Tenchi Universe (天地無用! Tenchi Muyō!?) was a 26 episode anime series produced by the AIC and Pioneer Animation. It is loosely based on the first six episodes of the Tenchi Muyo! OVA series. The series premiered on April 2, 1995 in Japan and concluded its airing on September 24, 1995. The series aired in the United States on Cartoon Network's cartoon block Toonami on July 20, 2000 and ended on August 24, 2000. Two featured films came from this canon, Tenchi the Movie: Tenchi Muyo in Love and Tenchi Forever! The Movie.
This series introduces three new characters: Mihoshi's partner Kiyone Makibi (who debuted in the "Mihoshi Special"), the bounty hunter and Ryoko's rival, Nagi, and her cabbit companion, Ken-Ohki. The series also gave some characters different personalities; Washu is now portrayed as a mildly-insane egomaniac with two pop-up dolls that proclaim her greatness, and Mihoshi was portrayed as a comic relief character whose constant bumbling, blunders and crying fits would often get the gang into trouble.
- Ken-Ohki (眷皇鬼 Kenōki?)
- Ken-Ohki is Nagi's cabbit partner. Like Ryō-Ohki, Ken-Ohki can transform himself in a space battleship, although the configuration and color is slightly different than Ryō-Ohki. And like Ryō-Ohki, Ken-Ohki has developed a love of carrots.
- Ken-Ohki and Ryō-Ohki also love each other, which complicates Nagi's almost obsessive quest to capture Ryōko. But this love had also saved Nagi from being killed by Ryōko, not to mention aiding Ryōko when she, Tenchi, and the knights Azaka and Kamidake stormed the Jurai palace to save Ayeka.
- Voiced by: Akiko Yajima
- Mecha-Washū (メカ鷲羽 Meka-Washū?)
- This android duplicate of Washū was supposed to be a suplemental worker, inprinted with the mad genius's intellect. But somehow, a single hair from Mihoshi found its way into the transfer unit. It was after an explosion (caused by Mihoshi) that Washū discovered that, instead of Washū's mind, the android gains Mihoshi's mind and temperament. Washū also developed a spare body for Mecha-Washū which she used after Washū self-detonated her original body and the spare body is not equipped with a self-destruct device. The group had a hard time dealing with Mecha-Washū until Kiyone came by, as she knew how Mihoshi's mind works, which enabled her to shut down Mecha-Washū.
- Mecha-Washū has most of Washū's physical features, but with Mihoshi's ear and eye characteristics, as well as her hairstyle. Eventually Washū tried to create a second Mecha-Washū but Ryō-Ohki somehow caused it to gain her characteristics.
- Voiced by: Yūko Kobayashi (Japanese), Kate T. Vogt (English)
- Mitsuki (満奇?)
- Mitsuki graduated from the same Galaxy Police Academy class Kiyone graduated from, but at a lower score. She is a very ambitious person, and will stoop to anything to get ahead of Kiyone... even capturing her when Kiyone got implicated in Ayeka's problems with Jurai.
- At the end of the series, Mitsuki was demoted to being Kiyone's errand girl, following Kiyone's promotion to Detective Sergeant and Mihoshi's promotion to Chief Criminal Prevention Officer.
- Mirei (美零?)
- Mirei is a mysterious ghost girl whose life before she died is unknown to her, although she has a photograph which is her only clue.
- When the Yagami stopped in the Sargasso sea of space a.k.a. the ship's graveyard, that was when Mirei's ship appeared before them. She invited Sasami and Ryō-ohki on board, after which the two started to have fun and decided to scare the rest of the group, who had come aboard to look for Sasami. Then after sampling Sasami's memories, Mirei, Sasami, and Ryō-ohki continued to play through things such as an amusement park and a fireworks display.
- Eventually Sasami realized she had to return to the Yagami as everyone was worried. But as a gift, Sasami and Ryō-ohki's image were added to the photograph to help remember their happiest time together.
- Amarube (餘部?) and Yura (由良?)
- Basically, the two of them are runaways, and just happened to steal Kiyone's ship Yagami, (with an unknowing Nobuyuki and Katsuhito on board who were playing Shiogi, a Japanese version of chess) when the Masaki clan stopped at a station to order beef dons. Of course, the two of them didn't know about the trouble the Masakis were in, and soon found themselves chased by the G.P. and Jurai... something they never counted on!
- Eventually they ended up flying towards a star, but the Masaki group (minus Ayeka and Sasami) arrived on Ryō-ohki, retaken the ship, and used Washu's calculations to use the sun's gravity to escape. They then sent Amarube and Yura away on an escape pod.
- Amarube voiced by: Tsutomu Kashiwakura
- Yura voiced by: Yūko Nagashima (Japanese), Debi Derryberry (English)
- Sagami (相模?)
- During the Masaki clan's trip through the Jurai checkpoint, Sagami met Tenchi (disguised as a girl named Tenko) after he went to check-in station. Sagami then went to the Cafe with Sasami and Tenchi, but after Ryōko and Mihoshi came through when Mihoshi's bungling had exposed them, Sagami was able to help slow down some of the guards.
- Later when Sasami was separated from the group, Sagami knocked out the guards that heard her and then gave Tenchi a staff to fight off the guards, although it exposed Tenchi's true identity to him. It turned out that Sagami was an agent of Sasami and Ayeka's uncle and was helping the group in order for them to make it into Jurai territory.
- Voiced by: Akifumi Endō
- Outpost Chief (長官 Chōkan?)
- While in disguise on Jurai's checkpoint to get into the Jurai territory, Sasami remembered the time when she used to play with her uncle on Jurai. However, her uncle, who was the outpost chief for the checkpoint, easily recognized her through her disguise. He helped weaken the security grid and had his man Sagami assist the Masaki clan in getting away when they were discovered, giving them a chance to escape from the checkpoint into Jurai territory. He also helped rescue Sasami after she was separated from the group and then rendered unconscious by knockout gas; he then got her back to the group safely. It was only after their escape that Sasami saw him as they were leaving and realized that her uncle had helped them escape, and he realized how much Sasami had grown up. It's also implied that he knew the current emperor was not the real Yosho.
- Voiced by: Ikuya Sawaki
- Tetta (哲多?) and Tessei (哲清?)
- Tetta and Tessei are the Juraian knights that served Kagato. The knights Azaka and Kamidake each faced these two knights respectively. Although both Tetta and Tessei were just as skilled as Azaka and Kamidake and had techniques that weren't available in Azaka and Kamidake's time, both of the noble knights pointed out that they, along with their master, lacked the spirit of chivalry. With their courage and nobility, Azaka and Kamidake killed Tetta and Tessei.
- Itsuki Masaki (斎 Itsuki?)
- Yōshō's (Katsuhito) wife in the TV series continuity and Achika's mother. Itsuki briefly appears in Episode 22 and Tenchi Muyo in Love 2, when Yōshō explains that after he met her shortly after landing on Earth, he changed his name Katsuhito Masaki when he married her. It was because of this that the spirit of Yōshō's deceased love Haruna awoke and felt betrayed, that she would later kidnap Tenchi. Itsuki made a brief appearance at the end of Tenchi Muyo in Love 2 where after Katsuhito said goodbye to Haruna, Itsuki's spirit appeared in her child form and Katsuhito pointed out to her not to be jealous.
Tenchi Universe was broadcast on TV Tokyo from 2 April 1995 to 24 September 1995.
The English-dubbed version was picked up by Cartoon Network in 2000 for broadcast on its Toonami block (US and Europe). The Toonami version was edited for content, and featured custom opening and closing credits.
After Cartoon Network's rights to broadcast the show expired, International Channel picked up the rights to air the dubbed version in 2004.
The Spanish dub (co-produced by Cloverway Inc.) was broadcast on Univision.
- Background music/score was composed by Seikou Nagaoka.
- Opening: Tenchi Muyo! (Japanese and English versions performed by SONIA)
- Ending: Ginga de chokuritsu hokô [Walking Tall in the Milky Way] (Up-Walk in the Galaxy) (Japanese version performed by Ai Orikasa and Yumi Takada; English version performed by Diane Michelle)
- Notably, Up-Walk in the Galaxy is intended to act like Ryoko and Ayeka singing two versions of the same song, each of them trying to stake their, apparently valid, claim for Tenchi.
- Episode 6: Ai no Ejiki [Victim of Love] (Japanese version performed by Yuko Mizutani and Yuri Amano; English version performed by Ellen Gerstell and Sherry Lynn)
- Episode 13: Towa ni towa ni hoshi no yume [Never-ending Dream of Stars] (Forevermore) (Japanese version performed by Ai Orikasa; English version performed by Diane Michelle)
- Episode 16: Koi wa Chigai Hōken [Love is Extraterritorial] (Japanese version performed by Ai Orikasa; English version performed by Petrea Burchard) (This song was never played in the Toonami version.)
- Ginga ni Imasokari (I'm the Only One) (Japanese version performed by Yumi Takada; English version performed by Jennifer Darling)
- Photon, Proton, Synchrotron (Japanese version performed by Yuko Kobayashi; English version performed by Kate T. Vogt)
- Episode 26: Ren'ai no jikū [Dimension of Love] (Japanese version performed by Ai Orikasa; English version performed by Diane Michelle)