By Adam Arnold (www.adamarnold.net)
The Internet is a buzz with speculation. Speculation about just what is about to transpire as one of anime's most beloved series--Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki--finally gets the long-awaited conclusion it deserves in 2005. While the title translates to “no need for Tenchi,” Tenchi Masaki is a young man who has a harem of space girls who do nothing but want him. It is the same formula that Love Hina made popular years later only with elements of Project A-Ko and Star Wars thrown in with hilarious results.
Ever since the series premiered on Cartoon Network back in July 2000, Tenchi's popularity has only skyrocketed. With a multitude of DVDs on store shelves ranging from Pioneer's release of Tenchi-Muyo! Ryo-Ohki, Tenchi Universe and Tenchi In Tokyo to FUNimation's recent Tenchi Muyo! GXP, the multitude of titles available is almost too much for the uninitiated. To make matters worse, only a few of the series even connect with one another.
But fear not! Anime Insider has braved the turbulent sea of stars and blown a whole mess of space pirates out of the skies to bring you the be-all guide to everything Tenchi under the sun! So strap those thinking caps on, it's going to be a bumpy ride.
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki OVA 1, Episodes 1-4 (1992, Pioneer)
Tenchi Misaki was once an ordinary high school student until one day he unwittingly releases the demon Ryoko from her 700-year imprisonment and she goes on a rampage blowing up Tenchi's school! Soon after Princess Ayeka of the planet Jurai arrives on Earth in a quest to find her long lost bother, Yosho, and instead finds Ryoko--the very person responsible for his disappearance!
After some major interstellar hijinks, Ryoko, Ayeka and Ayeka's little sister, Sasami all become stranded on Earth and soon welcome the always loveable cabbit/ship, Ryo-Ohki and bubble-headed Galaxy Police officer, Mihoshi into their growing household. Unbeknownst to anyone though, a deadly criminal is headed their way.
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki Soundtrack Volume 1, 65:45 min./20 tracks (1992, unlicensed)
An OVA soundtrack that contains BGM from the first three episodes and a side-story radio drama set between episodes 2 and 3 about a trip to an onsen (hot spring).
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki OVA 1, Episodes 5-6 (1993, Pioneer)
The murderous criminal Kagato descends upon the Earth and seizes Ryoko and drags her into space claiming to be her rightful creator. Tenchi and the remaining girls board Ryo-Ohki and blast off into space in hot pursuit. Unfortunately, even the defensive power of the Light Hawk Wings is no match for a single well-placed blast from the Soja, Kagato's battleship. Ryo-Ohki is ripped apart and Tenchi is left drifting near lifeless in space.
Back on Earth, Sasami senses Tenchi's essence slipping away and the sleeping goddess within her, Tsunami, awakens and appears before Tenchi and merges with him. Meanwhile aboard the Soja, Mihoshi has released a young girl, named Washu, who claims to not only be the greatest scientific genius in the universe, but also the creator of Ryo-Ohki, the Soja and she is Ryoko's mother.
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki Soundtrack Volume 2, 55:58 min./25 tracks (1993, unlicensed)
A soundtrack containing music for the half of the first OVA and featuring five character songs sung by the various Tenchi seiyuu.
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki OVA 1, Episode 7 (1993, Pioneer)
Though now known as episode 7, “The Night Before the Carnival”--the first of two OVA specials--was released before anyone knew whether Tenchi would continue as an OVA or go into TV exclusively. The episode primarily deals with wrapping up loose ends from the Kagato attack and pitting Ayeka and Ryoko against one another in a war to win Tenchi's heart...using romance manga as their guide!
Fun fact: Due to the unionized nature of the American voice industry, the dub cast had to assume aliases just to record Episode 7.
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki CD Special 1: “Tenchi-Kaibyaku Jikuu no Michiyuki,” 68:25 min./17 tracks (1993, unlicensed)
Setting the stage for countless other drama CDs, this tale involving a wacky trip through time and space was later adapted into a three-part story arc for Tenchi Universe. It features the first appearance of Pretty Sammy--Sasami's Sailor Moon-esque alter ego--and three tracks that give the listener a sense of how Tenchi and Ryoko really feel for one another.
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki CD Special 2: “Taiyoukei Nanatsu no Hitou,” 65:46 min./9 tracks (1993, unlicensed)
A nine-track drama CD filled with slapstick comedy as the Tenchi crew visits the solar system's “seven unknown onsen.” This CD features the first appearance of Kiyone--Mihoshi's partner--and also includes a bizarre cameo appearance by Moldiver's Mirai (voiced by Nogami Yukana).
Tenchi Muyo! Sound File OVA (1993, unlicensed)
A single volume OVA consisting of six anime music videos that act as spotlights to particular characters. “Magical Girl Pretty Sammy,” with is stunning transformation sequence, is by far the best of the six with Ayeka's S&M-esque whipping of Tenchi in “Call Me Princess” following a close second.
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki Kaitaishinsho 101 no Nazo (1994, unlicensed)
Loosely translated as “Tenchi Muyo! 101 Secrets,” this rare book written by Kuroda Yousuke and supervised by Kajishima Masaki offers incredible insight the complex web of images and events portrayed or initially planned for the first seven episodes of the OVA series. Though it is often contradictory to later episodes, it is the only text that effectively explains what happened to Tenchi's cat (OVA episode 1), tells exactly how a bunch of alien girls can even talk with anyone on Earth (hint: it has to do with a thing called a “language field”) and why Mihoshi never undoes her pony-tail (she'd loose her memory if she did).
Tenchi Muyo! Mihoshi Special - Galaxy Police Mihoshi's Space Adventure (1994, Pioneer)
At one point this fun story involving Mihoshi recounting her greatest mission, the Ultra Energy Matter robberies, was meant to be placed between OVA episodes 7 and 8 that is no longer the case. Though fellow Tenchi co-creator, Hiroki Hayashi supervised the special after he had voluntarily gave up control of the series, Masaki Kajishima has since confirmed that Mihoshi's partner, Kiyone, does not exist in his version of the universe in any form. Regardless, this episode does feature the first anime appearance of Mihoshi's partner, Kiyone Makibi, and the second appearance of Pretty Sammy. At its core though, this episode is merely a pilot for both the Pretty Sammy OVA and the later Tenchi Universe series.
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki CD DASH 1: “Otaku Dare?”, 55:20 min./13 tracks (1994, unlicensed)
The plot of this rather disappointing disc involving the mealtime kidnapping of Sasami by an invading spaceship seems to have been recycled into a much better form as the Tenchi-Muyo! RPG.
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki Christmas Album, 53:13 min./12 tracks (1994, unlicensed)
It's Christmas in the Tenchi household and all the girls play “Little Match Girl” so they can get Tenchi something nice. Aside from mangled Christmas favorites, this drama CD showcases Mihoshi at her worst (or best) and the super secret origin of Pretty Sammy.
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki CD DASH 2: “Sasami no Sento Barentain,” 58:52 min./15 tracks (1995, unlicensed)
Having obviously not learned their lesson from “The Night Before the Carnival,” the girls (especially Sasami!) become engrossed by shoujo manga and all vie for Tenchi's affection in this special drama set during Valentine's Day.
Tenchi Muyo! RPG (1995, unlicensed)
It's a morning like any other in the Tenchi household when suddenly a pack of monsters attack. Once the dust is settled, they learn Mizuki--a young girl doing the bidding of the mad scientist, Kusumi--has kidnapped Princess Sasami and is hell-bent on going head to head with Ryoko. Though short, this isometric RPG for the Super Famicom, literally known as Tenchi Muyo! Game-Hen, does prove once and for all that Mihoshi really is next to useless in a fight.
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki (1995, unlicensed)
This video game for the PC Engine (TurboGrafX 16 in the U.S.) plays out like a digital comic book with pictures accompanying text that always the player final say so over how the story should proceed. The story opens right after OVA 7 and follows Tenchi as he finds himself in one embarrassing scrape after the other. Depending on the path taken, Tenchi and the gang will meet up with GP cadet, Hakua, and either space pirate, Makibi or the blonde dandy, Himuro.
Tenchi Muyo! FX: Disc 1, Episode 7.5 (1996, unlicensed)
The “Here Comes Hakua!” digital comic for the PC-FX takes place during the lull between the first and second OVA series and features the usual Tenchi antics as Galaxy Police officer Hakua joins the cast for a little fun on Earth and a little implied Mihoshi innuendo. This game is basically a remake of the earlier PC Engine, Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki.
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki Soundtrack Volume 3, 70:13 min./11 tracks (1994, unlicensed)
Along with theme songs and BGM for the second OVA series, this OST includes a prelude drama to episode 8 that details the troubles the Tenchi clan must face during Sasami's absence.
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki OVA 2, Episode 8-10 (1994, Pioneer)
Sporting a new artistic direction and Masaki Kajishima completely at the helm, the second OVA series kicks off with Tenchi's baby cousin, Taro, being dumped on the family for a few days. The trials of taking care of the wee toddler is too much for the others and Washu takes on the task single-handily.
After the baby non-sense is over, the gang return to the local hot springs the wrecked back in episode 4 and are forced to rebuild it rather than take a relaxing dip. But when a ghostly figure in white starts roaming the halls, Sasami's secret past starts to unravel.
Once safely back home, things are anything but safe when a few choice words are misdirected at Ryo-Ohki forced the delicate cabbit's feelings to affect a highly dangerous colony of shape-shifting creatures in Washu's lab. Once the Mass escape, they make a beeline straight for Tenchi.
Tenchi Muyo! FX: Disc 2, Episode 9.8 (1996, unlicensed)
This PC-FX follow-up episode entitled “Crashing Into Kiyone!” follows Hakura returning to GPHQ after patrol and being the Mihoshi protégé that she is, manages a rather “crash n' bang touchdown.” After being put on suspension without pay, she runs into none other than Mihoshi's former partner, Kiyone. Yes, the rumors of her death were greatly exaggerated. As with the Mihoshi Special, this is no longer in continuity.
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki OVA 2, Episode 11-13 (1994-1995, Pioneer)
The serene and episode first three episodes were only a warm up for the arrival of the dastardly Dr. Clay and his robotic slave, Zero. The mysterious Lady Tokimi has grown suspicious of her fellow sister's, Washu and Tsunami's, actions and has ordered Clay to Washu for her. Zero captures and assumes Ryoko's identity and infiltrates the Tenchi household, but ultimately fails in her mission and returns empty handed. The gang track Zero back to Clay's ship where they have their big showdown.
In episode 13, just as the quite life begins to return, Ayeka and Sasami's parents, Azusa, king of Jurai, and his two wives, Misaki and Funaho, arrive on Earth dead-set on bringing the girls back home. Unfortunately for Ayeka, her suitor, Seiryo Tennan, was brought along for the ride and Tenchi has to face him in a duel. The stakes: Ayeka's hand in marriage and their ability to stay on Earth.
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki OVA 2, Episode 13.5 (1995, Pioneer)
Also commonly referred to as 13a, “Here Comes Jurai II” is a five-minute “picture book” (an audio drama set to a series of slides) that depicts the epilogue to the second OVA series and sets the stage for the next series. Unfortunately, eight years would pass for Tenchi fans before the identity of the man Lady Tokimi and D3 sent to Earth would be revealed.
True Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki, Novels 1-3 (1997-1999, unlicensed)
Literally known as Shin Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki, this three volume novelization of the OVA series written by series co-creator, Masaki Kajishima and second OVA scriptwriter, Kuroda Yosuke offers an in-depth look behind the back story of the entire OVA universe and firmly establishes Kiyone Misaki as Tenchi's mother (not Achika). The first novel, “Jurai,” chronicles Azusa's ascension as Jurai's emperor while the second and third novels, “Yosho” and “Washu,” follow their respective characters in a similar fashion. Aside from fully fleshing out Tenchi's family tree, the first novel also gives a hint of things yet to come as Tenchi's son can be seen chatting with Masaki, the sister of the as-of-yet unnamed First Emperor of Jurai. Two more novels were rumored to be in development, but they currently seem to be on indefinite hold.
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki OVA 3, Episodes 14-19 (2003-2004, FUNimation)
After years of alternative timelines, the long-promised third OVA series has finally arrived and completely turned everything in the universe on its ear. The mysterious warrior summoned by D3 and Tokimi in episode 12 and 13.5 is sent to Earth with a mission to simply observe, not interfere. Meanwhile, Tenchi reflects back on the unique events in his life and the Masaki household gets a surprise visitor that brings Tenchi literally to tears.
Further developments arise as more visitors from the Juraian royal family arrive--this time a few familiar faces from Tenchi Muyo! GXP--and a new face, Noike, Mihoshi's former partner and Tenchi's newly announced fiancée! Unfortunately, all this stress finally takes its toll on Tenchi and he collapses leaving his new fiancée to rally the troops in a bid to bring some order to the chaos in Tenchi's hectic life.
Although Masaki Kajishima has stated in previous pre-GXP interviews that Tenchi would finally “choose” one of the girls, the series producers have since stated that this will definitely not occur in the third OVA. Still with Tenchi's grandmother, Seto Kamiki, coming to Earth, anything is possible. However, judging from the hints given in episode 17 of GXP, wedding bells might not be ringing for Tenchi, but a serious power boost may be in order. Currently FUNimation is expecting to begin releasing the newest OVA in the summer of 2005, just do not expect them to release the special GXP drama CDs included with the initial print run in Japan.
Tenchi Muyo! GXP: Galaxy Police Transporter, Episode 1-9 (2002, FUNimation)
Set a year after the events portrayed in the third OVA series, GXP chronicles the adventures of 15-year old Seina Yamada, the unluckiest guy this side of Mihoshi, as he strives to become an officer in the Galaxy Police. How did such an unlucky sap from Earth find himself in such a prestigious situation? One word: luck.
It all started one day when a Galaxy Police officer Amane Kaunag's patrol ship came crashing down from the heavens and into the lake behind Tenchi's house resulting in a massive tidal wave that engulfed Seina. A little implied mouth-to-mouth later and Seina is soon on his way to becoming one of Galaxy Police's newest recruits...if he survives basic training without getting killed by space pirates like Ryoko Balouta or the GP's own pompous, pink-haired, windbag, Seiryo Tennan (last seen in getting waterlogged in OVA episode 13).
Be sure to keep an eye on the supporting cast as a number of major players in the third OVA are introduced, including: GP chairwoman, Airi Masaki; Jurai matchmaker/demon princess, Seto Kamiki; Mihoshi's mother, Mitoto Kuramitsu; and GP principal, Mikami Kuramitsu.
Tenchi Muyo! GXP: Galaxy Police Transporter, Episode 10-26 (2002, FUNimation)
As fate would have it, Seina's bad luck eventually turns out to be his greatest asset. He is given his own command as the captain of the decoy ship, the Kamidake. Keeping Seina's bad luck in check is his space-fairing harem consisting of the young priestess, Neiju Na Melmas; Seina's childhood friend, Kiriko Masaki; Amane; Ryoko; and Ryo-Ohki's sister, Fuku.
After a short stop-over on Earth to catch up with the rest of the Tenchi cast in episode 17, Seina's knack for attracting pirates is put to the ultimate test as former-GP officer turned quasi-pirate, Seiryo, constructs a massive ship filled with nothing but objects that signify luck. If Seina can overcome this obstacle, then Jurai and the Galaxy Police may just get to put their long-term plans for Seina to good use. Can anyone say “political wedding?”
Fun Fact: In Japan, AIC actually pulled a reverse-Toonami by actually removing towels for the DVD release of GXP.
Tenchi Muyo! no Uchiiwai OVA (2003, unlicensed)
A DVD consisting of an intro to the third OVA, staff interviews, information on other Tenchi projects and a four-part radio drama involving the Tenchi GXP cast that chronicles Seina's adventures in space through the end of the series.
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki OVA 4 (unproduced)
Mr. Kajishima has said that the third OVA would conclude the “first chapter” of the Tenchi saga and has suggested that a fourth series would take place after the “Choushin War”--the showdown between three goddesses: Lady Tokimi, Washu and Tsunami. Currently no other information is known about this project.
Photon: The Idiot Menace, Episode 1-6 (1997, CPM)
This six-episode OVA, created by the creative team behind Tenchi, has been long speculated to reside within the confines of the OVA universe. It is a big universe and always hungry, Photon and his two brides--the fugitive pilot, Keyne Acqua and sister, Aun--can thwart the likes of the evil and pompous, Papacharino all they like, right?
While no direct link has yet been made between Photon and Tenchi, the little guy did crop up in Tenchi In Tokyo (episode 22) along with Rio and Yuji from Burn Up W.
Dual!: Parallel Trouble Adventure, Episode 1-14 (1999, Pioneer)
A fourteen-episode TV series about a boy named Kazuki Yotsuga that can see events happening in two universes at once. He later travels to this universe and is forced to take a rather gender-bending roll as a giant robot pilot. Tenchi co-creator, Mr. Kajishima has stated that Dual! does indeed tie into the OVA universe in some way and has even included a cameo by the Kazuki's Zinv in GXP. Dual! likewise included cameos by non-OVA continuity characters Kiyone, Ramia and Misao (episode 14).
El-Hazard: The Magnificent World OVA, Episode 1-7 (1995-1996, Pioneer)
Long considered to be Tenchi's sister series, El-Hazard is the story of Makoto Mizuhara as he, his teacher Mr. Fujisawa, his arch-rival Jinnai and his best friend Nanami are all transported against their will by the demon Ifurita into the bewildering new world of El-Hazard--a distant world wrought by a war between the Kingdom of Roshtaria, the Bugrom Empire and the phantom tribe.
El-Hazard 2: The Magnificent World OVA, Episode 1-4 (1997, Pioneer)
Set before the epilogue of the original OVA series, this four-episode follow-up involves the wedding of Miz and Mr. Fujisawa, the introduction of another demon god and the sudden appearance of a second Ifurita.
El-Hazard: The Alternate World, Episode 1-13 (1998, Pioneer)
This thirteen-episode, late night TV series follows on directly after the events of episode four of El-Hazard 2 and shifts nearly the entire cast into a new, even more bewildering world of adventure--the industrial kingdom of Creteria.
Saint Knight Story (unproduced)
Tenchi head-honcho, Masaki Kajishima, constantly has other series on the drawing board and Seikishi Monogatari is no exception. In the same interview where Mr. Kajishima announced his plans for the Third Tenchi OVA and the GXP series, he mentioned a project he has had simmering on the back burner for years that would feature Tenchi's half-brother in an alternate universe where humans pilot magically powered mecha.
Tenchi Universe: Tenchi Muyo! TV Series, Episodes 1-10 (1995, Pioneer)
In 1995, AIC unleashed a 26-episode retelling of the first OVA series directed by Hiroshi Negishi and utilizing “Retro-70's-Tokyo Animation,” a slew of new characters, slightly tweaked situations and tons of sly humor. The result was Tenchi Universe; a series where there is virtually no doubt that Tenchi “gets” Ryoko in the end.
The first story arc starts simply enough on Earth as Tenchi's life goes from normal to abnormal in just a matter of days. At all starts when scatter-brained GP officer Mihoshi shoots down Ryoko, wanted space pirate, and the two become stranded. Princess Ayeka soon arrives after investigating Mihoshi's distress signal and gets stranded after a massive space-fight with Ryoko. Ayeka's sister, Sasami, an egg-hatched, Ryo-Ohki, the shrine-seal mad scientist/demon, Washu and Mihoshi's own partner, Kiyone soon follow to round out the harem. Ryoko and Ryo-Ohki even get a rival in the form of the bounty hunter, Nagi and white cabbit/space ship, Ken-Ohki.
It should be pointed out that this entire series is actually told as a flashback with the very first scene and voice over being repeated in the last episode.
Tenchi Muyo! TV Volume 1: Mihoshi's Residence Journal, 49:18 min. (1995)
Featuring both BGM and image songs for the TV series a special drama detailing Mihoshi's domestic life on Earth.
Tenchi Muyo! TV Volume 2: Kiyone's Special Investigative Journal, 57:26 min. (1995)
Features special vocals taken from the cutting room floor and a drama set back when Mihoshi and Kiyone were still full-time Galaxy Police Officers.
Tenchi Universe: Tenchi Muyo! TV Series, Episodes 11-13 (1995, Pioneer)
Based on the first Ryo-Ohki CD Special, this stand-alone story arc chronicles the Tenchi gang's “Time and Space Adventures” as they traverse through a series of bizarre alternate realities resulting from the girls meddling with one of Washu's unstable dimensional inventions. The resulting chaos shifts the entire Tenchi crew (minus Washu who is safely back home) into feudal Japan, as Tenchi must face the evil demon of Rashomon...Ryoko.
As Washu desperately tries to correct the mess, the scene shifts to Kiyone as she arrives in a port town where she hopes to start life anew, sans Mihoshi. One quantum leap later and the gang find themselves at school in the magical world of Pretty Sammy. Anyone hoping for Ayeka and Ryoko to get hot and heavy are definitely in luck in episode 12.
Episode 13 wraps up the little misadventure, but not before we get to see Tenchi and Mihoshi married with Sasami as their child and one final world where Ryoko and Tenchi are the Bonnie and Clyde of 1930s America.
Tenchi Universe: Tenchi Muyo! TV Series, Episodes 14-21 (1995, Pioneer)
Just when everything was beginning to quite down, a large Juraian ship appears in the sky and zaps the entire house and everyone inside aboard. Ayeka, Sasami and Ryoko are all accused of treason by the new leader of Jurai and arrested by the Jurai's army on the. Now it is up to Tenchi and his remaining friends to play the part of the rescue party.
Meanwhile, Kiyone has returned to GP headquarters to claim her promotion and in turn come face to face with Mitsuki, a once former friend. But when Kiyone is accused of being one of Ayeka's rebel supporters, she finds herself on the lamb with only Mihoshi to turn to.
As the cast struggle to rebuild their lives (and house) aboard Kiyone's ship, the Yagami, they fall on even harsher times. Engine troubles, money troubles, food troubles...even ghost troubles just seem to keep getting them down as they try to make the long trek towards Jurai.
Tenchi Universe: Tenchi Muyo! TV Series, Episodes 22-26 (1995, Pioneer)
Even with security at an all-time high across the cosmos, the Tenchi gang has somehow managed to make it the Juraian solar system. Acting on the advice of Tenchi's grandfather, Katsuhito, the gang make their way to a graveyard planet to revive the legendary knights, Azaka and Kamidake--the humanoid versions of Ayeka's own guardians. It is also here that everyone learns Katsuhito is actually Yosho--the rightful heir to the Juraian thrown. Having been revealed for the imposter he is, Kagato shows himself and throws down the gauntlet. Can justice prevail? And even if it does, what shape will the Tenchi household be in as a result?
Tenchi Muyo! Secret Treasure Chamber, 239:43 min. (1995)
Though this five CD box set includes music from both Tenchi Universe and the OVA series, the special Director's Cut disc that features a short “Kodak Moment” drama taken from the TV series.
Tenchi the Movie: Tenchi Muyo! in Love (1996, Pioneer)
Picking up several months after the end of the TV series, the merciless criminal Kain has escaped from sub-space and decimated Galaxy Police Headquarters and has now set his sights on Earth. In the present, Tenchi pulls a Marty McFly and beings to vanish from existence. Realizing something must be happening in the past, Washu straps the gang in and sends them back to the year 1970 where Tenchi must keep an eye out for the arrival of Kain all while ensuring his mother and father, Achika and Nobuyuki, get together or else its bye-bye Tenchi.
Fun Fact: A special laserdisc “Memorial Collection” of this film was released in Japan that features an alternate ending in which Tenchi is doing katas through the credits and we are given various glimpses of Achika's wedding and her life with baby Tenchi.
Tenchi Muyo! in Love, novel (1996, unlicensed)
A Japan-only novelization of the film written by Hiroshi Negishi.
Tenchi Muyo! “Ryo-Ohki's Day,” Issues 1-6 (1997, Pioneer)
Set in the Tenchi Universe timeline and occurring after Tenchi Muyo! in Love, this American-created side-story was commissioned by Pioneer for their short-lived P Anime Comics line and picks up as Rob, the Cabbit Hunter, and his dog/spaceship, Astroth, set their sights on adding Ryo-Ohki to their list of conqueries. Meanwhile, Ryoko is having problems of her own as Dante, an A-5 class criminal, has his mind dead set on “merging” with Ryoko so he can pump up his wanted level to A-1 status. Though rare, the entire series is included as an extra on the Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki DVD Ultimate Edition box set.
Tenchi The Movie: Tenchi Forever (1999, Pioneer)
At one point, it looked as though this third feature film was going to be the last Tenchi anime to ever be produced. Luckily for Tenchi heads, Tenchi Forever, or Tenchi Muyo! in Love 2: A Far Away Feeling as it is known in Japan, has instead become the perfect cap to the Tenchi Universe saga. It is also shows the most character growth any of the cast has ever seen. Tenchi literally disappears for six months and when he finally resurfaces, he has long hair, has lost his virginity (to the young woman he has been living with all this time, Haruna) and is now an aspiring artist.
Unaware of this development, Ryoko and Ayeka cannot stop blaming themselves for the Tenchi leaving. It was their fight that caused him to run off in the first place and they have even moved to Tokyo and have been working at a restaurant to make ends meet as they continue their search. Sasami has returned with Azaka and Kamidake to Jurai to comb the databanks and learns of a woman that Yosho was forbidden to marry many millennia ago...a woman named Haruna. What strange connection does Tenchi's Haruna have to Yosho and stranger still, the camellia tree Tenchi stumbled across six months ago?
Tenchi Muyo! in Love 2: A Far Away Feeling, novel (1999, unlicensed)
As with the first movie, Hiroshi Negishi also wrote a novel based on the third film.
Tenchi Muyo! in Love 2: Eternal Memory, manga (1999, unlicensed)
While Eternal Memory's first half is essentially a retelling of the movie in manga form, the later half is a completely original story by Tenchi Universe co-writer/director, Hiroshi Negishi dedicated to chronicling Sasami's adventures on Jurai as she and a strange girl named Izumi search for a way to bring Tenchi back. The manga was written by Tenchi Universe co-writer/director, Hiroshi Negishi and stands as the last product of the Negishi continuity.
Tenchi In Tokyo, Episodes 1-13 (1997, Pioneer)
When Tenchi announces that he will be leaving for Tokyo to attend college and train to be a Shinto priest, the girls are completely beside themselves. How will they get by without their Tenchi? Sadly, the thought never entered their minds. They just got Washu to connect Okayama and Tokyo together with an inter-dimensional tunnel so they could visit him whenever they want. The only problem is that Tenchi's new classmate, the uber-cutie, Sakuya, has the hots for him and the two really hit it off causing all sorts of chaos in the Tenchi household. To make matters worse, the mysterious Yugi, a girl living in a spinning palace of crystal, seems to be intentionally shaping the events somehow.
While at first glance Tenchi In Tokyo (Shin Tenchi Muyo! in Japan) seems to be directly connected to and even goes so far as to assume viewers are familiar with Tenchi Universe, the show takes a decidedly different take on the girls' origins. In episode 7 and 8, when we learn that space pirate, Ryoko and her cohort, the scientific genius, Washu had just stolen a Jurai Light Stone and were shot down by the trailing Juraian battleships and Galaxy Police shuttles. Rather than be caught, Ryoko uses to Light Stone to transform into a devilish beast and is only taken down after Tenchi's crystal necklace transforms into a massive glowing sword.
Cameo alert: Be sure to keep an eye out for Mr. Fujisawa (of El-Hazard fame) as one of Tenchi's college professors.
New No Need For Tenchi Music Volume 1, 65:01 min. (1997)
Includes themes and BGM for Tenchi In Tokyo and a special drama entitled “How to Win Tenchi's Heart.”
New No Need For Tenchi Music Volume 2, 59:03 min. (1997)
A second CD featuring more BGM and a follow-up series of drama tracks.
Tenchi In Tokyo, Episodes 14-26 (1997, Pioneer)
While the first half of the series focused too heavenly on inane slap-stick humor, super deformed action and an uninspired use of Sailor Moon-esque bad-guys as plots devices--and as some may say, the flat out bizarre choice to make Ryo-Ohki Sasami's personal mecha--, the second half of the series features a very emotional look at Tenchi's relationship with Sakuya as the Tenchi household begins to come apart at the seams.
Washu has sealed the inter-dimensional tunnel at Tenchi's request and barricaded herself in her lab. Ryoko has gone off into space with Hotsuma, a fellow space pirate, and Kiyone and Mihoshi have been promoted to the Pluto station, leaving Ayeka struggling to come to grips with the state of things. But there seems to be an even more bothersome development involving Sasami's new friend, Yugi, and her link to a recent attack on the Tenchi household. For all Tenchi In Tokyo's faults, the ending remains a treat to behold.
Fun Fact: Sakura is the first girl Tenchi ever kissed on-screen (episode 16). Their kiss beats the kiss shared between Tenchi and his daughter, Mayuka in the second movie by almost a month.
Shin Tenchi Muyo!, Novel (1998, unlicensed)
Following the release of Tenchi In Tokyo, Sekijima Mayori--the person responsible for ensuring overall structure of the series--authored a single volume novelization of the series simply entitled, Shin Tenchi Muyo!
The Wanderers: El-Hazard TV Series, Episode 1-26 (1995-1996, Pioneer)
In a move similar to that seen with Tenchi Universe, El-Hazard was remade into a 26-episode series that did away with Makoto's cross-dressing, the entire Phantom Tribe sub-plot, made Ifurita in a mindless goon and de-aged Princess Rune into Makoto's main love interest. Even the way the group gets to El-Hazard is different as Makoto is now an inventor and Jinnai sabotages his latest experiment sending them on their merry dimension hoping way. The series does feature several cameos by Pretty Sammy including a poster in the first episode and a concert at the Water Shrine in episode 7. This series can be considered a part of this timeline as Mr. Fujisawa makes the comment “[...] maybe Tenchi's fallen into the magnificent world” in Tenchi In Tokyo episode 9. It's unlikely that the OVA Fujisawa would want to return to Japan, but The Wanderers version would.
Tenchi & Friends Special: Magical Girl Pretty Sammy, OVA Episodes 1-3 (1995-1997, Pioneer)
Set in a new reality apart from the one seen in the Mihoshi Special, young grade school student, Sasami Kawaii has been chosen to be a Magical Girl by Tsunami of the Magical Kingdom of Juraihelm. There is just one problem, Sasami is just too embarrassed that her friends might see her to do a proper job and not even her guide, Ryo-Ohki (now a talking male cabbit!), can hope to sway her. To make matters worse, her best friend, Misao has been has become her ultimate rival, Pixy Misa! The rest of the gang is also along for the ride with Tenchi now being cast as Sasami's girl-plagued older brother and Ayeka as a stuck-up class representative.
In the bizarre second OVA, Pretty Sammy must fight Biff Standard as he tries to enslave the world into using his “Standardized” computer operating system. The final OVA has Sasami falling for a cute boy named Makoto (no relation to the El-Hazard character of the same name) in a fan service filled beach adventure.
Magical Girl Pretty Sammy 01: In The Earth (1996, unlicensed)
Released for the PlayStation, Sega Saturn and Windows 95 and set before the second OVA episode continuity (i.e. Tenchi is Sasami's brother and her mom is a karaoke fiend), this two episode digital comic follows Sasami as she continues getting involved in ever-more embarrassing missions. While episode one features a visit by grandpa, episode two features a truly bizarre fight between Sammy and Naomi Armitage (from Armitage III).
Magical Girl Pretty Sammy 02: In The Juraihelm (1996, unlicensed)
Picking up where the first game left off, Misao has been revealed to be Pixy Misa and has been whisked away to Juraihelm by Ramia for a magical lobotomy. Now it's up to Sasami and the rest of her family and friends to journey to Juraihelm for a full-scale assault. Must see Rock-Paper-Scissors-style battles: Pretty Sammy vs. Dark Sammy and Sammy's climatic final showdown against Ramia.
Magical Project S, Episodes 1-26 (1996-1997, Pioneer)
Starting over from scratch, the Pretty Sammy TV Series, renamed Magical Project S in North America, is a highly enjoyable 26-episode shoujo romp much akin to the likes of Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura, which is ironically what the concept was originally meant to spoof. This incarnation takes the core concept that Sasami is trying to bring peace to the Earth and makes it actually go somewhere. Pixy Misa is still trying to put a wrench into any of Sammy's actions, but halfway through, the series takes a drastic turn after Sammy actually accomplishes Tsunami's lofty goal of bringing peace to the world.
Tenchi characters do crop up every so often, but their appearances are few and far between and are less forced than they were in the OVA. Sasami's family has also been revised with her mom being a general housewife instead of an eccentric karaoke queen.
No Need For Tenchi! Vol. 1-6 (1993-1997, VIZ)
Unlike other series that start as a manga first and then branch off into the anime field, Tenchi did things a tad in reverse and thus Hitoshi Okuda was tapped to continue the adventures of the Tenchi gang on from OVA episode six. While Mr. Okuda does go to great lengths to add elements from later Tenchi releases-- such as Taro and the Jurai royal family from the second OVA and Ayeka's curly blue hair from the True Tenchi novels--events portrayed in the manga have no barring on cannon OVA continuity.
The first two volumes feature the arrival of Minagi, a dead ringer for Ryoko who develops amnesia after attacking the group, and her master, the warrior Yakage. Volume three spotlights Sasami comes to the aid of a wolf in need of help and later shifts it's setting into the alternate universe of the Pretty Sammy series.
The next three volumes shift things into “Samurai Space Opera” mode as the gang assist the lovely Princess Asahi in her quest to find her father, master woodcutter, Takebe and must do battle with the evil super-genius, Yume.
No Need For Tenchi! Vol. 7-12 (1997-2000, VIZ)
Volume 7, “Tenchi in Love,” simply defies timeline placement as it trashes any established continuity by trying to include Kiyone in the OVA series without any establishment as to whom she is while at the same time breaking the fifth wall every few pages for comic relief. From here the series takes a less structured turn and offers a few side-stories, including: Sasami being invited to compete in an Iron Chef-esque short (Vol. 8), the return of Ryoko's lost love, Ibara (Vol. 9) and a cautionary, yet fun environmental tale (Vol. 10) before everything wraps up in the final two-volume arc involving a villain named Garyu who is dead-set on brainwashing Ayeka.
Tenchi Muyo! Sasami Stories (2003, VIZ)
A collection of Hitoshi Okuda's best Sasami stories with 4-panel shorts (known as koma) sprinkled in between.
The All-New Tenchi Muyo!, Vol. 1-6 (2001-Present, VIZ)
Picking up with a new title, Hitoshi Okuda's follow-up series is actually still being released in Japan and offers more of the same great fun that the original series offered. The first two volumes are comprised mostly of side-stories, but the last two chapters and the entire third volume are comprised of the highly enjoyable “Dark Washu” saga in which a black crystal that the great scientist created five thousand years ago returns as a fully-sentient life form and has taken on the persona of its creator--only with a nicer tan. Volume four features the aftermath as the dark killing machine is transformed into the adorable Tama and Ryoko is none-to-pleased. With the next two volumes forthcoming, expect a major spotlight on Ayeka in volume six and a few new faces to crop up in-between.
The Hasegawa Universe
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki, Novel 1-5 (1993-1996, unlicensed)
Shortly after the conclusion of the first OVA series, scriptwriter, Naoko Hasegawa, felt differently about how the Tenchi saga should progress and voluntarily handed the project completely over to Mr. Kajishima. She later decided to continue on from the sixth OVA with a series of original novels and thus another OVA timeline was born.
In Ms. Hasegawa's first of thirteen novels, “One Visitor After Another: Hexagram Of Love,” the gang is introduced to Kiyone Makibi and welcomes her warmly into their fold. The next two novels, “Change Is Life” parts 1 and 2, serve as a re-cap of the first OVA series before moving into new territory. The next two-parter, “Tenchi's Gone Insane?!,” has Tenchi going off the deep end over the girls' continuity escalating antics--this time involving him using the bathroom. Tenchi hops aboard Ryo-Oh-Ki and pretty much gets attacked by the Space Pirate, Seiran, and is subsequently captured by the Queen of Night, a being with the very power to bring a persons' innermost darkness into the light. Could Tenchi really be the person responsible for his mother's death?
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki, Novel 6-10 (1995-1997, unlicensed)
The sixth novel, “The Lord of Chaos,” was actually published before the second “Gone Insane” novel and has Mihoshi causing Washu's favorite RPG to go haywire and thrusting everyone inside the game. “Even a Monkey Can Conquer the World,” novel seven, has Kagato's son arriving on Earth ready for vengeance, while book eight, “The Kids' Life,” focuses on showcasing the daily lives of the Tenchi gang as seen through the entries of Sasami's diary.
As the ninth novel's title implies, “Hawaii Vacation” finds the gang heading off to Hawaii where Tenchi and Ayeka spend the time trying to fend off the advances of a rather open-minded couple. Book ten, “The Stable Bride,” finds Sasami not enjoying school as much and Ayeka trying to fend off one of her groupies.
Tenchi Muyo! Manatsu no Eve, Novel (1997, unlicensed)
Published in the summer of 1997, this novel acts as the basis for the Daughter of Darkness movie and results in major decision to be made later in the series.
Tenchi the Movie 2: Daughter of Darkness (1997, Pioneer)
Though the compatible with both the TV and OVA series, the second Tenchi feature takes place within Naoko Hasegawa's divergent OVA reality. The story revolves around the unlocking the mystery of a young girl named Mayuka who appears before Tenchi one day claiming to be his daughter. As absurd as it sounds, DNA testing proves that Mayuka is whom she claims to be sending Ryoko and Ayeka into an even further fit of jealous rage. Lurking in the darkness though is Yuzuha, a demon who wants nothing more than to settle a 700-year grudge against Tenchi's grandfather, Yosho, and Yuzuha will use any means necessary to settle the score...even using Mayuka as a puppet to drag Tenchi away to the Dimension of Darkness. But Yuzuha did not count on the rest of the girls coming to Mayuka's rescue.
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki, Novel 11-12 (1997-1998, unlicensed)
In “No Sickness Breathes Disaster,” we find Kiyone contemplating her life as Christmas wraps up in the Tenchi household. And as the story draws to a close in the final volume, “Dreamscape,” Tenchi is left to decide where he and his baby girl, Mayuka, belong, and with whom.
The Rest of the Omniverse
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki Gokuraku (1995, unlicensed)
A multimedia gallery and trivia game for the Sega Saturn based on the first OVA series. Contains images, sound files and dossier information--essentially it is a Tenchi Encyclopedia.
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki Gokuraku 2 (1996, unlicensed)
A computer game for Windows 95
Unlike the first Gokuraku, this Windows 95 follow-up takes a different approach by including movies, artwork, screen savers and a fun filled Zelda-esque RPG featuring the Tenchi cast in a medial ages setting as they square off against Kagato once more.
Tenchi Muyo! Mimiri Onsen Yukemuri no Tabi (1996, unlicensed)
While this is one of the earlier Tenchi releases for the Sega Saturn, it is also one of the hardest to place continuity wise. Featuring both Kiyone and Pretty Sammy as well as elements such as the Light-Hawk Wings and plenty of fourth wall breaking antics, the basic plot involves the girls learning about a cool onsen (hot spring) on a foreign planet and have decided to drag Tenchi along for kicks.
Tenchi Muyo! Toko Muyo (1996, unlicensed)
Plan and simple Toko Muyo (loosely translated as “No Need for School”) is a Tenchi dating sim. Released for Windows 95, Sega Saturn and PlayStation, this unique game begs to answer the burning question, “which of the six lovely ladies would Tenchi date if they all went to school with him?” Just don't be too surprised if the story focuses primarily on Tenchi's relationship with Sasami-chan (in the guise of exchange student Tsunami).
Tenchi Muyo! Toko Muyo Aniraji Collection (1997, unlicensed)
A special edition of the Sega Saturn version of Toko Muyo that included a soundtrack and other goodies.
Tenchi Muyo! Rensa Hitsuyou (1997, unlicensed)
A puzzle game similar to Tetris and Puyo Puyo for the Sega Saturn set in the Tenchi Universe timeline. Kiyone is an active participant and Lady Achika is unlockable.
Tenchi Muyo! In Pocket (1997, unlicensed)
A hand-held product similar to Tamagotchi virtual pets that allows the user to hatch, raise and care for their very own Ryo-Ohki.
A CCG that allows players to pit characters from the various Tenchi Muyo! series against characters, objects and places from Bubblegum Crisis, Ranma ½, El-Hazard, Phantom Quest Corp., Project A-Ko, Armitage III, Dominion: Tank Police, Oh My Goddess!, and Dragon Ball Z.
CHISA and the Heaven & Earth Band Live in L.A., (1997, Pioneer)
A special U.S. concert in which Sasami/Pretty Sammy voice actor, Chisa Yokoyama performed various Tenchi songs in front of a live audience. Though the VHS and Laserdisc release feature no actual story elements, it does give U.S. audiences their first glimpse of the Pretty Sammy TV Series, later renamed Magical Project S. Chances of this title being brought to DVD are slim-to-none (just like that of Crimson Blade).
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki Comic Anthology (1998, unlicensed)
An official doujinshi collection released by the publisher AIC Club. It features an assortment of works by a wide array of artists and writers but has no barring on any known continuity.
AIC's short-lived manga quarterly featuring manga series based upon Pretty Sammy, Tenchi Muyo!, El-Hazard and various other series combined with facts and information on upcoming AIC projects. A number of these shorts feature work done by Kiyohiko Azuma, of Azumanga Daioh fame, and were later reprinted in his own two-volume collection, Azumanga Recycle.
ALTERNATE ARTICLE TITLES
1.) Love Muyo! - Or How to Build a Harem of Girls in 50 Universes or Less
2.) Star Warz - The Ultimate Tenchi Chronology
3.) Cabbits and Choushin and Space Pirates--Oh My! - Your Guide to Preventing Tenchi Overload