Tonight's feature, Tenchi Muyo!: Manatsu no Eve, is a continuation of the storyline created in the Tenchi Muyo! OAVs. Since some people haven't seen the OAVs, and some saw it so long ago that they've forgotten most of it, I thought it would be good to review the characters and major plot points.
Tenchi Masaki: Our main character. He is a young man and a descendant of the Jurai royal bloodline. Through this, he is able to use the "Wings of the Lighthawk", a magical sword with immense power. He is the subject of almost everyone's attraction.
Yosho Masaki: Tenchi's grandfather. He is a Juraian prince who chased the space pirate Ryoko to Earth in the distant past. Once here, he started a family. Currently resides with Tenchi at the Masaki shrine.
Ryoko: Symbiont created by Washu; has silver hair and a tail. Was controlled by Kagato for a time and devastated worlds, thus earning the dub "Space Pirate". Was trapped in a cave by Yosho in the distant past and was released by Tenchi. Currently loves Tenchi and will stop at nothing to get him. Hates Ayeka.
Ayeka: Betrothed of Yosho (Yosho is in disguise... he actually looks like 28-ish). Was devastated when Yosho left to chase Ryoko and searched the galaxy for both of them. After finding Ryoko on Earth, and believing that Yosho was dead, Ayeka fell in love with Tenchi and decided to stay. Yosho has yet to reveal his true self to Ayeka.
Sasami (Tsunami): Younger sister of Ayeka. Came with Ayeka to Earth in search of Ryoko. Sasami was melded with Tsunami, the most powerful tree spirit, in an accident when she was young. Of all the Tenchi gang, she is the most responsible, and she tends to look after everyone. She also loves Tenchi.
Washu: Brilliant scientist and creator of Ryoko. She sees Ryoko as her child. She is usually the one who figures out all their problems behind the scenes. Is 20,000 years old.
Mihoshi: Bubbleheaded blonde of the group. She is a member of the Galactic Police. Transported to Earth via a warp bubble, she crashed her ship outside of the Masaki residence and has taken up living with them. Though seemingly blundering and idiotic, she is very observant and has occasional strokes of genius. She also loves Tenchi. (Notice a pattern here?)
Kiyone: Not introduced in the OAVs, she was Mihoshi's partner in the first Tenchi movie, and she gets dragged along with Mihoshi on all her exploits. Kiyone is calm, rational, and seemingly normal! Also, though she likes Tenchi well and good, she does not love him! One could label here as the one marker of sanity in all this lunacy.
Nobuyuki Masaki: Tenchi's father. Rather mischievous old man who enjoys "peeping" on the girls.
Azaka and Kamidake: Ayeka's two guardians. They basically are big barrels with magical powers. They can be seen guarding the gate to the Masaki residence in the movie.
Ryo-oh-ki: The cutest spaceship you'll ever see! Ryo-oh-ki is a cabbit (half cat, half rabbit) and loves carrots! She transforms into a spaceship and belongs to Ryoko. And in the one episode where she was a humanoid (by one of Washu's more interesting pets), she... umm... loved... well... you know... :)
In the first set of OAVs, we get to meet all of these wonderful characters as they are introduced over the first 5 episodes. The story begins with Tenchi releasing the hideous demon, Ryoko, from the cave where she is imprisoned. After attacking him, Ryoko has a drastic change of heart and falls for him. Soon after, Ayeka (with Sasami in tow) comes to Earth to hunt down Ryoko. The story of Yosho's chase and capture are then revealed. After being unsuccessful in her attempts to capture Ryoko, and after crashing her ship, Ayeka decides to stay on Earth for a while.
Time passes and Mihoshi crashes to Earth. She is saved by Tenchi... thus beginning her love for him (what are we up to now... a love pentagon?!). But they have little time to deal with that, for an evil, powerful man comes to Earth to steal Ryoko. This man, Kagato, is able to control her mind and caused her to destroy worlds, giving her the reputation she has. Kagato whisks her away to his ship in order to use her further. The entire gang infiltrates his ship to rescue her. In there, they meet Washu, and together, they organize to get Ryoko back. With the threat of Ryoko's death looming, Tenchi's inner power is awakened. His love for Ryoko, and a little help from Tsunami, enables him to create the Wings of the Lighthawk and defeat Kagato.
The second series of OAVs continues on the story of the big, happy family. The Tenchi OAV series is a great, light-hearted story with lots of fun. I highly recommend it, and I hope you enjoy Tenchi Muyo!: Manatsu no Eve!