Title: Tenchi Muyo:
Length: 60 minutes
Format watched: DVD
The second of the 3 Tenchi Muyo movies. This film is definitely based on the Ryo-Ohki OAVs more than the first film was, and for that I have to give it some credit. The Ryo-Ohki series is the best of all the Tenchi continuities, in both its story and its characters. It was the original, and I think they should have stuck with it more than they did. This movie isn't the best of the Tenchi series, but it certainly isn't the worst.
The characters are all here once again. Tenchi, Ryoko, Ayeka, Sasami, Washu, Mihoshi and Ryo-Ohki, along with Tenchi's grandfather and father, Yosho and Nobuyuki, return once again for this action filled adventure.
This movie dwelves deeper into Yosho's past, showing part of his childhood on planet Jurai. It is rare that we really get to see Jurai, so this is a nice little treat in itself. Yosho is a Juraian prince, son of the Azusa, the King of Jurai, and Funaho, his first wife. Funaho was human, so Yosho is actually only half Juraian. Yosho was first in line to take the throne, but didn't want that possition, as being half human would have caused much controversy on Jurai.
When Ryoko attacked Jurai in an attempt to capture Tsunami for Kagato, Yosho used this as an excuse to pursue Ryoko across the galaxy, all the way to Earth. Once there, Yosho took up the possition of guard of the sealed Ryoko, and over time, took a wife for himself. Yosho's daughter Achika met Nobuyuki, and they had Tenchi. Even though Yosho is well over 700 years old, he hasn't actually aged at all. The old man everyone sees him as is nothing more than an illusion, created and sustained by his royal tree Funaho, named after his mother.
The funny thing about Juraians is that inbreeding seems to not only be okay for them, but produces more powerful offspring (what are they, Golden Chocobo?). Yosho has been on Earth for 700 years, and in this time has probably had several wives. Apparently, one of his marriages eventually lead to the birth of Nobuyuki, meaning that he, Achika and Nobuyuki are blood relatives! Because of the Juraians strange inbreeding rules, this might explain why Tenchi is so powerful.
A new character introduced in this movie is Yuzuha, the a demoness who inhabits a tree, which seems to be the opposite of Tsunami. Since Tsunami is a Goddess who took the form of a tree (and whos seeds started the Royal Family trees), my guess is that this 'anti-Tsunami' was an enemy Goddess in ancient times. Yuzuha and this tree inhabit a dark realm, where Yuzuha has absolute power, and Jurai power means squat. This strange demoness seems to have the power to transform people into strange gems, and for some reason has been seen eating them sometimes (oh my God, she's Buu).
The final new character to mention is the whole point of this story. Her name is Mayuka, and she is Tenchi's daughter. Mayuka basically shows up, having no memory, and knowing nothing except that Tenchi is her father. The group has many theories over where she came from, the obvious one being that she is from the future, and one of them must be the mother (she sure does act like a lot of them). The real proof that she is Tenchi's daughter comes when she creates a Lighthawk Wing, Tenchi's trademark ability.
It all starts out normally, Tenchi and the others doing chores and enjoying themselves as usual. Tenchi is walking down the steps from the Masaki shrine, heading home, when suddenly a blue haired girl appears. This girl is Mayuka, and instantly claims that Tenchi is her father, only she has no idea how she came to be here or where she's from.
The group react in different ways. Sasami is happy to have a new playmate (although Mayuka's a lot older than she is, in appearance), Tenchi's father is happy he has a grandaughter, and Ryoko is extremely untrusting and angry at how affectionate Mayuka is around Tenchi. The whole story revolves around the impact Mayuka has on this strange little family. Unfortunately, things don't stay happy for long, as it turns out there's something dangerous about Mayuka...
This story is reasonably good, but would be a lot better if Yuzuha's history had been kept secret till the end. Also, the story feels slightly rushed, not surprising since this movie is a full 35 minutes shorter than the first. Still, the characters are once again back how they were in the series, and I like that.
The animation in this movie doesn't live up to Tenchi Muyo: In Love, but is still good. The style is just like in the OAVs, more so than the first movie even -- only the animation itself is smoother and more fluid. The fight scenes are well animated, but would be better if they weren't so short and fast.
Once again I watched the dub, and once again I wasn't disapointed. Tenchi Muyo's dub cast still hasn't changed a bit, and is still one of the better dubs availible (although I may be biased). Unfortunately, Yuzuha's dub voice did not live up to the usual Tenchi Muyo goodness. Her voice sounds like Washu's, only if Washu had a bad cold. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if they were done by the same actress. Mayuka's voice is fine, but could maybe do with a bit more emotion.
This film has the usual Tenchi Muyo background music. I remember the music for battles being better in the series, though... This films battle music was okay, but didn't really add much in my opinion. This is a rather minor point though, and the fact that this movie has one of my favorite Tenchi Muyo songs ever easily makes up for it.
What can I say? This is the second Tenchi movie, and it is also the second best Tenchi movie. Shorter than the original, quite obviously lower budget, but anyone who liked the story in the Ryo-Ohki OAVs will be happy to see Tenchi use his Lighthawk Wings again. Also, fans of Tenchi x Ryoko will be happy to see that their relationship developes a bit more in this movie, as well as Ryoko and Ayeka's friendship, slightly.
Review Score: 8.2 out of 10