Tenjho Tenge
Volume 4 - Sword of Judgement

Starring (voice): Aya Hisakawa, Minori Chihara, Shinichiro Miki, Souichiro Hoshi and Tomokazu Seki
RRP: 19.99
Certificate: 15
Available 04 December 2006

It's another academic year at the Toudou academy and Souchirou Nagi and Bob Makihara, two juvenile delinquents who have spent their time taking over school, start their new campaign of violence in order to be the top dogs. But things do not go to plan when they come up against the members of the Juuken martial arts club...

This is the fourth disc in the Tenjho Tenge series and covers episodes (fights) thirteen through sixteen. For those of you who have arrived late Tenge is a shounen (aimed predominantly at males) series, which combines violent martial arts choreography and ecchi (fan service nudity and sexuality). Though to give it its due it adds a layer of narrative which makes it more of a rounded show than Ikki Tousen. The show was produced by Mad House.

Fight thirteen, Magical Power, and to be able to follow what's happening you need to check out the synopsis for Volume Three. We're still in the realms of the back-story between Shin, Maya and Mitsuomi. One wonders if they were going to spend so much time on the back-story, why they just didn't rearrange the story into a linear form. A new character is properly introduced in the form of Bunshichi - Shins best friend. The Katana gang have finally figured out the Maya is the one taking out its members and goes after her. Problem is that Shin is not only a plum short of a pudding but that he is also very protective of his sister, never a good combination. From this point on Shin and Maya take a back seat as motivators of the story as the focus shifts to Bunshichi and his eventually showdown with Shin.

Fight Fourteen, Hellfire, and the fight between Shin and Bunshichi reaches its inevitable conclusion with Shin stabbing Bunshichi rather excessively and Bunshichi beating Shin to a pulp. Well, it's time for a trip to the hospital for the two of them.

Fight Fifteen, Yin and Yang, and a repentant Shin is visited by Mutsuomi, who wants a last farewell party for the now defunct Katana Club; problem is that Mutsuomi is still struggling with the evil snake that is wrapped around his heart.

Fight sixteen, Conclusion, and no it's not the final episode, that doesn't happen till fight twenty-four, but it is the end of the flashback episodes as Maya completes the story of the founding of the Juuken Club and we return to the present.

In line with the previous releases in this series, audio is either English or Japanese stereo, with subtitles. Extras also continue to be a little pants giving you only ten screen shots - bit of a con if you ask me - a bunch of trailers for other shows and the DVD credits.

Charles Packer

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