Tenchi Universe Vol. #1 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, February 18, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, June 20, 2000
Finally Tenchi Universe has made it to DVD! Let me tell you, it was worth the wait. First off I'll start with a bit of technical issues, this disc is up to Pioneer's usual DVD quality, as far as the functions work. I did take time to watch all four of the episodes subbed and dubbed (for fairness' sake) and I did find some problems in the subbed version. For the most part, the subs were an accurate translation until episode four rolled around. It would seem like it was dubtitled! Such as Ayeka saying "Tench-sama" which is roughly "Lord Tenchi" as it was subbed in episodes one through three. It is now just "Tenchi", not to mention all the added words and inaccurate translations.
Next let me comment on the dubbing on this Tenchi disc. It was superb to say the least, all the original actors are back and they never sounded better. One example would be how Matt K. Miller handles Tenchi's voice now, it is not as dead-flat no emotion as it was for most of the OAV series. Most of the other actors play their parts better as well, some better than others, but for the most part very well. I like this because this is one of the shows that I don't care to watch sub or dub (unlike my usual subtitled self). I applaud the way that Pioneer doesn't just try to find people that sound just like the Japanese version, but rather give a character a voice that they think fits the personality. Way to go Pioneer, Central Park Media could take some notes.
Another thing that I must comment on is the audio/video quality. If you have ever watched Tenchi on VHS, this is gonna look like you were watching the wrong show! The video is crisp and clear, although it does have some hints of the "Rainbow effect". Nevertheless this is solid good quality video. Now onto the audio, which I found some odd surprises in. The major one is that the Japanese track seems louder than the English dub track. This may not be a big problem, but from what anime disc I have seen, it is usually the other way around. Even though the volume levels are different, the clearness of the language is good for both of the tracks.
On my closing note, many people do have problems accepting the alternate stories between this and the OAVs. Keep in mind that this is a re-telling of the story, not a sequel. This volume introduces most of the main cast with the exception of the new one (No spoilers, although I'm sure you can guess). This is a really great series and explains more about the characters than the OAV did. Plus, get to see what the "Green Tea" really was on Cartoon Network!
36' Sanyo TV. GE Digital Video Disc Player, Dolby Digital (AC-3),Spatializer N-2-2 3D Sound. Monster S-Video cable. GE1105P
Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: A-
Video Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: A-
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Tenchi Universe