Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar (2009-2010)


Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar (2008-2009)

Director: Masaki Kajishima, Koji Yoshikawa
Studio: AIC Spirits, BeSTACK
Starring:Hiro Shimono, Madoka Yonezawa, Natsuko Kuwatani
Episodes: 13

A visitor from another world with extraordinary powers is used as a pawn in a scheme for world domination.

Tenchi Muyo! is one of the franchises I remember fondly from when I was first kicking off my anime enthusiasm in high school. I really liked the original Ryo-Ohki OAVs, but thought less and less of the subsequent two remake series (Universe is okay but Tenchi in Tokyo is garbage). The movies are hit and miss, too (liked the first one, hated the second, didn't really like the third). I never watched the GXP spinoff and the resumption of Ryo-Ohki completely fell apart at the end. I came across this series by chance and I'm glad I did. It's very much in line with the feel of the Tenchi franchise and if that appeals to you, you should enjoy the series. Kenshi does feel like a massive Marty Stu, but it's not as grating as some such characters. He gets kicked around enough by his harem to offset it somewhat. I guess you could think of him as something of a John Carter. That may or may not make him more palatable. The fact that so much comes so easily to him is a bit of a defect if you ask me, but massively overpowered characters is something of the norm for the series. (Technically, Kenshi has the short end of the stick compared to most of the rest of the mainline Tenchi cast.) Moving on from Kenshi, I rather liked the wider cast. I'm not particularly fond of harem series, but you can't really seem to get away from them these days. There's actually some decent in-universe justification for Kenshi winning the adoration of almost every female on the planet. Character design is mostly good, but some of the costuming bothers me, particularly the Seikishi suits for their rather inaesthetic look. There's quite a bit of fanservice, particularly in the first half of the series, but it gets dialed back as the core conflict returns to center stage. Speaking of which, it may bother you that the initial setup promises mecha action only for the first part to be devoted primarily to schoolyard antics. There's a lot of good worldbuilding and character development. Many of the cast are fairly layered and there are plenty of plots and plans overlapping and criss-crossing. The longer format seemed to benefit the story with almost twice the time of the average TV episode. The total runtime is roughly equivalent to a 26-episode series but there's more freedom with the pacing. After the disappointment of the continuation of Ryo-Ohki, this actually restored my faith in the franchise a bit. So long as the series' flaws don't turn you off, it's a fun watch. Give it a shot.

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