Airi Magma Masaki (柾木 アイリ, Masaki Airi) is a supporting character from the Tenchi Muyo! OVA series and a major character in its spinoff, Tenchi Muyo! GXP. She is the wife of Prince Yosho Masaki Jurai and is the maternal grandmother of the series protagonist Tenchi Masaki.
A native of the planet Airai, Airi's people worship the "three lives" - the Chousin - three goddesses who are the catalysts of the universe. Airi's people despise the people of Jurai because they believe that they hold the goddess Tsunami selfishly to themselves, though this is not the case. Airi's father was at one time the ruler/priest of their people, and both are direct descendants of the founder of their culture.
She first met Yosho when the two of them studied together at the Galaxy Academy. She was his tour guide and the two fell in love after spending a lot of time together. After Yosho told Airi who he really was, he became milder than the hardened prince he was before. Though it wasn't that extreme, his characteristics which made everyone awe him had been softened; the days living with Airi made him know the life of a normal boy. However, he spent 6 months out of the year back on Jurai and unfortunately, much to Airi's chagrin, every time Yosho would return from Jurai, he would be the same as he was before.
Before Airi fell in love with Yosho, she was to be married to a member of House Tatsuki of Jurai's Royal so that one day, she could rise to the throne and the Airaians could take hold of Tsunami. When Airi found out she was pregnant with Yosho's child, she knew that the Airaians would have killed the child had they known about it. Before she returned to Airai, she had the embryo removed and placed into stasis. She then returned to Airai, broke her original engagement, and then defected to the Galaxy Academy. After returning to the Academy, she had the embryo removed from stasis and placed back into her womb. She later gave birth to a daughter, whom she named Minaho. Seto Kamiki Jurai, the power behind the Royal Family, took Airi under her wing during this time, thus the two are very close as seen in GXP.
Sometime after this, a large number of the people of Arai, including Airi's father, were killed by the mass murderer, Widow. Since then, Airi had made it her mission to bring this woman to justice.
Years after Yosho ran away to Earth and after his first wife Kasumi died, he secretly contacted an old friend at the Galaxy Academy in order to arrange for some of his family to go into space resulting in him re-meeting Airi and being introduced to his daughter Minaho. Yosho traveled in secret to meet Airi and his daughter and the two fell back in love and married through common law. Some time afterward, Airi gave birth to their second daughter Kiyone Masaki. Though the two do not live together, Airi and Yosho are still married and in love, as seen when they meet with each other in OVA 3. It is also known that Airi takes trips to the Earth, though how frequent these trips are is not known. However, Airaians do not know that Airi had been pregnant with Yosho's child and her marriage to Yosho is still a top-secret, and not known to anyone outside of the extended Masaki family on Earth, Jurai's Royal Family, and Airi's circle of friends and confidantes and the revelation would be a political bomb.
Airi is currently the head of the Jurai sector office of the Galaxy Police and also works as the chairwoman for the Galaxy Police Academy. She works closely with the Academy's headmistress Mikami Kuramitsu and not to mention Lady Seto.
Airi meets her grandson Tenchi in episode 15 of OVA 3. However, anyone mentioning the fact that she is a grandmother better learns to run fast... she never likes to hear that she is a grandmother. Not even Tenchi dares to call her 'Grandma.' Conversely, he can't even call her Airi (Airi-sama), lest he be affectionately smothered due to how he says it (In Japanese, use of another's given name without honorifics is considered very familiar, except he didn't, he used "-sama" and that's more so because it is a way to address someone you love and/or respect above even yourself. A lord, leader, lover, someone you put on a pedestal). In the end, as per suggestion, he simply sticks with the formal Ms. Airi (Airi-san). In episode 15, she traveled to Earth to introduce Tenchi's arranged bride, Noike, to Tenchi and the girls of his extended family on instructions from Lady Seto, Jurai's matchmaker, though the "Devil Princess of Jurai" did have ulterior motives. Airi becomes enamored with Tenchi, constantly commenting on how cute he is. Tenchi mentions in GXP episode 17 that he and Airi still keep in touch.
Airi is also a master of the Neo-Academy style, a martial art often employed during discussions and negotiations between scientists and philosophers. The techniques involved consist of mainly slapping the offending party silly, as well as employing a cold, hard stare. Airi had used this fighting style on Ryoko when she referred to Airi as 'a middle-aged floozie' and 'a crusty-old hag,' with great success.
She also has a joker attitude and loves to play practical jokes...whenever she can get away with it. She had even co-written the explanation of her daughter Kiyone's death (on orders from Kiyone herself), for which it was to be told to Tenchi with morbid humor. Her older daughter Minaho, however, does not have this trait.
Airi has a love for cooking, and could sometimes be found in one of the G.P. Academy's restaurants practicing her passion. Seina Yamada, the protagonist of GXP, found out about this when, as a joke committed by Amane, he referred to Airi as 'Granny' when her back was turned at a restaurant when instructed to. When Seina found out, he was terrified (mostly because Airi was holding a chef's knife at the time). When she was still at the Academy, Lady Seto advised her to begin working in the academy restaurants and to learn how to cook Juraian dishes to please Yosho.
Airi is shown to be a major prankster, and very uninhibited. A trait inherited by her daughter, Kiyone. She helped co-write the script that her daughter asked her Yosho and Nobuyuki to use when explaining her death to Tenchi when he asked about it. She also (in the novels) was perfectly fine with video chatting with Seina even while she was in the nude and later topless.
- Airi's surname Masaki means "straight grain, spindle tree, (kokuji)" (柾) (masa) and "tree, wood" (木) (ki).
- Although Airi's marriage to Yosho is kept secret, Airi still seems to use her married name Masaki.
- At the Academy, philosophers learn everything about everything, in order to combine multiple disciplines into their technology.
- In the novels, Yosho reveals that, because of the length of their lifespans, and the fact they live so far apart, the pair have a relatively open marriage.