OK. Before I start, I have to make a statement: I don't like shows about time travel -- it's an overused plot device. Besides, time travel gets too messy. (Bad guys go back in time to kill someone off, so the good guys go back before the bad guys; bad guys find out and go back before the good guys. Good guys find out, and... well, you get the idea.) That being said, the setup behind In Love! is pretty much your typical time travel plot. But I wouldn't be doing the show any justice if I based it solely on a plot device. I'll start with the soundtrack. Dolby THX on an animé? Well, if you've got good equipment, it's worth it! The sound effects will wrap around you like anything from LucasFilm. I used to be a Tangerine Dream fan; it was the "in" thing when I was in university. Christopher Franke does a good job with the music, though the end theme left me cold. (Personally, I despise Nina Hagen, and would like to see her carried aloft by certain quantity of red balloons.) Animation quality is great -- it's theatrical quality, with wonderful attention paid to the background details and character costuming, in some cases, it's stunning (though for some reason, the characters themselves are of OAV quality. Go figure.). Frame rates aren't Disney, but somehow I don't think they had a Disney-type budget, either!
Hayashibara Megumi (Achika) is wonderful voice actress, and she again shows off her talents here. The expected character interactions are all here as well: Ayeka and Ryoko still don't get along, Sasami and Ryo-ohki are perpetually cute, and Mihoshi is just hopeless. But this wouldn't be Tenchi! if these elements weren't here. Even with the predictable plot, the script writing was very good (I wonder -- would "bye-bye" been used back in 1970 Japan? Sasami would know what it means, but Achika?), and direction was excellent -- but again, I have a bone to pick. Another little no-no in my book is emotional manipulation, and the end of the movie has it in spades. Granted, the show is aimed at the younger set, but that's a pretty cheap shot for a show with all these production values behind it. Did I enjoy the movie? Yes, but I could have enjoyed it a lot more.- AN
This is probably my current favourite movie. There's no earth-shattering revelations or the saving of the entire earth; just a simple love story how Tenchi's mother and father got together in high school. While Akio may have a bone to pick with the concept of time travel (hey, you've got to admit it is used a lot in science fiction plots) I didn't mind it so much. It's a basic plot tool to get the action going. The voice acting was very well done and the soundtrack itself is really quite something. I enjoy the music to this movie as much as anything else, and I really like the final theme song (English version; I've heard the Japanese version and it's not as well done). The animation is also quite well done. While there are some "in-jokes" that you'd understand best if you know the TV series, there's nothing there which would really go over your head either. (eg. Kiyone's reaction to when Ryoko first enters the apartment). Mihoshi is as feather-brained as always, and is constantly messing up, while Ryoko and Ayeka are usually fighting with each other. Achika herself is a very sweet-tempered traditional girl whose presence seems to calm Ayeka and Ryoko to the point where they are not *always* fighting. All in all, this is a very solid, entertaining movie. - JYN