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Tenchi Group.jpg

But the most important discovery he'll make is that six crazy women, living under the same roof, all have the hots for him. Now he'll have to deal with bounty hunters, ancient demons, mad scientists...and shared bathroom time.

The universe needs a new champion — Tenchi just needs some peace and quiet.

Good luck.

The OVA series Tenchi Muyo Ryo Ohki (simply Tenchi Muyo! in the United States) follows the life of Tenchi Masaki, the grandson of a Shinto priest who has been teaching him an ancient form of swordplay. When Tenchi steals the keys to — and intrudes upon — a sealed cave on the shrine grounds that is reputed to hold a sleeping demon, he accidentally releases Ryoko, a Space Pirate who has been kept in suspended animation there for seven centuries. This act begins a cascade of events that results in Tenchi moving from Kurashiki to the Okayama countryside, acquiring a half-dozen alien girls in an Unwanted Harem, discovering his own secret heritage, and becoming involved in events of literally cosmic proportions.

Tenchi Muyo! is a classic "harem" anime of the 90's during the second Anime wave; the franchise is an action/comedy science-fiction story that started in 1992 as a six-episode OVA series. The OVA proved so popular that an additional seven episodes were quickly added, although these ended the OVA's story on something of a Cliff Hanger.

Viewers did not lack for Tenchi material in the decade-plus between OVAs, however. In addition to the OVA, Tenchi Muyo! spawned:

Several books were also published in Japan that revealed otherwise-undisclosed background information on the original OVA timeline.

A third OVA series, which continued the original OVA's plot — and unveiled a lot of new surprises in the process — was produced in 2004. It is available in the United States (as Tenchi Muyo Ryo-Oh-Ki) thanks to Funimation, who managed to reunite most of the original North American dub cast from Tenchi in Tokyo on.

Throughout the majority of the franchise, the story revolves around the same basic core cast:

  • Tenchi Masaki, the Ordinary High School Student
  • Ryoko, the uninhibited space pirate who was defeated and imprisoned by the alien prince Yosho 700 years earlier
  • Ayeka, Royal Princess of Jurai
  • Aeka's little sister, Sasami
  • Ryo-Ohki, a hybrid rabbit-cat creature that turns into Ryoko's starship
  • Genius Ditz Mihoshi Kuramitsu of the Galaxy Police
    • And her partner Kiyone Makibi, in the Universe and Tokyo continuities
  • Washu Hakubi, The Greatest Scientific Genius in the Universe
  • Tenchi's grandfather Katsuhito
  • Tenchi's somewhat perverted widower father Nobuyuki

The characters and the exact relationships between them may vary from show to show (in the OVAs, Washu is Ryoko's mother; in the TV shows, she's a simply a partner in crime; in Pretty Sammy, she's her high school teacher), but one thing never changes — Tenchi is always getting chased by far more girls than he can handle.

Trope Namer For:

Tropes used in Tenchi Muyo! include:
  • A-Cup Angst: Ayeka gets a little of this when she realizes that Sasami will look like Tsunami when she grows up.
  • All There in the Manual: Masaki Kajishima, one of the creators, publishes tie-in novels and doujinshi introducing new concepts to the OVA continuity.
    • One of the most notorious manuals was the Tenchi 101 Secrets book, which received a partial Fan Translation and had parts included as an extra on the OAV DVDs.
  • Alternate Continuity: When the show was airing on Toonami, you can bet that children were deeply confused over the frequently changing backstories of characters. Especially Washu and Ryoko.
  • Alternate Universe
  • Anime First
  • Anime Hair: This might be a sit-down read.
    • Ryoko really looks like she's in a hair metal band. It helps that her hair's colored the ever-popular for Anime silver.
    • Washu's hair (Which is really out of proportion with her usual body) combines an extreme version of Ryoko's style with apparent inspiration from the crablegs-design for a kabuki mask, and a dash of You Gotta Have Pink Hair.
    • Washu's highly-appropriate nickname for Dr. Clay? "Octopus-head!" Clay's hair is unqiue, because he combines his admittedly epic curls with some kind of Badass Beard. (Ironic, because he's about as far from Badass as Tenchi Muyo ever gets.)
    • Kagato gets some form of...Poofy mullet in the back when absorbing Ryoko's power.
      • Somehow, he still manages to remain intimidating; despite looking less like he's cruelly draining Ryoko's energy and more like he stuck his finger in an electrical socket.
    • Seiryo Tennan, the man who was chosen as Ayeka's second fiance gets a mention because his hair is the exact same color as the sakura petals that he makes his entrance with.
      • And is shaped exactly like Mihoshi's: like someone tied together the ropes of two identical loofas and stuck them on their head.
    • Yugi from Tenchi in Tokyo combines her Anime Hair with some form of headdress. The result looks startlingly like a palm tree.
    • And Tenchi himself still manages to be somewhat of a badass despite having a rat-tail.
  • Art Shift: the third OVA, being produced some time after the rest uses a simplified art style that seems to split the difference between the normal style of the OVA's (and Tenchi Universe) and that of Tenchi in Tokyo.
  • Attack of the 50 Foot Whatever: Ryoko becomes a massive stone version of herself while fighting Kagato, yet he's still able to defeat her.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: The Juraian Royal family.
  • Badass Grandpa: Katsuhito/Yosho
  • Badass Mustache: Katsuhito and Nobuyuki.
  • Balanced Harem: Even ending with the Tenchi Solution.
  • Berserk Button: The wise know to not insult Ayeka or Sasami in front of Misaki if they value their lives. No matter how strong, as Misaki seems to have the ability to negate other people's super-strength and invulnerability.
    • Threatening Tenchi in front of Ryoko or Ayeka can also be hazardous to one's health.
    • Also, if you threaten anyone Tenchi cares about he will cut you in half Kagato learned this the hard way.
  • Big Bad: Several. Two are named "Kagato."
  • Big Screwed-Up Family: The Juraian royal family, in all its size and glory.
    • And to a lesser extent, the Kuramitsu family.
  • Bigger on the Inside: Any space that Washu has had a chance to manipulate. And in the OVAs, all Juraian tree-ships, which are about 170 meters long on the outside, while the interior is a subspace pocket containing several planets.
  • Black Comedy Rape / Double Standard Rape (Female on Male): If you really stop and think about it, Washu's attempt to get a sperm sample from Tenchi kinda wanders into this territory. But only slightly, since she doesn't get very far with it.
    • There's also Ryoko attempting to rape Tenchi in the Mihoshi special and in the Universe series.
  • Blade Run: Used by Yosho in his fight with Kagato. To stand on a Laser Blade!
  • Boobs of Steel: Surprisingly appropriate, by appearances — Misaki is not only older than the actual harem in general (Save for Washu), but due to some circumstance, Misaki seems unbeatable by any of the other girls as far as protecting her daughters is concerned.
  • Born Lucky: Mihoshi in the OVA.
  • Bounty Hunter: Nagi in Tenchi Universe.
  • Bowdlerization: In order to air on Toonami, lots of material had to be censored or excised from the OVAs (not so much with Tenchi Universe and Tenchi in Tokyo, though they didn't get away scot-free); this notably included the hot tub scenes in the OVA, a problem which was solved by rotoscoping bikinis onto the requisite areas.
    • When Adult Swim first started, they ran several Toonami shows that Cartoon Network still had the rights to; sadly, while they did air Tenchi Muyo!, they aired the Bowdlerized versions.
    • Part of the problem was that the OVAs are 30-ish minutes long each (except for the 7th and 13th episodes). To make most of the series fit onto TV, enough had to be chopped to make room for commercials, resulting in about 3-5 minutes worth of material being lost per episode (the 7th and 13th episodes, when aired, had sort of the opposite problem, in that they left a GAP at the end that Cartoon Network had to fill with short subjects).
  • Brawler Lock: Ayeka and Ryoko during the 7th OVA, The Night Before the Carnival. And other times as well.
  • Broke Episode: Tenchi Universe and Tenchi in Tokyo have episodes related to this. The first manga series has this across a few volumes, too.
  • Brother-Sister Incest: Ayeka and Yosho's betrothal.
    • It STARTS with foundation of Masaki clan. Royal clans are descendants of one of 1st Emperor's wives. In case Masaki clan it was Masaki Jurai, his sister. Yeah.
    • Somehow, the one-word answer of "Jurai" feels like enough to describe this trope. The fact that this family is ultimately stronger whereas inbreeding humans would actually more susceptible to disease proves that Juraian customs are indeed in line with Juraian genetics.
  • Call to Adventure: Using Schmuck Bait in the OVA continuity.
  • Canon Foreigner: Kiyone Makibi; she appears in most Tenchi Muyo! canons (with the notable exception of the OVA).
  • Cash Cow Franchise
  • Chekhov's Gun: During the first part of the original series, Ryoko's earring flew pretty much completely under the radar. As it would be revealed in the final episode of the first season, it's actually a 'false gem' to balance her powers if she doesn't have all of the three gems that fuel her abilities.
  • Chekhov MIA: A very subtle example. In episode 4 of the OAV, Mihoshi's computer lists a few of Kagato's past crimes. If you pay attention to it as it fades into background noise, one of the crimes is the kidnapping of a "female student" from the Science Academy. Two episodes later, this turns out to be Washu (though of course she was actually a professor)
    • Mihoshi asks Washu if she is the students, and Washu face-faults. Her students are pranksters...
  • Cherry Blossoms: Episode 8 of the OVA series, Tenchi Muyo! in Love, and episode 25 of Tenchi in Tokyo.
  • Chick Magnet: Tenchi, and later Seina in GXP. Also, Kenshi in Isekai Seikishi Monogatari and, generally, most of the protagonists in various Multiverse titles.
  • Commedia Dell Arte Troupe as exemplified by the Spin-Off of Magical Project S.
  • Cool House: once Washu shows up, the Masaki residence is never the same.
  • Cool Starship: The Juraian Royal treeships/starships. Dear GOD the Juraian Royal ships.
    • The Galaxy Police shipyards are no slouches either.
    • Not to mention Ryo-oh-ki.
  • Cowboy Episode: Tenchi in Space. After Tenchi's been kidnapped by the bounty hunter bent on defeating Ryoko, the two agree to meet at a location suspiciously similar to a small western town, complete with tumbleweed, saloons, and an eerie sunset.
  • Crystal Prison
  • Cute Little Fangs: Ryoko and Mihoshi.
    • Subverted by Dr. Clay, whose occasional fangs-flashing makes him look like an especially ugly vampire.
    • Then played straight again by Washu. (Periodically, at least.)
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Mihoshi and her family.
  • Debut Queue
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: This could take a while...
    • Kagato was well on his way and able to smack around Ryoko and Ayeka while obviously not taking it seriously. Tenchi got smacked around, too. But throw in Tenchi's Lighthawk Wings, and we've got whipped Kagato.
    • Considering how dangerous they both are, Ryoko and Ayeka's war for Tenchi's love really amounts to some kind of Are Cthulhus Having A Catfight?
    • Basically the results of anyone of unnatural strength that Misaki catches insulting/endangering Ayeka and Sasami. (Anyone of normal ability, it's pretty much just a regular smackdown.)
    • And again Misaki, once revealed that she would become the "counter-actor" in the future; she viciously (And almost lethally) attacked both Tokimi-kami-sama and Tsunami-kami-sama; Are You Choking Out Cthulhu? and Did You Just Bitchslap Cthulhu?, respectively.
  • Did You Just Romance Cthulhu?: Arguably the entire basis of the series. Up to and including, the concept that lesser Cthulhus are romancing a greater Cthulhu - Tenchi
  • Dirty Old Man: Nobuyuki.
  • Disney Death: Ryoko in episode 24 of Tenchi Universe, although the sequence leading up to it was one pure Crowning Moment of Awesome and Tear Jerker all in one incredible package.

  Ryoko: I'm lonely. [dies] Hey Ryo-oh-ki! Where shall we go next?

  • Dramatic Space Drifting
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Sasami has dreams of both Kagato and Tokimi before they are introduced in the OVA.
  • Drum Bathing: In Tenchi Muyo! In Love, Kiyone is seen in one just before being teleported out of it by Washu.
  • Epunymous Title: The title "Tenchi Muyo" [天地無用] is a Japanese phrase that is equivalent to saying "This Side Up." When [天地] and [無用] are interpreted as separate words (the former means "heaven and earth", the latter means "useless" [literally, "no use"]), it can mean "No Need for Tenchi"/"Tenchi is Useless" or "No Need for Heaven and Earth"/"Heaven and Earth are Useless".
  • Everyone Is Related: Especially in the OVA
  • Everything's Better and Cuter with Cabbits: Ryo-Ohki, Fuku, and in Universe, Ken-Ohki.
  • Evilly Affable: Kagato has wiped out planets, wreaked chaos throughout the galaxy, enslaved Ryoko, and come very close to killing Tenchi. However, that doesn't mean he can't apologize to the girls for walking in on them in the Onsen, tossing off one liner's in battle, or even congratulating Tenchi on his victory after he is mortally wounded and just before he evaporates.

 Ayeka: Scumbag

Kagato: Is that a term of affection, Princess, or do you just not like me?

    • Or:

 Kagato: Tenchi, same name as the sword. Tenchi can't be copied. Very clever, Tsunami...You've won, boy.

  • Excalibur in the Rust: When Tenchi first sees the Master Key, a physical blade had been affixed to the hilt. This blade was in a state of extreme disrepair, prompting Tenchi to exclaim, "What a rusty old piece of junk!"
  • Face Fault
  • Facial Markings: Tenchi, Ryoko, and Ayeka get these whenever they transform into their battle stances, and Achika gets some in her Juraian form in Tenchi Muyo in Love.
  • First Girl Wins: Ryoko in the Tenchi Universe continuity. Though it's not directly stated, the implication isn't exactly subtle. Especially after the second movie in the continuity.
  • Five-Man Band (particularly in the spinoff series)
  • For Science!!: Washu's desire to experiment on Tenchi (and sometimes even Ryoko, despite the fact that Washu should know literally everything about Ryoko's body, having designed it herself).
    • Maybe she wants to check to see how uncontrolled variables have affected it over time?
      • For Tenchi she probably wants an excuse to see him naked, and it's been established that she gets her kicks by tormenting Ryoko.
  • Framing Device: Tenchi Universe.
    • Also Tenchi Muyo Extra Chapter: Galaxy Police Mihoshi's Space Adventure (aka The Mihoshi Special).
  • Fridge Horror: Here's one. If Mihoshi's last Did You Just Romance Cthulhu? relationship broke her mind, how's she going to come out of it when she's one of the only basically normal types in household full of Cthulhu?
  • Future Spandex: Ryoko's skintight battlesuit.
  • Gadgeteer Genius
  • Gainaxing: Ryoko on several occasions, chiefly in the OVA.
  • Genius Ditz: Mihoshi.
    • In the OVA continuity, at least — In other series, she kinda drifts more in the 'ditz' direction.
      • One episode of Universe had her become a liability in three different ways, one of which could've ended quite badly if they hadn't had some inside help. In Universe at least, she's graduated to a full-blown case of The Millstone.
  • Genre Shift: The series is a romantic comedy with plenty of action. The third and final movie is a romantic drama with zero action.
  • Godzilla Threshold
  • Gonk: Amagasaki
  • Gratuitous English: Here's an example from episode 14 of Tenchi in Tokyo:

 Ayeka (in English): Yes, but I have no money! Okay? Thank you! Yay!

Sasami (in Japanese): What's with the English all of a sudden?

  • Hand Behind Head
  • Harem Anime: Although not quite the first one, this was the series that opened the floodgates for the harem genre and codified most of the standard conventions.
  • Harem Hero: Mostly in every Tenchi Series, but most notable in the OVA.
  • Heavy Sleeper
  • Hello, Nurse!: Washu does this For Science! Borderline Fan Disservice, considering she's supposed to have the body of a twelve year old.
  • Hiccup Hijinks: Convincingly Played for Drama at the end of the last volume of the comic (in the first series, that is.)
  • Holographic Terminal: A favorite for Washu.
  • Hot Scientist
  • Hot Shounen Mom: Funaho, Misaki, Achika and Washu. And in most of the other cases, Hot Shounen Grandma. In Washu's case, it's also Hot Shounen Great-Great Grandma!
  • Hot Springs Episode: Two in the original. The first causes massive property damage. The second? Hammers are passed around...
  • Hotter and Sexier: Masaki Kajishima's series of self-published Light Novels and Doujinshis, not only it is made all too clear than Tenchi does Marry Them All, but also doesn't hold back in showing/narrating him consumating with his harem.
  • How Dare You Die on Me!: Manga-only antagonist Yume's response to one of her genetically engineered villains sacrificing himself to save her? Angrily declaring that she hadn't given him permission to die, then breaking down in tears.
  • Humongous Mecha: Ryo-Ohki in Tenchi in Tokyo and the Galaxy Police powered armour in Tenchi Universe.
  • Hyperspace Mallet
  • Hypnotize the Princess: Ayeka in the manga.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: In Tenchi Universe, the episode title is referred to as "No Need For (today's episode theme)!".
    • The original Japanese titles in Tenchi in Tokyo take on the form of haiku.
  • Image Song: Most of the major characters have at least one.
  • Incest Is Relative: Oh boy...where to begin? The original OVA series alone has Ayeka, who is engaged to marry her elder half-brother Yosho. She later tracked him to Earth, found out that he had aged physically to a point where she no longer considered him attractive, then fell in love with Tenchi...who happens to be the grandson of Yosho (or Katsuhito, as he knew him), making Ayeka (and her little sister Sasami, who is also interested) his great-aunts. Ryoko is technically Washu's daughter, as she was created by fusing an egg-cell from Washu with an amorphous entity called "Mass"; Washu herself is actually a goddess and a sister of Tsunami, which technically makes her Sasami's sister and thus makes both Ayeka and Sasami Ryoko's aunts. Word of God is that Tenchi's father is Katsuhito's descendant by an earlier marriage, not to mention that this earlier marriage was with his cousin and both her mother and his mother are from Earth descendants of Masaki Jurai, and also that Mihoshi is Washu's descendant by her grandfather, the result of a marriage that Washu was in before she created Ryoko. The third OAV series and Tenchi Muyo! GXP only complicate the web of relationships even further.
  • Inconvenient Summons
  • Inferred Holocaust: Destroying half the Earth? Yeah. That'll definitely kill some people on the planet
    • But the Reset Button made it so that didn't actually happen.
  • Insistent Terminology: "No! I'm not gonna help you unless you call me Little Washu!" (Replace "Little Washu" with "Washu-chan" in the Japanese version.)
    • Misaki practically demands that her daughters Ayeka and Sasami call her Oka-san ("Mommy") in a high-pitched voice with Tender Tears, though this applies more to Ayeka. Failure to do so invokes a Death Glare.
  • It's All My Fault
  • Kabuki Sounds: Tenchi Universe would use them for the title card, and for the eyecatches.
  • Karaoke Box: Happens in Tenchi Universe and Tenchi in Tokyo
  • Large Ham: Kagato. And he plays a pipe organ like only a super villain can, too.
  • Laser Blade: Many, most notably the Tenchi sword in the OVA continuity.
  • Lethal Chef: Ryoko. Her first attempt at cooking in the OVA ends up foaming up an odd pink froth that dissolves the stove. Judging by the ingredients, she was trying to make vegetable soup. It gets toned down considerably in the manga (though she still does things like fry fish by hurling energy bolts at them), which also created the character of Asahi, who meets this criteria with her belief that each helping of dinner should be seasoned with four or five tubes of wasabi, something that makes her cooking inedible to anyone other than her and her boyfriend.
  • Lightning Glare
  • Living Ship: Ryo-Ohki.
    • Also, Tsunami and her offspring: The Ouke-no-ki (Sentient trees) that more or less run the Juraian ships just as much as the actual Juraians.
  • Lover Tug of War
  • Loyal Phlebotinum: The Master Key.
  • Mad Scientist: Washu.
  • Magic From Technology
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: Mixed marriages are looked down upon by Jurai in the OVA continuity. Its the main reason why Yosho left Jurai because he couldn't stand the prejudice. When Ryoko attacked Jurai, he saw it as an opportunity to leave and never return despite his promise to Ayeka that he'd return and marry her.
  • The Man Behind the Man
  • The Matchmaker: Lady Seto, with a little help from Airi.
  • Mask Power
  • Medium Awareness: Both manga series have this.
  • Meet Cute: Parodied; Ayeka and Ryoko try using shojo manga as a relationship guide. ... A month or so after they'd already met Tenchi.
  • Megumi Hayashibara: Achika in Tenchi Muyo! In Love.
  • Mix-and-Match Man: Ryoko.
  • Mood Dissonance: During her introduction, Mihoshi's scanner discovers "the infamous criminal" Ryo-Ohki in the immediate vicinity, and she seriously lists the atrocities committed by the ship (and Ryoko), including blowing up a few hundred planets. An incomprehending Ryo-Ohki happily eats her gun.
  • The Multiverse: By Word of God, all Alternate Continuities and many other works of Kajishima, including Dual! and all incarnations of El Hazard, are alternate realities in one big Multiverse.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Ayeka and Ryoko are involved constantly in this with each other, while their power levels makes it closer to Wile E. Coyote vs. Wile E. Coyote.
  • My Biological Clock Is Ticking: Although all of the girls want Tenchi (even Sasami likes him), Washu makes the most blunt advances on him in the second OVA when she assumes a more adult form at the end of an episode and states she wants him to get her pregnant.
  • Myth Arc
  • New Super Power
  • Nice Guy: Tenchi and all his Expies and variations.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Ayeka, in the Japanese version.
  • Nonchalant Dodge: Yosho's first move in the fight against Kagato.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Ryo-Ohki and, in GXP, Fuku.
  • Noodle Incident: In OVA Episode 3, Tenchi and Ayeka talk in a remote work shed during a rainstorm. Nothing terribly affectionate is seen happening, but in Episode 4, Ryoko (who read Ryo-Ohki's memory) claims Ayeka was "rather aggressive" with him. While it could be a joke, Ayeka's flustered reaction suggests it might have creedence...
  • The Nose Bleed: Tenchi, especially when looking at a nude Ryoko.
  • No Sense of Direction: Mihoshi, as well as her mother Mitoto in GXP. In Mitoto's case her lack of any sense of direction seems to extend to accidental teleportation.
  • Ocular Gushers
  • The Ojou: Ayeka, and Sasami to a lesser extent.
  • Older Than They Look: In the OVA, pretty much EVERYONE except Tenchi. This INCLUDES his father. There, Tenchi's older sister is over 80 years old...
    • Tenchi too, considering that he is the being that created the Choushin
    • Mihoshi seems relatively normal, agewise. (One manga scene has her claiming to be 24, take that how you will.)
      • The fact that Mihoshi's grandfather is several thousand years old (and the immortal Washu is her great-great grandmother) indicates that she'll get to be older than she looks eventually, even if she's not currently.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Nagi in Tenchi Universe; she wanted to be the only person to defeat Ryoko, and she would even help Tenchi's crew just to protect Ryoko from her other enemies.
  • Oracular Urchin
  • Ordinary High School Student: Tenchi used to think that he was one. He was so very, very wrong.
    • Sasami tries to become one in the manga.
  • Organic Technology Ships: The Juraian spacecraft are powered by living, semi-sapient trees. The parent of them all is not only fully sentient, but a goddess - and the alter ego of a main character. Also, Ryo-Ohki, who is the cute mascot character that transforms into a Living Ship.
  • Overprotective Dad: Played comically in the manga, when Azusa threatens to kill a boy who flipped up Sasami's skirt. Washu later implants Azusa's angry face in the boy's mind, which triggers whenever he tries to do it again. It's an effective deterrent.
  • Parental Abandonment
  • Pillar of Light
  • Pirate Girl: In the various continuities, there are more named female space pirate characters than male ones.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: When Kagato starts draining Ryoko's energy, his hair floofs with power.
  • Power Gives You Wings: The Light Hawk Wings.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Ryoko can create copies of herself and likely shapeshift.
  • Pre-Explosion Glow
  • Pretty in Mink: The furry puffballs on the Galaxy Police uniforms and the Jurai Super Modes.
  • Really Seven Hundred Years Old: Or Really Twenty Thousand Years Old Really Older Than the Universe in Washu's case. Sasami also serves as the Trope Namer.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Ryoko and Ayeka, respectively.
  • Red String of Fate: This happens in episode 2 of Tenchi in Tokyo.
  • Relationship Sue: In-universe, subverted in a most awesome way in Tenchi in Tokyo. Sakuya Kumashiro initially comes across as the poster girl for the trope, snatching Tenchi's interest away from Ryoko and Ayeka... but it was revealed later that she was created to do so by the Big Bad Yugi. And as icing on the cake, Sakuya actually does NOT make it to the end of the series.
  • Relationship Voice Actor: Quatre, Noin, and Relena worked together in Tenchi Universe and Tenchi in Tokyo.
  • Restricted Expanded Universe: A major problem with the manga series, since this was Anime First.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Ryo-Ohki...who knew that a hybrid of a cat and bunny would end up mixing pretty well?
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: The Jurai[1] and Kuramitsu clans. Seto, for example, is actually much more effective in a fight than the whole fleet of Federation warships. And let's not start on Tenchi...
  • Royally Screwed-Up: Again, Juraian royalty. Other royal families also qualify.
  • Ryu and Ken: -ohki in Universe
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Ryoko, who (In the original series) was sealed in the Masaki family shrine; she turned into a 'good guy' pretty quickly, although isn't always 'good'. Also in the original series, Washu was trapped within a crystal in the Soja's reverse-dimension; that could be a subversion of the evil part, depending on how far Washu is willing to take the Mad Scientist thing.
    • In Universe Washu was the one sealed in the shrine. In this continuity she is also far less responsible and far more destructive than in the original OVA - she apparently got sealed for inventing an universe-destroying superweapon just because she could.
    • She does that kind of stuff in the OVA too. See 'Washu's Pore'. She's just nice enough not to USE it.
  • Series Franchise
  • She's All Grown Up: Sort of; Tsunami has said that Sasami will grow up to look like her. And, needless to say, this bit of information completely demoralizes Ayeka and Ryoko.
  • Shout-Out: To Star Trek and Star Wars, at the very least.
  • Show Within a Show: The unnamed alien Soap Opera.
  • Sigil Spam: In the OVAs, Doctor Clay imprints his personal mark on virtually everything he owns. Washu knows this, and is able to locate the bridge of his spaceship because it is right behind said mark on the hull.
  • Skinship Grope: The baby does it to Mihoshi in episode 8 of the OVA.
  • Sneezing: Ayeka does this in episode 2 of the OVA.
  • So What Do We Do Now?
  • Space Opera: Most of the spinoffs, but especially Tenchi Muyo! GXP.
  • Space Pirates
  • Special Edition Title
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The character Aeka, whose name is spelled as "Ayeka" in the English version; this has the unfortunate side effect of altering the pronunciation of the character's name.
    • In a similar vein, Washu; her name is often spelled "Washuu".
      • Actually, "Mihoshi" is really "Mihoshi" (みほし for "美星"). Also, "Kiyone" is also "Kiyone" (きよね).
  • Spit Take
  • Spot the Imposter
  • Stage Names: Every voice performer in the English-dubbed version.
  • Stalker with a Test Tube: Washuu, towards Tenchi.
  • Stealth Clothes
  • Stuff Blowing Up
  • Sufficiently Advanced Aliens
  • Tangled Family Tree: This says it all, really... The Masaki Family Tree is way tangled.
  • The Matchmaker: Seto, with a little help of Airi.
  • The Millstone: Mihoshi, as far as Kiyone is concerned. So long as the two are together, Kiyone's career seems to only slide further into ruin.
  • The Movie: 1996's Tenchi Muyo! in Love and 1999's Tenchi Forever!, both of which were set in the Tenchi Universe canon, and 1997's Tenchi Muyo! The Daughter of Darkness, set in its own continuity but based mostly on the OVAs.
    • Daughter of Darkness is actually set in the continuity of a series of novels that spun off from the first OVA series. Though those novels (unlike the prequel novels by Kajishima) are fairly obscure even in Japan.
  • The Original Series: Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki (the OAV episodes continued / finished).
  • The Other Darrin: Rebecca Forstadt and Wendee Lee took over the roles of Mihoshi and Kiyone, respectively, in the English dub from Tenchi in Tokyo onwards; Mona Marshall replaced Petrea Burchard in the role of Ryoko from Tenchi GXP onwards.
    • It's interesting to note that while Wendee Lee took over the role of Kiyone, the original actress - Sherry Lynn - was still voicing Sasami. This was because doing Kiyone's deeper voice was hurting Lynn's throat; her natural voice is actually very close to Sasami's.
  • The Sweat Drop
  • The Thing That Goes Doink
  • Theme Naming: A lot of characters' names come from locations in Japan.
  • The Unfair Sex: Notably averted for all the universes. In fact, more often than not, the protagonist is put off by any of the girls' overt advances. Additionally, (most) of the other girls realize this and tend blame each other more than him, and Tenchi is usually portrayed as being in the right.
  • Third Option Love Interest: Sakuya in Tenchi in Tokyo.
  • Third Person Person: Sasami, in the Japanese version.
  • Those Two Guys: One of the first anime series to introduce the trope.
  • Threesome Subtext: Ryoko x Tenchi x Ayeka, and Ayeka and Ryoko hate each other, but plenty Foe Yay occurs in universe.
  • Time Travel: Pretty much the plot of Tenchi Muyo! in Love.
  • Token Yuri Girls: Parodied in one episode. After being cast into a High School AU, Magical Girl Sasami shoots the bickering Ayeka and Ryoko with a "beam of friendship". The sequence just gets more suggestive as two begin gazing into each other's eyes, proclaiming their mutual love and admiration, and almost kissing before being cut off by the end of the episode.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Ryoko and Ayeka, of course.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Ryoko.
    • Subverted almost immediately after that scene in episode 2; Tenchi (the sword, not the boy) makes a good point on how it doesn't allow anyone unworthy to so much as touch it.
    • Also subverted in episode 13. Washu got some good film of it as well.
  • Touched by Vorlons: Tenchi, Sasami.
  • Trickster: Sasami.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: All over the place.
    • Tenchi to most of the girls.
    • Ayeka and Ryoko in the OAV
  • Unwanted Harem: The definitive example, and arguably the first.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Ryoko and Ayeka seemingly make a favorite sport out of arguing and with each other about Tenchi and just about everything else, and in all continuities their hatred for each other started out as legitimate for some reason or another. Kiyone thinks of Mihoshi as nothing more than the incompetent idiot holding her career back, and no matter how many times she says this or how much she criticizes or chastises Mihoshi over some blunder, Mihoshi just agrees or apologizes and goes right back to merrily assuming their friendship. Despite all this, in both cases we see occasional moments of genuine friendship and whenever things get sticks and the time calls for it, they and everyone else in the Unwanted Harem usually tend to put themselves on the line for each other and fight together without question.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Zero (later merged with Ryoko); Washuu (sort of; it's more like Volunatary Ageshifting)
  • We Are as Mayflies: All of the alien characters live much longer than humans. The ultimate example is Washu, who looks like she's 12 and actually has been around since before the dawn of time, making her quite literally older than dirt.
    • But for the most part it's more about artificial life-extension than natural biology. One of Emperor Azusa's wives is a native Earthling who was born in the Feudal Japan. Also, the Juraians are biologically human; Earth is apparently a semi-forgotten colony of the Jurai Empire, kept mostly isolated for reasons unexplained.
      • Juraian royalty also have the Royal Trees, which further extend a person's life when bonded to them.
  • Wendee Lee: Kiyone Makibi (Tenchi in Tokyo, Tenchi Muyo! Daughter of Darkness, Tenchi Forever!), Little Girl Kagato (OVA 3), Kiyone Masaki (OVA 3), Kiriko Masaki, Vega.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Katsuhito's cat appears only in the first episode of the OVA. It was never seen again through the rest of that series. It is implied that Ryoko, upon her release, killed it. Also, Sasami's pet weasel-thing wasn't seen again after Sasami and Ayeki's introduction, it may have died in the crash.
    • Chibi, the cat, was a stray that Tenchi had found and Ryoko was using her powers to keep it alive. She later reabsorbed the power she gave it and used it as the base for the reborn Ryo-ohki.
    • The weasal can't be dead...the main part of the ship where it was, was in a pocket dimension. It's probably fine, and goofing off in Washu's lab.
  • White Mask of Doom: Kain from Tenchi Muyo in Love! has one of these; it's also an empathic mask. It becomes more creepy as he becomes more desperate in the final battle.
  • Wondrous Ladies' Room: Played literally in that Washu sticks an entire spa in a pocket dimension for the women to use.
    • In the OAV continuity Ryoko used her molecular manipulation, and Washuu's designs from her and Ryo-Ohki's mental database, to create a giant luxury onsen, including waterfalls, hovering in the open above the house. While it's not explicitly women (as Tenchi himself has used it on occasion), most of the time only the girls are there. Somehow, the outside world never notices.
    • They live out in the countryside. Also, it's anime; Japan is such a Weirdness Magnet (possibly due to the fact that Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe) that the spa probably doesn't even register as being unusual.
    • Going by Tenchi Muyo! GXP it's probably simply a typical Galaxy Police-fare visual distortion field, and the onsen definitely isn't visible to Seina when he first visits.
  • Word of God: OVA continuity. In the end, Tenchi will marry everyone. That's why they call it the Tenchi Solution.
  • World of Action Girls
  • Willfully Weak
  • You Are Number Six: Z's full/real name is Z-0001332536893.
  1. Or at least, the Masaki and Kamiki houses; the Tatsuki and Amaki houses don't seem to be doing anything productive.