Tenchi Universe DVD Review
the second anime incarnation
within one of the art-forms most popular and enduring character-based
franchises. The story begins in a quiet way, on a day-like-any-other,
teenage Tenchi Masaki finds himself meeting the energetic and
bombshell Ryoko. Oh, what a beginning. Tenchi Universe remains an anime classic:
the fantastic series features romance, comedy, adventure, and more
and goofiness for all!
series is typically labeled as
a harem anime series, which is defined as being a sub-genre contained
the comedy and romance genres. It means there's a central male
some scenario where he is being surrounded by a group of gorgeous
even argue to state that Tenchi Universe
represents the best to find in the genre. Myself? I don't necessarily
it that great of a genre in general (I've seen too many series labeled
that lack any characterizations or depth), but Tenchi
is something that somehow manages to avoid the pitfalls of
the genre, and Tenchi Universe in
particular handles all of this immensely well. It doesn't feel like a
merely aimed at stupid teenage boys with hormones. Not at all: the
enjoyable Tenchi Universe series is really made
for anyone who likes top-quality television. Most importantly, the
happen to make this quality show the audience favorite it's always been
outstanding is how both guys
and girls can find themselves watching the show and enjoying these
equally and without reservation. The women on this show aren't
sex-symbols. These characters feel real, and you grow to love them. Add
generous heaping's of laughs, adventure, and sci-fi fun and that's a
most of the so-called harem
productions out there are ridiculous and lack in any genuine
women (and are more about having a teen guy around a decidedly teenage
of being, well, surrounded by gorgeous women... usually in skimpy
absolutely isn't the case here. Tenchi
Universe excels for its drama, comedy, and human elements of
series revolves around the crazy
circumstances that surround the seventeen year old Tenchi as he becomes
with a chaotic life beautiful, smart, and cool (and typically from
all around him and while he's trying to attend school, manage his
and avoid becoming part of a huge odyssey in an outer-space conflict
baddies and while he has a destiny that he doesn't even know
a normal(ish) guy like Tenchi Masaki to do? Make
friends with everyone,
explore space, fight baddies, go to carnivals, and always try to be a
guy who lives a normal life without all of the unusual scenarios he's
into. Good luck, Tenchi!
for the girls: Ryoko looks like she's
still in her 20's but she's actually a space pirate who's a woman over
years old. Ryoko is (arguably) the main female protagonist in the Tenchi series saga. Ryoko's also someone
madly in love with the goofball and kind-hearted Tenchi.
leads to problems when arguing with
Ayeka (part spoiled brat, part kind-hearted Princess from an
planet... sometimes!), who is also definitely madly in love with Tenchi.
there's the genius Washu with affections, time machines, and other odd
experiments to boot. Of course, that's not even considering Sasami, a
girl, also one to crush on him. That of course doesn't stop Tenchi from
Sasami as his younger sister, but it doesn't change the fact that one
after another seems to see something in Tenchi that they like.
frankly, that's all without mentioning the police
they are not in love with Tenchi but they
certainly seem to be a part of the amazing team:
Tenchi's surrounded by the ditzy, lovable Mihoshi (who somehow always
to get the job done where it counts) and kick-ass cool superhuman-like
Kiyone. Starting to sense a pattern
here? Tenchi is surrounded by women 24/7 in his teenage life. So is
this a harem
series? Maybe it is. Yet it's definitely not an average one.
so wonderful about Tenchi Universe is how it manages
homage to the work done on the previously produced OVA series but in
retelling of the story and of all of these character journeys it
morphs into something uniquely its own. Tenchi
Universe may be somewhat short in the production areas by
it's not as well-animated as a OVA production. However,
this is undoubtedly due to budget and
time constraints and the TV version of Tenchi
holds up every bit as well and actually becomes even more
successful in the
storytelling department. While the OVA was not properly concluded, the
series has a nice conclusion and epilogue in its final episode.
nice animation, solid
direction, fantastic writing, and a whole cast of great characters that
an easy series to repeatedly re-watch over the years. If you look under
definition of classic anime series and expect to find examples I can
this one ranking as near the top of a theoretical list of that variety.
Universe deserves a home in any serious anime collection for it has
great characters, laughs, and an eloquent sense of beauty inside and
after all of these years following its creation, it's one of the few
always manages to surprise me with its amazing artistry.
doesn't impress in the video
department much at all. It's certainly not going to be as disappointing
could have been given the age of the masters, though. These
seem to have been used without changes to improve the picture quality.
There's no way around it: the image quality is dated. There are
issues (but these aren't noticeable often), but the bigger issue is the
robust colors and print debris. Specks of dirt and minor damage are
and while they are never so annoying as to be a major detriment to
enjoying Tenchi Universe it's disappointing to
realize that Geneon improved the visual aspects of the presentations
for the Tenchi OVAs & Tenchi:
Theatrical Blu-ray releases (already available in Japan and
to be released in North America in December, 2012), but did nothing to
the image for this classic entry in the Tenchi
doesn't fare that much better than the video quality. Even so, it
decent audio presentation that features the series in 2.0 English and
(as viewers can select either dub option). Personally, I was always a
of the English dub for this series but either dub is a worthwhile one
viewers will want to pick based upon preference (or prior experience).
dialogue is easy to understand even if the quality of the audio itself
sometimes disappoints. Bass is weak. This
is a front-channel heavy mix that utilizes some dated source materials
seem to represent the time and budget of the series, and without any
or additional tinkering.
supplements included in this collection are textless songs for the
ending credits to Tenchi Universe, a U.S.
trailer produced by Funimation Entertainment and made to help promote
release, and trailers for other Funimation releases.
one of the best series to exist out of the Tenchi
saga and it is one of the most essential anime productions ever made.
artwork isn't truly on par with the earlier OVAs but the writing,
characters are some of the absolute best you will ever find in the
you love character-based and original stories this is one show that
interweave both aspects, even despite the fact that it is an
telling of the original Tenchi OVA's storyline. Simply put, Tenchi
Universe is outta this world, and
a genuine must own DVD release (in one form or another) by all serious
past editions of Tenchi Universe can
rest-easy knowing that the set's they already own aren't inferior to
release but newcomers should be sure to consider this one an easy
purchase of a
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.