6. Play Date

With his apartment in a mess, Tenchi decides it is high time to put some effort into cleaning. In short order, he is clearing, scrubbing and washing, until finally the apartment is spotless. But as he settles down for a rest and a cup of tea, Tenchi is disturbed by a phone call. The caller is Sasami, and she wants to come to Tokyo right away.

Unfolding the blanket, Tenchi lets Sasami through the dimensional tunnel and asks her to explain just what is wrong. Sasami explains about the money she and Ryo-Ohki made by performing street tricks, and how all the other girls naturally wanted to get their hands on it. In the dark of night, all five of them snuck into her bedroom and tried to make a grab for Sasami’s Azaka piggybank. As they all reached for it simultaneously, the five girls realised they weren’t alone, and the resulting disturbance awakened the sleeping Sasami. Undeterred, the girls tried to convince Sasami that the money was vital to their pursuits, causing her to feel so harassed that she decided the only recourse was to get away.

Unfortunately, as Sasami well knows, she cannot stay in Tokyo forever, and that leaves only one option to keep the money out of the girls’ hands- she must spend it herself. With that in mind, Sasami has Tenchi take her into town, and soon the two are happily perusing the shops. But what neither of them realise is that they have attracted the attention of the blonde girl, who sends a projection of herself to follow Tenchi and Sasami.

As Sasami runs excitedly through the streets, Tenchi soon gets left behind. Complaining that he must be out of shape, Sasami decides to take a look in a nearby antiques store whilst she waits for him. But by the time Tenchi has caught up, the door of the antiques shop has disappeared, turning into a brick wall. Tenchi is left outside by himself, with no idea of where Sasami could be.

Unaware of what has happened, Sasami starts looking around the antiques store, and is greeted by the proprietor- who is none other than Tsugaru, one of the blonde girl’s three servants. When Ryo-Ohki starts snarling at him, Tsugaru backs off, and Sasami continues to look around by herself. She soon finds herself drawn to a unique music box, but when she reaches out to touch it, she realises that there is someone else in the shop- the projection of the blonde girl.

Meanwhile, Tenchi is still searching for Sasami when someone taps on his shoulder. Thinking that he has found the missing princess, he turns to ask where she has been, only to see that the person who has approached him is actually Sakuya. Despite his concern over finding Sasami, Sakuya convinces Tenchi to come with her for a little while- she has something to talk to him about.

With no Sasami to cook for them, all of the other girls back home are soon starving- although not desperately enough to allow Mihoshi in the kitchen. Finally, it seems that they have been saved when the smell of delicious food emanates from the kitchen- it turns out that Washu has been trying her hand at cooking. There is one small problem, however; Washu doesn’t know the first thing about cooking, so instead she tried to duplicate the process using DNA manipulation. When the girls see that the meal Washu ‘cooked’ is a green octopus-like creature with several eyes and many writhing tentacles, all hopes of a decent meal are dashed.

Inside the antiques store, the blonde girl introduces herself as Yugi, and hands over the music box. In short order, the two girls are happily looking through all the other goods in the store. Finally, Sasami purchases the music box, and as she has it wrapped, Yugi asks if Sasami would like to come and play at her house. When Sasami agrees, Yugi takes her over to a mirror at the back of the store. As the rest of the shop fades away, Yugi pulls Sasami into the mirror, and then takes her through a door that leads into a brick corridor.

After taking a few steps through the corridor, Sasami finds herself falling into nothingness, only to reawaken a few minutes later in a dark landscape strewn with crystals. Yugi explains that she brought them here so that they could play, but Sasami has no desire to hang around- she can sense an evil presence. Grabbing Yugi’s hand, Sasami takes the other girl with her as she starts looking for an exit.

As the two girls run, they soon realise that someone else is there, darting from side to side to keep track of them. Finally, their pursuer stops and reveals himself- it is Tsugaru, dressed as a pirate. Brandishing a cutlass, Tsugaru attacks the girls, but Sasami quickly grabs a crystal and blocks the blow. As the crystal shatters, Tsugaru is momentarily stopped, and the two girls make a run for it.

Meanwhile, outside, Tenchi and Sakuya’s conversation has concluded, and whatever Tenchi said, it cannot have been the right thing, for an upset Sakuya runs away crying.

Back in the crystal world, Tsugaru has caught up with Sasami and Yugi, and it seems clear that he isn’t about to let Sasami escape alive. Slicing with his sword, he manages to cut Sasami’s clothes and hair, but the young princess boldly stands her ground in order to shield Yugi. Finally, Ryo-Ohki launches herself at Tsugaru’s hand, biting it and forcing him to drop the cutlass.

Tsugaru is far from finished, however. Drawing a boomerang from his sleeve, he tosses it at the two girls, and as Sasami goes to push Yugi out of the way, she gets struck in the back. As Sasami screams in pain, Ryo-Ohki begins glowing with power, and soon the cabbit transforms into her pink mechanoid form. Tsugaru’s boomerang soon proves ineffective against mecha-Ryo-Ohki, who easily defeats him with a couple of swipes of her paw.

As Tsugaru teleports away, Sasami has mecha-Ryo-Ohki fire an energy beam at the boundaries of the crystal world, shattering it so that they can escape. Sasami, Ryo-Ohki and Yugi are returned to the real world, and as the remains of the antique shop illusion fade away, Tenchi finally locates them. Tenchi reminds Sasami not to go off on her own, and the young princess apologises before introducing her new friend Yugi.

After greeting Tenchi, Yugi reveals one last surprise for Sasami- she still has the music box with her, miraculously unharmed. As Yugi hands it over, she remarks on the inherent sadness of music boxes- even those that play the most beautiful music must run down eventually. Hearing her words, Tenchi is reminded of his earlier conversation with Sakuya. Sakuya tried to press Tenchi into becoming her boyfriend, but he refused, claiming to not be ready for a relationship. It was that pronouncement that had Sakuya running away in tears.

As Yugi bids farewell to her new friend, back home at the Masaki house, the hunger crisis continues to deepen. For once indifferent to events in Tokyo, the girls only have one question on their mind- will Sasami return home before they all starve to death?

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