Tenchi in Tokyo Vol. #5 (of 8) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Tuesday, September 07, 1999
Release Date: Tuesday, September 07, 1999



What They Say
As a new love begins, the Tenchi family starts to collapse. Nothing can come between Sakuya and Tenchi. First, when Ayeka and Sasami try to hitchhike to Tokyo, Yugi arranges for them to meet up with an aggressive woman on a motorcycle with an obsession for an impossibly fast jogger. Then, when Tenchi’s friend Amagasaki threatens to break up the pair’s romantic mood with interruptions, Yugi sends a spirit in the form of a professional female wrestler to intervene. Finally though, it is the bumbling nature of Ayeka, Mihoshi, Washu, and even Ryo-Ohki that drives Tenchi to protect Sakuya from them when they accidentally destroy half of the cultural festival at Tenchi’s High School.

The Review!
Let's dive right into things. The audio on this DVD is a straightforward stereo TV mix with some decent directionality by the characters and actions at times. Nothing too exciting, but well done when needed. Voices and music and clear and without distortion.

Uh oh, that's right, a lower grade for the video. What's wrong? A lot of this disc looked a lot less sharp looking than previous ones. It definitely looked more soft and less detailed than before. I don't know if this is inherent in these episodes themselves but they just didn't seem as well done as the rest of the discs in the series so far. Some people (notably on Panasonic players) have found some serious pixellation occurring at 56:22 - 56:24, but I didn't notice anything wrong there at all on my Pioneer 414 player or on my Sony 3000 systems. This may be isolated to a batch of discs or noticeable only one some players.

I still enjoy the packaging for this series with the nice blues for the spine and backgrounds and a well laid out back cover with plenty of useful information that's very easy to find. As we're now on the fifth disc, the growing row of Tenchi discs is looking really nice with this series in there.

The menu on this disc is a noticeable improvement over the artsy style of the past ones. The backgrounds have slightly out of focus images of things like the Masaki house and whatnot which gives it a more Tenchi feel than the previous ones did. The menu selections move nicely and without any lag at all.

With this disc, and most especially episode 16 (Carnival!), Tenchi In Tokyo has now replaced the OVA series as my favorite incarnation of Tenchi to date. I haven't enjoyed Tenchi this much since I first saw the OVA series back in 1992.

A couple of things within the series on this disc are repetitious (money to get to Tokyo, cooking) but are no different than the sight gags or other well worn things in other series (can you say Kenny in South Park?). Seeing the massive library of shoujo owned by Tenchi's father was hilarious, and watching the quiet confident sequences of Ryoko was something different than the norm as well.

The episode, which almost felt like a filler of sorts, was interesting with Ayeka and Sasami on the road to Tokyo with the twin comet stuff.

But what really got me excited by this disc is the last episode, Carnival. With a large portion of it focusing on Tenchi and Sakuya and their friends, this was such a great change from the norm for awhile. Seeing the school life of Tenchi and watching Sakuya's friends push the two together was just perfect.

But what I enjoyed the most, and I'll put this in white so you have to highlight it to see it since it's a spoiler, is seeing Tenchi making a decision and actually be kissed and kiss back with Sakuya. This was just perfect.

Also noteworthy on the disc is the continuing addition of "Extra Stuff" from bits of the Tenchi Muyo Encyclopedia. On this disc, we get a music video from it as well as a TV commercial for Tenchi in Tokyo. My only gripe with these extras is that they're not even subtitled. Folks, if you're going to put it on, spend the extra money and subtitle it. Really, I don't mind subtitled music videos. I'm an ageing otaku, I put closed captions on MTV to try and catch the lyrics on it sometimes!

Overall, a really solid entry into the Tenchi in Tokyo series. If you've been enjoying the series to date, episode 16 is a big payoff episode. If you've been hating Tenchi in Tokyo since it's inception, the disc is not for you in any way. But I'm enjoying it immensely!

Features
English Language,English Subtitles,Japanese Language,Music Video,Tenchi in Tokyo TV Commercial (Japanese)

Review Equipment




Mania Grade: A+
Audio Rating: A
Video Rating: B+
Packaging Rating: A
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
MSRP: 29.99
Running time: 75
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Tenchi Muyo