Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure (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! OVA continuity.
Produced by the creative team behind Tenchi Muyo, Dual! 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...
- All There in the Manual:
- The defunct AIC website has more information than what's provided in the show. Also, this mecha design.
- The Tenchi GXP novels mention that Kazuki and the others who go into space are responsible for starting the Great Prehistoric Civilization.
- Alternate Self: Mitsuki Rara and Mitsuki Sanada are alternate universe versions of one another.
- Alternate Timeline Ancestry: In the second world, of the people Kazuki knew are still around, with the exception of himself for an unknown reason. This includes Mitsuki Sanada, who is instead named "Mitsuki Rara" in this world because in this world, her mother had a child with a different man. Rara's sweet personality is the polar opposite of Sanada's bossy Tsundere attitude, but the two look almost identical aside from having a different hair color and style. At the end of the series, the two worlds are merged and in the rewritten reality, the two Mitsukis are cousins instead, with their mothers being sisters.
- Ascended Fanboy: Kazuki. He even Falls Into The Cockpit of the Core Robot he gave a nickname.
- Betty and Veronica:
- Yayoi Schwael and Mitsuki Sanada.
- Mitsuki Rara and Mitsuki Sanada. They're half-sisters as their common mother Ayuko married a different man —- though they were best friends —- in each universe. In the merged universe, she sticks with the father of Mitsuki R. but Akane, the new mother of Mitsuki S. is revealed to actually be the sister of their previous common mother Ayuko, so now the two Mitsukis are cousins instead.
- Big Bad: The artifact who's command Ayuko Rara follows.
- 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.
- The Cameo:
- Canon Welding: Word of God said Dual was set in The Multiverse of the Tenchi Muyo! franchise but the Tenchi Muyo! GXP novels later said humanity of Dual's Earth colonized the galaxy and seeded the homeworlds of all the Human Aliens in Tenchi Muyo and also a duplicate Earth that Tenchi lives on.
- Combat Stilettos: Some mechs have feet designed along these lines. The Earth Defense Force units all have them, but the Rara Army tends to use non-humanoid designs.
- 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. (D can't cook, but she can dump curry sauce on things.)
- Crossover: 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.
- Dirty Coward: The UN throws the EDF under the bus and surrenders the world to Rara.
- Embarrassing Cover-Up: 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.
- Kazuki, Mitsuki Sanada and D are pretty much a less mentally screwed up Shinji, Asuka, and Rei.
- Which also could be said for Ken and Yayoi as less mentally screwed up Gendo and Misato.
- Fur and Loathing: The white fox wrap Ayuko Rara wears, and she's of course a vain, materialistic villain.
- Girl-Powered: The giant robots can only be piloted by girls until Kazuki comes along.
- 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.
- Inconsistent Spelling: 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".
- 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 all of her ostensible rivals.
- Large Ham: Mitsuki Rara in her "Miss Ra" personality. In the final episode, all the girls get into the act.
- Left Hanging: A number of whys and hows about the premise. The various Tenchi novels (in Japanese) fill in some of the story ideas that were left hanging by the OVA.
- Man, I Feel Like a Woman: Kazuki and Commander Sanada "testing the shock absorption" of that ridiculous female pilot suit.
- 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: At the end of the series, both dimensions get folded together. Both Mitsukis are included, as are Zinv and Kazuki.
- The Multiverse: By Word of God it is one (or two) of the many alternative continuities of the Tenchi Muyo! metaseries.
- Polar Opposite Twins: Despite them being half sisters, Mitsuki Sanada and Mitsuki Rara look like twin sisters but their personalities are night and day.
- Rei Ayanami Expy: Played straight with D, who doesn't look like Rei but has a similar personality and role.
- 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 would be very happy to see her wind up with Kazuki.
- Split Timelines Plot: The Cold Open involves a man named Yotsuga finding some piece of alien technology. His supervisor orders him to throw it into the trash, and immediately the screen splits into two scenes: one of Yotsuga trashing the artifact and another of him keeping it. The story thus deals with the descendant of Yotsuga, Kazuki, living in the world where the artifact was trashed but being able to see visions of the parallel world where it wasn't, where wars are now fought using Humongous Mecha.
- Supreme Chef: It turns out both Mitsukis have great cooking abilities. So does Yayoi.
- Synchronization: Pilots are linked to their core robots and show pain when they take damage. Kazuki, in addition to being a male pilot, has negative "Life Sympathy" that allows him to do crazy things.
- Through His Stomach: Everyone who can cook constantly pushes food on Kazuki. As for D, who can't, she adds curry sauce to random dishes.
- Villain World: While Kazuki was temporarily trapped in his home dimension, Rara forces overran the second dimension and Ayuko became ruler.