We get another “domestic” ATM following the favorable conclusion of another adventure, which is much better than another recap. The Masaki sisters are there to welcome Tenchi as he stands in his genkan, wearing uniforms from his school, having used a Neuralyzer to convince the StuCo to let them man a stand at the upcoming festival.
Meanwhile, Ryouko, whom we’ve only seen bits of, is busy doing positively awful things in the kitchen, having caught some kind of intergalactic delicacy and seasoning it with mandrake root. The pure ridiculousness of her “avant-garde” gastronomy was enough for a good hearty laugh or two.
The episodelet ends with a bit of a moral: it’s a sin to waste food, especially when it’s been lovingly prepared. Thus, neither the Masaki sisters or Tenchi can avoid giving Ryouko’s stew of Undagon—native to the planet Kururu in the Andre Galaxy—a taste. Ryouko won’t let them.
Beni and Hachiko have a go at Gooriki, but it’s too powerful. Before it can land a decisive beam on either girl, Tenchi springs into action with a lightsaber and dispatches the robot. They escape from the warehouse safe and sound.
Tenchi gets to be a badass again, following up his ability to stop Beni’s blow back at the hallway squabble at school by showing he can take care of something neither Beni nor Hachiko are able to, thus gaining their respect and maybe even admiration after rough introductions. This is a teacher who will put himself on the line protect his students without hesitation.
I like how Hachiko’s complex is elaborated, in that she only has the will to fight if she’s holding some kind of weapon (preferably wood, it would seem); otherwise she’s a basket case. Beni gives Tenchi a punch to test if he’s really as strong as he looked in the warehouse. What she doesn’t understand is that unlike her and Hachiko, Tenchi doesn’t broadcast his strength, and only uses it when he really needs to.
Beni wakes up, and after trading barbs with Hachiko, the two follow Tenchi’s advice to work together to escape the warehouse. When Beni runs ahead and smashes boxes, she rouses Gooriki, the malfunctioning school even support robot. When Hachiko moves to fight it, it snatches away her wooden sword.
Somewhat surprisingly, we don’t jump to a totally different time and situation, but remain in the warehouse with Tenchi, Hachiko, and Beni (the other two science club members, who knows). And on the list of absurd new challenges the trio will face, I have to say I wasn’t expecting a school robot gone haywire! Nice WTF factor in play.
I was even more surprised how ineffectual the supposed muscle of the school is when faced with a real threat: Beni gets tossed like an animal-print ragdoll, while Hachiko loses the will to fight and simply collapses and sobs away when her bokken is taken, suggesting it has power similar to a security blanket. Looks like it will be up to Tenchi to get them out of this mess!
Hachiko leads Tenchi through the massive, labyrinthine supply warehouse for the needed materials. Without a “Book of Guidance”, Yuki, Aoi and Beni get lost and a huge rolling boulder comes after them. The same boulder threatens Hachiko and Tenchi, and while narrowly escaping the boulder, loses the book.
ATM is a show that doesn’t waste time and fully embraces its own irrationality. It’s full of stuff that makes no sense: why does the school have such a huge, End-of-Indiana Jones-like warehouse? And as Tenchi protests, what the heck kind of sporting event necessitates an Indiana Jones-like runaway boulder?
Those seeking answers to the “what” and “why” will find none during these few minutes per episodelet; the “what” is merely “it” or “that”, and the “why” is simply…because. Or in the case of why Hachiko recites an incantation, because its more dramatic. And in a show that’s over almost as soon as it begins, it’s okay not to overthink things.
In tonight’s quick dose of unpleasantness, word gets around about Utsutsu’s quick-healing ability, and his sister’s tendency to eat him when she’s hungry. A thug with a knife kidnaps the siblings and “has fun” with Utsutsu by slicing him up with said knife and marveling at said healing. This is done in an abandoned warehouse, the standard venue for such activities.
Not wanting to escalate the situation, Utsutsu simply takes the punishment, but Yume eventually steps in to beg for the thug to stop. The thug is rough with her, setting Utsutsu off, who slugs him and then gouges out his eyes. Yume is horrified at what her brother has done for her sake, but then Utsutsu is tased and the two surrounded by more unsavory people.
Yume can’t go into Beast Mode when it would be useful to do so, i.e. to protect Utsutsu from the baddies. Thus the siblings continue to serve as the show’s heavily-abused punching bags; wretched repositories for all of the misfortune and despair that can be imagined, and that can be inartfully censored with streaks of black and white.
Rating: 5 (Average)