Mania Grade: A+
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- Audio Rating: A
- Video Rating: A+
- Packaging Rating: A
- Menus Rating: A-
- Extras Rating: A+
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
- MSRP: 119.99
- Running time: 420
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Tenchi Muyo
Tenchi Muyo Ultimate Edition
By Abraham Chinchilla Jr.
May 17, 2002
Release Date: June 01, 1999
Tenchi Muyo! has became a favorite of mine since I saw it on Cartoon Network, and rented the movies, and purchased a few of the videos. Now, I have finally been able to get my hands on this awesome collection. All 13 current OVA episodes are all available in this one "Ultimate Edition" set.
We are offered two audio options, a Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 track, and an English Stereo track. Both tracks are very nicely done. The Japanese audio is the default here, I guess because of it's remastered DD 5.1 sound. The Japanese track has no drop-outs or disortions. The first opening also has a remixed version on the DD 5.1 soundtrack. The English track, though Stereo, is still very good, and I heard no drop-outs or disortions. For subtitles, you have an English track that translates the Japanese version, and an English track for Closed Captioning. New Generation Pictures does a great job on the subtitles.
The picture has also got some remastering treatment. It has been THX Digitally Remastered. While nearly four hours are placed onto both dual layered discs, the picture is very clean. There is some artifacting in the first opening and in the darker colors of the show, but it's not really a problem. I've never seen such nice picture quality for an OVA series.
Packaged in a Digi-Pack in a clear slipcase, the packaging is rather good. Featuring an awesome picture of Ryoko holding her demon mask and a newer logo (different from the VHS). The back has a gray-ish picture of Ayeka listing all 13 episode titles. When the digi-pack is opened once, you get nice artwork on the right side. Open it again, and you have four spots, three for the three discs, and one which holds the insert. The insert is pretty simple. The image behind the disc holders is quite spoiler-ish for new viewers, while there are previous viewers who have already easily figured this "secret" out before. The discs are quite simple as well, with assorted colors.
The menus are pretty simple on the first two discs. Static screens with some great background playing. The first disc's main menu features a piece of artwork which seems to be for the fourth OVA. The scenes menu simply lists the seven episodes on the disc. No other chapter stops except for each episode, which is fine (since I've made a list of stops for me to simply GO TO the certain time). The set-up menu has a picture of Washu with the three gems hovering over her hand. The Japanese language and first English subtitle tracks are defaulted to on.
On the second disc, the main menu features a great piece of artwork showing all the main characters. Chapter stops still only for each of the six episodes on the disc. The set-up menu features Tsunami here, and the Japanese language and first English subtitle tracks are defaulted to on.
The menus on the third disc (for the extras) are done more nicely. They are done to look like what the disc was suppose to be, Washu's data files.
The are lots of extras on the the third disc. I'll try to go through them all. I'll mention though, that sadly, Pioneer didn't place any Credit-less Openings or Closings. At least the original Japanese credits (left on the video on the first two discs) aren't as cluttering as the English credits.
We get lots of character profiles on the OVA, TV, and movie characters. Each (seemingly) done by Washu! The profiles also include selections to video clips (available in both languages) and image galleries with character sketches and screen captures.
We also have some "secret" data about the Tenchi series, including some interesting tidbits.
There is also a big collection of video files. We get original Japanese OVA promos and trailers. We also get promos and trailers for the first two movies. We also have a video interview with the Japanese Seiyuu for Sakuya in the "Shin Tenchi Muyo!" series. We also get videos for a few of her music videos (great singer).
You can also see a gallery of scans for original USA comics of Tenchi Muyo, and some galleries featuring original LD and VHS artwork, and other productional artwork. Really nice.
In the secret files, as mentioned, we have the secret data, and we also get the theatrical teaser for the third Tenchi movie (which was nearing it's theatrical release at the time of this set's release). Another feature, not included on the Tenchi Forever DVD is pencil test, which runs for a minute, for one of the more important scenes in the movie.
And, we also have 36 pages of show credits. Sadly, since the Japanese credits are shown on discs 1 and 2, Pioneer didn't include all cast credits, only for the main characters.
Tenchi Muyo! is one of those series that has really has became popular, especially with it's airing on Cartoon Network, many people have come to like this series, and so have I. Basically, Tenchi finds himself surrounded by women from outer space, who all seeming have fallen in love with him.
(Potential Spoiler Warning)
When we first meet Tenchi, he seems to be a very curious boy. He disobey's his grandfather and goes inside the forbidden cave. Tenchi uses the keys he has snatched to open the gate, and he finds an old rusty sword. When he swings it, he accidently breaks it on a rock. The rock suddenly splits in two, and a wall opens up. Tenchi enters the secret passage and slips on water, sliding down to another floor. He finds the corpse of the legendary demon. He decides to leave, and then the body awakens, grabbing his arm. The corpse reaches for Tenchi's face, and the sword in Tenchi's hand causes a powerful force which sends her away. The demon's eyes glow and Tenchi runs as quick as he could back up. He ties the rock together and the wall closes.
After summer vacation, Tenchi goes back to his home town and goes to school. He begins to have dreams of what he saw that summer. He wakes up to find himself on the roof of the school, and that he had slept for the rest of the school day, he soon encounters a mysterious woman, who ends up being the demon he met before. She calls herself Ryoko, and she begins to chase Tenchi around the school!
Through out the first half of the series (the first OVA series, which is all on the first disc) we meet four other women and a cute little cabbit (a cat and a rabbit). Ayeka is the Princess of a planet called Jurai. Sasami is Ayeka's young sister. Ryo-ohki, the cabbit, is actually Ryoko's space ship, which had been destroyed, so it "gave birth" to Ryo-ohki. We are also introduced to a blonde bimbo who is a detective for the Galaxy Police, named Mihoshi. On a mission to defeat the evil villain, Kagato, Mihoshi finds Washu, a genius student from the Space Academy who had been captured by Kagato, and is revealed to be Ryoko's mother!
After the first OVA series (episodes 1-7) are done, we basically know who the main characters are, and why Tenchi is so important in this story. He has Jurain blood in his family, and he is somehow able to recieve the powerful Light-Hawk Wings, and the powerful sword, called Tenchi.
In the second OVA series (episode 8-13) we get some real good character development for all the characters. We learn more about Washu and her past when she helps take care of a baby. We learn lots of secrets about Sasami's past as well, and who Tsunami is. There is even an episode which focuses fully on Ryo-ohki, and her feelings for Tenchi!
Once we get through the second half of the second OVA series, the story gets a little more complicated, as we meet the Goddess of the Universe, Lady Tokimi. Tokimi seems to have a big interest in Tenchi and his great power. She also seems to have a relationship with a few of the girls as well. She sends Dr. Clay, a doctor who wishes for his own Universe, to try and capture Washu as well.
When we near the end of the series, we get a really fun finale. Ayeka and Sasami's parents visit them on Earth. As Ayeka and Sasami's mother spends her time meeting and thanking the girls, their aunt, Funaho, has an important conversation with her son, Yosho, and Washu. Trouble starts once the King of Jurai himself arrives on Earth and demands that Ayeka and Sasami go home, as he has already picked a fiancee for her. Now, it's up to Tenchi to defeat Ayeka's strange fiancee before she leaves forever!
This series is truely one of the best animes I've ever seen, and I really recommend it to anyone who wants a series with both laughs and a really good plot. I seriously can't wait for the third OVA series, which is currently in production in Japan.
Philco 21" TV / 30" RCA TV, APEX AD-1500 DVD Player