Tenchi Muyo! (天地無用! Tenchi Muyō!), is a Japanese anime, light novel, and manga series created by Masaki Kajishima and Hiroki Hayashi about a boy named Tenchi Masaki, which has grown into a larger franchise. Along with the likes of Moldiver, Tenchi Muyo! was one of the early successes for AIC, the animation company behind it, which went on to create El-Hazard, Battle Athletes, Oh My Goddess!, Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure and many other anime series. The generally accepted translation of the title is No Need For Tenchi or Useless Tenchi, though at the time of its appearance it was also translated variably as No Heaven and Earth and This Way Up due to the original title's pun nature and multiple meanings.
The original series, Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki, is a six episode Original Video Animation (OVA) released in Japan in 1992–93. The series was released by Pioneer LDC in the United Kingdom during 1994. As its popularity grew, it spurred a seventh episode titled: Tenchi Muyo! Special: The Night Before The Carnival (also known as the Tenchi Special) and a stand-alone Mihoshi Special. In 1994-95, the second OVA series (episodes 8-13) was released, featuring episodes 8–13. A third OVA series (episodes 14–19) was released from 2003–2005, followed by a special twentieth episode.
There are three major series continuities: Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki (Tenchi Muyo!), Tenchi TV (Tenchi Universe), and Shin Tenchi TV (Tenchi in Tokyo). The first series, Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki, is the original OVA which introduces the core characters. Tenchi TV and Shin Tenchi TV are alternate stories that utilize the same characters, with the addition of Kiyone Makibi. The first of the spin-offs was Tenchi Muyo! TV, in 1995 (known to American audiences as Tenchi Universe); it is a twenty-six episode TV series that retells the original story, documenting how everyone met and changing the back story of some characters. Shin Tenchi TV, aka Tenchi in Tokyo is considered another retelling, chronicling Tenchi Masaki's move to Tokyo. Some character personalities are also changed in this incarnation as well.
Additionally, there are spin-off series (such as Magical Girl Pretty Sammy), as well as spinoff manga (as the anime preceded the manga). The franchise has also spawned soundtrack CDs and other merchandise released both in Japan and in the United States.
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