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Tenjho Tenge Vol. 3 & 4
Author: Seb Reid

Seb has been an anime fan since the late 90s and is particularly fond of anything post-apocalyptic, amusing, catgirly, ecchi or containing exquisite aerial battles. Living in Leeds with his cats and living up the bachelor life, Seb enjoys whiling the nights away deep in a book, game or a damn good series. 

Tenjho Tenge Vol. 3 & 4

08 Dec 2006

It is quite interesting to note how my own opinions change the longer I watch a show. When I saw the first two volumes on a long and very tiring journey down south I was definitely in a bad mood, which came with the usual symptoms of RAoV (random acts of violence) travel sickness and a strange sense of being horny. Needless to say, this mood skewed my opinion of the first two volumes of Tenjho Tenge. After watching these volumes again prior to reviewing volume 4 I still find myself conflicted, but I am perhaps enjoying the show quite a lot more. In volumes 3 and 4 the fanservice is not as frequent, the humour is more controlled and less slapstick and the back-story of the characters relationships are finally explained (thus allowing the series to make a lot more sense in the process).

The third volume continues the overall trend of the earlier volumes as it consists of light plot, long fight scenes dispersed with segments of dialogue and quite confusing chatter. Volume three continues the fight between members of the Juuken club and the Executive council in the bowling alley, hich concerns some major characters and also explains some major plot points.

One flashback covers nearly the entirety of the fourth volume and provides an incredibly detailed back-story into the history of the Katana club, Maya’s early days, the evil emanating from an enchanted sword and how it turned Shin into a twisted killing machine. In short, very exciting!

As previously discussed the Japanese dialogue is, in my opinion, unwatchable. However the English dub proves again to be well cast and full of life. The lack of extras seems to highlight the cheap budget the series was produced with and combined with the lack of episodes per disc is disappointing, especially given the 4.7Gb DVD disc is only 67% occupied, which is easily enough for an extra episode. With the entire series consisting of 8 volumes, the long release times, and the story being very fragmented, this cheapness really ruins the quality of the show and the feel of the series. It is important to have a series which flows, and the short episodic content of the discs with barely 90 minutes running time makes the series frustrating to watch.

Although the relationships and the character backgrounds, along with a sizable amount of plot in the fourth volume have made these two volumes much more enjoyable, I feel that those people who are watching the series as it is released will be equally frustrated with the lack of flow and the disjointedness of the storyline. This series is better enjoyed in a single sitting and I would recommend perhaps looking into purchasing the boxset/slimpack set on this basis alone. The series, however, is proving to be very entertaining and enjoyable.

A vast improvement over the first two volumes of the series.
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