- 1 Personality and series role
- 2 Appearances
Personality and series role
In most series, Sasami is the younger sister of Ayeka and so is also a princess of Jurai. Within the family group Sasami usually takes on the dual role of younger sister/mother. She may be the most responsible of the group and takes care of all the cooking duties. She has a rarely-seen mischievous streak within her however, and takes great delight in fooling the older girls. She has teal-colored hair tied in long pigtails with melon pink eyes.
Sasami has a huge fan following across the globe and is the inspiration for what VIZ editor Carl Gustav Horn called 'The Sasami Effect', in that any young cute girl within a cast of characters will inevitably become the most popular. Possible examples of this include the Sailor Moon character, Chibiusa, Takamachi Nanoha of Triangle Heart, plus many other "young" female characters in Japanese, French, and American series.
Sasami's personality is more mature in the OVA than in the other continuities, and more aggressive in the second TV and the Pretty Sammy spin offs.
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Sasami has appeared in every Tenchi Muyo! series, including several based around her as the central protagonist. In almost every incarnation her personality, background, primary outfits, relationships and abilities change. In some incarnations her art style is altered more than others, though her basic coloring and structure remaining the same.
Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki
In the original series, Sasami and her sister Ayeka are the daughters of Emperor Masaki Azusa Jurai and the second of his two wives, second Empress Misaki Masaki Jurai. On her mother's side, Sasami's grandmother is Seto Kamiki Jurai and her grandfather is Utsutsumi Kamiki; on her father's side, Sasami's grandmother is Masaki Amame of Jurai and her grandfather is Yotsuga Kazuki. Sasami has a half-brother called Yosho Masaki Jurai - son of Emperor Azusa and his first wife, Funaho. Shortly into the series, Sasami and Ayeka take to living on Earth with Tenchi's family (Tenchi, his father Nobuyuki, and his mother's father Yosho, now named Katsuhito Masaki), along with the catlike creature Ryo-Ohki and three other women staying in the house. Sasami arrived on Earth by 'accident', stowing away on her sisters ship when she went looking for Yosho. She quickly became close friends with Ryo-Ohki and even Ryoko, despite that Ryoko held a blade to Sasami's throat almost as soon as they met.
Sasami holds a dark secret within her past. Seven hundred years ago, during Ryoko's attack on Jurai, Sasami was playing around in the Royal Arboretum and took a very dangerous fall, and as a result was mortally injured, and she believed that she died that day, that she was now a copy of the 'real' Sasami. The truth is that Sasami survived her injuries when Tsunami-kami-sama, in the form of Tsunami-no-ki, assimilated her. Tsunami-no-ki absorbed and re-created Sasami's body in order to heal her... and merged her spirit with Sasami's. In effect, they are now one being with two souls, and as they grow older their spirits will merge. This may account for her personality in this series. This also grants Sasami several powers that she does not possess in any other series. She now commands the most powerful ship in existence - Tsunami-fune - and can summon it from sub-space at will. Through her link to Tsunami-kami-sama she is linked to every Juraian Ship and their owners, and can sense their location and status. She also has precognitive abilities, but unfortunately these manifest as horrible, disturbing and sometimes even bloody nightmares.
Sasami hid her secret from those around her - including herself - because her greatest fear was that she would be rejected by those she loved. When it was finally revealed, though, Ayeka said she didn't care about it and still loved Sasami just the way she was; Tenchi, Yosho and the other girls also accepted the fact.
It should also be noted that, if needed, Sasami is an accomplished combatant, most likely taught by her mother, who is the Supreme Commander of the Royal Bodyguard, and enhanced by the link with Tsunami-no-ki, easily defeating Mashisu Makibi, who was a trained Galaxy Police officer. One of the cherry-like hair bands she wears is capable of becoming a battle staff.
In this one-off episode - written as a 'pilot' for both Tenchi Universe and Pretty Sammy - Sasami appears as herself, possibly her OVA version, but in the story told her name and image is used for the role of a Galaxy Police cadet, and has a secret identity as Pretty Sammy, along with her pet Ryo-Ohki. She is also known as the best tea maker in the GXP.
In the first TV series Sasami is still Ayeka's sister and princess of Jurai, but there is no mention of her parents, and Yosho (along with his grandson Tenchi) appears to be only a distant relative. Tsunami does not appear in this series, so Sasami has no alter-ego (other than Pretty Sammy). Sasami is still an accomplished cook. She has a much more happy, innocent outlook on life and does not use any special powers. She does - or did - own her own ship, but it was soon destroyed, stranding her on Earth. She is an expert games player, especially fighting video games, and takes the revived Azaka as her pupil. During the three part special episodes 'Time and Space Adventures', which seem to be homages to various genres or specific shows/films, Sasami is usually side-lined away from the main story, except of course in her own in which she once again plays the role of 'Pretty Sammy'. It is worth noting that even in her own story she starts off as a background character, only taking center stage once she has transformed.
Tenchi Muyo in Love 1 & 2
These two movies are set in the Universe continuity and Sasami's personality remains the same. A manga companion to the second movie, Tenchi Muyo! in Love 2: Eternal Memory, shows what was supposedly happening to Sasami 'off-screen' and introduces Tsunami-kami-sama to the Universe continuity, but it is unknown if this is an official account to be considered as taking place in the same continuity as the movie. The manga implies that Sasami & Tenchi will one day have a child named Izumi, but Sasami will die soon after her birth. However, according to Sasami's narration, that was only one possible future. With every choice they make they can change their fate. It's also told that Tenchi might not choose Sasami but she'll still care for Tenchi the same as always.
Tenchi in Tokyo
As with most of the characters, Sasami's personality became much louder than before. Her moods are more erratic, given to bouts of juvenile anger and sulking. She becomes friends with Yugi, before learning Yugi's true nature, but remains her friend until the end of the series. Ryo-Ohki is also her pet in this series.
Pretty Sammy/Magical Project S
The OVA and TV versions of Pretty Sammy have a completely re-worked Sasami. Now she is Sasami Kawai (河合 砂沙美 Kawai Sasami?); in the OAV she is the daughter of a failed singer turned record-store owner named Chihiro Kawai and sister to Tenchi Kawai; in the Tv version her parents are Ginji & Honoka Kawai, also record-store owners and she has no siblings.
An ordinary young girl, Sasami was granted magical powers by Tsunami, who is in line to become queen of a magical realm (planet in the TV version) called Juraihelm. She battles an enemy called Pixy Misa, who is secretly Sasami's best friend, Misao Amano. The Pretty Sammy series was originally created as a parody of the Magical Girl genre, particularly Sailor Moon.
A series of books written by Naoko Hasegawa, a former scriptwriter for the OVA. The novels branch off after episode 6 of the OVA series. These novels were never translated however, so little is known about the character development in this time-line.
Manatsu no Eve/Daughter of Darkness
The Hasagawa novel Manatsu no Eve was made into a movie, and is the only contact most non-Japanese fans have had with this continuity. Sasami's connection to Tsunami-kami-sama from the OVA is not mentioned in the film. Sasami has more screen-time as she befriends Mayuka, Tenchi and Yuzuha's (the antagonist in this film) genetically engineered daughter. She quickly develops a strong bond with Mayuka.
Two official manga series have been created by Hitoshi Okuda - No Need For Tenchi and Shin Tenchi Muyo! (aka The All-New Tenchi Muyo!). Based on the OVA series and branching off after episode 13.5. The manga series generally has a lighter attitude than the anime series and the characters personalities reflect this. Sasami has a much more open relationship with Tsunami-kami-sama, who herself is more breezy than her own OVA counterpart, possibly due to Sasami's influence, but more likely by Okuda-sensei wanting to write her that way. Sasami is the only person, in the manga or the anime, that Tenchi has said the words "I love you" to. In volume 5 of the second manga series, Sasami's age is given as 709 years; however, Sasami's age was returned to 708 in volume 7 of the second manga series for unknown reasons. Possibly a mistranslation in either volume.
Sasami: Magical Girls Club
The magical girl anime Sasami: Magical Girls Club again reworked Sasami as Sasami Iwakura (岩倉 砂沙美 Iwakura Sasami?). Although superficial changes to her include the total absence of the mark on her forehead, and her freckles, she is still fairly recognizable. (In fact, rather than Chisa Yokoyama, child voice actress Mana Ogawa plays the voice of the character to make her sound more like a child.)
In this anime, Sasami is a fifth-grader who has magical powers since birth. But she has been forbidden by her parents to use those powers since age three; she still practices it, but in secret. It is after she and her new friend Misao find out about the secret of her new teacher Washu Kozuka that she becomes a member of the latter's magical girl club and maximize the use of her magical power.