Tenchi Muyo – Ryo Ohki

Today’s post is going to be a little different from the last few days, as it’s about anime. Well, that was the original point of this blog, after all.

A few years ago, Silver Link (correction: A1C) started producing a series of OVAs based on Tenchi Muyo’s novels, set after the three main original series. Given the power inflation of the originals, there’s no real challenges possible, and no real “action”. Instead, the OVAs (of which there are about twenty, broken up into five seasons) are a whole lot of talking. The main point of this is to unify all the various spinoffs into one coherent narrative. The characters from GXP make a number of appearances, along with War on Geminar’s Kenchi, as a baby and small child.

The latter is the focus of series four and five. It seems that Kenchi’s insertion into an alternate world and his ridiculous physical abilities weren’t an accident. It turns out that Rea, the new wife of Tenchi’s father, is an artificial human from Geminar, deliberately sent to an alternate universe (Earth) in order to produce a child that would then be summoned back to lead the good guys. Um…ok, makes perfect sense.

In some universe.

So, aware of this, the Jurai women, led by Seto and assisted by Washu, set about to secretly produce the best possible agent of change, short of biological or mechanical enhancements. Such boosts will not survive the transfer back to Geminar. It’s not all work and war, as they are at pains to give him as normal an upbringing as possible. Meanwhile, Tennyo (Tenchi’s sister) is digging into her mother’s records, trying to find out more about Rea and Geminar. Typically, there are factions within factions, as the menfolk and a sub-group of the wives are maneuvering to limit Seto’s excesses. As a part of this, Seina’s wives are contemplating a move to Earth, next to the Masaki household. As it turns out, this answers an open question from GXP. Specifically: did Seina marry just the four main girls, or four plus the assistants of Seto’s that kidnapped him in the last episode (and, to be blunt, raped him with great enthusiasm).

Well, I kept seeing a redhead I couldn’t quite place — until this scene below. I submit the following as evidence:

Thank God they left out NB.

The “extras” are clearly being treated as equals to the original four, and in no way resented or discriminated against. Very open-minded of the four, if you ask me. However, immediately after this scene, there are two references to a second marriage on Earth, referencing only the original four, while the childbearing and raising discussions include all eight. Are they acknowledged mistresses, or am I misunderstanding the ceremony will be for the extras? But when they discuss Japan’s monogamy laws, it’s stated that Kiriko should be the acknowledge “Earth” wife. Note also Neiju at the right. She seems a bit standoffish, but also she’s grown into the woman seen briefly in the projection from GXP.

Amusingly, Kiriko’s response was “That ship has sailed.”

This is as far as I’ve gotten in the series, but it’s obvious that the point here isn’t politics, action, or drama. It’s all about spending time with favorite characters and tying the various pieces of mythos together, including some that haven’t made it to anime form yet. I assume that, as I’ve never seen anything about a series in which Kiriko enters a fantasy world and then comes back with a elf sorceress giving off “reformed bad-guy” vibes. Something to look forward to?

Edit: It’s eventually made semi-clear that they are not Seina’s wives pending further negotiations with Renza; however it seems that they are acknowledged by the Emperor as mistresses. Which results in a bit of side-eye from Kiriko. That’s a lot more understandable given the diplomatic furball that kidnapping Seina during his own wedding had to have started. I sense a bit of diplomatic “smoothing over” going on.

Edit 2:I was constantly asking myself “Who are all these people?” and “What is going on?” as a lot of new characters were introduced with no explanation, and what little action there was lacked context. Turns out that the OVAs were essentially companions to novels that have never been imported to the US. See https://tenchimuyotranslationblog.blogspot.com/

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