Ever since his powers awakened, Tenchi Masaki has attracted the attention of many powerful galactic beings, including the mysterious Lady Takami who dispatches her best warrior, Z, to observe him. Though he is under strict orders not to harm Tenchi, Z has no intention of playing by the rules and begins plotting his demise.
Meanwhile, on Earth, Tenchi tries to piece together more information about his family and the universe. But as usual, his life won't be getting any easier, as his entire household enters a state of panic when Noike Kamiki Jurai—a woman claiming to be Tenchi’s fiancée—shows up out of the blue.
Anyone who has ever so much as scanned my anime list here on MAL knows that I have a peculiar fondness for the OVA format of anime, particularly of that era in the late 80's and early 90's when the format was at its height. In a decade of being an anime fan, I've completed well over 200 series of this type, and to this day I still kind of prefer it just because of the superior quality you tend to have when animators can concentrate their time and energy on a small episode count.
That being said, Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki 3 easily wins my nomination
for Most Disappointing OVA Ever.
Maybe my hopes were too high. I did go into the series with certain expectations. It's hard not to have expectations when the first episode of the series is littered with unedited footage borrowed from its parent series. (See my MAL blog for a sample screen capture. Both images are mere minutes apart within a single episode!)
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki 1 was classic, must-watch anime, and TMRO3 ep. 1 reminds us why: The animation in the original series was juicy and detailed, the story had a natural flow from one event to the next, the characters defined one another through their interactions, and there was plenty of action and motion that held onto our attention on the screen from the beginning to the end.
It wasn't Gone With the Wind, but it was decent entertainment. It knew what we wanted and it did the best damn job it could of staying focused and delivering the goods.
Ryo-Ohki 2 was not as focused. It was more episodic like the Tenchi Muyo! TV series, with lighthearted episodes centered around babysitting and Ryo-Ohki having a crush on Tenchi too. But it was still pretty good. Some episodes were pretty funny, and there were still fight scenes and energetic activity on-screen most of the time. Well… except for that last episode. Remember that episode at the end, where Ayeka and Sasami's parents came to Earth, and there were a bunch of boring introductions and talking that never really lead to anything consequential? Yeah... That episode...
Unbelievably, the events of TMRO3 march proudly forward in the footsteps of that boring final episode of series two. There are a lot of introductions. There is a lot of eating and tea drinking. We meet Tenchi's really dumb school friends, his long-lost sister, his dad's new (Earthling) fiancé, Tenchi's own Juraian fiancé, Grandpa's Juraian wife, Ayeka & Sasami's grandmother, Mihoshi's brother, Mihoshi's brother's fiancé. (I wish I was joking.)
From episodes 2-5, while all of these characters are being introduced, nothing really happens. A lot of cooking. A lot of eating. A lot of small talk and dry chatter about relatives. No sealed demons being unleashed from ancient shrines, no crazy invaders from space to chase them, nothing reminiscent of the best parts of the original series. There are a couple of token space battles in TMRO3, but they're small in scale and only last a few minutes before changing direction to something less interesting.
And what's worse, with nothing interesting going on and no real source of conflict to make them butt heads, the established cast become lifeless paper dolls forced into predictable, monotonous roles while the writers focus on the dry backstories of all the new characters. Ayeka and Ryoko only have a few mild, token arguments. Gone are the days of "You go that way, I'll go this way." "..." "...That way was a dead end you idiot!" Sasami does nothing but cook, play with Ryo-Ohki, and talk about loving Tenchi. Washu walks around and makes small talk with the Juraian folk. Mihoshi shows her tits a lot and is still stupid, but not in the funny way she used to be. It's literally like their souls have been sucked out and they don't care about living anymore. And actually, that's a lot like how I felt when I realized I'd just watched two hours of people eating and drinking and chatting up their in-laws.
Watching this series was a truly horrifying experience, and if I had known this series was this boring and ridiculous going in, I never would have bothered. The final episode is more mind-boggling and Evangelion-wannabe than exciting. (Giant white human monster hurr!) There's not a single episode I can really honestly point to and say "This was okay" or "This made it worth it". Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki 3 is a long, grinding parade of military grade boring, and it's only because the series invoked my admiration for the original that I feel bad about burying this sequel at the bottom of the ratings barrel. If you're looking for something to reignite your love of things Tenchi-related, this fan would recommend looking up some old manga scanalations or something instead of wasting your time on this snorefest.
*sighs* I have to begin by saying that I adore the original OVA. So, this review might be a bit biased.
I am huge Ryoko fan. I did not enjoy the fact that the producers threw in a "fiancee" into the mix especially when it feels like a lot of the fans of the other girls where cheated on by this decision. Most of the first 5 episodes have to do with us getting to know Noike and an overzealous brother of Mihoshi (this is pretty much the only romance we truly get to see panned out in the OVA). There isn't much of a
point in this OVA to me. Except to shake things up and explain a little bit about the Great Goddesses.
The only thing that saved this series for me was the very ending of the 5th episode and the entirety of the 6th. As as true fan of the original OVA, getting to see the Goddesses in full force was a great treat. Also, getting to know more about them was beyond belief. If I was to recommend this part of Tenchi to a new fan, I would only send them to the end of the episodes I enjoyed and explained to them what happens in the other episodes so they just get to see only the great in Tenchi. Over all, I didn't like the series as much. The final episode was the best part about it.
I am fucking enraged right now! I love Tenchi Muyo! and am glad that the original OVA series really holds up but this god damn sequel to it that was hyped up at the 2nd OVA series cliffhanger and took 8 years to come out is one of the biggest abominations I have ever seen. This is 1st Negima anime level bad, I didn't think that I would watch an anime worse than Infinite Stratos 2 so soon. I watched an episode of Wizard Barristers today as well and I enjoyed the Wizard Barristers episode better than this and that show sucks. Sure Tenchi becomes
the strongest anime character ever at the end of it but nothing even makes sense about anything going on in it and everything goes in such a terrible direction and lacks everything that makes Tenchi a great series. They even pull a Sonic 06 at the end making this entire thing a waste of time. Dragon Ball GT is a masterpiece compared to this piece of shit. Magic World arc makes more sense and isn't as convoluted as this crap. I would rather pay $100 for a used End of Evangelion DVD and than shove the case in my ass. Kiyone also doesn't appear in this so fuck this shit. I feel betrayed, FUCK YOU VAP! (ya thats the name of the studio that made this piece of shit)
Tenchi Muyo Ryo-Ohki or OVA 3 is not bad. If anything, it's actually pretty good.
I know there have been gripes with the changes that have been made but guys come on. Change happens, and while not the way we want, the story is expanding. And there are great gems to be had in this OVA. (get it? Three gems?)
Story: Kajishima returns for a new addition to the Tenchi franchise. I, like many others, gripped at the changes back when I first saw it but coming back into them, they are good. It's a YMMV experience but I recommend it.
The story has brought it's A
to B game with new characters and certain stories that fans of the first 2 OVAs have been itching to learn about.
If there is to be one complaint, it's that it feels that there are not enough episodes for all the info we received. Maybe if it had been an 8 to 10 OVA fans wouldn't have been a bit left down. But isn't it great that a story had them hooked that had them wanting more.
Art: Another thing that frazzled both me and other fans was the change in art direction. It was weird but recalling it, a new art style should not have been that jarring. Art changes all the time. The medium has changed from the traditional old cell style to the new.
Again a YMMV but it grows on you if you let it.
Sound: The soundtrack still retains that mysticism and comedic tone that it held in OVA 1 and 2. Nothing to detract or add here.
Character: Whoo. I went back in and I gotta say that while things have become a bit more wacky and slapstick, the character arcs have progressed well from the preceding anime and the growth here is well established. Let's just say, the feels are going to be hit and it won't just be on the side of the heroes.
Enjoyment: For new guys, Tenchi OVA 3 is a fun romp going in. There are things for the new fans to enjoy and a bit of trivia to help them with the backstories. For new fans, it will be good to see the old cast in a new situation and see them develop closer as a family. Just don't get too hung up on the nostalgia.
Overall: I give OVA 3 of Tenchi Muyo Ryo-Ohki an 9.3 out 10. It is a great continuation to the old OVA and once more fuels the need for more Tenchi.
Please give it a try and be open minded. That's all I ask.