Tenchi Muyou! Ryououki

Title:Tenchi Muyou! Ryououki
Tenchi Muyo
Tenchi Muyo OAV 1 & 2
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki
天地無用! 魎皇鬼
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: HAYASHI Hiroki
KOYASU Takehito
R1 License - FUNimation
A high school student, Tenchi, sneaks into a forbidden cave and releases the demon Ryoko, who turns out to be not a demon at all, but a beautiful alien woman. This starts a chain events that forever alters Tenchi's life. Four more alien women, Princesses Ayeka and Sasami, Galaxy Police Detective Mihoshi, and Ryoko's mother Washu, soon follow in Ryoko's wake, and in the process Tenchi discovers that he is far more than the ordinary high school student he thought he was.
[13.5 OAV episodes. This is the original Tenchi series. The reviews here cover OAV 1 (episodes 1-6, 25-30 min), OAV1: Night Before Carnival (episode 7, 45 min), and OAV 2 (episodes 8-13.5, 24-27 min but episode 13 is 50 min).

R1 license of OAV 1, OAV 1: Night Before Carnival, and OAV 2 by Geneon formerly, now owned by Funimation.

1:37min OVA Opening - YouTube Video
[edit] The ↗Tenchi Muyou! franchise (original and still ongoing):

"↗Kajishima original canon" stories: Note: The GXP anime series is trumped by the novels from series creator KAJISHIMA Masaki. The canon GXP novels confirm that "Dual!" is set billions of years ago and why some of the characters are reincarnated in OVA 5. The "Paradise Wars" novels are included in the canon, which are also referenced in Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5.

"↗Hasegawa canon" stories: Note: The full Hasegawa spinoff continuity is captured in novel form.

"↗Negishi canon" stories: Non-canon Tenchi remake: Magical Girl Pretty Sammy (spin-off): Sasami (spin-off): Ai Tenchi Muyo (spin-off):
Episode Details 
7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 13.5
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 8 8 8 7 8 8 Ggultra2764 [series:35#1552]
Focusing on Tenchi Masaki's interactions with several alien girls living at his household, the Tenchi Muyo OVAs are well known among older anime fans for having popularized the harem genre and would go on to spawn a number of spinoff titles throughout the 1990s thanks to its immense popularity with fans. Tenchi Muyo sticks out rather prominently from many titles of the harem genre as it does things for it that the majority of modern titles utilizing the tropes of the genre are lacking in.

The first thing it does effectively is providing fleshing out its world and characters. Many modern harem titles tend to just simply stick an archetype of the genre onto a character and run with it throughout its run without fleshing out the characters in question to be anything more than their archetype. Tenchi Muyo offers a good deal of fleshing out of its cast in exploring what is effecting them and providing background to their origins. A number of them even get gradual character development as characters like Ayeka and Ryoko are shown to undergo noticeable changes to their characters throughout the series as they adjust to life on Earth and their current living conditions. It also offers some creative technologies and sci-fi elements for its time that are used by the alien races in the series such as the tree-powered spaceships used by Juraians, the unique properties of the Souja spaceship used by Kagato and Washu able to create a dimensional portal to her laboratory through a closet in the Masaki household. There are some elements to characters and the series plot that are left unexplored such as development on Mihoshi's character and aspects to Washu and Tsunami's characters that would get more fleshing out a decade later in Tenchi Muyo GXP and the third Tenchi OVA series.

The other effective element to Tenchi Muyo that has it stick out from most harem titles is the show's effective use of comedy. Outside of the girls swooning for Tenchi and having moments of perverted humor, the series is very effective in the delivery of comedic timing as it milks character chemistry, ironic moments and surprising developments to convey its humor, this being effective as such where it can cut in during serious moments rather well without being a mood killer. High points of Tenchi Muyo's humor being on display include the group's dealing with enemy threats and members of the Jurai Royal Family coming to Earth in a later episode of the series. The humor is not perfect as there are moments where the show resorting to crass humor can fall flat and the bickering between Ryoko and Ayeka for Tenchi's affections can get obnoxious.

Visually, Tenchi Muyo is of above average quality for the time it was made. Scenery and character designs have a great amount of detail and vivid color to go along with the show's mostly light mood. While the animation for it is nowhere on the caliber of early 1990s animated works like Ghibli films or Macross Plus, there is still a noticeable amount of effort put into movement, animated sequences and little details such as the range of facial expressions given off by the characters, Tenchi scrambling away from danger and feats of power demonstrated by characters.

Overall, Tenchi Muyo is perhaps one of the best offerings of the harem genre that you are likely to find. It offers a good deal of depth to its characters that make them more than simple archetypes and offers an effective range of humor that is more than perverted antics and the girls ogling for the male lead. The quality of the series still holds up rather well today considering not too many modern harem titles match up to its depth and comedy quality, and is a definite recommendation if you want more to your harem anime besides perverted humor, T&A shots and the girls of the harem only being defined by their single-minded lusting for the male lead of the series.

Last updated Sunday, September 06 2015. Created Saturday, January 05 2008.
Buy 7 7 9 9 9 9 Anonymous #2513 [series:35#2513]
There are SO many curves on the Tenchi axis that it's impossible to write one overall review about anything Tenchi Muyo. The OVA and the original TV series follow more or less the same lines, although they go off in different directions they have much the same basis. The Tokyo series reinvents the character backgrounds anew, whilst spinoffs such as Pretty Sammy, Galaxy Police Transporter and the Mihoshi Special add more interpretations to the line.

Many fans will tell you that the only series worth watching is the original OVA. Whilst Parts 1 and 2 are first rate plot and animation, with incredible character depth (especially for Washu and Sasami/Tsunami), the more recent addition of part three has been criticised by many fans as being far too random and full of unecessary information and characterisation. In that respect, I would recommend the OVA 1 and 2 and avoid OVA 3 like the plague unless you're either VERY accepting of wild character/continuity changes or you just like hearing random spew about newly imposed characters.

OVA 1 follows the concept that Tenchi revives the demon Ryoko from the shrine of his grandfather, and here begins a lot of chaos he can't hope to keep up with. Though the sense of the series is comedic, and it has been called the original Harem anime, Tenchi Muyo has a much deeper undertone to it than people often realise. Each of the characters has something to discover about themselves - and a past that hangs over them in some way. For Ryoko, it's her life as the slave of Kagato, and the secret of her true origins. For Washu, the husband who left her, taking her baby with her. For Sasami, the truth of her identity and her connection to the Goddess Tsunami. And for Ayeka, facing the fact that the brother she travelled so far to find is no longer the man she remembers.

Following on from the OVA came the TV series known as "Universe" which is alternately slated and adored by fans of the show. A large part of the controversy surrounding its popularity probably stems from which character he all but chooses at the end (no, I'm not going to say who) and the fierce fan opinion surrounding Tenchi's potential romantic rivalries. However, the TV series is a great show to watch if you value character interaction and plot movement over intense amounts of information and overly powerful characters (the one criticism I would level at the OVA 1 and 2 is the slight preoccupation with tremendous power, which the TV series doesn't really have in the same way). The true identity of Prince Yosho is better revealed in the TV series also, and the show features Kiyone Makibi, a big fan favourite who never appeared in the OVA. The TV series has been criticised because not enough information is given up front about the characters. But I don't think it's a negative - quite the opposite, it allows you to infer and understand things about the characters without having to be spoon-fed it all on a plate :)

The Tenchi Muyo In Love and Tenchi Forever movies connect onto this continuity also, and both have strong character interactions, focusing once more on that side of things as opposed to wielding heavy information at fans. Despite this, there are occasional continuity blips between the TV series and the first movie, such as the imaginary emperor of Jurai who seems to have emerged in the interim ;)

The Tokyo TV series has some wild character interpretations and some extremes of behaviour from all of the cast, who have each been tainted somewhat with negative character traits. Despite this, and the fact that the basic rules seen in the OVA and Universe series have been abandoned, I like this series for a few reasons. Particularly the view of Ryoko as a pirate, which is never seen before. The show does have its limitations and its weaknesses, but there are still some great character interactions, and the series villain Yugi is a fairly original one - a manipulator as opposed to a fighter.

Overall, Tenchi Muyo is a fun show with occasional nudity and naughtiness, and comprises some of the best characters you could hope for in any anime. Characters such as Washu Hakubi constantly leave you guessing as to what her true thoughts and motives are in each of the series, and Ryoko and Ayeka provide the ideal chalk and cheese personality battle - the wild space criminal and the well bred, pampered Princess of Jurai.

If there is a weakness in any of the Tenchi Muyo continuities, it is the fact that more recent interpretations (OVA part 3 and Galaxy Police) have spent far too much time introducing and fleshing new characters who have no bearing on the original episodes, allowing the originals to suffer on several occasions. Especially disappointing is Ayeka's effective lack of a role in OVA part 3. Galaxy Police also spends far too much time emphasising sexual innuendo in a way which is beyond humourous and far more crass than ever used in the other series - somehow you feel this series has gone far too much down the line of teenage boy fantasy than coherent character plot. (That said, Galaxy Police is still worth watching solely for the hilarious antics of Seiryo Tennan!)

Lower ratings for animation since it deteriorates in later series and the most recent has been the worst of all :( Although the original OVA parts and the first TV series was very well animated. The voice artists in English and Japanese are generally both excellent, although the recent change for Ryoko's English voice actress has not been popular with Ryoko fans (and I include myself in this). The music from the show is also first rate - particularly Washu's Lullaby and The Lonely Moon (Tsuki No Tragedy) in the OVA series and Ryoko's own image songs "Forevermore" (Towa Ni Towa Ni Hoshi No Yume) and "Dimension of Love" (Ren'ai No Jikuu) from the TV series "Universe."

It is just something of a shame that, while the Japanese versions of the songs are sung by the Seiyuu of the character, the English ones are not, making the connection between character and song a little more hazy unless you happen to know!

Last updated Sunday, March 25 2007. Created Sunday, March 25 2007.
Avoid Z [series:35#1781]
Once in a while I'll watch a series that has gotten great reviews and end up wondering "Did I watch the wrong series or something?" And when I see people say this is the best of the series and has the best storyline I know I won't be bothering to get the rest. Best storyline? What a joke. You got crazy outgoing chick, shy and reserved princess chick, clumsy chick, and looks like she's 10 chick all completing for the affection of one guy, Tenchi, they met 30 minutes ago and who shows no interest in any of them, but doesn't exactly tell them to stop either. In case that wasn't enough we'll add girl who looks up to Tenchi like a big brother, cat-thingy that acts like it's sexually attracted to Tenchi, and a robot that copies the memory of a character so completely that even erasing its memory doesn't cause it to stop loving Tenchi. Add a couple trips to the hots springs (they even have one outside their house eventually) and you've got all your cliches in there. Maybe given that it's a "classic" you can excuse the now overdone cliches, but there's no excusing the plot. Spoiler alert, but given that this isn't a good series just save yourself and read it anyhow. Crazy chick, Ryoko, tries to kill Tenchi because he's the descendent of the person who sealed her for 700 years, then leaves once she gets her arm cut off but is found in Tenchi's bed asleep soon after. The fact that the person who sealed her is still alive and they now live in the same house is never a source of conflict. Princess chick, Ayeka, is looking for crazy chick and her fiancee (the one who sealed Ryoko) to arrest Ryoko and finally marry her true love. Sadly, minutes before she finds Ryoko the statue of limitations on arresting Ryoko expires (this won't stop the Royal family from giving Ryoko a bill for the distruction she caused later in the series - appearently I'm supposed to view this as comedy and not idiocy) and to her great shock her true love looks older now, so all the love and devotion she felt towards him transfers to Tenchi in about 5 seconds despite, and in fact partly because of, the fact that they are blood related. Tenchi occassionally shows of his alien powers, which naturally are far suprior to any other aliens powers, even that of his ancestor who sealed Ryoko, despite being mostly human, but never seems to understand how he does it or learns how to cause his powers to come out unless someone's been captured and taken to outer space. Ryoko starts off being really powerful, seen by the fact that she could destroy the alien capital, but half way through the series just becomes kidnap fodder. Oh, and nothing sad will ever happen to anyone ever. Anyone who did/will die did/will just "merge" with something else and stay alive in them. Someone has to leave for various reasons? Don't worry, they won't or they'll be back by the end of the episode. I could go on about the weak plot, which is boring as hell in the middle when all it is is finding new reasons for the girls to fight over Tenchi. The girls do get their characters developed which is nice, but Tenchi himself is maybe the worst main character for any anime series, and there are too many gapping plot holes to make this worth watching.

Honestly you want silly crazy haram anime, Love Hina. Want cliche girls? Try Ai Yori Aoshi (my personal favorite because the guy actually is interested in one of the girls and it's a little more serious). Really wanna see alien love? Onegai Teacher. Haram where the relationship never seems to move with better action and more comedy? Ranma 1/2 - one of my favorite comedy series. There's nothing special about this series, and even saying it's a classic doesn't make up for it's shortcomings.

Last updated Saturday, August 19 2006. Created Friday, August 18 2006.
Buy 9 10 9 9 10 10 KBanger1 [series:35#1694]
I'm pretty much a "mark" for the Tenchi Muyo series. That means I'm a huge fan. This OAV is the reason why I continue to watch anime. The series is hilarious yet still can keep a serious overtone to it. Yes, it has nudity, but if you're not mature enough to handle that, then you have a right not to like it. But if that's the only reason, then you have no excuse to rate it poorly. This series may have crude stuff in here, but its story is more than enough to satisfy either a serious or beginner collector.
The entire Tenchi series has over 4 spinoff series and 1 OAV special. I have 3 out of 4 and I'm planning to get the latest OAV in the near future. Overall, for anyone who is a major anime fan, don't overlook this series. This is a major anime which should be on everyone's collection.

Update: November 26, 2006

A few years ago (before I even purchased my first DVD player), I purchased my first DVD which was Tenchi Muyo in Love 2: Daughter of Darkness. Even before I got my DVD player (which I still have today), I believed that TM was going to be my reason to upgrade and expand my current anime collection. Over 115 anime titles today and still going, I still believe that TM is the anime series to have. Why? Well, the answer to me is simple. Even going through my decent sized collection, I leave my TM dvds in a separate DVD case because it stands above every other title I have. It's the only series that I will refer to as far as "harem" animes go. I can sit an entire day and watch the first episode of the first OAV straight on to the last episode of the third OAV and still continue with the other TM series (maybe except Shin Tenchi Muyo). This series has spawned other animes that are some considered "Tenchi Clones". To have an influence over other series and to call them clones makes TM a highly respected series. TM sets the bar for most of the anime in it's genre.

My first review seemed over the top in some aspects, but I still hold a lot of my comments seriously. For those who never have seen this series, I'll give a clear intro. Imagine yourself as a teenage boy who lives a normal life like any other person. Now imagine having a older (and I use that word loosely) woman live you, and another, and another, etc. Kind of hard to imagine that, but Tenchi Masaki doesn't have to. He has two princesses, a female genius scientist, a clutsy female police officer, and a female outlaw in his house. The twist is that all the women are from outer space and all of them are in love with Tenchi. That certainly makes an interesting plot in my book. It's every man's fantasy (well maybe except the outer space thing). In this first installment of TM, it's just a quick introduction of all of them and climaxes near the end of the first OAV. The second OAV, it's a lot more explanatory than the first. The comedy still remains through the entire first and second OAV. A lot of ecchi but not completely perverse like some people think. In the end, this has to be a part of your collection, whether or not you are a fan of this genre. TM was and still is the reason I continue to expand my anime collection and experience.

Last updated Sunday, November 26 2006. Created Sunday, February 27 2005.
Buy 8 7 9 7 8 9 Stealth_Duck [series:35#1317]
This series is hysterical, there's no avoiding it. True, at the beginning I was somewhat put off by the occasional sexual line put in otherwise fairly innocent content. But the overall content gets much more mature, and amazingly, at least to me, doesn't come off as overly crass or crude.
Now while it's true I can relate to Tenchi in more ways than one, that's not really why I like it. The Ryoko-Ayeka feuds are great, and yet really do play into the overall character situation rather well. Washu is hysterical, and yet is far deeper than sex comedy she first appears as. Mihoshi is such a ditz, and yet is quite bright and able at times(when her brain is "ON" apparently-even then she's a ditz). Ryoko is the love-starved demon, and yet she is so much more(In addition to having some great complexes- she is incredibly sensitive to comments about age or sagging 'assets'). Ayeka is the "little princess", and yet gets incredibly tough(not just dealing with Ryoko either).
I think of certain lines long after watching it, and still crack up. While there is a bit of nudity, most of it is warranted-Ryoko in general is naked trying to seduce Tenchi(being rather out of touch with the whole romance thing). Ayeka was naked as a prank by Ryoko to embarrass her(being so pure and all). The other onsen scenes... well, while they do often serve plot purposes, they usually don't necessarily have to be naked and in the open. But I really have no problem with it. The nakedness never becomes sexual, and as long as you aren't disturbed by naked, attractive women, you shouldn't have a problem either. Just be forewarned, this show isn't aimed at preteens like TU/TiT is. The sexual humor is quite common(and hysterical). There is often nudity(although rather tame). Incest of types is not hidden at all(it is extensive, yet not so blatant as to be offensive-after all, it's more kosher than traditional European families-think royalty), and takes a while of getting used to for someone from the west. And these also result in hell for someone trying to work out family relations, especially after going through OTHER canon material. virtually everyone is related in some way or another(however distantly).
If you want a start to finish story, this isn't it. Since it isn't done yet. Stay away from TU at least until you've watched this. TU was a defilement with some merit on its own. It lacked the incredible depth in characters, as well as the well thought-out background of this one.
So, I must say, this show is great, the humor is hysterical, the characters are incredibly deep and memorable, the plot/backstory is intricate(although not necessarily moving quickly while we're watching),and the whole setup is alot of fun. It's even more enjoyable for those who can relate to its characters. This series is great. Get it. Watch it. Again.

Last updated Tuesday, April 06 2004. Created Tuesday, April 06 2004.
Watch 7 8 5 7 6 7 Devil Doll [series:35#752]
[Score: 63%]
  • Drama: Low (a weak story with randomly appearing new characters)
  • Comedy: High (lots of SD, don't take this show serious)
  • Action: Low/Med (Tenchi's school explodes during episode 1, plus some sword fighting)
  • SciFi: Med/High (demons & Sci-Fi elements being essential for the story)
  • Ecchi: Med (not really perverted but almost permanent innuendos and some frontal nudity)
I watched Tenchi Muyo on TV several years ago before I started writing reviews, and all I remembered was that the series was unbelievably childish (despite its ecchi elements) and not a single one of the characters really likable. Reading so much about Tenchi being the prototype harem series, I felt like I have to rewatch it now as I know a lot more about animes.

But the second pass just confirms my impression from back then. Tenchi's actions are immature, including his attempt to fight enemies without any clue what they're capable of. Compared to later series like Ai Yori Aoshi or Love Hina he lacks the potential of credibly being a valid love interest for any of the girls which I consider essential for a harem story to work. Everything around is just too silly-funny - the categories here correctly state Tenchi Muyo as "Romantic Comedy" but not "Romance" - and that's the key for understanding why I dislike it so much: With not even a glimpse of seriousness it lacks credibility about its most important story element. What's more, 'conquering' a potential heir of a crown has not much to do with love IMHO.

On the other hand, I didn't get to really like any of the Characters. Ryoko's character was developed best (and the way she changed her attitude towards Tenchi was the most interesting part of the story for me, although I don't understand why she changed to much since the days of her imprisonment); Washu happened to be interesting as well. But bot Ayeka (spoiled little princess brat) and Mihosi (the personified slapstick accident) failed miserably in my opinion, and Tenchi... um, he has too many things to cope with as to do more than try to become a hero in a way. Tenchi is suddenly surrounded by a "demon" and several aliens with a rabbit-like space ship and doesn't even ask the most simple questions... sigh.

I do understand that the Story might be the source of a long series with many sequels. Yet, this storyline (which seems to contain a number of "Star Wars" elements, not just the "laser sword" of Tenchi) isn't my style (I prefer Star Trek to fairy tales in space). During the first 6 OVA episodes it was all too super-heroish, like Sailor Moon for boys. The special episode with the contenders reading shoujo manga (and acting accordingly) was mildly amusing, and the second 6 OVAs finally had more slice of life and even a bit of character development for Washu and Sasami.

Technical elements: Art and Animation look a bit outdated nowadays; the instrumental OP song with its pentatonic melody and driving, growling bass line is a lot more to my liking whereas the rest of the Music isn't that memorable.
Rewatching this series I now see how ecchi this series actually is - the fanservice scenes are omnipresent, be that Tenchi's grandfather breast fondling Princess Ayeka or Ryoko checking whether Tenchi has recovered the sword between the boy's legs. Not to mention the full nudity scenes, mostly featuring Ryoko.

So all in all this series doesn't work as harem scenario - and how could it when each and every character is slapstick material? Both background story and character consistency are weaker than even in Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon. Then again, as ecchi sci-fi comedy this series works rather well, not unlike Nagasarete Airantou or even Girls Bravo, and certain of the pure slapstick elements are indeed amusing. It's just that pure comedy with characters who don't have any credible agenda and a story that leaves everything unexplained isn't my cup of tea.

Last updated Friday, March 28 2008. Created Thursday, March 11 2004.
Buy dhrachth [series:35#962]
Not a whole lot more can be said about this one, so for a quick take:
Very fun, lots of humor.
Best of the Tenchi series--character & dialogue-wise.
Unfortunately, it was never finished. There's a really interesting plot going on, but it has never been resolved.

Last updated Thursday, September 11 2003. Created Thursday, September 11 2003.
Buy 9 9 9 9 10 9 Peter Hentai [series:35#758]
I don't know why, but I avoided Tenchi Muyo for a long time. A co-worker kept talking about how good it was and lending his DVD set to other guys, so I figured I'd give it a shot. It was so good, I had to watch it three times that weekend, twice with my girlfriend!

Tenchi is a high school young man who lives with his single dad, his mother having died when he was a young boy. One day he goes against his grandfathers wishes and goes to the forbidden cave on the Masaki Shrine grounds. There he releases a demon who's not quite as the ancient legends describe. She's really a space pirate named Ryoko.

This starts the entrance of a parade of attractive, alien women who all come to live at the Misaki home. Ryoko and Ayeka both find themselves in love with Tenchi and thus become rivals (though they are friends to a degree -- not that they'd admit it). So this provides plenty of comedic moments in this series. There is also a decent amount of action to be had to, if that's your thing. However, what makes this series so good isn't the comedy or the naked Ryoko, but the story and character development. Even in seemingly filler episodes, little things are revealed to spark questions or give clues. This goes for some of the comedic happenings as well. There are meanings behind everything it seems which is why I watched this three times! After I returned the set to my co-worker, I immediately went out and bought the set myself.

I read in one of the other reviews that there's a 3rd series coming this year. I look forward to watching it.

Last updated Thursday, June 12 2003. Created Thursday, June 12 2003.
Buy Stretch [series:35#628]
I stumbled upon the OAV series at 1:30AM on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, back when I had no idea what "Anime" was. Though I only saw the thoroughly "sanitized" version, I was astonished to learn that such sophisticated, clever, hilarious animation existed anywhere! Perhaps the best recommendation I can give is this: If I had to give up all of my precious anime collection except for one series, this would be the one I would keep. Seriously, I decided that Tenchi Muyo (OAV) was the best overall anime series ever even before I recently got to see the uncut version. That experience has only raised my estimation higher, even though I have now watched at least part of some 80 different series.
I had read a number of reviews which suggested that the uncut version was somewhat different from the version I originally saw--like a mention of Ryoko parading around "buck naked", which I found hard to believe. I finally rented the "ultimate edition DVD" (Vol.1), and differences immediately began to appear. For one thing, it has a more complex version of the opening theme song. Whereas Cartoon Network just ran the ending credits with a cut-down version of the opening sequence, the DVD has a completely different song and a priceless scene of an SD Ryo-Ohki struggling to grow a carrot. I found it curious that for once the subtitled version plays automatically unless you take the trouble of selecting dub. I have a theory that in most cases it's not which mode of voice acting is *better* that people prefer, it's the one which they hear *first*. Though I watched the DVD with subtitles, I think I will always be partial to the English-voiced Ryoko and Ayeka, in spite of all the criticism they have gotten. Anyway, it soon became apparent how many scenes had been missing from the CN version I was accustomed to. I didn't think to actually time them, but I'm sure episode 7, at least, was well over half an hour. The extra airtime provided a number of additional hints to help one figure out the various mysteries within the plot. For example, the duel between Tenchi's Grandpa and Kagato was far more lengthy and elaborate, making it much easier to see how Ayeka realizes something important. So, maybe the trouble I originally had following the story wasn't due to me being an idiot after all!
Recently I have purchased my own copies of the "ultimate edition" DVDs and rewatched episodes 8-13.5, (the 2nd TM! OVA). I noticed that CN had stripped the "Hello Baby!" episode of all jokes that involved (how shall I put this?) the actions that babies are most notorious for--a great loss! On the other hand, some CN TV episodes were surprisingly loyal to the subtitled versions--little, if anything, had been cut, and the English-spoken dialogue matched the subtitles almost word-for-word. I played the CN version of one episode on the VCR simultaneously with the Ultimate Edition version on the DVD player, and switched back and forth in search of major gaps, but in this case, there were none. One definite difference was that there were different OP/ED theme songs on the DVDs. Another was that the final episode-and-a-half had been stripped by CN of the extra "half" to fit it into the standard half hour time slot. I always felt that the second OAV, though most certainly an excellent show, wasn't nearly as well organized as the first one had been. The conflict with Dr. Clay starts and ends in a mere two episodes (unless he will return in the 3rd OAV), and the ending is incomplete--as if the makers decided "hey, let's wrap this one up fast and start work on a simplified version (Tenchi Universe) that will draw in even more viewers!". Nevertheless, make no mistake that this is my favorite anime hands down, and surely any responsible critic would rate it as one of the ten best of all time.
My favorite line: "Now... I want your balls, please"--Ryoko

Last updated Thursday, March 11 2004. Created Monday, April 07 2003.
Buy 9 9 9 10 9 9 AstroNerdBoy [series:35#436]
New review coming soon!

I'm late to jump on the Tenchi Muyo bandwagon, but having done so, I'm glad I did. This 13-episode (or 13.5 episode officially) OAV is actually 2 OAV's and one special. The first 6 episodes are the first OAV. Episode 7 (done several years later) is the special and episodes 8-13.5 are the second OAV. This is the original Tenchi series! My only problem with this series is the incredible amount of nudity, especially with Ryoko! Uncalled for if you ask me!

Plot wise, Tenchi is a high school kid who lives with his father and grandfather at a shrine in the country. He's drawn to a cave where legend has it that the hero Yosho sealed the demon Ryoko inside some 700 years ago. Tenchi goes into the locked cave and accidently revives Ryoko. She attacks him, but somehow he's able to use an energy sword and actually defeat her. She responds by crashing in his bed to sleep! The next day, the Princess Ayeka of Jurai shows up with her sister Sasami looking for her half-brother Yosho. The arrest warrent for the space-pirate Ryoko has just expired, but that doesn't stop Ayeka. A battle between her and Ryoko end up with both being stranded on Earth with Tenchi's family!

Tenchi is discovered to actually be a decendant of the royal family and immediately, Ryoko and Ayeka fight constantly for Tenchi's attention! That's where the majority of the series humor comes from. Other alien women join the cast including the Galaxy Police woman Mihoshi (who's a ditz) and the super-scientist (and creator of Ryoko and the cabbit/ship Ryo-Ohki)Washu. Both of these characters like Tenchi to (Washu especially), but the real love-triangle is between him, Ryoko, and Ayeka.

So, what makes this mostly episodic series work? The subtle layers of depth to both the story and to the characters. Even Mihoshi is more than she appears to be. I really liked all of the characters. The humor at all levels work well and the stories are very interesting as in the main story arc. As I said earlier, the sheer volumes of nudity really were a put off. Ryoko is the one who gets to lose her clothing the most followed by Ayeka. To me, this was totally uncalled for and nearly caused me not to rate this as a "Buy".

Last updated Monday, November 27 2006. Created Monday, March 03 2003.
Buy 10 10 10 9 10 10 Hikari [series:35#406]
I don't really know what to say...Except that this is the best from the Tenchi Muyo saga!

Last updated Friday, December 13 2002. Created Friday, December 13 2002.
Buy 10 10 9 10 10 10 Cenit [series:35#45]
sigh, I don't think anything more needs to be said, this is the absolute climax in all of the Tenchi Muyo series, the one you-can't-miss-for-anything.

Last updated Thursday, May 30 2002. Created Thursday, May 30 2002.
Buy 10 10 10 10 10 10 Red XIV [series:35#309]
This is by far the best of the Tenchi series, for one simple reason. The characters. Some Tenchi Universe fans will no doubt be disappointed by the absence of Kiyone, but Ryoko, Ayeka, Sasami, Mihoshi, Washu, and Katsuhito all have far more complete backgrounds and personalities in the OAV series than in either of the TV series. These are the characters as they were always meant to be, accept no immitations. Unfortunately, I can't really get into say too much without spoiling the series for you, because the characters' backgrounds are so deeply and intricately tied to it. While at 13.5 (yes, thirteen and a half; you'll understand when you see it) episodes the OAV is only a little more than half the length of Tenchi Universe, it effectively has considerably more content, due to there being very little "filler" (scenes or entire episodes with no purpose other than lengthening the series). Even the one episode that might seem at first to be filler in fact provides some of the most significant character development and background insight of the series, and provides it to a character who most would've expected to be purely comic relief. This just illustrates what a perfect blend of comedy and serious storytelling Tenchi Muyo has. Many have tried to immitate this mix, but if any other series has succeeded, I would greatly appreciate if you would direct me to it.

One thing that you should know going in, though, is that this is not a single OAV. It's 2 OAVs. The 1st OAV, which spans the first 6 episodes, serves to introduce the characters, and revolves around the notorious criminal Kagato. The 7th episode takes place between the two series, and serves as the transition between them, giving us a look at how Tenchi is adapting to life with 5 alien women (and one spaceship that turns into a cat-rabbit hybrid). The remaining episodes are the 2nd OAV. The villain of this part, an old rival of Washu's, is actually fairly incidental to the series. The main focus of these episodes is character development, and setting up for future plotlines. That is why many people complain about the ending of the series: it doesn't have one. The story is still in progress, and most if not all of the elements the 2nd OAV hints at but leaves unresolved, particularly the mysterious Lady Tokimi and her unknown agenda, will be the main focus of the upcoming 3rd Tenchi Muyo OAV series, slated to be released in Japan next year. I know, I know. That's an awfully long gap; 9 years since the 2nd OAV was released. But explaining why it's taken that long would go well outside reviewing the anime.

I've been trying to remain impartial here, and not let my preference for certain characters shine through, but I'm sorry, I just can't do it. I can't give an honest opinion about this series without giving at least some mention to the beautiful but subtle hints at an upcoming romance between Tenchi and Ryoko. I know some fans will be ready to lynch me over that comment, but that doesn't really matter. Anyone familiar enough with the series to have their own character preference obviously doesn't need reviews, and besides, what I said is true. ;)

Last updated Monday, May 27 2002. Created Friday, May 17 2002.

Buy 9 8 8 8 8 The Coyote [series:35#64]
Ok I'am just kicking myself I can't belive I havn't reviewed this one of the Three Tenchi storylines out there this is the second best one. Tenchi Universe is far and away the best heck universe is one of the best anime series period. this one was good though and I really enjoyed watching ryoko hunt tenchi in the school that was fun. In my opinion any Tenchi is worth getting even Tenchi in Tyoko (and I know that is an unpopular opinion.) they leave this series totally unfinished which is really irritateing but you can get the Manga which follows this story line. the only apperance Kyone makes is in a episode where Mihoshi is basicly making up a story which is disapointing since she is my second favorite character (I am nuts about Ryoko) Most people seem to think this is the best series because it was first but really this is an uncompleated series at best so it really dosn't stand up to universe. But it is definatly worth bying

Last updated Sunday, November 25 2001. Created Sunday, November 25 2001.
Rent 8 8 8 7 5 0 X [series:35#157]
Simply put a great OAV series, the characters are great and the animation was great. It was funny and everyone has their pick of characters to choose and like...or hate. There is no real plot and no real theme to the series, its much like Seinfeld. Unfortunately, the series ended too soon, in fact the last show doesn't even look like and ending. It just seems like it was cut short. That may account for the story rates being so low because it doesn't seem like the series is over. Hopefully, the rumors of a third part OAV will come true, answering the questions that you will soon find at the end of the series and making the series complete... maybe.

Last updated Monday, March 19 2001. Created Monday, March 19 2001.
Watch 8 8 8 6 4 Midnighter [series:35#94]
After watching the entire run of Tenchi Universe, I was disappointed by the origional OAVs. Tenchi Universe is by far the better series, and in my opinion, this one isn't nearly as good. It's not as warm, less funny, and there's no Kiyone.
The characters have no time to develop depth in comparison and Ayeka is just creepy in the OAVs. I mean, she's what, Tenchi's great aunt by BLOOD and she's still going after him? I wasn't a fan of the whole incestuous Royal family thing they had going on here. But I guess fans with an incest fetish will feel right at home.
I found the story less interesting that the TV show, with too much filler that could have been used for character development as in the TV show, instead of for attempted jokes that fall flat or become repetitive. It is this failure of the jokes (probably a cultural differance problem) that really weakens the Tenchi OAVs. They just aren't very entertaining considering how much time is used for "humor."
The only area that is better than Tenchi Universe is the animation. Very high quality even for an OAV. But the animation can't save the Tenchi Oavs.
This series left me cold. I didn't care for it at all, as it was darker, impersonal, and less fun than the TV show. I watched the TV series first, so that may have something to do with it, but I enjoyed Tenchi Universe far more than the OAVs. Still, I'll watch anything Tenchi.
Updated 12-8-01

Last updated Wednesday, July 03 2002. Created Tuesday, March 06 2001.
Buy 8 8 8 5 10 Kaitou Juliet [series:35#137]

Some people will tell you this is the only Tenchi incarnation worth watching. I'm not in that camp, but this OVA series does have a lot going for it. For one thing, this is where it all started. For another, it has the most complex "world" of any of the Tenchi series: things like the Juraian trees and Tenchi's laser sword are explained in far more detail here than anywhere else. There are quite a few characters who never appear in any other Tenchi continuity (Tsunami, Funaho, Azusa). And if you're a fan of Ryoko or Washu, this series gives them the most interesting backstory.

On the other hand, this series strikes me as just a little crude and just a little cold in comparison to the TV series and the movies. So much plot is squeezed into 13 episodes that it affects the pacing; none of the plotlines ever develop much momentum because there's no time to spin out the stories. I find the OVA's to be more of an intellectual experience than an emotional one.

Overall, though, this is still a series that should not be missed, and one that holds up to repeated viewing.

Last updated Wednesday, August 07 2002. Created Thursday, February 22 2001.
Buy 10 10 10 8 10 10 Mark Clifton [series:35#126]
The original Tenchi Muyo! Series, and by far the best! Though it's more of a comedy, it does have a complex storyline, some of which is unexplained that can upset a few viewers. Overall though, you cannot go wrong with this original.
It is no wonder it has been able to create a barrage of spin-offs: the Mihoshi Special, Tenchi Muyo! TV (Tenchi Universe), Shin Tenchi Muyo! (Tenchi in Tokyo), Pretty Sammy OVA, Pretty Sammy TV (Magical Project S), three movies, and Galaxy Police (coming soon).

Last updated Tuesday, January 23 2001. Created Tuesday, January 23 2001.
Rent 9 9 7 8 7 7 Krisha [series:35#68]
If you get this title I recomend the DVD set, lots of fun extras. There is a lot of excessive nudity in this one so if you're offended by that I recomend watching the edited version.
The use of color is really great, and the animation is very good.
The end of it is a little confusing and leaves a lot of unanswered questions but some of these my be answered in the future release of a third OVA. Until thien, if you're looking for a more complete story I suggest getting Tenchi Universe.
Tenchi is a classic, and just one of those series that everyone sees at one time or another, so what are you waiting for?

Last updated Monday, July 08 2002. Created Saturday, November 18 2000.
Avoid 8 7 8 8 8 CatWoman [series:35#65]
This is the worst of the Tenchi series, sorry guys! It has way too much nudity and a lot of crud comedy. It has a good storyline but it does not make up for all the bad, and it is not nerly as sweet as Tenchi Universe. This is NOT for kids! If you want a really Tenchi story go and buy Tenchi Universe.

Last updated Thursday, July 27 2000. Created Thursday, July 27 2000.
Buy Jenn-chan [series:35#31]
The best of the Tenchi saga, the original OVAs are what it's all about! The technical aspects are tops, the characters are at their best, and the balance of comedy and drama is perfect. Buy this if nothing else of the Tenchi series.

Last updated Friday, April 28 2000. Created Friday, April 28 2000.

Other Sites
Tenchi Muyo! FAQ http://www.astronerdboy.com/tenchi/
A massive FAQ run by AstroNerdBoy for all canon TM!R information.

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