Tenchi Universe Vol. #2 - Mania.com

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B+
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 75
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Tenchi Universe

Tenchi Universe Vol. #2

By Chris Beveridge     August 22, 2000
Release Date: August 22, 2000

Tenchi Universe Vol. #2
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.

What They Say
Meet Kiyone, one of the most skillful and efficient officers in the Galaxy Police, and also one of the unluckiest, because Mihoshi is her partner! It takes all of Kiyone's skill just to keep her career alive! Will she ever be able to return to the Galaxy Police HQ, or will she b condemned to baby-sitting Mihoshi on backwater planets of the Galaxy, such as Earth, for the rest of her life?

The Review!
Tenchi madness continues as the second volume of the first Tenchi Muyo TV series makes its third bow in the U.S. with it's new DVD release.
The disc contains the standard two audio tracks, both in stereo. Dialogue for each is clean and undistorted. There were a few panning effects across the front soundstage, but nothing really noteworthy. As with the first disc, the opening song itself comes across wonderfully.

The video itself is pretty much the same as the first disc, in that it looks very good for a TV series, though there are a few bits of pixellation and some line noise here and there. We didn't notice any blatant artifacting though there does seem to be a few bits of grain here and there. Overall, there's little that most people are going to really notice or complain about.

Compared to the first cover, this disc is excessively busy, with tons of chibi-Ayeka's and chibi-Ryoko's running around, superdeformed versions of most of the cast and a ton of carrots with a very happy Ryo-ohki. There's a ton of bright colors and it's all very eye-catching, though it may give some a headache after awhile! The back cover has a few bits of animation and a brief summary of the disc. Thankfully they list the episode #'s in addition to the titles. The insert contains a different piece of artwork than the cover, which is something Kiyone fans will like. The disc itself is the silver etched style, so nothing too eye-catching there.

Though not animated, the menus are very nice. The main menu is an extended version of the cover, so expect a very vibrant screen. Selections are very quickly accessed and as there's not too much depth to them, it's really easy to navigate. There's a bunch of cute bits in how it's set up as well, with the cursors and whatnot.

Pioneer has included some spiffy extras for this release. To start, the first pressing includes some very cute finger puppets, much like the first release. This time around we Kiyone, Nobuyuki and Washu puppets. You Nobuyuki fans can finally... well, I'll let that one go to your imaginations. On the disc itself, there's a non-credit ending sequence and another section of animated character profiles. What's really nice is the line art gallery. The gallery starts off with a detailed explanation of the meaning behind some of the ending animations, and then provides a few pages of them with explanations of what's going. Very well done, and not something Pioneer does all that often. Here's hoping for more.

This disc will be loved by a certain segment of Tenchi fans. You know who you are. The Kiyone fans. Her introduction in episode 5, the first since her appearance in the non-continuity Mihoshi Special, brings her firmly into one of the Tenchi timelines. We meet up with Kiyone as she continues to celebrate what she believes is Mihoshi's demise. Before long though, she's told to go to Earth to search out Mihoshi's last whereabouts and find out what's going on.

Of course, she finds her living with Ryoko the space pirate, who also happens to be residing with two members of the Jurai royal family. This is more than Kiyone can handle, and she nearly flips out a few times in trying to deal with it.

The obvious battle ensues, and with any battle within a few hundred miles of Mihoshi, it goes horribly wrong. And another one joins the group.

No Need for Resident Officers! offers some funny moments as Kiyone and Mihoshi move out of the Masaki household and try out a large variety of part time jobs. Again, with Mihoshi anywhere near the area, things go horribly wrong. If you haven't sensed a pattern by now, you're disqualified from writing Tenchi stories. There are some fairly amusing bits in this episode, but overall it's sort of like filler to help bring Kiyone more into the group.

No Need for a Carnival! does the unthinkable; they bring Tenchi more to the forefront of the storyline. The gang heads down to the carnival, which turns into a competition between Ayeka and Ryoko. There are a few clever bits and some good moments, mostly with Sasami and Tenchi just making their rounds through the carnival. Very little happens of any importance in the episode, though fans of both Ayeka and Ryoko will like their return to the forefront of the show as well as the "flashbacks" to their youth. Definitely very different from the OVA continuity.

Other than the introduction of Kiyone and her assimilation into the group, these episodes have a filler feel about them and don't do much to advance the plot. That happens fairly well in future episodes though, so there's better stuff to follow.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Character Profiles,Line Art,Non-Credit Closing #2,
Finger Puppets (Limited to first pressing)

Review Equipment
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.


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