- Fri Oct 17, 2014 9:11 pm
Now that I have some time away from work, and being unconscious, I can write my thoughts on episodes 9 and 10.
Episode 9 brings Tenchi back to, presumably, his second day at work while episode 10 is Momo's weekly recap. As such, I will focus on episode 9 primarily.
wwwwhhhhoooo wrote:What was not fine by me was how far they went with using Tenchi-ken for a lewd sexual joke. It was completely unnecessary, and had I not already been on board with Ai by this point for a number of reasons it would've been a deal breaker for me. I didn't like it when Kajishima basically did the same thing in a hentai setting (caveat: explicitly, in his case), but at least in that instance he kept that level of vulgarity separate from an actual Tenchi series.
It's not even the "vulgarity" that bugs me, and even then that's a matter of personal preference (in fact, I quite enjoyed the various "naughty" bits of the OVA, especially during "The Night Before The Carnival"). But in this case, in a "celebration of the franchise" for long-time fans, the fact that they used what by this point is an icon of the series at large for a quick dildo joke is tantamount to sacrilege.
chucklocker wrote:In all seriousness though, I actually thought the gag with the Tenchi-ken was really funny, and refreshingly done. Let's face it, this isn't the first time the connection has been made, not by a long shot. Probably since its very first appearance fans have snickered at the unintentional (or maybe not so unintentional...) phallic imagery associated with the Tenchi-ken. I thought the way that Ukan teased Tenchi by implying that it was something he was into was a refreshing and novel iteration of the gag. It seemed, to me at least, that Negishi was giving a wink and a nod to a fan in-joke that's as old as the fandom itself, and he did so with more subtlety and craft than certain other Tenchi creators have in the past... Reasonable minds can certainly differ though, and I certainly wont hold it against anyone for finding something like this to be against their taste.
Admittedly, the insinuation with Tenchiken did surprise me, but it was more subtly stated than I expect it would be with another writer. The entire exchange between Tenchi and Ukan is 30 seconds long, about the length of the panty shot from episode 1. Most of the scene was dialogue, primarily Ukan teasing Tenchi. Admittedly, I think this scene serves a couple purposes. First, Ukan is a sultry woman, even from her first moments in the show. She teases Tenchi and seems to put him in compromising positions. Whether or not these are serious overtures or not remains to be seen, but the scene serves to show more of her character, tasteful or not. Second, Chuck is right that the Tenchiken was a phallic metaphor in the OVA: a sword with two gems that a certain woman (Ryoko) could not touch. While the point has not been overtly stated in the anime until now, it has been subtext since the beginning.
Moreover, the point of the scene is likely to bring attention to the fact that Tenchiken is in this anime
, the first time since Katsuhito used it to end Haruna in TMiL2 (1999). Also, notice that it is the Universe continuity
design for the key. That means a bud-like pommel with no gems
. Evidently, his first day's experience showed Tenchi that he should be armed. The "talisman" excuse was inventive, but naturally backfired. However, in that backfiring, notice that Ukan can hold the key
. The OVA continuity made it clear that only certain people could wield or even hold the key. Notably, Ryoko always was shocked or knocked back when she came into contact with it. While the Universe continuity only had Jurai royal family hold the key (Katsuhito in Universe episode 23 and TMiL2, Tenchi in Universe episodes 23-26 and TMiL1, Achika in TMiL1, Ayeka at the end of TMiL1), one might expect a similar defensive mechanism. So, I will ask the obvious question. Why can Ukan hold Tenchiken?
The little exchange between Beni and Hachiko felt good, showing more action and conflict between the Council and Club (yes, I pun, dammit).
But, Tenchi also showed that he is a boss by catching Beni's fist in mid-swing. That's "Tenchi-sensei
" to you, dear student.
I second Wwwwhhhhoooo's implication that Tenchi is holding back, probably for the sake of simplicity and camouflage in his mission, but not so much that he is into BSDM. That's Ayeka's domain. Right, princess?
I was amused at Yuki and Rui grovelling at Tenchi's feet. Keep in mind that Tenchi is a teacher now. He does have authority, however little a student teacher has.
Naturally, Ukan has more authority, being permanent faculty, as demonstrated by her halting Beni and Hachiko's renewed aggressions. Still, I enjoyed seeing that Tenchi is not merely complacent after his first day. He can take action when necessary, such as stopping Beni and Hachiko the first time and bringing them to the Council for judgment.
Now, the student politics are interesting. Apparently, the Club could take over the school if they wanted. I second Nil's question as to why they have not already done so. Moreover, what is this treasure Rui nearly divulged to the Council? The earlier theory that it was Tenchiken is now shot to hell, which reopens the discussion on what it could be. My bet is still on it being
, but we will have to see.
Thanks again to the translation crew! You have given us another week of new Tenchi to enjoy and piece together. Keep up the good work!