Produced by the creative team behind Tenchi Muyo
is a fun romp — a Humongous Mecha
show whose drama is thoroughly leavened with comedy born from its protagonist, an Ordinary High-School Student
, and The Unwanted Harem
he accumulates around himself.
Kazuki Yotsuga is a high school loner who feels isolated from his classmates because he has disturbingly realistic visions or hallucinations of giant robots battling throughout the city he lives in; it's great stuff to blog about, but ducking from invisible missiles makes people look at him funny. Then one day Mitsuki Sanada, the most popular girl in school
, drags him home to meet her father, slightly-mad scientist
Ken Sanada. The elder Sanada is a specialist in dimensional physics, and is convinced that when Kazuki has his visions, he is actually seeing events in a parallel world. A lab accident caused by Mitsuki ends up triggering Sanada's experimental dimensional transfer device, and the next thing he knows, Kazuki's not in Kansai any more, Toto...
Stuck in a world where he was never born, where giant robots battle in the streets and turn buildings into very real rubble, and where something called the Rara Army is busy trying to conquer the world one Tokyo neighborhood at a time, Kazuki is lost and confused. But he has an unexpected ability, and when Mitsuki Sanada once again comes to his rescue, this ability gives him a place within the UN forces fighting the invasion of the Rara robots.
Then his life starts getting complicated
(originally called Dyuaru! Parare Runrun Monogatari
in Japan) is a gentle parody of Humongous Mecha
shows in general and of Neon Genesis Evangelion
in particular. It was later added as being part of the Tenchi Muyo!
This show provides examples of:
- Alpha Bitch: Mitsuki Sanada. She becomes a Lovable Alpha Bitch in the last few episodes.
- Alternate Universe
- Artifact of Doom: The source of the Humongous Mecha.
- Ascended Fanboy: Kazuki. He even Falls Into The Cockpit of the Core Robot he gave a Fan Nickname.
- As You Know: Ken Sanada, almost every time he dips into Expo Speak about the premise.
- Betty and Veronica: Yayoi Schwael and Mitsuki Sanada.
- Mitsuki Rara and Mitsuki Sanada. You read that right, the same person from different universes.
- Big Bad: Ayuko Rara
- Book Ends: The main story begins with Mitsuki accidentally triggering the transfer device and ends with Mitsuki accidentally triggering the dimensional merge.
- Bridge Bunnies: Commander Sanada has a few working in his command center.
- Butt Monkey: Kazuki
- The Cameo: Kiyone Makibi from Tenchi Universe appears for a split second in a reaction shot during the final episode. Doubles as a Freeze-Frame Bonus.
- Amano Misao and Ramia from Pretty Sammy also appear in the same shot.
- Captain Ersatz: Kazuki Yotsuga, Mitsuki Sanada and D are clearly intended to correspond to Shinji, Asuka and Rei.
- Conspicuous CG: It's not exactly 3D, but the digital effects (while decent for the time) haven't exactly aged well.
- Conspicuous Trenchcoat: Mitsuki Sanada and Kazuki wear these to visit Kazuki's house when they return to their home dimension to keep people from recognizing them because Mitsuki's father had come up with a ridiculous cover story for their absence: He claimed they'd eloped.
- Cooking Duel: Frequent and informal, between the girls, with Kazuki as the judge.
- Creepy Child: D makes Rei Ayanami look like a Genki Girl. Not only that, but her soul is constantly visible and shines brightly where her left eye should be.
- Granted that she becomes D because she's afraid of showing emotions. When she chooses to retake her real body, she's just as expressive as a normal girl.
- Crossdresser: Poor Kazuki has to dress in a pilot suit with fake breasts and ass to disguise the fact he's a man. It doesn't help that the first time he's wearing it Mitsuki Sanada is laughing uncontrollably for pretty much the entire scene.
- It doesn't help that the suit also changed his voice to the typical "high-pitched anime girl" kind of voice... and the change was an improvement in that it fit his personality better.
- Cross Over: Tenchi Muyo! GXP reportedly includes material (read:Zinv) that indicates Dual is part of the Tenchi Muyo! OVA 'verse. When Zinv is unrestricted by D he is able to produce Lighthawk Wings. Also Zinv looks just like the robot Seina pilots at the end of Tenchi Muyo GXP.
- The Ditz: Mitsuki Rara.
- During the War: Giant robot war, that is...
- Embarrassing Coverup: Dr. Sanada's cover story for Mitsuki and Kazuki disappearing into another dimension: They'd eloped.
- Empathic Weapon: One of the most extreme and strange examples Zinv not only sympathizes with Kazuki; Zinv is Kazuki. His parallel twin, anyhow.
- Enter Stage Window: Yayoi's method of getting to Kazuki in the morning before the other girls. She does not use a ladder or a convenient tree, but a bridge between their houses that she appears to have built overnight after moving in.
- Evil Twin: Played straight and subverted by the same character. Mitsuki Rara and Mitsuki Sanada are alternate universe versions (actually half-sisters through the same mother with a different father in each reality) of one another. Rara qualifies as an Evil Twin thanks to being on the Rara side of the war. She also subverts the Evil Twin trope by being nicer and far less bitchy than Sanada, as far as Kazuki is concerned.
- Expy Kazuki, Mitsuki and D are pretty much a less mentally screwed up Shinji, Auska, and Rei.
- Which also could be said for Ken and Yayoi as less mentally screwed up Gendo and Misato.
- Falling into the Cockpit: Kazuki, literally.
- For Want of a Nail: The origin of the parallel realities is the decision Kazuki's father makes when he's told to get rid of the Precursor artifacts found at a construction site. One choice means "normal" reality, the other means Humongous Mecha in ritual combat.
- Fur and Loathing: The white fox wrap Ayuko Rara wears, and she's of course a vain, materialistic villain.
- Girl Posse: Mostly nice, for a change.
- Girl Powered
- High School
- Hot for Student: It is pretty clear that Yayoi doesn't even hide her favoritism of Kazuki.
- Humongous Mecha
- Imported Alien Phlebotinum: All of the "core robot" technology.
- I Just Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Mitsuki Sanada, since it was her conscious choice which created the third reality where Kazuki is able to remain with and ultimately end up, not just with her but with any one of her ostensible rivals.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Mitsuki Sanada.
- Large Ham: Mitsuki Rara in her "Miss Ra" personality. In the final episode, all the girls get into the act.
- Latex Space Suit: The pilot suits.
- Left Hanging: A number of whys and hows about the premise.
- Mad Scientist: Ken Sanada.
- Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Mitsuki Sanada.
- Man, I Feel Like a Woman : Kazuki and Commander Sanada "testing the shock absorption" of that ridiculous female pilot suit.
- Manipulative Bitch: Ayuko Rara.
- Marry Them All: At the end of episode 14, both sets of parents (Sanada and Rara) actually encourage him to venture by himself into space as humanity's representative to alien races, with all four girls ostensibly as his official staff.
- The Matchmaker: Ken seems to go out of his way to cause trouble like this for Kazuki. It begins with him moving Kazuki in with his parallel world daughter Mitsuki Sanada. He then moves Creepy Child D into Kazuki's room. He then moves Mitsuki Rara into the household, ostensibly so that he can eat her cooking without having to line up. And he's likely responsible for Yayoi moving into the house next door — the passageway between her bedroom and Kazuki's certainly couldn't have been built without his knowledge.
- Yayoi's grandmother Nanjyoin takes great pride in the fact that every couple she set up for an omiai has gotten married. She is rather enthusiastic about pairing up all the single women working for the Earth Defense Force. Mitsuki Sanada tries to take advantage of this to get Yayoi away from Kazuki.
- Merged Reality
- The Multiverse: By the Word of God it is one (or two) of the many alternative continuities of the Tenchi Muyo! metaseries.
- Not Brainwashed: The second time Kazuki arrives in the parallel world, he quickly learns that Mitsuki Sanada was captured by the Rara Army, and is now piloting their super-mecha HIMC/Himiko. After defeating HIMC and trying to pull an "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight speech on her, the audience learns that Mitsuki wasn't actually brainwashed per se — Ayuko put her under a light form of hypnosis, she came to her senses shortly after seeing Kazuki. Unfortunatly the robot she is now trappped in reacts to her subconscious thoughts and attacks anyone who upsets her in any way, even if she didn't want to actually hurt them. Understandably, Mitsuki doesn't correct Kazuki's assumption.
- Oracular Urchin: D.
- Ordinary High-School Student: Kazuki.
- Parental Abandonment
- Peek-a-Bangs: D's hair covers up a glowing orb in one of her eye sockets. Some suspect it's her soul, but they are not sure.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Ayuko Rara's Pink dress.
- Rain Aura
- Rei Ayanami Expy: Played straight with D, who doesn't look like Rei but has a similar personality and role.
- Reverse Polarity: A variant.
- Robot Girl: D, until she gains her old body back.
- Save Both Worlds: Kazuki thinks he merged the worlds, but Mitsuki Sanada actually did it, even allowing her counterpart to also exist.
- Shipper on Deck: Mitsuki Rara's Girl Posse.
- Shout-Out: To Tenchi Muyo!.
- Spell My Name with an S: You can see Kazuki's Midseason Upgrade mech referred to as "ZINV" onscreen, but the main characters call it "Jinbu" (or "Genebu" in the English dub). Likewise, HIMC/"Himiko".
- Split Personality: Mitsuki Rara.
- Supreme Chef: It turns out both Mitsukis have great cooking abilities. So does Yayoi.
- Third-Option Love Interest: Mitsuki Rara.
- Through His Stomach
- Tsundere: Mitsuki Sanada displays a lot of contempt for Kazuki, but also seems completely opposed to him having anything to do with any other girl. Initially her jealousy and irrational responses could give Akane Tendo a run for her money.
- Two-Teacher School
- Unlucky Everydude: Kazuki.
- The Unwanted Harem
- Villain World: While Kazuki was temporarily trapped in his home dimension, Rara forces overran the second dimension and Ayuko became ruler.
- Weapon of Mass Destruction
- What Is This Thing You Call Love?: D towards Kazuki.
- X Meets Y: Neon Genesis Evangelion meets Tenchi Muyo!.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: D and the UN Inspector both have green hair. D's is neon lime, while the Inspector's is a very dark green.