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[ café reviews ]


Tenchi Muyo! TV Episode 2
(No Need for a Princess!)

Distributed by: Pioneer LDC (world-wide)
Length: 23 minutes
Rating: NR, Adult situation with brief nudity, parental guidance suggested
Format: Original Japanese dialog (LD), subtitled (VHS) and dubbed (VHS)

[ plot summary ]

Mihoshi, devastated by the loss of her spaceship and inability to arrest Ryoko, does the only thing she can do -- accept the situation, live with Ryoko and the Masaki household, and send out a distress call... Meanwhile, a very unhappy Princess Ayeka of the Jurai family has just come from an exhasuting omiai meeting, and is preparing to rendevous with her sister's ship, when she receives a distress call. Having nothing but time on her hands, she and her two faithful guardian servants, Azaka and Kamidake, head off to answer the distress call. When Ayeka lands, she makes a horrifying discovery -- her worst childhood enemy -- Ryoko -- is at the scene. Suddenly, Mihoshi's plight takes a back seat to a slightly more personal matter...

[ capsule review ]

I'm not a big Takada Yumi fan -- but she does get a very choice role as Ayeka, the despondant Princess of Jurai. (A bit of a personal dilemma, since I like the character!) Ayeka's arrival gives Tenchi an all-too common element in just about every Japanese comedy series: The dreaded love triangle. Though this series implies very early that perhaps, Tenchi may have more definite leanings towards one more than the other. The personal interaction between Tenchi and Ayeka is sweet and gentle, and is a most welcome addition to the script. That aside, there are some cute aspects about the script -- for example, the two very different versions of a common childhood memory (how many times have we done this ourselves when we were growing up?) Ayeka's reason for staying on Earth is something most of us would like to be able to do -- escape from the pressures of reality, and take an extended vacation (of course, most of us couldn't use a downed spaceship as an excuse!) Again, there are some minor differences from the OAV series. In the TV universe, Ayeka is on equal footing with Ryoko when it comes to personal powers, which come into play in this and later episodes. I do take exception to Pioneer's translation of this episode -- and a very strong exception. A specific 4-letter obscenity was used when translating a Japanese expletive; this was neither warranted nor appropriate, especially when you consider the target audience of the Tenchi series (and even though there is some nudity through the series, it's very non-descript). Too bad, since overall this was a very sweet episode. - AN

This episode really builds on Ayeka's character and her responsibilities as the first princess of Jurai. More than anything, we get the feeling of boredom and the burden that Ayeka carries with her responsibilities, going from one marriage meeting to the next, none of which to date have worked out. Her coming to earth, while purely by chance gives her a break from her responsibilities as well as a chance to relax. We also get the definite feel of a romantic interest between her and Tenchi despite her denial to Ryoko later. Ayeka's theme is still my favourite in this series and is very descriptive of her character. Played in a minor key, it's rather melancholic, and introspective, and hints at how her responsibilities weigh on her. The animation continues to be very nicely done especially for a TV series, and the music is also very good. The battle between Ayeka and Ryoko is an indication of what will occur undoubtedly throughout this series between the two of them, and with no realisation of those around them. Indeed, Ayeka was quite oblivious to Mihoshi's presence on her ship until much later in the battle, and was quite oblivious to both Mihoshi and Tenchi when she first came to earth and encountered Ryoko. I have to admit, thus far Pioneer's translations have not kept up compared to most production companies, particularly with the Tenchi series. This is the second time I've noticed them using harsher than called for language in a translation (the other time being in the OAV series) and must admit to being a touch disappointed with them. I have nothing against using expletives or obscenities in translations, but in this case it just didn't suit the general dialogue, the language level being used, nor the target audience. There's an editor somewhere who just wasn't doing their job. -JYN

[ café rating ]

Original: Subbed: Dubbed:
Story: N/R 2 stars N/R
Direction: N/R 4 stars N/R
Acting: N/R 3 stars N/R
Animation: N/R 4 stars N/R
Music: N/R 4 stars N/R
Translation: N/A 3 stars N/R
Overall Rating: N/R 3 stars N/R

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