What a difference 10 years makes...

Based on the various release dates I'd been seeing online, I'd fully expected to be writing this tomorrow, but as it happens, the local Suncoast had the latest Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki OVA DVD on the shelf a day ahead of time.

It's unfortunate, but I'm definitely noticing the absense of Pioneers influence. This is most obvious in the poor quality if the music. It sucks, all of it. This is most disturbing given how much I enjoyed the soundtrack for GXP done just one year prior. Pioneer was not a party in the GXP soundtrack, but they were the driving force behind all the prior Tenchi soundtracks. There really isn't one piece that I can point to and say, "This isn't half-bad." Little of it seems appropriate to the given scene. The tracks chosen for the DVD menus are particularly bland. However, I can't fault Funimation for that. They had no good music from which to choose.

It may just be me, but I could swear the flashback material used in episode 14, in addition to being over-layed with the new (read: horrible) music, was redubbed. I'm referring to the original Japanese footage. I'll have to confirm my suspicions later tonight. And speaking of the flashback material... From what wretched old DAT did they pull their flashback footage? They should have used the remastered film done for the US DVD release. The difference between the two is stark to distraction.

The writing seems...off. It may just be the difference between the way Funimation handles their subtitles compared to Pioneer, but something is definitely different between the previous iterations and now. I'm not certain how long after the events of episode 13 this story is supposed to begin, but many of the characters seem out of character. For all the emphasis placed on Ryoko and Aeka in the first two OVAs, they speak very little in these three episodes. Scenes where we could usually expect a blow-up from one or both of the women, barely register a twitch, and Mihoshi has been reduced to little more than fan-service.

By know you're thinking, "Goddamn... you must've hated it..." Well, no, I'm just disappointed at the quality of certain aspects of the production. I understand that balance is going to shift to make room for new characters. What concerns me is that the next 3 episodes are going to lack sufficient meat to make up for what I feel is lacking in these new releases. I hope to be proven wrong. It just seems like the only characters having any fun in these episodes are the new characters.


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