Thursday, August 28, 2014

Tenchi Universe Review

Tenchi Universe Review

Warning: The following review may contain spoilers. If you wish not to know some events in the story, or simply don't wish to find out what happens in the series, please leave the page, since I don't want to damage a watching experience for you.

Also, this review will contain some heavy fangirling.

With that said, thank you and onto the review:

If I could talk about this show all day, I would.

If I could scream about how awesome Ryoko is all day, I would.

If I could explain about Sasami's cuteness, I would.

And if I could chat about how this show changed my life, I would.

UGHTHISSHOW!!!!!!!!!!! Tenchi Muyo is a revolutionary harem that should be put on everyone's to watch list. This show is, without a doubt, one of the best animes I have watched.


Our story of this wonderful series begins one day when our main protagonist Tenchi is walking home from school. He notices something fall out of the sky, and heads over to the crash site. Laying in the wreckage is a girl named Ryoko (fangirls), and she explains that she is being chased by a space pirate. Once the supposed space pirate lands as well, Tenchi and Ryoko make a run for it, and Ryoko deals with the space pirate after it falls over, by kicking it off a cliff. Because you know, that's the best thing to do.

After settling at his house for awhile, and building a wooden shield to protect from the space pirate, that returns, and then we find out, THAT WASN'T A SPACE PIRATE! It is actually a Galaxy Police machine owned by a Galaxy Police Officer named Mihoshi. and she explains that Ryoko is a criminal who has a high bounty. Oh, and you'll never guess what? SHE'S THE SPACE PIRATE!

After a wild goose chase around the house causing more damage to the property, Tenchi challenges Ryoko to fight him, which cause her to stop, and earns her more bonus points in her love for Tenchi. Then, Mihoshi and Ryoko settle into the Misaki shirne, and thus begins the mystical magical adventures of each girl coming to Earth (or is rescued), and might end up getting close to Tenchi like those cheap supermarket magnets.

This story is a bit different than what originally originated in the OVA's. However, I find this story a lot easier to follow, and not many explosive stuff happens with the first couple of episodes, as they're all settling in, before having to go out into the big bad world of space.

Fun fact is that I watched the first 2 OVA's after I finished Universe, and found the plot somewhat rushed, especially toward the end of both, when the villains are randomly introduced, and don't really get any development over time, they just pop out of nowhere, expecting audiences to hold on with a grip. However, Tenchi Universe does the opposite. It builds time for the villain to set it, causing the viewer to catch up to speed, and heavily anticipating what's going to happen next.

Both main arcs of the show are done pretty well, with the space arc getting some pretty moderate pacing. I liked meeting each character, and getting the time to know them, instead of them being focused on for 5 seconds before being dumped in the compost bin.


The characters from this anime all come back from the OVA's, but we have a addition to Tenchi's harem pool.

Let's start off with the main protagonist, Tenchi:

His names means Heaven and Earth? Okay, that might make some girls fall in heaps of love for him. But that aside, Tenchi is a supposedly regular teenager who lives in Japan, and is entangled in some of the girl's hijacks.

Unlike in the OVA, Tenchi does not have any special mystical powers besides Tenchi-ken, which is a sword he can summon. He still has the link to the Jurai throne, being the first prince. But that doesn't get development until around the last half.

Tenchi is my favorite harem protagonist thus far. He isn't super dense, or a accidental asshole, he's actually a nice lead who can defend himself when he needs to. Oh, and he actually has smarts, ladies. At least this Ryoko didn't decimate his school.

With that said, Tenchi still manages to partially fall into the boat of the same harem male lead protagonists, as he still has some qualities to this day, are still relevant in modern day's anime.

Okay, time for fan-girling. I'm ready to talk about Ryoko:


Okay, sorry about that. But Ryoko makes me a:

To say that Ryoko hold a special place in my heart would be a true statement. Ryoko is perhaps the one single character of this show you come out of and say: "Oh yeah, Ryoko. Yeah, she was cool."

Of course, some people have opposing opinions on her, but I've known about here since I was 9. krazygames's Anime's Next Top Model in fact, is what lead me to find out more about her. Of course, I was 9, and didn't really understand how this anime business worked. But one thing that hasn't changed is that Ryoko's never left my head. Yep, she's that special.

Ryoko is a space pirate criminal who seems to have a tacked on bounty amount on her head wherever she goes. Her personality is impulsive and hot headed, but does have a emotional side in her, so she's not all "goes ape all the time". She actually has feelings.

Also, Ryoko has magical powers, including flying, teleporting, and can even make body doubles. Though she isn't able to summon demons like before, and that one turned out to be a catastrophe.

Her partner in crime is a rabbit (but doesn't it likes carrots? Okay, so a cabbit then) that can also turn into her awesome and cool design wise ship, that can make certain people do this:

The design for it looks incredible, and is perhaps the most creative ship design I've seen.

But one of the top reasons I love Ryoko, is that she nearly loses her life for Tenchi when trying to take him to where Kagato was holding Ayeka. That proves how much feeling she actually has for Tenchi. 

Ahh, Ryoko. She is probably the most memorable anime character I can name in my head, and is one of my all time favorites in the anime universe.

Now onto her love rival, Ayeka:

Ayeka is from the fictional planet of Jurai, and is a princess. Ayeka is typically portrayed as being modest, well behaved, traditional, and being a bit snobbish. (Her British accent in the English dub seems to showcase a bit more)

Ayeka first comes to Earth after seeing Mihoshi's distress signal. While there to rescue here, she encounters Ryoko, which sparks, later in the episode, an all out brawl. But first, it isn't complete without electricity:


The reason as to why Ryoko and Ayeka hate each other's guts is because of there childhood. However, in two cases, both twist the events as to making it sound like the other caused the problem, without knowing who actually did it.

Ryoko and Ayeka eventually become rivals to Tenchi's affections, with Ryoko being more blunt and sexual with her declarations of love. Let's be honest, she tried getting Tenchi alone in a cave

Ayeka does have a ship named Ryu-Oh, which becomes incapable of flying during the duel, but a sign of hope does show from the ship when it starts to regenerate. Of course, we don't know if it's capable now though.

Ayeka is a interesting character, and I like how they added a princess to the harem. However, if these personality traits get on your nerves, your probably not going to like her. However, you might like her sister more:

Sasami is Ayeka's younger sister, and is also a princess. Unlike her sister however, Sasami is a little more mature then her sister is. She is the head chef in the house, which means that she is usually in charge of all of the meals. She is most often happy, and doesn't really show any really other signs of emotion, except when she's really worried about Tenchi.

Unlike in the OVA'S, Sasami does have her own ship, but is destroyed when Ryo-Ohki gets distracted by a carrot that Sasami pulled out of her pocket while they were returning to Jurai, thus leaving her stranded on Earth, along with the others.

Sasami is shown to be a expert video game player, and especially in fighting games. But they don't have a lot of depth for this, much like her back story.

Unlike in the OVA's, Sasami doesn't have a developed back-story, but this is fine, because her cuteness does manage to surpass that, and so does her personality. Sasami is perhaps 180 of her sister, and isn't as completely royal-behavior and seriousness as her sister. Although she could have had more development, she still is a strong character that might steal your heart.

Now, are we ready for the GREATEST SCIENTIST IN ALL OF THE UNIVERSE! WASHU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, maybe she's not that great, but hey, it's her word for mine, so......

Washu displays some powers that she normally doesn't even get to show, for example with technology. Her laboratory is much smaller than in the OVA's, but that doesn't stop her personality from being crazy. (as if it wasn't crazy enough) Because now, she even has two doll assistants who proclaim her greatness.

700 years prior to the story, Washu used to go to the Universal Science Academy. However, she was kicked out because she was continuously producing mass destruction weapons. She was then sealed in a crystal deep in one of the Misaki shrine's caves, and was released when Ryoko wanted to explore the cave, and caused a bunch of shenanigans.  

Washu's inventions in the series typically go haywire. For example, when she tries to create another form of herself, one of Mihoshi's hairs is caught in the machine, causing the machine (conveniently named Mecha Washu), to act like a complete dumbass.

Washu is perhaps the 2nd most entertaining character behind Mihoshi, and I always liked her zaniness through-out the show. Even though her back-story was a bit better in the OVA's, I still think that her comedic moments were better timed, and better made upon in this series.

Mihoshi, your on now:

Mihoshi is a Galaxy Police detective, who works on inter-galactic cases with her partner Kiyone. They both were after Ryoko, untill Mihoshi crashed landed on Earth.

While in the OVA's, Mihoshi is very dedicated to her job, even though she was a little light-headed. In Universe however, she is made a complete dumbass, and is often the show's source for comic relief. She often messes up some things for Kiyone and Washu, for example: (for one, start at 6:42, and for another, start at 6:58)

So you see, Mihoshi isn't the sharpest tool in the shed. Although, unlike Miss. Shizuka, she's at least there for a reason, and gets some character development.

Mihoshi is comedic gold in this series. The dumb blonde stereotype can sometimes get a bit over-done, to the point where it get extremely annoying. however, Mihoshi keeps at a solid level, often not letting it over-power the show, especially in the last few episodes. For me, it's nice to see a dumb blonde character who might actually have some depth in her, like Lindsay from Total Drama.

Other characters include Mihoshi's partner at the Galaxy Police, Kiyone, Tenchi's father and grandfather, a bounty hunter on Ryoko's tail named Nagi, her cabbit Ken-Ohki, and the main antagonist, Kagato. (He returns folks!)

All of the characters each provide something interesting for the show, either it'd be good or bad, but often, it's perfect. The characters might grow on you slow and steady, but some might catch up to you faster than a Black Friday sale. In other words, they're all a unique bunch.


The animation for this show was done by AIC, which stands for Anime international Company. They are most famous for there work on ALL, and yes I do mean ALL of the Tenchi Muyo adaptions. Beyond that, they are also known for the Oh! My Goddess series and OVA's, Heaven's Lost Property, Haganai, and El Hazard.

Back then, anime wasn't as jaw-dropping stunning as it is now. But this series still managed to offer up some pretty good visuals for it's time. The character designs are good, and a lot of the scenery manages to look crisp and well done.

I thought that the animation worked it's best at the ship designs. As I mentioned earlier, Ryo-Ohki's design is pretty well done, as well as Ken-Ohki, Yagami, and Ryu-On each have somewhat distinct ship designs that are nice to look at, and are animated pretty well.

Even for an 90's show, this anime still does have good animation, and is miles ahead certain 2000's shows.


The score for this series was composed by Seikou Nagaoka, who is most known for working on other Tenchi Muyo adaptions, such as the first two OVA's, Strike Witches, and Chaika- The Coffin Princess. 

The music for this show is very quirky and often fun, giving some nice bouncy pieces, as well as dramatic ones. Overall, it's a very diverse set.

The opening in both Japanese and English is sung by SONIA, and is called Tenchi Muyo! This song is perhaps one of my favorite opening groovy songs that is one of those songs that gets you in the mood for every episode. The ending is Walking Tail In The Milky Way, which has two versions of the song both sung by the two main female leads. both of these renditions are nice, But Ai Orikasa's has a more comfortable feeling to it. In English however, it's only sung by one singer (being Diane Michelle), somewhat losing that special effect on the dueling turns.

The original Japanese is very fun to listen to, and I have no complaints. The English dub is a bit less on the high side. As this was a dub that was produced in the 1990's, it isn't on the same level as the original Japanese. This can be said for other dubs produced in this time period, so I won't be criticizing it that much.

There are a couple changes in the original Japanese pronunciation, the major ones being from Wa-shu to Wa-shuu, and Mi-hoshi to Ma-hoshi. These are at least more tolerable than Grr-e-kay and Geen. Because when I hear those, it just makes me:

Highlights from the original Japanese include Masami Kikuchi, Ai Orikasa (SLAYS! Oh, and she's fantastic when she sings too), Yumi Takada, Chisa Yokoyama, Yuku Mizutani, Yuko Kobayashi, Yuri Amano, Kenichi Ogata, and Wataru Takagi.

Highlights in the English dub include Matt K. Miller, Petrea Burchard, Jennifer Darling, and Sherry Lynn.


Tenchi Muyo is easily a anime classic, as it pioneered the harem genre into what it is now. But even with a couple problems, this show is easily one of my favorite shows of all time. There's a reason why this is in my top 2, since I can't decide between this and Black Butler as my favorite.

Ryoko has been with me since I was 9, each part of the show is memorable, the arcs are paced evenly, and this is a harem that isn't really heavy on fan-service that anyone could pop in and enjoy.

If you want a nice harem that isn't really distracting with "plot", or are just starting off in anime, this is a great way to relieve yourself with a show, and I recommend it to everyone who is stuck on what to watch next.

Score: 10/10


Great story.

Even plot progression.

AI ORIKASA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Classic characters.

Memorable elements.


None major.

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