Tenchi Forever (Mania.com)
By:Abraham Chinchilla Jr.
Review Date: Friday, May 17, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, August 31, 1999
Tenchi Forever (originally titled: "Tenchi Muyo! in Love 2") is the final Tenchi movie to be made, and was suspected to be the last of Tenchi (no longer a problem). This film is a sequal to the first movie, and takes place in the Tenchi Muyo! TV (Tenchi Universe) universe. After watching the movie, I knew it was now my favorite of the three.
As the DVD for the first movie had, we get two audio options here. An English Dolby Digital 5.1 track, and a Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Two subtitle options are also present, English and Closed Captioning, I wish there was a "Signs Only" subtitle track. Both audio tracks are done nicely, and the movie's soundtrack was really good. I didn't notice any drop-outs.
This is the only movie of the three, to get an Anamorphic transfer, so the picture looks good. The film's colors are presented very vividly. My only complaint is that the picture seems to jiggle from time to time. I didn't spot any bleeding. There was little artifacting, but it isn't really bothersome.
The cover image is simply beautiful. An image of all the characters, all well and good, I'm a big fan of this film's character designs. The back features a shot of Tenchi walking towards the Camellia tree (with Haruna fading into it). Nice, but all the text in the summary covers it up. The insert, isn't a booklet, it's the same back cover image, less cluttered, with a scene index. I'll note, this movie is packaged in a white amary keepcase, the other two films were placed in black amary keepcases.
The menus consists mainly of static screens, only the scene index menus have animated menus. Not many menus are here. We have the main menu with the selections: Play Movie, Language/Subtitles, Scenes, Teaser, Trailer, and Line Artwork. The Pioneer logo is also a selection, which leads to a section of title information.The language/subtitles menu can lead you to "DVD Credits", where you can also find "English credits".
The extras a very minimal. We get the theatrical teaser, and a theatrical trailer (finally, a long trailer). We also have twenty pieces of artwork. There is an extra for this film's release, that can be found on the Tenchi Muyo! DVD Ultimate Edition, a neat Pencil Test. Too bad, it's not here.
This movie, in my opinion, is the best of the three, because it takes a break from battling bad guys, and really centers on Ryoko and Ayeka's growing relationship. Very different from the other Tenchi movies. We are also introduced to a new female character, Haruna, a very beautiful and seductive woman.
(Potential Spoiler Warning)
The film starts with a flashback of young Yosho heading to Earth, with his lover, Haruna. Haruna seems very sick, and Yosho promises to stay by her side. The scene goes to a shot of falling camellia flowers. Tenchi and Grandfather are sweeping the steps to the Masaki shrine. Ayek and Ryoko begin to fight over a broom stick, and Tenchi tries to stop the fued. Ryoko and Ayeka soon demand that Tenchi picks which one of them he wants to keep. Tenchi asks if they could talk about it at another time, still fighting, Tenchi tricks Ayeka and Ryoko into believing that a bear was chargining behind them. Ryoko and Ayeka look back, and Tenchi runs into the forest. Tenchi is drawn to a tall camellia tree, and a woman appears inside of it. The woman reaches out to Tenchi and asks him to come with her. Tenchi walks towards the tree and vanishes. Ryoko and Ayeka catch up, simply to find a fallen camellia flower.
Six months past by, and the Masaki household gets lonely. Sasami and Ryo-ohki go back to Jurai, Kiyone and Mihoshi are sent to the Space Academy (with fake I.D. Cards), Washu tries to search for Tenchi in her lab, and Ryoko and Ayeka search by traveling. Arriving at yet another town, Ayeka and Ryoko have high hopes that they will find Tenchi, since they also have a tracking device made by Washu. Ryoko and Ayeka get jobs as waitresses to pay rent, and use it as a good place to perhaps learn more about Tenchi's whereabouts.
A much older Tenchi awakens in a small apartment, and finds a woman serving him breakfast. The woman is Haruna, and Tenchi seems to have a relationship with her. Tenchi leaves for class at an art school, and Haruna waves good-bye to him. On the bus, Ryoko and Ayeka head for work, until the tracking device is set off, and Ryoko asks for the bus to be stopped. She spots Tenchi and follows as quick as she can, but Tenchi suddenly vanishes.
As the film continue, we get lots of development for Ayeka and Ryoko, and their relationship. They also continue their search for Tenchi. After hearing a story about how Yosho had suddenly disappeared before, from the Knights, Azaka and Kamidake, Sasami reports to Washu about a woman, Haruna, who was mentioned in the story. As elements gathered, it is discovered that Yosho's lover had came back for Tenchi, since Yosho had married with Achika's mother.
It is my opinion, that this movie was very good, and that fans of Tenchi should indeed watch this. It is recommended though, that you had already seen the TV series ("Tenchi Universe") and (optional) the first movie, Tenchi Muyo! in Love.
Philco 21" TV, APEX AD-1500 DVD Player
Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: A
Video Rating: A
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: B
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
Running time: 95
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Tenchi Muyo