YMMV: Tenchi Muyo!


  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: Sakuya's death is pretty well done.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is Yuzuha a Jerkass Woobie or a Complete Monster ? Her last moments lend credibility to the former.
  • Americans Hate Tingle:
    • In the west, Noike is almost universally derided for her spotlight stealing role in OVA 3. In Japan, opinion of her is a lot more balanced, and is overall accepted and liked by the masses. This is probably due to Kajishima's continued releases of doujinshi and novels that expand upon the 'verse. Americans were pretty surprised by Noike due to No Export for You.
    • Ayeka is a lot less liked in the west than she is in Japan.
  • Base Breaker: Ayeka, Mihoshi and Ryoko fit in this tropes. Is Ayeka a sweet princess who cares about the others but doesn't really now how to express it properly, or a bitch who only cares for herself? Is Ryoko a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who did funny antics or an annoying Jerk Ass who constantly abuses others and did horrendous acts? Is Mihoshi a sympathetic Cloud Cuckoo Lander or an irritating stupid character who always gets her friends in trouble? In Mihoshi case, it should be note some people likes her Genius Ditz OVA version and only dislike her TV version where she is more dumb.
  • Better on DVD: Tenchi Muyo! GXP.
  • Broken Base:
    • The redesigns for the original OVA girls (minus Noike) for Ai Tenchi Muyo! have been utterly mixed. Some feel that the girls have been modernized, while others consider it oversexualization, especially Mihoshi's Playboy Bunny-esque outfit and Sasami's short skirt.
  • Complete Monster: Kagato from the OVA is an intergalactic researcher who utterly lacks anything resembling a conscience. Kagato turned on his mentor, Washu Hakubi, and imprisoned her for thousands of years, hijacking everything she had left behind, including Washu's created "daughter" Ryoko. Brainwashing Ryoko, Kagato sent her to discover the truth of the "greatest treasure in the universe," having her hunt down traces of it, and then destroy the worlds that contained it to make certain nobody else could replicate his discoveries, whether they were inhabited or not. Over 3,000 worlds met their fate this way. After losing Ryoko, Kagato continued the process himself until he discovered her alive on earth. He wastes little time in trying to kill Tenchi and his Unwanted Harem and succeeds in blowing Tenchi apart from his ship. When Ryoko offers her life in place of Tenchi's, Kagato merely responds he'll just kill both of them. When Wahsu is freed, Kagato decides to "reminisce" about the old days by drawing on his ship's power to destroy the earth. Kagato is defined by his drive for his "scientific method." Anything and anyone that gets caught in his path is simply collateral damage to that end.
  • Crazy Awesome: Mihoshi.
  • Die for Our Ship: Ryoko vs. Ayeka, though it is implied that Ryoko wins in the Tenchi Universe continuity. There is also Sakuya in Tenchi in Tokyo, and the Ryoko and Ayeka fandom rioted over this (until Sakuya died).
  • Dude, Not Funny!: It seems the writers thought Washu's actions in 13.5 could actually be played for laughs and not destroy her character in the process.
    • Also many of Ryoko's actions in Universe. From mocking Ayeka and almost making her believe that Tenchi loves her the most when Ayeka is genuinely distressed upon having to leave to Earth with Sasami and never return, to... well, see Moral Event Horizon.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Mayuka, Minagi and Nagi.
    • Mihoshi in the original series before her inevitable Flanderization later on.
    • Also Kagato from the Universe version to those who found him an even more intimidating villain than the original.
    • People forget that Kiyone became very popular after her first appearance during the Mihoshi special of the OVA series. Back then, she wasn't meant to be a main character, but was made one in Tenchi:Universe and beyond.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Evil Kiyone in the Mihoshi Special.
    • Ryoko initially counted for this before she fell for Tenchi.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Among western audiences, the majority of fans seem to feel that Tenchi should choose Ryoko. The number of fan fics where Tenchi ends up with Ryoko hugely outnumber the ones where he picks Ayeka or one of the other girls.
  • Foe Yay: Despite their constant fighting over Tenchi, some of Ryoko and Ayeka's interactions can give the impression that they're more into each other, than him. "Tenchi Universe" spoofed the idea during the "Adventures in Time and Space" mini-arc, by having them wind up in a highschool AU setting, where Pretty Sammy shoots them with a love arrow during one of their arguments. Which made them lose interest in Tenchi altogether and fall in love with each other - complete with Love Bubbles and a Kissing Discretion Shot!
  • Genre Turning Point: Although Urusei Yatsura is generally credited as the first harem show, Tenchi really set the genre on fire, launching a host of imitators. Perhaps its biggest innovation was to make the male lead a soft-spoken, incredibly nice guy (and have this be why the girls all like him) as opposed to UY's Ataru, who is a sex-crazed jerkass. It was easier for viewers to see themselves in someone like Tenchi, which amped up the wish fulfillment.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Ryoko's easily considered the most popular Tenchi girl in the west.
  • God-Mode Sue: Tenchi in the OVA. In fact Washuu, Tsunami/Sasami, Tokimi, Misaki, and potentially Ryoko or Mihoshi all qualify.
  • 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.
  • Les Yay: Yugi with Sasami.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Kagato. In the OAV he's a stylish, Faux Affably Evil Wicked Cultured Bad Ass. In the Universe series, he sets up Ayeka as a treacherous usurper to the throne, causing the whole group to travel all the way to Jurai just to have a fight with Katsuhiko /Yosho by using Yosho's name as a way to get political power in order to force Yosho into action. He may have achieved this goal, by dying in a fight with Tenchi, Yosho's grandson.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Both Ryoko and Ayeka have had their moments of questionable decency. The idea that there are fans who view one as in the right while the other is in the wrong is strange.
  • Moe: Sasami and Mihoshi.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
  • Nightmare Fuel: While being a provocative series, it definitely shows a few scenes that are just frightening: Toys that have blades emerging from their bodies, the black monster Kain who seems to do almost anything including the ability to turn into a black dragon demon, an evil Jurai knight decaying rapidly into a skull-faced corpse which you have can fun with being that it was shown everytime Tenchi starts, the earth being cut in half, Hotsuma turning into a monster, the eldritch-y dream realm (not the one with shards, but a weird black and white Picasso drawing type place) of Yugi, Kagato (especially his OVA incarnation), Ryoko's bestial form, and Sakuya being absorbed into Yugi against her will....Have fun with that.
    • Kain. He's a writhing mass of dark energy with a sadistic personality, takes on a pure white mask with a Slasher Smile, and later turns into a monstrous dragon, demon, shark thing.... one of the first things he does when he lands on earth is rip a guy in half and throw him at a small group of teenagers. Sheesh.
  • One-Scene Wonder; Amagasaki and Evil Kiyone.
  • Relationship Sue: Interestingly played with in regards to Sakuya. As a Tomato in the Mirror, she was created to be one of these by the Big Bad herself: Sakuya is explicitly mentioned to be Yuugi's modified Projected Avatar, who CANNOT imagine her life without Tenchi, has a total breakdown when she attempts to picture how her life was like before meeting Tenchi, and disappears when he leaves her to save the world. She's basically the evil and Dangerously Genre Savvy Reality Warper's Mary Sue... and it's vital to the plot that she remains as one'', or Yugi's plans will crumble and so will the story.
  • Real Women Never Wear Dresses: The only excuse for fans to bash Ayeka that doesn't apply to Ryoko as well.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: Probably one of the shortest examples. Three quarters into OVA 3, an entire episode is spent exploring the budding romance between Misao and Mashisu. This might not seem like a big deal, but considering that OVA 3 is only seven episodes long and the love reveal distracted from other more pressing plot elements, this definitely fits.
  • Stoic Woobie: Katsuhiko/Yosho in the Universe version instead of leaving due to discrimination on his half human lineage and "women" in the OVA; he had lost his first true friend, a child eating monster who was about to change her ways, till the Jurai force came and beat the hell out of her, then calling her a freak when she revealed her true form and running away. Then in his adulthood, her's forced to kill his best friend who had become power-hungry and killing everything in site, next wanders across the galaxy out of guilt and finding a place for his lover who wasn't royalty, so that they can love each other without being social class discrimination. She up and dies before they even arrive there. His daughter's (Achika) lifespan was greatly diminished as result of most of her Jurai power passing onto Tenchi, when she gave birth to him. She passed away when her son was very young, causing Katsuhiko and Tenchi's father, Nobuyuki to hate winter for a while, being the time she died. Then we get the present where that power-hungry friend has literally come back from hell to use his identity and frame one of his relations for treason, leading to a long chase until he finally meets him again and is understandably distraught about killing him again, to the point that he considers double suicide as a solution. After that mess, that first friend has returned to being a bratty trickster who's now Yandere for him, to the point that she creates a clone with her and his grandson's DNA and have that said clone rape and take him to her dimension till he comes over himself. And that lover I'm talking about, her ghost manipulates his grandson's memories and uses him as a substitute for her former lover. But he continues on being solemn and sometimes cheerful.
  • The Scrappy: Noike for American fans but the obvious is Yugi for her smugness and the Karma Houdini for the truly monstrous acts she commits.
    • Both Mashisu and Misao from the OVA 3 are almost universally hated because one episode focus on them romance instead the plot. And Sakuya is seen as an annoying Mary Sue for a large portion of the fandom even when she deconstructs the Mary Sue concept in the first place.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Haruna is such an Anti-Villain with a tragic backstory and the viewers are supposed found her sympathetic, but after seeing her raped Tenchi, many fans see this like her Moral Event Horizon and lost all sympathy for her.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: I have no idea what Toonami was thinking. They had to do a lot of censoring to be able to try passing it off as a kids show. Even when they moved it to [adult swim] they couldn't get away with showing the female characters frequently nude.
    • Funny truth is, most of the current US Tenchi fans are those kids from the Toonami era, having grown up after the end of the show's run, looking back one day for some reason to rediscover their fandom of this show… and then learn a few new things about it along the way. This is ironic considering that the revived 2012 Toonami premiered Tenchi Muyo GXP, and the Faithful mostly hate it.