I was pretty confused by this episode. There's a lot of grand facial expressions, icons drifting across the screen, bodies distorted by the depth of their emotions, which is OK, but there's also a bit of important conversation furthering the plot, which is a problem.
But here goes:
A comet streaks through space. It's actually two comets, intertwined. But as it approaches Earth, there's some sort of crash and it vanishes from sight in a flash.
The comet makes news even in Okayama, where the Masaki house is. Kiyone, Mihoshi, (both in uniform), Ryouko, and Washuu are watching an announcer on television talking about the comet when an angry Ayeka steps in front of the screen. Aeka thinks that all should go see Tenchi and make him confess his feelings towards Sakuya (whether or not he likes her) now that Yuugi has revealed her plans. She talks also about "that weird Yuugi" coming by and blasting all of them -- that's shown in flashback. I think she's worried about Tenchi.
But she's going to have a hard time getting to Tokyo. Nobuyuki, after his dreadful experience with the Tenchi girls in the previous episode has left on a short vacation (he left a note, which says "I have decided to take a break. Please don't look for me. -- Nobuyuki."), Washuu leaves because she wants to complete her research on the crystals they all have before Yuugi returns, Kiyone and Mihoshi have to go on patrol (I think) and they leave (stepping on Ayeka's toes), and even Ryouko isn't going. I'm not sure why, but it has something to do with the "date" she went on with Tenchi back in the 10th episode. (Whoops! No one has written that one up yet, have they?) In particular, she thinks back to the moment when Tenchi took her hand, and she blushed furiously.
(UPDATE: Junji Inaba in Japan tells me that Ryouko believes that Tenchi's heart is set on her and that she does not want to disturb his studies.)
(UPDATE: Aubrey Kuang-Yu Chen in Taiwan tells me that Ryoko says she trusts Tenchi because Tenchi isn't the type of boy who would fool around. And besides, "How could someone as innocent as Tenchi be swept away by the likes of Sakuya?" she asks.)
So Ayeka is stuck in Okayama. (Don't ask me about the warp. I could not discern a reference to it, but then, I miss a lot.) But Ayeka hears Sasami's voice asking Ryou-oh-ki if she's all right. And Ayeka thinks Ryou-oh-ki could take her to Tokyo! But Sasami yells at Ayeka. For some reason, Ryou-oh-ki is not well. She's exhausted, and she spends most of this episode lying limply on Sasami's head.
The guys on the news are interviewing some guy with a monkey, and this gives Ayeka an idea. She's going to hitchhike to Tokyo. (The guy on television had hitchked from someplace to some other place far away, so Ayeka figures she can hitchhike from Okayama to Tokyo.) Sasami comes out carrying a vacuum. I guess she's done vacuuming. Ayeka drags her along with her (incidentally bashing Ryou-oh-ki with the vacuum as they leave.)
Yuugi is watching Ayeka and Sasami make their way to the road. She knows they're going to Tokyo, where Sakuya and Tenchi are getting along. Tsugara (Pirate Person) shows up and they talk for a while. Yuugi would like for Ayeka and Sasami to see Sakuya and Tenchi getting along. Tsugara points out that Yuugi is still not fully recovered from her previous encounter with the Tenchi gang, so Tsugaru volunteers for this mission. As the comets streak by, Tsugaru takes note of this. "Someone useful is nearby now..." he says. "This ought to be interesting." Anyway, Tsugara leaves to carry out some sort of plan.
Ayeka and Sasami are out by the side of the road, holding a sign reading "Tokyo" (in Japanese, of course) And Ayeka tries to thumb a ride. "Hai!" she calls as the cars pass by. First a bus passes them up. The next car stops, but its carrying two lecherous men, so she blasts them. I think the next car is a taxi, but taxis cost money, so they apologize to the driver. A bus filled with old tourists stop, but there's no room for the two girls. ("Trying to hitch a ride huh, young lady?" says one of the old men. "Well, best of luck to you!") A bus filled with little school girls stops, but they call Ayeka a middle-aged woman and somehow make fun of her, and she doesn't go with them. ("You won't get a ride that way," says one of the little girls. "You must act warmer, ma'am. Warmer!")
(I thank Aubrey for letting me know what everyone was saying!)
Sasami wants to give up, but Ayeka will not be deterred. She gives what I assume is a stirring speech ("Nothing can stop me from going to Tokyo to see my beloved Tenchi! For him, I can travel the world!") and for some reason images herself playing a fretted instrument while being carried by two white birds. She concludes "Never give up!" (in English) and she holds up her "Tokyo" sign.
And sure enough, a woman on a motorcycle stops. She stops a few feet past them, gets off her motorcycle, and takes off her helmet, revealing long dark hair. She unzips her suit a little bit, gratuitously revealing some cleavage. Ayeka and Sasami can't believe such a beauty is riding this bike (I guess.) "Tokyo?" asks the rider. "Wanna ride?" (I guess.)
Ayeka answers in English. "Yes, but I have no money. OK?"
Sasami and the rider are perturbed at this linguistic anomaly. (And in fact, I had to listen to this 4 times before I figured out what Ayeka was saying.)
"OK" replies the cyclist.
"Thank you. Yeah!" replies Aeka (in English.)
"Why are they speaking English?" asks Sasami (in Japanese.)
Ayeka and Sasami get in the sidecar wearing pink beanie helmets. "Ready?" asks the cyclist.
"Yes!" answers Ayeka. And they zip off, passing traffic at an incredible speed. Ayeka thinks this is cool. Sasami and Ryou-oh-ki thinks this is too fast. Ayeka yells something like "We'll be in Tokyo in no time!"
The Pirate Person materializes where Ayeka and Sasami used to be. She's unhappy. I guess she missed them.
Meanwhile, in Tokyo, Tenchi is drawing the exterior of the school building. (His father is an architect, you know.) Sakuya comes by, and she thinks this is really cool. She leans real close to Tenchi over his shoulder to admire it. (You know, Sakuya is really pale....) When she notices their proximity, they pull away, and laugh.
Ayeka on the sidecar is passing trains. "Ayeka is coming, Tenchi!"
Back in Okayama, Ryouko is hungry. Washuu, it turns out, is cooking. Washuu tells Ryouko that Sasami is gone. Washuu's cooking looks completely normal, and nothing funny happens with it. (She only made enough for one person, though.)
The cycle is parked, Ryou-oh-ki is sleeping in the sidecar. Ayeka and Sasami are sitting in the roadside cafe (not quite like the Minuteman in Newhart) They're served ice tea, which I suppose the cyclist is buying, since Ayeka has no money. Sasami is pretty beat; she's resting her chin on the table. The cyclist introduces herself has Misayo -- Manukida Misayo. (That looks about right.) Ayeka and Sasami introduce themselves.
Ayeka tells very emotionally (with the grand facial features and all) tells Misayo of her story. The way she tells it, Tenchi is an innocent lad, who leaves for the big city, leaving a distraught Aeka. Tenchi very morally sweeps and tends the shrine, but waiting for him is that snake Sakuya. (And she is depicted with a snake's tongue.) Sakuya carries off Tenchi (literally) and subjects him to her depravity! This involves tying him up and hanging him with only a pair of speedos, while Sakuya gloats over him wearing a lot of leather and holding whips. (This is even bigger than Ryouko's imagination in the previous episode!) Ayeka really goes wild telling this story, at least until Sasami says something that embarrasses Ayeka. (Sasami tells Misayo that everything but the beginning is just a product of her sister's imagination.)
But this story seems to have struck a chord with Misayo. She relates (without as much detail) that she has a similar story, I guess someone she loves and is searching for. Ayeka gets wrapped up in this, imagining Misayo working on her motorcycle, riding around with her empty sidecar looking for her love. (All right, the only word I understood in this tale was "sidecar." I'm extrapolating quite a bit.)
Sasami is upset at this. She has birds on her head. (I think they're confused birds.) "How can any of this be true?" she wonders.
But this seems to have been a bonding experience for Misayo and Ayeka. They hold hands and emote "Aeka-san!" "Misayo-san!" etc. as Sasami floats away, ghost-like. ("You're both nuts.")
Suddenly some guys run in talking about someone tearing through the road, kicking up a cloud of dust. "That couldn't be Misayo's..." thinks Sasami. Misayo seems to think it could be. She grabs a guy by his outfit and gets more information from him. Then she goes to her bike (alone) and starts it up.
Tsugara (Pirate Person) appears and talks to Misayo. Tsugara reminds Misayo that she is only a chess piece, and her primary goal is to bring Aeka and Sasami to Tokyo. Tsugara leaves, and Misayo isn't too happy.
Ayeka and Sasami come out of the cafe, and Misayo tells them to get on the bike. Sasami is surprised. "How can you do this?" she asks. "You are so close to the man you love! Go after him!"
Misayo replies, "That is not important! I must bring you to Tokyo!"
Aeka briefly considers this, and then nods. "You are right," she says. The other two look at her. "You are right. You must bring us to Tokyo, where I will be reunited with my love. But I can go to Tokyo and see Tenchi anytime I like. As for you, this is the chance you've been waiting for. You cannot give up now."
Misayo is touched by this. "Aeka-san," she says. Misayo is happy and grateful to Ayeka, and Ayeka is happy, and everybody gets into the cycle to chase after the guy.
The trio tear off after the guy, and Ayeka is really into the speed thing, and Sasami and Ryou-oh-ki really are not. But they zoom along and eventually they get close enough to to see that the guy is a strange looking guy (he looks like he's carved to me) in a runner's outfit running along the highway. Ayeka, I think, realizes that they need to pour on more speed. They come to a bridge, which is out.
The running guy does not stop. He leaps into the air!
The motorcycle doesn't stop either. They ride into the air!
Ayeka and Sasami and Ryou-oh-ki jump out of the sidecar!
The motorcycle keeps on going. With the lessened load, the motorcycle is able to go faster! (We are following the laws of cartoon physics.) Misayo calls out the runner's name. She jumps off her motorcycle and grabs his hand, and a white glow envelops them.
Ryou-oh-ki turns into a giant pink mechanical bunny and grabs Ayeka and Sasami well before they would go splat. The running guy and Misayo float down. They can float on their own now, and they're still glowing. They thank Ayeka. Misayo tells Ayeka to fight on for her guy. The reunited couple flies away.
Ayeka is moved. "Fight! How inspiring!"
Pirate Person sees this, and is mad. "How can that guy be running on foot?" he wonders. "Isn't he supposed to be a biker?"
Anyway, Ayeka and Sasami continue their journey, and its night by the time they reach Sendai. Sendai? That's 200 miles north of Tokyo! (Okayama is west of Tokyo.) They're a long way from where they want to be. (A map is put up, in case you don't know your geography.) Sasami says, "Looks like that ride detoured from our destination quite a bit."
Ayeka is really upset, but she's still determined. "I can travel the world for Tenchi-sama!" And off they go into another hitchhiking journey.
It's late at night, when Tenchi hears a knock on his door. "Who could that be at this hour?" He opens it, and sees a very exhausted Ayeka and Sasami. "What are you doing here?" he asks, but he doesn't get an answer. Without a word, Ayeka and Sasami come in, crawl into Tenchi's bed, under the comforter, and drop to the floor of the Masaki residence.
Ryouko is eating cup ramen when she hears the "thud." She goes out and sees Ayeka and Sasami lying on the floor asleep. "Just this once..." says Ryouko, as she puts blankets over them. "Have a good night's sleep. You can tell me what happened in the morning."
Meanwhile, the comet, which was actually those two people, speeds away from earth.
Ayeka smiles in her sleep. "Misayo-san," she murmurs, "may you live happily ever after."
And the episode ends.
I would like to thank I would like to thank Aubrey Kuang-Yu Chen (who also calls himself "Sasami-chan" when discussing matters Tenchi) for explaining this episode to me, and correcting so much of my previous versions of the synopses. Most of the translated dialog is due to him. All of the incorrect translations are due to me.
I am the keeper of Gummi Wisdom!
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