P-Anime History Overview
P-Anime History Part 0
P-Anime History Part 1
P-Anime History Part 2
P-Anime History Part 3
P-Anime History Part 4
P-Anime History Part 5
P-Anime History Part 6
P-Anime Compact Disc
P-Anime Comic Books
Glossary of Terms
1993 Anime Releases
1994 Anime Releases
1995 Anime Releases
1996 Anime Releases
1997 Anime Releases
1998 Anime Releases
1999 Anime Releases
Other Product Releases
Box Art Image Gallery
The Unofficial History of Pioneer Anime:
Part 4: March 1996 - June 1997
by Adam "OMEGA" Arnold
"PIONEER - The Art of Entertainment." Anime Press, later renamed Pac De America, is a semi-quarterly newsletter started in spring of 1996 to bring news and product information to all of P-Anime's fans. At this time there are only 2 ways to subscribe to PAC, send in the survey cards with your videos, or call customer service at 1-(800)-421-1621. At this exact same time came Pioneer's Proof of Purchase Program (POP Point Program), a frequent Pioneer product buyer program in which you send in the Laserdisc stickers or VHS box flaps for T-shirts, stickers, key chains, mouse pads, lapel pins, videos, posters, and later on the Ryo-Ohki dolls. The 2 most sought after items of the Pop Point program are the 2 VHS titles you could get, The Secret of Moldiver (a program with inside info on the series, the mecha, and the characters) and Phantom Quest Corp. Incident File 00 (the Japanese promotional video, set before the 4 episode OVA series begins and introduces the characters and gives 'making of' info about the show). The Pop Point program worked on a 5 dollar equals 1 Pop point scale, so if you bought a $19.98 dollar video you rounded up to $20 and you get 4 points. (Important Note: The Pop Point program has currently ended, but don't throw away your stickers. Because, Pioneer has said it will return one day.)
March 1996 brought The Hakkenden Volume 5 and another of new series for Pioneer, Hyperdoll Volume 1. Hyperdoll goes something like this, "Mew and Mica are your average high school students, if your idea of average is extra-terrestrial androids sent to save the world, that is." This 2 episode OVA is by far the weirdest series Pioneer has ever put out. In these 2 episodes the story starts in the middle of some unknown storyline and ends without a conclusion. But don't let this stop you from watching Hyperdoll, if you do then you are really missing out on a slap-stick comedy that is a true treat for any anime fan. Each episode is packed with 2 beautiful 'busty' girls, a wimp boy instigator, a giant squid, a giant worm, a giant locust, a mad scientist, and lots of needless destruction. And each volume contains a 10 minute live action special at the end of the OVA. Tape 1 has an Hyperdoll obsessed Otaku vs. Giant Rubber Monster vs. The Hyperdolls. Tape 2 has a concert between Mew, Mica, and there friend.
On April 5, 1996, VIZ Communications began publishing the monthly comic book of translated versions of the manga series continuation of the Tenchi-Muyo!: Ryo-Ohki OVA under the title 'NO NEED FOR TENCHI!'
July 30 marked the debut of Ani-Mayhem: The Collectible Anime Card Game in both a 75 card Starter Deck or 9 card Booster Pack form. Set 0, containing Tenchi-Muyo!, Bubblegum Crisis, Ranma 1/2, and El-Hazard cards, quickly became a sought after item among Anime enthusiast tired of Magic: The Gathering. brought the release of the final volume of The Hakkenden, and Pioneer's first domestically released Soundtracks; Armitage III: Cyber-Matrix (which contains a rare Ani-Mayhem card) and Tenchi The Movie: Tenchi-Muyo! In Love. Pioneer also made it possible to order Japanese Imports of Pioneer CDs through them.
Then during the Sci-Fi Channel's '4th Annual Festival if Anime' in a move that would sub-concisely change the lives of thousands of unsuspecting people. During the first movie, Pioneer introduced main-stream America to Tenchi the Movie: Tenchi-Muyo! In Love. Set in the TV series continuity (after episode 26 of Tenchi Universe), Tenchi and his gang of girls must go back in time to save his mother Achika from an escaped space criminal named Kain which has its demonic eyes set on destroying the Misaki blood-line forever. When Tenchi The Movie: Tenchi-Muyo! In Love finally was released, VHS subbed and dubbed and on a special edition CAV Laserdisc (with collectable a rare 'Washu's Time Machine' Ani-Mayhem card), on August 27, 1996 people were already familiar with Tenchi-Muyo!
For those scratching their heads comparing Tenchi-Muyo!: Ryo-Ohki's continuity and Tenchi The Movie: Tenchi-Muyo! In Love, there was hope. Moved from an October 29 release to a November 12 release and then to a November 26 release, Tenchi Universe volume 1 brought die-hard Tenchi fans an alternate take on the events of the OVA in a 26 episode series in which Mihoshi has a partner named Kiyone, Washu is the demon, Ryoko is a drunken space criminal, and tons of other changes and additions. Though the OVA series is the absolute best of all the Tenchi continuities, Tenchi Universe (Tenchi-Muyo! TV Series 1) brought more non-fans to the Tenchi-Muyo! craze than another Tenchi release to date.
November 1996 brought the first Expansion Pack for the Ani-Mayhem card game. Set 1 contains cards for Phantom Quest Corp., Project A-Ko, Armitage III, Dominion: Tank Police, and even rare Oh My Goddess! cards. Late 1996 brought four Manga Video/Pioneer Laserdisc to stores. November 26 gave the public Macross Plus Part 3 and Ghost In The Shell CLV Version. December 10 brought Macross Plus Part 4 and Ghost In the Shell Deluxe CAV Version with 'The Making of Ghost In The Shell' documentary.
February 25, 1997 brought a slew of new Laserdisc and VHS including Manga Video/Pioneer's Ninja Scroll and Wings of Honneamise Laserdisc. Tenchi Universe Volume 2 on Laserdisc and VHS subbed/dubbed and Chisa and The Heaven & Earth Band Live In L.A. on Laserdisc, VHS subbed/dubbed. Chisa Yokoyama, the Japanese voice actress (seiyuu) of Sasami from Tenchi-Muyo! performs in a live concert with Sharyn Scott (singer of English versions of Talent For Love, I'm A Pioneer songs from Tenchi-Muyo!: Ryo-Ohki) with a rent-a-band from L.A. Includes clips from Pretty Sammy TV, making of program, two music videos, interview with Chisa, and selected songs and clips from the concert. Chisa's complete concert was also released on Compact Disc and contains all the songs performed at the concert.
Also on this massive release date came 2 more CDs along with Chisa. Tenchi-Muyo! OVA Best Volume 1 containing English and Japanese songs and Back Ground Music (BGM) from the First 7 episodes of Tenchi-Muyo!: Ryo-Ohki. And the other CD is by far the best of all Pioneer's domestic CD releases, Pioneer Animamation Best of Best. P-Anime: Best of Best contains English language theme songs from Tenchi-Muyo!: Ryo-Ohki OVA #1-7, Tenchi-Muyo!: Ryo-Ohki OVA #8-13, Tenchi Universe, Kishin Corps, Moldiver, Green Legend Ran, Phantom Quest Corp., Armitage III, El-Hazard, Hyperdoll, and The Hakkenden.
March 25, 1997 introduced yet, 3 more domestic CDs; The Best of Moldiver, The Best of Phantom Quest Corp., and The Best of El-Hazard. P-Anime's new American created comic books of Tenchi-Muyo! (6 issues) and Phantom Quest Corp. (4 issues) premiered in Comic Shops across America with issue number 1 of each. And with Moldiver (4 issues) and El-Hazard - The Magnificent World (6 issues) set to be released monthly starting on April 14, things looked like we would finally see new adventures with out favorite characters. But, something went wrong. The El-Hazard comic to closely matched what was beign planned with the second OVA and Second TV series already being produced in Japan by AIC and thus is was pulled from ever being released. And though Phantom Quest Corp. had its' first issue released it was also pulled along with Moldiver because there was still a possibility of a continuation sometime in the future. Thus the only series to continue through all 6 of the planned issues was the Tenchi-Muyo! Comic Book which was based in the Tenchi Universe continuity, and thus had 'no need for a continuation' past the movie.
March 25 also brought Pretty Sammy OVA 2, the second installment of the bizarre OVA with a cuteness factor of 100%. This installment is even better than the first one because of its' computer company villain. References to everyone's favorite software billionaire fly through your 'windows' in the second installment on The Magical Girl, Pretty Sammy on VHS subbed/subbed and Laserdisc.
Tenchi Universe continued on with Volume 3, which concluded the 'Tenchi-Muyo! On Earth' box labeling, released on April . And in June anxious Tenchi fans got the release of both Volume 4, 'The Time & Space Adventures', on June 3 and Volume 5, 'Tench-Muyo! in Space 1', on June 24. Along with this latest Tenchi Universe volume came the Ryo-Ohki Plush Doll in either Brown or Gray colors. Pioneer was now unstoppable.
End of Part IV
Note 16: Hyperdoll Volume 1 & 2 are currently only available Dubbed for $19.95 a volume. However, you are most likely ONLY to see Volume 1 in a store. But, you can special order Volume 2.
Note 17: Tenchi The Movie: Tenchi-Muyo! In Love is currently available Subbed for $24.95, Dubbed for $24.95, and on Laserdisc for $44.98.
Note 18: Tenchi Universe Volume 1-8 are all currently available Subbed for $29.95, Dubbed for $19.95, CLV Laserdisc for $29.98, and CAV Laserdisc for $49.98.
Note 19: Ani-Mayhem Set 0: Booster Packs are available for $1.98, Ani-Mayhem Set 1: Expansion Packs are available for $1.98. Ani-Mayhem Set 0: Starter Decks are unavailable.
Note 20: Pioneer Domestic CDs: Pioneer Animation: Best of Best, Best of El-Hazard, Best of Phantom Quest Corp., Best of Moldiver, Tench-Muyo! OVA Best Volume 1, Armitage III: Cyber-Matrix, and Tenchi-Muyo! In Love are available for $16.98 each in the Soundtrack section of select music stores. All soundtracks are in Card-Board flip CD cases.
Note 21: Chisa and The Heaven & Earth Band Live In L.A. VHS and Laserdisc are currently unavailable. The CD is available in the Soundtrack section of select music stores for $16.98.
Note 22: Tenchi & Friends Special: Pretty Sammy 2 OVA is currently unavailable.