Tenchi Masaki (柾木 天地, Masaki Tenchi) is the main protagonist of the Tenchi Muyo! metaseries. He is a normal boy until a number of alien girls arrive at his house. Some or all of the girls, depending on the continuity, fall in love with him. He, however, accepts none of their advances. As a gentleman and because he cares much more about the family unit than he does about romantic conquests.
Tenchi Masaki is an ordinary boy living in Okayama Prefecture with his widowed father, Nobuyuki. He is a compassionate, humble, noble, level-headed, respectful young man training with his grandfather as a Shinto priest and as a swordsman. A number of alien girls arrive at his house throughout the course of the series, with all of them expressing romantic interest in the young (but innately powerful) boy. Throughout the series, Tenchi learns hidden truths about himself, his role in the universe, and just how powerful and significant he actually is.
Tenchi initially lives in the city with his father to attend school with his friends and visits his grandfather's shrine in rural Okayama every summer. There he trains to become a Shinto priest and learns his family's special style of swordsmanship. Unbeknownst to Tenchi happens to be particular to members of the Royal Family of the planet Jurai. Tenchi's grandfather Katsuhito Masaki, always told him a legend about a warrior who defeated a demon and trapped her within the family shrine. Tenchi goes into the shrine and accidentally awakens the "demon," who in actuality, was the space pirate Ryoko, who in a fit of rage enhanced by 700 years of being locked up, attacks Tenchi. After ending her attack on Tenchi, Ryoko attempts to seduce him in order to receive her gems that are attached to the sword that he found in the shrine. Shortly after, Juraian Princesses Ayeka and Sasami arrive on Earth to capture Ryoko. They also plan on finding their missing brother Yosho, who was last known to have chased Ryoko off of Jurai (making him the "warrior" of Katsuhito's legend).
During the ordeal, Princess Ayeka is shocked to discover that Tenchi is in possession of the Master Key, Yosho's sword also called "Tenchi." After Ayeka notices that Tenchi is able to use its power, she determines that they are related by noble blood. Tenchi also makes friends with Ayeka's little sister Sasami, and they begin their older brother/little sister relationship.
Tenchi's house is permanently relocated next to the shrine after the battle between Ryoko and Ayeka. Both girls fall in love with Tenchi during their stay at his home. Additionally, Tenchi no longer attends school after the high school was decimated during the encounter with Ryoko in OVA 1. Feeling responsible for his old high school being destroyed and theorizing that trouble will just follow him again if he were to return. He doesn't see his high school friends Kamikura, Ikeda, and Kazuhito that much.
Subsequently, Tenchi suffers a great deal of stress as he tries his hardest to be a gentleman. This is because most of the women within the household take any opportunity to display their attraction for him. Though Tenchi refuses to get intimate with them, he treats them all like family, willing to risk his life for each and every one of them.
More serious trouble later comes for Tenchi, when ruthless space pirate and "Ruins Buster" Kagato arrive in order to take claim of Ryoko. Tenchi, after learning his grandfather's true identity as the Juraian prince Yosho, puts his life on the line to rescue her. During the climax of the battle when Tenchi is thought to be dead, both Ayeka and Ryoko reveal their true love for Tenchi. The both of them going after Kagato in a suicidal battle to the death. After his life is saved by the goddess Tsunami, it is revealed that Tenchi can create three Light Hawk Wings, the most potent sources of energy in the universe, which are usually only created by the mighty Juraian Royal Tree ships. In a final duel, Tenchi defeats Kagato with a single attack that not only destroys him, but splits Kagato's ship in half.
After the battle with Kagato, Tenchi welcomes new a house guest, the universe's number 1 genius Washu Hakubi. She not only takes a huge interest in Tenchi because of his innate power, but also desires for him and only him to give her a child.
At the end of the OVA. Tenchi once again produces his Light Hawk Wings to save Ayeka, Mihoshi, and himself from a black hole during a confrontation with Dr. Clay.
Nearly a year later, Tenchi is shocked to discover that he has an older sister, Tennyo Masaki. 80-year-old Tennyo arrives to introduce Tenchi's official fiancee, Noike Kamiki Jurai. The marriage was arranged by Jurai's political advisor, Seto Kamiki Jurai. In reality, Seto commissioned Noike to monitor the Masaki house as it has the highest concentration of power in the universe, thanks to all its inhabitants. Tenchi is also introduced to his grandmother, Airi Masaki.
Amidst all the chaos, Tenchi learns from his grandfather Katsuhito, that since Earth is a developing civilization. The Masaki clan must keep their true identities hidden since they do not age at the same rate as Earthlings. And those who are born into the Masaki family on Earth are kept from the secrets until they come of age.
After Misao's plans are thwarted, Tenchi's life is once again threatened as Z, a man who, like Tenchi, can generate Light Hawk Wings, attacks him. During the battle with Z, truths are revealed including more information about Tenchi's true nature. Tenchi is revealed to be a "potential," a person who can wield power from a higher dimension, ie: the Light Hawk Wings. For eternity, three godly sisters: Washu, Tsunami, and Tokimi -- the Chousin -- have searched for a being superior to them, and Tenchi is revealed to be that being after he defeats Z. Tenchi's true power is seen when the universe is almost destroyed by the impact of his power, if not contained by the Chousin. Tenchi's alternate, ascended self seemingly hatches from his body and is able to calm Tenchi down, reminding him of the girls he fights for. (See "Alternate self" below for more)
After the entire ordeal, the truth behind everything that has happened was linked to the three. They decided to change the timeline in order to repair the damage that they have done and like before, Tenchi gets knocked into the past. This time, however, it didn't stem from the attack on him made by Z, but by the cannon of the powerful ship known as the Chobimaru. The reason for this is because if Tenchi didn't go to the past, he wouldn't have saved a little girl who would eventually become Noike. Additionally, in this new timeline, Tenchi creates six Light Hawk Wings, instead of his usual three that he limited himself to.
The OVA begins with the preparations for the wedding of Nobuyuki and Rea, as seen at the end of OVA 3. Tenchi is introduced to his aunt Minaho for the first time since his mother's funeral, as well as several of his cousins who have been in space for the last while. The cousins visit Tsukiko Masaki, Kiriko Masaki and Kai Masaki's mother, and suggest she has a romantic interest in Seina Yamada, who has recently gone to space, indicating this is concurrent with the early episodes of Tenchi Muyo! GXP. Minaho and Tenchi take some time to get to know each other, with Minaho joking that she was thinking of making Tenchi hers (her husband). Instead, all realize that she can serve a role as a sort of mother figure to Tenchi, which has always missed. And while Tenchi may be getting a new step-mother in Rea, Nobuyuki admits that he knows Techi will have some problems seeing her as one, because he also had his own crush on her when he was growing up. A shock is delivered to Tenchi and everyone the day before the wedding when Rea explains what she thought everybody already knew, that she was actually discovered as a child by Tenchi's mother, Kiyone, after being transported to Earth from the alternate dimension planet, Geminar and that she has a mission to bear a child and send the child back there. It turns out that Kiyone never told a single other person about it before dying.
The fifth season mostly deals with the extended cast, now including the cast of Tenchi Muyo! GXP and Paradise War, training Tenchi's half-brother, Kenshi Masaki, in preparation for his transportation to Geminar, as seen in the series, Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar. His role in training Kenshi is not seen much, however we do see how he has matured more into his powers. While the events of Paradise War are being planned and held, Tenchi is tasked with protecting Earth from Space Pirate factions that would interfere. He is shown being able to independently sense cloaked spaceships far away and, with some direction from Washu, is able to teleport where he needs to be and use his lighthawk energy to instantly capture, disable, envelope, condense, and transport giant and extremely powerful ships to either the Galaxy Police or Jurai space. At one point, he also simultaneously destroys 1,000+ missiles being fired at Tabletop Island during an intended Earth forces invasion.
Separately, he is prompted to confront his romantic feelings for the girls he lives with. After consulting everyone, he finds that his feelings are not selfish but rather mutual. He loves them all and they can only see a family that includes him at the center. In the fifth episode of the season, I am sure you have your opinion on the matter, but please consider the matter closed, he announces to his close family, Seina's clan, Juraian family, the Kuramitsu family, and others that he will marry Ryoko, Ayeka, Sasami, Ryo-Ohki, Mihoshi, Washu, and Noike. Emperor Azusa speaks for all in attendance in accepting the marriage. During Episode 6 (which spans a couple years time), Ryoko and Ayeka go through pregnancies and give birth to Tenchi's first two daughters, while Ryo-Ohki is also pregnant with Tenchi's child (or children).
Although GXP takes place in the official continuity. (Taking place one year after the 3rd OVA series and during the first three episodes of OVA 4). Tenchi doesn't play a major role in this series. His unlucky childhood friend Seina Yamada is the main protagonist. The Galaxy Police did try to recruit Tenchi, but they ended up with Seina instead. Tenchi appears in Episode 17, where Seina comes to his house to see Washu to talk about Fuku, the cabbit that she had given him. Tenchi and Seina discuss their similar troubles with a harem of girls all fighting for them and also show off their superhuman feats with a race. Tenchi showed that he can move incredibly fast during a race with Seina. He can keep up with him despite Seina having drastic Galaxy Police body enhancements and going downhill on a bicycle. It is somewhat clear that at this point that Tenchi has much more confidence in his mysterious powers as well as his role as the "head of the house" and, at present, he's not interested in joining the Galaxy Police. Tenchi, as well as the girls, also appear in a brief cameo in Episode 26 where they attend Seina's wedding.
In the GXP Light Novels (volume 9), this visit is expanded upon. Tenchi has a heart to heart talk with Seina in chapter 15, where Tenchi and Tokimi reveals some information about Tenchi's powers to Seina. It is revealed that Tenchi, fearful of living alone for eternity and possibly even after the end of existence, has unconsciously stopped the girls aging, and rendered everyone close to him effectively immortal, including Seina.
It is also mentioned that, although Tenchi generally leaves the cooking to Sasami and Noike, he likes to cook hotpot and is, in fact, better at making it than the two ladies.
Tenchi does not appear in this series but his younger half-brother Kenshi talks about him and his "sisters" at his older half-brother's house. In Episode 7 Kenshi mentions that he has several sisters-in-laws. Meaning his older brother Tenchi has at the very least two or more wives, as Kenchi only has one older brother and one older sister by blood. Background info indicates Tenchi (and his family) are watching everything that happens, with the help of Tokimi.
Tenchi makes these alien girls part of his family. As a result, Tenchi isn't lonely anymore, despite the troubles the girls may cause. While Tenchi is a normal teenage guy in that he finds the girls attractive, his desire for a family is greater because they helped him deal with the great pain in his heart because of losing his mother.
So no matter who one's favorite girl is, Tenchi is currently going with the "I'm not choosing a single girl since I like having all the girls around me as family strategy. One of the reasons for Tenchi not choosing a single girl is that if he did, chances are the others wouldn't stay, drastically altering the series dynamic.
Though Tenchi is not bonded to a Royal Tree, he is considered a contender for the throne of Jurai (determined by-election of the four royal families) due both to his status as the successor to First Prince Yosho (who was a contender due to his connection to his 1st Generation Royal Tree) and his singular ability among the Jurai to create Light Hawk Wings on his own. Tenchi is second in line behind his grandfather, followed by Seina who was bonded to a 1st generation tree seed.
It has been confirmed that Tenchi will be around for hundreds of thousands of years thanks to his great power and that Tenchi and the girls will eventually move to Jurai. In fact, in the GXP light novels, Tenchi reveals to Seina that since his ascension, he and the girls have become immortal. Beforehand, however, while still on Earth, Tenchi's relationship with the girls will become intimate (revealed in Masaki Kajishima's doujinshi 'Omatsuri Zenjitsu no Yoru - Omake)
Kajishima has stated that should GXP and OVA 3 do well, that he would consider another series to explore Tenchi's love life. It also should be noted that ALL of Kajishima's works end with a harem in which the guy marries (or otherwise ends up with) many if not all of the girls from that series.
It was revealed in True Tenchi Muyo! Volume 1: Jurai and in early doujinshi written by Masaki Kajishima that Tenchi would have, at the very least, two sons. Information is only revealed about one. A son, whose features suggest he may be Washu's child, is depicted in a doujinshi complaining about his parents with the astral of Masaki Jurai, sister of the First Emperor of Jurai. He will eventually marry Masaki (after Washu is able to generate a new body for her) and they will flee the planet and become wandering archaeologists, never staying in one place. They have a daughter who runs away from her parents to return to Tenchi's house, saying she is tired of wandering and wants to live with her grandparents. This forces Tenchi's son and Masaki to settle on Earth again, although they still travel to do their work.
In the final episode of the fifth season of Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki , it is shown that Ryoko and Ayeka become pregnant in quick succession. An early doujinshi depicted Ryoko and a daughter that may or may not be this daughter. A couple years later, it is also revealed that Ryo-Ohki is also pregnant. A series of doujinshi under the title Tenchi IF by Kajishima also reveal further details. All daughters born tend to have an extreme resemblance to their mothers. They all develop close relationships to the sons of Seina and his wives. Over the course of many years, the doujinshi depict how they all end up marrying Seina's sons. In the case of Ryoko's and Ayeka's Daughters, they end up both marrying the son of Seina and Kiriko, born soon after them.
Ryo-Ohki delivers a "litter" of three daughters, born from a a large crystal formation produced by Ryo-Ohki. They all marry the son of Seina and Amane Kaunaq,
Mihoshi and Noike have daughters at nearly the same time and will both marry the son of Seina and Ryoko Balta. Noike's daughter is shown to be somewhat differently abled, possibly meant to be depicted as on the autism spectrum and is almost singularly fixated on her future groom. This fixation leads to Tenchi's first granddaughter being born, born before their joint wedding has even been planned.
Powers and Abilities
Tenchi is the most powerful character in the series, but is too young and immature to have full control over his power. He is a competent swordsman and martial artist, trained by his grandpa, and in the first episode he gains possession of a Master Key also known as Sword Tenchi (Tenchi-ken), that can form a lightsaber-like blade.
During the battle with Kagato, Tenchi receives a special ring from Tsunami that can create a Juraian battlesuit for him. Additionally, Tenchi is capable of superhuman feats thanks to his Juraian blood but has only displayed his more unusual talents during dire situations, such as his duel with Kagato, the escape from a black hole during the battle with Dr. Clay, and the confrontation with Z.
Besides his very special power of generating Light Hawk Wings, Tenchi is able to transform this pure energy into matter, usually in the form of a sword, a shield, and battle clothing.
In the final battle of OVA 3, Tenchi discovers that Light Hawk Wings are the manifestation of godly power in this dimension. The extent of Tenchi's powers is unknown. At one point they rage out of control, forcing the Chousin goddesses to step in and prevent a catastrophe. In the new "altered" timeline, when Noike secretly fired the Choubimaru's cannon to collide with the Earth, again to preserve her future, Tenchi projects his Light Hawk Wings to stop it, a total of six wings, rather than the usual three wings he limited himself to before the event.
Tenchi is revealed to be the higher power that the Chousin have been searching for since before the beginning of time, though much else has yet to be explained. During the conflict with Z, Tenchi mortal body starts turning into pure Light Hawk Wings-like substance which causes him extreme mental pain as he was not yet ready to ascend to higher dimensions. His consciousness starts to ascend through higher dimensions and randomly travelling through time. He is first seemingly thrown back in time and encounters a young female version of Kagato and is then seemingly sent to a far future where he witnesses the Counter-Actor wrecking havoc and attacking Tokimi.
At this dire point, another mysterious and matured version of Tenchi appears before his younger self. This alternate version of Tenchi calms down his original self by reminding him of the girls he fights for, then proceeds to stop the Counter-Actor by kissing her. As the younger Tenchi witnesses this interaction, he speeds back through time to re-inhabit his instantly repaired body.
The existence of this other Tenchi is explained after the events of OVA 3 as well as in the Tenchi Muyo GXP novels, where Tokimi explains to both Tenchi and Seina that this Tenchi can be considered a version of Tenchi from thousands of years in the future, where Misaki went mad and became the being known as the Counter-Actor. However, according to Tokimi, this does not represent an inevitable version of Tenchi that cannot be changed. The present Tenchi is still shaping his future and his alternate self was just an aspect of Tenchi that could help him at that time.
- This version of Tenchi has been named "Kami-Tenchi" by the fan community, but it is not an official term ever used in the franchise.
Airi notes in GXP, that Tenchi has several powers they haven't discovered yet - some examples include his instant teleportation off the planet when Z destroys much of the Earth, his speedy teleportation to Saturn when Z is about to slice him with his Light Hawk Wings, his traveling back in time after being cut in half by Z, (as well as after stopping the Chobimaru from destroying Earth during the new altered timeline), and his ability to keep up with his friend Seina in a foot race despite Seina having drastic body enhancements and going downhill on a bicycle. It is explained in his meeting with Seina that Tenchi has, in fact, caught up with his alternate timeline self in term of growth, and still is far from the end of it.
- The name Tenchi means "heaven and earth, top and bottom, universe" (天地).
- Tenchi's surname Masaki means "straight grain, spindle tree, (kokuji)" (柾) (masa) and "tree, wood" (木) (ki).