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"Tenchi Muyo GXP! Volume 5: The Living Ship" Returns Home

Seina Yamada is the unluckiest person in the universe. That may seem like a bold claim, but he biologically is! That makes him one of the most prized pirate hunters in the Galaxy Police–he’s natural bait! But even bait needs to take a break now and then, so he and the gang take a vacation on Earth and return to his home, which is situated conveniently next door to the cast of Tenchi Muyo!

Episodes included on Tenchi Muyo! GXP Volume 5 “The Living Ship”
Episode 15: “Runaway Fuku”
Episode 16: “Homecoming”
Episode 17: “Getting Reacquainted”

It’s been a while since I got to check in with Seina, Amane, Ryoko, and Kiriko, but things slowly fell back into place as I was watching this disc. Seina’s still a klutz, which is something I can identify with (ask me some time about the time I channeled all three Stooges in Mass Communications class the very day I watched this disc), and Kiriko, Amane, and Ryoko are still pining after him. All is well and good.

What threw me off, oddly enough, was the intro to the first episode. Turns out it was time for a revision, and they’ve added a character and changed the ship at the end. Considering I had completely forgotten what happened to the Kamidake on the last disc (I said it’s been a while), I was wondering if my memory was failing me. Nice to see it get updated, and it actually gets updated once more after “Runaway Fuku.”

Oh, yeah, probably should talk about the show. “Runaway Fuku,” the first episode of the disc, is your standard “a pet/friend/family member feels left out/not productive/wishes to meet people via sex*” plot. Fuku, the cabbit (cat + rabbit) operating system/battery of the Kamidake II, freaks out during battle, which is really not good when you’re facing off against hundreds of pirates. It’s probably the cutest episode on the disc, especially for fans of those genetic mutations. The biggest point is a little foreshadowing: Fuku’s “mom” is Washu from Tenchi Muyo!, which leads us to …

“Homecoming.” Since Fuku’s very stressed and wants to see her mom again, the gang heads to Earth. Seina’s earned a break, anyway. Amane and Kiriko try their best to suck up to Seina’s parents, leading to a fun party. Every character in the Tenchiverse likes to get drunk if they can, including cabbits.

While he’s at home, Seina gets reacquainted with Tenchi and company in the aptly named “Getting Reacquainted.” I’ll ignore the continuity problems of how, in the first episode, Seina apparently didn’t know Ryoko, but now apparently knows everyone at Tenchi’s, minus Washu. Their party gets cut short as Galaxy Police call the team away.

We all know crossovers from television shows. There’s even a website devoted to them. Tenchi Universe had a sly nod to another animé; Dual is somehow connected with the Tenchiverse (if they’ll ever actually tell us how); Power Rangers exists in the same world as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (and Dr. Who. For that matter, The Drew Carey Show co-exists with NYPD Blue, oddly enough. Such crossovers usually require the presence of the original actors, but most of the voice actors from the previous Tenchi incarnations have moved on. But that doesn’t stop FUNimation. I believe this crossover features one holdover from the original cast, but I sure couldn’t pick them out. Tenchi now almost seems like a different character, but that might be due more to writing than to acting. Sasami and Washu probably sound the closest to the originals. Ayeka’s light British accent seems more noticeable this time. Mihoshi barely gets any screen time. But Ryoko just sounds way off base from her classic voice.

With the Tenchi cast finally having their cameo, the silhouettes in the intro are filled out, and we enter the final third of the series. This three-episode arc is a nice diversion from the space battles and brings us back to the original reason we watched this: Tenchi and the gang.

Same old extras, so I’ll sing the same old song. Creditless songs, character bios, and trailers. That’s not the homecoming I was looking forward to.

The disc’s strength is the reunion with the Masaki household. But it’s weakened by the minimal extras and episodes. If you haven’t been watching GXP but still like Tenchi, I can’t say you won’t enjoy the crossover. But welcome to a world of feeling ripped off on the quantity of stuff on the disc.

(*”wishes to meet people via sex” option is only available for Spaceship Agga Ruter, the hentai sister of Tenchi Muyo! by some of the same people, and thus, luckily, has no impact on the feelings of a cabbit.)

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