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Tenchi Muyo!: War on Geminar – Part 1 (a J!-ENT Anime Blu-ray review)

May 1, 2013 by  



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“Tenchi Muyo!: War on Geminar” is a harem sci-fi anime series that is enjoyable and fun!  The first half is primarily full of laughs and comedy, but expect the second half to feature much more action and s a serious storyline.  If you are a “Tenchi Muyo!” fan, “Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar” is an OVA series worth watching!

Image courtesy of © 2013 FUNimation. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Tenchi Muyo!: War on Geminar – Part 1

YEAR OF RELEASE: 2010

DURATION: 7 episodes (322 Minutes)

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, English and Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Subtitles: English

RATED: TV 14 LD

COMPANY: FUNimation Entertainment

RELEASE DATE: May 21, 2013

Original Creator: Masaki Kajishima

Original Character Designs by Hajime Watanabe

Directed by Koji Yoshikawa

Series Composition by Hideki Shirane

Music by Akifumi Takada

Character Design by Hajime Watanabe

Art Director: Kyou Inoue

Chief Animation Director: Hajime Watanabe

Mechanical Design by Naohiro Washio

Anime Production by AIC Spirits/BeSTACK

Featuring the voices of:

Ayumi Tsunematsu/Jami Marchi as Mexiah Furan

Hiro Shimono/Jason Liebrecht as Kenshi Masaki

Madoka Yonezawa/Jad Saxton as Lashara Aasu XXVIII

Natsuko Kuwatani/Morgan Garrett as Chiaia Furan

Chiaki Kanou/Trina Nishimura as Jozzy

Eri Taruta as Mahya, Yeliss

Erika Sudou/Karen Bright as Hannah

Hiroki Yasumoto/R. Bruce Elliot as Babalun

Hiromi Konno/Alexis Tipton as Lapis Razz

Hyo-sei/Shelley Calene-Black as Emera

Junko Noda/Lydia Mackay as Aura Shurifon

Kana Oomura/Caitlin Glass as Lithia Po Chiina

Fifteen-year-old Kenshi Masaki has been taken from his home planet, transported to a galaxy far, far away, and captured by a gorgeous princess! This royal beauty quickly claims Kenshi as her personal servant – and lends him out to all the lecherous ladies at her prestigious boarding school.

On the rare occasion Kenshi doesn’t have his hands full with a curvaceous coed, he can be found training for the intergalactic mecha battle royale looming on the horizon. Helping the princess save her planet is Kenshi’s ticket home, but losing means he’ll be stuck scrubbing backs in the interstellar sauna for the rest of his life!

This limited edition comes with a collectible rigid art box designed to hold both parts 1 and 2 plus a 16-page art booklet.

Contains episodes 1-7.

In 2009, a spinoff OVA series that is a spin-off of “Tenchi Muyo!” was created by original creator Masaki Kajishima.

Presented in 13 OVA episodes which was released from March 2009-March 2010 and produced by AIC Spirits and BeSTACK, the OVA series would lead to a light novel adaptation by Atsushi Wada in 2009, a manga adaptation serialized in Comic REX in 2010 and now released in America on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of FUNimation.

According to Kajishima, the anime is part of the “Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki” continuity and takes place 15 years after the events of “Tenchi Muyo! GXP”.  Because “Tenchi Muyo!: War on Geminar” features the debut of Tenchi’s half brother Kenshi, this would lead many fans to discuss theories of Kenshi and its connection to the original series.

The series revolves around 15-year-old Kenshi Masaki who ended up in an alternate world of Geminar.  This world has been waging war against each other using Sacred Mechanoids (humanoid weapons discovered in ancient ruins).

We are first introduced to Lashara Earth XXVIII, the 12-year-old ruler of the Shrtrayu Empire and her bodyguard Chiaia Flan who fights against intruders in the Holy Land.  One of these intruders proves to be an excellent fighter and is revealed to be Kenshi.

Kenshi has been ordered to assassinate Lashara Earth XXVIII but can’t do it as he is not a killer.  Seeing good within Kenshi, as the group hold him captive and to find out his whereabouts, it is quickly learned that Kenshi is not of this world.  In fact, he was being used by the enemies of Shtrayu Empire who had promised him a safe return back to his homeworld, which became false.

Finding out he had been betrayed, he is rescued by Dark Elf Aura Shurifon, who returns him back to Lashara.  But they realize that he has caught a disease and will die unless he receives treatment.  So, everyone works quickly to try and save him.

For now, Kenshi can be useful to the empire who is suffering from enormous debt.  So, as they try to find a way for Kenshi to return back home, Lashara Earth XXVIII has Kenshi become her assistant, so he can learn and assimilate with society (which the female population outnumber males by a very large margin).  So, naturally many of the women he comes into contact with are impressed by his demeanor, his work ethic and are amazed by his uncanny fighting skills and bravery.

But as Lashara and those working for her try to keep Kenshi’s identity secret, there are those in the Holy Land who are working for the enemy and are keeping their eyes on Kenshi.

“Tenchi Muyo!: War on Geminar” features the following characters:

Kenshi Masaki – The younger half-brother of Tenchi Msaki and the son of Tenchi’s father Nobuyuki Masaki and his second wife, Rea.  Kenshi traveled from Earth to the alternate world of Geminar and is trying to find a way to go back home.  He was used by one faction to assassinate Lashara Earth XXVIII in exchange for information to bring him back home, but not a killer, Kenshi made the decision to not hurt her.  So, Lashara decides to help Kenshi but he may disguise her as her servant and keep the fact that he is from another world as a secret.  So, for now, he must try to fit in with the people in the Holy Land.

Lashara Earth XXVII– The 12-year-old ruler of the Shtrayu Empire.  She is thrusted to inherit the throne and rule the land after her father’s sudden death.  She takes Kenshi in as a servant and tries to get him to take part in duties int he Holy Land.  She may have feelings towards Kenshi but because of her royal status, she is unable to show those feelings towards him.

Chiaia Flan – Lashara’s personal escort and bodyguard. Attends Holy Land Academy to complete her Sacred Mechamaster training.  She has a crush on her childhood friend Dagmyer, but although she is seen getting upset at Kenshi a lot, she may be having some feelings towards him.

Maria Nanadan – A young princess from the country of Havoniwa and is currently attending Holy Land Academy with Lashara.  Both are cousins but they are not fond with each other and are constantly trying to one up each other.  Although she supports Yukine’s emotions towards Kenshi, she seems to also be falling for Kenshi.

Yukine Mare – A shy servant of Maria but very skilled at information gathering.  She is attracted to Kenshi.

Wahanly Shume – A brillliant inventor and good friend of Lashara.  She looks like a teenager but she is actually 97-years-old. She also starts to have feelings towards Kenshi.

Lithia Po Cheena – Granddaughter of the Pope of Geminar and President of Holy Land Academy’s Student council.  She is bitter, sarcastic and blunt.  She sees Kenji as a “wild animal” (in a literal way) but she may have feelings towards him.

Aura Shurifon – The Dark Elf Princess of the Shurifon Kingdom and member of the Pilgrimage Route Guard.  She is often protective of Kenshi and develops feelings towards him.

Mexiah Flan – Mexiah is a person who is very sexual around Kenshi and often seen taking off her clothes when she is around him, often making Chiaia concerned when Mexiah is near Kenshi.

Dagmyer Mesut – Chiaia’s childhood friend and the one responsible for manipulating Kenshi into assassinating Lashara.  He is constantly recruiting students for the invasion of Holy Land.

Ulyte Mesut – Dagmyer’s uncle and the younger brother of Babalun.  He is a instructor at the Academy and also wants to invade the Holy Land for another reason.

“Tenchi Muyo!: War on Geminar – Part 1” features the first seven episodes.  Here is a brief spoilerless summary of each episode:

  • EPISODE 1 – Kenshi Masaki is ordered to kill Lashara Earth but is unable to.  Meanwhile, Kenshi is dying of the diseases known as Rodeshiatore and has six hours to live.  Can Aura and Mexiah save him?
  • EPISODE 2 – Kenshi Masaki is made a servant to Lasara.  We are introduced to Lashara’s cousin Maria Nanadan and her assistant Yukine.
  • EPISODE 3 – In order to integrate Kenshi in the Holy Land, he is introduced to the Headmistress of Holy Land Academy and is assigned various jobs.
  • EPISODE 4 – Maria tries to get Yukine and Kenshi together, meanwhile Kenshi talks about his past to Lashara and Chiaia.
  • EPISODE 5 – Kenshi becomes a member of the Student Council, making him more popular with the girls.  Female upperclassmen and underclassmen form an alliance in hopes of capturing Kenshi.
  • EPISODE 6 – Flora Nanada, the Queen of Havoniwa invites Maria and Lashara to visit her but also, so she can meet Kenshi.
  • EPISODE 7 – As Dagmyer recruits bandits, Lan who remembers Kenshi tries to recruit him as part of their group.  The race begins for the Warrior Tournament.

VIDEO:

“Tenchi Muyo!: War on Geminar – Part 1” is presented in 1080p High Definition.  Because the series is an OVA series and not a television series, I was expecting the picture quality to be vibrant and fully-detailed.  If anything, “Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar” seems more like a television series when it comes to picture quality.

There is a hint of softness, but the series does feature good shading, character and mechanical designs designs but similar to the original series, tends to use a lot of lush backgrounds, blue skies, mountains, a lot of trees, etc.  But there are some emphasis on building structures, cement walls and most importantly its use of mechanical designs with Mecha featured throughout the series.  There is also a good use of CG for floating structures and backgrounds. There are some indoor scenes which are nicely detailed but overall, picture quality is good but it is a bit soft.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Tenchi Muyo!: War on Geminar” is presented in Japanese and English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio.  I have to admit that I was so excited for the lossless soundtrack because the opening theme really comes out crystal clear and utilizes the surround channels immediately.  But the overall presentation, while clear, is not as immersive as I would have hoped.  Audio is primarily dialogue driven and center and front-channel, while music gets the surround sound treatment.  But for a television series, audio is could and didn’t notice any difference in terms of surround sound use on both Japanese or English lossless tracks.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Tenchi Muyo!: War on Geminar – Part 1” comes with the following special features:

  • Audio Commentary for Episode 1 – Joe McDonald, ADR Director at FUNimation interviews English dub voice talent and technical crew.
  • About the Making of the Closing Theme “Destino” by Alchemy – (3:51) Behind-the-scenes of the making of “Destino” and the duo talking about the song.
  • Digest in Commemoration of Sales release (Second Half of Episode 1-2) – (8:30) A collection of clips from episode 1 and 2.
  • Stills of Recording the Music for “Tenchi Muyo!: War on Geminar” – (1:10) Photo stills featuring composer Akifumi Takada and orchestra played along with music.
  • Information and Sneak Peek of the Pay Per View Program 1-6 – (3:02) The Japanese previews for the pay-per-view commercials for “Tenchi Muyo!: War on Geminar”
  • Teaser Trailers 1-2 – (2:43) The teaser trailers for “Tenchi Muyo!: War on Geminar”.
  • Textless Opening Song “Follow Me”
  • Textless Opening Song “Destino”
  • Trailers – FUNimation trailers

EXTRAS:

The “Tenchi Muyo!: War on Geminar – Part 1” comes with an artbox slipcase to hold both parts and a 16-page art booklet. (Note: We were not provided with the limited edition boxes or booklet, so I am unable to comment on them)

I have been watching every “Tenchi Muyo!” series since it was first released in Japan.  A big fan of the original OVA’s and animated films, it’s always fascinating to see how the storyline is without the characters that fans have followed for many years.

First with “Tenchi Muyo! GXP” and now with “Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar”, what will interest fans the most is the introduction of a 15-year-old named Kenshi, the half brother of Tenchi Masaki.  How did this happen?  Fans will find theories from other fans about who Kenshi may be.  But in terms of the series, we have Kenshi stuck in another world and for the first half, the series is more introductory to the characters and a secret plot taking place behind-the-scenes.

While the latter is setting up the storyline for the second half of the OVA series, the first half tends to be more harem like.

Because Geminar is a female dominated planet, because Kenshi has special abilities, speed, strength and a good guy overall, many female characters want to marry him.  Actually, many of the female student body at the Academy wants to be with Kenshi.

There are references to the “Tenchi Muyo!” characters such as Washu and others when Kenshi is questioned about his home and these crystals that belong to him.  But also his unusual abilities that surpass normal people in the planet.

Harem anime fans will enjoy the sexual humor as women want to be naked with Kenshi, women tease Kenshi that if he saw them naked, he would have to marry him.  And there are a lot of scenes that feature these women and teenage girls really doing all they can to be close to him.

While harem storyline is nothing new to the “Tenchi Muyo!” series, the main difference is that a large number of women and teenage girls want to be near Kenshi.  In fact, in episode 6, one of the girl’s mothers just wants to have her fun around Kenshi and somehow Kenshi has earned a reputation of having magic “massaging” hands.

But the first part of “Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar” are character establishing episodes and how any of these women want Kenshi badly.  It sounds like a story that came from a visual novel, but I hope the storyline does become more serious in the second half.  But because of the sexual humor, you may not want to watch this series with children in the room.

As for the Blu-ray release, while I can’t refer to the packaging or the booklet which comes with part 1, I can comment on the picture quality.  I have to admit that I was a bit surprised that the OVA series looked more like a television series.  Back in the day, “Tenchi Muyo!” was a series that captivated our attention at anime club screenings as the series was known as a quality series on LaserDisc at the time.  Fast forward to 2010, when this series was first released, while shown on the Animax pay per view channel, I was hoping for sharper, crisper animation and less softness.  But the series was soft and while many scenes did have good detail for its art backgrounds and some scenes and characters were well-shaded, it seemed more like the picture quality of a TV series than OVA series.

As for the lossless soundtrack, I loved how the music was utilized for the surround channels but I was hoping the action sequences would feature a bit more LFE and surround use.  Dialogue and music are crystal clear but was hoping for something more immersive.

For special features, you get many of the Japanese special features included with part 1 and you also get a single audio commentary featuring the English dub voice talent and the FUNimation crew that worked on the series.

Overall, “Tenchi Muyo!: War on Geminar” is a harem sci-fi anime series that is enjoyable and fun, but expect the second half to feature much more action and a more serious storyline.  If you are a fan of “Tenchi Muyo!”, while none of the original characters appear in this OVA series, we are introduced to Kenshi Masaki, a 15-year-old half brother of Tenchi that is stuck in an alternate world and must find a way back home.   But also stuck in a planet that is primarily all-female, so for a guy like Kenshi…it’s open season for many of these young women and teenage girls.






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