Tenchi Universe has the same characters who act basically the same as in the OAVS. However, their pasts and motives are considerably different. We have Tenchi telling the story. We begin with him as an ordinary student walking home from school one day when he sees something fall near his house. Of course, he goes to check it out. It was there that he found the space pirate Ryoko who crashed landed on Earth being pursued by Mihoshi, who also landed on Earth. Mihoshi uses her control cube to send a distress signal into space, hoping to be rescued and brought back to headquarters. Ayeka receives the signal on the way back to Jurai after an appointment and decides to go check it out. So she heads for Earth.
Sasami, Ayeka's little sister, comes looking for Ayeka. She's come to take her home. While Sasami is visiting, and egg is produced from Ryoko's ship and out hatches a little Ryo-Ohki. Sasami falls in love with her instantly and soon learns that she loves carrots. When Ayeka and Sasami leave to go home, Ryo-Ohki follows them and, in pursuit of a carrot Sasami finds on the ship, crashed into their ship, bringing all of them back to Earth for a long time.
Ryoko becomes very curious about a forbidden cave nearby, and doesn't believe the legend that a goblin sleeps there, so she goes to check it out and accidently releases Washuu. Washuu was a professor at an academy but was expelled 700 years ago for inventing a machine that could destroy the Universe. In pursuit of her partner Mihoshi, Kiyone comes to Earth. Everyone thought Mihosi to be dead but, as Kiyone soon found out, she was very much alive. They were going to return to HQ, but Mihoshi begged to stay on Earth. So, both Mihoshi and Kiyone remained on Earth, found part-time jobs and rented an apartment together.
But none of them stay on Earth for long. When a problem occurs on Jurai and Ayeka is accussed of treason. Everyone else is accused of being her accomplisses and they all become the most wanted criminals in the Universe. They make a run for Jurai, hoping to settle things there. It's a race against time and the military, as their adventures continue!