Tenchi Muyo Ultimate Edition (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, February 18, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, June 01, 1999
This box will continue to sell no matter what I have to say, but I thought I'd still put in my two cents about it. On the technical side, this disc is near perfect. The picture is absolutely gorgeous, and the audio is crystal clear. Speaking of the audio, this is one of the few discs I've seen where the Japanese language track seems to have been given priority, receiving a 5.1 remix for the theme and being the default language. Of course, not being one to slack off, Pioneer also gave a wonderful treatment to their excellent dub.
If anyone is a little unsure about spending $120 on thirteen episodes, let me quell your fears right now. The Tenchi OVAs are what started the entire franchise, and are still the best series in the franchise (the only thing of equal quality are the movies). And you get all thirteen in one convenient package. The only thing missing is the Mihoshi's Special OVA.
For those of you who don't know, the Tenchi OVAs are divided into two series, with episode 7 being a one-shot adventure animated between the two. The division is clear when you look at the story. The first six episodes do a wonderful job introducing all the main characters, and cumulate in a battle with one of the coolest anime villains ever.
The fight with Kagato has great pacing and animation, and a decent smattering of humor throughout, which is what the Tenchi OVAs are best at.
Although I didn't find them as bad as some, it has to be said the second OVA series isn't as well done as the first. The stories are all over the place, with the central one seeming to involve the goddess Lady Tokimi. Unfortunately, this plotline is never resolved, leaving lots of questions after the thirteenth episode. Still, the series has it's moments, and Ayeka and Sasami's dysfunctional family is absolutely hilarious.
In short, if you're new to anime or have somehow managed to avoid seeing this series, buy it now. If you saw one of the two TV series and weren't impressed, give the far superior OVAs a chance. With the long-rumored 3rd OVA nearing completion, now's the perfect time to check out the series before we finally find out what happens to everyone (and hopefully see Kiyone).
KHL DVD 221, RCA 21" TV
Mania Grade: A+
Audio Rating: A+
Video Rating: A+
Packaging Rating: A+
Menus Rating: C
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
Running time: 420
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Tenchi Muyo