As I said a while ago, I got confused about what happened to Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari, so I have spent the last two days downloading and catching up with it. Part of the reason I assumed it was an irregular OVA is that the episodes are 45 minutes long, which is just a bit weird. And in fact, it is an OVA, it’s just that the fansubbers are irregular.
It turns out to be just a bit on the racy side, every now and then, as it’s rather strongly implied that—
Ok, wait a minute. I’m getting ahead of myself here. I’m sure that no one is really interested in how many times Kenchi has gotten laid so far in this show (two, at least), proposed to (once, but it was interrupted), been invited to lay his hands upon buxom females (hundreds), actually laid his hands upon willing females who thoroughly enjoyed said attentions (dozens), had the unclothed breasts of beautiful women forced upon him (at least twice), noticed a lack of panties (once), been caught in situations Not His Fault (I lost track), been viewed in the nude by women of varying shamelessness (lots), been lusted and chased after by various female classmates (I don’t know a number that high)… I mean, it’s not like this show is one step removed from porn, like Kiss x Sis. No, it’s at least two and a half steps away!
I mean, who would worry about things like that? But damn, the girls are cute after all. I guess the early previews were just showing their bad sides. Though I think Mexiah’s “normal” hairdo is awful.
Seriously though, if you somehow missed it, this is the show about Kenchi Muyo, Tenchiâ€™s half-brother. Seems he got dumped into an alternate world, where heâ€™s begun to collect a harem to rival Tenchi’s — or exceed it. It’s hard to tell how big his harem is, because at this point, practically every woman he meets wants him. If Tenchi is Useless, then Kenchi is Superman. Abusurdly so; he’s not even average at anything. Except standing up for himself.
So: I’ll start by detailing the relationship between Kenchi and the Tenchi gang. Obviously, Kenchi is from further forward in time than the Tenchi stories. For the first few episodes, the connection was largely ignored. There were some blatant hints though, aside from the strong resemblance. Kenchi was obviously trained by Yosho (later he says as much) and intuitively understands combat. The intriguing clues start surfacing around episodes 6 and 7. He mentions that he’s good at cooking because he learned from his sister that could cook — and what not to do from the one that couldn’t. He’s good at repairs because he had a sister that broke lots of stuff, and he collects crystals because they remind him of one sister’s spaceship (we see Ryo-Ohki). And he has a sister who is a mad scientist (we see Washu, backlit and in shadow).
In short, it appears rather strongly that Kenchi is following (I presume) a Japanese custom of referring to sisters-in-law as sisters, or more simply put, it may not be canon, but the implication is that Tenchi got the harem ending and married at least Mihoshi (breaks things), Ryoko (owns spaceship) Washu (mad scientist), Ayeka (can’t cook) and either Noike or Sasami, maybe both (can cook well). One presumes Sasami put a few years on first — not that it would matter to Tsunami.
So what’s Kenchi like? No lighthawk wings yet, but his speed, reflexes, endurance, and strength are insanely higher than human norm. He can take vertical drops of hundreds of feet unharmed, climb sheer stone walls, appears to have 360-degree combat awareness, and can reduce any woman to jello with a massage (which partly accounts for his popularity). If Tenchi had been at that level when he first met Ryoko, he’d probably have slapped her silly. Or at least forced her to get serious.
Kenchi’s one weakness is that he tends to let others boss him, particularly adult females, and hypnotism works all too well on him. (Mexiah exploits that weakness ruthlessly.) He’s almost insufferably nice, but adapts to a moderately low place in the local pecking order just a bit too quickly for my liking — it gets him used rather badly at times.
He also (secretly) possesses the ability to pilot one of that world’s magical mechas, which makes him a “seikishi.” It’s not unknown for a male to be one, but they’re uncommon; about 90% are women. Which, given that the ability to pilot is somewhat hereditary, and more pilots means more power (even if restricted by the Church) this means any male with the ability to be a pilot is highly sought after as a mate by the female pilots. (“I knew it. I’m a stud horse,” said despairingly. With girls that cute, there are worse fates.) It’s
implied, er, stated that, due to the dearth of men, female pilots who want to play the field or have yuri relationships are free to do so, but male pilots are expected to marry.
This makes that fact that girls chase him all the more remarkable, as only a half-dozen at the Academy know he’s a pilot; Queen Lashara is keeping it secret for her own purposes.
Ok, so what about the anime itself? The music is ok, nothing outstanding, and the OP/ED, aside from some fanservice stills, is a typical montage of mecha fighting and flying. The art and animation is good throughout; well detailed and there’s rarely obvious shortcuts, unless you’re really looking. (a few still & pans in crowd scenes, and a lot of distance shots with only one thing moving.) Motion is good, and the characters are kept on model.
The OP’s and opening episode’s surplus of mecha combat is somewhat misleading, as there has been only one more (other than a tame duel with limited models) since then. In that, we open with the teen Queen Lashara’s coronation, amid open speculation that prime minister Babalun is out to depose her. Immediately after the ceremony, she departs for the Holy Land and the Academy on an enormous flying castle. (Yes, those next 6 episodes are school comedy. Groan). She is defended only by a couple of girls near her own age, the knight Chiaia, and Wahnly, an eccentric student inventor who has created some limited non-magical tanks and mecha. (Her inventions are steam powered and have very limited lifespans, whereas the mecha are limited more by the pilot’s endurance and availability of magic.) During the trip, they are attacked by a force of very well-equipped bandits fielding unusually powerful mechas of their own, and Lashara is occasionally assisted/defended by Aura and Mexiah.
Kenchi is among the bandits, and over a series of battles, he eventually switches sides, because he realizes that he’s being lied to, because Lashara takes an unnatural shine to him, and because he’s not particularly agreeable to murder anyway. (He was promised a way home. How he arrived is not yet explained.) During the battles, he falls gravely ill, and the various women around Lashara spare no effort to cure him, although Chiaia remains suspicious. They realize he is from another world, and later this starts becoming a plot point (finally) around the middle of the series. He’s not the only connection to Tenchi’s world. There’s also evidence that the local culture is descended directly from Japan, and that an ecological catastrophe preceded or accompanied human appearance in this world. Furthermore there’s obvious multiple crossovers, as Lashara is aware of the general level of Earth technology.
By episode 2, Lashara has hatched a plan to get him into the Academy, first as her servant, then as a staff member, and finally as a student, despite trying to keep it secret that he’s a seikishi. It’s hard to say exactly what her game is; while she’s obviously possessive of him, it appears that she might be playing a deeper game against those who seek to depose her. And there are various factions with an interest in Kenchi (and his origins) also.
From then until episode 7 there is only the one mecha battle, though 8 looks like it’s going to step up the game and start some fights. The series is only 12 episodes long, so it’s going to have to get moving on the action side. Intrigue is abundant; one of the male seikishi is recruiting the others for some kind of plot that involves Kenchi and a special property it’s been hinted that he has.
So now… on to the women in Kenchi’s love life: a.k.a. The Harem.
From left to right:
Yukine — Maria’s bodyguard and knight, and one of only two who admits openly to liking Kenchi. Semi-autistic, but not emotionless by any means.
Maria — queen of another country, cousin to Lashara, arch-rival. Battles with Lashara for posession of Kenchi, but it’s more to annoy Lashara, or perhaps to favor Yukine. Later, Maria and Lashara make common cause against Flora.
Lashara — queen of Geminar. Money-obsessed, manipulative, schemer, but not mean.
Kenchi — the center of the harem.
Wahnley: A bit sweet on him, but not heavily involved in the chase. Genius inventor, rather eccentric. (Yes, those are bag clips in her hair).
Lithia — student council president, strict, considers Kenchi a wild beast. Especially after he molested her under Mexiha’s influence. Which, incidentally, she enjoyed thoroughly, and would like to repeat, even if she won’t admit it.
Aura — dark elf princess of Shurifon. She wants Kenchi, badly. Confessed to him and tried to propose, but was interrupted by Wahnley.
Chiaia — shown here getting an eyeful. Knight and bodyguard to Lashara, heavily tsundere for Kenchi, though she’s still overtly in love with Dagmyer, a male Seikishi.
Flora — queen regent, mother to Maria, aunt to Lashara. Quite the libertine, and one of two women to sack Kenchi so far. Rather spectacularly, in fact.
Mexiah — shown in the NSFW pic above. Pink-haired older sister to Chiaia, teacher at the Academy, tease, sexual predator. Perhaps I should point out that teachers in the Holy Land’s academy aren’t restricted from affairs with students — she is shown getting out of bed with no less than four female students at one point. She’s also the other woman that’s sacked Kenchi, and even used hypnotism to dominate him into attacking other women and giving them massages that leave them, um… on hair-triggers and gasping for more. At least she had the good grace to bed him in private — Flora did him in front of half the above and a couple of maids! (No, I am not kidding. Lashara, Yukine, and Maria — plus the maids, and they were all still in a state of shock the next morning.) NSFW:
There’s actually a number of others that rate as secondary haremettes, as they’re obviously attracted to him. Hell, half the female population of the school is trying to catch him… literally. They try to chase him down after class every day, going so far as to coordinate squads to ambush him. Rather than try to hunt down pictures of every one of them, instead I’ll just leave you with one more of Flora.
All Hail Brittania!
Er, well, their dress designers, anyway. Who are apparently moonlighting in this world.
Well, anyway, this isn’t a bad show; in fact it’s a solid C+ or B. Though it is a Tenchi spinoff, it has pretty much ignored its historical heritage so far. There’s really no point in it being a Tenchi universe story except to exploit the name anyway, so no surprise there. And while it’s no GXP (lacking Nabeshin’s touch for the absurd), it’s frankly better than any of the broadcast shows I’m following this season. It’s definitely much better than the last Tenchi OVA, but then it doesn’t have two decades of back-story and fan expectations to bury it, either.