Tenchi Muyo Character Talk: Part 1 (Collab with Rai’s Anime Blog)

(Thank you for reading this, everyone! This is a fun talk that Rai and I talked about doing during in my Outlaw Star Review’s comments section a little while ago. I was glad that Rai decided to join me on this.)


Scott: I’ve talked about a few shows from the Toonami era in my blog like The Big O and Outlaw Star along with some Gundam talk here and there for some reason. If it was on Toonami during my kid years, then there is a huge chance that I absorbed it into my psyche in some way. Tenchi Muyo was one another one of those series and I like watching it because it had some fun space stuff that I was generally into and how easy it was to pick some of its cast as a waifu. Tenchi Muyo is kinda sorta a harem space show that has a great cast and some deep lore to it and I am glad that Rai from Rai’s Anime Blog has accepted my invitation about talking about Tenchi Muyo’s cast with me. Thank you so much, Rai!

Rai: Hi Scott, thank you for having me! 😀 I grew up with Toonami as well. Even though it aired plenty of shows I still love to this day (Pokemon, Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura), my favorite from that time has always been Tenchi Muyo! It was the show I ALWAYS had to watch every day, or 9-year-old me would get upset. At the time, I really wasn’t sure why it was my favorite. I think the fun space stuff and the lore were definitely a part of it… But looking back now, I think it was definitely the quirky characters… and the waifus! Ryoko = #1.

Scott: Waifus are incredibly powerful and I absolutely agree about Ryoko being the best waifu. I feel like we should maybe save the best for last and talk about our main character first? How do you feel about Tenchi?

Scott: I agree with a lot of what you said. Back then, he seemed pretty alright as a main character. Tenchi seemed to have a lot of things going for him and everything. As for right now, I feel kind of jaded from watching years of different anime. Tenchi seems a little bit of a self insert character to me, but I think he is an example of a decent one. Tenchi goes through a pretty fun hero’s journey, gathers some unique powers on his way, and it’s a lot of fun seeing him transform into a somebody. So on average, he’s ok and passable. 🙂

Rai: Yeah, I agree. He’s definitely not the strongest character, but he is definitely better than some of the brainless male leads they use in harem anime. I can’t stand those ._. I think “passable” is the perfect word for Tenchi haha.

Another important character besides Tenchi (and Ryoko) is Princess Ayeka. My opinion of her has changed greatly over time. How do you feel about her?

Scott: Oh my. Oh my. My feelings on her have changed quite a bit as well. I feel like we are going to be in agreement with a lot of these characters.

Back in the day, you could probably call Princess Ayeka my designated waifu. She seemed like the perfect sort of girlfriend. Very proper, very adult, somewhat powerful, and someone who just wanted to find her lost brother (depending on which version of Tenchi you watched), and so on. Nowadays, she just seemed like a bratty kid that tries too hard to be proper and not who she actually was. I feel like we got glimpses of her true personality when she was butting heads with Ryoko.

She is still a pretty good character though, because I’ve known a lot of teengers act like that in what seems like ten thousands years ago now. How have your feelings changed on Princess Ayeka?

Rai: My experience is kind of the opposite! When I was younger, I DESPISED her xD She was rivals with Ryoko and I was a hardcore Ryoko X Tenchi fangirl, so I couldn’t stand her in the least.
When I watched it again, I found myself surprisingly not hating her! I realized that a lot of it was my bias and she wasn’t as bad as I thought. She still is far from my favorite, though. I agree that she can be bratty and that she tries too hard to be proper, although I wonder how much of that is related to her upbringing as royalty. I like when her true personality comes out- it is pretty funny to see the drastic change.

She is an important character to the story, though. Without her, Tenchi may have never figured out his lineage. So she isn’t so bad in the end… but she better keep her two-faced hands off of Tenchi xP JK.

I really love her sister Sasami, though.

Scott: Yes, Ayeka is definitely alright in the end and deserves some respect. Poor kid tries so hard.

Sasami is so great. If there was a more relaxed and down to Earth character in the Tenchi universe, it’s Sasami. She is just who she is, never judges anyone for anything that happens (which is saying a lot), and still has plenty of moments of just being a kid and playing around too. She seems so perfect, because Sasami never over thinks her role as a princess at all because she thinks it just a title. Man, I wish I was as well put together as her when I was that young?

So, tell me your Princess Sasami tales 😀

Rai: Oh man, I agree that she is so great. She is the opposite of Ayeka. She never tries too hard and never overthinks things, like you said. I wonder how being second in line to the throne (instead of first like Ayeka) affected this part of her personality.

But even as royalty, she has absolutely no ego but stands up for herself when needed. She is very down to Earth, but I find that phrasing ironic haha. Down to Jurai? xD And you know, I never really thought about it, but you are right – you is very well put together for someone so young. I wonder if that has to do with her upbringing as well.

I also like how she is very upbeat… which kind of makes her the perfect personality for being a magical girl! 😀 It’s never shown in the original OVA, but I love how she is a magical girl in some of the spinoffs! It started out as a joke in Tenchi Universe, but then she got her own series like  Magical Project S and Sasami Magical Girls Club… I have watched all of them. Did you know she is getting a new spinoff where she is a little older?!

Anyway… I really like Sasami (and magical girls) if you can’t tell ^_^;

Scott: I feel like such a casual. While magical girl series are usually not my thing,I have never realized that she had her own magical girl series. I think I might have to check those out somewhere because Sasami is incredibly worth it. Putting those on my watch list now! Also, I’m glad we both appreciate her. 😁

Rai: Yay! And haha, don’t feel bad. Magical Project S was never broadcasted in the US and I don’t think it is being streamed anywhere… I only know about it because I found some ancient DVD of it from like 1999 in an old video store and bought it LOL. Sasami Magical Girls Club isn’t very well known either… It’s only available for streaming on Funimation at the moment. But both are super cute, so if you get the chance, you should definitely check them out for Sasami’s sake 😀

Scott: So we talked about girls with blue and green hair. What about if we go another direction. How do you feel about the mad scientist, Washu?

You can find Part 2 of Rai and My character discussion here!



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12 thoughts on “Tenchi Muyo Character Talk: Part 1 (Collab with Rai’s Anime Blog)

  1. Princess Ayeka is trying to play the role of “utsukushii josei”, beautiful lady. Refined, proper, aristocratic. She is discovering that doesn’t work so well in the world outside of the royal court so she lets her real personality leak thru when control over Tenchi is being contested.

    Utsukushii josei doesn’t mean weak but rather implied constrained and formal, as is typically expected of “traditional” noblewomen. If they are clever and ruthless enough they can become political powerhouses.

    Courtesans can also be utsukushii josei. In Rurouni Kenshin, Shishio’s woman Yumi Komagata, is an almost pure utsukushii josei. She has great courage and love but her only action is to let Shishio run her through to get at Kenshin.

    Ryoko is pure “kireina josei”, beautiful woman. That kind of beautiful female is a person of power and action. Being strong and bold, they often haven’t had their rough edges worn down and so don’t do so well with people who value tradition and propriety. Ayeka has this in her too but it has been subordinated to her more passive side. Another pure kj is Levy in Black Lagoon.

    There are a lot more of kireina josei in anime than utsukushii josei. The other common action/adventure anime female is “kurushinde iru otome”, aka damsel in distress.

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  2. Classic harem show. Are you going to review War On Geminar (Saint Seiya) next? And how about the related spinoff shows, like Tenchi Muyo GXP? That’s his cousin. Its hammy, but it has more plot than the other shows do. And there’s Photon, also part of the series, a sort of Prequel. And Dual Parallel Trouble Adventure, which is more of a prequel than the others. That hasn’t aged well, but it is kinda like Evangelion without the depressing ending.

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      1. I wouldn’t go that far, but it was fun being exposed to anime through Toonami or Fox Kids’ short lived anime block on Fridays which had Digimon, Mon Colle Knights, and even Escaflowne at one point (that actually happened despite it being edited).

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  3. Tenchi Muyo Was GREAT fun! I’ve watched it 3 times and it still isn’t old. The reboots and sequels and spin-offs were ok and I enjoyed them. The original Tenchi Muyo Ryo Ohki is still one of the best harems and space opera out there.

    Escaflowne was great too.

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