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The second TV series based on Tenchi Muyo!, Tenchi in Tokyo is very different from its predecessors. It includes a different backstory for the main characters but in general seems to assume that viewers are familiar with previous versions of the storyline.

In this series, Tenchi just wants to be normal, so he leaves his harem behind to go to school in Tokyo and work at his grandfather's friend's Shinto shrine. Upon settling in his new apartment and enrolling at his new school, Tenchi soon finds himself encountering Sakuya Kumashiro, the most popular girl in school who is (naturally) smitten with him and things seem good and normal at first for Tenchi, but it's soon revealed that a mysterious girl with fearsome powers named Yugi is threatening to not only take over all of Tokyo, but the entire world as well and it's up to Tenchi's harem (who are all trying to see him anyway) to come and save him... not just from Yugi, but also from Sakuya!

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The first half of the series is something of a Monster of the Week situation, but the later portion sees the traditional crew falling apart, only to come back together when they're really needed.


Tenchi in Tokyo provides examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming: In episode 12, Nobuyuki keeps mispronouncing Sakuya's last name as "Shirokuma". It also happens to her in the Bonus Episode.
  • Adaptational Backstory Change:
    • The series has a different backstory for the major characters as opposed to Ryo-Ohki and Tenchi Universe. Washu and Ryoko steal the Jurai Light Stone, only to get pursued by Ayeka, Sasami, Mihoshi and Kiyone. Then, after Ryoko, Washu, Ayeka and Sasami crash-land near the Masaki Shrine in Okayama, Ryoko absorbs the Light Stone and transforms into a demonized version of herself. However, she is thwarted when Tenchi uses the sword formed from his crystal necklace to draw the Light Stone out from her.
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    • Furthermore, Tenchi and Lord Katsuhito are full Earthlings, possessing no familial or genetic connection to Jurai. They are Starkeepers, a long line of Earth Guardians whose power lies in the crystal necklace that can become a sword.
  • Adaptational Badass: Azaka and Kamidake again, though not to the extent in Tenchi Universe. They are now equipped with laser beams, and in episode 9, they managed to defeat two other Guardians who were watching over Yugi during her imprisonment; those unnamed Guardians were eventually corrupted by her.
  • Ascended Extra: Famous Gonk Amagasaki becomes a recurring character in this series.
  • Backstory Invader: Sakuya Kumashiro was created by Yugi and inserted into the school Tenchi goes to in Tokyo, with all her classmates getting false memories of her. Since Tenchi was new in town to begin with he never had the opportunity to even suspect anything was different. Ultimately, once Yugi decided that Sakuya had outlived her usefulness, Sakuya was reabsorbed back into her and all the other students besides Tenchi forgot she'd ever existed- she even disappeared from photographs.
  • Bad Liar: Sakuya calls Tenchi a lousy liar in episode 10, when he chose to go on a date with Ryoko. She says that she can tell that Tenchi is lying when his nose starts twitching.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Happens to Ryo-Ohki a few times:
    • In episode 12, Ryo-Ohki is guarding Sasami's bank, and when Ryoko tries to punch her, Ryo-Ohki kicks her in the chin, knocking the space pirate out cold.
    • In episode 16, she gets cornered by a group of scientists wanting to dissect her, and she responds by transforming into her mecha form and destroys the lab.
  • Biker Babe: One time character Masayo.
  • Bland-Name Product: The girls are watching a Samy-branded TV, a reference to Sony, as well as to Pretty Sammy (which is called "Pretty Samy" in Japan).
  • Brainwashed: In one episode Tenchi is hypnotized into marrying Sakuya. The others stop the plot.
  • Broke Episode: Episode 5, "Money! Money! Money!".
  • Burger Fool: In episode 5, the girls travel to Tokyo, taking short-lived jobs working at various restaurants: Ryoko becomes a pizza delivery driver, Ayeka a waitress (later, a hostess) at a tea house, and Mihoshi and Kiyone at a fast food restaurant.
  • Can't Hold Her Liquor: In the first episode, Ryoko suffers from a bad hangover after trying Washu's homebrewed sake the previous night, which was very strong.
  • Company Cross References:
    • Tenchi's teacher resembles Fujisawa.
    • In episode 14, the staff Sakuya carries in Ayeka's fantasy is the same one that Ifurita wields.
    • In episode 22, Rio and Yuji (from Burn Up W) have cameo roles, as does Photon.
  • Complexity Addiction: Yugi's entire plan, when her true driving motivation is considered.
  • Crystal Weapon: Tenchi is given a crystal sword with six magical gems embedded in it. As he just wants to be normal, he takes the gems out and just gives them to his harem.
  • Dark Magical Girl: Yugi. Unusual example as she's the Big Bad of this continuity but let's count off the traditional traits:
    • A special and close relationship to the Magical Girl (in this case, Sasami)
    • Obessive control of friends as opposed to the sweet helpfulness of Sasami.
    • Not truly evil, and eventually making a Heel–Face Turn at the end of the series.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Hotsuma.
  • Denser and Wackier: The overall tone for Tenchi in Tokyo is much zanier and wackier than past Tenchi installments.
  • Enemy Mine: Despite being romantic rivals, Ryoko and Ayeka share a hatred for Sakuya.
  • Evil Plan: Take Over the World type, but the plot itself Yugi splitting up Tenchi's harem so he won't be able to counter-attack when she makes her move.
  • Foreshadowing: At the end of "Ryoko's Big Date", when Sakuya is emotionally angry at Tenchi for lying to her about going on a date with Ryoko and then running away from him much to Tenchi's own personal dismay, Yugi, who's silently watching the entire scene play out, starts to cry unexpectedly, which can be very odd considering that at this point, Yugi is played up as being the Big Bad of the series and that it wouldn't make sense for her to cry for her own targeted victims. It's not until near the end of the series that the entire scenario itself soon makes sense in due time when the viewers themselves eventually learn that Sakuya is actually Yugi's shadow and thus a reflection of her own personality.
  • Friendship Denial: Rejected by Sasami (because of her actions against the family), the hurt Yugi declares she never liked her.
  • Gratuitous English: Upon meeting Masayo in "Tokyo or Bust!", Ayeka excitedly speaks in Engrish. In the dubbed version, Ayeka's Engrish becomes Gratuitous French.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The Japanese titles take on the form of haiku.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • The show tries to portray Yugi as a troubled girl that couldn't control her powers and driven insane by loneliness, but she takes way too much enjoyment in separating the group, as well as impaling Ryoko through the neck from within their first confrontation. Not helping Yugi's case is the fact that she also takes way too much pleasure in re-absorbing a terrified Sakuya and then mind-raping Tenchi with her Lotus-Eater Machine in the hopes of stopping him from interfering in her plans. And yet, even after all of that, she only gets off easy with just a slap on the wrist (or in this case, a slap in the face from Tenchi himself).
    • Ryoko's a notorious space pirate, as usual. She lands on Earth in this series trying to steal the Jurai Light Stone with Washu, after which Tenchi nursed her and the others back to health. Seeing him kiss Sakuya, she goes back to pirating on an S-class scale to try to run away from her problems. She never gets arrested or imprisoned in any way for her crimes, and seems to be the frontrunner for Tenchi at endgame with Sakuya out of the picture.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Mr. Fujisawa, the teacher of Tenchi's class.
  • Left Hanging: This is the only Tenchi series never to get any kind of sequel or other installment in the continuity, so we never do get to find out if Yugi becomes like Sakuya when she grows up.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: In episode 5, Tenchi introduces Sakuya to Ryoko and Ayeka as the characters from the "Monster Busters" arcade game, which Tenchi and Sakuya played earlier. Sakuya called Ryoko and Ayeka "Miss One" and "Miss Two", respectively, because the characters in the game almost bear a resemblance to them.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Tenchi gets trapped in one towards the end with Sakuya (who, at this point, is completley under Yugi's control). However, Sakuya breaks free and sends him back to the real world, even though it kills her in the end.
  • Market-Based Title: Tenchi in Tokyo was known as Shin Tenchi Muyo! ("New Tenchi Muyo!") in Japan.
  • Masked Luchador: Erm, sort've. There's a wrestler that shows up in one episode that wears a mask.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: Tenchi when he has been brainwashed in the episode when he is hypnotized into marrying Sakuya.
  • Moment Killer: In the final episode, just when Ryoko is about to kiss Tenchi, Washu pops out of the tree trunk to test her new and improved Dimensional Tunnel. She was then followed by Sasami, and then Ayeka, and finally, Mihoshi and Kiyone. Ryoko proceeds to strangle Washu for ruining her moment.
  • Morality Pet: Sasami, for Yugi.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Pretty Sammy and Pixy Misa (in their Magical Project S costumes) appear on the score display at a karaoke in episode 10. Pretty Sammy also appears on one of the photo sticker booths.
    • Washu Doll A from Tenchi Universe appears in episode 12, carrying signs that read, "Call me for dinner".
    • In "Tokyo or Bust!", the scene of Sakuya watching Tenchi working on a sketch of his school is a nod to a similar scene in Tenchi Muyo! in Love, where Achika watching Nobuyuki sketching out what would become the Masaki House.
    • Achika is also Tenchi's mother in this series; she appears or is mentioned in episodes 7, 12, and 17.
  • Neck Lift: In Episode 13, Yugi grabs Ryoko by impaling her hand into Ryoko's neck.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In Episode 16, "Carnival!", the girls (except Ryoko) travel to Tokyo to visit the school carnival at Tenchi's high school, but they end up ruining the carnival with their various antics: Mihoshi uses her Galaxy Police Blaster in a shooting gallery, Ryo-Ohki gets captured by a fanatical scientist, only for her to destroy the lab by transforming into her mecha form, Ayeka destroys a haunted house while searching for Tenchi, and Washu takes a robotic mouse, enlarges it, and lets it roam in the hallways, until it was destroyed by a combined effort between Ayeka, Mihoshi, and Kiyone. This causes Tenchi to lash out at the girls, and he sends them home, telling that thay cause nothing but trouble.
  • Promoted to Love Interest: Played with, but not given solid form when it comes to Kiyone, who was simply good friends with Tenchi in the previous Universe series. When Kiyone reunites with Ryoko in space, the very idea of Kiyone becoming Tenchi's girlfriend is brought up, likely as a tactic to goad Ryoko into returning. Beyond that, Kiyone isn't shown to have any romantic or flirtatious moments with Tenchi during the course of Tokyo.
  • Pro Wrestling Episode: Episode 15, "Love Match". Amagasaki finds himself being attacked by the spirit of a legendary female pro wrestler whenever he tries to talk to Tenchi. He eventually confronts the wrestler in the ring, defeating her with a lariat.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: The final quarter of the series.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Yugi's subordinates.
  • Really Dead Montage: The special end credits for episode 24.
  • Red String of Fate: In episode 2; the Monster of the Day invoked this on Tenchi and Sakuya by tying their pinkie fingers together with red string, but then the monster discovers more strings attached to Tenchi's pinkie finger; they were attached to the entire Masaki Clan (Ryoko, Ayeka, Sasami, Mihoshi, Kiyone, Washu, Katsuhito, Nobuyuki, Azaka, Kamidake, and Ryo-Ohki). When the monster pulled on the strings, Ryoko and Ayeka were pulled into the dimension.
  • Road Trip Plot: "Tokyo or Bust!": Desperate to see Tenchi, and inspired by a news report of how a hitchhiker gained sympathy after he hitchhiked to Tokyo, Ayeka takes an unwilling Sasami and a sick Ryo-Ohki to Tokyo by hitchhiking. However, after they helped Masayo, they discovered they overshot Tokyo and wound up in Sendai; this causes Ayeka to be even more determined to continue hitchhiking to Tokyo, but by the time they arrived at Tenchi's apartment in Tokyo in the middle of the night, Ayeka and Sasami are too tired to talk to Tenchi, and they quietly leave the apartment through the Dimensional Tunnel.
  • School Festival: Is the central theme for episodes 15-16.
  • Self-Serving Memory: Ayeka's flashback story to Masayo; she claims that Tenchi was her fiancee, and that she's trying to save him from "that stalker woman" Sakuya; Ayeka imagines her as a dominatrix who's torturing Tenchi. Sasami dismisses Ayeka's story, and tells Masayo that Ayeka just wants to check up on him.
  • Show Within a Show: Mihoshi became a huge fan of Space Police Policeman, after she and Kiyone got jobs playing villains in the series.
  • Sick Episode: Sasami suffers from the flu in episode 12, leaving Nobuyuki to do Sasami's chores. He eventually decides to go to Tokyo, feeling stressed out by the chores.
  • Spanner in the Works: Three of them show up and trash the Big Bad's plans: Washu, because the villains always tend to underestimate her and in this case this lets her decode Yugi's plans; Sasami, because Yugi got distracted by her desire to keep her out of her schemes since she's her Morality Pet (and this is pointed out by Matori, twice); and especially Sakuya, who despite being Yugi's "shadow", in the end turns out to be more independent than she should've been...
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Isao and Masayo are a literal example, as falling stars who were transformed into humans (as a super-fast runner who can't stop his race and a Biker Babe chasing after him) and used by Yugi and Tsugaru to separate Ayeka and Sasami further from Tenchi. It doesn't work since Ayeka decides to help Masayo, and by the end of the episode they're back together.
  • Stealth Pun: In the Japanese version of episode 9, one of the commercial's slogans is "Denchi Muyo!", which translates to "No need for batteries!"
  • Stood Up: In episode 10, when Tenchi chose to go on a date with Ryoko instead of Sakuya. When it's all over and Ryoko goes back home after a great day, Tenchi goes home, passes by the local park... and finds Sakuya, who has been waiting for him around five hours (thank God she chose a bench in the park instead of a restaurant). She lets Tenchi explain himself and forgives him, but she can't help crying anyway as she explains herself to Tenchi as well. Since Sakuya is a "shadow" of the Big Bad Yugi, there's some lampshading as Yugi watches over the whole exchange from above, and when Sakuya starts crying... Yugi cries too, much to Yugi's own shock.
  • Title Drop: After the princesses arrive in Sendai, Ayeka becomes more determined to reach Tokyo, and begins hitchhiking again, shouting the episode's title, "Tokyo or Bust!"
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: The trope is normally averted in the Tenchi Muyo! world since the Masaki shrine is located in the prefecture of Okayama, but in this particular series it's played completely straight.
  • Third-Option Love Interest: Sakuya (and watch Ryoko and Ayeka foam at their mouths!)
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Sakuya.
  • Two-Timer Date: Subverted in the episode, "Ryoko's Big Date", in which Ryoko and Sakuya offered to go out on a date with Tenchi in Tokyo, but Tenchi chose Ryoko, after hearing her warning on his answering machine.
  • Uncanny Valley Makeup: Ryoko at the start of episode 10.
  • Unwanted Harem: While the Tenchi Muyo franchise is quite well known for this sort of trope, Tokyo took this trope to its logical conclusion by having all the girls head-over-heels in love with Tenchi in some fashion and the first half of the series was spent with the girls trying to get to Tenchi and Tenchi trying to have a normal life.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The very first shot of the series features two mysterious fellows stealing an equally mysterious box from a shrine. Neither they nor the box are ever seen or mentioned again.


 
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