Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5 Episode 1 (The adventure continues.)

Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5 Episode 1
天地無用! 魎皇鬼 OVA 5 Ep. 1

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Tenchi’s sister Tennyo visits her now step-mother Rea for coffee and cake. Tennyo discusses the difficulties in continuing the research her mother Kiyone had started regarding Rea. Despite being very smart, Kiyone didn’t take proper notes. And she “borrowed” things without permission for her research. However, Tennyo is thankful to be assigned to the Tenchi household in order to continue her research.

Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5 episode 1

Rea expresses her concern over the sisters she left on Geminar, especially Neizai. Chibi-Tokimi pops in, revealing that the universe Geminar occupies is part of Tokimi’s dominion. However, she cannot just blurt out all she knows due to the nature of the Choushin work drawing out an entity like Tenchi. That said, Tokimi reveals Gaia was sealed and though one of Rea’s sisters lost their physical body, their core remained intact.

Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5 episode 1

Five years later, Rea, Tennyo, Kiriko, and Karen are having snacks and discussing the Rea investigation. Tennyo is frustrated and exhausted dealing with the investigation. As such, she’s jealous of Kiriko getting to hang out with her husband and his harem on the fantasy setting of the Renza Federation, whom Karen is a member of. Tennyo speaks of going through her father’s journals and learning about the romance between Nobuyuki and Kiyone. This makes Rea want to read this material.

Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5 episode 1

Meanwhile outside, Jovia is playing with Kenshi and Ryo-ohki. She uses magic and summons a sea dragon named Laval to punish them. However, the dragon gets a look at the infamous Ryo-ohki and turns into a playful creature. Meanwhile, Tenchi and his father Nobuyuki return and discover the sea dragon swimming in the lake. They meet with the Tennyo and the others. Nobuyuki offers Kiriko the option to move Seina’s household to the Tenchi residence. Since Seina is OK with it, Kiriko agrees.

Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5 episode 1

Thoughts/Review:

And so I actually get to watch Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5 episode 1 MUCH sooner than I ever expected. And on the whole, it is an improvement of Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 4, but there are issues to be aware of.

Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5 episode 1

A Slightly Easier Start

One complaint I had about OVA 4 was that there was a very high knowledge bar required upon starting the series. You needed to have read the first several GXP novels. Otherwise, there’s a bevy of characters there whom the viewer has no clue about.

Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5 episode 1

With Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5 episode 1, the entry bar is somewhat lessened. Having the first half of the episode be basically Rea and Tennyo chatting makes things somewhat easier for fans of the series to get into. OVA 5 is still not a series for new Tenchi viewers as you will need to have watched OVA 3 and GXP.

Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5 episode 1

The GXP element comes in the second half of the episode. That’s because Seina’s wives Kiriko and Karen show up. But the discussions regarding the fantasy adventurer’s guild and the character Jovia (not sure why CR spelled it Jobia in the subs) are from GXP novels. More on that in a bit.

Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5 episode 1

That aside, while OVA 5 still has a high entry bar, it isn’t as high as OVA 4 was.

Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5 episode 1

Is OVA 4 Required Viewing?

Since no one has licensed OVA 4 yet, I’ve been asked whether folks could watch Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5 episode 1 without having watched OVA 4. The first two episodes of OVA 4 are about getting ready for Rea’s and Nobuyuki’s wedding. Episode 3 does discuss how Kiyone found Rea. Episode 4 has Kenshi born and the plan launched to send Kenshi to Geminar. So that’s what you missed in a tight nutshell.

Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5 episode 1

So for this first episode of OVA 5, the main story element being picked up is the investigation about Geminar, where Rea came from. Also, Kenshi is here and discussions are had about the plan established in OVA 4. So if you’ve watched OVA 4, you’ll understand these elements whereas if you haven’t, you wouldn’t understand.

Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5 episode 1

As such, while I think there could be an additional layer of confusion watching OVA 5 cold, I would still say try it and see how it goes. If you do, let me know in the comments what your experiences were.

Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5 episode 1

Who’s Jovia? What is This Fantasy Talk?

While I had heard the name Jovia and knew she was coming to Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5 episode 1, I didn’t know much about her. From what I understand, she is a character in the later GXP novels. She is a member of the Renza Federation. If you watched the GXP anime, the four girls attending Seto-sama were from the Renza Federation. (And Karen, who appears in this episode, is one of those former attendants.)

Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5 episode 1

The GXP novels reveal that the Renza Federation is a fantasy place. As such, races like elves exist. Magic is also a thing. And so when Tennyo teases Kiriko about Kiriko having joined an adventurer’s guild, that stems from Seina and his harem of wives visiting the Renza Federation and having fantasy RPG fun.

Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5 episode 1

Jovia is an elf mage, whom Seina and company meet within the Renza Federation. My understanding is that she has also married Seina, which is why she accompanied Kiriko and Karen to the Tenchi household. That’s why she was able to summon a sea dragon (looking very much like something from The Slayers).

Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5 episode 1

Crunchyroll

I will say that I am STUNNED that Crunchyroll actually licensed Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5. After all, as stated earlier, OVA 4 has not been licensed. Further, while the Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA titles are not exclusives in Japan, they are treated like pseudo exclusives. I remember when FUNimation licensed OVA 3, they couldn’t just release the series until it was basically done in Japan. So for Crunchyroll to license it amazes me to no end.

Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5 episode 1

I don’t know who did the adaptation, but the CR page references Happinet Co., Ltd. I don’t know if they were influenced by my adaptation of the True Tenchi Muyo! novels or not, but they definitely took the approach I would have. As such, FULL Japanese honorific usage is employed, which pleased me greatly. Considering how ruddy awful some of the CR adaptations have been of late, I was expecting the worst. I just hope future episodes continue this as the series won’t finish until May 2021.

Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5 episode 1

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Let me wrap up my review of Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5 episode 1 with some final thoughts.

  • Tenchi’s harem only gets a cameo. I’m guessing this won’t please some folks.
  • Tenchi doesn’t get a ton of air time, but he is there to have Seina’s harem move into the Tenchi household. And as the episode makes clear, there are story reasons for this.
  • I liked seeing Tennyo with darker hair. She’s now distinguishable from her mother.
  • The character designs are a bit different. I didn’t like that Sasami looks younger now than she did in OVA 4. 😅
  • I got a big laugh at Tokimi being used like a pet/doll. The other big laugh came from Sasami handing Mihoshi a net out of the blue, and Mihoshi knowing what to do with it.
  • There were a few scenes where everyone looked awful. Really hard to believe AIC published the DVD with a moment like the image below.

Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5 episode 1

In the end, I enjoyed Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5 episode 1 way more than I did anything with OVA 4. While there is still a high entry bar to this series, an effort is made to explain some things. However, the series does still rely on some knowledge of the GXP novels, and a bit of War on Geminar.

Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5 episode 1


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14 Responses to “Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5 Episode 1 (The adventure continues.)”

  1. OverMaster says:

    So it’s just another ‘People (most of them not even the actual main cast) sit and talk and not much else happens’ episode then. Haven’t thet learned anything from OVA 4?

    And please don’t give me the “But the hardcore fanbase in Japan who read all the supplementary stuff likes it this way” again. It’s clear that fanbase isn’t as big as it used to be back in the heyday of the franchise when there were real action, stakes, and both physical and character conflict to go along with the comedy (which was much better and funnier back then) and the slice of life content.

    Tenchi just isn’t the large reference franchise that could sustain several series along both anime and manga at the same time and be a powerhouse looming over its contemporaries, by now it’s instead a secondary title coasting by on old glories, nostalgia and a relatively small (in comparison to currently bigger franchises) hardcore fanbase that still has the patience to keep up with Kajishima’s personal Author Appeal family fantasies, that is, those the franchise hasn’t lost along the way since its actual glory days.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Kajishima-sensei loves his “day in the life” stories, so yeah, this was more of that.

      As to the Japanese Tenchi fandom, I think it is larger than you think. Unlike us in the West, the Japanese are getting new Tenchi stuff every year. Kajishima-sensei attends both Comiket events and sells 2 or so new doujinshi each time. Roughly every year, a new GXP light novel is released. They sell pretty well for the publisher to continue selling them.

      As to OVA 4, my understanding is that the DVDs/BDs sold very well. AIC doesn’t have a lot of money. So for them to not only quickly say “yes” to OVA 5, but also give it six episodes instead of four, that means they feel fairly confident Tenchi will still generate a lot of revenue for them.

      So even if the fanbase isn’t as big as it once was, it is still big enough to keep the publishers churning out more products.

      • OverMaster says:

        The question is, wouldn’t the fanbase be bigger again if the characters had once more actual obstacles and challenges to overcome along the slice of life content?

        If you’ve got a rich alien universe, and a large set of political and moral implications for what planets and cultures do to each other and what it means for Earth to be completely left out of their shared loop just because Earth is considered ‘inferior’, it’s a major waste just to spend most of the time sitting around tables talking. You could be doing so much more with such a canvas.

        It’s like if the Fate franchise were down to nothing but the Emiya Cooking branch; something nice to have as its own side thing, but a major waste if that’s all you’re going to keep doing with a worldwide building of magic and history’s greatest figures.

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          The question is, wouldn’t the fanbase be bigger again if the characters had once more actual obstacles and challenges to overcome along the slice of life content?

          Probably. I remember back before OVA 3 was even in production, Kajishima-sensei was asked about an OVA 4 and more. At the time, he likened such stories to being after World War II. The conflict is over, now it is just life after the events of the conflict.

          I think it is rather difficult to provide enemies or obstacles for Tenchi and crew. I do want to see the fight where Shank ran into Tenchi’s crew. However, it wouldn’t be a challenge for them. Even if the OP Tenchi doesn’t get involved, you still have Washu (Choushin), Tsunami (Choushin; 1st Generation Tree-ship), Ryoko with Ryo-ohki, Aeka and Ryu-oh, and Mihoshi with her ship. Oh, and there’s Noike’s tree-ship (who’s name escapes me at the moment). So there’s really no way to challenge Tenchi and company, as I see it.

          I believe Kajishima-sensei is basically using TM!R to further cement the connections to his GXP novels, War on Geminar, and the Paradise War novels.

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          I’ve been doing some reading…speculation is that AIC is using this first episode to help fund the rest of the series. So it was written to be a “bottle episode”.

  2. Asagi Aiba says:

    i Hope Minaho sama is one of Seina Wives

  3. Gzegzulka says:

    I was hoping for some more interesting slice of life of old characters and Tenchi himself, like give every old character time to do something and talk something and than introduce for short moments new characters. All those siting and talking was borring. It would be much cooler if there was more action, even if it was work and duties. It would be cool to see Tenchi help his parents rise Kenchi or spend some time talking about life with his harem, they could hit the town go to karaoke bar, have moments for each personality to shine. Or follow GXP way and show Tenchi enjoying cooking with Sasami, etc. What I would like to say it is that there were more better way to start this episode and they choose the most boring one.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      There is speculation that AIC wanted episode 1 to be a “bottle episode” to help raise cash for the remaining episodes. But yeah, I get your point for sure.

      • Gzegzulka says:

        Well, that doesn’t work for me. I have re-watch episode 17 of GXP spin off and it feels much more better at distributing time for each character from Seina crew and Tenchi gang. It might be fan service episode but it done so many things right, Tenchi got his time and his dialog show how he grow mature. I am not anime / Tenchi Muyo expert at all, it is just I like to watch it, in my opinion even OVA 3 got some good scenes like Ryoko looking for lost Ryo-ohki and treating her like a child, such an nice character development if You consider that Ryoko was more like unsociable walking living weapon at beginning of first OVA. I hope that next episodes in OVA 5 will be better, or even try to be as good as first two OVAs 🙂

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          I think we’ll see more elements from the “-If-” doujinshi. So expect little kids to show up. Although it is odd that Minamida is showing up in this anime.

          even OVA 3 got some good scenes like Ryoko looking for lost Ryo-ohki and treating her like a child

          Yeah, I always liked that moment.

  4. Kaisa says:

    So after carefully watching this episode and ova 4, along with the scene where Rea is writing in her notebook, I think I figured out that Kenshi was born on June 12, 1995. This is just a theory though and I could be wrong on the year but I just wanted to put this out here for debate.

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