Mania Grade: A
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- Audio Rating: A+
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: A-
- Menus Rating: A-
- Extras Rating: B
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 60
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Tenchi Muyo
Tenchi Muyo: Daughter of Darkness
By Abraham Chinchilla Jr.
February 22, 2002
Release Date: March 31, 1998
Tenchi Muyo! Manatsu no Eve (Midsummer's Eve), or "The Daughter of Darkness" in the US, is the second Tenchi Muyo movie. Basically, the movie is about a girl named Mayuka who arrives at the Masaki household claiming Tenchi to be her father. There are many signs that this movie is based on the OVA series (floating hot spring, the new house design [OVA 8 & Up], Tsunami was mentioned, ect.). This is my favorite of the three Tenchi movies, though I wished it could of been slightly longer. This was my second purchased DVD, and having $14.99 as the SRP (plus the discount a video store had) was a great deal.
The audio on this disc is so awesome. We get two Japanese tracks (DD 5.1 and 2.0) and two English tracks (DD 5.1 and 2.0). The two 5.1 tracks sound really great (when I have a stereo hooked up to my DVD player), they are very clear. As usual, in my opinion, the English dubbed version was great. I'll note that when I watch the movie with the audio input in the TV, I listen to the 2.0 tracks, since the volume for some voices in the 5.1 tracks are too lowered for me to hear (I couldn't even hear Nubuyuki saying, "Easy Ryoko." in the beginning of the movie). Having four tracks is great.
The video looks very nice. I didn't notice any rainbows, artifacting, or bleeding. Though, I found a little artifacting in one spot while watching on my DVD-ROM player. It was at the end where Ayeka throws the branch at Tenchi, when the screen turns white, I saw alot of artifacting (this was ONLY on my DVD-ROM) after cleaning the disc, it wasn't as bad. Otherwise, the video is very crisp. It looks very nice.
A pretty good cover. My copy was in a black Amaray keepcase. The front is very beautiful, featuring Mayuka, Yuzuha, and Tenchi. Quite eye-catching, in my opinion. The back wasn't as good, there were not many pictures, and the pictures featured here aren't that great either. The back also has a good brief summary on the movie and it lists special features. The insert is pretty plain, a Startica tree with the chapter listings. The disc was quite nice, it featured character face sketches for Yuzuha, Mayuka, Tenchi, and Ryoko. Nice.
The menus were nice. Since the movie starts playing on it's own, you have to of course press "MENU" on your remote. The first menu we get is a quick clip of Yuzuha pulling Ryoko, Sasami, and Tenchi towards her with her tenticles. It pauses and the theme song begins playing (which later changes to the BGM, "Christmas Dream") with three options. Movie menu, Tenchi Encyclopedia, and Start Movie. The movie menu was very well made. It was a shot of Yuzuha in her room, with all the TVs as the menu options, along with some background music. Each of the submenus are nice as well. I didn't like the subtitle menu though. The scene menu wasn't all that great as well. They only selected every 3-5 chapters to be on the menu (chapter 1 isn't even listed), the English voices wasn't a bother of course, it was the time it took to switch to the next chapter as they play. Otherwise these menus are good.
There weren't many extras. But the ones we do get are good. We get the two original theatrical trailers, though they're pretty short (40 seconds or so). During the movie, we can switch to the second angle (click ANGLE on your remote when the reminder pops-up on the screen) and see character sketches. Only a few chapters are blacked out for this, so I'm not always sure which ones have the second angle since my I switched the Angle "maker" on off. We also get the Japanese credits. Switch to second angle on the last chapter and we get to see the "Christmas card" artwork in a better size than what we see in the English credits (where are the ending theme subtitles?). But, the best extra on this disc, in my opinion, is the Tenchi Encyclopedia. Though, I didn't like the menus much, it was still pretty well designed (a newer version of the encyclopedia (version 3) is in the Tenchi Muyo OVA box set - where's version 2?). The video clips are in English only, so fans of the Japanese version won't be too happy about this. The encyclopeda has a lot of information too. Very nice.
As I have stated before, this is my favorite of the three Tenchi movies.
Now, it all starts when a demoness named Yuzuha has a dream of her past. In her dream, she is on Jurai disguised as a young girl who gives Yosho, the Jurian prince, a gift. Before Yosho could go with her somewhere, Jurian warriors attacked the girl. The girl becomes upset and becomes a demon. Then, one of the warriors banishes her. Yuzuha awakens from her dream and finds herself in her room. She yawns and views one of the many television screens in her room. She sees the Masaki household and notices the Guardians. She then sees Yosho laughing, surprised, she wonders what he is doing there. Tenchi and the gang are having a Christmas party. After watching for a while, Yuzuha decides to get revenge on Yosho. She gets a piece of Tenchi's hair and pulls out some of her own hair. She then creates Mayuka, who she sends out to kill Tenchi.
One summer day, as Tenchi walks down the steps to his house, he finds a young girl who begins to call him her "papa" (or "daddy" in the dub). He brings her home which makes Ryoko and Ayeka jealous. Even after asking, the girls and Tenchi still don't understand how this girl, named Mayuka, could be Tenchi's daughter. After DNA analyzing, Washu finds Tenchi's DNA in Mayuka's hair, but she is unable to find the mother's hidden DNA. Later, Mayuka shows Sasami and Mihoshi the gift she wanted to give to Tenchi, finding she doesn't know what Christmas is, Mayuka explains about the Jurian holiday, Startica. Sasami is also familiar with Startica, and later explains Christmas to Mayuka.
Ryoko becomes upset as Tenchi decides to let Mayuka stay with them. Ryoko suspects Mayuka of trying to kill Tenchi and warns him. But, he doesn't listen. One night, Yuzuha awakes Mayuka and possesses her. Mayuka goes to Tenchi's room and begins to kiss and lick him in bed. Yosho walks into Tenchi's room discovering Yuzuha. Yosho tries to attack Yuzuha, but she disappears. Mayuka stops and wonders what she's doing. Ryoko grabs Mayuka and asks her what's going on. Mayuka tells her she doesn't know and runs away. Later, Sasami runs to go look for Mayuka, since Mayuka promised to spend Christmas with them, and Ayeka chases Sasami. Sasami finds Mayuka, being controlled again by Yuzuha, and tells Yuzuha to leave her alone. Mayuka grabs Sasami, as Ayeka finds the three of them and tries to attack Yuzuha. Yuzuha attacks first and hurts Ayeka. Soon, Tenchi and Ryoko arrive to help Ayeka. Yuzuha tells Tenchi to ask Yosho how to find her.
Later, Washu opens a portal to the "world of darkness" as Yosho explains about Yuzuha. Tenchi and Ryoko decide to go after Yuzuha and go into the portal. After battling a few stuffed animals, Tenchi and Ryoko find Mayuka in a Santa Clause outfit saying, "Merry Christmas" (in the Japanese version, she sounded so freaky...). Ryoko begins battling Mayuka as she turns into a beast. Yuzuha stops them and has a huge teddy bear knock Ryoko out.
We see Ayeka and Yosho talking about trying to stop Yuzuha. Yosho tells Ayeka that when Yuzuha is in her world, the Jurai power cannot defeat her. Yosho says that only the most powerful Jurian tree, Tsunami could defeat her. Ayeka decides to go to her brother's Jurian tree. She asks the tree for help.
Tenchi and Ryoko find themselves in the place where Mayuka was created. Yuzuha comes in and so does Mayuka with Sasami. Yuzuha threatens to allow Mayuka kill Sasami. Tenchi begs Yuzuha to let Sasami and Ryoko go and that he will fight her. Mayuka begins to cut Tenchi's body up with her claws. Sasami wakes up and sees Tenchi getting hurt. She cries out to Mayuka to stop it. Sasami then breaks through to Mayuka. Sasami tells Mayuka not to hurt her family. Mayuka begins to cry and apologizes to Tenchi. Yuzuha flies in and attacks Mayuka and zaps her with her powers. Ryoko catches Tenchi. As Yuzuha thinks Mayuka is under her control again, Mayuka wounds Yuzuha's right eye. She tells Yuzuha that she wants Christmas and now Startica, and that she wants to spend time with her family. Yuzuha gets upset and zaps Mayuka again, this time killing her. Tenchi and Ryoko try to help, but Mayuka dies and her soul turns into a small red jewel.
Tenchi becomes upset, Ryoko tries to hide her sadness, and Sasami cries. Tenchi tells Yuzuha that Mayuka had not only a part of him, but a part of her, the "best part." Yuzuha gets angry and yells out about how she hated the Jurians. She then transforms. She has lighter fur and wings. She tells them that they don't know anything, that they don't know what the Jurians did to her. She attacks them with her claws, which soon turn into huge black tenticles. Ryoko grabs Tenchi and Sasami and breaks through a window flying away, as the tenticles chase them. Soon they are trapped by them, and find themselves being pulled by a super-sized black-colored Yuzuha.
Suddenly, Ayeka appears with a branch from her brother's tree and throws it to Tenchi. Tenchi transforms into his Jurian clothing and sees the Light-Hawk sword in his hands. Yuzuha begins to boast and tries to attack him with her tenticles. Tenchi flies around, unable to control the Light-Hawk sword, he then goes into the air and takes a slice at Yuzuha (a dramatic scene, as he gets ready, we see the original [and nude] Yuzuha looking up to him with a smile). He slices through her head and sees a flashback of Yuzuha and Yosho as a child. "Yuzuha, you..." Tenchi says, and we see Yuzuha with tears in her eyes, "Imagine, the darkness in love with the light..." Yuzuha then blows up by the sword's impact (kind of similar to Joylock in Slayers: The Motion Picture) and the scene fades to white.
Tenchi wakes up in his world and finds all the girls happy that he's alive, and Yosho congratulates Tenchi. Tenchi gets up and shows his grandfather Mayuka's jewel. He also has the box that belonged to Yuzuha. Yosho finds a berry he had given to her as a child. Then, all the girls are upset about Mayuka. Washu asks Tenchi if he still has the jewel. Tenchi says yes and gives it to her. Washu announces that if everyone agrees, she will be able to bring Mayuka back to life. Everyone looks at Ryoko. Ryoko says she would like to see Mayuka again, and tells Washu to do it. The movie ends with the ending theme song, "Manatsu no Eve" ("Midsummer's Eve") and a few stills of everyone in Washu's lab, recreating Mayuka.
This is a great movie, and for those who think I've said everything, I'll let you know I didn't. I left a few parts out, because I don't want to give away all of the story. So if you're a Tenchi fan, you should see this!
Philco 21" TV, APEX AD-1500 DVD Player / DVD-ROM: Compaq DVD Express, 17" Sceptre monitor, JBL Pro speakers