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Tenchi-Muyo in Love 2

Review by: Ikusabe Wataru

Finally, after four years the Tenchi Muyo! series is coming to an end with the release of its last movie - Tenchi Muyo! in Love 2 (the subtitle of the original Japan release "Harukanaru Omoi" can be translated as "Distant Memories" which is basically what the story is about).  As many of you might have already noticed, the gap between the Japan release and US domestic anime releases is getting shorter and shorter, from the early 90s of about 2 years run-around time to now, only about 3 to 4 months between the Japan release and the US release.  It wasn't long ago when the movie itself was released in theaters in Japan (Spring of this year in fact).

All right, back to the subject.  Although this movie was suppose to be the end of the Tenchi Muyo! series, in reality, it only concluded the stories from the TV series (US release as "Tenchi Universe") and the story from TM! in Love (first movie).  This means it has little to do with the original OAV series and the Shin Tenchi Muyo! (US release as "Tenchi in Tokyo") series. The main changes you will probably notice when you first start watching this movie is that the mood and setting is quite different than those we used to see in the series, the general chaos - Ryouko get drunk, fighting with Aeka, Sasami chasing Ryou-oh-ki around, etc.  Instead, this time the story will concentrate mostly on the characters' feelings toward each other and of course, the new character Haruna.

On a nice Spring afternoon as Tenchi wanders into the woods near the stairway leading up to the Masaki Shrine, after escaping from Ryouko and Aeka just down the stairs... a female voice called out to him from a big tree blooming with Camelias, "Come, Tenchi..." and so Tenchi disappeared into thin air for six months.  After months and months of searching, with Sasami back to Planet Jurai trying to tune into Tenchi's location with the help of the Jurai Royal Trees, Mihoshi and Kiyone at the Science Academy searching the database, Ryouko and Aeka searching all over the place flipping through piles and piles of police records, the former space pirate and the Royal Princess finally arrives in the town which Washu believes is where Tenchi is at (with her usual scientific calculations).  But to their surprise, the Tenchi they see is no longer the Tenchi they knew, but a far more matured and grown up Tenchi who doesn't seem to recall anything about his past with either of them.  Even more shocking is the fact that Tenchi seem in love (and living together) with a mysterious girl Haruna... so what is going on?  And who is Haruna?  Well, you will have to watch and find out. =)  Here's a hint: This story doesn't only involve Tenchi, Ryouko and Aeka, but it also involves Yosho as well.   If you're a Tenchi fan who's looking for more sword fights or funny jokes from Ryou-oh-ki acting silly or Ryouko fighting Aeka, don't put your hopes too high, because there is close to none when it comes to fighting scenes; there are a few scenes that might brings up a chuckle or two, but most of the movie will be surrounded about what the characters feel toward each other and Yosho's past.

Theme song is entitled "Love Song ga Kikoeru" sung by famous female J-pop artist Anri, a very nice but sad song which is very fitting for the story of this TM! movie.

Review Info File
Tenchi Muyo! in Love 2 ~ Harukanaru Omoi ~ [J] / Tenchi Forever [E]
VHS / DVD / LD *
Production:  AIC / Tenchi Muyo! in Love 2 Production Committee
Rating:  B-
Outstanding BGMs w/ a change of taste in the storyline makes it interesting, a must-have for Tenchi fans.

* Japan Release of the movie's Limited Edition also includes an Omake CD single with "Secrets of Tenchi Muyo!" by the cast of TM! Domestic DVD version includes Teaser & Trailer preview, Dub/Subbed Dolby Surround Sound 5.1 (w/ THX).

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