Tenchi in Tokyo
|Tenchi in Tokyo|
Cover art of the first North American DVD release of Tenchi in Tokyo
(Shin Tenchi Muyō!)
|Genre||Adventure, Fantasy, Harem|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Yoshihiro Takamoto|
|Produced by||Kazuaki Morijiri
|Written by||Mayori Sekijima|
|Music by||Shunsuke Kikuchi|
|English network||Cartoon Network
|Original run||April 1, 1997 – December 23, 1997|
Shin Tenchi Muyo! (新・天地無用! Shin Tenchi Muyō!?) is a Japanese anime produced by AIC, aired on TV Tokyo from April 1 to December 23, 1997. It is the third installation of the Tenchi Muyo! line of series, preceding Tenchi Muyo! GXP and succeeding Tenchi Universe. The show was localized in North America by Geneon Entertainment as Tenchi in Tokyo and aired on Cartoon Network from August 25 to September 29, 2000.
On a bright and otherwise cheerful morning, Tenchi Masaki assembles his extended household in the backyard of the family home for a group photograph. To their confusion for the suddenness of this, Tenchi makes a shocking revelation: after careful thought, he has made up his mind to move to Tokyo for two years on behalf of his grandfather, Katsuhito, to train as a kannushi, so that he may better care for the family Shinto shrine. The reaction is a predictably devastating one, with Tenchi's father, Nobuyuki, even forcibly considered a replacement. His son's unyielding stance on the situation spares him the trouble, however, and with that the girls' come to terms with arrangements.
That afternoon, Tenchi and Katsuhito commute to Tokyo to meet with Dokuzen Tsuchida, the priest who the apprenticeship will be served under. After the two are sent to participate in an exorcism, which ultimately enlists the girls to perform, Tenchi goes to bed, ready to attend the school the following day. Much to the delight of Yugi, a supernatural child monitoring him high above the skies of the city, Tenchi takes a seat beside Sakuya Kumashiro, a girl who takes an almost immediate liking to him.
In a fashion archetypical to the franchise, Tenchi in Tokyo follows the life and adventures of Tenchi Masaki, an adolescent who becomes the host and love-interest for extraterrestrial women who end up living with him in one way or another. The series incorporates the same main cast as Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki albeit different histories; Tenchi and Katsuhito are not of Jurian descent, Ayeka by extension, is not searching for her brother, and Washu is hired as an accomplice by Ryoko rather than creating her. Sakuya is arguably the most renowned addition to the cast; an attractive, intelligent if a bit temperamental girl who becomes acquainted with Tenchi at school and notably, the first of the franchise to have an established relationship with him.
The show's focal antagonists and their endeavors are fronted by Yugi, a mysterious girl who is prominently seen above the skies of Japan amid a palace of crystal. While her motives are not revealed until toward the end of the series, Yugi has a noticeable grudge against the Masaki family and delights in troubling them. She is afforded the later assistance and recurrence of three self-made servants; Hotsuma, an intelligent blond hair, bespectacled gentleman, Matori, a loud and aggressive spitfire, and Tsugaru, an effeminate and androgynous man.
Tenchi in Tokyo was met with mixed reception. It is often considered one of the more disappointing of the franchise due to the significant changes that were made to the story and characters, including the addition of Sakuya.
Animefringe.com, an online magazine, cited a "horribly weak plot" and that "what makes the TV series almost unbearable to watch are the new character designs and the frequent use of super deformed animation[...] You’ll either love it or hate it." Animeworld.com gave the show a similarly moderate 2.5 out of 5 stars, claiming that although "[it] is yet another very funny Tenchi series with all the great characters and bizarre situations[...]", "They don't bother explaining the entirely new backstories until a bit into it" and that "[it's] either terribly lazy or shamelessly commercial that they couldn't even be bothered to cook up some new character designs and reestablish the stereotypes for a new story."
Despite the less than favorable reviews, Tenchi in Tokyo did receive positive acknowledgement. Industry aggregator Mania.com awarded all of the North American DVD releases an A average, citing that although "Tenchi in Tokyo is a bit more of a departure from the tried and true formula of the past", "[the] show is definitely a welcomed addition in this household."
- "The Day We Met". Tenchi in Tokyo. Season 1. Episode 7. 1997-05-17. 25 minutes in. Cartoon Network. Turner Broadcasting System.
- Clifton, Mark. "Why Sakuya?". Sakuya Kumashiro's Destiny. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
- Alderson, Robert (2010-04-19). "Kumashiro: Who she is, and Why Tenchi loves her". Crunchyroll. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
- "Sakuya Sucks! What more can I say?". Tripod. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
- Adam, Arnold. "Tenchi In Tokyo". Anime Fringe. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
- "Tenchi In Tokyo : Anime Reviews : AAW". Anime World. Retrieved 2011-11-17.
- Beveridge, Chris (1999-01-19). "Tenchi in Tokyo Vol. #1". Mania.com. Retrieved 2011-11-20.