Back to the Vaults — Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki: Night Before Carnival ("Episode 7")

天地無用! 魎皇鬼 OVA “Night Before Carnival”
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki: Night Before Carnival

Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki: Night Before CarnivalWith the success of Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 1, it was only natural that AIC and Pioneer would want more. So, a single episode was created to bridge the series to the future OVA 2 series.

This time around, Tenchi is adjusting to life living with a group of alien women — Ryoko the notorious space pirate; Aeka, the daughter of the Emperor of Jurai; Sasami, Aeka’s younger sister; Mihoshi, the often air headed Galaxy Police officer; and Washu, the Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki: Night Before Carnivalgenius scientist who’d been kidnapped 5000 years earlier and held captive all that time until Mihoshi accidentally freed her.

Washu runs experiments on Tenchi in an attempt to discover the secrets of his power. Tenchi has a special seed from Ryo-oh given to him by Tsunami to return to Aeka. Aeka knows that by planting the seed in a special container, the Royal tree will grow and she’ll have her former tree-partner back again. Washu proves somewhat Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki: Night Before Carnivalmischievous in dealing with Aeka’s request, demanding to be addressed as “Washu-chan” despite the fact she’s many thousands of years old. Aeka eventually is forced to agree to Washu’s terms and Washu produces a containment unit with a Juraian environment suitable to plan Ryo-oh in.

Meanwhile, Sasami-chan decides to have some fun by putting Aeka and Ryoko onto shoujo manga titles collected by Tenchi’s father, Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki: Night Before Carnivalselling them on the idea that they could learn the art of human love by reading these manga. Aeka and Ryoko put what they read into action causing Tenchi to wonder what is wrong with them. Finally, Aeka and Ryoko decide that they need to thin out the competition by removing Mihoshi and Washu. So the plan is to seal Washu in a force field and send Mihoshi back to Galaxy Police.

After Washu brings Mihoshi’s shuttle out of subspace, Mihoshi is off Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki: Night Before Carnivalto her mother ship to make her report to her Galaxy Police supervisor who is relieved that the Kagato problem has been resolved. He’s not happy with Mihoshi’s request to remain assigned to Earth as that planet is under Jurai’s jurisdiction. However, since Tenchi had asked her to come back and he’s related to the current Juraian emperor, she’s there to stay. Now, her supervisor has to deal with her detailed written report.

That night, Ryoko has Aeka bound and Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki: Night Before Carnivalplans to have her way with Tenchi. She runs through a scenario with herself and likes what she hears. However, when she attempts to enter Tenchi’s room, she finds herself teleported to the lake by a kekkai. Returning to the house all wet, Ryoko finds Aeka free and set up this barrier. Ryoko is going to allow Aeka to go first but Aeka isn’t having any of that. They begin to grapple with each other but after Sasami-chan knocks and gets into Tenchi’s room, they attempt to get in as well only to be teleported into the lake. They emerge from the lake, only to have Mihoshi return and crash, destroying Tenchi’s house and forcing them all to spend the night in Aeka’s new tree container for Ryo-oh.

Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki: Night Before Carnival


Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki: Night Before CarnivalI went a bit more into story summary this time but that’s OK. ^_^

I’ve read that this episode is the kind of story that Kajishima-sensei loves to do — a day in the life of the residents of MASAKI Tenchi’s home. Indeed, the Tenchi doujinshi Kajishima-sensei has been doing for the last several years reflects this as he does stories showing the hijinks and happenings at Tenchi’s home. As such, this episode is mainly about showing how the various girls love Tenchi — Washu Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki: Night Before Carnivalgoes after him in a direct, sexual fashion; Sasami goes to him more like an older brother but we see she loves Tenchi dearly when Mihoshi leaves; Aeka and Ryoko try different things to get to Tenchi.

This episode is the one that I believe causes the majority of old Tenchi fans to latch onto the whole “whom will Tenchi choose” idea. It is easy to understand why as I too latched Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki: Night Before Carnivalonto this in my first few viewings of the series. However, this episode also provides some clues to Sasami-chan’s mysterious condition and we are shown that there are larger forces at work here with the glimpse we are given of Tokimi and the shadow images behind her in her realm (which Kajishima-sensei would later reveal as the “Choushin Realm”) which look a lot like Tsunami and Washu.

Another thing this episode does is reveal how Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki: Night Before CarnivalKajishima-sensei doesn’t like to get bogged down in details. On one hand, he did provide us an explanation as to why Ryoko attacked Jurai and thus why Kagato would have a container for a Royal tree. We even get a late explanation as to how Tenchi obtained his Juraian battle uniform from OVA 1 (via the ring Tsunami gave him). However, Kajishima-sensei did not explain the seed of Ryu-oh and how this seed could still be Ryu-oh. What was up with Ryoko’s sense of taste? Why were there so many Ryo-ohki’s all of the sudden? Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki: Night Before CarnivalJapanese fans demanded an answer and Kajishima-sensei was forced to answer this and a whole lot of other unanswered questions in the book 101 Secrets of Tenchi Muyo!, which was published after Night Before Carnival was released.

The DVDs I still have for TM!R from Pioneer are the re-release they did for a cheaper price. Pioneer corrected some of the worst translation mistakes from the original VHS (and first DVD) release but there are still a lot of Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki: Night Before Carnivalflaws in the translation. For example, the translator was desperate to avoid Japanese honorifics at all costs but then that blasted Kajishima came out and had a whole scene centering around Washu demanding to be called “Washu-chan.” Since the attitude of the time was that honorifics are evil, the translator came up with the whole “Little Washu” concept.

Ugh!

When I saw this for the first time, I had no understanding of honorifics beyond “san.” Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki: Night Before CarnivalEven so, reading the subtitles were Washu demanded to be called “Little Washu” made me cringe — it sounded so freaking stupid because no one would demand to be addressed as “little,” especially if they are short in stature. Further, what did Washu’s age have anything to do with “little” beyond not being a baby?

Later when I learned of the “chan” honorific and the “sama” honorific, everything in this scene made sense to me. Someone of Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki: Night Before CarnivalWashu’s status being addressed as “Washu-sama” would be appropriate and it would be completely wrong to address her as “Washu-chan” since that would be reserved for children, girls, and pets (primarily). However, not only does Pioneer change “chan” to “little,” they decide to ignore the “sama” honorific. I guess the translator couldn’t figure out a way to force-translate it, so lets pretend it didn’t exist.

Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki: Night Before CarnivalBy removing the honorifics from the subtitles and pretending they don’t exist (except for “little” with Washu since other instances of “chan” are ignored), quite a bit is lost in my opinion. If somehow FUNiamtion scores this, I hope they’ll let Tomato retranslate it from scratch. I’ll lobby for that to happen.

Update: Though FUNimation did indeed license the series, they elected to not spend extra money to retranslate.

Speaking of honorifics, this episode is the only time that I recall Ryoko addressing Tenchi with an Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki: Night Before Carnivalhonorific. During her attempt to recreate a scenario from a shoujo manga she read, she called Tenchi “Tenchi-san.” ^_^

(As an aside, Ryoko is the only girl that Tenchi does not use an honorific with. This is something Japanese fans of a Ryoko x Tenchi pairing would point to as proof Tenchi would pick Ryoko.)

So while the episode is a lot of fun and fluff, there is also some important table setting for events in OVA 2 and OVA 3 to come. That’s why I enjoy this episode so much because it helps flesh out characters, have some fun with them, but also moves the bigger story forward a step as well.

Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki: Night Before Carnival

 

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28 Responses to “Back to the Vaults — Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki: Night Before Carnival ("Episode 7")”

  1. evgenidb says:

    Hmm, maybe “Young” instead of “Little” would be better. But still, Tenchi Muyo OVA was the second anime I watched (the first one was “Tenchi Muyo! Universe”, which I watched the whole one for just one night 😀 ), so at that time I didn’t have any idea about honorifics at all and “Little” didn’t sound so awkward to me.

    Also, this is probably my favorite Tenchi Muyo episode!

  2. muhootsaver says:

    yeah, I own the boxset and translation was problematic. I knew very few words of Japanese back in the days, and even then, I could notice problems.

    About the OVA itself, I did enjoy this episode quite a bit, but I think this was the beginning of somehow more “relaxed” or “mellow” Tenchi(Both the series and the character himself). Second OVA has the similar tone, the factor that I didn’t particularly like too much. And I think they went extreme with the third OVA.

  3. O-chan says:

    Hey, Natsu no Arashi people THIS is how you do a “daily life” episode! Learn from it!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I wish FUNimation would license the first OAVs since Geneon’s DVDs are out of print.

  5. AstroNerdBoy says:

    You know, one of the great things about going back and rewatching these is reliving the good times. ^_^

    @Anon — I don’t know why this series has been allowed to fall off the shelf but I’m guessing there are legal issues.

  6. O-chan says:

    Legal issues? Like what?! Seriously, if Funi could save the first 13 episodes of DB from right hell I can’t imagine what is preventing them from doing the first series.

  7. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Did FUNimation finally get back the first 13 episodes of DB? I wasn’t aware of that.

    Anyway, if there are legal complications (or Geneon Japan is being difficult), it will take time to iron them all out.

  8. ggultra2764 says:

    You neglected to mention how the English dub handled the dialogue from Washu’s nurse scene with Tenchi. The dub toned down on the original version’s dialogue as the original Japanese version had Washu suggesting some saucy ways to get her needed “sample” while the dub merely had Washu teasing Tenchi over getting what she wants.

  9. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Yeah, I did neglect that. Then again, I don’t believe I’ve watched much of TM!R in English though and I certainly didn’t this time. ^_^;

    Good reminder though. ^_^

  10. Anonymous says:

    The best thing about Tenchi is that it never gets old, and this is one of the best episodes. I think it’s an excellent example of how Kajishima can do perfectly well without Hiroki Hayashi and Naoko Hasegawa keeping him in check or whatnot. Some naysayers never want to admit that. I think it’s mostly these diehard anti-Kajishima folks who are dead set against OVA3 as well. Personally I think OVA3 was mostly fine story-wise, but the execution could have been a lot better in places. Having heard that it was originally supposed to be 13 episodes long, I can see the compression effects.

    As a sidenote, I’m surprised our resident Kajishima hating idiot who used to rant here about how bad Kajishima, OVA3 and ANB were hasn’t made his appearance yet. Or did you finally manage to get through to him, ANB? That guy was truly nuts…

  11. Psycho Parrot is still very much around saying the same profanity-laced things ad nauseam. We don’t let his stuff through.

  12. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Psycho Parrot. *lol* Good one.

  13. James says:

    Darn it… I thought you were talking about me.

    I complain about a lot of things. Kajishima is a storyteller thats it. Hasegawa brought emotional depth to the characters. A sort of real character interaction and development. Hayashi brought form to the anime, he always did like high cel art, thats why the Mihoshi dvd looked beautiful. He’s also used the same composer in all his other works afterword. Yousuke and Hasegawa are friends but there are some significant writing differences. My jaw dropped at how uninteractive and boring oav2 was. Everything he did oav 7 was award winning but killed the feeling in the sequels. As for Kenichi Yatagai or Yatani, he has nothing worth noting. He is just there.

    I can’t say anything wrong about Pioneer’s translation. Unless its something storywise the mix up, I don’t care if they don’t include honorifics. We know its about japanese boy, but do we have hear japanese culture in English.

    The one thing i hate most is the constant, “huh” or “oh” line in the anime. Yousuke did that a lot, Hasegawa never did, in any other anime. Watch her in OMG and PeaceMaker. You’ll feel like your watching tenchi.

  14. James says:

    Also where did you get that last photo you posted AnB?

  15. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Vocalizing complaints is not a problem, nor is saying that one does not like a show. There are lines that can be crossed though. ^_^

    I wish I knew more about how much Hasegawa-sensei brought to the table. My understanding is that she wrote the final scripts for episodes three and five of OVA 1. Word is that Kajishima-sensei (who wrote all the early versions of the scripts) did not like how Hasegawa-sensei changed Aeka’s character. Apparently, Kajishima-sensei wanted Aeka to accept the notion of Yosho being dead and not cling to some desperate hope that Yosho might be alive. Hasegawa-sensei did not see the character that way and turned her into the “tragic princess.”

    I did read a translated interview with Hasegawa-sensei and she pretty much admitted that she had no clue as to where Kajishima-sensei was going or that Washu and company were “choushin.” That’s why Washu in Hasegawa-sensei’s works is supposedly more of the mad scientist type.

    I do think that the loss of Hayashi from the project was a bad thing because I see Hayashi as a guard rail to keep Kajishima from going off the road. I get the impression that Kajishima doesn’t like that kind of restriction.

    Anyway, I have to try to watch OVA 2 soon to write a piece about it. ^_^

    As to that last image, it is a single frame inserted into the OVA when Ryoko runs into Tenchi. It is a continuation of the gag from episode 6 of OVA 1 where there were two similar joke images of Mihoshi and the snakes.

  16. James says:

    Hah… I really like this pointless gossip of Hollywood, Japan. I wonder if there is a japanese version of Star magazine on AIC staff. Well, there is nothing left now of it. Everyone has split. There’s only the freelancers.

    Anyway, thanks for the pointers. I don’t believe Hasegawa made Washu a normal person. I think she did the design for tokimi, because she had a picture of the three goddess in her second novel, which should have came out a little before episode 11. She probably didn’t have any idea of how to bring Tokimi into her story. Too busy highlighting tenchi. Also a side note, compared to Kajishima, Hayashi and Hasegawa are more true to the Fantasy genre. I really did not like pretty sammy in GP, and Yuzuha, whatever she is.

    About those gags, the snakes were not easy to miss. I really have to watch for the Tenchi knockout. I remember in TU ryoko playing nes and fighting ayeka in episode 1.

    g nite.

  17. James says:

    I know I always miss something to say.

    I don’t know why Hasegawa only gets credits for ep. 3 and 5. Kajishima is in better shape with the help of the two. As to how to write ayeka, I think Hasegawa was right because how else would she end at earth. If she had accepted it then what was the point of staying, not that she could leave. Kajishima believed that Hasegawa’s deep emotions was going to waste screen time. He probably could have explained the onsen if she wasn’t in the mix. I don’t know how they finished the first set. They must really had to deal with it. Kenichi and Yousuke probably have to kneel(and say “yes master” to stay on the Tenchi committee.

    I hope I’m not carrying this gossip too far. I’m having fun anyhow. If my readers want to silence please say so, otherwise i continue to wreak havoc.

    Finally, I can’t see what you mean by Hayashi as a guard rail, could explore that thought more elaborately for us, ANB? Because you make it feel like we are at the studio.

  18. AstroNerdBoy says:

    “I think she did the design for tokimi, because she had a picture of the three goddess in her second novel, which should have came out a little before episode 11.”

    The first image of Tokimi came out in “Night Before Carnival.”

    In the acknowledgment section of her first Tenchi novel, Hasegawa-sensei mentions that she had a conversation with Kajishima-sensei about Tokimi and Washu.

    HASEGAWA: “Kajishima sensei, who exactly is this meishu Tokimi?”

    KAJISHIMA: “Oh, this thing. This is about the Three Goddesses. There are three goddesses in this universe, Tsunami, Tokimi and Washu, so you could say they are the Goddess Trio.

    HASEGAWA: “…huh?”

    (I know of Tsunami but I’ve never heard of this Tokimi lady. And Washu? Wasn’t Washu a great scientific genius??” )

    This little author turned quite pale.

    HASEGAWA: “Well, y’see I’ve kinda just about finished my first novel. Are you absolutely sure these three are goddesses?”

    KAJISHIMA: “Absolutely!” (with great passion)

    HASEGAWA: “… really?” (Now why didn’t I know this?)

    You know, I need to post this entire thing on the FAQ.

  19. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Oh — Hasegawa-sensei gets credit for being the script writer on OVA 1. However, what I’ve long read is that while she did final polishing on the other scripts, episodes 3 and 5 she did the final rewrites of.

    As to what I mean by Hayashi being a guardrail, I’ll go into that more when I cover OVA 3. However, Hayashi kept Kajishima-sensei focused and didn’t allow him to roam all over, which is what I believe happened with OVA 3. As I said, I’ll cover this more when I review that series. ^_^

  20. James says:

    You make it sound like he’s handicapped with attention defecit disorder.

    You have alot more work to post for tenchi than i thought possible. With jen covering outside the kajishima world and you doing the cannon material, thought everything would be complete.

    you can do we’ll just sit by and give you more work to compile. heheheheh…. by the way have you seen haien muyo. I hope you know what i’m talking about.

  21. AstroNerdBoy says:

    “haien muyo” — never heard of it. Sorry. ^_^;

  22. Anonymous says:

    I still think Little Washu is better than Young and what not. I figured the awkward and weird thing of calling Washu “little” was just Washu’s way of making them feel uncomfortable on purpose, like with Aeka’s reaction to it.

    It just seems like the character to me. ^^;

  23. Meglivorn says:

    “Two wet fools who forgot how to knock” XD
    Tho I’m sucked to the depths of the vast kajishimaverse, and all the mysteries, in a way I can understand how Kajishima likes to “play house” with his characters. This is one of my favorites in the whole show, though not the best one. That is still the “Here Comes Jurai”. But for me this is the episode where the Tenchi grows out the original concept, and become that great universe I fell in love with.

    I can’t really add to the dub-discussion. The tenchi is one of the few series where I like the (origina) dub. Tho there are voices I think not so good, Petrea Burchard was perfect Ryoko, Kristen Tanner, Katie Ashley were great as the princesses, and Weston Peese as Kagato… I know it’s about the translation, but maybe it’s not so off, and in my experience people tends to forget, that there is good work too 🙂

  24. AstroNerdBoy says:

    When I hit OVA 2, I’ll have some things to say about “Here Comes Jurai.” There is a lot of fascinating stuff going on there. I remember True Sheol writing up some stuff for the AFC forums on the unsaid thing between Funaho and Yosho as well as the entire political aspects of the episode. Good stuff. ^_^

  25. Oyasumi says:

    Aw, I like the “little Washu” bit. I know it’s not accurate, but I think it’s cuter in the dub. Maybe it’s because I saw the dub first, but I like it a lot. (And I also think it’s cute how Washu calls Ryoko “little Ryoko.”) Yeah I guess it’s annoying for purists, but I don’t really think that honorifics work well in a dub. Hearing people speaking in English saying “san” and “sama” and “chan” just sounds awkward and forced to me. I think “Lord” is a good substitute for sama, and for san…Ayeka at least refers to the other girls as “Miss.” I don’t think the honorifics are a huge deal. Though I do like that Tenchi doesn’t use an honorific for Ryoko. 😀

    I don’t know much about the “who wrote what” issue. But I did like OVA 1 a lot more than OVA 2. I always have, I always will. OVA 1 has a magical quality to it that sort of goes away in the second OVA. Not that I don’t like OVA. Night Before the Carnival was a great episode, and there were a few more that I enjoyed. I didn’t like the Zero episodes though, and I used to like “Here Comes Jurai” back when I was younger, but OVA 3 kind of killed my liking for it, because it seems the entire OVA 3 is modeled solely on Here Comes Jurai. In comparison, I loved every single episode in the first OVA.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Sorry to ask but i just finished watching “tenchi … Sorry to ask but i just finished watching “tenchi muyo ryo-oh-ki” and I’m confused on what tenchi to watch next. I tried an episode of “universe” but I was confused why tenchi was meeting ryoko again. Gxp didn’t seem to have ryoko or the others in it. Is there something I’m missing?

    (recreated text — we weren’t sure which post it was attached to so we added it to three places)

  27. […] old “get a boy by following a shoujo manga story” tale. *lol* Reminds me a lot of Tenchi Muyo: Night Before Carnival. Still, it is a cute chapter as Paradise Residence as been so far. I can’t help but like […]

  28. […] review of OVA 1 can be found here. My review of “Night Before Carnival” can be found here. My review of OVA 2 can be found […]

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