History of
Pioneer Anime

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

Product Chronology
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 5: July 1997 - April 1998

by Adam "OMEGA" Arnold

In the tradition of Tenchi Universe, The Wanderers (El-Hazard TV) brings and altered telling of the OVA series. But, where Tenchi Universe mirrors the Tenchi-Muyo!: Ryo-Ohki OVA at a lot of points, The Wanderers makes the most of the TV medium by offering a totally original, linear story with tons of characterizations and non-stop plot building with enough changes to keep your interest through all 7 volumes (26 episodes). If you loved the OVA, you'll enjoy critiquing the TV series because there is no Fatora, Run Venus is younger (and interested in Makoto), and Ifurita has a totally different personality. The best part of The Wanderers is comparing the 2 series!

Dragon Ball Z "doesn't need much of an introduction" because, it is as recognizable as Sailor Moon is. But just in case you have no idea of what it is about. Goku has grown up and now people form his home planet show up on Earth ready to destroy it! Can the hero actually die? What is the true power of the Dragon Balls? The first volume Arrival, featuring a non-stop movie cut of the first 4 episodes of FUNimation's DBZ was released August 12 along with the release of Ani-Mayhem Set 2: The Dragon Ball card game with both a starter deck and booster packers that are fully compatible with the Ani-Mayhem set 0 and set 2.

Sci-Fi Channel's 5th Annual Anime Feast, known as Anime '97 this year, brought not one, but two Pioneer movies into homes of Sci-Fi Channel subscribers. First came the television debut of Armitage III: Poly-Matrix, the theatrical version of the OVA with new scenes and big name talent voice actors. And lastly Green Legend Ran, the 90 minute compilation of the classic 3 episode OVA series.

September 30 brought Tenchi The Movie: Tenchi-Muyo In Love on DVD, making it the first Pioneer Anime to debut on the new medium. It featured all the special features of the CAV Laserdisc along with Menus that have character information, a interview with composer Christopher Franke and much more. Two weeks later a CLV laserdisc was released of this unforgettable movie.

On October 3, 1997, Armitage III: Poly-Matrix was released on VHS Dubbed along with the new soundtrack, entitled Armitage III: Poly-Matrix. Incidentally, though the DVD and Laserdisc and VHS were supposed to be released on October 3, the Laserdisc came out a week late, and the DVD (with menus that showcase music tracks) was released two weeks later. "Armitage III was one of the best OVAs in recent years, and now this story of dire doings amongst the citizens--of Mars is available in this critically acclaimed feature film. Join one of the sexiest heroines in all of anime as she and her partner try to find out who's bumping-off Martian robots and terrorizing the planet in the process. This new English language edition features the vocal talents of Elizabeth Berkley and Keifer Sutherland."

November 11, saw the delayed release of the sixth and final volume of the Tenchi-Muyo! P-Anime Comic Book, and December 25 saw the release of the first Dragon Ball Z movie, Dragon Ball Z The Movie: Dead Zone and Tenchi Universe Volume 7. December 16 gives us the third volume of The Wanderers.

1998: The year where Pioneer goes all out. Start out the new year with Dragon Ball Z volumes 4 and 5, and the final climatic conclusion to Tenchi Universe with the release of volume 8. This year has it all.

February 1998 brings more Dragon Ball Z (volumes 6 and 7), The Wanderers Volume 4, and two long awaited soundtracks: The Wanderers: The Soundtrack "Illusion" and The Tenchi Universe Soundtrack.

But, that wasn't all. February marked a the debut of the Tenchi Collection. The Tenchi-Muyo!: Ryo-Ohki OVA series was back re-packaged with new sleeve art and 2 episodes per tape, included free trading cards, and was re-priced for a new generation of Tenchi Otaku. And you could get the first 2 of 7 volumes in one month to start your OVA collection, or if you were really looking for a great deal. You could get the entire OVA series on 2 Laserdisc sets: Tenchi-Muyo! Collection: Book of Heaven (Episodes 1-7) and Tenchi-Muyo! Collection: Book of Earth (Episodes 8-13 plus the Mihoshi Special, still episode 13.5 and the voice actor interview).

March brought the release of the long awaited Tenchi The Movie 2: The Daughter of Darkness (Manatsu no Eve) on VHS subbed (with the original box art), Dubbed, on Laserdisc, and on DVD with a special 'Tenchi Encyclopedia' featuring info from every Tenchi Continuity with clips. A soundtrack entitled 'Tenchi The Movie 2: The Daughter of Darkness Original Soundtrack' was also domestically released. This second movie introduces Tenchi's daughter, Mayuka. Wait, a minute. Daughter? How did that happen?

Crimson Blade The Mix - The Hakkenden Music Video "combines footage from the Hakkenden animation with the pulsating grooves of Magic Alec's "Moloko Plus." The music getting wide play in British dance clubs, provide an adrenaline pumping background for sampled video segments that provide an entertaining overview of the violent epic of The Hakkenden." PAC De America #9 even goes as far as to give a warning of "Includes graphic violence, blood, and mind bending grooves. Parental discretion is advised for children. Contains excessive visual and aural stimulation, do not mix with alcohol, if the viewer is using any medication, a medical consultation is recommended." But, I just thing PAC was being careful, because that doesn’t appear on the box.

March by far broadened the market with Pioneer/Manga Video's Street Fighter II V volume 1-4 on Laserdisc, Dragon Ball Z The Movie: Tree of Might on all 4 formats, The Wanderers volume 5, and yet another soundtrack (two in one month) Tenchi-Muyo! OVA Series Best Volume 2. This monumental month also brought the release of Green Legend Ran on DVD and VHS. Due to the original Laserdisc and VHS sets being out of print, Pioneer makes use of their special Sci-Fi Channel cut of GLR and release the theatrical cut it on VHS dubbed, and release the 3 episode OVA uncut on DVD with a music video and interview to boot. This month has it all in terms of releases.

April brings Volumes 5 and 6 of Street Fighter II V, Dragon Ball Z volumes 8 and 9, Tenchi-Muyo Collection Volumes 3 and 4, and the latest OVA of Pretty Sammy 3. Tenchi & Friends Special: Pretty Sammy 3 - Super Kiss brings a toning down of the cuteness factor and introduces a love interest for Sasami! Oh, it also has a great storyline, more karioke, great action, and you get to see some great 'Fan Service.'

End of Part V

Armitage III CD Back

  • Note 22: The Wanderers: El-Hazard TV Volume 1 is available VHS dubbed for $19.95, VHS subbed for $24.95, and on Laserdisc for $39.98, Volumes 2-7 are available VHS dubbed for $24.95, VHS subbed for $29.95, and on Laserdisc for $39.98.
  • Note 23: Dragon Ball Z Volumes 1 and up are available VHS Dubbed for $14.95 each and on DVD for $29.98 each.
  • Note 24: Dragon Ball Z Movies 1, 2, and 3 are available un-cut on VHS dubbed for $19.95, VHS Subbed for $24.98, Laserdisc for $29.98, and on DVD for $29.98.
  • Note 25: Ani-Mayhem Set 2: Dragon Ball Z card game Starter Decks are available for $8.98, and Booster Packs are availble for $1.98.
  • Note 26: Armitage III: Poly-Matrix is available on VHS dubbed for $19.98, Laserdisc for $29.98, and on DVD for $29.98.
  • Note 27: Tenchi The Movie 2: Daughter of Darkness is available on VHS dubbed for $19.95, VHS subbed for $24.95, Laserdisc for $29.98, and on DVD for $29.98.
  • Note 28: Pioneer Soundtracks - Tenchi Universe, The Wanderers "Illusion", Tenchi the Movie 2: Daughter of Darkness, and Tenchi-Muyo! OVA Best Volume 2 are available for $15.98 each.
  • Note 29: Crimson Blade The Mix - The Hakkenden Music Video is available for $9.98.
  • Note 30: Tenchi-Muyo! Collection Volume 1-7 are available VHS Dubbed for $19.95 and VHS subbed for $24.95.
  • Note 31: Tenchi-Muyo! Collection is also available on 2 Laserdisc for $39.98 each. TENCHI-MUYO!: THE BOOK OF HEAVEN contains OVA episodes #1-7, TENCHI-MUYO!: THE BOOK OF EARTH contains OVA episodes #8-13, plus the Mihoshi Special.
  • Note 32: Tenchi & Friends Special: Pretty Sammy 3 - Super Kiss is available on VHS Dubbed for $24.95 and VHS subbed for $29.95.

  • 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