Washu Hakubi (白眉 鷲羽, Hakubi Washū), the greatest scientific genius in the universe, is a key character in the Tenchi Muyo! metaseries.
Like the other characters, her character differs depending on the continuity, though she sometimes displays a number of innate powers which she rarely uses, preferring to solve problems with reason or technology. In all incarnations of the series, Washu has also shown to be somewhat prudent and is generally trickier to fool than Tenchi or the other girls, which makes it harder for her to fall into an enemy trap. In all three Tenchi series, Washu creates an inter-dimensional laboratory in the closet of the Masaki house, although her laboratory is a lot bigger in the OVA series than in both of the TV series.
The name "Washū" is an ancient one for Japan; specifically, the region around Osaka. The name "Hakubi" was derived from the name of a train line, the Hakubi Line. When translated, Washū means "eagle-feather", and hakubi means "excellence". Washu's hair is derived from a costume from Noh plays, intended to resemble the (usually black) legs and claws of a crab. For her, it's a red crab, because this is a food specialty of Osaka. As such, the red crab logo appears on much of her merchandise and miscellaneous apparel.
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki
Washu is one of the Chousin; three sister goddesses who created the multiverse, the other two being, Tsunami and Tokimi. In order to solve the riddle of finding someone more powerful than them, Washu chose to seal her godly powers and consciousness into three gemstones and descend to the third dimension in order to analyze the mysteries of the multiverse. The purpose of Washu forgetting everything was so that she could relearn and thus try to prove the existence of a higher-level being, something impossible when she knew everything, thus this allowed her to think outside of the box. These gems have the same quality and power as the Royal Trees of the planet Jurai, which were created by her sister Tsunami. The gems are capable of creating Light Hawk Wings, the manifestation of a higher power in this dimension and are also capable of feeding power to the Royal Trees.
At some point, Washu was captured by an ancient precursor civilization and was sealed within a facility the size of a planet (Washu was in her giant form). It has been theorized that she allowed herself to be captured as part of her search to find the higher power. The civilization created three clones of Washu using bioroid technology, each one of them owning one of the three gems. The three bioroid clones were named B1 (appearing about 20 years old), B2 (appearing about 15 years old), and B3 (appearing about 10 years old). B3 escapes and meets a young boy while B1 and B2 are sent to kill her. The resulting battles are very devastating and the death-cry of B3 awakens a slumbering Tsunami who destroys the bioroids and rescues the gems. Tsunami departs, leaving Washu sealed within the facility. Why she did not release her is not revealed.
Washu remains sealed for at least 100 million years. As the seal begins to deteriorate with time, Washu begins to wake up. She was apparently 10,000 kilometers tall and as she woke up, she changed her appearance to that of a child (albeit a giant child) to attempt to gain control of her faculty by regressing to the size of a human child. It had no effect and she is unable to shrink herself down. Washu takes back the gems from the body of B1 and is finally able to stabilize herself. It is sometime after freeing herself that Washu embarks on the plan to erase her memories and convert her 3rd-dimensional body into that of an infant.
At some point, an amnesiac three-year-old Washu somehow wound up at a monastery on the planet Kanemitsu with only the three gems in her possession. She quickly became the 'big sister' to all the children in the area, especially her fellow orphans. Later in life, already being celebrated around the galaxy because of her knowledge and accomplishments, she became the youngest person to be accepted to the Department of Philosophy at the Jurai Imperial Academy. Professor/Doctor Washu became the greatest genius in the universe and eventually she and her best friend and scientific partner Naja Akara defected the Academy from under Jurai's control, it being redubbed as Galaxy Academy.
Thousands of years before the start of the OVA series, Washu married Mikamo Kuramitsu, a man whom she met at the Academy and subsequently gave birth to his child. The child, whose name is Mikumo Kuramitsu. However, because Mikamo came from the prestigious Kuramitsu family, as a result of Washu's "lower status," he took the baby and left in the heat of political strife. Out of grief, Washu chose never to deal with these adult issues again and altered her body to have the appearance of an adolescent girl, although she is able to return to her adult form if she wishes to. For this reason, she prefers to be referred to as "Little Washu" (Washu-chan), often in an attempt for people to convince her to do favors for them.
Afterward, a heartbroken Washu planned to go to Planet Seniwa to take her child back, but upon arriving, decided not to take him away from the only home he knew. After deciding not to take him away, Washu, with Naja's assistance, created at least two children in his place using a powerful species known as Masu, which was also in an effort to create a being capable of wielding the power of her mysterious gems. Unfortunately, both children died in an accident which most likely resulted in "Washu's Pore," a huge crater at the Academy.
Following Naja's disappearance during a pirate attack, Washu cloned her. However, the clone was much more ambitious and malevolent than the original and astrally "borrowed" the body of a male Ryoko prototype because of its great power, resulting in Kagato.
Washu created Ryoko using the Masu and her own ova, effectively making her Ryoko's mother. Kagato assisted her in creating Ryoko as well as her living ship, Ryo-Ohki, as entities capable of harnessing the gems' true power. A while later, Washu was locked away by Kagato for 5,000 years inside the alternate dimension of her own battleship, Soja. Kagato claimed all of Washu's creations as his own and brainwashed Ryoko and Ryo-Ohki into serving him. Washu remained sealed away until she was inadvertently freed by Mihoshi during Tenchi Masaki and the girls' battle with Kagato.
Living with Tenchi
After Kagato's defeat at the hands of Tenchi who was able to produce his own Light Hawk Wings, Washu took an immediate interest in the innately powerful boy and declared her desire to claim him for her own. Washu then moved into the Masaki house on Earth and placed her laboratory in subspace, using the Masakis' closet door as a portal. Washu's staying with the Masaki family is somewhat a part of the Chousin's purpose, but mostly it's due to fate. Since then, she has made Tenchi her love and research project, the latter much to the boy's chagrin, while the former was expressed in her offer to only have another baby if it belonged to him. Tenchi gains all of Washu's respect and love, as she wouldn't dare to keep anything from Tenchi and would risk her life for him, similar to the other girls. Washu feels the exact same way about Tenchi that Ryoko does because she has been telepathically linked with Ryoko; her mind was synchronized with Ryoko completely while she was sealed on the Soja. With the seal being broken, her ego returned to her, but the experience with Ryoko had kept her eyes on Tenchi for more than a decade and took root in her mind. She's aware of that and uses it to toy with Ryoko's feelings, hoping that she could be more honest with herself (which happens when Washu fuses Zero with Ryoko). During the events of the True Tenchi Novel Washu, it is revealed that Washu is one of Mihoshi's ancestors, though only Washu seems to understand that.
Washu attempts to take a very aggressive parental role with Ryoko, though they do have a deep connection, albeit a twisted one. Washu does what many consider to be cruel, harsh things to Ryoko. However, considering Ryoko's past as a notorious pirate and the fact that Kagato repressed all of Ryoko's emotions while she was under his control, this is the only real way to get through to Ryoko, unveil her true feelings, and soften her up so that she'd be a better pairing with Tenchi.
Aloof, brilliant, and witty, she balances the household and dispels most of the chaos and according to Nobuyuki Masaki, is at the top of the pecking order though she is often foiled by her great-great-granddaughter Mihoshi Kuramitsu, a genius of luck.
Washu possesses a number of superhuman abilities, including the ability to teleport, form energy blades identical to Ryoko's, turn Kagato's snake guardians to stone, and disperse the monsters Ryoko forms with a wave of her hand. She also defeated an S class Esper in combat.
Even after discovering that Tenchi is the superior being that she and her sisters have been searching for, for millennia, Washu reveals that she cares more about Tenchi as a human being than as just the result of her search and she and Tsunami will continue living with him and they convince Tokimi to do so as well.
In the 2nd OVA spinoff, Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar, it is revealed in episode 4 that Washu hypnotized Tenchi's younger half-brother Kenshi Masaki. She did this in order to make sure that as a child, Kenshi never revealed the extended Masaki family's origins to any normal Earthlings. Washu's face is almost covered in darkness in his flashback, but can be recognized easily, Kenshi referring to her as "that mad scientist." Kenshi also refers to her and the other girls as his "sisters".
In the GXP anime, it is shown that Washu will (at least occasionally) return to the Galactic Academy in disguise, and set up a shop to sell various things from Earth. The GXP novels expand her appearance (in the anime she only appears for a second) and she has a conversation with Seina, trying to sell him and Erma various things, including a used hospital portable urinal bottle that someone bought to keep cold drinks in. Washu, when asked, claimed she did it for laughs, and to see what people from the Galactic Federation would think of the things she sold.
One of the items she sold is suggested to have been the bell from Tenchi's cat Chibi, which Seina bought, and that was put on Fuku.
Appearance's like that start to create the rumor that she has returned but she doesn't confirm this publicly to the Galaxy until she first appears before the Kuramitsu family to help her son, Mikumo, fake his death and then letting herself be seen in public spaces such as the entertainment ship Racepshi.
In the GXP novels she creates, and gifts to Kiriko, the Seikijin style mecha that she had been planning to give to Kenshi before Rea told her she could not send such a monstrously powerful thing to the underdeveloped Geminar. When she arrives in Racepshi to deliver it she appears not as a child or an adult but in a chibi-form.