Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar Part 2 Review

Anime

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Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar Part 2
Studios: AIC, BeSTACK
Publisher: FUNimation
Format: Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack
Release Date: May 21, 2013
Price: $69.98 – Available Here

Overview
If done correctly, slowly building up to a specific event in any story can result in a product that is not only memorable, but truly entertaining. However if this is done incorrectly, it can lead to a slow paced start that has little to no pay off once everything is said and done. With the first half of Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar behind us and the storyline finally about to kick off, does Part 2 contain the pay-off viewers of the series have been waiting for?

Story
As you likely know at this point, Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar focuses on the story of Kenshi Masaki, Tenchi’s younger half-brother who has been transported to another world by unknown means. After being tricked into attempting an assassination on the newly crowned princess of the Shtrayu Empire, Lashara, he begins working as her servant.

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While the first half of the series focused on world building, developing relationships and expanding the large roster of characters present in this series, little focus was given to the machinations of the group behind Lashara’s assassination attempt. However in the final episode of Part 1, a strange fortress appears on the outskirts of the Holy Land academy as various male Sacred Mechamasters aligned with the sinister force have begun taking out guards within the academy, limiting their defensive capabilities.

Thus begins the actual story driven half of War on Geminar. It is revealed that the man behind the assassination attempt and now the assault upon the Holy Land is Babalun, the ruler of Lashara’s Shtrayu Empire. As his plans begin to fall into place and the attacks on the Holy Land force the students and female Mechanoid pilots into submission, Kenshi must reveal his true abilities to the students of the school and fight back as a male Sacred Mechamaster piloting the Mechanoid of Light from prophecy.

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However despite his best efforts, Kenshi is only able to hold the attacking forces back long enough for the evacuation of everyone upon the Holy Land, including his allies upon the Swan. When Babalun’s true desire for the Holy Land is revealed, it is up to Kenshi to bring the scattered forces of the various Empires together in order to launch an assault to take back the Holy Land and put a stop to events which will see the entire world fall under the merciless control of Babalun or even worse… be completely destroyed.

Thanks to the fact that part one of War on Geminar focused on explaining the way things work in the world of Geminar, introduced viewers to the main characters and main side-characters and provided multiple explanations for situations which occur in part two, the fact that this second half of the series rushes forward into an action driven plot works quite well.

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There are a handful of events that do sidetrack Kenshi and the group upon the Swan but these are minor and still play a role in gathering the forces of Geminar together under one banner. The various harem antics of the series are overtaken by the main plot but they still exist, but rather than being purely fan-service driven, they instead focus on the emotions of the characters involved, usually regarding how they feel towards Kenshi.

It is interesting to note that while past knowledge of the Tenchi Muyo franchise is not required to enjoy War on Geminar, there are a few questions that the series brings up that those not familiar with the franchise will not recognize. This includes the revelations of Kenshi’s mother’s true identity, his mysterious ability to summon the light hawk wings despite not being of Jerian heritage and the real reason that Kenshi was sent to Geminar in the first place.

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When all is said and done the series does leave viewers with a number of questions left unanswered which unfortunately may not be answered, but thankfully the series does end on a rather high note that is still more than satisfactory despite these unanswered questions. With the nicely developed characters and world from Part 1, an action driven storyline and plenty of information both about the world and Kenshi awaiting viewers in Part 2, as well as plenty of harem comedy and slapstick comedy in both parts, War on Geminar makes itself quite memorable and one that even newcomers should be checking out.

Visuals
One of the biggest highlights of War on Geminar is still the way that the character’s faces react to various situations and portray their emotions, even if many of their reactions are over-exaggerated for comedic effect. While characters aren’t the main focus of this half, their overall designs are still nicely detailed and also quite diverse, even when the female Mechamasters’ outfits are designed with fan-service in mine.

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This second half of the series focuses more on action than the first half and thankfully the combat is choreographed well, especially whenever Tenchi fights with his unusual fighting style in his white Sacred Mechanoid. It is worth noting that there are a few shortcuts taken in animation quality when the characters fighting are shown, but these action sequences are a nice highlight.

It is worth noting that while fan-service is still evident in part two of the series, it is far less prominent since the obvious harem distractions take a backseat to story development and as mentioned before, any fan-service that is present is presented in a rather simple manner with no actual nudity shown.

Audio
As mentioned before, Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar features a large cast of characters, many of which have a lot of speaking roles. In this second half a handful of new characters are introduced and they are voiced as well as the rest of the characters in the series up to this point. Again I must mention that the cast has done an excellent job with these characters as their portrayals match their personalities perfectly.

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The series continues to provide rather basic background music, though a few standard background tracks do become a bit more noticeable in this second half since the storyline decided to pick up. As for the opening and ending themes, they remain the same with “Follow Me” by Sound Around” and “Destino” by Alchemy+ being used respectively. That isn’t much of an issue however as both of these themes are enjoyable to listen to in their own way and are paired with nice visuals.

Extras
With the first half of the series sporting a number of bonus features, some viewers may be concerned that the second half of the release will be rather limited in bonuses. However that is not the case, while there are the same clean opening and ending theme and trailers for FUNi releases there are also a few new Japanese promotional materials such as sneak peeks of episodes 7-13, presale promotional videos, teaser trailers, web trailers and even a Japanese voiced special that focuses on giving viewers a glimpse at the recording of War on Geminar’s radio broadcast.

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There is also another episode commentary, this time on the final episode in the series, episode 13. The commentary follows the same theme of the last commentary, with Joel McDonald as the host. He discusses various aspects of the show and the casts’ background history along this long commentary track which is a bit more technical than your average commentary.

Overall
Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar Part 2 capitalizes on the amount time the first half of the series spent character development and world building by taking the cast of characters viewers have been following for some time now and throwing them into an all or nothing battle that will see Kenshi fighting alongside his newfound allies against an organization planning the downfall of the world.

The second half of the series tones it down on fan service and while the animation on the action scenes have a few shortcuts, they are well presented and again the characters are nicely voiced by FUNimation’s English cast. Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar may be a spin-off of the series and focuses on an entirely new cast on a brand new world, however it is also one that both newcomers and longtime fans should not pass up.

9-0-capsules-out-of-10

Capsule Computers review guidelines can be found here.

As a big fan of anime and games I'll be quick to cover anything that happens to be of interest.

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