Posted by psgels on 24 November 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews

Well, so here’s my review of the second OVA of the series that has the dubious honour of having been ripped off the most amount of times by lazy writers. It also includes the special Bangaihen episode that aired in between the first two OVAs for convenience’s sake. Overall, you can see that this series holds an edge over most other harem concepts. It’s still a bit of a hard to believe premise and the reasons for the different females to stay with the lead characters are… silly to say the least. But hey: at least they’ve got reasons!

I actually like the second OVA better than the first. My big problem with the first is that it lacked balance, especially the serious parts just dragged on for ages. This really was fixed in the second OVA: the action, serious parts, slice of life and comedy are all nicely balanced. At first, this show might make it seem like it starts with a random filler episode (like so many other shows have), but thanks to detailed slice of life and good characterization there’s hardly a moment in this show that’s really boring. On top of that, when it does tend to drag on, some character-back-story suddenly pops up.

The OVA does a great job to flesh out and explore a majority of the characters here, and you definitely get to know them better throughout the series. That’s definitely a plus. And even the purely slice of life special bangaihen is enjoyable to sit through thanks to the characters and the comedy. When the main storyline for this OVA pops up, it actually delivers, and it has a much more interesting villain than the rather dull one that the first OVA had to use.

There were only two major annoyances I had with this OVA. The first is Ryo-ouki. I know that she must have meant well and all, but near the end her excessive nondescript squealing becomes just too annoying. This didn’t work in Pokemon, and it also doesn’t work here. The second annoyance is the final ten minutes of the OVA: for some strange reason, they’re nothing but a slide-show with people talking in the background. Did the budget ran out at that point or something? It’s surprising, because the rest of the budget is actually really good with very smooth and detailed animation.

Tenchi Muyo isn’t really going to make it to my favourites anytime soon. It might be very good for your average harem, but there still are tons of non-harem series that are just better and have more interesting and believable stories. It’s just isn’t my kind of setting here and the seemingly endless amounts of times at which this formula has already been ripped off didn’t really help increasing my enjoyment of it. Nevertheless, this second OVA yet again stands out with some pretty nice characterization of its characters, and that has to say something.

Storytelling: 7/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 7/10

10 Responses

  1. Avatar Wyrdwad says:

    Ah, one of my first anime! Have you seen any of the Tenchi movies? Having seen just about all the Tenchi anime that exists, the first movie in particular, “Tenchi Muyo in Love”, stands out as the absolute best of the whole series, for me. I highly recommend giving it a look, as even setting aside the familiar characters, it manages to stand on its own as a really cool popcorn sci-fi flick (very much akin to the classic “Back to the Future” movies). It’s not exactly heady, deep, or chock full of artistic merit, but it’s a fun movie that’s actually quite epic and satisfying, and I think you’d probably enjoy it quite a bit as well.


  2. Avatar Wyrdwad says:

    Oh, and as an aside, the soundtrack to the first Tenchi movie was composed by Christopher Franke, who was apparently the original inventor of the synthesizer. (: Totally irrelevant, but a neat bit of trivia nonetheless!


  3. Avatar Chris says:

    I would recommend the films now, you don’t need to watch the other tv series to have knowledge on them. You will be surprised by Tenchi Muyo in Love 2, it is incredibly different from any Tenchi film and is more of an adult romance drama plus Tenchi finally chooses a girl! The 1st film Tenchi Muyo in Love is enjoyable and fun and also very touching and just has a lot going for it. I hope you get to watch all the films, you don’t even have to watch them in order.

  4. Avatar Wyrdwad says:

    Tenchi Muyo in Love 2 is actually my least-favorite of the three movies, though I think you’re right, Psgels would probably really like it, as it’s EXTREMELY character-driven. I actually find it kind of interesting how the movies progressed, since the first was really action-packed and fun, but only really developed a small handful of the characters (Tenchi’s Mom and Dad, mostly); the second was a nice combination of action and character development; and the third was almost ALL character development.

    I also recommend watching the TV series, TBH, but with a caveat… the first half of the TV series frankly kinda sucks! But the second half, released stateside as “Tenchi Universe: Tenchi Muyo In Space”, is absolutely fantastic, and I actually kinda like it BETTER than the OAV, if only because of all the extra character development given to Ryoko, the human forms of Azaka and Kamidake, and the absolutely amazing last episode (which, to this day, is one of my favorite last episodes of any anime I’ve ever seen).

    Even the second TV series has its merits (namely that it’s probably the goofiest/funniest of the Tenchi series, and the new girl Sakuya is actually a really cool character), but there’s no denying that it’s the weakest of the main Tenchi Muyo shows.

    And GXP… is just a mess. It started off strong, but boy did it ever go downhill… and I especially hated what they did to my favorite character, Erma. She was so awesome, at first… but then they had to go and ruin her character completely! Ugh…


  5. Avatar Chris says:

    oh I agree with you Tom, the TV series finale is fantastic! It was a mature and heartwarming and a lil sad at parts way to end the show, it focused on the characters and no action at all.

    The 3rd film is my fave though sorry to disagree =) I think psgels would at least really like the guts of the director to totally change the tone of the movie from all the other incarnations of the franchise and like you said the character driven story with zero action.

    I suppose I just really loved the rather dark nature of Haruna and her reasons for doing what she does are a little touching. Also love the film because Tenchi finally grows as a person. Ayeka and Ryoko becoming close is also a highlight of the movie. And the ending when the loser just kindly smiles accepting the fact that Tenchi belongs with the other is probably my favorite part ever in the whole Tenchi franchise!

  6. Avatar Watch Anime says:

    Tenchi was one of my very first animes I had ever watched. Today it is still in my top favorites in the anime community! They should make more animes like this one.

  7. Avatar AstroNerdBoy says:

    Thanks for reminding me that I need to rewatch and blog OVA 2. ^_^

    Allow me to clarify that last bit of the final episode. That was actually an omake — an extra. As I understand it, that wasn’t part of the original episode. Unfortunately, I can’t quite confirm this based on the original Japanese VHS release of OVA 2, but I’ve been told that this slide-show was on a separate VHS with other extras. I tend to believe it since OVA 3 had similar slide shows as extras, though those weren’t done by Kajishima-sensei and are not considered canon.

  8. Avatar Tenchifan says:

    Good analysis. I think most of the shortcomings can be attributed to the series co-creator Kajishima’s inability to tell a good story after the other co-creator and the first series script writer were forced out by him. The man is too fixated on getting his pet scenes in exactly how he wants them, he’s terrible at developing a storyline.

    If you’re looking to enjoy Tenchi, ignore that douchebag AstroNerdBoy with his never-ending sermons about his so-called canon. You can’t make a Tenchi post on the World Wide Web without that genius popping up with his retarded corrections. The guy blindly worships Kajishima and can’t accept the fact that people like to appreciate Tenchi on their own terms, not on the creator’s say-so. OVA 3 was loathed by most fans, but AstroNerdBoy keeps extolling it like a masterpiece because it infodumped some answers in the end, never mind that the storyline was absolute crap.

  9. Avatar Solaris says:

    Tenchi is classic. It invented and developed the Harem concept. Dunno exactly if it’s the very first harem in history, but it show us harem with the format we all know nowadays. Plus it was fresh and original back then.
    Now it looks outdated due to the large number of series that copied it and its harem antics.

    Being adapted for the general purpouse audience, the series came out quite stupid, compared to the oav and the movies. The only serie i would recomend a bit is Tenchi Universe, unless i failed to watch to it entirely.

    Now grab the Movies and continue the Tenchi Experience ;-)

  10. I finally decided to write a comment on your blog. I just wanted to say good job. I really enjoy reading your posts.

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