Urusei Yatsura

Title:Urusei Yatsura
Those Obnoxious Aliens
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: FURUKAWA Toshio
OSHII Mamoru
Original Concept - TAKAHASHI Rumiko
R1 License - AnimEigo

Ataru Moroboshi, the world's most lecherous, unlucky, and unfaithful teenager, is randomly selected by invading aliens to defend Earth in a one-on-one action against their champion. The alien warlord's daughter, Lum-chan, is Ataru's opponent and he has 10-days to just grab her horns. Ataru's girlfriend, Shinobu, promises to marry Ataru if he wins. When Ataru finally does win, he happily states that now he can get married. Lum interprets this as Ataru proposing to her, so she accepts. Now he is engaged Lum and she won't tolerate any cheating. Shinobu isn't happy about the situation either. And to make matters worse, Ataru's male classmates are all in love with Lum-chan. What's a guy to do?

[195 TV episodes based on the manga of the same title by [notable:Takahashi Rumiko].

1:30min Series Opening - YouTube Video
[edit] The ↗Urusei Yatsura franchise:
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 6 6 6 6 5 6 Ggultra2764 [series:43#1552]
Urusei Yatsura is notable among older anime fans for being the first manga series written by acclaimed mangaka Rumiko Takahashi and being one of the earliest predecessors of what would later become known as the harem comedy genre of anime in its focus on perverted high schooler Ataru, the attractive oni-alien girl Lum, and various other eccentric humans, aliens, and spirits encountered throughout the span of this 195-episode long series. The series mostly runs as a gag comedy that relies on the various eccentricities of the cast and bizarre hijinks from the alien technology of Lum and any of her alien friends to carry it. While the mentioned alien tech antics had their moments where I chuckled and said gags have some variety in regards to their execution, the same can't be said for the character eccentricities since the majority of characters in Urusei Yatsura are defined by whatever archetype and odd quirks they have and milking their eccentricities eventually wears thin quick. Also while the series does have its poignant episodes of potential development with characters and their relationships with others, the episodic format of Urusei Yatsura prevents said developments from allowing any potential character growth which makes said developments feel entirely pointless in the grand scheme of things within the series.

Overall, I suppose I don't get the hype this series gets from older anime fans. While having its fun moments of comedy with the mishaps that result from any alien technology used by Lum and others, the heavy dependency on character-driven comedy wears thin quickly due to Urusei Yatsura's rather long length and the self-contained storytelling within episodes prevents any meaningful developments from taking place with characters in the occasional episode where the show gets a bit more serious. I suppose your mileage will vary with it.

Last updated Thursday, April 13 2017. Created Thursday, April 13 2017.
Unevaluated AstroNerdBoy [series:43#436]

Through 194 episodes...

The character designs are a bit shocking for the first episodes, especially since Lum looks so good on the DVD cover. However, this is the old Takahashi-sensei style which she changed later on. For the first 21 episodes, I have no clue why this series became so popular in Japan. I have only laughed twice, but I do know why the shounen crowd in Japan loves Lum-chan. I guess there's something about a babe in a tiger-stripe bikini who says "Darling" a lot.

The first 21 episodes are mostly composed of 2 separate stories. Most of the time, what happens in one has no impact on the second story. On the times there is an impact, it is mostly due to a new character being introduced and the 2nd story being about them as well. There was one good moment where Ataru and Lum spend a Christmas eve together and one really good laugh involving a beef bowl. That's the highlight of the first 21 episodes. The main problem is that all of the characters (save Lum-chan to a degree) are unlikable and have no redeeming features.

At episode 22, things start to change though. Thankfully, it has been for the better! The characters become deeper. Ataru is still a lech, but he is shown to be a good person at heart who cares deeply for Lum-chan. More later.

I started watching the series again with episode 83, having last watched this series on May 4, 2005. I plan to plow through 'till the end and episode 83 is a good start with Ten-chan getting beatings from Ataru. Now at episode 86, so far, so good on the enjoyment factor though episode 87's is rather tedious half-way through. 88 is fun though (anytime Ten-chan takes a beating, I feel good). 89 is outrageously funny with Lum and Ataru spending the night together (alone). 90, Ryuunosuke story. 91, beauty contest.

Having watched episode 96, I'm getting weary of the series again. The same old, worn-out jokes just don't cut it. Man, 103 and 104 were nothing but clip episodes.

Episode 105. Wow. A complete turn-around for the series as Lum's Storm Troopers and Ataru decide to mount a rescue of Lum, who has amnesia and is at Mendou's place. Ep. 106 has the rescue.

Episode 107 has the new director and apparently a bigger budget since the animation is much improved. Lum accidentally travels to alternate Earths including one where she won the contest and one where the sexes are reversed. Ep. 108 has Ryuunosuke without her breast wrap and suddenly the target of every man. Ep. 109 has Ran trying to win Rei's heart with food and gets a surprise. 110 has kissing malfunctions. Ep 111 has a caged wrestling match with an alien sakura tree. Ep. 112 has Ryuunosuke and Benten on an adventure. Ep. 113 has Oyuki unleashed. Ep. 114 has Ten-chan befriend a young female ghost.

Ep. 132 is an outrageously funny episode. ^_^ The second part (ep. 133) not so funny, but still good. By the 150's, things are a mixed bag -- some good, some not so good.

Last updated Tuesday, September 04 2012. Created Thursday, September 30 2004.

Buy 9 4 7 9 10 10 Gai Daikoji [series:43#895]
okay, i love this anime, but i gotta admit, the animation at the beginning blows. there is no excuse but lack of technology, but once you get beyond the first dvd, you figure out the animation gets better.
This anime is as unique as its title, in that it is an anime about nothing and everything, but more importantly the main charactor is ALWAYS scantily clad. To please the fanboys of this one, they will put clothes ON to the main character. Odd Indeed.
This anime just keeps getting better and better as the series goes on with endless inside jokes that are explained in the pages of liner notes that come with each dvd.
I think you should buy selected portions after renting, but its a series worth getting.

Last updated Wednesday, August 06 2003. Created Wednesday, August 06 2003.
Unevaluated Stretch [series:43#628]
Well, I'm glad I took a look at this page, because it provides an explanation as to why I wasn't feeling particularly impressed by this supposedly classic series. I got into Anime relatively recently, and whenever I take my first look at a new series I naturally want to start with the very first episode, so I mail ordered volumes 1 and 2 of UY. Reviewer K. Juliet has pointed out that in this case, I've saddled myself with some rather lackluster episodes (which is probably why several months after the tapes arrived, Vol. 2 is still in it's shrink-wrap). I was a little surprised to find only 3 reviews waiting here, and such radical differences of opinion. One unusual advantage to this show is that each episode seems to consist of two short (10 minutes or so) stories, so when I find a, say, half-hour long hole in the live TV programing, I can pop one of these tapes in to fill the gap, plus fix a little food or whatever.

Last updated Tuesday, April 06 2004. Created Tuesday, April 15 2003.
Buy 10 5 10 7 7 Barry [series:43#122]
Oh, sweet Jesus I love this anime. It has all the qualities I find best in animated series: it's big, it's silly, it's clever and it's uproariously funny. I've always been a fan of the printed works of manga goddess Takahashi Rumiko and this incredible series is only made better by that fact that most of its episodes were directed by the now world famous Oshii Mamoru of Ghost in the Shell fame. So, being so heavily biased, this probably won't be a very fair review. But who cares, really?
Because I adore everything that comes from the fingertips of Takahashi-sama, the art and character design get instant 10's. The animation is so dated, I had to give it a fairly low rating, though. But, seriuosly, what do we really expect from a show which ran from the early 80's? The series music, which is annoyingly cute, probably won't make evrybody happy, but I think it compliments the mood of the show very well. While there is no real continuous story to UY, some of the individual episodes could be very clever and all are totally hilarious. For example, in one ep the whole UY gang decide to get back at Ataru by reenacting an Agatha Christie novel in which all the characters but one (Ataru) die. It is one of the only time in the series that you can really see how human and emotional the character of Ataru can be when not chasing girls. The breadth of character exploration and development in this show is too great to be measured in this review and cannot be truly experienced if you just watch the first few episodes. What makes the story better near the middle of the series is the vision of director Oshii to make something more of the show than a confused, brain-dead intergalactic love story. So, I say give Lum and Co. a chance and you can see where pretty much every crazy anime romantic comedy got its inspiration.

Last updated Sunday, March 04 2001. Created Sunday, March 04 2001.
Avoid 2 4 2 2 2 Midnighter [series:43#94]
Ugh. Where to begin. I can't stand this series. The animation is abismal, the character designs are god-awful, the characters are unlikeable and unbelievably irritating, and so on and so on. The attempts at humor are vapid, infantile, and heavy-handed.
God, this series was really bad. Not as bad as Lupin III, but pretty damn close. Avoid this if quality, substance and intelligence are important to you.
To be fair, I had to quit after the first few episodes out of nausia and disgust, so hey, maybe it gets better. People seem to like(!) this series, so maybe if one can sit thru the horrendous thing, the end rewards you or something. But I seriously doubt it.
I hated Ataru, and found myself actually hoping he dies, which I have never experianced in an anime before.
The horny little bastard stands for everything I despise in people (i.e. He's a jock, a pig, an idiot, a prick, etc. etc.) He's an a**hole and he revels in it. He just bugged the hell out of me, apparently reveling in his testosterone drenched little life, and the obnoxious voice actor didn't help either.
The final word:
Avoid. Oh god, avoid this one.

Last updated Friday, March 02 2001. Created Friday, March 02 2001.
Rent 6 6 8 8 7 Kaitou Juliet [series:43#137]

Where to start on this sprawling, imaginative, varied series? The summary above barely scratches the surface of all the plots and subplots. There's a never-ending parade of goofy characters, plus Rumiko Takahashi's trademark slapstick humor, Japanese cultural references, a good deal of surrealism, and the occasional heartfelt moment.

The quality of the drawing varies greatly from episode to episode, and so do the writing and the mood. (The numbers above reflect an average for the whole series; individual episodes may be considerably higher or lower.) A major change takes place around episode 22 and most fans agree that it gets much better at that point. However, to get all the subplots it's best to watch either the early episodes or the summary episode which appears on tape 6. [Later note: I just re-watched some of the early episodes, and they really do kind of suck. Skip right to the summary for an introduction to the series and check out the early volumes later if you're curious.] I also highly recommend checking out the Tomobiki-cho website (linked below).

You'll probably want to rent this one first if you can, since not all volumes are equally good, and there will be something like 50 of them by the time they're done releasing this series!

Last updated Friday, March 15 2002. Created Monday, February 19 2001.

Other Sites
IMDB http://us.imdb.com/Title?%22Urusei+Yatsura%22+(1981)
Tomobiki-cho http://furinkan.com/uy/
THE website for UY. Includes a complete character guide, movie reviews, list of obscure references, and a shrine to Ryuunosuke!

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