Tenchi Masaki may be a 17-year-old young man in rural Japan, but little does he know how bad his day will be getting. When a space pirate chased by a pair of Galaxy Police officers crash-lands at his grandfather's temple, Tenchi is sucked into a new adventure that will literally blast him off into outer space and beyond.
Tenchi Universe is a spin-off to Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki. Like its inspiration, the series remains a harem comedy, following the tangled life of Tenchi Masaki and his extraterrestrial visitors.
The story is similar to the first series: progressive events cause an assemblage of characters, mishaps create subplots, a threatening antagonist later appears and the group pits to stop them. The artwork is less shaded and the animation isn't as fluid but it all still looks good. Audio is backed with a library of different music, spot-on sound effects and believably acted voices. Bolder content, like nudity, swearing and sexual references, is a lot more minimal.
One of the best points about Tenchi Universe is how nicely it transitions. Viewers don't get stuck with empty fillers; there is always something going on whether or not the story has picked up. As a result, fans of the OVA, and fans of harems in general, should enjoy this series.read more
After following the first 12 episodes of the Tenchi series, what else is there to do? Watch more Tenchi! Although the Universe concentrates on tons of side-stories about enemies, crazy scientist (i.e. Washu), cabbit romances, overthrowing a kingdom (you know, the general line), it is a good fill of episodes until you get to the "in space" storyline in which you are truly set into the "we've got to get Jurai back" storyline. It has it's great comedic moments, it's tearjerker moments (a certain "death" near the end of the series is a killer...) and the ever happy ending is great. Although I personally love the OVA, the Universe is a great storyline to continue along especially because of all the chaos that happens thanks to Mihoshi. read more
Tenchi Muyo (along with Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon) is one of the anime series I remember watching on the Toonami block when I was growing up (goodness gracious I feel old). Anyway, Tenchi Universe is the first television incarnation of one of the more popular and enduring character-based franchises. This is a slightly different retelling of the story first introduced in the Tenchi Muyo OVA series. For some reason, someone thought it was a good idea that the TV series should be loosely based on the first six episodes of the OVA series while simultaneously remaining original, yet recognizably Tenchi Muyo. After the success of the original two OVA series, it was inevitable there would be more Tenchi to be found and made.
The story is going to sound familiar. Tenchi Masaki is an average high school kid who happens to live near his grandfather’s Shinto shrine. He would remain that way if it wasn’t for the slow, but sure descent of several alien women entering his life one by one. His troubles start initially when he is on his way to school he runs into the infamous space pirate Ryoko who ends up crashing into the area as she’s being chased by the “bad guy”. The bad guy in question is actually a Galaxy Police Officer named Mihoshi, a ditzy and bubbly blonde whose mission is to arrest the real bad guy Ryoko. It doesn’t stop there because things get more complicated later when the purple haired crown princess Ayeka picks up Mihoshi’s distress signal. Her arrival sees her falling for Tenchi which just ticks off Ryoko and sets the two at each other’s throats. Ayeka’s adorable younger sister Sasami arrives later to find her sister and then it gets weirder with Washu being discovered from a cave. Finally, Mihoshi’s long suffering partner Kiyone arrives and she’s the best of the best of the Galaxy Police. This makes up most of the changes done to the story, but by the second half of the show, things take an interesting turn.
The first half is for the fun encounters and more humorous moments. Nearly all the episodes contain comical events and the best part of them all is the three part story which concludes it. Washu invents a dimension tuner which is a machine that controls dimensions and cause and effect. The user can create a certain nexus from the infinite possibilities that exist in all of time and space. In simpler terms, it can create ideal parallel worlds. The women eventually mess things up and they all get sent into their own perfect worlds. Kiyone’s world “devoid of Mihosi” was entertaining and the ending of the school world was funny. There’s also a poignant moment in Ryoko’s world that is well done. As a Washu fan, I’m disappointed she isn’t given any moment to shine since she spends most of her time fixing the machine.
The second half focuses on the corruption of the Galaxy Police and the Juraian royal family which all ties to the main antagonist Kagato. It’s during this half the cast spend their time traveling through space when Jurai forces arrive on Earth to arrest Ayeka and Sasami for treason. What makes the second half shine is the augmented momentum from then on with the exception of the fanservice episode (as if there wasn’t enough with the bath scenes). A lot of the best moments happen during this part of the story. It actually makes me wonder what could have been if the comedy was toned down just a tad bit and a wonderful story was built from the very beginning. Don’t get me wrong, I love laughing as much as the next person, but Kagato was one of the key parts in order for the characters to grow and create some tension.
It’s impossible to talk about Universe without discussing the characters. The characters and story are pretty much the same, but with a few changes. Tenchi is still a kind teenager. Ryoko and Ayeka are still beefing. Sasami is as cute as a button. Washu is the greatest scientific genius in the universe, but with a Kanye West ego to her. One of my gripes with the characters is how the writers used Mihoshi. I got love for Mihoshi and in the OVA series she was a bit dense, but she was still fully aware on what to do concerning her job. Yes, she was clumsy at times, but she still managed to get things done. But in this version she has the IQ of a raisin. There is no way in hell this woman would have any career in law enforcement. I know it’s supposed to be used for laughs, but it goes against common sense. If she had a job in something that didn’t require logic I’d give it a pass, but the fact she’s supposed to be an officer and the fact she’s teamed with Kiyone is sloppy writing. Speaking of Kiyone, she’s a welcome addition to the cast and the best girl. She’s a tough, smart and dedicated Galaxy Police officer. Sadly, as bomb as I think Kiyone is the script fails to deliver for her since she’s underutilized and serves as a foil to Mihoshi’s antics. The last thing I’d like to mention is if you think Ryoko is the best girl you’ll probably love Universe. She gets all the good lines, nice character development and by the end it is heavily implied if Tenchi had to choose one of the ladies as his woman he would pick her.
Visually, the animation in Universe is what I would expect for an anime at the time. I do like the detail to the show and it comes from a time when animators were still hand drawing their work so there’s appeal in that aspect. It does get a little fuzzy here and there. Crowd scenes can be bereft of detail and there’s some reuse of animation (Ryo-Ohki’s transformation is taken from the OVA). However, for the most part it is solid and the characters look virtually the same as they did in the OVA.
The musical number has been carried over from the OVAs as well, with the same style and presentation, and it works well enough. The opening and ending songs are fun to hear. The OP gives an addictive 90s J-pop sound. The ED is called “Up-Walk in the Galaxy” and it’s performed by Ryoko’s and Ayeka’s seiyuu respectively. Oh I’d like to thank Washu for her “Photon Proton Synchrotron” song, it really helped me in middle school science class.
It’s funny, it’s been over a decade since I watched this and it still manages to hold up. When I first started looking back on the anime I watched as a kid I was hoping to find that this aged well. It may not be on the quality of the OVA series, but it still has everything that makes Tenchi watchable. read more
Especially given that everyone and their dog's probably seen Tenchi Muyo (Universe/TV aka the one who's page you're on). I'm also an unashamed fan. It's not a stretch to say that Tenchi is what got me into anime along with Outlaw Star on the legendary Toonami block a few yonks and a half back now.
Tenchi isn't just a harem anime. It's not going too far in my mind to say it is THE harem anime. A fantastic rom-com with some well placed scifi action and a nice bit of world building here and there, Tenchi has managed to create a fantastic cast of characters with unique personalities and character design (following the silhouette rule of character design, that is, in silhouette, as many characters as humanly possible should be immediately identifiable or recognizable. It's also a trope setter for a lot of things we commonly see now, and it's not unfair to level a fair amount of blame for the scourge of super cute mascot characters we see these days on Sasami and Ryo-Ohki.
I'm not going to go into depth on this review. Suffice to say, it's worth your time. Enjoy.read more
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