Urusei Yatsura Movie 4: Lum the Forever

Title:Urusei Yatsura Movie 4: Lum the Forever
Lum the Forever
うる星やつら4 ラム・ザ・フォーエバー
Keywords: , , , ,
Notables: FURUKAWA Toshio
Original Concept - TAKAHASHI Rumiko
When a giant cherry tree on Mendou's estate is cut down, strange things start happening. A mountain erupts in the middle of Tomobiki. People's dreams freeze in place overnight. Lum loses her horns and her electrical powers.
[Movie, 1986, 94 minutes. The jacket describes this as "the strangest and most lyrical of the Urusei Yatsura movies."]
[edit] The ↗Urusei Yatsura franchise:
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 8 8 7 6 6 Ggultra2764 [series:315#1552]
By the looks of it, Lum the Forever was attempting to go a more surreal route with its storytelling in a way similar to Beautiful Dreamer. But while Beautiful Dreamer worked since there was a clear intent that Mamoru Oshii wished to set up with Beautiful Dreamer's surreal behavior, the same can't be said for Lum the Forever's surrealism as the film felt unfocused in what exactly it wanted to convey with it. Sure the surrealism has its creative moments and the visuals for the film are a notch higher compared to past films in animation and details, but the film still seemed to struggle with what sort of themes it wanted to present for its story. Just having surrealism for the sake of a creative element to its presentation does not do well to strike my interest in the film and while I applaud the effort since the film structure is not like Only You and Remember My Love, it still doesn't strike a flame compared to Beautiful Dreamer.

Last updated Thursday, April 20 2017. Created Thursday, April 20 2017.
Watch 8 7 8 7 1 AstroNerdBoy [series:315#436]
If you want to know what an anime production team on drugs might do if they string together some random scenes to make a movie, then Urusei Yatsura 4: Lum the Forever is just the thing for you.

The movie picks up some of the standard things we'd expect from the Urusei Yatsura franchise -- Ataru going for babes, Lum going to punish him, Lum's admirers getting angry with Ataru, etc. The movie tries to have the Mendou family legend of the oni-hime be true, but once the giant sakura tree is felled with the tiniest swing of an ax by Ataru (for a movie the class is making), the real oni-hime apparently causes all kinds of whacked things to happen, including making dreams of some of the characters have icy, physical manifestations. Why? Well, that's never stated.

Basically, this is the most surreal anime I've ever seen. As I've stated on my blog, surreal stories allows the writers to write anything they want. There doesn't have to be rhyme nor reason. Actions don't have to have consequences. Nothing has to make sense. It is surreal; it is symbolic; it is ART! Bah! It is just junk thrown out there, possibly while under the influence, hoping people will suddenly see the brilliance of it all.

That's not to say it is all bad. I actually liked the dream exploration of Shuutaro and Shinobu because I believe their dreams reflected some of their inner feelings. Shuutaro was especially interesting because it revealed how much like Ataru he was despite his appearance to the contrary. Beyond that, there really wasn't much to grip to.

Bottom line: Surreal writing does not equate to brilliance for me. As such, I give this a "watch", but only for those who've watched the TV series.

Last updated Wednesday, February 13 2013. Created Wednesday, February 13 2013.
Rent 9 9 9 8 8 Jack Walrath [series:315#375]
This has got to be one of the strangest and most unique features I have ever seen, but I still like this movie. The animation looks nice and I like some of the darker scenes like the one with the locusts. It is isn't as funny as the other movies, but I think it let's you look at the character's more serious sides. Personally I would give this a Buy rating, but I realize that this might be too weird for some so I am giving it a Rent rating.

Last updated Monday, September 30 2002. Created Monday, September 30 2002.
Watch 7 9 Kaitou Juliet [series:315#137]

OK, this movie is unquestionably the weirdest 90 minutes of anime I have ever seen—even weirder than Excel Saga. "Surreal" doesn't even begin to describe how weird it is. It's tough to know how to recommend it. It's well made and there are probably layers and layers of symbolism to analyze and debate, but I think this is the kind of thing you really have to be in the mood for. The artwork is lovely, and much of the imagery is lyrical. There's very little humor, just strangeness. (Did I mention that this movie was weird?)

Bottom line: Don't watch it unless you're prepared for some very trippy stuff. And whatever you do, don't make this your introduction to Urusei Yatsura! But if you feel like watching something seriously bizarre, it'll be worth your while.

Last updated Thursday, August 09 2001. Created Thursday, August 09 2001.

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