No Need for Tenchi (Action series) Vol. #01 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Art Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 9.95
  • Pages: 182
  • ISBN: 1-59116-610-1
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

No Need for Tenchi (Action series) Vol. #01

By Matthew Alexander     April 05, 2006
Release Date: October 01, 2004


No Need for Tenchi (Action series) Vol.#01
© Viz Media


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Hitoshi Okuda
Translated by:Shuko Shikata
Adapted by:

What They Say
THE GANG'S ALL HERE!

All your favorite characters from Pioneer's hit anime series NO Need For Tenchi! Have crowded into one volume of action, comedy, and two-fisted romance!

The trouble and fun all began when ordinary teenager Tenchi Masaki inadvertently released the legendary demon Ryoko from his grandfather's shrine. Turned out Ryoko was actually a marooned space pirate! Since then, she's become Tenchi's unwanted houseguest, attracting a host of other troublemaking alien women: Ayeka, a haughty alien princess; Sasami, her mischievous little sister; and Washu, Ryoko's mad-scientist "mother". Add Ryo-oh-Ki, an adorable little carrot-eating spaceship, and you've got one full Shinto shrine!

Now Tenchi's troubles double-in the form of Minagi, a dead-ringer for Ryoko, who attacks our hapless friends and then conveniently develops amnesia. But Minagi is just a pawn of the alien warrior Yakage, who plans to steal Tenchi's miraculous sword and abduct Ayeka. And the only hero who has what it takes to rescue the kidnapped princess is . . . Ryoko?!

The Review
Packaging:
This Viz 'Action' version of No Need For Tenchi! is a re-release of the older English formatted version. Happily, the 'Action' version has been returned to its original Japanese format, Right-to-Left, along with being re-lettered and re-edited. The front cover of this title is simple enough, depicting Ryoko with Ryo-Oh-Ki holding onto her shoulder. The background is a simple color spectrum leading from yellow in the right top corner and fading into dark red on the opposite corner, and the title is written in black text with red shadow. The printing is very nice and clean, especially considering the wide spectrum of shading which remains crisp from start to finish. Another very nice touch is the stand-alone picture at the start of each chapter consisting of various characters or a collage of characters. Although I am very impressed with the packaging, my only complaint is that some of the artwork and text suffers from being printed to close to the books spine, making it difficult to read some of the dialogue.

For anyone who is unfamiliar with the Tenchi universe or anyone on a return visit, there are some welcome extras, including notes from the author/artist and the Viz editor. There is also a table of contents and a nice introduction to the characters, as well as a prologue to explain where the story picks up.

Artwork:
The artwork is excellent, with exciting panel layout for action scenes and successfully depicted humor. The clean lines and wide range of shading are masterfully conveyed by the great printing job by Viz. I really enjoyed the many close-up panels depicting the characters' mouth or eyes, only highlighting the particular feelings of the character. The artist also did a good job of illustrating the characters' emotion with their facial expression, especially the wide variety of emotions for Ryoko and Washu. Although, there is very little detail in the backgrounds and the action scenes could perhaps use a tad more detail, it really goes unnoticed because Ryoko and Sasami are so damn cute.

Text/SFX:
The text reads with a nice flow that was helped along by the absence of spelling and grammatical errors. This translation stays true to the anime usage of terms such as 'Mr. Tenchi' and lacks Japanese honorifics. The original SFX are translated and overlain, which I'm very happy to see considering all the action scenes and my inability to read Japanese.

Contents: (Oh yes, there may be spoilers)
This series picks up where the Tenchi Muyo OVA left off, with Ryoko, Ayeka, Sasami, Washu, and Mihoshi living with Tenchi Misaki and his father. Since the battle with Kagato, life for the occupants of the Misaki household has been fairly relaxed, aside from the constant battle between Ryoko and Ayeka. Tenchi continues to train with his grandfather Yosho and everyone seems to find plenty of reasons to spend their time eating and enjoying life.

Everything comes screeching to a halt with the appearance of a Ryoko look alike named Minagi who claims to be out for revenge against Tenchi for the defeat of Kagato (Woohoo! Two Ryoko's for the price of one). As expected, Ryoko takes an exception to someone with her looks and powers attacking Tenchi. So a battle of similar abilities ensues between Minagi and Ryoko, until Minagi is taken prisoner. In the process, Minagi is struck hard enough to leave her with amnesia and unable to remember whom she is or what she was doing on Earth.

Eventually, Minagi's master, scar-faced Yakage, arrives to claim her and challenges Tenchi to a duel in hopes of stripping him of his family sword. Yakage appears to be a pretty tough character, but he fights Tenchi with his two flying guardians, which look remarkably similar to Ayeka's guardians. Tenchi takes a pretty good beating and eventually Yakage decides Tenchi won't make a very good opponent, so he takes Ayeka as a hostage and tells Tenchi he has ten days to prepare for their final battle.

Tenchi refuses to wait the ten days and tries to use Ryo-Oh-Ki to pursue Yakage. But in a touching scene, we see Ryoko's love for Tenchi surpass her dislike for Ayeka as she sucker punches Tenchi and leaves without him in hopes of protecting him from Yakage. With Washu's help, Ryoko eventually tracks down Yakage's ship and attempts to free Ayeka after she scolds her for being a selfish little princess waiting for Tenchi to come to her rescue. It's moments like these that affirm my personal preference for Ryoko. She may be brash on the exterior, but she's really sensitive and understanding, whereas Ayeka normally puts up a front of the humble princess until push comes to shove and her true colors of pettiness and an air of superiority comes to the surface.

Ryoko does her best, but Yakage proves to be the stronger of the two. Luckily, Washu steps in to save Ryoko and demands to know what it is Yakage wants. He only answers with the wish to battle Tenchi and sends Washu and the wounded Ryoko on their way. Who exactly is Yakage and how strong is he? Why does he want Tenchi's sword? Can Tenchi hope to defeat him with only ten extra days of training?

Comments
Viz did an excellent job with the printing of this title with the one exception of cutting a few pages too close and forcing the reader to really spread the book open to get to some of the text near the spine. No Need For Tenchi! volume one has a great story with a lot of humor and a fair amount of action sprinkled throughout. The author does a good job of introducing the characters and their personalities for anyone new to the Tenchi universe, and allows Tenchi fans to pick up right where they may have left off. Some people may be bored with Tenchi in all his incarnations but this volume has excellent artwork and a really good pace to it, and I'm curious to see if the author can keep the story interesting and well paced for the remaining eleven volumes.

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