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Tenamonya Voyagers
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 06/01/2001

Twentysomething Ayako Hanabishi is a newly graduated teacher who's looking for a job. When a school offers her a position, Ayako jumps at the chance. Nevermind that the school is located in outer space. But when Ayako gets there, she finds out that the school was closed due to financial problems. The problem is that Ayako can't afford a trip back to Earth. Luckily, she isn't alone. Wakana Nanamiya is an athletic scholar of that same school, and she's also from Earth. Wakana too is stuck with no funds for an Earth trip. When a mysterious girl named Paraila literally drops in with her mecha, everyone's hopes are revived. It seems now they can make their way back to Earth. But Paraila is actually a criminal wanted by both the police and the mafia...

I didn't quite know what to expect when I popped the Tenamonya Voyagers DVD in the player. There was something different about the packaging and presentation of the disc right from the start.

I was right. Tenamonya Voyagers is unusual anime fare. While the main plot-line is very clear, the pacing is erratic. Certain characters and events would pop out of nowhere and then evaporate just as quickly, all without sufficient explanation. I had a hard time focusing on the story because of this. All I know is that Ayako and Wakana must somehow go back home.

The humor is on the weird side. The parts that are supposed to be funny are very strangely portrayed, although worth a couple of chuckles. There's also loads of fan service during the last parts. The girls get stuck inside this spaceship with no air-conditioning and they promptly strip and wear stuff that is next to nothing. Art and animation-wise, Tenamonya Voyagers is excellent. The visual style is very crisp, vibrant, and polished. Certain scenes are also enhanced by computer imagery. The musical aspect is as strange as the humor. Listening to the opening theme made me feel like I was in a circus or a marching band.

What ruined the series for me was the ending, which is very abrupt and inconclusive. The main plot is unresolved and there are a gazillion loose ends I would just love to tie up. Tenamonya Voyagers left me with a feeling that there's supposed to be something next but wasn't done for some reason (I dunno, poor ratings or something?). It was like someone just hit the brakes and stopped production. Tenamonya Voyagers had lots of potential... it's just too bad they weren't realized.

This anime spans four episodes and is an exclusive DVD release -- it's not available in any other format.

Tenamonya Voyagers
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Review Title:
Tenamonya Voyagers
120 Minutes
General Rating:
3 out of 5 stars
Suitable For:
Adventure, Comedy, Ecchi,
Mecha, Sci-Fi
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