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Anime / Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki

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Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki is the original continuity of the Tenchi Muyo! franchise created by Masaki Kajishima and Hiroki Hayashi, which consists of four six-episode OVA series, one four-episode OVA series and two special episodes. The spinoff series Tenchi Muyo! GXP and Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari (a.k.a. Tenchi Muyo: War on Geminar) 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 via a Debut Queue. 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 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 fifth six-episode series, directed by Keitaro Motonaga, premiered in February 2020 and concluded in May 2021.

The first two Ryo-Ohki OVAs were notably the first anime produced and released by NBCUniversal Entertainment Japan (back then known as Pioneer LDC).

Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki 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).
  • 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.)
  • Ancestral Weapon: The Tenchi Sword/Master Key, which is also a Laser Blade.
  • Animation Bump: Zigzagged between the releases. The first two seasons feature highly detailed hand drawn animation, the third release incorporates a much simpler and more cartoonish style using digital capture, and the fourth and fifth releases balance between the two with a moderately detailed modern look. Also, CG animation is used for spaceships and tech effects from the third release on.
  • Arc Welding: The fourth and fifth series are this for the first three series, GXP, and War on Geminar.
  • Big Bad: 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 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.
  • Canon Immigrant:
    • Beginning with the third OVA, the main cast from Tenchi Muyo! GXP appears as major characters.
    • The main cast from Kajishima's canonical Paradise War light novels make an appearance in the fifth OVA.
  • Casting Gag: In the Italian dub, Misaki is voiced by Rosalinda Galli. This is not the first time she's played an alien before, as she previously played Lum in the Italian dub of Urusei Yatsura.
  • 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:
  • Death by Cameo: Kagato blows up Mr. Spock in the fourth episode.
  • Demoted to Extra: Tenchi himself as well as his harem in the 4th and 5th OAVs. Ryoko, Ayeka, Sasami, and Mihoshi barely have double digit lines each during both OAVs, and Tenchi spends most of the time just standing around smiling. The only members that get a chunk of screen time are Washu, due to being the one overseeing Kenshi's training, and Ryo-Ohki, who becomes Heterosexual Life-Partners with Kenshi.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune:
    • Sasami's Japanese voice actress Chisa Yokoyama sang the ending theme to the first OVA and the opening theme to the second OVA.
    • Ai Orikasa (Ryoko) was the singer for the second OVA's ending theme.
  • 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...
  • Early Instalment Weirdness: Ryoko trying to kill Tenchi in the first episode comes off strange as later episodes imply she loved him since he was a child.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom:
    • Part of Misao's plan to "rescue" Mihoshi.
    • Also Z's entrance
  • Forbidden Fruit: The reason Tenchi enters Ryoko's shrine in the first place.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Anyone who has watched Tenchi Muyo: War on Geminar before this OVA will know that Kenshi Masaki will survive the events of the fourth and fifth series and ultimately be sent to Geminar.
  • For Want of a Nail: If Katsuhito hadn't tricked Tenchi into snatching the key from him, Tenchi wouldn't have resurrected Ryoko, Ayeka and Sasami would've never encountered Tenchi, Mihoshi wouldn't have crash-landed on Earth and met the heroes, and Washu would've never been freed.
  • Healing Factor: Ryoko easily grows another hand after Tenchi cuts it off.
  • 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.
  • Heroic BSoD: Ayeka goes into a brief depression after Tenchi tells her about Yosho's assumed demise and later when she sees the royal teardrop near Ryo-Ohki. Fortunately for Ayeka, Ryo-Ohki quickly snaps her out of it.
  • Insistent Terminology: 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.
  • Instrumental Theme Tune: The first, third and fifth OVAs feature an instrumental opening theme.
  • Kabuki Sounds: Used gratuitously to, for the most part, punctuate beats.
  • Look Behind You: 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.
  • The Mole: The shape-shifting robot Zero, who ends up merging with Ryoko.
  • No Antagonist: Since the third OVA, Ryo-Ohki doesn't have any sort of central antagonist opposing the heroes.
  • No Such Thing as Alien Pop Culture: Mihoshi is occasionally shown watching a comedy TV show about penguin-like aliens. The gang also watch an alien drama show in one episode.
  • One Cast Member per Cover: The original OVA series did this with the first 5 volumes, with the addition of the character holding up a number of fingers matching the volume number. (#3 was a partial exception, as Sasami was holding Team Pet Ryo-Oh-Ki.)
  • The Original Series: Being the first of its kind, after all. Before Alternate Continuities came about.
  • Physical God: (Sasami/Tsunami, Washu, & Tokimi; also, OVA3 spoiler:Tenchi is revealed to be the earthly avatar of a being more powerful than the three goddesses who created the universe.)
  • Planet Spaceship: The Kuramitsu family have a planet-sozed spaceship called that can destroy planets and seems to a nod to the Death Star from Star Wars.
  • 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.
  • Secondary Character Title: It's not clear why Ryo-Ohki's name is in the title as there a lot more major characters than her.
  • Shout-Out:
    • 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.
    • In the fifth OVA, Laval and Avalul send Jovia and Miron high into the sky, resembling Team Rocket's numerous defeats in Pokémon: The Series.
  • Space Opera: Subverted. Most of the Space Opera elements are here, but the series mostly takes place on Earth.
  • Time-Shifted Actor:
    • Mari Mashiba voices Tenchi's younger self in his flashbacks.
    • In the first four episodes of the fifth OVA, Kenshi was voiced by Yukiko Morishita. When the fifth episode was released, Hiro Shimono took over as the older Kenshi.
  • Transformation Sequence: Averted as Tenchi, Ayeka, Ryoko, and Mihoshi all change into their Super Modes instantaneously and usually off-screen.
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: In the fifth OVA, Jovia and Miron are sent flying into the sky. When they disappear, a twinkle forms.
  • Weather-Control Machine: It's implied Jurai has something like this when Sasami asks Ryoko to switch the rain off and she says a primitive planet like Earth doesn't have the technology yet.
  • Whale Egg: Ryo-Ohki hatched from an egg that came out of a crashed spaceship. When Sasami sees Ryoko with it, she thinks she laid it and Ryoko plays along pretending Tenchi is the father.
  • 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.


Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki

Not even close, Mihoshi!

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