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Indiana University

Outreach

Video Lending Library

Japan

Program Title: Tenchi Muyo Collection
EASC Code: JT-17
Series Title:
Region/Country:
Language: Japanese
Subtitles: English
Subject: Animation
Program Type: Feature
Media Type: VHS
Director: Hiroki Hayashi
Producer:
Release Date:
Running Time: 60 min.
Color or BW: Color
Program Abstract: Although the title means something along the lines of "no need for Tenchi," everyone wants the hapless hero of this popular series. These 13 OAV episodes reunite the cast from the TV show, but with some changes. Sasami is initially much younger and less domestic; grandfather Masaki turns out to be Yosho, the long-lost Jurai prince who was betrothed to Ayeka centuries ago; genius-in-residence Wasshu reveals an unexpected bond with interstellar outlaw Ryoko. The tone is a little racier than the broadcast version: Ryoko runs around naked and the attempts to seduce the terminally klutzy Tenchi are more pointed.
In the first adventure (episodes 1-7), Tenchi inadvertently wakes a mummified demon who was imprisoned at the Masaki family shrine 700 years ago--none other than space pirate extraordinaire Ryoko. The problems she causes are dwarfed by the arrival of Jurai princesses Ayeka and Sasami, bubble-brained Galactic Police Agent Miyoshi--and interstellar criminal Kagato. Assuming the role (and costume) of the Crown Prince of Jurai, Tenchi defeats the evil Kagato with a magic sword that resembles the lightsabers in Star Wars.

Unexpected arrivals keep the Masaki household in chaos in the later, shorter adventures (episodes 8-13), including a baby cousin of Tenchi's, a shape-shifting robot who impersonates Ryoko, and the Emperor and Empress of Jurai. The writers occasionally lose track of the plot, especially in episode 13, "Here Comes Jurai," but Tenchi has never been noted for its logic. In all the episodes, the filmmakers manage to balance interplanetary threats, teenage romance, and broad comedy with their usual aplomb.

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