Tenchi Pairings
A place to discuss Tenchi and his harem.
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BigCheezy
For me, the whole "harem" idea never cut it. I know its just a silly story, but I could never get past the suspension of doubt required to enjoy watching Tenchi acting romantically with all the girls. I know Kajishima-sensai likes his harem stories, but frankly I don't know how anyone could be so naive. The one thing I like about (good) fiction is that while the stories are fantastic and out of this world, the relationships are always possible and believable. Harem relationships where all the girls are somehow OK with Tenchi being married to the others are not believable in the slightest. Anyway, I just read this article about polygamy and thought of Tenchi, and I remembered why I don't like the direction K-sensai is going with this. If you want to know what actually happens in polygamous relationships, read the article. [h]
8/1/2007 #1
cyberimp6
It is undeniable that polygamy has the potential for terrible exploitation. But it is well to remember that polygamy has been practiced in many different cultures and time periods, sometimes with more success. The chief problem appears to be when polygamy is fueled by a religious cult that declares women have very consticted roles. Since Tenchi and the girls will likely move to Jurai (at least in the OVA series), polygamy may play out very differently there. After all, it's hard to imagine Tsunami tolerating a society where women are second-class citizens. If you've read some of Robert Heinlein's science fiction, he has a couple of works with "line marriages": arrangements with at least two women and at least two men. After an adjustment period not unlike what happens in a mixed-gender college dorm, it seems to work out pretty well, and Heinlein was a smart cookie when it came to human nature. For me, a "harem" ending for the OVA is more likely than any other, partly because of Kajishima-sensei's leanings but also because my reading of Tenchi is that he would not be able to bear breaking the hearts of the girls he didn't choose. I think the other women would eventually accept it in a kind of "domino effect": Mihoshi would accept because she would think that it sounded fun, Ayeka would accept because her father had two wives and so she cannot criticize the arrangement without denigrating the family that she grew up in, and Ryoko would accept because she wouldn't allow Mihoshi and Ayeka to do something that she couldn't do herself. Washu would accept because she would plan to outlive all the others.
8/18/2007 #2
VinCon01
I haven't read the entire article yet (Just saw this), but from what I have read, there doesn't seem to be a flaw in the idea of polygamy in there at all. The problem in that article, from what I've read, lies more on the husband and the religious control than the concept of a polygamous relationship. First off, there's the fact that it was religion-based. They were basically raised with the concept of "You have to have three wives or you don't get to heaven". Next, the relationships were chosen by the leader/prophet. Not the people in the relationships. I think any arranged relationship has the potential to be unhealthy, especially if the people don't even like each other. Not only that, but both the husband and religion seem to follow the idea of having a closer physical relationship with the youngest wife. Essentially "trading up" for a new model each time there was a new wife. That article isn't about the truth in polygamous relationships, it's the truth about polygamous relationships in a specific fundamentalist Mormon community in Utah. As said above, there have been communities with polygamous relationships for far longer than that, with varying ranges of success/failure. The problem with this specific case seems to be the religious influence on the relationship, and the husband's tendency to treat the newest wife better than the previous wives.
8/25/2007 #3
BigCheezy

Been a while since I posted here, but since the whole FLDS camp shake up in the news, it reminded me of this thread. There's an interesting clip about polygamy on this page:

That woman, who has experienced polygamy, knows that there is no such thing as a "working" polygamist union.

4/29/2008 #4
Mad Mage Jack

If my understanding is correct, polyamory IS different from the subject we're referring, polygamy. How would think play out if it was polyamory instead of polygamy?

5/5/2008 #5
Jibril Mudo

For me, the whole "harem" idea never cut it. I know its just a silly story, but I could never get past the suspension of doubt required to enjoy watching Tenchi acting romantically with all the girls. I know Kajishima-sensai likes his harem stories, but frankly I don't know how anyone could be so naive. The one thing I like about (good) fiction is that while the stories are fantastic and out of this world, the relationships are always possible and believable. Harem relationships where all the girls are somehow OK with Tenchi being married to the others are not believable in the slightest.

Anyway, I just read this article about polygamy and thought of Tenchi, and I remembered why I don't like the direction K-sensai is going with this. If you want to know what actually happens in polygamous relationships, read the article.

This would be as if I posted one or even multiple examples of a husband beating a wife (or the other way around) and declaring that the concept of heterosexuality is bad.

4/26/2009 #6
cyberimp6

Jibril Mudo makes a good point. There have been some pretty awful results in both polygamous and monogamous marriages. It's also well to keep in mind that some things are going to be *very* different on Jurai. (Note that Ayeka explains in OVA Ep. 3 that brother-sister marriages are not odd on Jurai, perhaps because genetic engineering has eliminated the birth defect problem.) Might it be possible that polygamous marriages are accepted on Jurai because females outnumber males? Notice how many of the new characters have been women. And then there's the issue of lifespans measured in centuries. Throughout most of human history, "till death do us part" averaged a dozen years or so. With modern medicine, we can now expect three times that, and in this humble observer's opinion monogamous marriage is not taking the strain very well . . .

4/26/2009 #7
Red XIV

A polygamous relationship isn't automatically unworkable in every case, but I just don't see it working out with this particular group. Ryoko and Ayeka in particular have severe difficulty with sharing even Tenchi's non-romantic attention, be it with each other or with anybody else. And this is despite Ayeka coming from a culture where polygamy is common.

And I have a hard time considering the other girls serious contenders either from a harem standpoint or as non-harem pairing options. Mihoshi is most of the time treated as barely more than a background character, Sasami is way too young to be involved in romance, and Washu is just too freaky for Tenchi. And Noike? I prefer to treat her as not existing, because she's just a bad character.

Sure, Kajishima can force it to happen, but it wouldn't fit.

7/2/2010 #8
cyberimp6

Actually, the one decent thing that OVA Season 3 did was showing the scene where Ryoko and Ayeka are drowning their sorrows in sake -- and talking like adults to each other. Ryoko raises the interesting thought that Noike might be better for Tenchi than either of the two of them, which is a remarkable statement for her. The characters are clearly evolving over time, in the OVA at least. It would be hard for Ayeka and Ryoko to learn to like each other, but I don't think it would be impossible (they have surprising similarities, such as courage and strong tempers). Much would have to happen, and my "Showing Restraint" series is largely about that 'much'.

9/4/2010 #9
Jibril Mudo

Also, while they say fiction need suspense of disbelief, I will disagree because various people will suspend disbelief easily for different preferences. Superheros simply won't work in real life for a myriad of reasons but the recent superhero movies garner enough audience to be mainstream. There are clearly enough people who want to buy into something, at least for entertainment purposes, that they'll forgive many unrealistic things.

I find relationships in film and fiction often greatly simplified and it works, and this among monogamous couples or simple friends. Harem is often a simple wish fulfillment among boys. I don't see why that wouldn't be a valid entertainment option.

--Jibril

Ayeka dot Net

9/30/2010 . Edited 9/30/2010 #10
Angelalex242

There's a legendary fic called Aiken Muyo that shows how it works if you just take Ayeka and Ryoko and leave the rest out of it.

3/14/2011 #11
Jibril Mudo

It's not a particularly good fic imo and takes place in Tenchi Universe. It never made sense to me to cut the other girls out of it.

3/29/2011 #12
tenchisamasan

while i would have to agree with your statement refering to the progression of the characters in the ova, i would also like to respectfuly point out that ( if okuda's works are anything to go by) ayeka and ryoko already seem to get along fine. it just seems like more of a sibling rivalry than anything. alot of the harem stories i've read seem to allude to or even blatantly state that if tenchi were to pick both or all the characters that they would be okay with that due to the fact that he at least loves them equally if not solely. case in point the story The Harem Saga by Jeffery Harris.

4/28/2011 #13
cyberimp6

Well, interpretation is largely in the eye of the beholder, and in this humble beholder's eye, there is a noticeable difference in the Ryoko Vs. Ayeka situation between Okuda's first series and his second. They inflict considerably more violence on each other in the first series, and at the end of the biggest three-volume epic, Tenchi sighs and says "the more things change...", implying that they are going to have their rivalry forever. But at the end of the first series, Ryoko realizes that she wants to stay with everyone, even including Ayeka. The second series makes more progress. Granted, Ryoko pulls one last outrageous stunt in Vol. 7, but the last volume (10) ends with both Ryoko and Ayeka experiencing epiphanies. It is made fairly clear that they are no longer going to push for Tenchi to make a choice, as long as he is alive and healthy and they can continue to be with him.

4/28/2011 #14
Jibril Mudo

Meh. I don't consider Okuda a particularly good take on the characters. For one example, in the beginning of his manga, but also throughout (the first series) Tenchi had to be pushed into combat by Yosho. He was showing actual cowardice at times. Tenchi literally almost never grew.

In the OAV, he's freaked out by his encounter with an alien, but when Kagato, Tenchi had no problem laying his life on the line to defend the girls (before Yosho ever showed up). The hesitation he shows after Kagato leaves is about being able to wield the sword. Even after practically dying (and resurrecting) in Space, he really doesn't show much hesitation, and none of it is based on cowardice but more "What can I really do?" This is gone by the time Clay arrives, Tenchi borders on reckless.

While I understand some of it is constraints put on Okuda, I still just don't get that much pleasure out of reading that. Some fanfic authors have more accurate takes.

4/29/2011 #15
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