Tsunami (津名魅?, trans. Port with a Bewitching Name) is a fictional character in the Tenchi Muyo! universe.
Tsunami appears in the OVA version of the anime series Tenchi Muyo!, as its novels (True Tenchi Muyo!) and the manga series written by Hitoshi Okuda. In Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki and related works she is one of the Chousin, three Goddess-sisters and powerful beings in the story. She also appears in the series' spin-off Pretty Sammy. Here she is a candidate to become the next Queen of the magical realm of Juraihelm.
As noted above, Tsunami appears as one of the three Choushin. In fact, she has appeared in several different roles:
The suffix of -kami-sama can be literely defined as "spirit lord/lady" and adding it to a name implies a superior divine connection; while kami can mean "god", kami-sama means "God" (such as The Almighty, Kami-sama, in Oh My Goddess!). Tsunami-kami-sama, along with her sisters Washu-kami-sama and Tokimi-kami-sama, were in existence before time and space began, and have spent billions of years working towards locating a certain individual, someone who was greater than they were - how they define 'greater' is a matter of conjecture - but what they would do then is unknown. In fact, the sum total of creation was started by them after an unknown length of time spent trying to theorise the existence of such a being. They came to the conclusion that a more practical approach was needed.
The three Choushin are high-dimensional entities; as opposed to our own three, there are 11 dimensions commonly known to exist within the Tenchi Muyo! OVA. Little is known of Tsunami-kami-samas history before 150,000 years ago. It is known that, due to certain extreme circumstances, Tsunami-kami-sama was responsible for annihilating most - if not all - of an ancient civilization who existed before the Pre-cursor race. Such massive devastation may not seem typical to the Tsunami-kami-sama known today, but she has recently engaged in a minor fight with Tokimi-kami-sama, which destroyed almost a quarter of our galaxy (all damage was later repaired). It must be remembered that the power of the Choshin is far greater than the universe can contain.
150,000 years ago, Tsunami-kami-sama met with the boy who would be the First King of Jurai and recognised within him the seeds of what she and her sisters were searching for. She agreed to provide him with her descendants, Ouke-no-ki or "Trees of the Imperial Family". These trees were sapient and powerful beings who would 'partner' with certain Jurians, providing them with great power and long life-spans. They were also the central core of Jurian ships, acting as power source and computer core, far more powerful than anything else at the time, thus allowing Jurai to become a galactic superpower.
The largest tree on Jurai, 5,000 meters high, the Tenju ("Tree of Heaven") acts as the Royal Palace of Jurai, housing the current Emperor and his family and the main homes of all of the Imperial Houses, as well as the Royal Arboretum, and much more. It is here that all Ouke-no-ki await a partner that they will bond with. Legend has it that the Tenju was created from the giant body of Tsunami-kami-sama.
Like -kami-sama, -no-ki is a suffix (this is a formal version. Simply adding -ki is also acceptable), this time meaning that the name is for a tree. After creating the Tenju, Tsunami-no-ki came into being at the very base of the Royal Arboretum. It was from this tree that Tsunami created the first seeds that would become first generation Ouke-no-ki. It is believed that at least ten first-generation seeds have been known to exist, two of which seemed to have been created before she became Tsunami-no-ki. Of these two, one was used in the creation of a battle robot known as the 'Idol' and the other may have given to someone from outside this story's universe. Details from this time are sketchy at best. When Sasami was injured during Ryoko's attack on Jurai, she landed near Tsunami-no-ki and it was here that they assimilated. Tsunami-no-ki has now been moved to become the central core of Tsunami-fune.
Although very powerful, later generations of Ouke-no-ki gradually became less powerful as they progress from Tsunami-no-ki. They also lose their 'Will' (that is, their minds and/or soul) if they are rooted on another planet. Funaho-no-ki was believed to be an example of this, but the tree did not lose its Will because of Washu's gems on the pommel end of Tenchi-ken, which provided the tree with power. If a tree loses its Will, then the partner will slowly age and die.
-fune is used for names of ships (in this case spaceships, but it may also be used for other craft). Tsunami-fune is known to be "the most powerful of all ships" (quote from episode 6, 'We Need Tenchi!). This reputation is well justified. For one thing, Tsunami-fune is able to control all Ships of Jurai, since it is from her that the Ships power is derived. Also, Tsunami-fune's defenses are 100% impenetrable by any form of attack in our three dimensions, due to her ability to generate ten Koh-Oh-Yoku, or "Light-Hawk-Wings". Ten Wings represent the maximum force that can be generated at any one point in our dimensions. Any more would shatter the multiverse. Tsunami-fune has demonstrated matter-transportation, multiple-environment generation, energy-based weaponry and sub-space travel. Tsunami-fune is officially listed as belonging to Sasami. It is unknown exactly when or how Tsunami-fune was created, but it is estimated to be between 700 and 695 years ago. An alternate possibility is that the ship has always existed but remains hidden except for select periods when Tsunami decides it is needed, although considering the nature of Jurai ships, this is unlikely.
When Sasami was about 3 years old, she assimilated with Tsunami (see Sasami entry) and Tsunami-kami-sama's consciousness now resides within Sasami. In episode 9, 'Sasami and Tsunami', Tsunami appears as a 3D image and says that her form is Sasami's adult form. Since it is known that Tsunami's current image was the same before Sasami was even born, this is either an amazing coincidence or Tsunami and Sasami were connected before Sasami was even born - which is entirely possible due to Tsunami's 11D nature. The two 'souls' of Tsunami-kami-sama and Sasami are merging and one day the two of them will be a single being. In episode 19, it is established that the personalities of the two are one and the same; when Sasami fears for Tenchi's safety, Tsunami must act, even at the risk of a confrontation with Tokimi.
Tsunami has not gone from one form to another, but exists in all forms simultaneously, with the possible exception of the Tenju.
In the Pretty Sammy series, Tsunami is one of the candidates to be the queen of Juraihelm. After she was chosen, she chose Sasami Kawai to act as her representative on Earth. In doing so, Sasami became known as the magical girl, Pretty Samy.
Personalitywise, Tsunami is somewhat more like Mihoshi, a more carefree, relaxed, even slightly ditzy. For example, when she and Sasami first met, she had mistaken the music of Mozart for Beethoven. When Ramia used a cheesy-looking doll to stand-in for her during the episode involving Bif Standard, Tsunami actually thought it was the genuine article.
Tsunami is also clueless about Ramia's efforts to derail her chances to be queen of Juraihelm. When Ramia had disappeared after a caper went wrong, Tsunami, who was grief-stricken, put up posters asking for Ramia's return.
In Magical Project S (Pretty Sammy TV), Tsunami is much the same as her series counterpart, except now with a great love for flowers; in fact, one of her goals as queen of Juraihelm was to "plant flowers across the entire galaxy". Despite this, she eventually managed to win the candidacy.