Throwback Thursday: Tenchi Universe Review & Characters (Tenchi Muyo!) – Boom! Intergalactic Harem!

tenchi universe wallpaper

Boom! Intergalactic Harem!

  • Episodes : 26
  • Genre : Adventure, Space, Fantasy, Harem
  • Airing Date : April 1995 – Dec 1995
  • Producers : TV Tokyo

Tenchi Universe Preview / Plot (No Spoilers)

Long long ago, In a galaxy far away… Tenchi Muyo!!!! Wait no that’s not the opening… give me a sec here…. Oh right! A veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery long time ago, a Juraian prince named Yoshio ran away from his home planet to live a peaceful life on Earth. As he lived on Earth, he eventually settled down, became a Shinto priest, and had a son who in turn had a son himself. This boy’s name is Tenchi Masaki.

Life is all as it seems to be for 17 year old Techi until one day, the intergalactic space pirate, Ryoko, in search of some great power on Earth, crash lands near his home while being hotly pursued by the intergalactic space police. Mihoshi, as acting officer in charge, is chasing Ryoko to Earth. Jurai princesses Ayeka and Sasami eventually arrive with a slew of other characters in tow. Hilariously the fight over Tenchi and some mysterious power he possesses draws them all to Tenchi. What of Jurai as well? What lies there? Check it out!

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Who does Tenchi Universe cater to?

The year is 1995. Rolling in on the success of a partially-aired and semi successful Tenchi Muyo: Ryo-oki OVA, Tenchi Universe was given a green light! With a few slight tweaks here and there, Tenchi Universe breathes some more life into this successful franchise.

Tenchi Muyo as a metaseries has the whole intergalactic travel angle, which is great if you love space! Tenchi Universe has old school romance in the form of a harem too! It’s got hilariously modest Tenchi at the center of a group of women who probably have the strongest personalities in the galaxy! The comedy is great too as one watches these women fight to win Tenchi’s heart and affection.

Also I should note that as a metaseries there are other parts to this franchise. Some side characters even got their own anime from it. There are movies as well. Tenchi universe is actually a re-telling of the Tenchi Muyo: Ryo-oki OVA series (of those that had been released) that didn’t actually finish for many years after this series did. The most recent spin off of this series was Tenchi Muyo! War on Genimar. This series aired in 2009-2010. So if anything, this series has got longevity and a decent plot to keep it going.

What's so appealing about this piece of work.

I feel like this line sums up a lot of the comedy in this series; “let’s fight to the death for the love of a man who we randomly met, while blowing up things including his home in the crossfire.” I pretty much laughed hysterically throughout this whole series.

If you have seen anything like Love Hina, Hayate no Gotoku!, or really any shows that are major rom-coms, then I’ll be happy to point out that Tenchi Universe set the stage for many harem based shows. The best part too is that in Tenchi Universe, there are so many different and unique characters that it’s easy to find someone you like and root for them to win Tenchi’s heart!

Another great aspect of this series is the clash of modern with futuristic elements. Ryo-oki, a space pirate, intergalactic police, aliens, and an old Shinto shrine. Oh man, I love mixes like this!

Tenchi Universe Trailer

Tenchi Universe Main Characters List

Tenchi Masaki

tenchi muyou tenchi masaki

Voice Actor :Masami Kikuchi

Tenchi is the main character of the series. I mean come on… his name is in the title… Anyway, Tenchi is a high school student who seems to enjoy is seemingly boring everyday life in high school. However, he now spends summer with his grandfather learning about become a Shinto priest and the family’s style of swordsmanship. He seems to have some innate power that the other women in his life want and/or may be attracted to.

His own innocence, or laziness, your choice, keeps him at bay from these women a lot of time, but it does lead to very funny encounters complete with the stereotypical nosebleeds.

Ryoko Hakubi

tenchi muyou ryouko

Voice Actor :Ai Orikasa

Did someone order a crazy, hot-headed, somewhat clingy, space pirate with a rabbit like thing that can talk? Oh good! That’s Ryoko!

Set free by Tenchi completely by accident, she, at first, tries to kill him! Thankfully that mess is avoided and she is drawn in to Tenchi and uses him as cover/a front to hide from being arrested. That being said though, she will fight for him if he ever is in danger. She’s very emotional and becomes VERY clingy at one point with Tenchi.

She most often butts heads with Ayeka who also has her sights on conquering Tenchi’s heart and gaining his love and potentially his power too, in the end.

Ayeka Jurai

tenchi muyou Ayeka Jurai

Voice Actor :Yumi Takada

Originally picking up a distress signal from Mihoshi’s ship, Ayeka stops on Earth to save her. However, it is after landing that she sees her arch-nemesis, the great space pirate Ryoko, there as well. After an amazing fight, Ayeka is now stuck on Earth. Oh how could things get any worse?!?! Oh! Tenchi, a nice boy is going to help her? How lovely. She could stay and get used to this.

Hot-headed, and a quite privileged individual, Ayeka relies a lot on her heavy handed actions to save her as well as her two floating servants. A lot of the comedy from this show relies on the animosity between Ayeka and Ryoko. At first it is all about how much they hate each other, with Ryoko having the upper hand often, but then it transforms into a battle for the love of Tenchi.

Contains Spoilers

Tenchi Universe Review

Let’s get into it *cues music* Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Tenchi Muyo was on the air, or rather reruns of it were, in the US when I was still in elementary school. This show has made me laugh so hard I cried. It was one of the very first anime I have ever seen combined with Sailor Moon. However, we’re not here to talk about Sailor Moon; we are here for Tenchi Muyo Universe!

The best part of this series by far has to be the comedy that’s used in this series hands down. The majority of it does come from Ryoko and Ayeka fighting over Tenchi. Their two of them can’t be left alone in a room because they’ll start taking shots at one another and then before you know it, things are being blown up. Ryoko plays dirty and Ayeka tries to play with a high hand of fake modesty.

Quite indicating of their actual personalities, be it due to the fact that she was alone for a very long time, Ryoko does what she can to survive. Hence, why she fights dirty. Ayeka on the other hand, uses somewhat subtle punches to drive Ryoko mad, and is goaded into bringing herself down to Ryoko’s level. Then again, Ayeka has a very sensitive heart, always asking where Yoshio, her lover, is.

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The show also has the busty clutz, Mihoshi who exists for pure comical relief. She’s fell to Earth chasing Ryoko and well… it was probably inevitable. She seems narcoleptic because she’s always falling asleep at the drop of a hat. Next up is her partner Kiyone. Poor Kiyone is actually a genius and received the second highest scores of her year at the police academy. She was then assigned with Mihoshi, and well her career just tanked after that. Tragically, she too is now forced to be on Earth with everyone. Kiyone is the sporty one with a weakness for karaoke.

Next up would be Sasami, Ayeka’s little sister. Sasami came to Earth in search of Ayeka, but stayed after meeting everyone and especially Ryo-oki, the rabbit-like creature that is actually Ryoko’s ship in another form. Sasami plays the role of little sister, since she is drawn like a child. She often cooks for everyone and she seems to be the only person, other than Ryoko and Washu, who can understand Ryo-oki when she speaks through her “nyaa/meow” noises.

Rounding out the final individual in the harem is Washu, the mega genius. Washu has her lab behind a magical door that connects to Tenchi’s house. She is actually the mother of Ryoko. Originally she was trapped in a crystal and sent to Earth for creating time-space devices. She “experiments” on Tenchi from time to time.

Whew…. That’s all the major girls from this series. I know it sounds like a lot, but trust me, they all are necessary to make it interesting. I couldn’t imagine this show without one of them. Now then, let’s talk about the plot itself!

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Tenchi Universe skips head of the Ryoko introduction. It touches on it slightly, but it doesn’t devote the whole episode to it like with the Ryo-oki OVAs. Mihoshi shows up after crash landing as well. Ayeka shows up and decided that it’s time to take out Ryoko once and for all once she discovers that she is there. Both ships are now destroyed leaving Ayeka stranded and Ryo-oki out of commission.

Ryo-oki does eventually come back when Sasami comes to visit. Ryo-oki now, somehow, is in love with carrots. As they get ready to head back to Jurai, Sasami takes a carrot with her. Ryo-oki wants that carrot so bad that the two ships collide standing everyone all over again. Finally, Washu and Kiyone show up rounding out the group including Tenchi and Ryo-oki to eight.

Tenchi’s grandfather is Yoshio. This throws the balance of power off in Jurai because Yoshio, who Ayeka seems to be searching for constantly because she’s always looking off in the distance fondly saying his name, is supposed to be dead. Kagato, the current king of Jurai actually lost to Yoshio, has now taken over and declared the whole royal family to be criminals. Warrants are put out for their arrests so they decide it’s time to make a trip to Jurai and clear their names.

However, they are chased throughout the galaxy on their way to Jurai to recover the kingdom and to put Ayeka and Sasami back on the throne as true heirs. Through blunders and mishaps (due to Mihoshi being herself) they do eventually make it to Jurai to take over everything, but Yoshio ends up losing due to Kagato’s new power! Tenchi does take up the sword and is embraced by the planet itself and wins! Suddenly all the problems with the previous ruling party and the royal family being treated as criminals are all wiped clean and everyone goes back to living their quiet country lives. Only Tenchi misses everyone.

Suddenly, boom everyone is back together! I know this is condensed but the central story itself isn’t as good in my opinion as everything else that the series has! Mainly the comedy that can be enjoyed in every single episode! Don’t take my word for it though. Try looking at these funny moments and try to tell me it’s not hilarious!

This show’s art style is very reminiscent of the 90’s. If you have seen anything from the 90’s like sailor moon, outlaw star, or cowboy bebop, you have a general feel for this series. In the sense of the art style.

1. The Fights Between Ayeka & Ryoko

Tenchi Universe Review Highlight 1

Love it or hate it, this seems to be the central plot line for this series. Always going after each other in every way possible in order to win not only the proverbial fight they are always having, but also for Tenchi’s love and affection. As I stated earlier, Ryoko plays dirty and Ayeka tries, key word here is tries, to be somewhat adult about it, but she always hilariously sinks to Ryoko’s level to fight.

2. The Harem

tenchi muyou The Harem Highlight 2

The next best thing from sliced bread, that many guys alive want, is a harem, and well if this show doesn’t suit it perfectly! Ayeka is the polite, reverent one, Ryoko is the wild one, Sasami is the cute one, Kiyone is the sporty one, Mihoshi is the… well… she likes to show some skin and she’s clutzy cute, and finally is Washu the super smart one. It’s great! You could choose from any one! Which one would you choose?

3. Ryo-oki: Space Rabbit or Space Ship?

Tenchi Universe Review Highlight 3

Ryo-oki is just a giant wat of a character. She clearly likes Tenchi but she’s a ship that turns into a cat-like creature, or is she a cat-like creature that turns into a ship? Either way, it’s really cool because only Ryoko, Washu, and Sasami can communicate with her and only the first two can talk to her telepathically. She turns into this giant… gem-surrounded-by-spikes ship that the crew fly in across the galaxy. Central to the plot, she would be missed greatly if she was not present!

Tenchi Muyo is a great show that has influenced many shows that have come after it, be it minor or major. I really, really hope you enjoyed this article and that, if you haven’t seen the show, that you take the time to check it out now.

Some people will ask if they should watch the Ryo-oki OVA’s first and my answer is you can, but they do span 10+ years as they were released in waves. I can vouch that while Ryo-oki is good, Tenchi Universe does a great job of telling the story of Tenchi Muyo and is a fantastic place to start!



Author: Nagareboshi

American by birth; international by choice. I am trying to bring attention to one of my favorite causes; me. I translate by day and write by night. Aspiring polyglot. My dream would be to be the personal translator for Amuro Namie. Other than that, my hobbies include languages, weightlifting, sleeping, karaoke, GOOD coffee and music. When I’m not doing any of the above, I am most likely laughing hysterically at Willam Belli videos or EV farming. I ain’t gunna Rupologize for it neither. Waifu are Shirai Kuroko & Euaerin.

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