Tenchi Muyo War On Geminar
Kicking things off right for a new year I wanted to watch something new, yet old, and familiar all at the same time. Seriously though, if you haven’t watched any of the Tenchi Muyo series, what the hell have you been doing with your life? It’s one of the Toonami staple series, in fact it was part of the original OG Toonami line up.
Synopsis: Kenshi, half-brother of intergalactic hero Tenchi Masaki, has been summoned to the mysterious world of Geminar, and his only hope of returning to Earth is piloting a bio mechanical weapon in a shocking assassination attempt! When the mission fails and Kenshi is captured, he discovers he’s been lied to by the very culprits who transported him to this strange new world. Luckily, Princess Lashara kindly welcomes Kenshi and invites him to live among her followers. Now, caught up in a political whirlwind, and hotly pursued by Geminar’s female population, Kenshi must find a way to get home while civil war erupts all around him!
Story: This new edition to the Tenchi Muyo saga covers a lot of the same points as the other Tenchi related series. (Minus GXP which does not directly relate to the Misaki family or those living with them.) And while it does cover a lot of themes that the others use, it does it in a way that seems original and fresh. WoG breathes new life into the franchise by adding new depth and characters to the universe without throwing in all of the characters from previous series. WoG truly stands on its own as an anime with very subtle hints that it belongs in the Tenchi universe. If you are looking for a story that mixes in with the the rest of the Tenchi universe (like GXP) though, you will be disappointed. While there are characters from the Tenchi series referenced they are never called by name, and only one of them is seen in a shadowy form (Washu) and then only referred to by a title (mad scientist.) That having been said WoG definitely feels like a Tenchi series and you quickly get pulled into the story and invested in the characters.
Rating: This is a definite 4 1/2 out of 5 Fire Dragon’s Roars. The story is really good, and completely stands on its own. However I wish they had included a bit more of Kenshi’s relation to Tenchi and the others in the series, but that’s my own personal issue. Some hardcore fans of the series may share in this thought too though. However, if you make it far enough into the series, the explanation about how Kenshi ended up on Geminar gives a bit of a link between the Tenchi Muyo series and WoG.
Art: The art quality is definitely the best of the franchise this time and we get a lot of robot action and fights from beginning to end. This is definitely the most action packed series of the Tenchi franchise to date. And you can tell that a lot of time and care was put into the environments and characters. While we don’t get to see all of the world of Geminar the locations and environments that we visit are beautifully done and feel like places you could visit and are teeming with life. Floating islands, forests, a high society school ground, and much more. The character designs were well done too. Every character in this series is new and the studio could easily have gone with whatever style they wanted since this was a very stand alone series, but they kept the designs close enough to the look of the Tenchi universe that no design seemed out of place. Kenshi and Tenchi look very similar, but let that go considering they are half brothers and physical similarities can be explained in that way. However Kenshi’s design isn’t an exact clone of Tenchi’s either, they both have enough of a difference in style and appearance that it doesn’t feel like they are the same person.
Rating: I will give the art quality 5 out of 5 Fire Dragon’s Roars. I have seen higher quality art only in very few series and this one really stands out, especially among the Tenchi franchise.
Sound: The music isn’t bad at all, though it didn’t really stick with me. I guess I’m just nostalgic for the old stuff. But the sound design and voice work for both dubbed and subbed work really well. My personal casting choices aside I think this is worth a watch in either English or Japanese.
Rating: This has to be a 4 out of 5 Fire Dragon’s Roars for me. Not the best, but by no means the worst. It stands up as a Tenchi series, but nothing really jumped out at me enough with the music so I couldn’t get it a full 5 Fire dragon’s roars.
Characters: There are just so many characters and this is a harem anime, so there are lot of girls that are chasing after Kenshi and they all have their unique personalities. I will not be going through and listing each of the characters and their traits or what a think about each character, we’d be here all day. And I feel like I’ve said enough about Kenshi’s character already. I think the enjoyment of the show is learning about each new character you meet, so I would like to let you experience that for yourself instead. Thankfully they don’t feel like clones of the girls from the Tenchi franchise. While they do tend to fall into the tropes expected of a harem anime each character feels unique enough that it doesn’t feel like it’s just a new character design and name slapped over the same old stuff you see in every harem anime. And Tenchi, at least to me, is the original harem anime, so it feels more authentic than it would in any other harem anime. Though there are definitely some over the top characters their too.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Fire Dragon’s Roars. Good, but not great. The characters are good and unique, and I really love the designs and personalities, but there wasn’t enough originality to it to give it a full 5. After a while you will get to a point where you expected this trope to happen, or the ‘hey it’s that personality-type-girl!’ will show up. So I feel like even though it was handled well, it wasn’t able to stand enough on its own to really stand out. I feel like this show may have fallen more under the radar if it didn’t have the Tenchi brand attached to it.
Enjoyment: Over all even with all of the problems that I found it was still an enjoyable series and fun to sit through all the way to the end. It’s not your typical Tenchi show, even though it may feel like it at some point. Stick through with it and I guarantee that you will be glad you did. While it may seem short since there are only 12 episodes, keep in mind that each episode is the length of 2 episodes, so you are actually getting 24 episodes of content.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Fire Dragon’s Roars. WoG belongs in your stream queue and maybe on your shelf if you are a Tenchi fan. If you haven’t discovered Tenchi yet, this is not the one to start with. While it is a stand alone and you don’t need to have seen any of Tenchi franchise to watch and enjoy it. I think it adds to the enjoyment more if you actually have knowledge of the Tenchi OVA series and Ryo Ohki series.
Dub/Sub: It works both subbed or dubbed. But honestly whichever one you choose to watch first will most likely be your favorite.
Overall: Not the Best series in the Tenchi-verse, but I would put it in my top 3. I just missed my Ryoko so much! And it didn’t feel like I met anyone in this series that could make my longing for her cease.
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