Tenchi Muyo: OVA

Rating: 4 Rampages

Synopsis:
After tricking his grandfather, Tenchi gets the keys to an old shrine. Family legend says that a hero defeated a horrific demon long ago, and the demon was imprisoned here. The hero's sword was placed next to the demon to guard it. Tenchi finds the old sword...and a mummy. Since Tenchi broke the seals, the mummy rises. Frantically, Tenchi tries to reseal the shrine and escapes. Later, Tenchi is back at school. He is startled by a girl who appears out of nowhere. This is Ryouko, space pirate, former mummy, and a VERY annoyed demon. She decides to kill Tenchi, 'cause she has to take it out on someone. Tenchi escapes from the destroyed school...to find that Ryouko has decided to move in with him. Things get REALLY interesting when Aeka, Princess of the Jurai, comes to Earth looking for her brother...the long-dead hero who sealed Ryouko up the first time. This is a very funny, fast-moving action comedy with lots of unique elements...including spaceships grown from trees and a pirate ship that becomes a cute bunny...

Review:
One of the classics of the 90's wave of anime, this is an excellent series by any standards. Taking the "all the girls after one guy" premise and throwing a new twist to it, nice simple character designs (though they have, by now, been SO horribly over-used) cool music and even some real tension and action once in a while. Fun in every way, this is one series every otaku sould see at least once, if not own. Highly recommended.

Availability:
Available subbed or dubbed through Pioneer Animation.

Ayeka's family comes visiting


Tenchi Muyo: Tenchi Universe

Rating: 3 Rampages The girls and Tenchi in the tub

Review:
Basically an alternate telling of the Tenchi story in TV format, this one wasn't quite as good as the original. The jokes weren't as funny, the stories weren't as interesting, but at least the characters are all there. If you're a Tenchi fan, I suggest picking this up for a look. Otherwise, you're better off with the original or the movies.


Tenchi The Movie: Tenchi Muyo In Love

Rating: 4 Rampages

Synopsis:
Years ago, a being of pure evil code-named Kain was captured by the house of Jurai and the galaxy Police. Imprisoned in a subspace room inside G.P headquarters, he plots his revenge as he wait for a chance to escape..a chance that arises when a simple malfunction opens a hole in his prison granting him his freedom. Free after centuries of imprisonment, Kain seeks retribution on those who defeated him -- the royal house of Jurai. His first target is on Earth, back in the year 1970: a young schoolgirl named Achika, Daughter of the Juraian prince Yosho. This destabilizes the time continuum and causes Tenchi's existence in the future to flux. Determined to save Tenchi and his mother, the cast (including Kiyone) go back to 1970 to find out why Tenchi's present is in jeopardy. When Kain's involvement is discovered, more than just Achika's life is at stake...all Tokyo may perish as well.

Review: Action, comedy, tension, romance, this movie has it all. A perfect excample of how wonderful the series is, this one takes the Tenchi formula and adds some real drama to the mix. The Music by Christopher Franke is haunting and adds wonderful atmosphere to every scene. the characters are all there, and are every bit as much fun as they were before. Tenchi fan or no, this is a good movie, and worth owning.


Tenchi The Movie 2: Daughter Of Darkness

Rating: 3½ Rampages Cover for the movie

Synopsis:
Long ago, it seems that Tenchi's grandpa, when he was still on Jurai, had a little friend. The little friend turned out to be a demon, Yuzuha. Yuzuha was captured by the Jurai royal guard and has born a grudge ever since. Flash forward to the Tenchi present, where Yuzuha has created a genetically-engineered offspring of Tenchi and herself and sent her to earth. Her mission is to capture Tenchi and cause his grandfather grief. But the presence of this "daughter" alone causes enough trouble, especially in the case of Ryoko who's just about had enough of this newcomer vying for the attention of her beloved Tenchi.

Review:
Weighing in at only one hour long, this is quite a bit shorter than the first movie. Even so, it still manages to tell an interesting, dark story in that short timespan. Unlike the first movie, this one does not follow the story arc of the TV series, but the OVA. The animation, with the exception of the first scene with Yuzuha and the final battle, is not really on par with the first movie, but the story is all there. The music is also not as fitting as the first one, but all in all it's still a good movie; It just doesn't live up to the standard set by Tenchi In Love.


Tenchi Muyo in Love 2: Tenchi Forever

Rating: 3 Rampages

Synopsis:
The story begins one afternoon with the mysterious disappearance of Tenchi after a heated argument with Ryoko and Ayeka, demanding he choose between the two. After 6 months of frantic searching, Ayeka, Ryoko... (well, basically everyone) find out that he was kidnapped by a beautiful but enigmatic woman. Haruna, who has some connection with Yosho, takes Tenchi to a "parallel" world where he lives happily by her side. Naturally, the problem consists in having to rescue Tenchi, who seems to have forgotten who his loved ones are. Well, the story is a lot more than just that, but itís best to just watch the movie to find out more. This movie is considered by some to be the END of Tenchi Muyo.

Review:
After the refreshing change of pace that the first movie brought, and the dark tones of the second, this third (and, apparently, the last) of the Tenchi movies was a disappointment. I'll admit, I was expecting quite a bit from it, but with all the rumors that had been circulating around the net about it, who wouldn't have? As it turns out, none of them were true, and the story we're left with makes one wonder "what were they thinking?" Ending such a wonderful series off with this? While the overly dramatic and romantic story may have been a bit of a change from the usual Tenchi stories, it is a change to something very overdone. I've seen many stories just like this, and executed a good deal better without using familiar characters that bring with them lots of back story. In fact, that is one of the film's greatest failings: the way it ignores its already present characters. Okay, so we get some insight into Yosho's past (again) and we get to watch Ayeka and Ryoko agonize about Tenchi for the entire film, but what about the other characters? Washuu stays in her lab for the entire film, Mihoshi and Kiyone are sent off to the space academy to fiddle with some machine for a few scenes, and Sasami is barely an afterthought. While I detest stories with a lot of characters that have no idea how to handle them all (and end up trying to focus on them ALL), stories that ignore their secondary characters almost completely bug me almost as much.

Of its good points, the art itself is very clean and carries a feeling of elegance totally lacking in any other Tenchi flim or OVA. The music is also very well done, but unfortunately it is used in many inappropriate scenes (tense chase/fight music as Ryoko is looking for Tenchi), taking a good deal away from its impact. And I must say, the story itself is put together well and decently executed - it's simply cliched.

But major gripes aside, this isn't a BAD movie, it's just not a really good Tenchi movie. The animation is really smooth, and everybody looks much more mature than usual. Seeing Tenchi as an adult in an adult relationship is quite a shock, but an interesting change from the lightheartedness of the usual stories. While some may argue that this is an unwelcomed change, many would say that the series has needed a story exploring more mature aspects of the characters for some time. Tenchi In Love 2 manages to stand on its own as a movie fairly well, but up against the previous two Tenchi films, and even the OVA series, it just doesn't measure up.