Western Animation: Tenko and the Guardians of the Magic

Tenko and the Guardians of the Magic was an ephemeral 1995 animated show by Saban. The story is about a young teenage girl who was discovered by an old magician while she was performing at a circus. He told her she could do more magic than just magic tricks if she got the proper training— and she complied. She goes to the school to train with some other students, and soon becomes best in the class. Becoming the Tenko, she learns about the powerful Starfire Gems, each of which have their own magic power. However, another student, Janna, enraged that she wasn't chosen as the new leader of the gems' guardians despite her grandfather being a previous leader, coerces her brother Jason into stealing the gems. They get their hands on one apiece, but most of the rest sent to the ends of the earth to keep them out of Janna's hands. Tenko and her friends are required to reassemble them all.

At the end of each episode, her live action counterpart Princess Tenko (a real life magician who inspired this show's creation) would either perform an amazing magic act while wearing flashy costumes, or teach a simple magic trick. The show was canceled after only one season due to poor ratings.

See also: Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders

Tropes used by the series:

  • And Knowing Is Half the Battle: The real Princess Tenko would always give instructions for a simple magic trick at the end of the episode, along with a message of "The Magic is in You!"
  • Anticlimax In "The Forest Emerald," things begin with Tenko having a dream about being chased by some powerful evildoer she's unable to protect herself against. At the end, the villain has found the emerald Starfire Gem and is proving almost unstoppable because of it. Then Tenko's mentor pops in and tells her all she needs to do is shoot the gem with her wand to win, which she had the option of doing at any time.
  • Badass Grandpa: Averted with Hikita, who taught Tenko everything she knows, but when he tries to confront Janna and Jason even admits "I may be old, and I may be weak," and is immediately taken out by Jason.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Hikita has them.
  • Black and Nerdy: Steel, a historian, but only a mild case of the nerdiness.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: "Starfire!"
  • Celebrity Toons: Princess Tenko is a real person, a famous Japanese illusionist, and was given her own animated series.
  • Circus Brat: Tenko
  • Cool Old Guy: Hikita
  • Egomaniac Hunter: In one episode, Janna's able to bribe a hunter for the Starfire gem he found by giving him the chance to hunt Tenko's pet snow leopard.
  • Elemental Powers: This is actually used neatly in that the crystals didn't give you the basic cliche powers most of the time. There were some elemental powers though.
  • '80s Hair: Jason's mullet, for one.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Kiddles
  • Face-Heel Turn: Jason and Janna.
  • Follow the Leader: An obvious attempt by Saban to have some form of Sailor Moon-killer on the market.
  • Fusion Dance: Janna and Jason's fusion into their two-headed dragon form, achieved by placing their personal (Amber for Janna, Ruby for Jason) Starfire gems together.
  • Henshin Hero
  • Hime Cut: Princess Tenko has one.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Princess Tenko is "always pure of heart and soul", making her a borderline Purity Sue.
  • Jumped at the Call
  • Magical Girl Warrior: A Western example.
  • Magical Native American: Hawk, literally. He also has the stereotypical connection to nature.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Hikita
  • Mineral MacGuffin: The sixteen Starfire Gems.
  • Multiple Head Case: Villains Janna and Jason can perform a Fusion Dance into a two-headed dragon, with each of them in control of one head.
  • The Obi-Wan: Hikita.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Bolt
  • Power Crystal: 16 of them, and each with a different power.
  • Scaled Up: Combining two starfire crystals makes Janna and Jason turn into a two-headed monster.
    • They can do that because they're twins.
  • Sequel Hook: The final episode shows Ali becoming a full fledged guardian, with a brief shot of her costume just before the episode ends. Unfortunately, we never got to see her show her stuff...
    • She's not even suited up with the other Guardians when they meet at the end of the last episode. Then again maybe that's because they're meeting on a beach and her costume incorporates rollerblades. Yes, an ancient mystical gem incorporate rollerblades.
  • Sibling Team: Janna and Jason, an evil sibling team.
  • Smurfette Principle: Odd for a show aimed at an ostensibly female demographic, but Tenko's the only female Guardian out of four. There's Ali, but she only gets her own powers at the end of the second-to-last episode and Tenko only gets help from Janna in the finale.
  • Totally Radical
  • Tsundere: Ali
  • Zombie Gait: The mummy guards in "The Stone Of Destiny" do this.