Tenchi Muyo GXP

After the last bit of news and thanks to recently finishing Tench Universe, I recently went back and looked at some information on GXP available at TMAU. There was a surprising conclusion made there, but even discussing the background to it is a huge spoiler, so I’m putting it below the fold.

In the last episode, Senia finds out that Seto has arranged matters so that he’s slated to marry not one of his haremettes, but all four of them. This plan goes off the rails when Seto’s four lovely assistants (who have spent every opportunity to flirt with him) are actually agents of a rival empire, who want to kidnap him so he can fight pirates for their kingdom, the Renza Alliance. They grab him, and escape in their ship, the Kaeisho. When it proves to be too slow to escape the four brides chasing them in the Kamidake, they toss every bit of spare mass overboard — including their clothes. From TMAU’s episode summary (empahasis added):

Despite tossing almost everything overboard, the Kaeisho is still too slow and the Kamidake soon catches it up. Much to the shock of the crew (not to mention the watching wedding party), they find Seina surrounded by the naked Renzan girls. Kiriko is the first to blow a fuse, screaming at the girls to release Seina. They protest that what they are doing is for the sake of justice, and go on to tell the brides they have eloped with Seina. Of course, the brides don’t believe them, so the Renzans jump on Seina to make them believe! At the wedding reception hall, Mikami observes that the argument sounds more like a lovers’ tiff. Airi begs Seto do something about it, but Seto just finds the whole thing extremely amusing. With an audience of thousands listening, the sounds from aboard the Kaeisho grow steadily more obscene (with whole words having to be bleeped out!), while Seina’s brides scream with rage as they try to stop the Renzans’ space-borne orgy!

Some time later, the Kamidake is back on duty and chasing space pirates. The usual crew has grown somewhat; Hakuren, Karen, Gyokuren and Suiren have somehow wangled themselves into the arranged marriage and have joined Kiriko, Amane, Ryoko and Neiju as crew members. Between his eight wives, NB, NaBiko and their numerous robo-children, the bridge of Seina’s ship has become rather crowded! Nevertheless, they have a job to do, and Seina orders his crew to chase after the pirate ships at full speed. With a resounding meow, Fuku powers up the Kamidake and it blasts off into the distance, off on the first of their new adventures.

Although the exact origin of this conclusion is not clear, TMAU uses sources outside the shows themselves (such as interviews, novelizations, etc.) for its information. SDB had concluded, and I had agreed, that there was no reason to actually add the women to the marriage; their addition to the crew was just a diplomatic arrangement to build ties with Rezna. After all, making it a nine-way marriage was just silly.

That conclusion, I have realized, has two problems. First, if the Rezna women had any status aside from just being pretty spies, such a marriage wouldn’t be unreasonable, given Seto’s goals and reason for the alliance in the first place. Even if the four of them had no special status, Seto might think it advantageous to add them to the marriage. (This gives rise to the thought that other kingdoms might be looking for sexy, high-ranking women with naval or pirate-fighting experience to prepare for marriage to the Juraian heir…)

Whether they do have such status in their home nation is not addressed in any way; however it should be noted that they had no problem being around or interacting with high Juraian nobility, which argues for some familarity with such lofty rank on their part. The four of them don’t even hesitate to forcibly seduce Seina, knowing he’s third in line to the throne! Although it might be considered that the “on camera” aspect of the seduction was even more outrageous…

Still, the willingness to seduce someone of rank is not necessarily conclusive of having rank oneself, for some obvious reasons that would label me a misogynist if I were to elucidate further, so I’ll skip straight to the second, more convincing reason — that it would be silly to make it a nine-way marriage. It would indeed. And who are we talking about, making this show? Nabeshin. Remember him? Excel Saga, Puni Puni Poemy, and The Wallflower. Yeah, I’m sure that one guy marrying eight beautiful women (well, 7 and a half, given the last needs to grow a bit) would be too silly for the guy who threw two robots and all their robotic children into that final scene.

So…. you think he picks, has a rotation, or draws lots to see which wife he spends the night with? Japanese tradition among the concubines was to draw lots, IIRC. Or was that the Chinese?

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12 Responses to Tenchi Muyo GXP

  1. Let’s be frank: [spoiler]They raped him.[/spoiler]

    They could do Janken, maybe, except that Amane would lose more than her share. (She’s got plenty of admirable traits, but she isn’t a strategist.) I suspect that Neige would win a hell of a lot more than her share, being the political chess player she is.

  2. [spoiler]There’s a scene where the four spies get a comlink from the brides in the Kamidake. And once the spies saw it, they had to realize there was no chance of getting away.

    That’s because Fuku was in the scene, wearing her ribbon, and she was looking very, very fierce. She wanted Seina back just as much as the women did, and that means there was going to be as much engine power (and weapon power if it came to that) as they could possibly need to overhaul the 4 spies and get him back again.

    The 4 spies knew that ship better than anyone except its regular crew and knew full well they weren’t going to be able to out run it, especially with Fuku looking the way she did. Man, she looked pissed off. She scared me![/spoiler]

  3. Ubu Roi says:

    Hmm. Given that the four spies didn’t take that into account, I think Amane might not be as outmatched as a strategist as you think. I suppose that was their best (read: only) chance, but still, not as smart of a move as could have been made. In theory, Seina could have been grabbed at any time before or after the wedding, and by any Rezna agents, even if it were necessary to wait a year or two for a good opportunity. The timing of the kidnapping, effectively outing themselves as spies and ending their usefulness (they didn’t know Seto knew, after all), indicates that they may have felt a personal stake — that is, they were chasing him for real all along.

    Jeeze, how much bad luck do I need to tolerate to be that much of a babe magnet? Although that many wives is just overkill. Three should be enough for any man…

  4. [spoiler]Ah. See, the thing is, Seto set the spies up. It is not true that they could have kidnapped Seina at any time. One of the reasons for the wedding, and for it to take place on Earth’s moon, was because it was going to be pretty much the only chance they’d get.

    Remember, Seina is now third in line for the throne. Security around him from now on is going to be strong and deep. And the only opportunities that the spies had otherwise to deal with Seina were on Jurai, which has its own layers of security.

    They had to go for him at the wedding because it really was their only chance, even though it was a longshot.

    As to the urgency, what I think is that the some of the pirates who had been chased out of GP territory had started operating in the Renza Federation, and the piracy problem there had reach a critical point. Two more years and they’d be broken beyond repair from it.

    You know that the Japanese think that 4 is an unlucky number. (That’s because one of its names sounds like their word for “death”.) It turns out that 9 is also an unlucky number, for a similar punning reason. (One name for 9 sounds like a word for “suffering”.) I think the reason a lot of people think that there was a larger wedding is that if you counted Fuku, then there were 9 wives.

    Seto set the spies up to make their kidnapping attempt at the wedding, because it really was their only chance, and because they were running out of time. Seto also knew the spies couldn’t possibly succeed. It was her way of forcing them to break cover. And once they did, then it permitted her to be magnanimous, to use her considerably influence to get them forgiven, and then to loan Seina to the Renza Federation as a generous gesture of good faith.

    It’s a major step in her long term diplomatic campaign to unite the galaxy. The Renza Federation WILL be grateful, and it’s going to seriously grease the diplomatic gears. By the time Seina has dealt with Renza’s pirates, they’ll be in full diplomatic relations with Jurai, and quite possible ready to join the Galaxy Federation.

    And it’s also important because it’s going to add to Seina’s reputation, galaxy wide. Soon everyone else out there is going to be talking to Seto in hopes of borrowing him, because everyone’s got serious piracy problems.[/spoiler]

  5. [spoiler]By the way, if they ever ask Seto if she knew about them, she’ll tell the truth. “Of course I knew you were Renza agents.”

    Then why did you let us work for you in such trusted positions? “Because I want to be friends with the Renza Federation.”[/spoiler]

  6. Ubu Roi says:

    One part of the logic that just doesn’t work is that Seina isn’t going to be on Jurai, he’s going to be out and about, chasing pirates. That was the original “keep the Kamidake crew together” plan that predated even finding out about Seina’s link. And they don’t seem to be in any hurry to change the plan after Seina’s status is determined. So where were they going to send him to fight pirates, what with the defeat of the Da Ruma and Shank guilds? Also, the problem with the “future security” theory is that if he’s going to be out and about chasing pirates somewhere, then he’s not going to be on Jurai behind all that protection. He’ll be making the occasional port call and such. Figure out what area he’s operating in, set up, and wait for a chance. Hell, hire some pirates to go cause a ruckus where you’re ready and waiting.

    And then there’s the final aspect of it

    The Rezna Federation can’t be so stupid as to think kidnapping the 3rd in line to the Juraian throne would be anything less than an act of war, no matter how badly they need him. So the kidnapping had to be the spies acting on their own.

    Edit: And a finally final point In light of the stated reason for kidnapping Seina, why rape him — on camera, no less! Nope, I think it was a crackpot scheme the four of them put together, with their kingdom’s need as an excuse.

  7. Ubu Roi says:

    Unrelated side point: Note that during his solo chase after Fuku and the Kamidake, Seina’s bad luck was very much in abeyance, despite the absence of the four women. Yes, he got shot down, but he crashed safely near his goal, and yes, the cliff crumbled under him — knocking out the two pirates he was challenging. Then he ends up discovering and getting thrown into the only weapon on the planet that could defeat the pirates and rescue Fuku, not to mention make him the heir to the throne!

    Contrast that with his luck a bit earlier, just after he’s reassigned from the Kamidake to mail sorting again, and separated from the women. The only difference that I can see is that at that point, in the minds of Amane, Ryoko, Kiriko, and Neige, he was not just physically separated, but psychologically separated from them (in their minds) due to the end of the assignment and his return to the dorm. This raised a barrier to whatever luck reversal powers they had. Once they realized that Seina was chasing the Kamidake and in trouble, they were “refocused” on him, and his luck changed during the chase.

  8. [spoiler]When he’s in the Kamidake, he’s as safe as if he was in God’s pocket. And part of Seto’s plan is precisely the fact that his security when he’s on loan has to be secured. That means that the other stellar government has to allow substantial Juraian and/or GP forces to be in their territory, to make sure that he’s safe when he comes in or supplies, or to meet local VIPs, or whatever.

    They never said so, but if you think about it Seina needs a pretty good sized fleet to support him. He finds groups of pirates on his own, and fights them with just the Kamidake, but after he wins and the survivors have all surrendered, someone has to show up to take them all into custody and sort them out. Seina and his four women can’t cope with hundreds or thousands of prisoners, right? So what’s been going on (which they don’t show, but which has to have been going on) is that Seto’s Juraian fleet has been providing that backup a lot of the time. Every time Seina stumbles on a swarm of pirates and beats them, he reports his position and then stands guard until other ships can come up and take over. Then he proceeds on his way, bouncing around, looking for his next battle.

    He’s going to need that no matter where he is working. And likely it’ll be either a Jurai fleet or a GP fleet offering him that support. In the mean time, anytime someone in a foreign stellar system invites him to visit, to cheering crowds etc., it’ll be treated like a state visit — because it really will be a state visit. The Jurai equivalent of the Secret Service will show up ahead of time to scout the area, and if the locals won’t permit that, well then Seina won’t show up.

    To answer your other points: Yes, the decision to kidnap was the four spies operating on their own. In a sense they were sacrificing themselves for the Renza Federation, taking responsibility on their own and providing their superiors with “plausible deniability”. They’re true patriots.

    Meanwhile, as to “bad luck”, I’ve come to realize that that’s not the right way to think of it. Seina is a weirdness magnet. Strange things will happen to him, and around him, almost no matter what — except when he’s in the Kamidake with Fuku and his four women. Then it’s controlled and directed, and it only manifests as his uncanny ability to stumble onto pirates.

    Historically, where he was, weirdness usually was bad for him or someone else, but when he’s out in the GP (e.g. on that planet) then the only real rule is “expect the unexpected”. Whatever happens, it won’t be what you think ordinarily would happen.

    But it isn’t the rule that what happens to him is automatically “bad luck”. It’s WEIRD luck. (And that’s why Wasshu is fascinated with him; he violates the rule of cause and effect, and Wasshu is always interested in those rare people who can violate the laws of physics and/or probability.)

    Anyway, if he’s in a controlled situation where unexpected goodness isn’t really possible, then everything weird is going to be bad. On the other hand, when he’s in a terrible situation (on that planet) where ordinarily you’d think his prospects would be horrid, then the unexpected is probably going to be to his benefit.[/spoiler]

  9. Ubu Roi says:

    I don’t think they thought of it as a sacrifice, so much as they thought “we got him to ourselves!” Otherwise their ah, extra-curricular activities during that little escapade make no sense. The whole thing was fueled by jealousy, not rational planning.

    Of course, trying to logically explain the reasoning behind any harem comedy, let alone Nabeshin’s absurdity is just an exercise is futility, and I think we’ve taken this discussion way further than is warranted.

    Not that I’m going to let that stop me! Yet another side note: I’m also kind of curious as to where the Idol is at the end of the series. I’m sure that Jurai would like to keep studying it, but that would mean keeping Seina apart from his tree/seed. We know that the Kamidake separated its hull again, and presumably Kiriko’s tree has resumed its fusion with the ship; the Idol could easily ride within her subspace garden. Given its incredible capabilities and link with Seina, it would be an extra level of security for him to have it around. The ship/tree combo alone is capable of defeating any pirate fleet thrown against it; a ship/tree/tree/idol combo would be virtually immune to anything short of Tenchi or the 3 Sisters.

  10. [spoiler]Actually, the Kamidake is larger inside than outside. My feeling about that is that after the research is done, they’ll load it into a storage bay inside the Kamidake (and if there isn’t one big enough to hold it, then Fuku will create one), and it’ll be there for Seina to use in case he needs to tromp a pirate base on a planet somewhere.

    Fuku won’t mind. She’s already met the statue and they cooperated well. I don’t expect THAT to happen again, though.[/spoiler]

  11. Ubu Roi says:

    Ah, probably won’t happen again. Fuku was righously put out with Tarrant for cloning her and then treating the clones badly. I have to wonder how much of the breakage suffered by the laws of physics was her, how much was the Idol, how much was Seina, and how much the seed/tree. My guess is it took all four, though I’d not deny the possibility that it was either the Idol or Seina alone. One is unexplained technology, the other is just unexplained weirdness.

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