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Mikamo (箕鳧?) and Yataka (耶鷹?) are fictional characters in the Tenchi Muyo! franchise, currently exclusive to Hitoshi Okuda's No Need for Tenchi! manga series, published in the U.S. by VIZ Media.

An unequal partnership

Yataka is officially a "space pirate", though it might be more fitting to refer to him as a "space hijacker" - a crook among crooks who scavenges others' quarry after they've done the lay-work for him. While he puts on fierce airs, Yataka is not truly cut out for the pirating business, as while he is a liar and a thief he's on occasion too timid to kill in fear of the attention it might draw from the Galaxy Police or the Jurai Royal Family. Despite all this, he has an inflated opinion of himself and his abilities, and is quick to belittle others and suffer for his underestimations.

Mikamo is his traveling companion, a sentient robot who acts as A.I. of their spaceship. Yataka likes to think of himself and the machine as partners, but Mikamo has his own agenda: he agrees to play along with the pirate, their deal being "Yataka takes as many things as he wants and Mikamo will enjoy its little hobbies"... that being torture and dissection. Though Yataka poses as the group's spokesperson, Mikamo is the real power behind the scenes, having the thief completely at his mercy.

Business arrangements

They intercept Ryoko and the others as they journey through space, Mikamo uncovering that they're after an awesome treasure - a Juraian Royal Tree she failed to acquire eight hundred years ago when she was under Kagato's control (Ryoko's only known failure aside from her raid on Jurai). Though blasted by Ryo-Ohki, a transmitter placed on the ship leads them to an uncharted planet shielded from outside tampering and discovery. Mikamo fires on Tenchi and the others from above as Yataka makes good his plan to steal the tree, only to meet up with the tree's guardian Ibara. The pirate's ridicule of others based on first impressions gets him in trouble again, and he flees when he see his technology is helpless against a "piece of stick".

His partner has substantially better luck: Mikamo cloaks itself as Sasami and feigns distress to draw the girl's sister Ayeka into striking distance. Its foul play gaining them a hostage, Mikamo orders Yataka to tell the group they have three hours to hand over the treasure for the princess, elsewise the robot might appease its sick urges. However, Mikamo schemes to have its fun even after obtaining the prize, going so far as threatening Yataka at knifepoint for suggesting otherwise.

Before either can go back on the bargain, Washu devises a way to neutralize their ship's shield, allowing Ryoko to teleport inside. Mikamo takes a cheap shot to try to atomize both women as she and Ayeka quibble over the rescue, before at last bristling over Yataka mewling there was no reason to do such a thing. "Tired of baby-sitting poser criminals", Mikamo decides to slaughter his "useless partner" but is blasted mid-stance by Ryoko, blowing a hole through the A.I. and the side of the ship.

Last resorts

Mikamo grows increasingly enraged as he fires repeatedly from orbit, his attempts at reprisal blocked by Tenchi and his Light-Hawk Wings. When Ayeka, Ryoko and Ibara take out his gun torrents the machine grows even more adamant, choosing to sacrifice itself and the ship by bringing it down on his enemies' heads. Through the power of the Light-Hawk Wings working in tandem with Ryoko and her gems, their combined strength halts Mikamo's kamikaze effort, able to stop even the mass of the falling starship.

Unrelenting, the vengeful A.I. chooses to take itself down and drag Tenchi and the others to hell with him, initiating the ship's self-destruct sequence. Taking his frustrations out on Yataka (long past ready to throw in the towel), Mikamo screams at his uselessness as a pawn, although he's quick to stop in the face of something even more maddening - Tenchi wanting to put an end to the fighting by daring to show him mercy.

The countdown reaches zero, and as the ship explodes Ryoko and Tenchi take the full brunt of the impact. Collectively they're able to smash the extraordinary amount of mass into harmless particles instantaneously, saving the planet and everyone on it. Still functional, the machine makes one final play for murder but is ultimately destroyed by Ryoko, as "some guys just don't know when to quit".

His eminence, "Lord Yataka", survives the ordeal, though after being betrayed, losing his ship, and getting blown up and taken into custody hardly gets off easy.

Trivia

  • Aside from their tremulous association as pirates, Mikamo and Yataka have their own niches for speech patterns:
    • Mikamo has a tendency to make frequent use of the word "chu" and derivatives of it in a variety of meanings, whether in place of other words, normal speech or curses.
      "Ryoko is taking action for the first chu in 700 years!"; "Damn you all, you chu-ing scum!!" (The Quest for More Money, pgs. 43/143)
    • Rather than sounding intimidating, Yataka often opts for casual, informal speech. He has an exceptional penchant for overusing "like" during conversation.
      "A-ahem! So that's the story. I'll give you, like, three hours. S-so, like, we'll be back. Okay?" (The Quest for More Money, pg. 112)
  • Since VIZ's initial pressings of No Need for Tenchi! were "flipped" (i.e. reversed horizontally from the original right-to-left for a more natural read to Westerners) the mirror effect caused several errors to Okuda's artwork. Yataka's eyepatch should appear over his right eye, but due to the style change is placed over his left. Currently, a smaller edition of the books is being released in the un-flipped format.


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