Tenchi in Tokyo Vol. #7 (of 8) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Tuesday, November 23, 1999
Release Date: Tuesday, November 23, 1999



What They Say
In order for the Galaxy Police to locate Ryoko's secret hideout, Mihoshi and Kiyone have gone undercover to infiltrate Ryoko's gang of pirates. But instead of arresting Ryoko, Mihoshi and Kiyone try to find out what Ryoko really wants and to see if there's any hope of reforming her. Back at the Masaki residence, Washu has finally come out of her laboratory. She sends Ayeka to investigate some ancient ruins to discover the true nature of Yugi. They find out that Sasami's playmate and the one that attacked them earlier are the same Yugi. Meanwhile, Sakuya has taken up photography to capture the memories of her and Tenchi enjoying their summer vacation together. But their happy days don't last long as Sakuya's mysterious past begins to haunt her.

The Review!
The penultimate volume of Tenchi in Tokyo, and the last available piece of Tenchi animation to date, has finally hit DVD here in region 1.

In terms of the video, there's nothing surprising here as it is the same level of quality as most of the previous releases. There were a lot more vibrant scenes in these episodes that came across beautifully with only the smallest hints of color bleeding and a bit of line noise in a few sequences. Overall, very much what we've come to expect from this series.

Pretty much the same is true with the audio. Presented in the standard stereo surround format, the majority of it comes through the center channel and is well balanced. I couldn't detect any distortion and everything sounded very clear with no unusual ups or downs in the volume.

Much like the previous volume, the front artwork has a darker shade to it, though the spine is thankfully the same color as the rest of the releases. The front artwork has a great shot of both Ryoko and Sakuya, while the back has a good shot of Ryoko under the text. The back covers a lot of information, all of it good. The description doesn't give away the entire plot, all the technical information is there (including region coding) and the episode numbers are presented as well.

The menus are similar to the last couple with better pieces of artwork underneath the text and all features are accessed quickly and easily. The only problem I had with it, and it's something I've found with a lot of anime DVD's recently, is that in the language selection, it doesn't leave any indication of what you selected after you choose it. But, if this is the worst I have to say about the release, well, call me a nitpicker.

Of course, this just leaves the content. There's something for everyone in here just about. Kiyone fans should rejoice as there are many choice shots of the lovely Galaxy Police officer, people who enjoy henchmen in skimpy wrestler outfits will be happy, Ryoko fans will be glad to see her kicking some butt and Sakuya fans, well, dang it, we're always happy!

Episode 20 covers the reunion of Ryoko, Mihoshi and Kiyone in space and provides several laughs, though there are some who won't care how it harks back to the early episodes of this series in some respects. But the softer more caring side of Ryoko is given more of a look this time around, so there is something redeeming to it there.

Episode 21 delves into the newly revealed history of Yugi. I found this section to be very interesting and something that the Tenchi mythos, at least in anime form, needed to be brought more into the light. I really can't go into it much since it would give away a lot of what's going on, but the secrets are beginning to be revealed.

Which brings us to episode 22, entitled "Sakuya's Secret". Though the revelations in the previous episode aren't made known to many of the characters, the effects of the knowledge to the viewer can change their perception of the events now. The really enjoyable scenes with Sakuya back in episode 20 take on a sadder tone to me now with things being hinted at about her and the role she'll be playing.

If you've been enjoying the show up until now, things are now heading into the final act and there are bound to be disappointments for some while others will be cheering. It's going to be a long month until the next volume finally arrives.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Conceptual Artwork

Review Equipment
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.



Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: A
Video Rating: A
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