Tenchi Anime Review

Tenchi Muyo Tokyo Universe Anime Summary Reviews

Synopsis - Tenchi Muyo

Masaki Tenchi's problems all started when he visited the old shrine without his grandfather's permission that one fateful summer afternoon. His grandfather told him that a ruthless demon and the legendary sword that defeated her were locked inside, and as a typical teenaged male, he was curious and wanted to see the old legend for himself.

Of course, legend quickly turned to reality, and Tenchi soon found himself in the company of a rather cute and affectionate "demon" named Ryoko. And then Aeka, the Juraian princess, arrived soon after, looking for her long-lost brother to wed (it's a long, long story) and for Ryoko to arrest (of course she just ends up falling for Tenchi instead) with her little sister Sasami in tow. And then Ryo-Ohki appeared, who looks like a cross between a cat and a rabbit but is actually Ryoko's powerful spaceship (or is that the other way around?), and the the ditzy Galaxy Policewoman Mihoshi arrived (who also develops a crush for Tenchi), and the mad (but cute) genius Washu, and ...

Not to mention that Tenchi happens to posssess a power crucial to the protection of the universe, and that power is heavily sought-after by various powers and interests. Yes, it looks like life will be very interesting for Tenchi indeed ...


Anyone who hasn't heard of this incredibly fun series should immediately go out and rent themselves some episodes of this thing. Tenchi Muyo! is one of the most popular anime titles there is, and for good reason.

The art and animation of this series is very nice indeed, with bold, vivid colors and lines to stylize the characters just the way anime fans love. The art also tends to go super-crude for brief instances, but only for humorous effect. Animation of the action sequences is fluid and smart, with some really neat effects to be found in some of the scenes.

The soundtrack is pretty cool, too, capturing the excitement and non-stop zaniness contained within the series. In grand Pioneer style, dubbing is done fairly well, and some of the lines are actually funnier in the English translation than in the subtitled version (although purists will no doubt cry foul). Characters are all wacky and fun to have around, even if they're a bit exaggerated at times. The interaction between the characters make for some of the wackiest comedy you'll find anywhere.

Plot is actually quite smart and complex, with surprising plot-twists and jaw-dropping developments to be had as you delve deeper and deeper into the series. Some of the events are actually quite touching and poignant, and clues are skillfully dispersed throughout the episodes, keeping you guessing until the end.

In short, a fun and zany series even the most serious-minded can enjoy.

No need for Tenchi? I think not.


Synopsis - Tenchi Universe

This is a slightly different retelling of the story first introduced in the Tenchi Muyo OAV series. Basically, Masaki Tenchi is a typical high schooler (or so he thinks) who seemingly attracts these really weird women from outer space for no good reason at all. The order and manner he meets these ladies is a little different from the OAV series, and there's a few additional characters to boot, but the plot is essentially the same. Girls fight over Tenchi. Often, with a lot of collateral damage, to boot.


This is the series that launched a thousand alternate universes. As is Tenchi Muyo wasn't confusing enough, the creators at Pioneer Entertainment decided that a Tenchi Muyo TV series should be sufficiently different from the OAV series already released that it remain original, yet recognizably Tenchi Muyo. I'm not sure whether to send them flowers, or venus flytraps for their trouble.

As it is, Tenchi Universe (as it's called here in the US to avoid confusion with the OAV release for not-so-anime-savvy retailers) is a fun romp through a scenario that's familiar with fans of the OAV series, but perhaps not for newcomers into the anime medium. However, it should be said immediately that the TV series takes itself a lot less seriously than the OAV series, so expect a lot more sight gags, probably a tad dumber writing, and much less actual situational tension should the characters get themselves in a bind. If anything, the TV series is a lot more, dare I say, cartoony than the OAVs were.

Also, the animation, though nice, isn't quite up to the level of the OAV series. For that matter, there are sterlingly forgettable episodes (like the carnival of "horrors"…ewww) that really don't fit into the storyline expect to be "supposedly" funny sitcom material. That isn't the strength of Tenchi by any means.

However, Tenchi Universe is still a great opportunity to show off the characters that made the original OAV series fun, and as such, it works quite well. One of the major improvements over the original is the inclusion of Kiyone as a foil to the eternally ditzy Mihoshi (who really needed one to be effective). Finally, a female character who is NOT in competition in the Tenchi Sweepstakes. Thank you!

Oh, the plot, you say? Well, it starts up slow, but there is a plot in there. A bit more meandering than the OAV series, as Tenchi and his harem (just kidding) don't exactly stay on Earth forever. No plot holes bigger than you'd expect, though.

The music's nice, with a catchy opening song (not heard on the Cartoon Network version, blaaah!) and unobtrusive, but workable incidentals that are fine for a TV series soundtrack. (And the ending credits are absolutely adorable. C'mon, it's Ryo-Ohki! Myaaaa!)

Though perhaps not quite up to the quality of the OAV series, Tenchi Universe still has everything that made the original TV series fun, and twice as many episodes, to boot. It's unquestionably accepted as a valid, and integral part of the Tenchi Muyo saga, and rightfully so.

Mr Roshi

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