Tonight, we're showing the Tenchi movie. For those of you who actually read this before we show it or want to know who everybody is after we've shown it, here's a brief character description in case you're new to the Tenchi universe.
Jurai: The House of Jurai is a powerful space empire. Earth is part of the Jurai protectorate -- we just don't know it.
Galaxy Police: As the name implies, they are the galactic law enforcement agency. The very first scene depicts the GP headquarters. The House of Jurai is more powerful than the GP, so when it comes to anything related to Jurai, the GP steps lightly.
Tenchi: Some people think he's not too important, but he's actually the heir to the Jurai throne. He's a major catalyst of the story, and he's the title character to boot!
Yosho: Tenchi's grandfather on his mother's side. He is from the house of Jurai, but he has been living on Earth for a LONG time.
Noboyuki: Tenchi's father. He likes messing around with video cameras and stuff.
The residents of Tenchi's house:
Aeka: A spoiled Jurai princess who winds up living on Earth. She's the purple-haired one.
Sasami: Aeka's adorable little sister. She ought to be the main character of this movie -- oh well. She's the one with blue hair.
Ryoko: Roguish space pirate who happens to be hanging out at Tenchi's house. She has special powers and spiky green hair.
Washuu: The galaxy's #1 genius. Red spiky hair.
Mihoshi: Ditzy GP officer who is more capable than she appears.
Kiyone: Very serious GP officer. Mihoshi's partner. She looks capable and is capable.
Ryo-Oh-Ki: The big gray monster you saw at last week's meeting. Actually, Ryo-Oh-Ki is the show's obligatory cute animal character/mascot/sidekick.
We raffled off cute Ryo-Oh-Ki dolls last year.
So those are the basic characters. If you're interested in how and why everybody came to live at Tenchi's house, I highly recommend you watch the Tenchi Muyo! OAV and TV series. The OAV series is available from Pioneer (the same guys who did El-Hazard and The Hakkenden).
[12/16/04 Update: For further articles by Lawrence Eng, see his anime page.]