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Episode 8 - Hello Baby!
  konnichi wa akachan
  Konnichi wa akachan
Release date -  25th September 1994

A quiet morning in the Masaki household, and Ayeka receives a phone call from Tenchi's aunt. Sasami has being staying there for a few days, and she is coming home soon. When she returns that evening, Sasami is acting a little oddly; she appears somewhat subdued, and shies away from Tenchi when he greets her. Tenchi asks about the baby; his aunt has recently become a grandmother, meaning Tenchi has a new baby cousin, named Taro. He suggests that his aunt bring the baby with her next time she visits.

Fun with Taro

True to her word, his aunt does indeed bring baby Taro, turning up unexpectedly one day to ask Tenchi and the girls to look after him while his mother is ill. Quite predictably, chaos quickly ensues, and they all run themselves ragged caring for little Taro. Mihoshi has difficulty grasping the finer points of diaper changing, Ryoko has trouble preparing the baby formula, Ayeka discovers how difficult feeding time can get, and as the washing mounts up, the girls find that coping with a child is much trickier than they anticipated.

With the girls having fallen asleep with exhaustion, Taro decides to go walkabout and finds his way into Washu's laboratory. Appalled at how poorly the others are coping, Washu shows them how parenting is really done. In fact, she takes to it like a natural mother; she creates her own special baby formula for Taro, and demonstrates how to feed him properly. Leaving the baby in the care of the others, she retires back to her lab, but she finds it hard to concentrate on her work. By the time she leaves her lab again, the house has descended once more into chaos, and the girls are fast asleep again. Washu resolves to take care of Taro all by herself.

A natural mother

As Washu bathes with Taro later that day, she remembers another young child from her past. She is snapped out of her reverie when Taro does his “business” in the tub! After reluctantly cleaning the bath, Washu spends the rest of the day helping the others look after Taro, feeding him, playing with him, and overseeing the laundry which he produces by the pile! That evening, as Washu sees him to sleep, she discusses motherhood with Tenchi.

'Mommy' Washu and Daughter

The next day, Tenchi's aunt returns to collect her grandson. As Taro leaves in the arms of his father, Washu confesses that she had a son a long time ago while she was still at the Academy. She explains that because the father of her child belonged to a prestigious family of aristocrats, she was not allowed to keep the child or her husband, and both were taken from her. Because of this, Washu chose to remain in the body of a young girl so she would never have to deal with "grown-up issues" again. However, the day ends in good humour when Washu temporarily transforms into a bustier, more mature woman and teases the girls by telling Tenchi she would be happy to have a child if he was the father.

While all this is going on, Sasami watches them with a distressed look on her face.

<< Episode 7 - The Night Before the Carnival

Episode 9 - Sasami and Tsunami >>

Hidden Frame

When Ryoko and Ayeka are fighting over who is going to feed Taro, there is a hidden frame at the moment Ayeka pushes Ryoko aside for the first time. The frame, shown on the right, features a pair of cat eyes, a mouth and two paws against a black background. There is also a small, distorted figure of Ryoko, but this is mostly obscured by Taro.

The song played over the montage of Washu helping look after Taro is “Washu's Lullaby” (or “Washu no komoriuta”, the original Japanese title). The Japanese version is performed by Yuko Kobayashi, Washu's Japanese voice artist. You can read the lyrics in Japanese and English here.

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