Tenjho Tenge Vol. 1

by Joe Luscik

Perhaps one of the more anticipated titles coming out is Tenjho Tenge. Whether itís due to all of the attention that the manga is getting over its edits, or that people just like seeing well-endowed high school girls fight, Tenjho Tenge has been making some noise. Now that itís out, itís time to see whether people will still be taking about the anime, or if the only time that youíll hear the name Tenjho Tenge is when people are complaining about the manga.

In the world of anime, one thing thatís not very hard to find is a fan service fighter, but it is pretty hard to find a good fan service fighter. Tenjho Tenge seems like it might be able to fix that with something that most of the others lack -- the sense that a story might actually be there. The story takes place in a high school; however, itís one where even the weak students can put up a good fight. The Todo School is based of off the Tobu Academy, an ancient school used to revive the martial arts, so the students can certainly handle themselves.

This information isnít widely known, and thatís where Souichiro and Bob, our two leads' problem, comes in. They have previously taken over ninety-nine schools, and they aim to make the Todo Academy their hundredth. Before entering the school, Souichiro is excited because he knew itíd be different, but he had no idea what he was in store for.

After beating up a few of the regular students, they encounter Maya Natsume and Masataka Takayanagi, members of the schoolís Juuken club. This is where both of them experience what itís like to be one of their victims. Souichiro ends up getting launched out of the window and through the roof of the girls' shower, where he happens to land on Aya, Mayaís sister. This starts one of the main focuses of Tenjho Tenge, as Aya decides that Souichiro will become her husband, partly because itís ancient tradition in her family that whoever sees all of the women naked must become her husband, but mainly because she felt that there was something special about him.

As if coming to the realization that there are a lot of people much stronger than them, and Souichiro trying to avoid Aya werenít bad enough (although Iíd just like to make a side point that I absolutely hate it when the guys run from these incredibly hot girls like itís a burden), they have managed to anger the schoolís executive council. It seems that the council wants Souichiro for some reason, but as of now, weíre not sure what it might be.

The executive council dates back to the Tobu Academy. They were the group that maintained discipline within the academy. Obviously, if they were the group in charge of this elite school, the council consisted of some very strong individuals, and that fact hasnít changed at all. I must say that I found it odd how the executive council wants to expel Souichiro and Bob, and this is an absolutely terrible thing, even though theyíve already been to ninety-nine other schools!

From this point, the volume continues with a plethora of bloody fights and fan service. The show turns initial enemies into allies, and it shows us that Aya might not be an average younger sister. You even get some jealousy between the girls.

Tenjho Tenge can be looked at as a good Ikki Tousen. As of now, the show has offered some interesting characters and some nice fights. There is a very small romance element; however, as of now itís been pretty weak and it has only lent itself towards the cause of fan service or comedy. Of course, you have pretty girls to look at, and the comedy can be amusing at times, although itís nothing that will have you rolling on the floor. What really makes this show seem like a good Ikki Tousen is the fact that thereís a story here, which although it hasnít done much yet, it is interesting enough and it seems to have the ability to become quite engrossing.

Of course, the show has some lovely animation with great character designs. The show has already managed to squeeze in a good amount of fights within the first four episodes, even if only rarely do you get to witness the full brawl. When they do show the complete fight, they look good and quite violent.

When talking about the sound and music, you canít talk about anything before mentioning the opening theme, which is great. "Bomb a Head! V" is easily one of the best openings that Iíve heard, and the video that goes along with it is great. Tenjho Tenge also has a really nice closing, which is a sweeter, bubbly song. The music within the show is a little disappointing, considering the great opening and ending songs. The music isnít awful, but itís certainly nothing to really talk about. Rounding out this area of the show is a nice dub cast. They wonít win any awards, but itís not anything that ruins the show.

One thing that I really disliked about this release was the extras; I use that term loosely here. When the extras and set-up are combined into one screen, you know there canít be many. A non-credit opening is as far as extras go on the first volume of Tenjo Tenge. The show doesnít have a 5.1 surround sound. For a fan service fighter, where visuals and sound help out, I would have liked to have had that option. Overall, I was pretty disappointed with this four-episode DVD release. I really want to mention the very pretty menus, since these arenít something that stands out all of the time.

Tenjho Tenge certainly isnít bringing anything new to the table and it isnít ground-breaking in its genre, although I shouldnít speak too soon, because a story might appear. The show offers lots of fan service, violence, and a story with interesting characters that makes me feel that people might mention Tenjho Tenge and not be referring just to the manga.

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  • Tenjho Tenge Vol. 1

  • Format:
    Bilingual DVD / 100 min. / 4 eps
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