[[TheOriginalSeries The original continuity]] of the ''Anime/TenchiMuyo'' franchise created by Masaki Kajishima and Hiroki Hayashi, which consists of three six-episode {{OVA}} series, one four-episode {{OVA}} series and two special episodes. The spinoff series ''Anime/TenchiMuyoGXP'' and ''Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari'' (a.k.a. ''Anime/TenchiMuyoWarOnGeminar'') are a part of this continuity.

The first series, released from 1992-93 and directed by Hayashi, was mostly introductions to the major characters, who join Tenchi's {{harem|Genre}} via a DebutQueue. Episodes 5 and 6 bring in the first major villain, the space criminal Kagato. The second series, directed by Kenichi Yatagai and released from 1994-1995, includes some major revelations about the characters' pasts and features a new villain, Dr. Clay. The third series, again directed by Yatagai and released from 2004-2005 (yes, it took ''[[SequelGap nine years]]'' to continue this story), focuses more on the characters' families and resolves some lingering issues from the first two parts. The fourth 4-episode series was directed by Hidetoshi Takahashi and was released from 2016 to 2017 (yes, it took almost another '''eleven years''' to continue the story again).

The first two OVA series were notably one of the first anime released by Creator/{{Geneon}} (back then known as Pioneer) in North America. Funimation acquired the rights to the third OVA in 2005 and they would eventually license the first two OVA series 10 years later.

!!''Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki'' provides examples of:

* AbbeyRoadCrossing: [[http://www.animeyume.com/tenchi_muyo/tmabbeyroad.jpg This]] back cover for a ''Anime/TenchiMuyo'' soundtrack CD (which was entitled ''Meet The Tenchi Muyo!'' and featured several other Beatles cover pastiches).
* AllThereInTheManual: Masaki Kajishima released several {{Doujinshi}} and LightNovels expanding on the background of this continuity; part of the reason for ''GXP'' was to help explain some of this to the anime-only fanbase.)
* AncestralWeapon: The Tenchi Sword/Master Key, which is also a LaserBlade.
* [[ArtisticLicenseGunSafety Artistic License - Lightsaber Safety]]: Tenchi ''looks straight into where the laser blade pops out'' at one point when his sword doesn't work.
* ArcWelding: The fourth series is this for the first three series, GXP, and War on Geminar.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: The Juraian Royal Family.
* BigBad: Kagato is responsible for all the danger in the first series and stopping his plans is Tenchi's first mission. Subverted in the 2nd and 3rd with [[spoiler: Tokimi, Washu's and Tsunami's sister and one of the three goddesses.]]
* BrotherSisterIncest: Several examples, the most prominent being Ayeka and Yosho's arranged marriage (although the actual marriage never happens.)
* CallToAdventure: Katsuhito does this to Tenchi using SchmuckBait.
* CampStraight: Seiryo Tennan, otherwise known as the pink-haired guy who almost marries Ayeka.
* ChekhovMIA: A ''very'' subtle example. In episode 4, 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 [[OlderThanTheyLook professor]])
** Mihoshi asks Washu if she is the students, and Washu face-faults. Her students are pranksters...
* TheChessmaster: Z
** Katsuhito is no slouch either, given the way [[BrilliantButLazy he managed to shovel all his princely duties onto Tenchi]].
* DarkSkinnedBlond: The Kuramitsu family. WordOfGod says that the entire Seniwan race looks like this.
* DudeLooksLikeALady: Misao Kuramitsu. If not for a few certain physical features, he would easily be mistaken for Mihoshi. Don't worry though, by ''[[Anime/TenchiMuyoGXP GXP]]'' he looks like a man, albeit [[{{Bishonen}} a very pretty one...]]
* EarthShatteringKaboom: Part of Misao's plan to "rescue" Mihoshi.
** Also Z's entrance
* EveryoneIsRelated: See the TangledFamilyTree below.
* ForbiddenFruit: The reason Tenchi enters Ryoko's shrine in the first place.
* GeniusDitz: Mihoshi.
* GoLookAtTheDistraction: In the first episode, Tenchi has Ryoko look out of the classroom's window so he can make his escape. However, it doesn't last long before Ryoko's rage ends up igniting the leaking gas and destroying the classroom.
* HealingFactor: Ryoko easily grows another hand after Tenchi cuts it off.
* HeelFaceTurn: Zero switches sides when she refuses to kill Tenchi.
* {{Hermaphrodite}}: Washu explains that Kagato was born as one but cast out his female side due to his [[HeManWomanHater hatred of women]].
* IncestIsRelative: All over the place in this series.
* InsistentTerminology: Misaki prefers that Ayeka and Sasami call her "mother". Ayeka is embarrassed about this, although her mother seems to be aware of this, not hesitating to deal with anyone who teases her kids over it.
* KabukiSounds: Used gratuitously to, for the most part, punctuate {{beat}}s.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Though they're mostly AllThereInTheManual, which tends to cause confusion in viewers who watch the 3rd OVA.
* TheMole: The [[VoluntaryShapeShifting shape-shifting robot]] [[MyHeroZero Zero]], who ends up [[BecomingTheMask merging with Ryoko]].
* TheOriginalSeries
* PhysicalGod: (Sasami/Tsunami, Washu, & Tokimi; also, [=OVA3=] spoiler:[[spoiler:Tenchi is revealed to be the earthly avatar of a being more powerful than the three goddesses who created the universe.]])
* RakeTake: Subverted in the first episode when Ryoko steps on a metal rake. She doesn't get hit in the face, she instead bends the pole by smacking it. This, however, leaves an opening for Tenchi to slice her wrist off.
* SchmuckBait: Deliberately used by Katsuhito in the first episode. He warns Tenchi not go down to the cave near the Masaki shrine, because he knows Tenchi will disobey and end up releasing Ryoko.
* SerialEscalation: The 3rd OVA likes to do this.
* ShoutOut: Kagato blows up [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries Mr. Spock]] in the fourth episode.
** Misao's ship ''The Chobimaru'' is a giant sphere that can destroy an entire planet. In other words, it's the [[StarWars Death Star]].
** A few shoutouts to GXP are present as well.
* SpaceOpera: Subverted. Most of the Space Opera elements are here, but the series mostly takes place on Earth.
* TangledFamilyTree ([[http://tenchi.wikia.com/wiki/Family_Tree See for yourself]])
* TransformationSequence: Averted as Tenchi, Ayeka, Ryoko, and Mihoshi all change into their [[SuperMode Super Modes]] instantaneously and usually off-screen.
* VoluntaryShapeshifting: Zero (later merged with Ryoko) and Washu (sort of)
* ZigzagPaperTassel: The entrance of the cave where Ryoko was trapped had a ''shimenawa'' hung from the walls which also encircled a large rock hanging from the ceiling.