Tenchi Masaki heads out to tackle the big world, setting off to school in Tokyo! But not everyone is happy to hear he is moving away, as his female friends sulk and complain at the prospect of him being alone. However, Tenchi is not by himself for very long, as he soon meets a kind and compassionate girl named Sakuya Kumashiro who helps him get used to life in Tokyo.
The two become close friends, but Sakuya wants more than just that, so she proclaims her love for Tenchi. This confession comes as a shock not only to Tenchi, but also the girls back home. In response, the girls decide to step up their game, and they immediately flock to Tokyo to take Tenchi for themselves.
With the girls competing for his love, Tenchi must decide once and for all who the most important woman in his life is. However, he is going to have a hard time deciding, as strange events start happening that drive Tenchi further apart from his friends.
As one of the less popular Tenchi series, I felt like I should try and even out the opinions a little.
STORY - I'll admit it. The first time I saw this series, I hated it too. But I rewatched the whole thing more recently and found that it actually wasn't as bad as I remembered. Like the Tenchi Forever movie, I think most fans were indignant at the introduction of a "Mary Sue" character and consequently abhorred the entire series. But while yes, Sakuya was more or less an "intruder" character to our good ol' harem, she forces a very interesting situation onto the rest
of the girls. After two whole other series of being fought over by the crazy women he lives with, Tenchi finally moves out and finds someone on his own. Come on now, isn't that an intriguing twist to the premise of the Tenchi saga?
It isn't even as if Ryoko, Ayeka, and the rest disappear altogether and are unimportant; rather the opposite is true. With a puppeteer orchestrating everything in the background, it gradually warps into a grand epic as they once again find themselves needing to save the world, not to mention Tenchi. I, for one, found it incredibly interesting to watch see the girls struggle with life without Tenchi, especially as they were faced with jealousy, spite, and general unhappiness at their "replacement" by Sakuya. And in the end, as everything twisted into a crazy supernatural plot... well, with so much emotional drama going on, I suppose we needed something to remind us about that other kickass blowing-stuff-up part of Tenchi.
CHARACTER - Honestly, I think the characters' depths are explored much more in Tenchi in Tokyo than in any other Tenchi, and this completely due to the fact that Sakuya exists. For once, you're able to see Tenchi as more than just an awkward shrine boy who doesn't know what to do about anything -- he becomes more human as he's allowed to interact with people that aren't aliens or freaks of science, and that makes him a much more convincing and three-dimensional character. Because of his feelings for Sakuya, his feelings for the others, especially Ryoko and Ayeka, become more clear and he's finally able to put things in a more concrete perspective. It's actually very refreshing to see him come so far when he originally wasn't very interesting at all.
Ryoko and Ayeka, as the ones most affected by the loss of Tenchi, both show fantastic character development throughout the course of the series. Their feelings, the anger, jealousy, and hurt, are very real and easy to sympathize with, and their subsequent actions expose the many flaws in their personalities which further their complexities as characters. Of course, this forces their overall characters to be a bit different from their previous incarnations, but I don't find it to be an unwelcomed change. The rest of the girls aren't as affected and consequently don't seem to stray much from the typical character molds cast for them originally.
Now, Sakuya... Sakuya is an interesting character if only because of the fact that she isn't really real. Her validity of her personality and feelings are really up to debate though, especially since she does declare herself to be real and not a puppet. In the end, I'm not really happy with the character Yugi is revealed to be; it seemed like a cheap way out of something that had built itself up to be so epic, but I guess everything can't be perfect.
ARTWORK & ANIMATION - I believe one of the other big complaints about Tenchi in Tokyo was that its art style was vastly different from the previous two series. It does take some getting used to, but I don't really think it's that intolerable in the end. The style is rounder and more feathered along the edges, so some people claim it to be a "lazier" style. It makes for some strangely stylized portrayals, but it isn't as if any of the characters are twisted out of all possible forms of recognition. And it's definitely not awful by any means.
MUSIC - A little lacking in this department, the music isn't nearly as good as it had been in previous series. It's mostly generic sounding, which means the background music always suits its scenes, but nothing really stands out. The OP/ED are quite awesome though, considering that both "Yume wa doko e itta?" and "Yamerarenai Yamerarenai" are sung by the voice actors, which is always fun.
VOICE ACTING - I've seen this both dubbed and subbed. I've always considered the Tenchi series to be one of the better early dubs, back in the days of Toonami. Ryoko and Ayeka especially had voices that suited their characters very well (though for Ryoko, I'll always be partial to her Japanese voice because it's Ai Orikasa). Tenchi's English voice I was never really fond of, but it still suited his character well enough. And the rest of the cast is very much the same in that respect.
OVERALL - Tenchi in Tokyo really deserves more credit. It threw a wrench in the great harem premise and allowed for some fantastic emotional drama. The supernatural side got a little predictable from time to time, but I don't really feel like that was the most important part of the series. It was great watching Ryoko and Ayeka beat themselves around the head trying to deal with the loss of Tenchi to another girl, and if you're a great, big, sadistic fan of character ANGST like me, then I think you'd like this series. :3
I'm a huge fan of the Tenchi franchise. But believe me when I say that this attempt was ill fated from the start. I just couldnt get into the story. I guess it had something to do with the main cast splitting up for the majority of the series- which I hated. The best part of Tenchi is the characters and the romantic conflicts that erupt between them. When Yugi was introduced I immediately began to dread what I knew was coming. This was going to suck. And it did. Maybe not completely but certainly for the most part. Yugi looked like she had a
bucket of boardwalk fries on her head. Not only that the odd relationship with her and Sasami was...disturbing to say the least. Ryoko is by far my favorite character in this series :) and even she had a difficult time keeping my attention. If youre a fan of romantic comedies like Ranma or any of the other Tenchi shows definately check this one out. Just dont expect anything life changing.
If you were a fan of the original Ryo-ohki ova's but were let down by the dramatic differences in the Tenchi Universe series... then stay the heck away from this. the amount of sillyness from the universe series has been amplified and the story pales in comparison. As a fan of the original ova's, Tenchi in Tokyo has made me wish i had never even watched them and gotten hooked on the tenchi series' to begin with.
However, if you enjoy the Tenchi-Muyo series simplyfor its pure silliness then you will definitely like this anime. I would say it's only slightly more intelligent than 'Ninja Nonsense'.
So if you like that stuff, then this is the series for you.
(Re-posting due to cleaning up some of my thoughts and correcting some spelling mistakes)
Story: (3) The problem with Tenchi In Tokyo starts with the plot. The creators of this story came up with this neat concept of Tenchi living in Tokyo as a shrine boy, but failed to bring the most important aspect of the show with them... the girls. Instead they create this vapid girl who doesn't have a personality to take the place of the girls left at home. The charm of the Tenchi series is the fact that Tenchi loves all of these girls unconditionally and surrounds himself with
family due to the pain of losing his mother early in his life, so the plot device that he leaves them all behind and falls for another girl entirely, doesn't work out. Canon Tenchi would never do this, he knows choosing a girl would hurt the others in the house and do you not believe for a second that Washu would not be able to create some portals to make the living space cozy for all? Come on now!
Art: (5) The art seemed okay, but it wasn't up to par with the other Tenchi series. There was a ton of deformed art and towards the end it was riddled with lazy animation made to fill up the episode. Some of the character designs didn't look right.
Sound: (7) The sound was good. Nobodies voice got annoying with the exception for Yugi's. The only bone I have to pick is the lead background sound track. It became very repetitive and obnoxious after awhile.
Character: (3) Next to the plot this is another pitfall the series had. The characters were decimated in this. The girls were dumbed down to argue and fight among themselves more then usual. Everyone became almost of character of themselves. The most notable were Tenchi and Washu, but everyone's character pretty much got spanked. Tenchi turned into a loner of a character who almost just wanted to be left alone all the time, snapping off at anyone who bothered him. He became downright blasphemous to the original series, seemingly uncaring about the girls feelings towards him, downright scolding them at times for even visiting him, refusing to even spend time with them. Washu, who is usually the voice of reason and usually the helping hand, became even sillier then she was in Universe. Her main shtick became creating inventions only for them to backfire and blow up in her face. And the rest of the girls could not even hold part time jobs/attend normal public functions without ruining something, something their counterparts could actually do until Ryoko or Mihoshi found some way to mess it up. Then there is Sakuya and Yugi. Two characters you just wish the series never introduced. The problem with Sakuya is her constant stalking of Tenchi, making him feel bad for not originally returning her feelings, and constantly demanding he forget about his family in favor of her. Why? This doesn't make sense. He's known her all of a week or two when she is first heavily put into the story. He has known the girls for two years according to show canon. And another problem with Tenchi is he actually eventually listens to her, something that is STILL baffling to me. The problem with Yugi is the constant villain shoving we get with her. If Yugi isn't shown at least three times an episode, you aren't watching Tenchi In Tokyo.
Enjoyment: (5) With that said, there was some aspects of this story that were Tenchi like and that I enjoyed, but it didn't make up for how poor this story was. I would almost say this is a dark comedy, because some parts with the girls are hilarious, but at the original characters expense. I would also say this series could have possibly been shortened to 12 episodes to clean the plot up more, 26 seemed to be milking the series a bit to much.
Overall: (5) I was going to give this series a 4, but there was SOME redeeming factors, just not many. I would only recommend this story as something to watch if you have an open mind and are looking for more Tenchi after watching the OVA's and Universe, but be mindful because some aspects of this series can be very infuriating at times. Watch/rewatch the Tenchi OVA's and Universe first. Those are the best in my opinion.
We all go through bouts of depression and we all deal with it in different ways. Even if we take solace in anime, we might watch completely different things ranging from the joyful to the horribly depressing.