Tenchi the Movie
The Daughter of Darkness

Starring (voice): Masami Kikuchi, Ai Orikasa, Yumi Takada, Chisa Yokoyama and Yko Mizutani
RRP: 17.99
FP 08134
Certificate: 12
Available 08 January 2007

Tenchi is your average kid, who lives with half a dozen young women. Things seen to be going okay in his world, that is until Mayuka, another young and attractive young woman, turns up claiming that she is Tenchi's daughter. Behind the seemingly bizarre turn of events is a seven hundred year old demon that is using the girl in an effort to enact her revenge on Tenchi's grandfather Yosho...

Tenchi the Movie 2: The Daughter of Darkness (1998) is no place to start your introduction to this show. If you have never encountered the series before then you're going to be completely lost as this stand alone film takes no time to introduce the characters or the context of the story.

That said, it's not as if this is a very deep show. It's played mostly for laughs, with the usual formulaic amount of exaggerated facial expressions, mild nudity and all the sexual subtlety of your average Benny Hill Show episode, which are so beloved of shows aimed at the teenage market. The characters are likeable and the voice actors do a good job in both the English and Japanese versions.

Balancing the show's plot gaps and lack of context are some fine moments of animation and an overall feeling of wild exuberance, which the show oozes from every pore. The plot works well, especially in the character of Mayuka who remains an enigma for most of the show - never quite revealing if she is the threat to Tenchi which some of the others believe, or an innocent victim of an evil demon.

There is a nice selection of audio options with both stereo and 5.1 English and Japanese tracks provided. Though, to be honest, I didn't really notice much use being made of the 5.1 format, which is always a shame in an action orientated show. The picture is crisp and clean. The extras are par for the course in an anime release consisting of the theatrical trailer, a promo and the original Japanese ending.

Overall, not a bad film, if a little too confusing to the Tenchi novice, fans of the show will love it, whilst the rest will just watch it with a sense of bemusement.

Charles Packer

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