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Tenchi Masaki is generally an ordinary and normal high school student. He lives with his father and grandfather, who takes care of the Masaki Shrine.
Near the shrine there is a cave, which Tenchi has been warned about since he was a young boy. Apparently, there was a demon sealed away 700 years ago in the cave and, as everyone knows, it is usually a bad idea to unseal demons.
However, one day, Tenchi manages to break into the cave and, indeed, there does appear to be a demon sealed away by a very old sword. And in typical anime form, Tenchi manages to unseal the demon, but escapes before things got too intense. For now.....
A little later, while at school, an odd, but lovely, young lady appears. Her name is Ryoko and she was apparently the demon that had been sealed up. Ryoko proceeds to destroy most of Tenchi's school while chasing Tenchi all over the place. As fortune would have it, however, Tenchi brought along the ancient sword, which turns out to be quite a bit more then an old piece of metal. Indeed, it acts a lot like a light saber then a sword.
Thus starts Tenchi's adventures. A little while later, Tenchi is joined by Akeya and Sasami, two princesses from the planet Jurai. Akeya is looking for her half-brother, Yosho, who had left Jurai 700 years ago chasing Ryoko to Earth. Ryo-ohki also enters the scene. Ryo-ohki is normally a combination cat and rabbit, but can also become Ryoko's space ship.
Still a little later, First Class Detective Mihoshi arrives on the scene. Mihoshi is not exactly a total air head, but does appear to be from another universe then everyone else. In any case, she has been chasing a major evil bad guy named Kagato.
Tenchi and the young ladies are drawn into a battle with Kagato, when it is learned that Ryoko was his assistant. Ryoko, however, does not really wish to be associated with Kagato anymore, and is kidnapped. Tenchi and the young ladies go after Kagato.
While on board Kagato's ship, Mihoshi manages to pull an "Alice through the looking glass" and end up in the reflection "world" where she meets another young looking lady named Washu. Washu, however, is not a typical young looking lady, however. She is 20,000 years old and is actually the original creator of Ryoko, Ryo-ohki and Kagato's ship.
In the end, Tenchi proves to be quite a bit more then an ordinary high school student and has a great hidden power within him. Armed with his sword, he defeats evil and powerful Kagato and rescues Ryoko.
Also present in the series, are the "trees" of Jurai. These space trees are actually the space ships used by the Jurai race. The trees themselves are very intelligent and quite powerful in their own right. Especially, the original space tree, who is named Tsunami and is currently "owned" by Sasami. Tsunami assists Tenchi when it appears that he dies in volume 5.