A princess, new to a people of magic and also student that a great magician, must lead a team to find missing jewels scattered indigenous an enchanted crate by a jealousy rival.
You are watching: Princess tenko and the guardians of magic
Stop me if did you do it heard this story before.
Crazy as it seems, this is not only the basic plot the Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders, but additionally another wonder girl show that debuted in fall 1995: Tenko and the Guardians of the Magic.
Tenko follows the eponymous heroine – based (incredibly loosely) top top real-life Japanese phase magician Princess Tenko – as she is trained by her master Hikita in the art of magic. In the cosmos of Tenko, set presumably in the ‘90s, genuine magic have the right to be done when one wields a magic Starfire Gem. These gems were originally contained in a huge magic box, referred to as the Tenko Box.
When Hikita names Tenko his successor, jealous other apprentices, twins Jana and Jason attempt to steal the Starfire Gems because that themselves. Hikita gives Tenko the mystical Topaz Starfire Gem, which permits her come transform and also summon a spirit animal lion to help her versus the combined power that Jana and Jason’s Amber and Ruby Starfire Gems. (Which, as soon as combined, transforms the twins into a two-headed dragon. In the taking place battle, the Starfire Gems room scattered to the four winds, and also Hikita is injured. The understand magician is put inside the Tenko Box where he becomes a sort of spirit overview for Princess Tenko. (Notice any kind of similarities come a details Wizard from Jewel Riders?) Hikita travel guide Tenko and the various other Guardians together they travel the world in a race through Jana and also Jason because that the shed Starfire Gems.
Along with the titular character, there room three male guardians: Bolt, Hawk, and Steel. They each wield Starfire gems of their very own in the pursuit to gather the remainder of the shed stones. Follow me the way, they are also joined through Ali, a street girl who eventually gets her very own Starfire Gem, and Shonti, trainer and also caretaker the the pets used in both Tenko’s phase magic shows and also as wonder companions v gems of your own.
Tenko and also the Guardians that the Magic premiered ~ above September 10th, 1995, the very same day as Jewel Riders and is celebrate its 25th anniversary this year as well. I think it’s such an exciting thing the these two reflects with very similar premises premiered the same day. Lock share some interesting similarities in the an easy plots, however where Jewel Riders goes because that the complete medieval fantasy, Tenko is much much more an city fantasy, where the characters live in the “real” world. This is similar to shows prefer 1994’s Gargoyles or 1996’s skies Dancers. It enabled the creators come occasionally check out the friction that the magical and mundane worlds.
The real-life Princess Tenko – Japanese idol singer and also stage magician Mariko Itakura – would present up in ~ the finish of every episode to either perform among her signature grand illusions or teach a simple magic trick. It’s exciting to me that kids were expected to believe this was the very same character who’s animated adventures they had actually just finished. While occasionally interesting, it was always the weakest part of the present to me together a child. I would have desired an extra 5 minutes of man adventure and also magic.
One that the amazing things we below at the Archive discovered out from speaking v Greg Autore was that Tenko underwent focus group experimentation with youngsters at the same time together Jewel Riders.
Greg Autore: “Part that the Kenner procedure is to always look for brand-new properties or inventions. When they arrive, Design and Marketing testimonial them and also some are picked to go to the next step to do test models and get early consumer feedback. Ns was offered several scripts and loved “Enchanted Camelot” when I first read it. So, I pushed for gaining it into the tests and was assigned to it is adapted it into a viable toy line. I was told that the production agency was willing to job-related with united state (Kenner) to do it better. It to be not until after the test outcomes came ago favorable and we made decision to press forward that i met Robert Mandell and also really dug right into the project.
Incidentally, “Princess Tenko” was in the exact same round the testing, and also I did make the models for that also, however it did no score as high. Later, Mattel picked up that line yet it did not carry out well.”
You can additionally hear more from Greg about Tenko in episode 3 that the Jewel Riders save Podcast: http://www.medtox.org/posts/the-jewel-riders-archive-podcast-episode-three-greg-autore-part-two/
Another genesis that the 2 properties re-superstructure is the unproduced 1993 toy, cartoon, and comic line of Wonder Woman and the Star Riders. This was a toy heat from Mattel, and when Greg was prototyping the Jewel driver dolls, he supplied these bodies prior to the idea left Mattel and was choose up through Kenner! The doll bodies used to do Star Riders were eventually repurposed into the Tenko and also Disney Musical/Bubble Princess bodies.
As we discussed earlier, it’s interesting that both Tenko and also Jewel Riders came around at the very same time. Maybe there was just something in the air roughly then, however it wouldn’t have actually been the very first time the Mattel make the efforts to sweep Hasbro’s legs out from under lock by making use of their very own concept and rushing a product come market. This famously occurred with Jem and also the Holograms and the Mattel-produced Barbie and also the Rockers. Tenko was additionally billed as “Saban’s Tenko and also the Guardians the the Magic.” remember in 1994/1995, Saban was a family members name after ~ it developed the hit strength Rangers. Go they satisfy Princess Tenko while in call with Japanese manufacturing studios and decide to basic a cartoon series around her? This was additionally around the exact same time the the notorious “Saban Moon” adaptation of sailor Moon to be being functioned on, so clearly Saban to be interested in act a female-focused fashion/action cartoon. That was also a live-action/animation hybrid!
Regardless, Tenko’s thirteen episode run sadly ends on a cliffhanger illustration that clues at a greater villain (same as Jewel Riders with Morgana), but with no hope of solving the storyline. It’s too bad, because Tenko might have been good with a second season. There to be plenty more Starfire jewel to find and storylines to explore. One marvels what might have been! I’m sure the legal rights – especially due to the fact that this affiliated a real-life person and also multiple companies – are a dreadful tangle to this day.
Believe the or not, there was in reality a time that I preferred this show more than Jewel Riders (I know, heresy, right?). I favor the city fantasy setting, the supporting cast, the note of romance in between Tenko and Jason. Ns do discover it interesting that Tenko’s main supporting cast is mostly male, with Bolt, Hawk, and also Steel top top the great side, and also Jason ~ above the bad side. It’s such a strange selection for a present that to be going to have a tie-in doll line! What you left with room three Tenko dolls (one for each of her transformations with the Topaz, increased Quartz, and Sapphire Starfire Gems), Ali, Shonti (who never had a Gem in the show), and Jana. Not even one the the male characters was produced. Though us did gain Tenko’s horse Pearl Rider and also her eye leopard Ninjara.
The dolls featured the Star Riders body with printed jumpsuits overtop. Every doll climate had paper and fabric pieces kids could add to do them look like they were powered up with magic. One of the things that walk come v the phases indigenous Greg’s early ideas were the magnetic features. Each doll had a magnetic breastplate and magnetic jewel the could connect to it. The animals had magnetic jewel play features as well.
While i think the dolls are really pretty, and fun, they lack the display accuracy of the Jewel Riders dolls. With their high hairpieces, lock look much more akin to vegas showgirls 보다 the magical fight outfits that the show.
Neither dolls or show recorded with audience well, however. Perhaps this was since of the odd 7 am Sunday morning time slot. Probably the dolls merely didn’t offer well sufficient to warrant a further season of animation. Or maybe the moonlit zero of seafarer Moon was currently being cast.
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Whatever the reason, it’s a bit sad to see a series with together promise not discover an audience or one ending. The real-life Princess Tenko went back to performing magic, Saban go on to produce an ext seasons of power Rangers, and Greg Autore ongoing his job-related on Jewel Riders. And also just like that, Tenko to be swallowed by the airwaves.
The series has never had actually an official release in the West. No VHS were made in the ‘90s, and also only a couple of episodes to be released ~ above a smattering the DVDs in Europe. The collection later aired top top Jetix in the US, where most of the recordings floating roughly on the internet are from. Just 11 the the 13 episodes were easily accessible for years until Chris and also Ronnie uncovered a childhood VHS taped from TV with one of the missing episodes! and also just recently, a fan gave us a connect to the final episode! because that the an initial time, all of Tenko is obtainable once again!
Did you love Tenko? to be you one of the loyal viewers who couldn’t wait because that the reveal of a new Starfire gem or to see if the intrepid Princess can recover them? permit us understand in the comment below!
“The Magic’s in You!”
P.S. Other magic is in the air, because we just uncovered another an excellent article all around Tenko!