The original continuity
of the Tenchi Muyo!
franchise, consisting of three six-episode OVA
series and two special episodes. The spinoff series Tenchi Muyo GXP
and Isekai No Seikishi Monogatari
(aka Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar
) are a part of this continuity.
The first series, released from 1992-93, was mostly introductions to the major characters, who join Tenchi's Harem
via a Debut Queue
. Episodes 5 and 6 bring in the first major villain, the space criminal Kagato. The second series, from 1994-1995, includes some major revelations about the characters' pasts and features a new villain, Dr. Clay. The third series, from 2004-2005, focuses more on the characters' families and resolves some lingering issues from the first two parts.
This show provides examples of:
- Abbey Road Crossing: This◊ back cover for a Tenchi Muyo! soundtrack CD (which was entitled Meet The Tenchi Muyo! and featured several other Beatles cover pastiches).
- Ancestral Weapon: The Tenchi Sword/Master Key, which is also a Laser Blade.
- All There in the Manual: Masaki Kajishima released several Doujinshi and Light Novels 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.)
- Artistic License - Lightsaber Safety: Tenchi looks straight into where the laser blade pops out at one point when his sword doesn't work.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: The Juraian Royal Family.
- Big Bad: Kagato in the 1st OVA. Subverted in the 2nd and 3rd with Tokimi, Washu's and Tsunami's sister and one of the three goddesses.
- Brother-Sister Incest: Several examples, the most prominent being Ayeka and Yosho's arranged marriage (although the actual marriage never happens.)
- Call to Adventure: Katsuhito does this to Tenchi using Schmuck Bait.
- Camp Straight: Seiryo Tennan, otherwise known as the pink-haired guy who almost marries Ayeka.
- Chekhov M.I.A.: 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 professor)
- Mihoshi asks Washu if she is the students, and Washu face-faults. Her students are pranksters...
- The Chessmaster: Z
- Dark-Skinned Blond: The Kuramitsu family. Word of God says that the entire Seniwan race looks like this.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Misao Kuramitsu. If not for a few certain physical features, he would easily be mistaken for Mihoshi. Don't worry though, by GXP he looks like a man, albeit a very pretty one...
- Earth-Shattering Kaboom: Part of Misao's plan to "rescue" Mihoshi.
- Everyone Is Related: See the Tangled Family Tree below.
- Forbidden Fruit: The reason Tenchi enters Ryoko's shrine in the first place.
- Genius Ditz: Mihoshi.
- Heel-Face Turn: 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 hatred of women.
- Incest Is Relative: All over the place in this series.
- Insistent Terminology: Ayeka and Sasami's mother prefers her daughters calling her "Mommy". 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.
- Kabuki Sounds: Used gratuitously to, for the most part, punctuate beats.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Though they're mostly All There in the Manual, which tends to cause confusion in viewers who watch the 3rd OVA.
- The Mole: The shape-shifting robot Zero, who ends up merging with Ryoko.
- The Original Series
- Physical God(Sasami/Tsunami; also, OVA3 spoiler:Tenchi is revealed to be the earthly avatar of a being more powerful than the three goddesses who created the universe.)
- Rake Take: 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.
- Schmuck Bait: 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.
- Serial Escalation: The 3rd OVA likes to do this.
- Shout-Out: Kagato blows up 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 Death Star.
- A few shoutouts to GXP are present as well.
- Space Opera: Subverted. Most of the Space Opera elements are here, but the series mostly takes place on Earth.
- Tangled Family Tree (See for yourself)
- Transformation Sequence: Averted as Tenchi, Ayeka, Ryoko, and Mihoshi all change into their Super Modes instantaneously and usually off-screen.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Zero (later merged with Ryoko) and Washu (sort of)
- Zigzag Paper Tassel: 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.