Otaku Corner #08: All-New Tenchi Muyo Vol. 2

Face alien doom with the second volume of Tenchi

Brandon Beatty, contributing editor

Welcome back to another segment of “Otaku Corner” where my job is to review anime and manga for your leisure. In a previous OC review, I covered the first issue of Viz Medias’ adaptation of the “All New Tenchi Muyo!” graphic novel series in which good times of watching Tenchi and Co. on Cartoon Network’s “Toonami” block were revived. “Long live the Absolution Revolution,” I say. Now, with my shoutout to a legendary show complete, let us board Ryo-oh-ki Airlines, Flight 803 to check out the second installment of the “All-New Tenchi Muyo: Doom Time.”

In this second volume, Tenchi and Co. are at it again doing what they do best: Flirting, bickering to no end, and keeping Earth and the rest of the universe safe from the most outlandish and roguish villains ever known though seven chapters. In “Doom Time,” hence the subtitle, Washu invents a very cool device to alter time; trouble is, everyone except Ryo-oh-ki and a cute little visitor named Taro are trapped in time where Team Masaki is literally fighting against the clock to stay alive and keeping young Taro safe. Next, our favorite goofball in uniform, Mihoshi, finds herself in the middle of a bank robbery that quickly goes beyond awry when the proposed robber grabs Mihoshi ‘s gun resulting in teaching would-be criminals why crime does not pay at all.

Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

Poor Sasami has three chapters in which she is the star; only she is helping the others to fight against cute-yet-murderous building restoration robots and to somehow keep her father from annihilating her fellow classmates. Finally, Washu and the gang face off against an old enemy, Dr. Clay, and his newest weapon: an evil clone of Washu. Programmed at first to strike at Washu, it has the entire household facing off against not one but five clones known as “Dark Washu,” setting off a “to be continued” storyline for Vol. 3.

While reading this second installment of “Tenchi Muyo,” I found that everything that pulled me to this series is still here, keeping the sprit of the Tenchi anime and manga series intact and introducing a new generation of anime fans to harem manga that isn’t just girls domain. The action elements are superb in feeding adrenaline junkies their lust for action without overuse of “Gundam” or “Dragon Ball Z” elements. I must inform you that there is fan service abound in this issue. Ryoko’s cover shot, while alluring, passes the standards and practices rules.

Viz Media has earned the respect of Tenchi fans by having the English adaptation team of writer Fred Burke, translator Lillian Olsen and editor Eric Searleman dive into the Tenchi Muyo phenomenon, understanding that Tenchi Muyo is a cornerstone of Japanese animation and not the latest moneymaking franchise. Hitoshi Okuda’s talent in the storyline and art areas will make you feel as if you’re watching your own personal episode of TM without any commercial breaks.

My favorite scenes of the manga were in chapter five when King Jurai tries to teach one of Sasami’s classmates about manners in his own way, and in chapter seven when Washu and Dark Washu engage in intellectual and physical combat. I felt the action and the intense rivalry seeming from the pages. Anyone who is fortunate to pick a copy of a Tenchi Muyo manga will definitely get their money’s worth as great care in the English adaptation and the combination of excellent art and storyline ensures a great time for all without compromise.

As I close out this edition of Otaku Corner, I would like to take this time to say thanks to you, the readers, for reading this column; it was something that Lyndsey, Jamie and myself thought about for a while within GI and finally added to the video game realm in which anime and manga have a strong connection with Japan. Again, I say thank you, and now must fasten my seat belt per stewardesses Mihoshi, Ayaka and Ryoko as Ryo-oh-ki Airways Flight 803 has safely landed and awaits its treat of all things carrots. I wonder where was she when I needed a veggie wingman?

Brandon Beatty is contributing editor of Gaming Insurrection. He can be reached by email at brandonb@gaminginsurrection.com

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