detour. Here was an opportunity for both of our talents to help us gain an edge in the race.

 

(Yukari and Minamo are running through the streets.)

Minamo: Do you see any of the other teams?

Yukari: Not at the moment.

(Yukari turns around and sees Lina and Gourry a little ways behind them, gaining ground.)

Yukari: Crap! It's the... the... crap!

Minamo: What?

Yukari: I can't think of a nickname for Lina and Gourry!

Minamo: Worry about it at the Pit Stop or they'll catch up to us!

(They continue running and meet Nabiki and Kasumi running the other way.)

Yukari: It's Tendo!

Minamo: Hmm... "it's Tendo"... sort of an inside joke but it plays to the right crowd.

Yukari: (to Kasumi) Hey! Which way to the route marker?

(Kasumi points back.)

Kasumi: Oh, it's just a little ways, you're almost there.

Yukari: Thanks!

(Yukari and Minamo move on.)

Yukari: I like Kasumi a lot more now that we're not working with her.

(They reach the route marker. Yukari gets the clue.)
[YUKARI & MINAMO- Best Friends / Teachers- 6th at Detour]
Yukari: Detour- Stealth or Wealth.

Minamo: We don't have either one...

Yukari: Evade a bunch of giant bugs or make money at a diner.

Minamo: Well, when you put it that way...

Yukari: There's gotta be a catch to the diner.

Minamo: Considering we've got Lina and Gourry on our tails, and they're more at home battling bugs, we'd probably be better off with the diner. Besides, "It's Tendo" went in that direction.

Yukari: Okay! Just one question... where'd you come up with "It's Tendo"? I don't get it.

 

(Koji, Koichi, May and Max reach the edge of the forest. Jinnai greets them.)

Jinnai: You're all going to fail!

Max: Thanks for the words of encouragement. What do we do?

Jinnai: Go in there and retrieve the clue. However, first put these on...

(Four cream-colored cats walk over to the teams.)

May: Put what on?

(The cats expand and contort around the four, effectively covering each of their torsos.)

Jinnai: It's armor. That way my bugrom can attack you with pleasure and I won't be saddled with frivolous injury lawsuits!

Koji: Thanks for thinking about us.

(Koichi and May are examining the cats and their fur.)

 

(Nabiki and Kasumi find the Shinanome Diner successfully. Nanami hands each of them an apron.)

Nanami: Okay, what are you up for doing? Cooking, waiting, or busing?

Kasumi: I'll cook, thank you.

Nabiki: Need a cashier to reign in some extra tips?

Nanami: Already got that covered. I charge an extra two rosthal every time someone grabs my butt.

Nabiki: Only two?

Nanami: Can't get too crazy or they either don't come back or they stop grabbing my butt.

Nabiki: Good point. I'll be a waiter.

Nanami: Okay, waiters keep their tips, cooks get twenty percent of their order. Get to work ladies!

 

(Double K and Double M are in the forest. Koji quietly sizes up the situation.)

May: It's a little creepy in here...

(Koichi shushes her.)

Koji: On the count of three. One... two...

(Koji grabs May's hand and starts running. Koichi quickly grabs Max and takes him with. As they run, a few bugrom jump down from the branches below and chase after them. Max trips, and Koichi loses his grip. May fights herself loose from Koji.)

May: Wait! Max is back there!

(She turns around, as does Koji. They join Koichi, who stands about ten feet from Max. A bugrom is quickly approaching Max.)

Koichi: Max!

May: Get over here!

(Max backpedals, but gets two steps before tripping again. The bugrom attacks, swiping at Max. It hits the armor, but the force sends him through the air, only to be caught by May and Koichi.)

Koichi: Are you alright?

(Max holds out the armor.)

Max: (excited) I need to get one of these!

Koji: Come on!!

(The four hustle through the woods as the bugrom continue to pursue.)

 

(Back at the diner, Nabiki is serving sake to a pair of customers. She finishes pouring and stands up.)

Customer: Thanks a lot Nabiki!

(He gives her a little slap on the behind. She didn't expect it and turns around suddenly.)

Nabiki: (pleasant) You know, those aren't free...

Customer: Don't worry, I'll pay for it when I leave a tip.

Nabiki: Wonderful!

(She happily turns back around and sees Nanami.)

Nabiki: At this rate, I'll be done in no time!

(Nanami picks up the broken bottle of sake from the floor.)

Nanami: (cheery) That's right, you'll be outta here in no time unless you're able to pay for this!

(Nanami makes a money sign. Nabiki frowns.)

Nabiki: You mean...

Nanami: It doesn't have to be part of your 10, but you owe me 5 roshtal.

(Nabiki narrows her eyes.)

Nabiki: (sinister) You're good... but believe me, I'm better.

(A bell rings off-screen.)

Kasumi: (OS, happy) Nabiki, order 16 is ready!

 

(Koji and Koichi and May and Max reach the edge of the forest and find a route marker.)

May: Thank goodness.

(Koji and Max take an envelope.)

Koji: Follow the marked path to get back through the forest. Return to Floristica and take a hovercraft to the cliffs of Mount Muldoon.

 

(Rapid shots to the outskirts of Floristica, and a hovercraft rental center. Shayla Shayla, the fiery Priestess of Fire, narrates.)
Shayla Shayla: (VO) Teams must rent a hovercraft from this local dealer and take it to the cliffs of Mount Muldoon, home of the three mighty priestesses. The hovercraft operates similar to the automobiles of Makoto's world, so the same rules apply. Once there, they'll have to park their vehicle and hike up a marked path to the next route marker.

 

(In the middle of the forest, Touya & Yukito and Yamaki & Riley are proceeding with caution. However, that works against them when Yamaki steps on the tail of a dolphin-bear. It "bum bum bum"s away, summoning about ten bugrom, who quickly surround the teams.)

Riley: Wonderful...

Yamaki: What was that thing?

Touya: I'd be more concerned with these bugs.

(The bugrom naturally attack one at a time. Touya fends them off pretty easily with his martial arts expertise, but they quickly gang up on the other three, pinning each to the ground. Without a second of hesitation, Touya goes after the bugs surrounding Yukito and helps him to his feet.)

Touya: Yuki, are you okay?

Yukito: Of course. I like this cat.

(Yukito pets the head of his armor, which actually begins to purr.)

Touya: Now we just have...

(Yamaki is trying to fight them off, with moderate success. Touya attempts to get through to Riley, and begins fighting his way through. Meanwhile, Yukito has his ears elsewhere.)

Yukito: Touya! I can hear Lina and Gourry coming.

(Touya gets to Riley, who is still being attacked. All attacks are at the armor, so Riley remains unharmed.)

Riley: You'd better go. We'll stay to handle these.

Touya: Are you sure?

Riley: Look, we'll be fine. We're just slowing you down.

Yukito: Riley, we'll meet up later!

Riley: Okay.

(Touya and Yukito make a run for it.)

 

(Makoto and Alielle stand with the true princesses near a curtain.)

Alielle: And presenting the princesses of Rostaria... Lady Fatora and Rune Venus!

(The curtain rises. Neither Tenchi and Noboyuki are happy about being dressed up in such a manner. While they look nothing like the princesses, the dress and hair match exactly. Both are wearing appropriate wigs. Both dresses go to their ankles, although Noboyuki's is slightly more elaborate. Noboyuki rubs the back of his neck, trying to play along. Rune Venus smiles.)

Rune Venus: Lovely! You look lovely.

(Fatora starts laughing.)

Fatora: (insulting) Wow... you both look so stupid! And I thought Makoto was trying to do the impossible by impersonating me! You two are...

(Fatora continues laughing. Tenchi frowns.)

Tenchi: Can we get out of here?

Makoto: Now we have the procession. Shall we?

(The Masaki men calmly pick up their dresses and begin parading down the halls to the council. Alielle strides next to Tenchi and begins to rub up against him.)

Alielle: Wow. Those wardrobe guys did a good job after all.

Fatora: (OS) ALIELLE!

(Alielle quickly releases herself and continues walking.)

Alielle: Sorry Lady Fatora!

(She leans into Tenchi.)

Alielle: (aside) She gets jealous easily.

(After a brief procession and a mock council meeting, they are led back to the changing room, where Rune Venus presents them with the Fast Forward envelope.)

Rune Venus: For allowing my sister and I to skip a meeting guilt-free, I present this token of our gratitude.

Noboyuki: Any time!

(Noboyuki takes it and opens the envelope. Tenchi throws off the wig and immediately starts changing back into his normal clothes.)

Noboyuki: Congratulations, you have won the Fast Forward. Take a hovercraft directly to the Pit Stop- the Spring of Arliman.

 

(Rapid shots of a hovercraft heading over a barren desert to a green oasis.)
Arumi: (VO) Having won the Fast Forward, Noboyuki and Tenchi can go directly to the Pit Stop, the Spring of Arliman. This lush oasis in the middle of the Desert of Bleached White Bones is a ceremonial getaway for holy creatures from all over El Hazard. In other words, it's a hot springs resort for women. The last team to arrive will be eliminated.

 

(Nanami is at a counter, counting up someone's bill. She shakes her head as Nabiki walks by. Behind them, Yukari and Minamo are hard at work waitressing.)

Nanami: Hmm, this guy had a coupon for his meal, and still paid the full price.

Nabiki: What do you mean?

Nanami: He gave me 8 roshtal for his meal, but had a coupon for 1 roshtal off.

(Nabiki takes the roshtal.)

Nabiki: Then that must mean it's part of his tip!

Nanami: No, he gave it to me as payment for...

Nabiki: But he overpaid. The excess is considered his gratuity! Although he only tipped 1 roshtal anyway, this extra money means he can leave without us calling him a lousy tipper.

Nanami: (relenting) Fine, fine... Kasumi made his meal, right?

Nabiki: Yep, and twenty percent of 8 rounds up to 2, which gives us 10. We're outta here!

Nanami: Wait a minute! You said the extra roshtal is gratuity, not payment! Kasumi gets 20 percent of the payment, and 20 percent of *7* rounds *down* to 1! You have one more to go.

Nabiki: Ah, but that was because of a coupon. The meal was actually worth 8. Why should Kasumi be punished because of your cheap sales incentives?

(Nanami fidgets a bit, then grabs a clue and shoves it at Nabiki.)

Nanami: Just leave.

Nabiki: (while opening it) Heh, don't mess with the meistro...

(She skims the clue, then turns to Kasumi.)

Nabiki: Kasumi, we're outta here!

(Kasumi joins her sister and they head out. Meanwhile, Nanami checks on Yukari and Minamo.)

Nanami: Keep it coming, and don't try pulling any fast ones!

 

(Yamaki and Riley finally make it through the woods. Riley is admiring the cat armor as Yamaki takes the clue.)
[YAMAKI & RILEY- Dating Co-Workers- Currently in 5th Place]

Riley: And to think, I used to be allergic to cats...

Yamaki: Follow the marked path to get back through the forest. Any sign of Touya or Yukito?

Riley: Wait... right here...

(Riley sees a note taped to the clue box. It's made out of a discarded clue.)

Riley: "We went ahead. Hopefully we meet at Mount Muldoon. Sincerely, Yukito."

Yamaki: Great, we were betrayed via Dear John letter.

Riley: We weren't betrayed. They simply went ahead of us.

Yamaki: And you let them. You could have had them help us further.

Riley: Look, we would have held them back for minutes. They have just as much right to move forward as we do. I'm not going to let our problems get in the way of that.

Yamaki: You really know nothing about alliances, do you Riley? Alliances are formed with your best interests in mind. They saw that the alliance wasn't in their best interest anymore, and you let them get away with abandoning us.

Riley: Forget it! Let's just get that hovercraft and get to the mountain!

(They march stubbornly through the path.)

 

----

 

(Lina and Gourry reach the clue box. Gourry has a bugrom on his back, but he hurtles it over his shoulder, right into Lina's fist. It doesn't bother them anymore. They get the clue.)
[LINA & GOURRY- Traveling Companions- Currently in 6th Place]
Lina: Return to Floristica and take a hovercraft to the cliffs of Mount Muldoon.

(They leave. Soon afterward, Jessie and Ayla reach the end of the course.)
[JESSIE & AYLA- Rivals- Currently in 7th Place]
Jessie: Return to Floristica and take a hovercraft to the cliffs of Mount Muldoon.

(And back at the Shinanome Diner, an exhausted Yukari and Minamo finally get the clue from Nanami.)
[YUKARI & MINAMO- Best Friends / Teachers- Currently in Last Place]
Yukari: Return to Floristica and take a hovercraft to the cliffs of Mount Muldoon... 'bout damn time.

Minamo: What can I say? We really stunk at that Detour. It's been awhile since we had waitressing jobs and it didn't come back to us really fast. I don't think there was any doubt that we were in last place by the time we finished.

 

(Varied shots of all the teams aboard various hovercrafts flying above the desert. The vessel is about the size of a bus, so Koji & Koichi and May & Masato share one, with Kousei driving it. The other teams each have their own, and pilot them themselves. As Yamaki drives, Riley struggles with a map.)

Yamaki: Are you sure this is the right direction?

Riley: I'm not absolutely sure. It's not like there's a signpost anywhere.

Yamaki: There isn't a gas station anywhere either, so you'd better get it right. You already cost us time before.

Riley: *I* cost us time? You don't think those wild bugrom back there were responsible?

Yamaki: Wild ones behave wildly. But I expect you to reign in your friends.

Riley: This isn't the time to be having this argument. I'm trying to concentrate on the map.

(She goes back to doing so.)

Yamaki: When we were struggling during the Detour, Riley let Touya and Yukito go ahead instead of having them help us. This set us back tremendously, while Touya and Yukito were able to gain a huge lead on us. She clearly made a mistake, and she should take responsibility for it.

 

(Nabiki is piloting her craft the best she can as Kasumi gives her directions.)

Kasumi: See that mountain standing alone? Right straight ahead?

Nabiki: Yeah, is that it?

Kasumi: Uh huh.

Nabiki: Awesome, Kasumi.

(They don't get far before Nabiki hears another hovercraft behind them. They turn around.)

Nabiki: What the?

(This craft, piloted aggressively by Lina, pulls up alongside Nabiki and begins to overtake her.)

Kasumi: Oh my!

(Nabiki does her best to keep up, but Lina has no trouble whizzing right by. Lina and Gourry cheer as they begin to put some distance behind the Tendo girls.)
[LINA & GOURRY- Currently in 4th Place]
Lina: Beating the snot out of giant bugs and operating strange foreign vehicles- now this is fun!!

 

(Minamo is piloting for Team Teacher. Yukari is watching along the sides, somewhat aggravated.)

Yukari: You know, we're in last place.

Minamo: I'm well aware of that. I'm going as fast as I can.

Yukari: It's not fast enough!

Minamo: Give it up Yukari, it's not going to happen.

(Yukari walks up to Minamo and smiles.)

Yukari: Nyamo-chan! We're in last place. Even if we get a penalty, it's better than finishing last!

Minamo: Three problems. First off, you aren't necessarily faster, you're just more dangerous. Secondly, I'm not only worried about a penalty, I'm worried about my safety. And finally... this is a hovercraft!! I don't suppose you've driven a hovercraft before??

Yukari: (bragging) I beat F-Zero GX.

Minamo: (conflicted) It's still a tough call... last place or let you drive...

 

(Jessie is calmly speeding through the desert toward the mountain.)
[JESSIE & AYLA- Currently in 7th Place]
Ayla: Jessie?

Jessie: Yeah?

Ayla: I'd move over.

Jessie: Why?

(She turns around. Yukari is wildly driving behind them, screaming. Jessie aggressively speeds up, but Yukari's chaotic movements prompt Jessie to relent and let Yukari go by to prevent an accident. Jessie silently swears to herself as she continues to follow at a high speed.)

Jessie: Damn, she's good...

 

(At the base of the mountain, the first hovercraft arrives. The first pair of teams hop off and hike up a marked path.)
[KOJI & KOICHI / MAY & MAX- Currently Tied in 1st Place]
Koji: Up there.

(The route marker stands at a large clearing on the mountain, at the base of a tall cliff.)
Koichi: Road Block- this person must enjoy cliffhangers.

 

(Shayla Shayla stands at the top of a cliff with the Road Block clue.)
Shayla Shayla: A Road Block's a task for only one person on each team. In this Road Block, that lucky sap has to climb a vertical cliff face of almost 400 feet.

(Shot of the imposing cliff. A series of ropes are on the cliff to help. Priestess of wind Afura Mann stands at the bottom.)

Shayla Shayla: (VO) They'll have all the proper safety stuff, but if they do fall off, fellow priestess Afura Mann will be ready to guide them back onto the cliff.

(Shot of a narrow natural bridge leading up to the clue box.)

Shayla Shayla: (VO) After climbing, they'll find the clue box on the other side of a natural bridge. From there, Afura will help them back down to their teammate.

 

(The twins make their decision pretty quickly.)

Koichi: You'd better take this one, Koji.

Koji: Alright.

Max: May?

May: Wait a minute, I don't know if I can...

Max: Well, you'd be more likely to do it than me.

Koichi: C'mon May, it can't be that bad.

May: Oh, alright...

(May reads the details and joins Koji as he gets hooked up. Helping out here is Mr. Fujisawa, transplanted high school teacher and rock-climbing enthusiast.)

Mr. Fujisawa: Okay, has either of you two done this sort of thing before?

Koji: Yes.

May: (nervous) No!

Mr. Fujisawa: That's alright, I'll get you squared away on how not to get yourself killed up there. But first...

(Mr. Fujisawa pulls out an unmarked bottle and holds it up to his mouth. Before he can drink anything, a gust of wind blows the bottle out of his hands and into Afura's. She looks cross.)

Afura: Sorry, but Nanami wanted me to make sure you weren't drinking when you went through the safety measures. Something about negligence lawsuits or the like.

Mr. Fujisawa: Aw, you're no fun.

(Despite the setback, he hooks Koji and May up to the ropes on the cliff. May is extremely nervous, but Koji is totally focused as they begin scaling the cliff.)

 

(Noboyuki and Tenchi park their hovercraft outside a set of foreboding ribcage archways. They cautiously head into the greens of the spring.)
Noboyuki: (VO) Yeah, it was a little humiliating dressed up like that. But in the end, the Fast Forward was really worth it. Now hopefully we can talk things over and be ready for the next leg.

(They pass the greenery and past a number of pools before they reach the Pit Stop marker. On the route marker sign, in large green letters is "EL HAZARD" while the small white letters read "SPRING OF ARLIMAN." Greeting them is Arumi and the priestess of water, Miz Mishtal. Noboyuki and Tenchi step on the mat, Noboyuki clearly more excited.)

Miz: Welcome, strangers, to the world of El Hazard.

Arumi: Noboyuki? Tenchi? You're team number one.

Noboyuki: Yeah! Good work Tenchi.

(Tenchi manages a brief smile and settles for a handshake with his father.)

 

(Along with Koji and May, Yukito has begun his ascent. Gourry is getting hooked up. Meanwhile, Lina joins Koichi, Max, and Touya.)

Lina: Come on, Gourry, even you can't screw this up.

Touya: Let's go Yuki, stay ahead of the dumb blond.

(Lina, a little aggravated, begins taunting Yukito.)

Lina: You're no match for him Yukito! Give it up! Gourry's got the muscle and the hustle! Watch your step, it's a long way down. Baka-Yuki!

(Touya non-chalantly covers her mouth.)

Koichi / Max: Thanks, Touya.

(Yukito is completely unfazed by Lina's taunts, and surpasses May, who is really struggling.)

May: Koji... I can't do this.

(Koji is having little difficulty, but looks down and sees May and Yukito. Eventually, he drops a little to get closer to May, but allowing Yukito to pass.)

Koji: It's okay, just a little further. Just get your hand up on that little ledge and pull yourself up.

May: But it's too small...

Koji: Just do it!

(May does so, but loses her grip on the ledge. Her hand falls, but it's immediately grabbed by Koji.)

May: Koji...

Koji: Sorry, here...

(Koji lifts May's hand enough to find a secure ledge for her to grab. From there, he stays even with May and helps guide her to the top of the cliff. As soon as they reach the top, she hugs him.)

May: Thank you so much! I didn't think I was ever going to get off of there!

Koji: (slightly blushing) Um... no problem. Let's get the clue.

May: Right!

(Koji lets May cross the bridge first before following.)

May: (VO) Honestly, I never would have been able to climb that cliff if Koji hadn't helped me along. I'm so happy he was there.

(Yukito has already gotten the clue and calls for Afura to let him back down. He rejoins Touya and a much-maligned Lina.)

Lina: Baka-Yuki...

Yukito: Return to your hovercraft and take it north to the Pit Stop, the Spring of Arliman. The last team to arrive will be eliminated.

 

(Rapid shots of a craft landing at the oasis and further shots leading up to the Pit Stop mat.)
Arumi: (VO) Teams must drive their hovercraft across the desert to the Spring of Arliman, the fourth Pit Stop in the Race. The last team to arrive here will be eliminated.

 

(Nabiki and Kasumi arrive on the scene.)

Nabiki: Road Block. I'll take it...

(Nabiki reads the clue, nods, and heads to Fujisawa to get equipped.)

Kasumi: Good luck Nabiki!

(Yamaki and Riley arrive soon afterwards. Meanwhile, May and Koji have been let down.)

Yamaki: Road Block. Looks like we're rock climbing.

Riley: You'd better do it.

Yamaki: Right.

(He joins Fujisawa and gets on the mountain right after Nabiki. Afura lets Gourry down and hands him the clue.)

Gourry: Lina, we're heading north.

Lina: Okay. Hopefully we can catch up to those brats.

Lina: The clue just said head north. So we were counting on our ability to navigate without a compass or a map. Sometimes, even our instincts are enough to give us an advantage in worlds without roads.

 

(On the mountain, Nabiki is beginning to lose energy as Yamaki starts to overtake her.)

Nabiki: Jeez... this is hard. This is really hard...

Nabiki: (VO) The mountain was incredibly difficult. I'm not used to that kind of physical strain. And when other teams seemed to rise up to the challenge, I was only getting more tired and more nervous. I was really scared up there.

(Nabiki loses her grip for a second, but it's enough to send her falling. Before she can scream, Afura catches her with her wind magic and guides her back on to the cliff.)

Afura: (OS) Are you alright?!

(Nabiki begins to panic.)

Nabiki: No!!

Afura: Let me know when you're ready to start climbing again.

(Nabiki doesn't respond initially. Kasumi begins to call out.)

Kasumi: It's okay Nabiki! Keep going! I know you can do it!

(After an extended delay, Nabiki begins to climb the mountain once more, taking things very slowly.)

 

(Yukari and Minamo reach the route marker, Minamo's a little shaken..)
[YUKARI & MINAMO- Currently in 7th Place]
Yukari: Road Block. This person must enjoy cliffhangers.

Minamo: Climbing a cliff... after that ride I can survive anything.

Yukari: It's all yours then!

(Minamo gets equipped as Jessie and Ayla arrive.)
[JESSIE & AYLA- Currently in Last Place]
Jessie: Road Block.

Ayla: It's my turn, alright?

(Jessie nods and gives Ayla the details. Fujisawa helps her get set up and Ayla take the mountain soon after Minamo. Ayla quickly surpasses Minamo. While Nabiki has made some progress, Ayla gets past her as well.)

Jessie: That's it Ayla! One more to go!

(But Yamaki reaches the top before Ayla. Yamaki crosses the bridge, gets the clue, and gets back over the bridge as Ayla pulls herself over. Yamaki sails down the Afura-Express and joins Riley.)

Yamaki: Return to your hovercraft and take it north to the Pit Stop, the Spring of Arliman.

Riley: Good work.

Yamaki: Now you know what it looks like.

(Riley shakes her head as she and Yamaki head back down.)

 

(It's just Nabiki and Minamo on the mountain. Kasumi and Yukari cheer their teammates on, and Minamo gains a lot of ground, but Nabiki was too far ahead, and pulls herself to the top.)

Nabiki: (exhausted) I made it...

(She struggles over the bridge to get the clue. She descends with Afura's help and returns to Kasumi.)

Nabiki: That... that was the hardest thing I've ever done.

(Kasumi reads the clue.)

Kasumi: Well, you did it. How about I drive to the Pit Stop?

Nabiki: Sure. Just try to move fast, okay?

(They leave. Soon, Minamo comes back down with the clue. She looks disappointed in herself.)

Minamo: Damn, we're back in last. Sorry, I wasn't fast enough.

Yukari: Nyamo-chan, it's never over as long as I'm driving!

(Minamo isn't sure whether to be encouraged by that. Still, they head back down.)

 

(Touya and Yukito, very pleased with their effort, step on the mat.)

Arumi: Touya and Yukito? You're team number two.

Yukito: This is getting a little repetitive, isn't it?

(Arumi chuckles a little.)

 

(In the greenery area, Koji & Koichi, May & Max, and Lina & Gourry are in a dead spring to the Pit Stop. Lina and Gourry are simply too fast for the kids and run by them. Koji swears under his breath. May puts a hand on his shoulder.)

May: Don't worry about it Koji.

(Lina and Gourry continue running until they get their feet on the mat.)

Arumi: Lina and Gourry you're team number three.

Lina: All right!

(Lina and Gourry high-five and step off. Not long after that, Koji & Koichi and May & Max jump on simultaneously.)

Arumi: Koji and Koichi? May and Max? You're both team number four.

(May hugs Koji once more for good measure.)

 

(In the middle of the desert, Kasumi is as focused as she gets trying to stay ahead of Yukari. Nabiki is helping Kasumi out.)

Nabiki: Keep going, Kasumi. I know it doesn't look safe, but they don't seem to care!

(Both hovercrafts remain even, although Yukari moves more irregularly.)

 

(Yamaki and Riley sprint to the mat, and are breathless when they reach Arumi and Miz.)

Arumi: Yamaki? Riley? You're team number six.

(They silently nod and struggle to catch their breath as they quickly step off. Jessie and Ayla quickly take their places.)

Arumi: Jessie? Ayla? You're team number seven.

(They do little more than a hand-knock and step off.)

 

(Yukari skids her hovercraft into the sand and she and Minamo jump off just as Kasumi safely lands her vehicle. Nabiki and Kasumi chase Yukari and Minamo for a little ways, but the teachers are too fast and too far ahead for it to make a difference. Yukari and Minamo jog up to the Pit Stop mat several lengths ahead of the Tendo's.)

Miz: Welcome to the world of El Hazard.

Arumi: Yukari and Minamo?

(She still puts in a dramatic pause.)

Arumi: You're team number eight.

(Both smile and high-ten, knowing they've managed to survive another leg.)

Minamo: Way to go Yukari.

Yukari: You didn't do so bad yourself Nyamo.

 

(Finally, Nabiki and Kasumi have slowed to a walk as they greet Arumi and Miz.)

Arumi: Nabiki and Kasumi?

Kasumi: (pleasant) Yes?

Arumi: You're the last team to arrive. Unfortunately, you've been eliminated from the race.

(Kasumi smiles and nods, accepting their fate. Nabiki closes her eyes for a moment before forcing a smile and nodding.)

Kasumi: (VO) I'm sure Nabiki may be a little disappointed, but this was a wonderful trip. We made friends with so many people and saw so many wonderful places. And for the first time, I really felt the thrill of real-life competition. It's very invigorating, not to mention exhausting.

Nabiki: This race made me realize that I'm not invincible. I can usually negotiate my way into anything, but when you're staring at a huge cliff, there's nothing you can say to make the climb any easier. I pretty much froze up for awhile. It really made me appreciate everybody who can tame that cliff without a problem. But in the end, I made it up there eventually, so I felt like I didn't come away empty-handed. I have to tip my hat to the competition, and whoever the winner is, they'll have my respect.

End of Episode Four

 

Author's Notes
El Hazard was created by the same people who did Tenchi Muyo, and they use the same trick where the OAV, the series, and the manga feature slight variations on the characters and each of their histories. I'm basing this leg off the OAV, as it seems to be the most popular, and I've only seen the first OAV and read the manga. This is important to note, since I believe the Spring of Arliman does not actually appear in the series.

A few voice actor jokes here, although all of them Japanese: Urd has the same Japanese voice actress as Sylphiel from Slayers, who tries to position herself as Gourry's devoted love interest. As mentioned before, Keiichi and Belldandy have the same seiyuu as Tenchi and Kasumi, thus their chat during the Pit Stop (Kasumi's seiyuu also voices Rune Venus). Finally, a big Eva reference as Yukito has the same actress as Shinji Ikari, victim of the "baka-Shinji" taunt hurled by bitchy-redhead Asuka. Lina's a bitchy redhead, like many of Megumi Hayashibara's other characters. Hayashibara doesn't do Asuka, however, instead lending her voice to the anti-bitchy-redhead Rei Ayanami. Incidentally, Touya's voice covers Touji and Makoto's seiyuu handles Kensuke in the series.

Kasumi's reference to the cameraman and soundperson needing tickets is a truth to the real series as well. When teams say they need two tickets, they're usually acting for the camera. They are also responsible for buying tickets for the camera and sound operators constantly following them around.

Alielle is a lovely little character indeed. In fact, El Hazard would be an ideal series to show on American television, if it weren't for the fact that Princess Fatora has a lesbian lover. While Fatora was imprisoned, Alielle was hitting on just about every girl in the group, including Makoto in drag. Oh, and she has the same English voice actress as Rika from Tamers.

With all the "This is Otakudom" jokes I had been throwing out in previous stories, it's only fair to give a nod to the equally popular fan parody "Evangelion: Redeath." While decidedly more low-brow than TiO, it has several hilarious moments, and is best known for Gendo Ikari's theme music, a 70's pimp anthem led by the chorus "It's Gendo..."

Finally, another voice actor reference could have been spurned from Mr. Fujisawa, who has the same Japanese voice actor as the lecherous Mr. Kimura from Azumanga Daioh... but there just wasn't a good spot for it. Speaking of Fujisawa, you may have noticed him making a few cameos in various episodes of Tenchi in Tokyo.

Next Week on The Anime-zing Race:
* It's off to NYC, giving Jessie and Yukari a chance to show off their English skills.
* Noboyuki tries to make nice with Tenchi in order to remain on top.
* Lina & Gourry play tag-along in the urban jungle, upsetting some teams.