Masaki Tenchi's problems all started when he visited the old shrine without his grandfather's permission that one fateful summer afternoon. His grandfather told him that a ruthless demon and the legendary sword that defeated her were locked inside, and as a typical teenaged male, he was curious and wanted to see the old legend for himself.
Of course, legend quickly turned to reality, and Tenchi soon found himself in the company of a rather cute and affectionate "demon" named Ryoko. And then Aeka, the Juraian princess, arrived soon after, looking for her long-lost brother to wed (it's a long, long story) and for Ryoko to arrest (of course she just ends up falling for Tenchi instead) with her little sister Sasami in tow. And then Ryo-Ohki appeared, who looks like a cross between a cat and a rabbit but is actually Ryoko's powerful spaceship (or is that the other way around?), and the the ditzy Galaxy Policewoman Mihoshi arrived (who also develops a crush for Tenchi), and the mad (but cute) genius Washu, and ...
Not to mention that Tenchi happens to posssess a power crucial to the protection of the universe, and that power is heavily sought-after by various powers and interests. Yes, it looks like life will be very interesting for Tenchi indeed ...
Anyone who hasn't heard of this incredibly fun series should immediately go out and rent themselves some episodes of this thing. Tenchi Muyo! is one of the most popular anime titles there is, and for good reason.
The art and animation of this series is very nice indeed, with bold, vivid colors and lines to stylize the characters just the way anime fans love. The art also tends to go super-crude for brief instances, but only for humorous effect. Animation of the action sequences is fluid and smart, with some really neat effects to be found in some of the scenes.
The soundtrack is pretty cool, too, capturing the excitement and non-stop zaniness contained within the series. In grand Pioneer style, dubbing is done fairly well, and some of the lines are actually funnier in the English translation than in the subtitled version (although purists will no doubt cry foul). Characters are all wacky and fun to have around, even if they're a bit exaggerated at times. The interaction between the characters make for some of the wackiest comedy you'll find anywhere.
Plot is actually quite smart and complex, with surprising plot-twists and jaw-dropping developments to be had as you delve deeper and deeper into the series. Some of the events are actually quite touching and poignant, and clues are skillfully dispersed throughout the episodes, keeping you guessing until the end.
In short, a fun and zany series even the most serious-minded can enjoy.
No need for Tenchi? I think not. — Raphael See
Recommended Audience: Some cartoon-style violence, along with some serious bits late in the series that little kids might not appreciate. Also, the humor sometimes skirts rather close to the ecchi-border, even though little kids probably won't notice. A substantial amount of casual nudity is to be found in a few of the episodes. Probably okay for most audiences.
Version(s) Viewed: VHS, English dub; VHS, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Full (6/6)
Tenchi Muyo! © 1991 AIC / Pioneer LDC
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