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Tenchi

The Unofficial History of Pioneer Anime:
Part 1: December 1993 - April 1994

by Adam "OMEGA" Arnold

"If you haven't seen it on Laserdisc, you haven't seen it." -Pioneer's debut saying. In December 1993 Pioneer took America by storm with the release of Tenchi-Muyo!: Ryo-Ohki OVA #1 on a bi- lingual CAV Laserdisc. For the first time people could own both a subtitled and dubbed Japanese Animation for $34.95 a disc.

TENCHI-MUYO!: RYO-OHKI is considered by Tenchi enthusiast to be the Canon continuity on which all the spin-offs should be criticized, because the first 6 episodes are the BEST of them all. This is the original story of Tenchi Misaki, an ordinary high school student who unwittingly unleashes the demon Ryoko. And soon Tenchi finds himself in the midst of 5 Alien women and a Cabbit all fighting over him in some sense. But what is Tenchi's true fate? You'll just have to watch the first 6 OAV episodes to find out. (The Specials and Second OVA will be mentioned later).

Success continued for Pioneer and in April 1994 they released Green Legend Ran OVA #1 and Moldiver OVA #1 on Laserdisc. They also announced 4 classics that would soon be released on LD: Speed Racer, Robotech, Giant Robo, and Ambasador Maguma. Though Green Legend Ran and Moldiver didn't take off like Tenchi did, they are still Exceptional movies to watch.

GREEN LEGEND RAN is an ecological movie that makes you think. The story starts with Ran as he sets out to avenge his mothers death at the hands of the Hazzard. But when he meets a young silver hared girl named Aira who seen gets kidnapped. Ran sets out for the Holy Green where the fate of the world is about to be decided. Though it does have its flaws, such as characters not being very round in development and several slow points. The dream sequences and the ending make up for this.

MOLDIVER is a lot better, it is a comedy like Tenchi-Muyo! The best thing about the early episodes is they seem to tell individual stories but have an underlying storyline and then get into some nerve wracking fights in the end. Moldiver is first the story of Hiroshi Ozaro as he discovers a Supersuit that gives the wearer absolute power by way of twisting the laws of physics to repel forces. But what happens when his sister, Mirai Ozaro, finds out about what her brother has been doing and wants to get in on the action? Well she designs her own Moldiver. But the programs get mixed up. Now Mirai turns into her brothers manly Moldiver, and Hiroshi gets Mirai's Girlish Moldiver. Will they ever get it straightened out? What does that crazy millionaire scientist have in mind? And What is their kid brother working on?

Pioneer went on to finish releasing their first batch of anime. And even released the first Tenchi-Muyo!: Ryo-Ohki Special which is known in the show as Episode 7 (fun fact: Due to law restrictions the English Dub voice actors had to use aliases to do Episode 7).

End of Part I

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  • Note 1: Tenchi-Muyo!: Ryo-Ohki OVA is currently available on VHS subtitled ($24.95) or Dubbed ($19.95) as the TENCHI COLLECTION. There are 7 volumes with 2 episodes per tape. Volumes 1- 3 of the Tenchi Collection include OVA Episodes #1-6, Volume 4 has Episode 7 and the Mihoshi Special, and Volumes 5-7 contain the second OVA series #8-13.
  • Note 2: A Special Edition Laserdisc collection was also created prior to the Tenchi Collection release. TENCHI-MUYO!: THE BOOK OF HEAVEN contains OVA episodes #1-7 on 2 double sided CLV Bi-Lingual Laserdisc for $39.95. TENCHI-MUYO!: THE BOOK OF EARTH contains OVA episodes #8-13, plus the Mihoshi Special on 2 double sided CLV Bi-Lingual Laserdisc for $39.95.
  • Note 3: Tenchi-Muyo!: OVA DVD Ultimate Edition box set is currently available for $119.98. The set features all the OVA episodes on 3 Discs, with 3 remastered THX languages, a limited edition 24K gold fold printed plaque, and the Tenchi Encyclopedia Version 3.0.
  • Note 4: Green Legend Ran OVA is currently available on VHS as a 120 minute dubbed movie for $19.95 in the form that appeared on Sci-Fi Channel in 1997. Green Legend Ran OVA is also available in on an UNCUT bi-lingual DVD for $29.95. It includes all 3 episodes in there original form with a music video and interview with the director.
  • Note 5: Moldiver OVA is currently only available as a Dubbed VHS for $19.95. No re-release has been planned as of yet for this 6 episode series, so all 6 episodes are ONLY available on 6 separate VHS tapes, plus the availability of these tapes are in short supply.
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  • DISCLAIMER: All pictures on this and other pages are trademarked by Pioneer/AIC and are used on these pages without permission for informational use only.
    The Unofficial History Pioneer Anime © 1998-2000, Adam Arnold
    Last Addition --- January 1, 1999