Back to the Vaults! Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar (Part 2: Connections/Lore)

Back to the Vaults! Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar (Part 2)
Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari
異世界の聖機師物語

After rewatching Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar, I discovered I had so much to say, I needed to split up my thoughts into two articles. Those wanting the review simply based off the story, characters, and FUNimation’s release, please check out part 1 of my review here. Part 2 will cover more lore aspects and some questions asked me by fans.

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 * * S P O I L E R S * *

 

Ties to Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki

In Japan, Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar is titled Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari — literally Saint Knight Story in Another World. So the connection to the canon Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki is not obvious from the title. As such, FUNimation decided to fix that with the official English name of the series, even though the core cast of Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki do not appear in the series, save for vague mentions and one darkened flashback sequence.

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When War on Geminar was initially released, the Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki series had just completed OVA 3. Therefor, Kenshi’s talk of having a bunch of older sisters, we fans rightly believed that he was referring to his half-brother Tenchi’s harem. What we didn’t know at the time was that Kenshi was in fact talking about his sisters-in-law. Thus in a typical Kajishima-sensei fashion, he was signalling to fans what he eventually made official in OVA 5.

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But aside from the Masaki family name, the mentions of Kenshi’s sisters, the mention of his parents, and the flashback to the darkened outline of Washu, the other big tie to Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki was his use of a Light Hawk Wing that he converted to a sword, as his brother had done.

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Light Hawk Wing

One thing I’ve been asked about is how Kenshi created a Light Hawk Wing at the end of Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar, which is converted into a Light Hawk Sword. At the time, fans believed this was probably because of Kenshi’s family connections. After all, Tenchi could create Light Hawk Wings and convert them, so his little brother doing the same wasn’t that big of a stretch. However, that turned out to be completely wrong.

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Unfortunately, this is an area where Kajishima-sensei doesn’t take the time to explain in the episode, but has to do so via external means. I can’t precisely cite where Kajishima-sensei spelled it out, but basically, it started with Kenshi compressing the multi-story boulder down to a giant rock sword. This boulder had a lot of light energy within it. Thus when Kenshi focused the energy within the rock via his mecha, it created the Light Hawk Wing/Sword.

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Ties to Dual!

In many ways, I think Kajishima-sensei set out to make an improved version of Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventures when he created Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar. For Dual!, Kajishima-sensei was limited by budget constraints. However, with War on Geminar, there was more of a budget to do the mecha fights and such. And it shows as things in War on Geminar look much better than Dual!

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Further, Kajishima-sensei took the Dual! concept of mecha-robots being almost exclusively piloted by females and used it in War on Geminar. Were this made today and in America, one would think this concept was another pile of woke BS. However, Kajishima-sensei loves his battle babes. And story-wise, there is a reason that women are better suited to being mecha pilots whereas males are rare and mainly used as studs to breed more pilots.

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Finally, it is highly possible that the character Doll is in fact a partial reincarnation of D/Dee from Dual! They have very similar designs and are both highly skilled mecha pilots. Granted, Doll is an artificial creation, but so were the clones of Fuku in Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki and GXP. And one of them became D/Dee.

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Ties to Photon

One thing the Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar anime doesn’t reveal (but gives hints at) is its ties to Photon: The Idiot Adventures. For example, a koro appears in Photon.  Aho energy was a big thing in Photon as it is in War on Geminar. Lashara’s family name is Earth, the same as Photon’s family name. And the name Lashara is also from the Photon character Princess Lashara Moon. The Nanadan family name (Maria and her mother Flora) originated in Photon.

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In 2018, Kajishima-sensei revealed via doujinshi (I think–I need to get this verified) that indeed, the events of Photon take place on Geminar in the distant past. Apparently some things have evolved over time, like the koro and the Aho energy. So I’ll need to find a copy of Photon and rewatch it.

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Unbreakable Orders

I’ve had some Tenchi fans seriously question how Rea could have sent her son to Geminar in Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5. I felt it was pretty clear, even more so after rewatching Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar. But I know that not everyone is as versed in the lore as I am (and I’m even somewhat behind due to being unable to read the GXP novels or the Paradise War novels). As such, I’ll try to explain.

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Rea, Doll, and Neizai were artificial beings, designed to pilot the Sacred Mechanoids (mecha-robots). The core crystals were used to implant them to retain knowledge and experience. However, in order to keep them from going rogue, the artificial humans were implanted with a control device of some type. Then when given orders, they are unable to break said orders, period. And as we learned in the Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki series, there’s nothing that can overcome these unbreakable orders.

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When Rea, Doll, and Neizai were to fight Gaia, it was decided that Neizai would be sent to another world (Earth) so that she could procreate with a human and send the offspring back. The offspring of an artificial human and a real human from Earth would be stronger than any of the artificial humans, and thus in theory, would be able to defeat Gaia once and for all.

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Kenshi’s Mother

As we learn in Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 4, Rea was accidentally sent to Earth instead of Neizai. As such, she immediately became bound by the unbreakable orders to mate with a human male and produce an offspring to be sent back to Geminar to defeat Gaia. And there was nothing that Jurai or even Washu could do to remove this commanding bind.

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Thus Rea ends up marrying Nobuyuki and giving birth to Kenshi. Thus Kenshi is a hyprid of artificial human as well as those amazing Masaki genes. It may be difficult to understand how a mom could raise her son to be a component to a powerful weapon of war. But again, she’s an artificial human, and she was basically programmed to do what she did. Rea even acknowledges it is strange for her not to feel anything in terms of sending Kenshi to Geminar.

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However, once Kenshi was sent and her orders completed, the orders were lifted and Rea behaved as a normal mother. And if you notice the bonds that came out of Rea as the order was completed, they are the same as the order-bonds Babalun attempted to bind Kenshi with. However, since Kenshi is a hybrid, he was able to resist the orders.

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Does Kenshi Resent His Mother?

I had a Tenchi fan ask me if I thought Kenshi resented his mother for sending him to Geminar. After rewatching Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar, I don’t get that sense at all. Kenshi had no idea about his mission and was just sent over blindly, though with insane amounts of training. So in my mind, Kenshi wouldn’t have resentment because from his perspective, he woke up in a weird place and wanted to get home.

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If Kenshi were going to resent his parents, one would think it would be the extreme training he had to undergo from very early on in his life until right before he was sent to Geminar. Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki OVA 5 does not show Kenshi resenting anything. For him, this is a way of life, and it is a fun one. He never resented anyone for the training, even Seto.

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What about his return to Earth? Would he resent his mom then once he learned the full truth? Again, I don’t think so. Kenshi’s personality is pretty easy going. And considering all of the new friends he made, combined with saving Geminar from Gaia, I think he’d completely understand why his mom did what she did.

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Final Thoughts

I’ll be the first to admit that it is difficult to keep up with all of the incredible lore that is part of the canon Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki universe. For example, by the time episode 1 of Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar, Kenshi had been on planet for months. But this information isn’t something that Kajishima-sensei provided. And while I realize that a series cannot get too lost in the lore, I do wish that maybe certain lore aspects had been incorporated in War on Geminar.

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Despite this, as I stated in the first part of my review, Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar is still a good viewing experience. The story is quite interesting, more so if you are steeped in the Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki lore. The characters are fun and memorable. The harem hyjinks are mostly fun, but there are a couple of icky spots. And the comedy aspects are enjoyable as well. As such, I can highly recommend watching the series.

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2 Responses to “Back to the Vaults! Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar (Part 2: Connections/Lore)”

  1. dagovirtuoso says:

    I was hesitant to watch this series at first because the immediate impression I received ( the flooding of the anime market with spin offs that shouldn’t have been in my opinion). But after watching up through the current OVA I was curious, and once I watched it I was immediately blown away! I fell in love with this series as if it were the original Ryo-Ohki OVA. The characters are very memorable, the application of what Kenshi has been learning, and so much more. I’m kind of glad I put it off; it felt as if I was watching the 5th OVA with an extended Epilogue. It made so much more sense. My biggest question now is literally: what now? There was a conversation as the end of the series that I had a hard time finding a coherent translation of…do they plan on letting him live his life there, or do the powers that be (Washu, Tsunami, Seto, and/or Tokimi) bring him back to Earth; and will it be with another harem? So many questions and so few answers. What do you think?

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      it felt as if I was watching the 5th OVA with an extended Epilogue

      Haha! For me, OVA 5 felt like a prequel as I had previously watched War on Geminar. So I can completely understand your point of view.

      My biggest question now is literally: what now?

      The series does end with the possibility of a sequel wide open. I don’t think Kajishima-sensei has stated who was “speaking” at the end. Speculation is that it is either Tokimi and Rea or Washu and Rea. That aside, doing a sequel that isn’t just the same thing again would be a challenge. It could be done, but would it be done well? I’m not sure how much thought Kajishima-sensei has even given it, but with OVA 5 being a prequel, maybe that’ll be his next project. We’ll see what he says at Winter Comiket this year.

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