Tag Archives: Tenchi Muyo

Ai Tenchi Muyo!

Type: Sponsored by the city of Takahashi, Okayama

Synopsis: Come visit beautiful Takahashi, Okayama, home to the beautiful Bitchū Matsuyama Castle. Be sure to also visit Raikyū-ji, a Buddhist temple with a historic garden. That’s all I could find on the Wikipedia for Takahashi!

Pros: This anime is also based loosely on the Momotaro, or Peach Boy, legend, and serves as a 20th Anniversary special for the Tenchi Muyo! series. We’ll get to how well the show represents the franchise later. Since Tenchi Muyo! holds a special place in my heart, this entry has been on my list for a while. As luck would have it, it’s got an English dub with all the original actors (except for Ayeka). So for a long time fan like myself, the best part was hearing Petrea Burchard play my girl Ryoko one more time. And the story really is the strongest when the original Tenchi Muyo! cast take part it it. The core characters get updated looks, which are pretty good (though Ryoko and Washi apparently grew a few cup sizes during the franchise break). And while the show says it has 50 new episodes, there’s about 8 minutes each with credits. So it’s really more like 10 regular episodes.

Cons: First of all, the show did a poor job of detailing Takahashi, Okayama natural splendor and charming locals. If I was the city council, I’d ask for my money back. Because all I know about Takahashi right now it that it has all girl’s high school that is severely understaffed, may have buried treasure, and suffers from dimensional breaks. It makes be reconsider my planned stay at one of their numerous and affordable 5-star hotels (free wifi included upon request). As for the show itself, the length of the show makes watching it inconvenient. While the episodes divided up, the story lines aren’t. So 3-4 episodes are really just one big story cut up to bloat the episode count. The plot isn’t all that special: Tenchi becomes a student teacher at an all girl’s school, and sexy misunderstandings happen. Being anime, the teenage girls naturally all hit on their new teacher, making feel all types of uncomfortable. To it’s credit, the show does try to utilize it’s short episodes by mixing in two parallel stories every 3-4 episodes. One parallel story follows Tenchi escorting a young girl in the past, while another shows Tenchi’s home life with the original girls. These serve as nice breaks between stories, though they do make you wonder they can’t be the main plots. Teenage anime boobs is probably the answer, I guess. Things do ramp up towards the end, with all the story elements coming together rather nicely. Except for why the Feudal Japan girls look exactly like the student council. Speaking of which, how are the new female characters? Ai Tenchi Muyo! basically adds a new harem for Tenchi to interact with. And it falls into the typical harem overcrowding problem because of this. Five characters in a harem is fine, moreso is hard to follow. But let’s review anyway: Rui and Yuki are nice comedic foils, Tori is pointless, kinda the same with Hana, Hachiko is fine, Beni is a good stoic addition, and Momo is…Momo. Yeah, Momo’s good girl “let’s all be friends” gimmick was not fun, and doesn’t really mesh well with Tenchi Muyo’s humor. Even Sasami has a playfull side. Plus, Momo’s speech defending the love between a teacher and student was weird. Ultimately, I just don’t know who this anime is for. If it’s for long time fans, then why focus on a new cast. And if it’s for new people, why use Tenchi, Ryoko, or the others in the first place? And easy fix would probably be using a new main lead, like GXP and Geminar did, but it’s a little late for could ofs.

Watch it: Skippable, but maybe hunt for the Ryoko scenes (3/5).

MVP: Ryoko

Because she’s always MVP

Best Episode: The Tenchi at Home episodes (a little too dispursed to track down the episode numbers).

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Tenchi Forever! The Movie [Tenchi Universe Trilogy]

Type: You’re saying that my grandfather’s girlfriend has the hots for me!?

Synopsis: I’m starting to develop some emotional discomfort due to all these inappropriate advances by female relatives and friends.

Pros: Ok, so Tenchi Forever! The Movie, also known as Tenchi Muyo in Love 2: Distant Memories, is the final movie and story in the Tenchi Universe cannon. So of course it ends with Tenchi finally getting laid. By his grandpa’s dead lover. Yeah. You know, it’s kinda weird that the least sexy Tenchi Muyo shows end up getting Tenchi to make more romantic progress than the original OVA’s. Tenchi in Tokyo shows us Tenchi’s first kiss. And this movie showed us Tenchi’s first sexual experience. I’m focusing on this a little because this movie is fairly melodramatic and mature compared to every other entry in the series. In the story, Tenchi disappears for 6 months, and all the girls separate in an effort to find him. The pairing we see the most of is Ryoko and Ayeka, who become roommates during their search. While they do bicker, this is the best portrayal of their friendship, as they provide emotional support for one another after, essentially, the loss of a love one. Speaking of which, I liked the way that Tenchi was removed from his weird life of aliens into a more intimate life with a girlfriend, something that was NOT handled well in Tench in Tokyo. We see an older and more self-assured Tenchi, who really knew how to rock long hair.

Cons: The instigator of Tenchi’s disappearance was Haruna, Tenchi’s grandfather’s old lover and the reason why he left Jurai in the first place in this cannon. She was fine, and her design was pretty, but I had a though when watching this. The concept of Tenchi being stuck in a parallel world with a lover is great, but I would have changed the girl he was with. Instead of Haruna, it should have been Ayeka. Because despite Ayeka being one of the main love interest, she always plays second fiddle to Ryoko. So what better way to explore her underdeveloped character than by having her take the initiative and create her ideal world with Tenchi. It would have been a great spotlight on her character, and helped develop new layers to the love triangle between Ryoko, Ayeka, and Tenchi…I should probably also mention that Tenchi was basically brainwashed into being in a sexual relationship with a stranger, and that this would 100% not work if the genders where reversed.

Watch it?: No real finality, but an interesting  attempt at a more serious Tenchi Muyo story

MVP: Tenchi’s long hair

I mean, just look at it.

Best Moment: The Reveal that Tenchi was drawing Ryoko’s picture too (true love shatters any illusion!)

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Tenchi the Movie 2: The Daughter of Darkness [Tenchi Universe Trilogy]

Type: My daughter has the hots for me!?

Synopsis: Wait, that wasn’t my idea!

Pros: So this one is about a girl that says she’s the daughter of Tenchi and crashes the Masaki household around Christmas time. So this is really just a Christmas special. The self proclaimed daughter, Mayuka, isn’t all that interesting and can be irritating with her child like antics. What was most interesting what everyone’s reaction to her, especially Ryoko. Ryoko’s often the most reactive to romantic rivals (that was her entire arc in Tenchi in Love) so she’s allowed to act out more by the writers. This eventually culminates in a shocking moment that even had me go “whoa.” And I’ll admit, more a moment I did think that Mayuka really was Tenchi’s daughter from the future or something, and all her scenes with the other girls had me playing “guess the baby mama.”

Cons: Mayuka is annoying. Mayuka is very annoying. She’s got a woman’s body but a child’s mind. I’m not talking about a 17 year old mind. I’m talking about like 5 year old’s mind. Her childish demeanor was meant to be a hint to her real origins, but it didn’t make all the fan service any less creepy. By the way, this is NOT a movie. It’s a Christmas OVA. It’s one hour and doesn’t really reveal or change much. I know that the story implies that Mayuka is reborn as an actual child, but the events of the next film contradict this.

Watch it?: I’d say no, but that Ryoko moment has to be seen

MVP: Ryoko

If you haven’t realized, I really like Ryoko

Best moment: The Ryoko-Mayuka living room scene (Damn!)

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Tenchi the Movie: Tenchi Muyo in Love [Tenchi Universe Trilogy]

Type: You mean my mom has the hots for me!?

Synopsis: Man, this is heavy.

Pros: I mean really, this is just Back to the Future. This is part of a series of movies that I like to refer to as the “Tenchi Universe Trilogy,” or Tenchi Universe Season 2. Sorta how like the Futurama movies are all considered Season 5. The Tenchi Universe series isn’t my personal favorite in the franchise, but it is the most accessible. This one explore the issue of Tenchi’s mother. A bad guy tries to kill Tenchi’s family by attacking Tenchi’s mom in the past, so Tenchi in the gang have to go to the past to make sure that Tenchi isn’t erased from existence. This was pretty cool, and I liked Achika Masaki better than Kiyone Masaki, Techi’s mother from the OVA series. Mostly because Kiyone wasn’t given much screen time. I also really liked Ryoko, as I always do, and she had a pretty slick, if brief, but of fight animation. In fact, since this was a movie, it has pretty good animation in general.

Cons: The movie is fine for what it is, but is doesn’t go far enough. It doesn’t play around with the 1970’s setting. It doesn’t play around with the idea of time travel much. But worse, it doesn’t really explore Achika outside of her early relationship with Tenchi’s dad. She isn’t really a character, she’s a Mcguffin. The only real emotional conflict comes from Tenchi trying hard to protect his mother, who he never really talks to in the movie. Which sucks because we could have gotten interesting interactions with Achika, Ryoko and Ayeka. We could have seen how Teanchi’s grandfather behaved as a father to a young woman. Or we could have just gotten a story of Achika’s daily life. Her status as at least a part-alien living on Earth with a royal lineage strongly mirror’s Tenchi’s life, and we could have seen them bond over their unique situations. Kinda a waste of potential at the end of the day. (p.s. There was also this bad guy that wasn’t really the antagonist who was really there to misdirect the audience and died a useless death).

Watch it?: If you like Tenchi Universe, then sure

MVP: Achika’s brief power ups

She also got the final hit on the bad guy.

Best Moment: Ryoko’s brief fight scenes (Ryoko deserves a killer fight scene!)

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Tenchi in Tokyo

Type: Not, ah, my favorite entry.

Synopsis: I was going to try to make a long point about people moving new places, dating new people, and how this sometimes means losing track of your old friends and family. But that was taking so long, so screw it. What this show is really about is Tenchi trying to escape his crazy life filled with alien girls by moving far away and shacking up with the most IRRITATING girl you could think of…only for her to be a psychic projection of another alien girl.

Pros: For all it’s faults, Tenchi in Tokyo does a good job at staying true to the characters of the Tenchi Muyo Series. There’s no real point that in the show that the characters act in a way that isn’t believable to them. The essential plot is that the bad guy tries and succeeds in separating Tenchi and crew, and each react to this in a way I can buy into. Mihoshi and Kiyone leave after getting a reassignment from the Galaxy Police. Ryoko goes on a violent rampage in space after having her heart broken, and goes through the best story arc she’s ever had in the franchise. Plus, it was cool to see Ryoko as a proper space pirate for an extended period of time. And Ayeka tries her best to keep it all together since, as a lonely princess, she most likely never had many friends. What’s also interesting is that this iteration of Tenchi may be the most unlikable he’s ever been, but arguably the most realistic. The catalyst for the show’s plot is when Tenchi decides to leave for Tokyo to further his studies. While there, he meets a seemingly normal human girl and starts to date her, leading to the group slowly drifting apart. What made Tenchi unlikable was his efforts to keep the girls away from him and his life in Tokyo. At first, it starts as him comedically trying to stop Ryoko and Ayeka from interrupting him from starting a new life. But as the show goes on, Tenchi starts to outright ignore his former friends. Almost as if he’s willing to abandon his friends if it means living a stereotypical normal life. The plot even revolves around this, as it’s Tenchi’s bond with the girls that the antagonist is trying to severe. What’s especially interesting is that Tenchi wasn’t tricked into doing this. Not really. All he did was move and meet someone. But that was enough to make him move one from his hometown life.

Cons: While the character work in this entry in the show was fascinating, and probably the best exploration of each member of the cast, or at least Ryoko and Tenchi, this show is a mess. The tone of the show is also all over the place. This show contains both the sillies jokes that Tenchi Muyo has ever broadcast, as well as it’s most dramatic moments.  It’s starts off way to slow. The first six episodes are basically an unfunny farce that do nothing to keep the audience’s attention. If I wasn’t for my commitment to the series, I probably would have stopped watching. Well, that’s a lie, I watch no matter how bad, cause I’m RIDE OR DIE. But I probably wouldn’t have payed as much attention. The real meat of the show doesn’t come until 7, when the show reveals how this version of Tenchi and the girl’s first met. From there we get Ryoko’s Date, Ayeka trying to hitch hike to Tokyo, Tenchi starting to date Sakuya–the real story basically. Then there’s Sakuya…OK, I don’t want to be that fanboy, but I’m gonna be that fanboy. Sakuya is a horrible character who forced me to skip every scene that she was in (which included the majority of Tenchi scenes). She’s a homewreaker. Literally. She was created to distract Tenchi and keep him away from the other girls. The other more interesting girls, like the bad-ass space pirate, or the alien princess, or the two space cops. The show tries really had to make the audience like her, but I don’t think she really added anything to the existing cast. Tenchi, like most harems, is build on troupes. Ryoko is the rude girl. Ayeka is the princess. Sasami is the cute one. Mihoshi is the ditz. Mihoshi is the exacerbated career woman. But no, Tenchi’s first kiss in the franchise had to come from Sakuya, another in a long line of cheerful school girls who makes boxed lunches every day and dreams of nothing more than being a beautiful bride, because Anime. Goddam it Anime. I think this whole thing would have worked better as a movie. It would have at least tightened the plot and reduced Sakuya’s screen time. That being said, I guess I can’t call this show terrible if it caused me to feel this strongly about it.

Watch it?: Man, for a average show, I sure had a lot to say about it. Heck I have more, like how Ryoko was the only one who trusted Tenchi with Sakura, but her trust was broken. Anime men are dogs! (3/5)

MVP: Ryoko

It was great to see Ryoko cut loose

Best Episode: Ep17-19 The Separation Arc (it’s like when your favorite band breaks up!)

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Magical Pretty Girl Sammy

Type: Spin-off!

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Synopsis: In the magical world of anime Japan, a pretty girl named Sasami is turned into a pretty magical girl named Sammy in the name of love, justice, and merchandising.

Pros: The Magical Pretty Girl Sammy franchise is a very interesting entry in the surprisingly wide Tenchi Muyo brand. The concept is based on a multiverse story from a CD Drama, which was later adapted into Tenchi Universe, and then into this OVA. The premise is fairly simple: Sasami and everyone in the Tenchi Muyo Universe cast is in a magical girl show. Now for me, I got a kick out of this, as it was yet another way to see the Tenchi English voice cast strut their stuff. And I do generally enjoy when an established anime experiments with other genres. The jokes are neither here nor there, though I did like the fierce rivalry between Ayeka and Ryoko (even if Ryoko is a lot more forward in this). The best character is probably Pixie Misa, Sasami’s delightfully evil rival. And while this show keeps it fairly light, the moments when Sasami gets serious is pretty cool.

Cons: The show is a 3 episode OVA what doesn’t really have an ending. Now, I looked it up, an apparently the Pretty Sammy brand has two other full length anime, Magical Project S, and the non-canotical Sasami: Magical Girl’s Club. So I would view this OVA as more of a backdoor pilot than anything else. The show is not amazing by any means. It’s got that traditional Tenchi Muyo jank in terms of animation and voice acting, but that’s kinda it’s charm (at least to me). My only real complain is against the show’s attempts to make the 10 year old, 4th grader Sasami “sexy,” or at least more sexual. I can always live without that.

Watch it: Maybe out of curiosity (3/5)

MVP: Pixie Misa

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She loves to double cross everyone!

Best Episode: OVA rules (a.k.a. you decide)

 

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Tenchi Universe

Type: Nostalgic

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Synopsis: Ah man, now this take me back. The life of an Earth boy named Tenchi is turned upside down by the great Space Pirate Ryoko, the Princess Ayeka, her sister Sasami, the Galaxy Policewomen Mihoshi and Kiyone, and Washu, the greatest mad scientist in the universe! And unlike the original, they get into way more hijinks this time around. Some on Earth, some in Space, some is PARALLEL DIMENSIONS!

Pros: Ok, so its going to be hard for me to review this, because Tenchi Muyo was the first anime reviewed on this site. The entire franchise has a fond place in my heart, flaws and all. Tenchi Univese is a proper 26 episode anime, unlike the original that came out sporadically in OVAs. The story and relationships are largely the same, ending with Tenchi’s battle with Kagato, but it has some minor tweaks. For example, in this show, Mihoshi plays a larger part, and was actually introduced alongside Ryoko in the firs episode. Ryoko is also a lot more mischievous in this iteration. The overall tone is more slice of life, and the inclusion of Mihoshi’s exasperated partner Kiyone opens up some Laverne and Shirley-esque stories. As much as I love the original, anyone looking to see what Tenchi Muyo is about should really start here.

Cons: I felt that the last arc was a bit too long. It depicts the invasion of Jurei, which is cool considering that in the original, Ryoko was on the run for invading Jurei. A nice reversal there. But still, it took a little long to get to the fireworks factory, you know? Some fans may notice characters like Ayeka and Washu getting a bit short changed, and Ryoko no longer has anything to do with Washu, Jurei,or Kagato. But yeah, I can’t really point out any major flaws. Even the mid-90’s voice acting was stellar.

Watch it?: The best Tenchi series???? (4/5)

MVP: MIhoshi and Kiyone

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Even though Ryoko is still boss, these two GXP ladies stole the show

Best Episodes: Ep.11-13 “Time and Space Adventure” (Genre Adventure!)

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Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar

Type: Alien world anime with mecha fighting

Synopsis: This guy named Tenchi Masaki I mean Kenshi Masaki is sent to an alien world by his sister-in-law’s crazy mother (only he don’t know it till the end, but that’s not important). This alien world has a bunch of mecha suits that can only be piloted by really hot girls (and sometimes jerky boys). Being a completely inexperienced alien with no training, Kenshi naturally excels at piloting the mecha suits. This lead him to become irresistible with the female populous. Those Masaki’s will do that.

Pros: Once again I find myself liking a Tenchi Muyo! anime, even though on paper I really shouldn’t. Its not over the top. Its not particularly sexy. Its ending is convoluted. And this one has hour long episodes! But dammit, they got me again. Its really Kenshi’s fault. His ability to attract every woman around him without even trying to is just too funny. He’s not a Casanova, he’s a puppy. That’s the best way to describe it. He’s not the girls’s leader, he’s the girls’s pet.

Cons: Like I said, the ending is too convoluted. It makes the mistake of introducing an evil matermind that is just their to be an evil mastermind. Which is a shame, because the show spent its first half establishing the character Dagmeyer as the main antagonist (he was able to trick Kenshi into an attempted assassination). Dagmayer was manipulative, seductive, and sympathetic. He was Kenshi, but evil. But his downgrade to lackey by the midpoint of the show was a bummer. Other than that, it has many of the traditional Tenchi Muyo!-isms that may not be for everyone: nice guy, alien girls, middle of the road humor (not too subtle, not too wacky), evil mastermind, rival, convoluted story, and mild action.

Watch it?: If you’re a Tenchi fan then yes. If your not, then its up to you. (3/5)

MVP: Kenshi Masaki

Who wouldn’t love a monkey boy with Kun-fu and Home-ec skills?

Best Episode: Ep. 3 “He Who Must Work……” (special messages…)

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Tenchi Muyo! GXP

Type: Comedy harem with space things (again) and winter-spring romances.

Synopsis: This guy named  Seina Yamata is going to his local shrine when a giant space ship lands on him. He’s rescued by this hot blonde chick who turns out to be recruiting for the Galaxy Police. Stuff happens involving his extremely bad luck, space pirates, and furries. Oh, and every girl interested in Seina is about 5 years his senior, and the oldest is 15 years older. But their still hot, so that makes it o.k. I guess….

Watch It?: eh, depends. (2/5)

Tenchi Muyo! GXP good, but it’s not great. GXP is a proper 26 episode anime with an actual plot. Not a great plot, but a plot none the less. It starts with Seina joining the GXP, his promotion to Captain of his own ship, and his raise to fame due to his dealings with the space pirates. But their are points when GXP wants to be something its not. GXP is a harem comedy with science-fiction elements, not science-fiction with comedic elements. The “serious” moments of the show feel forced and out of place. Its hard to take Amane (blond space cop) comforting Seina after a traumatic mission when every other moment with her focuses on how jiggly her breasts are.

Another problem is Seina himself. Seina is nice. Super nice. Annoyingly nice. On top of that he’s not that assertive, and way too humble. He’s basically a passive player in his own anime. If not for the strength of his supporting cast, GXP would be un-watchable. But what a supporting cast! Amane the seductive blonde space cop, Kiriko the jealous childhood friend/ 30 year old, well, 30 year old. Then theirs Ryoko the hot space pirate/furry, and finally Neju, the younger sister type who is ironically the oldest out of the bunch. Not to mention the much loved new characters to the Tenchi Universe: Seto “Devis Princess” Jurai and Airi Masaki (Tenchi Masaki’s great-grandmother and grandmother respectively, and Seina’s bosses). So, if your a fan of Tenchi Muyo anime, not too thrown off the the serious age differences in GXP, and patient with your anime, then watch it. If not, pass.

MVP: Amane

Blonde, big boobed, flirty, and knows it.

Best Episode: Ep.12 Kamidake Seriously Damaged (solely for the fact that it has the best Ryoko-Seina scene in the entire series)

Video Summary: Here

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Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki

Type: Comedy harem with space things and sometimes incest.

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Synopsis: This guy named Tenchi Masaki is training to be a monk or something when he accidentally frees a demon who turns out to be an alien girl. Later he finds out that the girl, named Ryoko, is actually a wanted space pirate. Add two space princesses, a space scientist, and a space cop, and you have the basic premise.

Watch It?: Sure. (3/5)

Tenchi Muyo! is pretty funny for an early 1990’s harem. The animation won’t blow you away and the fan service is weak, but the characters are likable. The anime follows that traditional harem troupe of establishing a love triangle, then adding additional women for fun. The rivalry between Ryoko (space pirate) and Ayeka (space princess) is gold, and Mihoshi’s (space cop) blonde dummy act is priceless. The anime does fall victim to having a plot that only show’s up when it wants to, but given its OVA nature, that can be forgiven.

The one flaw that may turn you away is Tenchi Muyo!’s dance with the topic of incest. One of Tenchi’s main love interests is actually his great Aunt (did I mention that none of the aliens age? Cause that’s important) who was really eager to marry Tenchi’s grandfather (a.k.a. her brother). Not to mention that Tenchi’s own sister (who helped raise him) and his grandmother both seem to be warm for his form. But these incident are thankfully few and far between.

MVP: Ryoko

She’s brash, rude, and a drunk. What’s not to love!

Best Episode: Ep.1 Ryoko Resurrected (“You are one sexy demon” wink.)

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