Anime Meta-Review


Tenchi Muyo!: TV Series


By Date




Title Info

  • alias: Tenchi Muyo!: Tenchi on Earth
  • alias: Tenchi Muyo!: Tenchi Universe
  • seen: 1-26 of 26
  • type: TV
  • grade: watchable
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

This is not the same as Tenchi in Tokyo, for one thing it isn't nearly that bad. However having a sibling who is worse is not really that much of a recommendation. The story is effectively a re-telling of the OAV series, expanded out to the 26 episodes required of a TV series. For those unfamiliar with Tenchi (which cave were you in anyway?) this involves a normal earthboy (Tenchi) and his family who somehow manage to attract a menagerie of very strange people. The fact that they are high tech aliens hardly counts, because even other aliens find them strange. On the other hand between space pirates, galactic princesses, mad scientists and airheaded cosmic police there is a lot of fun to be had. The fact that they are all attractive females with various `interests' in Tenchi makes things even more fun. Of course, it may be that Tenchi, and family, are not quite as ordinary as they appear.

Unfortunately if you have seen the OAV you are probably not going to enjoy this one, because it simply fails to reach the same standard. In addition it freely loots the OAV for story ideas which makes it seem very parasitic and inferior. A similar thing happens with the characters, which are effectively modified versions of the OAV characters. In addition the arrival of the new character (Kiyone, the sensible cosmic police officer) causes Mihoshi to undergo a complete brain amputation and become purely comic relief (but not that funny). The really weird thing is that the actions of the characters make much better sense if you know the OAV, or know the characters from the OAV. On the other hand people who liked the OAV are unlikely to like the changes, while new viewers are going to find some of the occurences fairly unbelievable.

The core problem is that the writing is much less skillfull and the direction much looser than the excellent OAV series. This is reflected in the characters and in most other aspects, including the series and episode plots themselves. Effectively meeting the characters again is good for the first 8-10 episodes, then there's some pretty vacuous stories before the series moves into a conclusion. The animation is also pretty variable, generally at TV quality but sometimes looking fairly bad. The world design (despite getting to see more of Jurai) is as derivative from the OAV as the characters. The dialog lacks the sparkle and charm that powered the OAV. The action is very rare and very limited when it occurs. I think the intent of this review is pretty clear. If you are desperate for more Tenchi, or considered it basically just lightweight fluff in the first place, then this may be enjoyable. Indeed there is nothing excessively bad, it is just that it is average TV anime in general and far inferior to the source from which it springs...which seems to be the case with most Tenchi material. I think this is also called Tenchi on Earth, Shin Tenchi Muyo (in Japan) and Tenchi Universe (in America).


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:25 WST 2009