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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