Tenchi the Movie: Tenchi Muyo in Love
Deep inside Galaxy Police headquarters, an incredibly powerful and evil being known as Kain lives, imprisoned by a joint effort through the GP and the House of Jurai. One day, Kain escapes, destroying the entire GP headquarters (that's a really big deal, okay?). Vowing revenge against the bloodline that helped imprison him, Kain heads for Earth. The target: Masaki Tenchi's mother, twenty-six years in the past.
When Tenchi shows some old home movies to the rest of the gang, his mom mysteriously vanishes from the picture, and Tenchi starts fading from existence. Washu manages to save him from a fate worse than death, but informs the gang that her power can’t last very long and that Tenchi's time is running out. Tenchi and the gang have to use Washu's Space-Time Converter to go back to the past and prevent Kain from doing something horrible to Tenchi's mom and ending Tenchi's existence. Problem: Kain possesses more power than the entire cast combined. Surprises, plot-twists, and nail-biting excitement are in store along the way!
After reviewing so many "almost-made-it"s and "nice-try"s, it's nice to review one that does the job right. This movie embodies so much of what anime should be: fun, fast, and exciting, with some liberal dashes of humor for flavor.
The animation and art are quite remarkable. Some of the visual effects almost rival Akira in terms of technical execution, and the backgrounds are gorgeous and well-drawn. The score is great, too (done by Christopher Franke of Babylon 5 fame), emphasizing the mood of every scene (from introspection to grab-the-seat-in-front-of-you suspense). Dubbing is pretty good (although purists will no doubt cry foul at some of the voicings), with half of the cast done wonderfully, and the other half done passably. The characters should be familiar to any fan of Tenchi Muyo!, but even for a newbie (which I was when I saw this flick), they're interesting, fun, and likable (although Mihoshi gets just a TAD bit annoying at times). Tenchi fans are in for a treat, and newbies will enjoy the introduction.
The story is remarkably well-done and coherent (although some plot elements rely on a background knowledge of the Tenchiverse), and the ending is simply beautiful, nicely capping off the entire series and answering a few nagging questions that have pervaded the entire series.
All in all, a wonderfully fun flick that just about anyone can enjoy. Definitely a keeper.
Recommended Audience: Should be okay for almost all audiences, although it may be a bit too intense and scary towards the end for younger crowds.
Version(s) Viewed: VHS, English dub
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Tenchi the Movie: Tenchi Muyo in Love © 1996 Pioneer LDC
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