Tenko and the Guardians of the Magic
Tenko and the Guardians of the Magic is a 1995 American animated television series. It is loosely based on the real-life Japanese pop star turned magician Princess Tenko (born Mariko Ikatura). It was developed by Roger Slifer and produced by Saban Entertainment. It ran for a single season.
Princess Tenko is an aspiring magician who attends a magic school while being trained under Master Tenko. She has a rival in classmate Jana, who is bitter and jealous of Princess Tenko, because she is such a better and more responsible student than she is. Therefore, Master Tenko favors Princess Tenko over Jana. As her reward, Princess Tenko is gifted with a magical wardrobe containing Starfire Gems, which are what give her extraordinary powers and the wardrobe is designed to keep the world from being endangered, keeping anything evil from another dimension from escaping. Following a mishap resulting in the tragedy that is Master Tenko's death, Princess Tenko is now the new magic guardian. It is up to her to keep the wardrobe out of the wrong hands and defend the world from imminent danger. She travels around the world as a performer while being accompanied by an ethnically diverse group of male classmates and fellow guardians known as Bolt, Hawk, and Steel. A seemingly troubled, teenaged girl named Ali later joins them and becomes a guardian herself as well. Ever since Princess Tenko has been appointed the successor to Master Tenko, Jana has been obsessed with claiming the title of successor from her, determined to claim it, and will stop at nothing to get what she wants as she, and her twin brother, Jason, pursue the guardians along the way.
Why It Rocks
- Great anime-influenced but realistic art and the animation is just the same.
- The episodes are well-written for how they handle their subject matters, such as the introductory episode of Ali in "Through the City Darkly" and at least a couple of the other episodes deal with environmentalism.
- The voice acting sounds pleasant, most notably the voice of the titular lead, Cree Summer, who often does well in her voice roles.
- The characters from both the hero and villain sides are great: Tenko and her friends make a great team and are worthy opponents of Jana and Jason, and other villains.
- The Starfire Gems and the powers they offer to the Guardians are awesome.
- The character designs are outstanding with their realism.
- Clever use of dialogue, with some good, sly, funny lines.
- The live-action segments with the real Princess Tenko performing magic tricks after each episode are an extra special treat.
- The instrumental theme used for both the intro and outro is nice and pleasant-sounding enough.
- It is one of the stronger celebrity toons due to having more meaning behind it and is more than just promoting the celebrity featured in it.
- The show didn't make it beyond the first season, due to lack or shortage of viewership support.
- It ended on a cliffhanger.