10. Ryoko’s Big Date

At the Masaki house, all of the girls are enjoying a lazy day, at least until they are scared out of their stupor by a hideously painted apparition. On closer inspection, the ‘monster’ turns out to be Ryoko, who has been trying her hand at applying make-up. The girls’ fear soon turns to laughter at the sight of Ryoko’s over-painted face, and the disgruntled space pirate returns to her room.

Meanwhile, in Tokyo, Tenchi is enjoying an average day in school. As always, Tsuchida and Amagasaki are trying out the latest wrestling moves on each other, but it seems Tenchi only has eyes for Sakuya. Appropriately enough, Sakuya and her friends are discussing the kind of boys they would like to date, and whilst her friends are ready to go with the standard ‘model’ of a handsome high school senior, Sakuya has a more unique ideal- she wants someone who will wait for her.

Returning home after school, Tenchi is surprised to see that there are two new messages on the answering machine- one from Ryoko, and one from Sakuya. Ryoko wants Tenchi to go on a date with her this Sunday, and from the tone of her voice, it is clear that saying no is not an option Tenchi wants to choose. There is one small problem, however- the phone call Sakuya made was to ask Tenchi if he wanted to go out with her at the weekend.

As the rest of the week passes, Sakuya waits in vain for Tenchi to call her back, but his thoughts are occupied by the impending date with Ryoko- as well as her continuing threats about what will happen if Tenchi doesn’t show up.

Finally, Sunday arrives, and Tenchi heads to the park to meet Ryoko. As expected, Ryoko is late, but when she does show up, Tenchi is surprised to see that she has dressed up for the occasion- even putting on earrings and tying up her hair. After cuddling up to Tenchi (much to the amusement of passers-by), Ryoko drags him off to enjoy all the ‘in spots’ in town.

With her usual enthusiasm for the more pleasurable pursuits in life, Ryoko visits the beef bowl restaurant, arcade and karaoke bar, even stopping off at a photo booth so that they can get their picture taken together. Accompanying her, Tenchi finds himself caught up in trying to curb some of Ryoko’s exuberance, and in all the excitement, Sakuya is soon forgotten. In fact, Tenchi has no idea that even now Sakuya is sitting and reading by herself at the park, waiting for Tenchi to arrive.

As it gets dark, Tenchi and Ryoko stop at a bridge to take a brief rest. Ryoko is soon ready to move on, but Tenchi seems less than enthusiastic- chasing after Ryoko all day hasn’t been all that much fun for him. However, he soon changes his mind when he finally notices that Ryoko even went to the trouble of applying make-up for their date (much more understatedly than the first attempt). If Ryoko was willing to put such an unusual effort into her preparations, then the least Tenchi can do is make the day worthwhile. Taking her hand, Tenchi leads the blushing Ryoko away.

Having spent the whole day waiting for Tenchi in the park, Sakuya sadly puts away her book and heads for home. Her route home takes her past the park’s fountain, the same place that Ryoko and Tenchi have found their way to. Ryoko is starting to feel a little overwhelmed at the depth of the feeling she has for Tenchi, and as she suddenly decides to bid him farewell, their conversation catches Sakuya’s attention.

Waving goodbye to Tenchi, Ryoko flies into the air, before teleporting away. As she leaves, Tenchi wonders at her strange and unpredictable personality, but also realises out loud that despite her flaws, he is attracted to Ryoko. Even as he says this, however, Sakuya greets him from behind.

Turning to face Sakuya, Tenchi tries to explain that his relationship with Ryoko isn’t what she thinks, but Sakuya is not convinced. Confiding in Tenchi, Sakuya tells him of her secret vision of a person who would always be there to stand and wait for her. She wanted that person to be Tenchi, but now it seems that that cannot be- for he already has someone else. Moving away from Tenchi, Sakuya turns back to say apologise and say one last goodbye, tears streaming from her eyes. And, unbeknownst to either of them, high above the fountain Yugi is also watching- and crying along with Sakuya.

Back home, however, Ryoko’s mood is quite the opposite- and her cheerful attitude is confusing the other girls- where is the moody Ryoko they have grown so used to? Somehow, this new side to Ryoko is even scarier than her usual self, but perhaps the scariest thing of all would be if the Ayeka and the others found out just why she is so happy…

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