Tenchi Muyo OVA Vol. #3 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: N/A
  • Menus Rating: B-
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 12 & Up
  • Region: 2 - Europe
  • Released By: MVM Entertainment
  • MSRP: £19.99
  • Running time: 135
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Tenchi Muyo

Tenchi Muyo OVA Vol. #3

By Dani Moure     August 15, 2005
Release Date: August 02, 2004


Tenchi Muyo OVA Vol. #3
© MVM Entertainment


What They Say
The power hungry Dr. Clay agrees to bring Washu before Tokimi, one of the powerful beings in the Universe. What will this mean for Ryoko and Washu? Finally, Ayeka's father arrives from Jurai to bring her back home to be married, but even the King of the Jurai falls prey to the chaos surrounding Tenchi!

Episodes Comprise
10 - I Love Tenchi
11 - The Advent of Goddess
12 - Zero Ryoko
13 - Here Comes Jurai

The Review!
Tenchi Muyo's second OVA series rounds out with a collection of fun episodes, but without the same sense of drama that the first OVA series had.

Audio:
As before, audio is provided in Japanese 5.1 and Japanese & English 2.0 versions. I listened primarily to the Japanese 5.1 track and spot-checked the other two audio tracks at various stages. While the 5.1 track doesn't make as much use of the rear channels as I would have liked, it is clear, with dialogue easy to pick out and no obvious problems. Both 2.0 tracks appear to be similarly problem-free, and the English track includes translated versions of the theme songs that are equally as good as the Japanese originals.

Video:
Video is presented in its original 1.33:1 full-frame format, and looks good for its age. The picture is bright and colourful, and only a slight amount of graininess detracts from the quality. There were no obvious encoding problems.

Packaging:
No packaging was provided with our review copy.

Menu:
As with the previous volumes, the main menu features a static image of Tenchi with the girls behind him, on a background of clouds & with some clips from the show playing in a window on one side of the screen. The opening theme from the early episodes plays throughout. There are submenus for episode select, language setup and previews - Ryoko features on the episode select screen, Mihoshi on the language setup. It's all simple enough to use, with quick transitions between the various screens.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
Four episodes that between them tell three stories. The first episode focuses on Ryo-ohki and its feelings for Tenchi - it seems the little critter is keen to join his harem, and tries to turn to Wasshu for help. She's a little too busy with her experiments to be able to pay much attention, but the creatures in her 'zoo' include one that along with being able to take whatever shape it likes, is able to respond to the emotions of other creatures, and picking up on Ryo-ohki's longing to spend time with Tenchi gives them ideas of their own.

This episode's a bit of harmless fun that leads to Ryo-ohki gaining another, more human-like form that it can spend time in, as if being able to become a spaceship wasn't enough. It also leaves me wondering if there's any limit to Tenchi's legendary pulling power.

The next two episodes introduce another intergalactic bad guy for the gang to deal with, in the form of Dr Clay and his robotic sidekick Zero. Dr Clay has a rivalry with Wasshu that goes back thousands of years. While Wasshu was sealed away for most of that time, Dr Clay was left to stew on their rivalry, so when he learns that the all-powerful Lady Tokimi, one of the most powerful beings in the universe, has an interest in capturing Wasshu he's only too keen to volunteer for the job. His plan is for Zero to get close to Wasshu by taking Ryoko's place, but Zero does too good a job of copying Ryoko and ends up with her emotions as well as her looks - meaning that when the time comes for a direct confrontation between Dr Clay and Tenchi & co, Zero sides with the man she's discovered she loves.

There are definitely some similarities between these episodes and the final battle between Kagato and the gang, although Dr Clay doesn't have the same sense of impending doom around him that Kagato had - he's more a figure of fun than a real threat. With Zero joining the long list of female characters that are unable to resist Tenchi's charms, you again have to wonder if there's anyone he can't impress in some way or another, but at least this time her feelings have a reasonable explanation in the way she inherits them from Ryoko. Zero almost makes a better Ryoko than Ryoko herself, as she's a lot more honest about her feelings and less confrontational in most circumstances. Wasshu's solution of 'merging' Ryoko and Zero together at the end of the story initially brings a little of Zero's honesty to Ryoko, but unfortunately the reset button is pressed before the final episode and that aspect of her personality quickly disappears, which for me was a real shame.

The final episode brings the Jurai royal family to Earth - Lady Misaki to check on how her daughters are doing, Lady Funaho to check on Nobuyuki and the King to present Ayeka with her new fiance, Seiryo - and a demand for her and Sasami to return home. Naturally, none of the girls are keen on leaving Tenchi's side, and the king decides on a duel between Tenchi and Seiryo to settle matters.

After hearing about Jurai so much at various stages in the series, it was good to see the rest of the royal family make an appearance, if only to see that Ayeka's and Sasami's occasionally goofy behaviour is definitely hereditary. Misaki steals the show with her over-the-top loving for her daughters, to the point where anyone who dares to say anything against them risks real pain as a result - she's definitely one of my favourite side characters from the series.

Tokimi makes another appearance in a short epilogue 'mini-episode' that raises more questions than it answers and from what I can tell sets things up for the third OVA series. All I can say is that if I'd watched these episodes when they were originally released, the 8-year gap between series would have been a killer.

In Summary:
Having watched these as a Tenchi newbie, I have to admit the harem element wasn't as in-your-face as I expected it to be, which is a good thing. The variety of the stories, from day-in-the-life to battles in space, means that the setting doesn't get tired. Add in a great cast of characters you get a series that's hard not to like. Tenchi Muyo! is well worth checking out if you haven't already seen it.

Features
Japanese 5.1 Language,Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Panasonic TX-W28R30P 28" widescreen TV; Pioneer DV-626D player; Acoustic Solutions DS-222 5.1 speaker system.

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