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YMMV / Tenchi Muyo!

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  • 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.
    • Also Universe's Kagato, a universal conqueror who's out to kill of his rivals so he can have all the power in existence or a Blood Knight who felt guilty over his actions that left his best friend shaken by choosing to die at his grandson's hands. The episode of his death sort of leans towards the latter.
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    • In Tenchi in Tokyo, Kiyone tells Ryoko that Tenchi would be much better with a law-abiding citizen like herself. How serious she was about it is up in the air. Either she genuinely entertained the thought of her and Tenchi being together or she only said that to try to provoke Ryoko into coming back to Earth and still only saw Tenchi as just a friend. It's equally as possible she really was coming around to the idea of being one of Tenchi's love interests but still intentionally said that to provoke Ryoko into returning all the same.
  • 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.
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    • Ayeka is a lot less liked in the west than she is in Japan.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Ayeka, Mihoshi and Ryoko. Is Ayeka a nice 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 whose antics are funny or an annoying and selfish Jerkass who constantly abuses others? Is Mihoshi a sympathetic Cloudcuckoolander or an irritating Too Dumb to Live character who always gets her friends in trouble? In Mihoshi's case, it should be noted that people generally do like her Genius Ditz OVA version and only dislike her TV version where her stupidity is turned up more.
  • Awesome Music: Since the first OVA, Tenchi Muyo has a stellar amount of tunes.
    • "Tenchi Muyo! Theme" is soothing array of synths and oriental instruments playing with no lyrics.
    • "Talent For Love" is the ending theme for Tenchi Muyo! and is just as good. This time with lyrics mix with synths. Very upbeat.
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  • Better on DVD: Tenchi Muyo! GXP.
  • Broken Base:
    • The redesigns for the original OVA girls (minus Noike) for Ai Tenchi Muyo! have been 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.
    • The direction of the 4th and 5th OVAs. Some people like that we actually get to see the characters age and that we're getting background info on Kenshi for his spinoff. Moreover, Tenchi finally marries his harem and even has babies with Ryoko and Ayeka. Others lament that the OVAs have gone full on Slice of Life and that Tenchi and his harem are basically Advertised Extras. And since most of the expanded material never leaves Japan, the 5th OAV ends up bombarding you with new character after new character.
  • Continuity Lock-Out: Not at first, but by the time of the 5th OAV, most of the cast getting the lion's share of the screen time were properly introduced in either the spinoffs (which at least did make it outside Japan), or in the light novels (which didn't). If you only watch the anime, everything after the 2nd OAV is going to be extremely confusing.
  • Complete Monster:
    • OVA: Kagato 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. 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.
    • Tenchi the Movie: Tenchi in Love!: Kain is a powerful extraterrestrial criminal who is captured by the Galaxy Police and the Jurai Emperor after he destroyed several federated planets and hundreds of thousands of spacecrafts during his crusade to destroy the universe. Centuries after his capture, Kain escapes from his confinement and destroys the Galaxy Police headquarters, killing everyone inside. Developing a hatred towards the Jurai Emperor, Kain attempts to kill the current descendant, Achika Masaki, the mother of Tenchi Masaki; this would result in Tenchi ceasing to exist and affect the future of his companions. When Kain got sucked into another planet with Achika and his future husband, Nobuyuki, Kain tortures Nobuyuki while forcing Achika to watch.
  • 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 fandoms rioted over this (until Sakuya died).
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: 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.
    • While most of OVA 3 is considered a Contested Sequel and inspires much Base Breaking, the character of Z is pretty universally well liked by Tenchi fans.
  • Escapist Character: While Tenchi may just see himself as an unremarkable guy, much of his male fanbase may see things differently and want to be in his shoes, especially considering Tenchi's got a harem of beautiful women living with him and eventually grows so powerful that he becomes practically omnipotent and debate-ably the most powerful character in all of Anime.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Evil Kiyone in the Mihoshi Special.
    • Ryoko initially counted for this before she fell for Tenchi.
    • Kagato Jurai from Universe is fairly Bishounen and also has plenty of badass points to boot, so he counts.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Among western audiences, the majority of fans seem to feel that Tenchi should choose Ryoko. The number of fanfics 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!
  • Gateway Series: For most Westerners, Tenchi was the introduction of the harem genre for many.
  • 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 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.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Kain, the villain from the first Tenchi movie, bears an uncanny resemblence to No Face
  • 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.
  • 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:
  • One-Scene Wonder: Amagasaki and Evil Kiyone.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Noike is often seen as a poor copy of Kiyone. Although she actually predates Kiyone in creation (she just wasn't implemented into the show until much after Kiyone's first appearance), some fans wonder why she wasn't just replaced with Kiyone in the first place, making this an odd inversion of the trope.
  • 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.
  • 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 focused on their romance instead of the plot. And Sakuya is seen as annoying for a large portion of the fandom.
    • The Paradise War cast in OAV5 for a variety of reasons, largely due to their novels not getting animated and never leaving Japan. The fact that the female members of the cast seem to have an unhealthy obsession with the underage Kenshi can lead to some Squick for some viewers as well.
    • Kenshi himself, for being a Spotlight-Stealing Squad for the final two OAVs despite having his own spinoff.
  • 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 a 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's 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.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Western opinion on Noike is generally poor, but a lot more could've been built around her status as an official fiance for Tenchi and a spy for Jurai. The other girls' reactions to this would've made for good entertainment and development, and the spy angle could've introduced the political elements of the story in a more controlled manner. Instead, her status as a spy is just explained away to Ryoko and Ayeka after they basically just accepted Noike's existence. And despite having some episode focus, she still gets so little actual character progression she barely qualifies as a Satellite Character. Then there are those who just feel she could have just as easily been replaced by Ensemble Dark Horse Kiyone from the alternate continuities.
    • Hiwa Takahashi in the manga. She is Tenchi's childhood friend and has a crush on him. That sounds like potential for good stories, right? Well, she was only a one-shot character and the story focus more on Ayeka and Ryoko and her relation with Tenchi is never really explored.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Haruna is such an Anti-Villain with a tragic backstory and the viewers are supposed to find her sympathetic, but after seeing her rape Tenchi, many fans saw this as her Moral Event Horizon and lost all sympathy for her.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: First aired on Cartoon Network's Toonami block, in an after school timeslot. Even when they moved it to Adult Swim, they still couldn't get away with showing the female characters frequently nude.


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