Friday, August 23, 2013

Tenchi Muyo: War on Geminar [Review]

Time for yet another anime review. I've been running behind on these, so I'm going to try and catch up.

Yeah, that was about the same reaction I had!

I had heard nothing about this anime, at all, until one day while browsing upcoming anime on Amazon, I saw something that said 'Tenchi Muyo.' I had to take a look.

Anything from Tenchi Muyo (or El Hazard) immediately gets my attention. I'm an old school otaku so my collection goes back to some true classics like the original Bubblegum Crisis (OVA), Dominion Tank Police, Tenchi Muyo, El Hazard, Here is Greenwood, and more...

White Sacred Mechanoid - this is new...

So this new Tenchi immediately went on my buy list.

And yet this is not your typical Tenchi Muyo fare.

Lots more giant robots, and no Tenchi Masaki. So, really, this might be the first time a Tenchi Muyo series has lived up to its name: No Need for Tenchi. There is no Tenchi... he gets mentioned once or twice, tops.

Black Sacred Mechanoid... also new.

Instead the story revolves around Kenshi Masaki. Again, that is Kenshi, not Tenchi.

Did not see that coming...

Another Sacred Mechanoid, with two axes.

Kenshi Masaki is Tenchi's half-brother.

In TENCHI MUYO: RYO-OHKI, the main continuity (in other words, not Tenchi Universe), Noboyuki Masaki marries his secretary Reia. Later in TENCHI MUYO: GXP Reia is seen pregnant with Kenshi. TENCHI MUYO: WAR ON GEMINAR occurs at least 15 years after GXP with a teenage Kenshi. Follow all of that?

I hope so.

Kenshi and Ryo-Ohki.

There's more to it, but that's a good start.

There are a lot more characters, mostly women, as is typical fare for any Tenchi series. But honestly this one takes the number of female characters and jams the nob to eleven. Tenchi Muyo has a lot, GXP has a significant amount, but WoG has more. Lots more.

Harem comedy here we come.

So, the story...

The opening episode revolves around an assassination plot designed to kill off Princess Lashara Earth the 28th, current ruler of the Shtrayu Empire. It's a series of weird names, but you know, just roll with it. It's anime.

Ah, robot piloting costumes - so little fabric.

It is not a brilliant assassination plot because the assassins use giant robots called Sacred Mechanoids to carry out the plan. It is quickly revealed that the pilots of Sacred Mechanoids are typically female, and I mean it's a ration of nearly 100:1. So when one of the Mechanoids is extremely powerful and is pushed past its limits, the Princess and her protectors are shocked to see that it was piloted by a man - Kenshi.

Dark Elf! It's not Pirotess either.

Kenshi is kept in a cell, and investigated. It might be better to say he's gawked at like an animal in a Zoo. All the women on Lashara's ship are interested... and this a solid introduction into the typical harem comedy that likes to create. The link confirms my suspicions that the whole Masaki clan was named after him... and yeah, they were.

That's just the beginning of the first episode. There is a lot of story in just the first episode it since it actually runs for 51 minutes! Every episode is 45 minutes or longer... and there are 13 episodes. That is awesome.

That also allows a lot of story to be told in only 13 episodes. There's room for little side arcs, comedy, fan service, and plot. That's nice, because there is a mystery occurring behind the scenes, maybe more than one. The series has the time to develop and explore the story.

Magic Yukata - it sticks perfectly in place.

TENCHI MUYO: WAR ON GEMINAR is a nice expansion of the Ryo-Ohki continuity. I'd love to see a future Tenchi series that mixes Ryo-Ohki, GXP, and WoG together in a grand story.

Like many really fun or good anime I was a bit sad to see it end. However with Tenchi series, there is always the hope that another will come along in due course.

TENCHI MUYO: WAR ON GEMINAR is a mix of Neon Genesis Evangelion mecha with Tenchi series Harem Comedy. It has a good story, interesting characters, nice mysteries, and it looks gorgeous. Since it was either an OVA or on a paid network in Japan, it is really some top notch animation. I thoroughly enjoyed it, I would advice checking it out either through rental or buying it on your own. Oh, and get the Blu-ray.

A most excellent series. So at last we come to my rating...

4.0 Stars

The Sacred Mechanoids remind me of Evangelions.
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