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Tenchi Universe
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 12/31/1999

Although this TV series was released after the Tenchi Muyo OAVs, everything is different. Tenchi Universe is like an alternative version of the whole Tenchi saga. Several girls coming from different parts of the galaxy somehow manage to squeeze themselves into Tenchi's once ordinary life. There's Ryoko, the notorious space pirate; Aeka, the first princess of the planet Jurai; Mihoshi and Kiyone, a pair of bumbling space detectives... add a crazy scientist, another alien princess, some menacing enemies and you've got a madcap and adventure-filled series that is Tenchi Universe. But what's this? It looks like Tenchi himself is decended from alien royalty too!

Tenchi Universe is a completely different version of the whole Tenchi story. Things get off a slow start, only to pick up in the last several episodes.

For the first half, you have mostly character introductions and some slapstick misadventures that aren't really funny. I found it bordering on the brink of dullness. Fortunately, the later part improves in terms of pacing, action, and plot twists. Tenchi Universe also includes mildly entertaining excerpts from Ryoko and Aeka's childhood days. Those cute and talky Washu dolls also make their debut here. There's one ep with a swimsuit contest among all the Tenchi girls, and they really flaunt their stuff. Be warned that there's also an episode with homosexual themes.

The series starts to get more serious when Tenchi finds out that he's actually part of the planet Jurai's royal family. A lot of chasing around in space ensues, the real villain makes his appearance, and more revelations are made with regards to Tenchi's roots. The art and animation are okay, albeit nothing special. They are actually somewhat below par compared to the other Tenchi incarnations. The English dubbing is the same for all Tenchi's -- fine, if you can stand some of the voices (such as Aeka and Ryoko's).

Having watched all the Tenchi releases, I'd have to say that on the overall, TU is on the mediocre side. A bit better than your average series, but nothing more. It doesn't really deserve the hype surrounding it.

For some reason, the Tenchi movies are all anchored on this series.

Tenchi Universe
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Review Title:
Tenchi Universe
Alternative Titles:
Tenchi Muyo! TV
650 Minutes
General Rating:
3 out of 5 stars
Suitable For:
Adventure, Comedy, Drama,
Fantasy, Romance, Sci-Fi,
Shounen, Space
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