Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki is a three-disc DVD box set that FUNimation Entertainment released of the seven OVA episodes that are not included in the Tenchi Muyo! OVA Collection The Complete Series Blu-ray/DVD combo box set. This is actually the third OVA series produced for Tenchi Muyo!, and it came out about eight years after the second OVA series ended.
This series includes many of the elements that have come to be expected from the Tenchi Muyo! franchise, such as Tenchi's "harem," the Jurai race, as well as the sister-goddesses Tsunami and Tokimi.
The main antagonist in this OVA series is Z, an anomalous being with great power. He's capable of punching holes through planets, and can even produce the Lighthawk Wings. Z spends much of the third OVA series stalking Tenchi and the others. At the same time, Mihoshi's brother Misao is wanting to destroy Tenchi and to get his sister away from him.
In this series, we also meet Tenchi's older sister; she bears quite a resemblance to Tenchi's mother. In addition, a new girl joins the "harem," and it's claimed that she's a fiancee who was chosen for Tenchi when he was young.
Overall, I have to say that this third OVA series isn't quite as strong as the first two OVA series. On the one hand, new elements did need to be introduced so the concept wouldn't become stale. Unfortunately, I don't think all of the new elements included in this series truly worked. There were also times when this series felt as if it was a little choppy in places. It's not necessarily bad, but it just doesn't quite hold up in comparison to the first two OVA series.
There's also a noticeable shift in the animation when it comes to the third OVA series. While the characters basically look the same as they did in the first two OVA series, it's obvious that these episodes were animated at a different time than the first two OVA series were. Fortunately, the differences in the animation style is nowhere near as jarring as the change in animation style between the first two parts of the Megazone 23 OVA series.
As for the DVD set itself, all three discs have some bonus features on them. The first disc has character profiles for Tenchi, Ryoko, Ayeka, Ryo-Ohki, Washu, Sasami, and Mihoshi; these are basically a brief text write-up for the character that is accompanied by a picture. There are also trailers for four shows that FUNimation was promoting at the time this DVD set was released.
The second disc has a total of five bonus features. The first is "The Real Tenchi Tour Part 1." This is a 12 minute featurette with a composer and a vocalist for the OVA series visiting real-life locations that either inspired locations in the series or the names of some of the characters in the series. This is followed by "The Real Tenchi Tour Part 2"; this runs for 11 minutes, and only the vocalist is touring the locations in this part. These are actually rather well-done featurettes. Personally, I like these kinds of bonus features, because I enjoy getting to see the real-life inspirations and behind-the-scenes stuff.
Next is "Japanese TV Spots." This runs for 52 seconds, and it includes two spots that have Japanese audio and English subtitles. Next is the "Lovely Cookin' Music Video," which is for the ending credits song for this series. This music video is essentially footage from the recording session with some animation footage from the OVA series appearing during an instrumental break. The final extra is trailers for seven shows FUNimation was promoting at the time, a trailer for the FUNimation Channel, and a trailer for the Z-Store.
The third disc includes the "Himitsu Nabe Tenchi Muyo Special!" This is a 40 minute live-action special that aired in Japan that explains the concepts of the series; the live-action footage is intercut with some animation. This special was produced as a lead-in to the Tenchi Muyo! GXP series. Personally, I found this special to be a little on the cheesy side, and it's probably something that I'll never watch again.
Next is a 30 minute radio drama. This feature has the audio from the radio drama playing over still images. Over the course of this radio drama, six stories are presented. I thought the stories in the radio drama were a little "hit and miss." Some were amusing to watch, while others were just kind of "meh." It's not bad for what it's trying to accomplish, but this is probably another bonus feature that I really wouldn't go out of my way to watch again This disc includes trailers for six shows FUNimation was promoting at the time, a trailer for the FUNimation Channel, and a trailer for the Z-Store.
While this third OVA series may not have been quite as strong as the first two series, you still need to purchase a copy of this DVD box set if you want to have a complete Tenchi Muyo! collection in your anime library.
I wrote this review after watching a copy of this DVD box set that my husband purchased for me as a gift.
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