Tenchi Muyo was part of my early childhood thanks to my father, who to this day still loves the series. About a year ago I tackled the most popular of the Tenchi series, Tenchi Muyo Universe, which was a fun adventure with a likeable cast and some occasionally good humor and antics. It’s not a perfect show by any means but it’s still a lot of fun and has some enjoyable science fiction concepts.And it’s also a prevalent part of my childhood, which is a probably reason it’s so endearing and loveable for me.
GXP came out in 2002 and has literally nothing to do with Tenchi, instead focusing on a character named Seina (AKA Not-Tenchi) who is recruited into the Galaxy Police. From there the typical hijinks ensue as he’s surrounded by a harem of women who all want his crotch, he faces off against bad guys, and everyone fights over him.
The series starts pretty strong and funny, building Seina to be a guy with terrible luck (which works for the Galaxy Police since it means he’s always running into pirates) and giving us a group of likeable girls to be his companions. But as the show progresses it flat lines in every department.
One of the reasons I think Tenchi worked was the lovable cast. Tenchi as our hero was likeable, Ryoko and Ayeka’s constant bickering and fighting led to good moments of comedy. The cast was diverse and interesting and it wasn’t so much about the dynamics of the harem as much as the dynamics of the individual characters that kept us watching. The characters were interesting and it was hard to choose a favorite.
GXP forgoes that though. While initially I found the characters to be slightly different, none took on personalities of their own through the course of the series. It’s like their basic attributes were taken into account but not so much any development. Amane is the daughter of a fashion mogul and a model. She likes Seina. Kiriko’s Seina’s childhood friend who randomly is part of the GP. She likes Seina. Ryoko is a pirate who turns straight and likes Seina. There’s a loli named Neju whose two thousand years old and likes Seina.
That’s about the only character trait they have too. They like Seina. Usually I can discuss characters in an anime on a level that’s a little deeper but I can’t say I can here. Even Seina himself is not interesting in the least. He has bad luck…and that’s about it. The bad guy is boring; the side characters are all pretty weak with the exception of Kamiki Jurai whose manipulative nature is enjoyable.
Even the story is pretty lame, and the little bit there is means a lot of padding takes place, none of it well done. The show shines when all the characters are in a formal setting and bickering but for the most part the women work together and no humor is made from their differences. If there had been a focus on that, the show would have been much more comedic. Instead the humor comes from sexual jokes that, while occasionally funny, shouldn’t be the only chuckle I get.
There are some good instances of humor in the facial expressions though, which I found completely hilarious. While the animation isn’t very good, there are still some wonderfully devious or evil faces that illicit a good laugh here and there.
But all that said, this is a very underwhelming show. When it involves Tenchi and shows us our favorite characters, I kept wondering why I wasn’t just watching Tenchi Muyo proper. There’s a whole episode dedicated to Seina returning to Earth and hanging with Tenchi and the gang and we see that hilarious interaction between Ayeka and Ryoko that made Universe and the OVA’s so funny. It’s kind of sad they even included that episode because, while connecting the story to the previously established one, it also leaves us begging for more of what we’ve come to love from the series.
GXP has good intentions and helps expand the universe of Tenchi, but it also isn’t very good. Even newcomers will find a lack of anything worthwhile in the twenty-six episodes. It’s a show yearning for the glory of the previous series, but never quite reaching those heights.
Fans of the series might want to give this a go for the sake of fan service, others will be better off watching the OVA’s and Universe.
This is probobly my favorite comedy anime.
The characters are fantastic, the girls are unique, and the main character
will make you slap your knee until its bloody red.
To hell with Tenchi, Seina is where the parties at.
Now, everyone who's seen the original OVAs would probably expect Tenchi Muyo GXP to be about Tenchi himself, as the titular character. In actuality, it's a spin-off of the series Galaxy Police Transporter begins during episode 5 of the third Tenchi OVA and progresses further outwards from there, providing something of a detailed look at the aliens and life in space aspect, as opposed to the original, which, for the most part, takes place on Earth. Instead of invincible Tenchi, we get his human, and extremely unlucky friend, Seina Yamada, who gets recruited into the Galexy Police by accident and sent off into space.
While the OVAs had their moments of seriousness every now and then, Tenchi Muyo GXP doesn't follow that same formula. In all 26 episodes the show was meant to really be a comedy. Seina's bad luck gets him in trouble constantly, wheather it's from bad timing with the girls or getting attacked by space pirates. Alot of the fun was actually watching how they got through each situation. In contrast, many serious moments were resolved in a few minutes, thus migitating the effect. So, when it tries to be dark, its more glossed over then anything.
By actual plot, it's like a slice of life in space really. When Seina goes out to space, his job is to moreorless act as bait, and that's really a big bulk of it. At times, instead of one coherent plot, it makes it look like it could be a episodic show. The story is not really that strong, and it is meant to be a comedy more then anything, so watching it with that mindset instead of expecting it to be a great Tenchi Muyo spinoff will make the ride alot smoother.
Considering the show was made in 2002, the animation is quite good. Of course, age doesn't really affect potential quality, as Cowboy Bebop has shown, but considering it was also the first Tenchi Muyo anime to be computer animated, it is very well done. However, there have been moments where characters are static and seemed to be reusing animations to stall for time. One episode in particular even replayed something that happened before in the episode for a good 2-3 minutes. On the bright side, there hasn't a noticeable reuse of stock footage or reused clips. If I remember correctly, there wasn't a single repeated clip at all. The sequences during fights in space are awesome, but fights between melee combat are generally lackluster. But again, it focuses on comedy, so it's to be expected.
I've argued with friends over this, but to this reviewer, the music was honestly not the best. There's a noticeable lack of variety regarding songs, and they seem to just have one song designated to a certain type of event. A jazz like tone to a slow choir-like chant, it is unique, but not exactly something you might listen to everyday. Opening theme is catchy though.
For voice actors, I watched the sub, and no one really had a moment where I wanted to gut my ears with a fork. The VAs go well with their character's personalities and they do get into their roles. Well, except maybe Seina, as he's nice for almost the whole show.
Seina is your average nice guy, the ones you see in alot of other harem animes. I don't even think he's even yelled at one of the girls for doing something stupid. He's no Tenchi, but he's watchable if you're okay with that type. Kiriko and Amane, both girls that support Seina in GXP, are literally the nicer version of Ayeka and Ryoko. In retrospect, every of the girls are close expies to the original. Still, they are unique in their own ways and they interact with each other very well. It's hard to fit any one into a certain archtype, as they do have thier own backgrounds that get touched upon that make them different.
On the otherhand, there really is no character development. There maybe a episode or two were they act differently during circumstances, but for the most part, they are pretty much the same. No contrasting ideals or changing beliefs. On the bright side, none of their interacts feel forced or really out of character, except maybe a odd place or two. Once you know their base personalities, you can see them doing what they do as if it was their natural reaction. Teasing, being jealous, etc. Many of the characters are likeable, both main and reoccuring, if a bit bland, and the only character I truely hated was NB. He's like a robotic Happosai but is just plain terrible. He I would be glad to stab with a fork.
It's part of Tenchi Muyo, but it sort of stands out on its own. It doesn't match it's predecesor in terms of quality but standalone it's has it's moments. Comedy, characters, and it's nods to continuality are all shown and pretty well executed. Plot is decent, and is animation, but could have been executed better. Sound was my biggest complaint, but it varies from person to person. If you want a good comedy anime, Tenchi Muyo GXP is probably one of the best, and it's fanservice, both in terms of ecchi and continuality nods, would probably make any Techi Muyo fan appreciate the show as a good successor to the franchise.