Here comes Geminar?

Nearly 30 years later, the Tenchi Muyo! series is back with another edition. Writer and creator of the vast Tenchi Muyo meta-verse, Masaki Kajishima has enamored long-time fans yet again. This time with the 5th season of the long-running Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki series.  Season 5 focuses on the same lovable cast of characters that viewers grew to adore in the 1992 release of the first installment of the OVA series but the focus shifts to Tenchi’s younger half-brother Kenshi. This season looks to provide viewers with a more substantial understanding of the events that led up to the series spin-off  “Tenchi Muyo! War on  Geminar. The 6-episode OVA effectively unifies the Ryo-Ohki timeline with the War on Geminar string of events.

For those unfamiliar with the series, “Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki” follows Tenchi Masaki, who up until the awakening of an infamous space pirate named Ryoko lives a quiet life at his grandfather’s shrine. However, with Ryoko’s arrival comes several other alien women and the realization that Tenchi is the descendant of a powerful alien race called Juraians. With this revelation also comes a host of newly awakened abilities, which by the end of the third OVA effectively makes Tenchi an heir of the royal Juraian family.

Geminar follows Kenshi Misaki, Tenchi’s younger half-brother who suddenly and inexplicably finds himself on a planet called Geminar. Upon arriving there, Kenshi agrees to serve as a combat pilot for war machines called sacred mechanoids in hopes of finding a way back to Tenchi and his family. Kenshi functions in much the same way that Tenchi does in his respective series. Like Tenchi, he is kind, adored by a harem of female allies, and gifted with tremendous power.

Much of the six-episode OVA works to explain some of the more peculiar things about Kenshi like his inhuman strength and agility, survival abilities, and his strange ability to operate sacred mechanoids despite having never been to Geminar. The OVA spends a fair amount of time laying down a foundational understanding of Kenshi’s maternal family tree. By the end of season 5, Geminar is established as a parallel timeline linked to the Ryo-Ohki timeline through Kenshi.

The release of Season 5 is both nostalgic and reassuring for long-time fans who are hoping for a new installment in the Tenchi-verse. While Kajishima has been active over the past three decades the series has not seen a full-length anime adaptation since the release of “Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar” in 2009. The completion of season 5 and subsequent unification of the two timelines could mean one of two things. Either Geminar may receive a season two in which Kenshi returns to earth or perhaps more likely, Kajishima wishes to unite all of the various occurrences in the Tenchi Muyo metaverse. Either way, it would seem that the Misaki family may have many more adventures ahead of them. Here’s to hoping for a full-length project in the coming years.

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