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The Universe's Most Eligible Bachelor
In many continuities of the Tenchi Muyo franchise, Tenchi is portrayed as a seemingly ordinary high school student who comes to discover that he has a connection to Jurai's Royal Family and has to put up with the unwanted advances of several alien girls who come to live with him in his household and have differing degrees of romantic interest in him.
Tenchi was created as the lead character of Masaki Kajishima's Tenchi Muyo anime, manga and light novel franchise series. There is no information known about his character's design during the title's development. He has appeared in a number of installments of the Tenchi franchise which include the OVA continuity and several spinoff titles. In Japanese, he was voiced by Masami Kikuchi for all installments of the franchise. In English, he was voiced by Matt Miller for all parts of the franchise, except Tenchi Muyo GXP where he was voiced by Christopher Corey Smith.
Tenchi is 17 years old at the start of each installment of the Tenchi franchise, having black hair and brown eyes.
While a friendly and polite young man, Tenchi can often find his tolerance for his extended family tested, especially in regards to Ryoko and Ayeka's neverending efforts to earn his affections. He thinks very strongly of his departed mother Kiyone as such, that he has his own thoughts of what he believed she was like when still alive.
Tenchi is the grandson of Katsuhito Masaki, also known as the Jurai warrior Yosho. He was a typical boy enjoying an average life. His grandpa, a shrine priest, told Tenchi not to enter the nearby cave where a demon was trapped inside. However, gullible Tenchi enters the cave and accidentally frees the demon trapped inside after releasing the sword of his 'legendary ancestor', Yosho. The demon turns out to be the space pirate, Ryoko, who was kept inside the cave after being defeated by Yosho 700 years ago. This triggers a series of events occur which bring Ayeka, Sasami, Ryo-ohki, Mihoshi, and Washu into the life of the Masaki household, all of whom have some form of affection for him.
Tenchi later learns from his grandfather that he is half-Juraian, meaning that he could wield the power of his family's sword, Tenchi-ken. Those not of Jurai royal family blood would have been rejected by the sword, but Tenchi could wield it at will. The sword was Yosho's when he went in battle with Ryoko. After the battle, Japanese monks who thought that Ryoko was a demon sealed her inside a cave. Thinking the sword was damaged, the monks crafted a blade for the sword which Yosho left in the cave to keep Ryoko sealed. The sword also acts as a master key to Juraian spaceships proven when Tenchi was able to use the sword to mess with some of Ryu-oh's equipment when trying to escape.
Tenchi later learns that he was arranged by his great great step-grandmother, Seto Kamiki Jurai, to marry Noike and encounters several relatives he never knew of like grandmother Airi and older sister Tennyo. While trying to take in these sudden developments, Tenchi finds himself under attack by Mihoshi's brother, Misao and Tokimi's disciple, Z. His battle with Z proved to be problematic as Z drove Tenchi to lose control of his power which could have caused a multiversal collapse if not for the intervention of the Choushin.
Tenchi's role is a minor one in GXP. It was implied that he and the girls played a major role in preventing the space pirate, Tarant Shank, from abducting the Earth family of his close friend, Seina Yamada. Seina would pay a visit to Tenchi's household later in the series to seek out Washu and learn more about the origins of Fuku.
Through doujin material published by Masaki Kajishima, it is revealed that Tenchi would choose to wed all the girls living in his household and would become rather intimate with all of them. He would later to go on to have at least two children and the entire family would eventually move to and settle on planet Jurai. Because of his immense power and being Yosho's grandson, Tenchi is in line to inherit the royal throne on Jurai.
Here, Tenchi retains his personality and connection to Jurai's Royal Family from the OVAs. However, he is considerably less powerful as only his abilities stemming from his Jurai origins and ability to wield Tenchi-ken are emphasized in the Universe continuity. He is the son of Nobayuki and Achika Masaki, the latter having died a short time after giving birth to him.
While coming home from school one day, he encounters the spaceship of Ryoko crash landing to the ground as she is chased by Mihoshi. Through a series of events triggered by Ryoko's arrival, Tenchi finds six alien girls living with him at his house. The group find themselves forced on the run when Sasami and Ayeka are wanted for treason by Jurai's military. Wishing to prove their innocence, Tenchi, his family and the girls embark on a journey to Jurai.
They later discover that the banished Juraian knight, Kagato, had taken on the name of Tenchi's grandfather, Yosho, to gain the throne and try to arrest Sasami and Ayeka as revenge for his earlier banishment. In an encounter with Kagato, Yosho and Ryoko are wounded battling the evil knight and Ayeka is kidnapped, forcing Tenchi to travel to the planet to confront him. Plowing through Jurai's formidable military with help from the other girls, Tenchi confronts Kagato in his throne room. After an intense battle, Tenchi defeats Kagato and turns down the royal throne to resume his life on Earth. While eventually growing bored of his normal life, he is surprised to see Ryoko return and realizes the other girls would be returning soon as well.
When the space pirate Kain escapes Galaxy Police imprisonment and seeks to destroy the Jurai royal family in the past, Kain's influence on these events begin to cause Tenchi to fade out of existence. Realizing this, Tenchi and the girls travel back in time to 1970 to seek out Kain. While Ryoko and Ayeka take on the guise of students at Nobayuki and Achika's school, Tenchi remains hidden to prevent causing a paradox from his then-teenage parents discovering his existence.
Learning of the exact point in time that Kain will attack Achika, Tenchi steps in to try protecting his mother from Kain at Tokyo Tower. Instead, the space pirate escapes into subspace with his parents. Washu is able to get Tenchi, Ryoko and Ayeka to their location. Despite their combined efforts, Kain's power is too overwhelming for the three to take down. Through combined use of Achika's high Juraian power and Washu's Dimensional Cannon being fired by Kiyone, the group are eventually able to destroy Lain and restore the proper timeline.
In this film, Tenchi is whisked away into a parallel world by Haruna after he flees from Ryoko and Ayeka whom try to have him choose between the two. Having no memories of his life with the girls, Tenchi believes that he is an art student in college living with Haruna as his lover. Despite the memory loss, Tenchi is able to vaguely remember Ryoko, as he keeps making rough drawings of her to Haruna's distraught. When Tenchi finally recalls his memories of the girls from Ryoko and Ayeka's attempts to break into Haruna's world, he rejects Haruna and returns to the real world with his interest in artistry. It is strongly implied in this film that Tenchi chose Ryoko as the one he loved, being the only one of the girls he remembered in Haruna's world and spending time alone with her at the ending of the movie.
This second Tenchi TV anime alters Tenchi's character significantly as he has no ties to the Jurai Royal Family, instead belonging to a bloodline of guardians who protect the world against evil threats as he possesses the ability to wield a sword that is manifested from a gem necklace belonging to his mother that he wears around his neck. He is also less tolerant of the behavior of the girls, often scolding them for their actions.
Tenchi first encountered the girls when all six crash-landed on Earth as the Galaxy Police and Juraian forces teamed up to pursue Ryoko and Washu, who stole a Juraian artifact called the Jurai Light Stone. When Ryoko fused the stone into her body, she went on a berserker rampage that forced Tenchi to use his mother's gem-sword against her, nearly killing the space pirate in self-defense. Tenchi nursed the girls back to health following the events and Ryoko would separate the gems to prevent the sword from being used against her again. Each of the girls would keep a gem from the necklace as a keepsake.
Later on, Tenchi decides to move to Tokyo to train in becoming a Shinto priest. With these events, Tenchi has to put up with the girls trying to visit him through an interdimensional portal created by Washu through his bed and slowly developing a relationship with classmate Sakuya Kumashiro, which lead to Ryoko and Ayeka fuming. As time goes on, Tenchi becomes increasingly irritated with the girls visiting him as he blocks access to the portal and later has Washu completely dismantle it. In addition, he starts dating Sakuya. These events led to the group falling apart in their bond as they went into different paths.
Eventually though, Tenchi comes to learn of his upbringing and the manipulations of the Juraian mutant Yugi, also coming to shockingly learn that his girlfriend Sakuya is actually a manifestation of Yugi's shadow. Despite these developments, Tenchi chose to confront Yugi as he and the girls reunite, allowing their gems to form the gem-sword that Tenchi will wield in battle. With assistance from the girls, Tenchi is able to get into Yugi's sanctum, chooses to spare her and give her a second chance. Following these events, Tenchi would return to living at the Masaki Shrine.
Note: This refers to a collection of Tenchi Muyo novels written by screenwriter Naoko Hasegawa, who worked on the first Tenchi Muyo OVA series. Her works are considered a separate continuity from the main OVA series.
There isn't much known about Tenchi's depiction in Hasegawa's novels due to their lack of exposure in the West and being untranslated for English readers. The only exposure that Western viewers would get to Hasegawa's works would be through the second Tenchi Muyo movie, Daughter of Darkness, which is based on one of Hasegawa's novels.
Here, Tenchi is surprised to discover a girl named Mayuka who claims to be his daughter. Unknown to him and the girls, Mayuka was created through a fusion of the DNA of Tenchi and the demon Yuzuha, who sought to use Mayuka in her plans of revenge on Yosho. Tenchi is caring towards Mayuka, despite the unusual claim that Mayuka makes and the jealousy that Ayeka and Ryoko have towards her. Later on, Tenchi and Sasami would be abducted by a possessed Mayuka to Yuzuha's dark world, with Tenchi's powers not working in this domain. When Yuzuha orders Mayuka to kill Tenchi, the boy is able to restore Mayuka to her senses. This forces Yuzuha to kill Mayuka and she transforms into a dark demonic state.
Tenchi's powers return when Ayeka is able to throw a sprig from Yosho's tree to the boy through Washu's help. He engages battle with Yuzuha and succeeds in killing her. Before she dies, Yuzuha remarks on how she fell in love with Tenchi's grandfather, leading the boy to understand Yuzuha's feelings for Yosho.
Here, Tenchi is the older brother of Sasami and a high school student while living with the Kawai family. To his dismay, he is the target of affection from classmates Ryoko Orikasa and Ayeka Takada. Pixy Misa would turn the two girls into Love Love Monsters whose emotions for Tenchi were out of control until Pretty Sammy intervened. Tenchi is able to calm the two down by apologizing for not choosing between them as Sammy transforms them back to normal. Even after these events, Tenchi still has to put up with the bickering of the two girls.
Tenchi would make an appearance in episode 12 of Magical Project S as the director of a Super Sentai series having difficulty with production. Sasami helps Tenchi with his situation as Pretty Sammy by guest starring in an episode of his series. Sasami developed a crush on the director, until she was saddened to learn that he had a girlfriend and was moving away to become a theatrical director.
For the OVA continuity, Tenchi is the strongest being in the series thanks to his connection to the higher being sought out by the Choushin. He is capable of controlling three Lighthawk Wings that he can turn into armor, a shield and sword through his ability to convert the wings into matter. The boy also has some undiscovered abilities as he was capable of instantly warping from Earth to Jupiter in a matter of seconds and traveled through time. However due to his young age, Tenchi is incapable of controlling the full output of his power as his body can't handle entering higher dimensions just yet. Outside of these abilities, Tenchi is a competent swordsman who is capable of wielding his grandfather's sword, Tenchi-ken, thanks to his Juraian bloodline. Due to his power, Tenchi's life span is significantly extended as such where he would be capable of living for hundreds of thousands of years.
The final movie in the Tenchi Universe continuity.
Tenchi the Movie 2: The Daughter of Darkness
The Second Tenchi Muyo film set in the OVA series that was released in Japan on August 2, 1997 as a double feature, along with ...
Tenchi Muyo in Love!
A Space Pirate wishing to destroy the house of Jurai travels into the past to Kill Tenchi's Mother.