Before I even get started, I’ll address what was for me, and so I assume it was for many Tenchi fans, the anxiety over the replacement English dub for Ryoko. Mona Marshall replaces Petrea Burchard in this third OVA series. You’ll know her as both the English dub voices of Kite in the .hack games and Nataku in X. Her voice here tries to capture Petrea’s essence, but comes off as much younger. Of course, as a long time Tenchi fan, I miss Petrea as Ryoko, but I think Mona has done a fine job, certainly better in any event, than she did for the GXP series.
Most of the rest of the voice cast returned this time around, however they are all also ten years older, and a tuned ear can hear the minute differences. Sasami was dead on with the original though, however, Sherri Lynn hasn’t been out of practice using it, as she has done the same voice for numerous other anime and games over the years (most notably MOMO in Xenosaga).
Now, the series as a whole is interesting. It’s the same show, only some ten years later in coming. A lot more CG is used this time around, and most of it is very obvious and almost seems out of place. The story picks up where it left off, and for anyone who is either unfamiliar with it or can’t remember it, being that it has been so long, the first episode has quite a few flashbacks to acquaint and re-aquaint the audience with the backstory and characters.
The first volume of OVA 3 deals with the arrival of Noike, an arranged fiance to Tenchi by everyone’s favorite Devil Princess of Jurai, that you may remember from Tenchi GXP, Lady Seto. Yosho’s wife Airi (also from GXP) arrives, as does an unexpected relative of Tenchi. Supposedly this new OVA series will deal more heavily with Washu, Tsunami, and the mysterious Tokimi. For fans who were hoping that Kiyone from the Universe and Tokyo series and movies would arrive, sorry, she isn’t a part of the original OVA storyline and won’t be appearing (her appearance in the Mihoshi special isn’t part of the OVA timeline). However, Noike does a lot to fill that void for any lingering Kiyone fans out there (you’ll just have to watch and see what I mean). And for anyone who is confused, in the proper timeline, Kiyone is the name of Tenchi’s mother. It was changed for the first movie to Achika, to reduce confusion between herself and the other Kiyone.
In any event, I highly recommend this DVD for any old Tenchi fans, as well as the GXP series for anyone who is confused about all the new characters who appear on this disc.
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…the more they change. At first it seems like Tenchi and the girls haven’t changed at all. And they haven’t really. But in the background events are moving to change everything. Lady Sato has sent Noike to Earth to be Tenchi’s bride-to-be! And while Ryoko and Ayeka decide how to handle her Lady Tokimi is carrying out her own plot against Washu and Tsunami.
Of course there is lots of humor, dark hints – foreshadowing – of future events linked with Tenchi’s future bride and way too many flashbacks.
The English dubbing kind of threw me off – some voices are the same (just older) and some voices are new. Ryoko’s English voice upset me at first but by the third episode I didn’t seem to notice.
With only three episodes and not much in the way of extras only a real Tenchi fan should bother to buy up the disc. Still, it does promise a new, fresh and interesting series of episodes – the Tenchi Muyo! universe is nothing if not interesting!
Now I am a Tenchi Fan in all forms. I have the original OVA’s, Tenchi Universe, Tenchi in Tokyo, all 3 Theatrical movies, the Tenchi Muyo GXP series, and even the Pretty Sammy series just for completion purpouses. Oh yeah, that Mihoshi special too. I’ve watched them all, if not more than twice, and whether I liked one more than the other have re-watched them just to be knowledgeable about them. I originally saw my first Tenchi on Toonami:Cartoon Network, and was instantly hooked.
I will mark what is a spoiler so read past the lines of doom as your own risk.
The 1st episode on this volume starts out with a 10 more minutes than usual episode of flash backs, trying to recapture your Jeopoardy on what you remember of the original episodes. All the characters are revisited and given a moment for you to have that “Yay, good ol’e -Character name here-” moment. It ends with a special visitor at the end. In the 2nd episode she is introduced as Tenchi’s sister, Tenyou, even though she looks uncannily like his own mother (although she admits to filling in for his mother on many occasions due to their alikeness). Tenchi’s father reveals in a misconception that Tenchi’s real mother’s name is Kiyone (Okay guys, you really messed up here) over the heavily popular idea that her name is Achika based on one of the Tenchi Movies in which she played a large role. This is a bit of an issue considering that Kiyone was the name of Mihoshi’s partner in all the other series casts, however the rumor is that they simply made her name Achika for the movie she was in to prevent confusion(Kiyone was in the movie as well). Kiyone is non-existant however in this series’ timeline, so onward. After Tenchi clears up from crying thinking it was his mother for 5 minutes, Tenyou introduces a woman named Airi who happens to be Grandfather Yosho’s wife. The bad news comes when Tenyou reveals that Ayeka’s grandmother Lady Seto, the Devil Princess of Jurai, has arranged for Tenchi to marry Noike. Tenchi finds Noike by accident while doing the feilds and inturn she is invited to dinner where Tenchi evidently figures out she is to be his wife. Of course, a few of the cast is left unsettled by this (Can you guess who? :]), but they are left powerless to do anything to get rid of her because she is so incredibly polite/nice. She helps Tenchi in the feilds and even does his chores for him during a 3 day period in which Tenchi became unhealthy due to a stress factor from all the news he had recieved (Hey, if you had met your 80 year old sister, your Mistress of Galaxy Police Grandmother, and figured out you were to marry the adopted daughter under the order of the most powerful enitity in the galaxy, wouldn’t you be surprised?) It is later discovered that Noike’s intentions are a bit above and beyond just marrying Tenchi…
—-End Spoiler, read on now!—-
Here’s how it looks. Tenchi Muyo is obviously the most popular of the Tenchi Series and releases, as it is the only series that skillfully combines a more serious vibe with the silly story and setting that we know as Tenchi Muyo, provides more interesting character development over the silly and somewhat bad introductions and stories of the cast in Tenchi in Tokyo, has not shown any conclusive signs whereas the TV series “Tenchi Universe” ended promptly after he defeated an enemy he defeated midway through the first few episodes of Tenchi Muyo OVA original (Prequel series to the item I’m reviewing), and pretty much a perfect example of an anime you watch that sets you apart from watching Trigun, or Pokemon (Tenchi In Tokyo provided a very joke and kid feel). It is the only series left frayed, and people have been waiting years for this to finally come out and this is the turn out…
Good god…what happened?! What you knew and loved out of the Tenchi cast, story progression, and good ol’e “just another wierd day” episodes is about to get rocked. I’ll begin with the horrible lack of supportive story. These 3 episodes are buckets of unneeded plot twists that make you indcredibly uncomfortable and confused. New characters all over the map(Introduction of Tenchi’s Sister, His Grandfather Yosho’s wife, and his set fiancee by Ayeka’s grandmother Lady Seto) make the current high profile characters (Such as Ryoko and Ayeka/Washu ect) seem somewhat unwanted. The addition of a wife to the humble grandpa Yosho we know, especially a wife that is full of immature antics of being offended over her position on the family tree is a very disconcerting new relative. It’s like watching your favorite episode of Batman, and then Batman gets married to Sailor Moon. Tenyou is an okay character, but what bothers me in summation of the two is that both of them seem to flirt with Tenchi, even though they are closely related to him which in an essense might not seem SO bad considering Tenchi would be marrying family if he married Noike, but in the…