The self proclaimed Greatest Scientific Genius in the Universe. Mother of Ryoko and creator of Ryo-Ohki.
Most Tenchi Muyo continuities depict Washu as a genius who is harder to fool than Tenchi and the girls living at the Masaki household. The OVAs and first two TV anime titles (Universe and Tokyo) feature her making use of a storage closet underneath a staircase of the household as a dimensional gate leading to her laboratory.
Washu was created as one of the major characters of Masaki Kajishima's Tenchi Muyo anime, manga and novel franchise. Her first name of "Washu" was based on the ancient region of Osaka and the last name "Hakubi" based off a Japanese train line. Her red hair was derived from a Noh play costume that was intended to resemble the legs and claws of a crab. In this case, a red crab since they are a food specialty of Osaka. As a reference to the design inspiration of her hair, a red crab logo is normally seen on much of Washu's merchandise and apparel.
Washu has appeared in a number of anime, manga and novel adaptations of Tenchi Muyo which include the OVA series and several spinoff titles. For anime adaptations in Japanese, she was voiced by Yuko Kobayashi in for all anime titles except for Sasami Magical Girls Club. In Magical Girls Club, she was voiced by Akiko Hiramatsu. For English, she was voiced by Kate T. Vogt for all 90s Tenchi anime and the third OVA series. She was voiced by Jessica Gee for Tenchi Muyo GXP and Luci Christian for Magical Girls Club.
While appearing physically as a 12-year old girl, Washu is actually well over 20,000 years old and has the ability to take on the form of a 30-year old adult woman. She has long red hair that she has tied with a purple hair ribbon and green eyes.
For the OVA continuity, Washu has an aloof and witty personality who normally spends much of her time in her laboratory. While somewhat egotistical with her status as "the greatest scientific genius in the universe", she still brings balance to the Masaki household by undoing much of the chaos that can often erupt there and is willing to impart her knowledge onto others when necessary. To Nobuyuki Masaki, she is considered the top of the pecking order at the Masaki household.
Note: Some of the information included in this section comes from one of three novels written by Tenchi Muyo creator Masaki Kajishima called the Shin Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-ohki! Novels, which cover details on characters and elements of the series not explored within the OVA series.
Washu's past is the most complex out of all the characters seen on Tenchi Muyo. She is another one of the the multi-dimensional beings known as the Choushin alongside Tsunami and Tokimi. Wanting to figure out the whereabouts of a being with greater power than the Choushin, Washu chose to seal her memories and powers as a Choushin in three gems to take on a human form so she could understand the mysteries of the universe. Such gems are capable of generating as much power as Tsunami and sustaining the youth of Yosho.
As a human, Washu pursued a career in being a biologist and entered the Imperial Space Academy as a student nearly 20,000 years ago. In those years, Washu met a young man named Mikamo Kuramitsu at the academy as the two consummated their relationship with Washu giving birth to a baby boy named Mikumo. However because of Mikamo's status in the Galaxy Police, he and Mikumo were forced to part from Washu. This development devastated Washu enough where she took on the form of a 12-year old girl so she wouldn't have to deal with such pressures ever again. She eventually graduates from the academy and becomes its chairman, beating Dr. Clay in a campaign for the position.
Around this time, Washu would also meet a woman named Naja Akara, who became her best friend and assistant with the two being near equals in intellect. The two would work together at making the Imperial Space Academy an independent entity out of Jurai's influence. In addition, Naja provided aid to Washu in finding the whereabouts of her child over a period of four years and devised ways to get him back, though Washu eventually chose to move on from the matter. Naja would vanish under mysterious circumstances during a pirate attack, which led Washu to create a clone of her. The clone, however, was ambitious and malevolent and chose to take over a male body possessing great power, hence creating Kagato.
Kagato and Washu would work together in creating Ryoko, Ryo-ohki and the spaceship Soja. Afterward, Kagato would seal Washu in the alternate dimension of the Soja and brainwash Ryoko and Ryo-ohki into his minions. Washu would be accidentally freed 5,000 years later by Mihoshi thanks to the latter performing her causality manipulation in a panic against two stone snakes guarding the chamber Washu was sealed in.
Following Kagato's defeat, Washu would take residence in the Masaki household where she took interest in Tenchi out of both love and the great power he demonstrated with his Light Hawk Wings. She is aware of Ryoko's feelings for Tenchi thanks to having a telepathic link with one another and usually gets joy out of tormenting her daughter about it, though she also encourages Ryoko to be more honest with her feelings as she fuses her with the android Zero later in the series. She has an aloof and witty personality, though also has a huge ego thanks to her intellect giving her notoriety as the "greatest scientific genius in the universe."
Washu would regain her memories and powers as a Choushin later in the series when Z sets out to kill Tenchi and puts the multiverse at risk to save his life. While learning that Tenchi is the higher being that she has been seeking, Washu had become caring for Tenchi as a human being instead of the higher she sought out thus she chose to continue living at the Masaki household after Z's defeat.
Washu has a somewhat relevant role in GXP as she was responsible for creating Ryo-ohki's younger sister and Seina Yamada's new ship, Fuku. Seina pays the Masaki household a visit later in the series to learn more about Fuku's origins.
Washu makes a cameo appearance during the middle of the series with much of her face covered in darkness as the series lead, Kenshi, comes to discover that he was hypnotized by her as a child to prevent him from revealing the alien origins of Tenchi and the girls to ordinary Earthlings.
While still known as the universe's greatest scientific genius, Washu is portrayed as a mad scientist who was banished from the Universal Science Academy for creating weapons of mass destruction capable of destroying planets and was put in a stasis capsule that got launched into space and crash-landed on Earth. She is awoken 700 years later during an argument between Ryoko (no longer her daughter) and Ayeka.
Taking up residence in the Masaki household, Washu retains her aloof, brilliant and witty personality from the OVAs yet is much more egotistical where she humorously has a pair of dolls named A and B regularly remark about how great she is and cheer her on.
She plays a major role towards the end of the series when she helps Tenchi out of his depression from seeing his grandfather's defeat to Kagato and disables much of a Juraian spaceship fleet with a computer virus when they fail to cooperate with her. Following Kagato's defeat, Washu is granted a president position at the Science Academy yet is fired a month later after creating a weapon capable of destroying the universe. She would return to the Masaki household afterward.
She plays a major role in Tenchi Muyo in Love where she provides tools to aid in keeping Tenchi from fading out of existence from Kain's plot to assassinate Tenchi's mother, Achika, and sends the group back in time to prevent Achika's death and defeat Kain through use of her Dimensional Cannon.
Washu retains her mad scientist character from Tenchi Universe, though she is now a renegade scientist who is more mellow than earlier adaptations of her character. She had assisted Ryoko in the theft of an artifact called the Jurai Light Stone. The two are forced to flee to Earth when chased by Juraian forces where they discover an unusual power source being emitted on the planet coming from Tenchi's necklace
While researching the necklace, Washu develops various devices that allow the girls to see Tenchi, such as a dimensional portal. However, the devices are known to malfunction. She is the only one not fooled in Yugi's plot to separate Tenchi and the girls as she uncovers the Yugi's past and the true nature of Sakuya, Tenchi's then girlfriend. Washu mostly then plays the role of observer when Tenchi and the girls have their final battle with Yugi.
Note: This refers to two manga series, No Need for Tenchi and Shin Tenchi Muyo, written by mangaka Hitoshi Okuda who based his work on the first two OVA titles of Tenchi Muyo.
Washu retains her background and much of her character traits from the first two OVA titles in both manga titles, though she is depicted as being slightly more caring and having concern for those living in the Masaki household. In particular, she becomes a mother figure to Sasami in supporting her at points in the manga.
She gets a major arc in the Shin Tenchi Muyo manga series when Dr. Clay returns, using a doppelganger called Dark Washu to attack the Masaki household and attempt to kill Washu. The battle escalates to the point where Washu battles the doppelganger on Europa, one of Jupiter's moons, and is forced by Dr. Clay to erase the memories of Tenchi and the other girls to forget she existed. However, this doesn't erase the love that the group have for her as they take flight on Ryo-ohki to help Washu in her battle.
In both the OVA and TV series, Washu goes by the name of Washu Kobayashi, an Earth-born gifted student who graduated from M.I.T. and becomes Sasami's science teacher at school. She becomes curious of Pretty Sammy and the nature of magic upon seeing Sammy's fight with one of Pixy Misa's Love Love Monsters. She isn't aware of Sasami's identity of Pretty Sammy in the OVA series, yet is aware of it in Magical Project S. She plays a major role in the final episodes of Magical Project S where she develops her own NT system to provide magic to Sammy, Misa and Ryo-ohki and to create a barrier that protects the three against the magic absorption abilities of Romio's own NT system.
In this series, Washu serves as the cooking teacher of Sasami's class named Washu Kozuka. She serves as the instructor to Sasami and the other magical girls to help them in learning of proper use and control of their powers. Washu is the owner of Ryo-ohki, who is the unwilling participant of her cooking demonstrations. Despite being a cooking teacher though, Washu is actually a horrible cook.
In the OVA series, Washu has the exact same powers as Ryoko, though she prefers to use her intellect in most circumstances to get out of tight situations. She is capable of generating energy blasts and a sword, as well as teleportation. Washu has the power to shift her physical age from her 12-year old form to a mature, adult form and has a telepathic link to Ryoko. A frequent trick she uses is to leave a stuffed doll of herself in her place whenever she is about to be captured. Washu can also release the power of her gems to return to her Choushin form if the situation calls for it. Capable of existing in multiple dimensions, Washu's Choushin form threatens the stability of the universe if she were to engage in combat.
|1st manga book:||No Need for Tenchi! #4|
|1st anime episode:||Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki #5|
|1st anime movie:||Tenchi Muyo in Love!|
The Greatest Scientific Genius in the Universe
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.