Weekend Review – Tenchi Muyo: Daughter of Darkness

This weekend we have a review of the second Tenchi Muyo – this one a shorter installment (an hour long film that was released as a double feature with The Slayers: The Movie). This installment also takes the franchise to it’s third continuity. How well does this version of the franchise hold up?

Cast, Crew & Other Info

Ai Orikasa as Ryoko
Junko Iwao as Mayuka
Masami Kikuchi as Tenchi Masaki
Yumi Takada as Ayeka
Chisa Yokoyama as Sasami
Etsuko Kozakura as Ryo-Ohki
You Inoue as Yuzuha
Yuko Kobayashi as Washu
Yuko Mizutani as Mihoshi
Yuri Amano as Kiyone
Takeshi Aono as Katsuhito & Nobuyuki Masaki

Directed by Tetsu Kimura
Written by Nahoko Hasegawa
Score by Tsuneyoshi Saito & Ko Otani
Animation by AIC

The Premise

Tenchi and the girls are surprised one day to find a girl, about Sasami’s age, named Mayuka arriving at the Masaki house and claiming that her father is Tenchi, albeit Tenchi from the future. Not suprisingly, Ayeka and Ryoko don’t take this very well. Washu also takes an interest in this child of Tenchi’s from the future and investigates on her own.

Continuity Notes: As I mentioned before the cut, this is in it’s own continuity, containing elements from the TV series, like Kiyone, and the OVAs, like a competent Mihoshi, the floating Onsen at the Masaki residence (which is explained in the OVAs), and the Wings of the Light Hawk.

High Points

Since the show is in it’s own continuity, I’m noticing that unlike the first film it’s not afraid to change the status quo, particularly with the ending (which I’m not going to spoil). Additionally, because this is in it’s own continuity, the creators weren’t afraid to take the best elements of the OVAs and wrap them up into this, which I also liked.

Low Points

The motivation of the “villain” wasn’t particularly clear. I didn’t quite get how “bad” he was supposed to be, why he was supposed to be hated, and various other things. It just didn’t make sense particularly, which was unfortunate, because if they’d explained that a little better the film could have made a bit more sense.

Content Notes

Minimal nudity (though it’s there) plus some more sexually suggestive content, but none of the graphic violence of the first film.

The Scores

Originality: It’s another spinoff, and one that combines elements of the first two series (the OVAs and the TV series) to create it’s own continuity. 3 out of 6.

Animation: The film is well animated, but I wouldn’t say it’s quite as impressive as the first film. 4 out of 6.

Story: As I mentioned under the low point, I really feel that the plot of this is a little muddled because we didn’t get enough time to set up the villain’s motivations and aims. For all the problems I had with Kain in Tenchi In Love, his motivation was much more clear than Yuzuha’s here. 4 out of 6.

Voice Acting: The performances here are excellent, and I’ve noticed they’ve done an excellent job thus far for picking VA’s for the new characters, and their choice of You Inoue (Kanuka Clancy from Patlabor) is no different. 5 out of 6.

Emotional Response: The film is only an hour long, and that kind of hurts the film’s emotional response. We don’t get a lot of time with the new characters to really get a reaction from them. We sort of get something of a response to Mayaka, but I didn’t feel much sympathy or dislike for Yuzuha. 3 out of 6.

Production: The score is pretty good and the sound effects are okay too. All and all, everything is pretty solid. 4 out of 6.

Overall: Even if the rest of the scores don’t necessarily show it, this is probably my favorite installment of the Tenchi Muyo series. 5 out of 6.

In total, Tenchi Muyo: Daughter of Darkness gets 28 out of 42.

Notes: You Inoue passed away in 2003 from lung cancer. Among her prior roles were Kanuka Clancy in Mobile Police Patlabor, Sayla Mass in Mobile Suit Gundam, and Sheryl Formosa in the Space Runaway Ideon TV series and movies. She was 56.