Tenchi Universe (Tenchi Muyo! TV)

May 4, 2008 on 5:58 pm | In Tenchi Muyo! | Comments Off on Tenchi Universe (Tenchi Muyo! TV)

Because everyone wants a pet spaceship.

It’s Conflicting Views Theatre! On the one hand, Tenchi Universe is way too long and largely pointless, with some good story episodes; on another hand it was pretty charming and honestly, what could you cut out of it? I really don’t know. I probably own one of the last copies sold in the Northern Hemisphere (barring Japan, of course, which I think you’ll find actually exists in a continuity separate from our own), so getting it is largely a moot point until, say, Funimation picks the rights from the corpse of Geneon.

Continue reading Tenchi Universe (Tenchi Muyo! TV)…

Magical Girl Pretty Sammy

October 10, 2004 on 1:28 pm | In Pretty Sammy, Tenchi Muyo! | Comments Off on Magical Girl Pretty Sammy

Magical Girl Pretty Sammy is probably the most “spun off” of the Tenchi Muyo! franchises because it bears so little resemblance to any of the others. For all of the alternate universes, the Tenchi story is pretty constant. Magical Girl Pretty Sammy is the second incarnation of the Pretty Sammy legend, and the first one that was developed beyond a throwaway joke. The best thing about the legends of the Pretty Sammy character is that they’re satirical and subversive while remaining perfect magical girl fare.

In the magical world of Jurai-helm, the time has come to appoint a queen. The council of elders has decided that Tsunami would be most suitable, and she must pass the final test: to do this, she appoints Kawai Sasami of Earth to use her powers for good by becoming Pretty Sammy. The other candidate for queen, Ramiya, is not happy with this at all and creates a magical girl of her own: Pixy Misa, born of Sasami’s best friend.

Oddly enough, Pretty Sammy works better if you’ve seen the alternate TV series Magical Project S: that goes somewhere, which gives this OVA licence to be a few short stories without having to really delve into Misao’s sadness or her home life. It doesn’t really try, and probably shouldn’t have really made allusions to these things, because that’s not what this is all about. It’s about Ryoko and Ayeka fighting over Tenchi, Tenchi inexplicably not making a move on either of the two girls who are totally into him, Ayeka having a team of school girl servants (highly reminiscent of B-ko) and the power of Sasami’s friendship.
It’s not an emotional series; the third episode has some saddening moments, but primarily this is all about the laughter. Any scenes with Sasami’s mother (different to the TV version; the Kawai family is here a single parent household) are guaranteed hilarity as she is obsessed with karaoke and takes every opportunity to sing subversive enka songs (the second ED is about a woman crying over losing her love to another man – the hook being “Gay love is making me sad”).
The second episode’s villain, Bif Standard, is hooked on the idea of standardising computers and software throughout the world. When criticised for the slowness of his system, he yells that speed must be sacrificed for stability. For some reason, his idea of stability is crashing the moon into the Earth, thus doing away with war and poverty. When he sees the error of his ways, it’s that he hasn’t aimed high enough – at which point Sammy asks if she can beat him up.

Matsumoto Rika is great as Kawai Chihiro, the woman who simply can not function without some karaoke in her life, and the rest of the traditional Tenchi Muyo! cast do their jobs and do them well. There’s a little bit of fan service, only one real naked transformation sequence, and some very disturbing animation in the OP that Sasami has to block by laughing it off. Creator Hayashi Hiroki did a good job of integrating all of the elements to make a very Tenchified yet independent OVA series, and directors Hirokawa Kazuyuki and Kikuchi Yasuhito direct with finesse. Hit and miss writer Kuroda Yosuke (Okay, he’s only had one real dud) is sharp and to the point, making for an ultimately very enjoyable comedy.

It may not be as “good” as Magical Project S, but because that TV series exists it doesn’t have to be. Magical Girl Pretty Sammy is a frequently hilarious three episode OVA that comes highly recommended for all people who like this kind of stuff. Watching this makes one reflect on how unfortunate it was that Magical Project S wasn’t dubbed; this Tenchi property could have conquered the world.

Tenchi Muyo! Galaxy Police Mihoshi’s Space Adventure

October 9, 2004 on 11:26 pm | In Tenchi Muyo! | Comments Off on Tenchi Muyo! Galaxy Police Mihoshi’s Space Adventure

The Tenchi Muyo! franchise is something that anime people either love or hate. Allegedly it’s one of the prime examples of the harem genre, but it’s really just a wacky space adventure. With onsen here and there. Despite the original OVA not being about anything in particular, it was enjoyable. The “love triangle” was not explored very well, which was actually a mercy, and it puts a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.
Mihoshi’s Space Adventure is a one shot OVA set loosely in the original universe. At 25 minutes, it’s brief but enjoyable. The DVD is padded out by a two hour dosage of Pretty Sammy.

After waking from a day dream, Mihoshi wants to appear of some use to Tenchi and his group by telling them of a case she solved as a member of the Galaxy Police. She’s not too clear of the details, however, and casts her friends in the roles (“to make it easier for you to follow” she explains to her audience). Space pirate Ryoko kidnaps Tenchi while stealing ultra energy something-or-other, and Mihoshi and beleaguered partner Kiyone are asked by desperate self proclaimed fiancée and “old woman” Ayeka to rescue him. Sasami and Ryo-Ohki go along for the ride too, to make tea.
Just how much of this is true is anyone’s guess; I doubt that Mihoshi would deliberately represent herself as that stupid, and Kiyone actually does exist. It was a nice way of writing her into the Tenchi continuity and explaining her absence at once.

It’s a simple OVA, which is mainly just about comedy. The story is coherent without being overly important, and the jokes are fast and never laboured. It also features what is probably the first documented appearance of Pretty Sammy, which makes three different Sammy continuities – and the way this one is just thrown in for the sake of it makes it more credible and hilarious as Mihoshi’s story. Comedy stories are mainly made of jokes, when they don’t have character development and overarcing stories to support them, so there’s little point in going into more detail short of saying this is nice and sweet.

This has the standard OVA production qualities, and Mizutani Yuko does an excellent job of the faux-serious Mihoshi. The only thing that is freaky is Pretty Sammy’s nude-transformation sequence, which is really par for magical girls. It’s brief and unrevealing, but definitely weird. The OP is a great fairy tale dream sequence about Mihoshi and Ryo-ohki going on an eating adventure, and the ED is the genesis of a Pretty Sammy story with entirely different villains to the other two versions. It would probably have done better without the periodical real world interventions, but it’s fine as it is.

Mihoshi’s Space Adventure is humble Tenchi Muyo! fare, and recommended for any who liked the OVA series. Well, not really. Tenchi fans can be a bit crazy and inconsistent … (rather like the franchise itself, allegedly). It’s just a random bit of fun, and not harmful in the slightest.

Magical Project S – Episodes 22 to 26

March 17, 2004 on 11:16 pm | In Pretty Sammy, Tenchi Muyo! | Comments Off on Magical Project S – Episodes 22 to 26

This series peaked many times in the last ten episodes. Each time it reached one, it jumped right over to the next. It may be a terrible analogy, but Magical Project S was mountain goat anime.

It became terribly weird to watch anime in which Aeka was the ultimate evil and Ryoko was a devoted and loyal servant of Juraihelm, but these aren’t the same characters as before. Ryo-Ohki had human intelligence and an entirely different gender (which is why he was so embarrassed to be in the bath with Sasami). Sasami was a very good lead and Misao was great when she emerged from her chrysalis.

The final ten episodes raised Magical Project S from a simply enjoyable series to a rockin’ fun great series. That said, it’s not simply a case of “tolerating” the first fifteen. Development was handled very well and Tsunami was great, although quite how she was fit for ruling I’m not sure. But that’s the whole point!

The omake movie trailer was hilarious, and I wish all fake movies could be like that. It took a while for me to warm to the second ED, but it grew on me for sure. A good series has an ending that makes you sad to see it go, but ultimately satisfies. Magical Project S did just that.
It was a triumph of direction for Akiyama Katsuhito, who directed the worst thing that I watched last year – Armitage III: Dual-Matrix. When he works with traditional AIC material, he is a king.

Magical Project S – Episode 1

March 11, 2004 on 11:25 pm | In Tenchi Muyo! | Comments Off on Magical Project S – Episode 1

Traditional AIC! Probably don’t need to have seen Tenchi Muyo! to watch this, but it makes the idea of Mihoshi as a teacher the funniest thing ever. Also it questions the species of Ryo-Ohki. I can see where Pixy Misa’s parrot was formed from, but who was transformed into Ryo-Ohki?
It looks like it will tread the fine line between conviction and over the top. And English is always funny.

Anime comedy is alive and well!

Powered by WordPress with Pool theme design by Borja Fernandez.
Entries and comments feeds. Valid XHTML and CSS. ^Top^