Dual! JP TV box set

Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure (デュアル!ぱられルンルン物語, Dyuaru! Parare Runrun Monogatari?) is a fourteen episode series created in 1999 by Masaki Kajishima and produced by AIC, both well-known for the Tenchi Muyo! franchise. It was licensed in the US by Pioneer LDC, later known as Geneon. It is, as of 2020, now long out of print and unlicensed. In addition to the original run, an OVA special was added to conclude the series as a de facto "14th episode".

Plot Summary

22 years ago, a huge alien artifact is found on a construction site by a worker named Yotsuga. The foreman orders that the artifact be broken apart to avoid delays. As Yotsuga walks towards the dumpsters to dispose of a small piece of the artifact, the world splits into two. In one world, Yotsuga tosses away the piece and the artifact is destroyed. In the other world, Yotsuga keeps the artifact, leading to the discovery of extraterrestrial technology that changes history.

In the present, Kazuki Yotsuga is a high school student who is shunned by other students as an otaku; his web site describes battles between giant robots that only he can see, but it is mostly as a result of him being occasionally seen by the other students reacting to their "presence". One day, the most popular girl in school, Mitsuki Sanada, approaches him to tell him that she likes his stories. This is only a ruse; she lures him to her father, Dr. Ken Sanada, who wishes to study Kazuki for his research on parallel worlds.

After being thrown into the other possible world by Dr. Sanada's device (thanks to a careless action by Mitsuki), Kazuki finds himself still in Dr. Sanada's basement, but everything is covered with cobwebs. Kazuki goes home, is distracted by a real battle between two giant robots, one white and the other black. The white robot is knocked down and an injured female figure emerges from inside. When Kazuki goes to her aid, he is trapped inside the robot and somehow manages to activate it and defeat the enemy robot. Afterwards, Kazuki reaches his home, but his parents no longer recognize him. He is found by Mitsuki, who had followed him, but due to a strange quirk, arrived before him. Along with a military escort, she takes him to the Earth Defense Force HQ, a paramilitary operation led by this world's Dr. Sanada. Kazuki volunteers to become a giant robot pilot after he learns of the attempted conquest of this world by this world's Dr. Hiroshi Rara (Dr. Sanada's former scientific partner turned arch-rival) who is using the large artifact ship he stole and the technology within. It is also the only way to get this world's Dr. Sanada to return to his side-tracked dimensional travel work and send him and Mitsuki back.

Over the course of the series, Kazuki not only becomes closer to Mitsuki Sanada, (whom he ends up living with in Dr. Sanada's house) but manages to attract Yayoi Schwael, the woman he helped in the white robot (moves in next door), the enigmatic D, a survivor of the lost civilization surviving in a bioroid body who is distant with everyone but responsive to Kazuki (also moves in), and eventually Mitsuki Rara, the sweet daughter of Dr. Rara (who is also hypnotized to portray "Ms. Rara", the boastful leader of the Rara's troops). Mitsuki R. helped nurse Kazuki to health after he had been dragged to and stranded in Rara territory during a fight. The Raras never suspected he was the pilot they were looking for because he was not a woman. When she finds out who he is, she helps him escape back to his side.

Although she really doesn't want to fight anymore, Mitrsuki R. is brainwashed even further by her ruthless mother, Ayuko Rara, the real power behind the operation, and made to pilot HIMC, their ultimate weapon, the core "original" robot all of their others were based on. It seems that only Mitsuki can effectively pilot it on their side. Just as HIMC and the Rara troops are about to defeat the Earth Defense Force, Kazuki unconsciously summons Zinv, the core robot they had but could not operate. ZInv is able to easily defeat Rara's smaller robots and when Kazuki enters the cockpit he is able to tear open HIMC's control panel and pull out Mitsuki. HIMC then is able to quickly return on its own somehow. Mitsuki Rara defects to their side (and moves into the house).

Ayuko deploys yet a new weapon, a dimensional cannon that sends Zinv and Kazuki back to his own world, catching Mitsuki S. as well. By the time that world's Sanada and Rara are able to return them, The Rara Army has basically won and the Earth Defense Force has run away in their small artifact ship as a fugitive group. Once again, Mitsuki S. returned a month earlier than Kazuki, in the wrong place, and was captured by the Rara Army. The two Mitsukis are actually counterparts, Mitsuki Sanada was the daughter of Ayuko and Dr. Sanada on her world (before she abandoned him) and Mitsuki Rara's father was Dr. Rara. Ayuko drags this Mitsuki around with her, trying to ingratiate herself tro her. When Kazuki fails at an attempt to rescue her, Ayuko notices her extreme jealousy when she sees Kazuki interacting with her own daughter.

Zinv wings.jpg

Using jealousy as a motivator, Ayuko convinces Mitsuki S., her daughters counterpart, to pilot the now complete HIMC and launch a final attack. Meanwhile, evidence that both worlds are collapsing accelerates, with world landmasses being transported and crashing into the landmasses in the other worlds. It is also revealed that an alien seed called Kumu is the secret power at the center of Rara's ship and partially controlling HIMC. It will only talk with women, which is why Ayuko could so effectly use it. Kumu was also behind the the destruction of D's group and is able to cantact telepathically with her, taunting her, scaring her from action. Mitsuki S. tells Kazuki that he should give up and they can go home and recklessly overeeacts and attacks the robots with the other girls in them. Kazuki thinks she must be brainwashed. But HIMC acts on its own and lances ZInv right through the torso. D realizes she's more afraid of Kazuki dying than her own death. Everyone else in the EDF abandons ship and she rams the small ship into the big ship, causing a huge explosion and the momentary shaking of Zumu's control of HIMC. Upon the destruction of D's bioroid body, it is revealed that D's real body was inside ZInv, being preserved all along. She comes out and tells Kazuki that her society was afraid of the frightening power of Zinv and put a limiter on its power. She then removes the limiter. Sprouting Light Hawk Wings, Zinv is able to pull Mitsuki S. out of HIMC and destroy it, then destroys the large ship, basically by opening a miniature black hole.

What was actually causing the destruction of the two worlds was the existence of both Kazuki and the immensely powerful Zinv, Kazuki being the counterpart to Zinv. Sanada and Rara devise a way to destroy Zinv. They're not exactly sure what will happen, but they know the collapsing of the worlds should halt. When it is destroyed, the worlds combine into one, an expression of Kazuki's (and of the similarly unique Mitsuki Sanada) wish for all his friends to stay together.

In a 14th episode "special" this world is depicted but at the end, Zinv arrives again, somehow surviving in the combined world. Dr. Sanada talks to Kazuki and proposes that what this gives them the chance to do is to go in to space. Apparently setting up a sequel that never happens.

Connections to Tenchi Muyo! GXP - The Great Prehistoric Civilization

In the GXP Novels, and occasionally in the Tenchi Muyo anime series, The Great Prehistoric Civilization refers to a lost civilization of great technology and widespread influence that spread out to all corners of the galaxy. Although not the first or last, this civilization starts the greatest "seeding" project in galactic history, spreading the human genome so planets would evolve life that were identical to their own and, somehow, recurring cultural norms that result in future worlds, languages, tools, foods, etc. replicating their own.

Ancient artifacts, containing great lost technology, have been found on planets far and wide across the Galaxy. It is debated by scholars what planet was the original home planet of the civilization. In the first OVA series, Kagato's efforts largely centered around looting and extracting lost secrets of this far back period. Significant planets that contain or contained lost artifacts including Airai, Terra, and the planet mentioned below, probably the best candidate for the lost home planet.

Dual and GXP experiments.png

It is revealed in the Tenchi GXP light novels that Dual actually occurred up to a billion years prior to the start of the main Tenchi series. After the events of the series, Kazuki does travel into space with Zinv and ultimately he and the others become the progenitors of what becomes this Great Prehistoric Civilization. At some point, D's Astral is copied or preserved in an AI and is left to sleep again with Zinv underground. Although not the first or last, this civilization starts the greatest "seeding" project in galactic history, spreading the human genome and, somehow, recurring cultural norms that result in future worlds, languages, tools, foods, etc. replicating their own.

In the GXP novels, which greatly expand on and continue after the plot of the anime, it becomes clear that certain events and characters greatly resemble what happened in Dual. Early on, Seina Yamada meets doppelgangers of Mitsuki Sanada and Ken Sanada, Miki Steinbeck and her father, Hiroshi Manada. Hiroshi performs an experiment on Seina that largely replicates the scene of Ken sending Kazuki to the parallel world (although for a different purpose). After the experience, Seina and Miki share with each other that they both had an extreme sense of déjà vu, like they are sure that they have experienced the same thing before, despite the fact that they are barely acquainted.

Later, Seina discovers Zinv hidden in an underground cave, and inside is a sleeping AI of D, with the same astral (soul) and memories. They are soon joined by Miki (who was secretly an AI that developed an astral- created by Hiroshi, then had her artificial body destroyed), the sweet but slightly ditzy digital AI, Kirche (Also possessing an astral- a usually rare occurrence), and Seina's cabbit Fuku (who herself is basically a biological Ship's AI). When Seina saves the three clones of Fuku (as seen in the anime), they are actually now bonded with the AI's of D, Miki, and Kirche. Together they join with Zinv to battle the pirate Tarant Shank and Seina has a sudden realization of who they all are. Kajashima has directly confirmed that Seina and Miki are the direct reincarnations of Kazuki and Mitsuki Sanada, but has mostly left this passage speak for itself to show that they are all direct reincarnations of the entire group.

Seina put his hand on the control ball.

"Oh!!"  it was as if electricity was running through his body, or rather it is more accurate to say he was finally awake... "... Oh, I understand, I know everything, after such a long time, what we are ... Yeah.... alright."

Tears fell from Seina's eyes.[1]

Other than these direct reincarnations it is also explained that all of Seina's girlfriends/potential-girlfriends and wives tend to follow a repeating astral pattern that parallels the attributes of the girls in Dual.

In the arc that comes after the long adaptation of the anime, HIMC is also introduced as a ship/mecha of the pirate forces that Seina has been brought to defeat.


Trivia

  • During the 14th & final episode, Kiyone Makibi (a character from several Tenchi series) can be seen carrying a bag of groceries just after Zinv appears in the city. Ramia as well as Misao Amano (both characters from magical project S) can also be seen in the same scene. Tanya Natdhipytadd, from Battle Athletes, also makes a cameo appearance. AIC, the company behind Dual!, often has characters from other series make such cameos as easter eggs to fans.
  • Zinv can be seen several times before his official appearance, the most predominant of which is while Kazuki is being sent to the alternate world during episode 1.
  • The Sanada-style robots can be compared to Evangelion robots, with similar shoulders, hand-to-hand combat styles, and one male pilot with two female pilots on the team.

References

  1. |Kajashima, Masaki (2016). True Tenchi Muyo! GXP 13, chapter 7 (translation)
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