Dec 26, 2014
Master10K (All reviews)
"What on earth is going on here?"

Pretty much sums up mine & Tenchi's initial thoughts on this new iteration of the classic Harem, Sci-Fi, Comedy...
Ai Tenchi Muyo! I could not tell where it actually fit into the Tenchi timeline; neither could I tell whether it was one story containing a flashback, or two completely separate stories, until near the very end of the series. Either-way this Takahashi, Okayama PV anime was enjoyable enough to not drop right away... to some extent.

The mangled storyline did not help me enjoy the series, since what I could tell is that this all has something to do with "time-slips", "dimensional disruptions" and other sci-fi mumbo-jumbo they happened to make up. However all you'll know from the first couple episodes is that it's all just a roundabout way to get Tenchi, into his own girl school harem, as the sole male teacher. There's very little explanation as to what Tenchi seems to be up to and why he's been sent there, early into the series. As for the most part we just follow the usual high school high-jinks, with pantsu, and the nonsensical conflict between the school's student council & science club. Yet the confusing aspect of Ai Tenchi Muyo is that every now and again it will random cut to another story, where Tenchi has been sent back in time and seems to be looking for two people, lost in space & time. Knowing exactly how these two stories intertwine will take a lot of your own time & patience.

Now this all could have been interesting, if the writers knew how to structure the damn story. Instead it will leave you feeling baffled until things eventually start making sense, but by then you'd probably have given up on this series, which turns out to be nothing more but a promotion for the city of Takahashi, Okayama in order to promote tourism for the city.

Whether it achieved its goal or not, may never be known to us Western viewers and neither do we care, because all we care about is the story, characters & animation. Well pretty much the entirety of the new cast are rather uninteresting, except maybe Momo & Beni but little was done to fully flesh out those two. Even the old cast that fans know and love were underutilized. The animation is okay for what it is, but it's easily surpassed by the original 22 year old Tenchi OVA.

Honestly after watching Ai Tenchi Muyo, all I wanted to do was re-watch some old Tenchi Muyo: Ryo-Ohki to remind myself of why I got into this franchise. Because all this series does, is to tell its fans that the franchise has run its course and it is about time to abandon ship. In the end it felt like an insult to fans, as nothing about it harkened back to the Tenchi Muyo of old, nor did it bring anything interesting to the table like another spin-off series (Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari). Plus it felt like an insult to the general viewer, by having a re-cap episode every 5th episode, as if the viewers forgot what happen during the previous 4 episodes that week. Being a series with a bunch of 4 min long episodes, I wasn't expecting much, but I was expecting more than mediocrity.