Tenchi Muyo: Daughter of Darkness (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, February 18, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, March 31, 1998
Tenchi, the boy that has girls the way some people have rats, returns for his second appearance on the big screen. This time he has yet ANOTHER strange girl that shows up out of nowhere and falls in love with him (this one also claims to be his daughter). Act surprised. Not that I have anything against the Tenchi Muyo storyline. If that was all there was to it, I'd get sick of it pretty quickly. I've had more than my share of the classic boy-meets-girl-meets-girl-meets-girl-meets-girl-meets-girl-meets-girl-and-ge ts-into-many-strange-situations-and-romantic-polygons-as-girls-attempt-to-kill-one-another stories. But I'm sure you all know that Tenchi is much more than that. Tenchi is an epic storyline with a little something for everyone that is still throwing a wrench into the clear distinction between shoujo and Shonen. If you like Tenchi, you'll like the movie. It's not quite as spectacular as Tenchi Muyo In Love, but it's still fun. 'Nuff said.
Ok, first let me say that I first got Tenchi the Movie 2 long, long ago on VHS. It was my first exposure to Tenchi, and after I got over my initial confusion, I loved it. It was a wonderful film, and I still stand by it even though most people say it was just made to make a cheap buck and capitalize on the success of the first movie. Not long after that, I went out and bought Tenchi Muyo In Love. That was where I made my fatal error. I bought it dubbed.
I can't stand the Tenchi dubbing. It is totally unbearable; it's like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. I'm vehemently against dubbing of any kind, and this is definitely some of the worst out there. When I decided to review it, I tried to sit through it dubbed, I really tried, but I simply couldn't do it. Sorry.
As for the disc itself, it is nearly flawless technically. The menu is mostly up to par, although the music gets annoying after a while, and the chapter selection was a disaster. Whenever you select a chapter, it plays a small audio excerpt (dubbed, naturally) which has the result of slowing the menu down to about a two second delay between selections, and reduces the number of chapters included in the menu to maybe one in six. I enjoyed the Tenchi Encyclopedia a lot, except for the fact that all of the video clips were dubbing only, which kind of ruined them for me. Hopefully when the OAV box set comes out the Tenchi Encyclopedia will have a subtitled option now that it's on it's own disk. The video was as crisp and clear as anyone could ask for, and I never noticed any artifacts at all. It was slightly letterboxed, as was it's original format, but it doesn't really make a noticeable difference. The audio was truly delightful. At least the Japanese track was, I really can't say about the English one. The trailers were very nice as an added treat, and Pioneer definitely gets bonus points for using the multi-angle feature both on the credits (Japanese on one angle, English on the other) and to include special design sheets here and there in the video. My favorite bonus feature by far, however, is the use of Japanese subtitles. More than just a novelty, I found them downright fascinating. The packaging was somewhat disappointing, and quite impractical, but Pioneer has since cleaned up their act, so it's forgivable.
Score (out of five)
Video - 5/5
Audio(J) - 5/5
Audio(E) - N/A
Subtitles - 5/5
Bonus - 5/5
Menus - 3/5
Overall - 5/5
Mania Grade: NA
Audio Rating: N/A
Video Rating: N/A
Packaging Rating: N/A
Menus Rating: N/A
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
Running time: 60
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Tenchi Muyo