Reviews: Tenchi In Tokyo

Not terrible, but decidedly weak

1997's New Tenchi Muyo! completely reboots the story, creating a 3rd alternate universe. This change comes with some drastic shifts in tone and presentation, that overall weaken the story compared to the OVA and TV series. The formula is there, but it just doesn't feel like it came together in quite the same way.

One of the most readily detectable changes is in the humor: it's more slapstick and random compared to the sitcom humor of the original shows. Characterization is also pretty weak, as the characters are reduced to the barest of archetypes compared to their original portrayals. It's almost akin to being the forgettable Studio DEEN harem version of a visual novel. Yugi, also, is just not a compelling villain, and it takes us a while to learn why she does what she does. The adventure plot is mostly not there, and the monster fights on Earth form most of the action. The story has potential, though, and some of its elements were realized with better execution 2 years later in Tenchi Forever!

On the technical side, it's not great either. The new character designs aren't that bad, but the animation is decidedly low-budget and often ugly. The score is a primarily a generic orchestral suite with some workmanlike tracks, and a bit of banjo, but isn't particularly standout.

Given that there are more modern anime out there, this one is neither a good introduction to the series nor a nice bit of fanservice. If you really want to see the concept executed well, watch Forever!.