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Tenchi Muyo: OVAs Vol. 3 (UK) (DVD Details)

Unique ID Code: 0000078083
Added by: Jitendar Canth
Added on: 7/12/2005 18:12
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    Review of Tenchi Muyo: OVAs Vol. 3

    7 / 10


    The harem anime genre can be something of an acquired taste. A socially inept teenaged boy is put into a situation where he is surrounded by beautiful girls, all of whom fall for him in some way. Cue plenty of awkward moments, ribald humour, and saucy postcard clichés, as the teen blunders his way from one innuendo loaded scene to another. It`s a type of anime that people either love or hate, but few fall in between. That is with the exception of Tenchi Muyo, one of the earlier examples of the genre. Perhaps it has something to do with the story, the writing or the characters, but this is one harem anime that is more positively received that most. It has also been endlessly revisited. The earliest outing came in two OVA series that came to a total of 13 episodes. Then followed the inevitable movies, as well as spin-off series that took the same characters and inserted them into a new story and new universe. The Tenchi franchise is extensive, and most recently, animators have returned to the original OVA and continued the story. But the original thirteen episodes were released in the UK by MVM over 3 volumes.

    The third and final volume contains the four concluding episodes of Tenchi Muyo, and relates the further adventures of Tenchi Masaki, the space pirate Ryoko, Jurai Princesses Ayeka and Sasami, Galaxy Police Officer Mihoshi and scientist Washu.

    10. I Love Tenchi
    Tenchi and Ryoko are having a knockdown row, when poor Ryo-Ohki wanders into the middle of the argument and gets the wrong end of the stick. Thinking that Tenchi hates her, the little rabbit creature runs away. Depressed and lonely, she wanders into Washu`s lab where she has an odd effect on one of the experiments. Meanwhile a ship heads ponderously towards Earth.

    11. The Advent Of Goddess
    Events of galactic portent are afoot, and Tenchi is destined to be caught in the middle. Dr Clay has come to Earth in order to capture rival scientist Washu, and begins by capturing Ryoko. He instructs his robot Zero to assume Ryoko`s form and infiltrate the Masaki household. Zero tries to get close to Washu, but every time she is stymied by the copied memories and feelings that Ryoko has for Tenchi. While Mihoshi leaves on police business, Dr Clay gets tired of waiting and orders Zero to kill Tenchi.

    12. Zero Ryoko
    The deception is revealed, and Washu, Ayeka and Tenchi set off after Dr Clay to rescue the real Ryoko. Mihoshi is already there trying to stop the stolen spaceship. While Washu confronts Dr Clay directly, the others are lost in the bowels of the ship.

    13. Here Comes Jurai
    The Jurai Royal family has arrived en masse. The king has decided that it is time for the princesses Ayeka and Sasami to return home, much to the pleasure of Ryoko who sees that she can get Tenchi to herself. It`s an emotional reunion, for all concerned, although Ayeka and Sasami are reluctant to leave Tenchi. The king has chosen a fiancé for Ayeka, and for the sisters to stand a chance of staying on Earth, Tenchi will have to face the new suitor in a duel.


    Tenchi Muyo gets a 4:3 transfer that is by and large, clear and free of defects. There is a smidgen of grain and the odd fleck of dirt, but you`ll have to look for it to find it. This is an older anime, and that can be seen in the style of animation. The characters are more free flowing and not as meticulously defined. The colours aren`t as vibrant as more recent anime either. The animation, while not up to theatrical standards, is dynamic and inventive enough to make this show stand out. There is also a marginal decline in the animation quality towards the end of the series, but while it is visible in the look of the characters, it doesn`t mar the quality of the storytelling.


    You get a choice of DD 2.0 English or Japanese, as well as a DD 5.1 Japanese track. The English dub sounds adequate, but the character voices sound odd indeed once you have heard the original Japanese version. The music harks back to eighties pop tunes, and are as light and frothy as the programme, The surround is effectively used during the action sequences, and it`s nice to see the original language track getting priority over the dub. The subtitles are translated English.


    You`ll find trailers for Vampire Princess Miyu, Kiddy Grade and Ah My Goddess! The Movie. There is also a jacket picture that shows the cast when the disc isn`t spinning.

    At the end of the final episode, there is a bonus 7-minute short called Here Comes Jurai: Part II. Ryoko finds herself under Washu`s scrutiny, bound up in her lab, while Washu and Mihoshi tie up a few loose plot threads. The animation is minimal, it`s more a voiceover that accompanies a slideshow of images, but it works well enough and is an enjoyable coda to the series.


    This final volume of Tenchi Muyo concludes the original OVA with four entertaining episodes. It must be said though that the second series of OVAs doesn`t quite live up to the promise of the first six-episode series. The initial Tenchi Muyo run was about introducing and developing the characters, while building a cohesive storyline that linked the episodes together. The second OVA run is a little more haphazard, with several of the episodes veering towards the domestic. One such story starts this disc, with Tenchi`s relationship problems causing grief. Of the final three episodes, there is a sudden return to the sci-fi heart of the show, with plans and manoeuvres at the highest level of galactic society conspiring to impact on Tenchi and his friends. In a similar way to how Kagato`s appearance shook things up, here Dr Clay arrives in an attempt to wrest Washu`s scientific secrets. The final episode is a quick attempt to tie up the loose ends, with the arrival of Ayeka and Sasami`s family triggering more revelations about the Jurai and how Tenchi relates to them. It all works, but the second OVA series, and the final four episodes in particular hang very loosely together. It would have been better if there were one approach selected and adhered to for the run.

    The characters remain the same for much of this disc, with the exception of Ryoko who continues to mellow in her approach to life. In that respect, the Doctor Clay duology does much to develop her character, even though for most of the time we are watching her duplicate Zero. A small disappointment lies in the loose ends that remain untied, with the enigmatic Lady Tokimi storyline left dangling, although with the new continuation of the OVA storyline that may be addressed. It certainly doesn`t harm enjoyment of this disc.

    Tenchi Muyo is less about Tenchi himself than it is about the women who pursue him, and while his character is fairly nondescript, the other characters are very well drawn indeed, and the interest lies in how the characters relate to each other. The temptation to descend into prurience is never taken, and Tenchi Muyo is wholesome entertainment throughout. Like all anime, there is an arc running through the episodes and it is enough to pique the interest, but the episodes are a joy to watch, with engaging stories. While there are laughs aplenty with a sense of irreverent humour, there is also a warmth to the stories that gives them an emotional appeal. Tenchi Muyo is not your run of the mill harem anime and is definitely worth watching.

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