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"Washu" redirects here. For the university, see Washington University in St. Louis.

Washu Hakubi (白眉 鷲羽 Hakubi Washū?), the self-proclaimed greatest scientific genius in the universe, is a fictional character in the anime and manga Tenchi Muyo!. 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, 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 had also created 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-oki

Washu has a much larger role in the OVA than in any of the other series. In fact, she is the catalyst of, if not directly involved in, the majority of the conflict of the series.

In Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki, she is over 20,000 years old as a human, the mother of Ryoko, creator of the Soja and Ryo-Ohki, and one of the three Choshin goddesses along with Tsunami and Tokimi (choshin means "super-deity", 超神, but not pronounced chojin to differentiate her from the other "super-deity"). But in order to solve the riddle of creating someone more powerful than the Chousin, Washu-kami-sama chose to seal up her powers and memories in the three gems (which were later given to Ryoko) and became mortal to analyze the mysteries of the universe. These gems have the "same quality and power" as the Juraian trees, and are capable of sustaining the youth of a Juraian such as Yosho.

Washu, during her lifetime, also gave birth naturally to a child of her own; the child, whose name is Mikumo Kuramitsu, is actually Mihoshi Kuramitsu's great-grandfather. However, because the father came from the prestigious Kuramitsu family, both he and the baby were taken away. Out of grief, Washu chose never to deal with these adult issues again and altered her body to that of a pre-adolescent girl, although Washu is able to return to her adult form if she wishes to. Washu was locked away by her assistant, Kagato, for 5,000 years until she was inadvertently freed by Mihoshi.

After Kagato's defeat, Washu moved into the Masaki house and has made Tenchi her love and research project, the latter much to Tenchi's chagrin, while the former was expressed in her offer to only have another baby if it's Tenchi's (whether or not she meant this is in question). Aloof yet down to earth, she balances the household and dispels most of the chaos. She had briefly resumed her form as Washu-kami-sama when Z had threatened the universe by battling Tenchi.

It must also be noted that in the OVA Ryoko has generally the same powers as Washu, except Washu uses them to a lesser extent. Washu has the same ability to phase shift through solid objects, convert matter directly to energy with no entropic loss (in the form of an energy saber), and she can duplicate herself. One of her favorite tricks, when captured, is to reappear somewhere else, and point to the "her" that was captured, which is now merely a stuffed doll in her likeness, sometimes with a cute ribbon if she remembers to add it.

Washu is also the creator of Fuku, Ryo-Ohki's sister, in the Tenchi Muyo GXP series.

In the spinoff Saint Knight's Tale, which occurs 15 years after the GXP series, Washu is revealed to have hypnotised Tenchi's half-brother Kenshi Masaki prior to sending him on a cross-dimensional journey. Why she did so is unknown. Kenshi briefly refers to her as "Washu-nee" when he talks about the medicine he gives to Ulyte, which means Washu could be one of Kenshi's sisters in law.

Tenchi Universe

In Tenchi Universe, Washu was banished from the Universal Science Academy for producing weapons of mass destruction, and she was sent to Earth, imprisoned in the Masaki Shrine for 700 years, until she was freed during a squabble involving Ryoko and Ayeka. Washu was portrayed as an egotistical mad scientist, with two dolls (named A and B) that pop up on her shoulders to proclaim her greatness and to cheer her on ("Washu, you are a genius!", "You can do it, Washu!", etc.).

She had at one time constructed Mecha Washu; a robotic duplicate of herself to act as an assistant to her scientific work. She had asked Tenchi to help her out in duplicating her mind into the robot, but Mihoshi had also entered the lab, and somehow left a single strand of her hair into the transfer apparatus. As a result, instead of Washu's mind in Mecha Washu, the robot got not only Mihoshi's mind, but also her personality. After Mecha Washu got out of control as a result, it took Kiyone's knowledge of Mihoshi's habits to wrangle the robot to watch Mihoshi's favorite show... Moldiver, where it was shut down safely.

Washu, near the end of the series, talked with Tenchi, who was depressed as his grandfather was easily defeated by Kagato. Washu was able to convince him that he could wield a greater force of Jurai power than his grandfather, and then helped disable a portion of the Jurai fleet in the final battle with her supercomputer virus. At the end of the series, Washu was the elected honorary president of the Universal Science Academy, promising to only use her powers for peace. She was kicked out a month later for developing a weapon capable of destroying the entire universe (though as Tenchi narrates, no one was surprised). Washu eventually returned to Earth.

Tenchi in Tokyo

In Tenchi in Tokyo, Washu was a renegade scientist who had helped Ryoko steal the Jurai Light Stone, an artifact of the planet, and was pursued by the Juraian forces (led by Ayeka) and the Galaxy Police (led by Mihoshi and Kiyone). During the chase, Washu sensed an unusual energy source emitting from Earth, and after they were forced to crash-land on Earth, Washu sensed that the power came from Tenchi's necklace (an heirloom handed down from his late mother, Achika Masaki). Throughout the series, while researching his necklace, Washu invented various items that would allow the girls to see Tenchi during his time in Tokyo (notably, a dimensional portal); however, her inventions would often malfunction. Personality-wise, she's still a mad scientist, but she is more mellowed-out than her Tenchi Universe incarnation.

When Yugi's plot had scattered the Masaki family, Washu was the only one not fooled by it, and after analyzing Yugi from her previous attack against the Masaki shrine, Washu found out she came from Jurai. With some help from Ayeka, Washu discovered the ruins to which Ayeka had been previously with Tenchi were actually a prison meant to hold Yugi, as she had been imprisoned for nearly destroying Jurai 3,500 years ago. Washu later sent an analysis robot to analyze Sakuya Kumashiro, as she suspected that Sakuya might be some factor in Yugi's plan, which proved to be true when the scan showed that Sakuya was a shadow of Yugi. With her Gem Analysis complete, Washu went with Katsuhito to Tokyo, and she explained everything to Tenchi about Yugi and why she worked so hard to break them up. After that, Washu observed the final battle against Yugi, when she was transported to Yugi's dimension and at the end of the series went to work on a new Dimensional Tunnel by using the power of the gems.

Pretty Sammy

In the Magical Girl Pretty Sammy OVA series, she is an Earth child prodigy known as Washu Kobayashi (小林 鷲羽 Kobayashi Washu?), and in Magical Project S (Pretty Samy TV), Washu Fitzgerald Kobayashi (鷲羽 フィッツジェラルド 小林 Washu Fittsujerarudo Kobayashi?) (she was given the last name of her seiyū, Yuko Kobayashi). Graduating from M.I.T. at eleven years old, she became the high school science teacher at Raioh Academy. She would help Pretty Sammy on various events, regardless if Pretty Sammy even wanted her help. When she's not following Pretty Sammy around, she works at Sasami's school as her science teacher. She also has moved across the street from Sasami and Tenchi's house and it was never established if she knew Pretty Sammy's secret identity.

Washu is also credited in Pretty Sammy OVA episode 2 as the inventor of the Internet.

In Magical Project S, she is an American and she has a habit of addressing Sasami's father Ginji as Johnny, just as he has a habit of addressing her as Catherine. Washu's role is similar to that of the Pretty Sammy OVA, but with the addition that she is also the first human to be fully aware of Sasami's secret identity as Pretty Sammy and only moved in next door to Sasami's house to keep an eye on Sasami and analyze her magic for research purposes. Later, she discovers that Misao is Pixy Misa. Her most notable appearance in the TV series was that after analyzing Pretty Sammy's magic, she was able to develop her own NT system that was used during Romio's attack on the Earth. Not only did it supply Pretty Sammy, Pixy Misa, Ryo-Ohki, and Rumiya with magic, but it also protected them from Romio's NT system.

Sasami: Mahou Shoujo Club

In the anime Sasami: Mahou Shoujo Club, she is Sasami's cooking teacher, Washu Kozuka (小塚 鷲羽 Kozuka Washu?). She is also the mentor/advisor of the secret magical girl club and teaches its members the fundamentals of being a magical girl. She is also Ryo-Ohki's mistress, using the poor cabbit in some of her cooking demonstrations. Although she is the cooking teacher, it was revealed that she (ironically) cannot cook.

External links

it:Washu Hakubi