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REVIEW: Tenchi Muyo! OVA Series BD+DVD


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Covnam



Joined: 31 May 2005
Posts: 1414
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:39 am Reply with quote
That was an enjoyable review to read. I don't agree with every point, but I think that anyone who hasn't seen it would get a good feel for it. Definitely recommend it myself.

On a side note; Do people consider Oh My Goddess a harem anime? I know that when some of the girls show up they sometimes went after Keiichi, but that tended to be pretty short lived and the series is pretty focused on Keiichi and Belldandy's relationship.
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:44 am Reply with quote
Covnam wrote:
On a side note; Do people consider Oh My Goddess a harem anime? I know that when some of the girls show up they sometimes went after Keiichi, but that tended to be pretty short lived and the series is pretty focused on Keiichi and Belldandy's relationship.


People will assign the harem label to any anime or manga that has more than one female showing the most faint interest in the male lead, and vice-versa, so I would say AMG has been very haremy at times even if the core couple is the only part that matters. Very much like Ai Yori Aoshi in that respect, where all the girls like the protagonist, but the only possible outcome is the two leads. Although AMG's manga goes much further than any of the anime and reinforces the main pair several times, so it really comes down to loose or strict haremstructionists.

On that note, even taking a more strict approach that several girls do like the male lead and he lives with in the same residence, Ranma has Tenchi beat by years. It undeniably contains the same elements, even if Ranma is more oblivious and pigheaded than Tenchi at his worst.
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Arsenette



Joined: 02 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:52 am Reply with quote
Forgive me if this sounds like a stupid question. I have the DVD from Pioneer release (the one folded OVA set with Ryoko up front in a blue background). How would anyone that bought the Bluray compare the quality? Is it just an upscale? or a noticeable cleanup? I'm interested in getting the bluray but not sure how to compare it.
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Fronzel



Joined: 11 Sep 2003
Posts: 1906
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:17 am Reply with quote
If I'm not mistaken, Tenchi Muyo didn't invent the harem genre because Ranma 1/2 and Urusei Yatsura did it before, but did it redefine it in any way? For instance, was it an early instance of the harem lead as bland cipher? I actually haven't seen Ranma 1/2 or Urusei Yatsura, but from what little I know I get the impression that the leads of those shows have more personality than the modern harem non-entity.
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:20 am Reply with quote
Arsenette wrote:
Forgive me if this sounds like a stupid question. I have the DVD from Pioneer release (the one folded OVA set with Ryoko up front in a blue background). How would anyone that bought the Bluray compare the quality? Is it just an upscale? or a noticeable cleanup? I'm interested in getting the bluray but not sure how to compare it.


That's not a bad question, I'm kind of baffled these BD review articles make no mentions of how the picture has been improved (or not). Most new transfers are from film and done well enough, but there's still 3x3 Eyes and Master Keaton, which are downright frightening and I wonder how they even allowed them to happen.

Fronzel wrote:
If I'm not mistaken, Tenchi Muyo didn't invent the harem genre because Ranma 1/2 and Urusei Yatsura did it before, but did it redefine it in any way? For instance, was it an early instance of the harem lead as bland cipher? I actually haven't seen Ranma 1/2 or Urusei Yatsura, but from what little I know I get the impression that the leads of those shows have more personality than the modern harem non-entity.


Ranma is mostly just a jerk to every single person in the cast and only cares about training at every possible martial art he comes across, obsessively so. Ataru is a stronger and better character in every imaginable way, even though his main schtick is being a perverted lecher asking out every single woman he comes across. Tenchi perhaps exemplifies the empty shell main character with no strong traits of his own. He's just kind of there: bland, naive, nice, safe, unassuming.
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PurpleWarrior13



Joined: 05 Sep 2009
Posts: 1818
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:13 am Reply with quote
I watched Tenchi quite a bit on Toonami when I was younger, but I'm more into it now, and I can't get enough of the series. All the characters are very likable, and they really do feel like a family after a while.

Covnam wrote:
On a side note; Do people consider Oh My Goddess a harem anime? I know that when some of the girls show up they sometimes went after Keiichi, but that tended to be pretty short lived and the series is pretty focused on Keiichi and Belldandy's relationship.


I guess it's sort of a harem show, but not in the traditional sense. It's about a guy (a rather shy one, very similar to Tenchi in personality) living with a bunch of girls (three in his case). However, they're not all crushing out on him. The only one who's in love with him is Belldandy, and he loves Belldandy back. While Urd (who's very similar to Ryoko in personality) does act sexual towards Keiichi, she isn't trying to win him over. In fact, she tries to ASSIST him in winning over Belldandy at times. Skuld (who is similar to Sasami in personality) doesn't seem to have any sort of interest towards Keiichi at all. She is friendly to him, just not romantic.

Keep in mind that I've only seen the OVA, part of the movie, some of the mini-Goddess series, and a couple episodes of the TV series, but I mostly associate the series with the OVA, since that's what I remember and enjoy the most.

Tenchi, I guess, would be more of a straight harem since all the girls in the house have crushed out on Tenchi at least one point in the series. It's mostly Ryoko and Ayeka though. The others are more passive. When I was younger, I thought it was a little bizarre that Sasami, a girl two-thirds of Tenchi's age... had a crush on him.

Kiyone and Mihoshi seemed to be the least interested in Tenchi, and Washu... Washu was just straight-up infatuated with the poor dude...

Ranma 1/2 is not a harem. The show's premise was more based on fighting, and his relationship with Akane. Yes, he's living with three girls (sisters), but he's really only in a relationship with one of them (and even that's pretty messy). The show hardly acknowledges Nabiki or Kasumi outside of being Akane's sisters...

Tenchi isn't just a harem though. It's also got it's share of action/adventure, sci-fi, and fantasy elements in it.
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pachy_boy



Joined: 09 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:17 am Reply with quote
Wow, this review really captures everything that makes Tenchi Muyo stand out even today, whether it be as a harem series, an inventive sci-fi series, or just a classic title from the 1990's, I have almost nothing to comment on myself. I do need to mention that as far as cute animal mascots go, Ryo-ohki definitely remains unparalleled even today--how does one compete with a baby cat/rabbit hybrid? And Tenchi and the girls have never looked more crisp and clean as they do now on blu ray.
Quote:
You may want to give its later, increasingly uninteresting incarnations Tenchi Universe, a pass however.

Aside from Oh My Goddess being a "harem" series (only one of the girls is romantically involved with the lead guy, her sisters just happen to stay with her), this is the one part I must beg to differ with. Tenchi Universe takes all the characters and basic elements of Tenchi Muyo and exapands it into a more epic story with a beginning, a middle, and en end, the characters have different albeit still interesting interrelationships (Ryoko and Ayeka's history is made more personal and complicated and thus adds to their rivalry over Tenchi), capped off by two great movies.
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Animegomaniac



Joined: 16 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:47 am Reply with quote
pachy_boy wrote:
Quote:
You may want to give its later, increasingly uninteresting incarnations Tenchi Universe, a pass however.

Aside from Oh My Goddess being a "harem" series (only one of the girls is romantically involved with the lead guy, her sisters just happen to stay with her), this is the one part I must beg to differ with. Tenchi Universe takes all the basic elements of Tenchi Muyo and exapands it into a more epic story with a beginning, a middle, and en end, capped off by two great movies.


Which is why every other franchise add on avoided Tenchi Universe {and Tokyo} like it had an STD. Well, actually, it was because those two series took all the basic characters, added a useless mediator and stuck them in a grounded sci-fi fantasy setting.

Whith those two series, what you see is what they have. It's ... alright ... but it never fired up my imagination. Even in the first OVA episode, I always wondered "What's with the cat? Was it Shroedinger's?"

Everyything in the OVAs make sense in a way as it follows its own logic but they rarely take the time to explain why certain things pop up {Hello, floating Onsen!}, instead relying on repeat viewings and following episode throwaways and let the viewer to fill in the blanks. Or not.

And the Omake's Here Comes Jurai Part 2, right? Yeah, it's on the Ultimate set I have only it's not documented. Also, it's set after the final OAV 2 episode, you know, hence the name Part 2 {Also, it's Mihoshi getting debriefed by Washu so obviously... Oh, why bother as I'm sure you watched it and took notes...} But hey, thanks for trying.

Quote:

If you're puzzled as to why the harem comedy enjoyed the popularity it did


"Enjoyed"? Yeah, we're still getting two or three a cour, you know {and that's lowballing the number}. Actual ones, too, unlike Ah My Goddess! Oh, you mean by critics? They don't matter. Really...

Also, I'm not puzzled by it, I'm, what's the word, "entertained", yeah, that's it, "entertained" by it. Not because of wishfullfillment but because of the opposite. {If in any decent comedy, you wish to be the protagonist, learn to ask yourself "What's wrong with me?!"}

Also also, what I'd want to know if getting the BR an improvement over my overly mastered version. In my set-up, all those DVDs come off as fairly decent BR like, if not better if only because I don't have to buy them again.
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CrownKlown



Joined: 05 May 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:27 am Reply with quote
For those who care Harem is further suddivided into various cateogories, two of the main ones are balanced and supporting. Ah my goddess is the latter, its a harem where there is only one really possible choice, but some girls on the side show some supporting interest. Balanced harem is basically where for the most part its anyone's game through the majority of show.

UY when you think about was at best a supporting harem, but in reality it was two girls and then shinbou started going for rich guy, and basically at least 2/3rds of the 195 episodes really is only ataru and lum, with him trying to go after girls but none really show him interest, or at least not for romantic reasons or for very long.

Ranma Ill give you, but its not that far apart in time with Tenchi with Ranma being animated in 89 and Tenchi in 92. That being said, Tenchi really opened the door, at least in the west, at least in part to its run on tv unlike ranma. In addition to that the females of Tenchi are just flat out a lot more interesting. And Tenchi role in the show is even lampooned by the title, no need for Tenchi; it was done intentionally to build up the female love interest first. It also did not help that fact that both Ranma and UY were ungodly long, and it was easier for people to watch 12 episodes of Tenchi versus at minimum 160 plus for Ranma. Dont get me wrong Ranma is my second favorite harem, behind only Tenchi, and both are in my top ten, but Id wager far more people have seen Tenchi than Ranma. Few have seen UY probably due to no TV run and the unfortunate licensing of it and Kimagure by Animeigo of all companies.


I must say though I am shocked. Tenchi is probably one of only a small handful of anime where I would say the Dub is a lot better than Sub. So I am surprised that the Sub got the higher rating.

One other thing, could not Funimation throw us a bone, and bring over the 101 Tenchi questions faq as a bonus?
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belvadeer



Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Posts: 4678
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:37 am Reply with quote
Again with more ripping on the dub. Have you heard Japanese Ayeka, Carl? She's too damn shrill.
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ElectricDork



Joined: 08 Apr 2010
Posts: 73
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:13 am Reply with quote
I loved the Tenchi OVA back when it was first released, but wasn't so impressed after a recent rewatch. The design and music are still as great, though.

One thing that struck me during the rewatch was that despite Tenchi having a reputation as the prototypical bland male harem lead, he actually had a personality for a whole episode or two. In the opening moments of the show we see a rebellious Tenchi defying an explicit order from his Grandfather, and later he punches a classmate square on the nose. After that, though, he ceased to be an interesting character.

Ryoko was at her best in those first couple of episodes, too. I don't think her drunken confession (with flashback) to Ayeka in episode 5--spoiler[that she'd watched over Tenchi since he was a kid and just wanted to be by his side (why try to kill him in episode 1, then?!)]--did her character no favors at all in my opinion.

So yeah. Looks great and sounds great, but I think El Hazard has aged better.
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Arsenette



Joined: 02 Jun 2011
Posts: 175
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:23 am Reply with quote
walw6pK4Alo wrote:
Arsenette wrote:
Forgive me if this sounds like a stupid question. I have the DVD from Pioneer release (the one folded OVA set with Ryoko up front in a blue background). How would anyone that bought the Bluray compare the quality? Is it just an upscale? or a noticeable cleanup? I'm interested in getting the bluray but not sure how to compare it.


That's not a bad question, I'm kind of baffled these BD review articles make no mentions of how the picture has been improved (or not). Most new transfers are from film and done well enough, but there's still 3x3 Eyes and Master Keaton, which are downright frightening and I wonder how they even allowed them to happen.


So I have to wait until someone else who compared both to come up with another review.. sucks.. I usually like the bluray comparison reviews. I guess this one isn't one. Embarassed
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The King of Harts



Joined: 05 May 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:32 am Reply with quote
PurpleWarrior13 wrote:
Ranma 1/2 is not a harem. The show's premise was more based on fighting, and his relationship with Akane. Yes, he's living with three girls (sisters), but he's really only in a relationship with one of them (and even that's pretty messy). The show hardly acknowledges Nabiki or Kasumi outside of being Akane's sisters...

Like hell it isn't. I don't know why you're focusing on the sisters, but forgetting Shampoo, Ukyo, and Kuno. That's four girls that love the main character, making it a harem.
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jibrilmudo



Joined: 05 Nov 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:46 am Reply with quote
From the review:
Quote:
− No male-female chemistry; second half lacks the cohesion and closure, as well as the dreamlike atmosphere, of the first.


Well, I'm glad TM!R OAV aged well enough for a generally favorable review although I have never quite seen OAV1 described as having a dreamlike atmosphere? Same with the criticism of cohesion for OAV2 <.<

While I need to see the Funimation Blu-Ray firsthand, I know Funimation generally shitifies the DVD encoding compared to the Japanese releases, so I'm thinking the A- on the art may be too high compared to what we could be getting but not sure. With the DVD's, It's something easy to miss without side by side comparisons, but the end result usually looks looks like someone at Funimation applied a layer of light Gaussian Blur to their DVDs.

Covnam wrote:
On a side note; Do people consider Oh My Goddess a harem anime?


Debateable. Unlike TM!R, AMG really only has one real contender and Keiichi shows a prolonged interest in Belldandy. Any interest Urd shows is usually not for it's own sake or to pursue him but usually with some ulterior motive. Same goes with the other girls.

For me, a true harem anime needs to have the possibility of an actual harem developing as well. AMG canon has nearly none of that.
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PurpleWarrior13



Joined: 05 Sep 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:13 am Reply with quote
The King of Harts wrote:
PurpleWarrior13 wrote:
Ranma 1/2 is not a harem. The show's premise was more based on fighting, and his relationship with Akane. Yes, he's living with three girls (sisters), but he's really only in a relationship with one of them (and even that's pretty messy). The show hardly acknowledges Nabiki or Kasumi outside of being Akane's sisters...

Like hell it isn't. I don't know why you're focusing on the sisters, but forgetting Shampoo, Ukyo, and Kuno. That's four girls that love the main character, making it a harem.


Yes, the main character has a few girls with crushes on him, but it's not like it's the premise of the show. Ranma 1/2 is a show about fighting, and it's premise involves fighting (and Ranma's gender-bending), with maybe some harem elements, but a show with a few girls being attracted to the main character does not automatically make it a harem.
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