Urusei Yatsura

August 20, 2017

Time to really go back in time for a really old and retro anime. An anime so old that it debuted in 1981, the year that I was born! That’s right. I finally found myself the ‘motivation’ and ‘time’ to pick up Urusei Yatsura. After all, it was created by Rumiko Takahashi, the same author who made Ranma 1/2. In fact, this is her first work and creation that will eventually have her illustrative career spanning over the decades. Up until today, her works are still being adapted with the latest being Kyoukai No Rinne. So can I say that with this series, I have seen almost all of Rumiko Takahashi’s adapted works? Maybe just that Mermaid Forest left and a few one off OVAs…

Anyway, I had always wanted to watch this series from a long time ago but was put off with the ‘enormous’ amount of episodes. Yup. 195 episodes and that is just the TV series itself that ran for 5 years. This in fact is by far the series with the most number of episodes, edging out Inu Yasha which had 193 episodes if you combine both the original seasons and the final adapted chapter. Ranma 1/2 only managed 161 TV episodes and Maison Ikkoku had only 96. So you bet having to watch almost 200 episodes of Urusei Yatsura would be taxing and taking a long time. Oh heck. What was I thinking? Shouldn’t I be watching it slowly and enjoying it? Well, here I am now.

The series’ title is translated as Those Obnoxious Aliens as Urusei can literally mean shut up. But upon closer examination of the kanji, it is a clever play on words that could mean outer space/planet. The plot and story are typically of the old. If you are familiar with the works of Maison Ikkoku and Ranma 1/2, you can tell that it follows more or less along that lines. Romance, nonsensical plots, love polygon, etc. After all, it is the 80s. Looking back right now, you can say it is a period where things look pretty silly. Yeah, we’re so advanced now.

The story tells of a perverted young high school boy in a small humble but crazy town called Tomobiki. His lecherous is known throughout town. Yet, he is being selected to save the world from being enslaved by this Oni race. Of all people… Get this. The fate of the world rests on a tag game they’re going to play. If he catches the Oni, he wins and Earth is free. Initially he didn’t really want to do this but his girlfriend (yes, even the town and possibly world’s most perverted kid surprisingly has a girlfriend) promised to marry him. Guess what? By a stroke of luck, his perversion is the reason why he wins! So our Oni girl is left to cover her modesty as he screams marriage and. But Oni girl takes it the wrong way and thinks he is proposing to her. And so begins his troubled ‘married life’ with her and all the other shenanigans that come along with the other characters.

The Main Casts
The series of course has a lot of characters. Some only make a cameo in few episodes and some usually in the background. Here are the main and supporting ones:

Ataru Moroboshi – The main perverted character. Super big idiot whose favourite past time is to bug girls and ask their telephone number and address no matter how much they feel disgusted about this pest. Apparently he doesn’t learn because his body is made of steel and rubber as he doesn’t get damaged, each time bouncing back as pervy as before. So notorious throughout town that even his parents, especially his mom sometimes regretted giving birth to him. Yes, she actually said that!

Lum – The space invader Oni girl whom Ataru is supposed to ‘marry’. It’s like her main role is to police Ataru’s lecherous ways. Each time he goes flirting, she gets made and zaps him with her lighting. He never learns so the process repeats itself. The ironic part is that Ataru loves to flirt with any pretty girl so is Lum not pretty and sexy enough for him? Heck, she is the only girl who would give him her full love and yet he doesn’t want to? Oh right. It’s more fun having a harem. It’s more fun for us to see Lum zap Ataru. All. The. Time.

Ten – Lum’s baby cousin. In short, a brat. Make that a bratty brat. Thinks he is a good kid but he might be just as bad as Ataru, if not just slightly better. But still a troublemaker nevertheless. Always picking a fight with Ataru and usually loses because of his smaller physique. Though, he breathes very powerful fire.

Shinobu Miyake – Ataru’s supposed girlfriend. She has the strength of the Hulk as she is able to lift and throw furniture with ease. It was nice at first to see the rivalry between Shinobu and Lum over Ataru. But slowly and without warning, she dumps this guy and that took away all the fun. Now she is fawning over a new guy who turns out to be…

Shuutarou Mendou – Actually the same idiot level as Ataru. Only difference is that he is rich and handsome (slightly). The son and heir of his Mendou Conglomerate so you can expect crazy rich stuffs or things that only rich people can afford like his own personal army and an entire resort of his own. He likes Lum and despite devoting his love to her, he doesn’t waste no chance in flirting with other girls. At least he does it in style. Also, scared of dark and tight places.

Sakuranbou AKA Cherry – The petite monk whom I believe is the most ‘hated’ character in the series. The most unwanted character as he can pop up from anywhere and surprise the hell out of the characters. Not really a holy goodness as he seems to love eating and exchanges his services for food.

Sakura – The school’s nurse who is also Cherry’s niece. An exorcist herself and luckily a tough lady as she is able to fend off Ataru’s unwanted affection. Also shares the same big eating appetite as Cherry. Has a fiancé named Tsubame who is always overseas performing his western exorcism.

Rei – Lum’s supposed handsome fiancé. However this guy is nothing but a glutton. Also, his true form is a cow. Or is it a pig? Or a tiger? Whatever he is, he has only got food and Lum on his mind. No wonder Lum dumped him.

Ran – Lum’s childhood friend. Ran is always getting it from her mom whenever Lum stays over as mom thinks whatever mischief that Lum had done is her daughter’s. Even worse, Ran loves Rei and thinks each time Rei is with Lum, she is trying to steal him, which clearly isn’t. Therefore she grows up spiteful of her and her mission is to bring misery to her. Thus she is the girliest girl trying to seduce Ataru away from her to get her revenge.

Benten – Lum’s other childhood friend. Biker girl with chain.

Oyuki – Lum’s other childhood friend. Snow woman with a calm and cold demeanour as her ice powers.

Ryuunosuke Fujinami – A girl who has been raised as a boy by her twisted father who is also one of the biggest jerks in the series. Therefore it is no surprise to see sea loving father and violent tomboy daughter always fighting each other every day. Has to keep reminding people she is a girl whenever people confuse her for being a guy. Dreams of wearing a dress but ironically she has so many chances to do so. So what’s stopping her?

Lum’s Stormtroopers – A group of Ataru’s classmates and ‘friends’ all aptly named after their characteristics: Megane, Perm, Chibi and Kakugari. They are the unofficial fan boy club of Lum and love her and will do anything to protect her. But I don’t see them do much of that except being the usual joker group.

Onsen Mark – The English homeroom teacher of these kids whom they never give a damn to his lessons. Yeah, there is always something to interrupt his lessons.

Ryouko – Mendou’s younger sister who loves to play prank on her brother and bring him misery.

Kurama – Princess of another world trying to find a mate for an heir. Legend dictates whoever kissed her awake will be her partner. Too bad dumb Ataru was the one. Trying to live her life correcting that mistake?

Kotatsu Neko – Possibly the most sensible and smartest character in the series. Doesn’t have any lines and is always seen hogging the kotatsu. He might not look much but sometimes lends a hand. Always seen hanging out with the school principal or Cherry.

The Episodes
A big chunk of the episodes in the TV series are standalones and hardly last more than an episode except for 2 or 3 occasions. Each of them feel like fillers and I prefer those that involve love rivalry and polygon between the characters. Since I can’t list down all those I have seen, some of the memorable ones are as follows. Not in any particular order since I personally messed up. Don’t ask…

* Love-Love Catchballs allow you to see your future married spouse. So imagine the chaos it brings when our protagonists see through it and find their most undesirable partners. Like Shinobu gets Tsubame, Ran gets Ataru, Lum gets Rei, Ataru and Mendou get Sakura and Cherry gets some babe cat. Don’t ask… You bet there are going to be lots of anger and anarchy ensuing, some trying to accuse the other of cheating. Do violence solve anything? It’s already bad enough Sakura gets the idiotic duo but why does Shinobu suddenly cuddling up to Tsubame? Can’t fight fate? What happened to her ‘strong’ love for Mendou? And by the time the entire place is destroyed by angry people and idiots, it is revealed that the Catchballs are just showing your incompatible partner. If you marry this person, misery will ensue. Well, they already proved it.

* There is one time when Ataru decides to give up his special position and let Megane become his successor. And thus everybody jumps to conclusion that he is giving up his love for Lum. While Megane paints the town red with his uncontrolled happiness (at night!), Shinobu is worried about the imbalance this will throw the class into. Especially this means Mendou will be a step closer to Lum. So she hires gangster babes from other schools to stop Ataru? Then it turns out Ataru was just giving up his special position as class rep. Yeah, I bet everybody forgot how Ataru won that silly duel with Mendou to become one. Yup. Everybody did. So do we.

* Lum thought getting a love cupid would make Ataru fall for her. But he is swift in dodging his arrows. Or maybe the cupid is such a lousy shot. Ataru is smart enough to let the cupid target a few ugly old men to harass Lum while he gets away. Now that he is in control of the cupid, he tries to target Ryuunosuke but too bad got his dad. Totally gay moment when Ryuunosuke’s dad tries to hug Ataru. Even him holding down Ataru won’t do because Ataru can still pull off all his tricks to kick away the arrows. Just when everyone has had enough of it and holds him down that he can’t move an inch, the cupid dies. WTF. A week later it reborn but nobody is interested and sceptical. Definitely stupid cupid…

* If the real deal won’t do, then a sand clone can be a good substitute! Ten makes a sand clone of Sakura for himself, Ataru and Mendou. It moves and speaks like the real deal. Only more compliant. So you can imagine the chaos when Tsubame sees Sakura hanging out with several men and thinks it is a sign of breaking up. Even more chaotic when the real Sakura gets involved. How do you tell your man not to touch other woman when that woman is your own clone?!

* Two can play that game. Because if Ataru can continue to flirt with girls, why not Lum? So at the beach Lum turns a loser dolphin into a tanned handsome hunk that has other girls turning their heads too. Lum’s plan to make Ataru jealous works since that guy is mad to see another man flirting with his woman. Hah! So you admit Lum is yours?! He goes all out to sabotage him and when it seems Ataru is going to get physical, that guy turns into a woman (because he thinks being a guy is taking all the abuse while being a woman gets special treatment) and now Ataru is head over heels, back to his normal idiocy.

* There are a handful of times when Ataru does somewhat show he still has a heart for Lum. For example when his friends throw Lum a party, Ataru becomes a wet blanket. This prompts Lum to ask if he would be better off without her. Your typical unhesitating yes. And once Lum is gone, in the shortest period you can see Ataru becoming worried that this isn’t a prank and that she is gone for real! Yeah, the town is in panic trying to look for Lum. It’s like a big deal she is missing. Lum is actually back on her planet trying to renew her passport (they need passport to visit Earth?!) and her secret microphone captures Ataru’s sincerest regret that he really wants her back. And you can see the big relief in his face when she returns. But he continues to act like a tsundere about it. Note: This must be a super popular episode and the closest that showed Ataru really cared for Lum. That’s why the entire episode was shown as a repeat as the penultimate episode when the TV series ended its run! Nothing makes your heart fonder like absence…

* I can consider this another example. When Lum once again zaps Ataru for his unfaithfulness, the usual couple quarrel ensues, she goes to sleep in her UFO only for it to crash in Mendou’s estate. He picks her up and realizes she has lost her memories and keeps her in his mansion. Despite the irony of Ataru ‘not liking’ Lum (tsundere?), he doesn’t want others to have her (selfish?) so he and the Stormtroopers barge into Mendou’s estate and fight against waves of his army and traps. Only when Lum sees Ataru bravely steering through the bombs and explosions (everyone must be lousy aimers) did she get her memory back and rescue him. Then it’s back to familiar ground of the usual antics again as though that ‘war’ never happened. That’s life…

* What about the time a cow bit Lum’s hand and when she started growing cow-like horns, she fears turning into one. She didn’t want Ataru to find out in fear he might not love her anymore. But when he does, suddenly he genuinely feels sympathy for her. He promises to care for her and even if it is just like taking care of a cow, he is really serious in treating her well. Even promising to stop eating beef related foods! Of course Lum turning into a cow was embarrassingly dismissed when the growth of horns are just her species’ way of fighting off sickness. This guy is so lecherous that as long as you’re a beautiful woman, he instantly tries to get you. Take for instance when Mendou for some reason turns into a woman! Ataru now chases after his ass. WTF?!

* Then there was this winter fairy who was trying to seduce him and Ataru would boldly skip class and whatever to just go on a date with her. Lum can’t do anything since they day before they had a fight as a result from a misinterpreted time to meet so she thinks this is him trying to spite her. Turns out when the fairy is trying to take his memories so she can become a spring fairy, Ataru realizes he is going to lose all his memories with the girls he flirted (including all the painful beat ups as well). He returns to Lum and appreciates her better.

* When Ataru accidentally throws a rice cooker at Lum, she loses her ability to speak Japanese (though she can still speak her original Oni language). Because she doesn’t understand the language, Ataru thought he could go on a flirting spree. You do know she can still zap you for your unfaithfulness, right? So when Lum seemingly holes herself up in her UFO, Ataru takes this chance to go hit on more girls and party till he turns into a zombie! Is this what he will turn into without Lum restraining him?! So much so he is near death and when he sees Lum again, he apologizes, pleads and begs for her to speak again! I’m not sure if it would be easier for her to relearn the language again instead of putting a hideous translating mask on his face. Well, if it teaches him a lesson…

* Remember the princess and the frog story? An old childhood friend of Lum was cursed into a frog for losing a game. She cured him back via kiss. Now that he got cursed again, he desperately needs a kiss to revert. This of course makes Ataru jealous. Lum thought of using this chance to make him be more honest but it seems Ataru has this twisted thinking that if Lum can kiss a frog, he has the right to kiss other girls! And so he tries (and fails) to kiss others. Ataru has to eat his words when he thought of kissing a female frog but bailed. Lum is left to wonder if this plan of hers was right. A kiss is still a kiss no matter who it is. When the frog tries to force kiss, Ataru is the one who beats it up. It made Lum happy that he still treasures her. Feeling sorry for the frog, she kisses it and it turns into some midget. Ataru continues his kissing spree as revenge but to no avail.

* Ten got a magic bottle that accidentally turned Lum into small size. She tries to use this to her advantage to get sympathy from Ataru but he finds her annoying. Till he finds her missing he starts to get worried. When he overheard her teaming up with Kotatsu Neko about her plot, he puts her in a cage and continues not to care. Then he has to care again when he heard from Ten. Ataru has to beg to Lum to listen to him so that they could go to get the final bottle from the salesman who is smashing them all due to due back business. Right in the nick of time. You can see the relief on his face when Lum returns to normal.

* Something similar too when a jungle boy kidnaps Lum and wants to marry her. Oh, did I mention he is immune to her electricity too? Ataru thought he could be freed from Lum’s zapping and constant nagging but it seems the thought of Lum willingly going with him (although she was faking it) makes Ataru and the rest go on a rescue mission. Lum’s dream of seeing Ataru trying to rescue her comes true as they enter jungle boy’s domain of a jungle filled with power outlets and cables. What an electrifying experience? Eventually when jungle boy falls for Shinobu, Lum tries to apologize to Ataru for all the troubles. Since he won’t forgive her (probably faking it too), she zaps him like always.

* Other times he can be a dick like when his birthday is coming up and Lum didn’t quite remember it. So when she tries to make up to him and ask what he would like for his present, this guy throws a f*cking tantrum! WTF???!!! It’s hard to feel pity for this fool when he is in this lonely state and he must realize how stupid he is and returning back to Lum’s arms when she finally got him one.

* Can you believe a girl who actually likes Ataru for real? And I mean seriously like him and wants to date him. Too bad she is a ghost. She developed a crush for him while watching him rush to school from her hospital window. Thankfully she is cute enough for Ataru to go out with her so she can pass on. Don’t worry. As a ghost he can’t really touch her. So everything goes on fine and dandy till she finally manages to hold his hand and pass on. How touching and kind of Ataru to let her dreams come true.

* Suddenly without any warning, Ten is in love with Sakura?! Really, that little kid is really in love with a grown mature woman. She obliges because she views him as a kid. There isn’t any back story to this as we are suddenly given this random standalone story. Because it sure does fill like a filler. Then shortly later, Ten also falls for a local florist but then that episode was more about Ataru trying to sabotage him growing the plant which in turn grows into a monster plant. It’s like this kid almost will fall in love with any beautiful girl because there was one short stint with Kurama, a cursed cat lady and even a love letter in a bottle message whose sender is not even known! So hard up for love that he must have jumped to conclusion that she is female, eh? Well, thankfully she is. But a fairy? So desperate he is that there was one episode he fell for a ghost girl and doesn’t want her to pass on so that they can continue to play together. It isn’t always Ten who falls for a girl. Why, there is a kindergarten girl, Mako who falls for him. Obviously Ten is into mature girls and doesn’t like her. I can see why too because Mako is pretty possessive of Ten. It is his doom if they really ever get married. Making it worse, Ten would prefer to flirt with Mako’s mom and this WTF moment has mom and daughter become love rivals?!

* Then there is Ryuunosuke seemingly falling in love with Ran because of her perfect feministic ways. Ran accepts a ‘date’ with her to spite Lum as she thinks Lum is jealous despite she was trying to warn her about Ryuunosuke’s true gender. Of course Ryuunosuke accepted the ‘date’ in hopes to learn more about to become a woman and he didn’t know it was this hard to be this refined.

* Even Kotatsu Neko falls in love with Ran?! Actually Ran was trying to create a special magic oden that would make Rei fall in love at first sight. Kotatsu Neko accidentally ate it and starts hounding all over poor Ran who had to keep running. So when she decides to fight back with her bazooka, her paranoia and jittery has her shoot everything and anything that startles her. Even throwing bombs and grenades at Kotatsu Neko does not do any damage! This cat is indestructible! Just when Ran decides to just ignore this and create another oden for Rei, here comes Kotatsu Neko to eat it all up and leaves satisfied. So could it be that he was in love with her oden? Even more frustrating that this oden would never have worked on Rei to begin with.

* Mendou’s father arranges an omiai for his son. At first he was against it since he will be seeing the daughter of a rival clan. Furthermore, she is always clad behind an armour. Who would want a girl like that? When her true form is revealed, a cute and pretty girl named Asuka, I guess he has a change of heart. Too bad she has fear of men and keeps Mendou and meddling Ataru with her punches, kicks and whatever she can throw at them. Despite her androphobia, she starts falling in love with her own brother as he tries to protect her. This is due to her miseducation that men are divided into 2 categories: Brothers and the rest. Meanwhile Ryouko launches her private army to attack the omiai. After the fierce fighting, the entire place is destroyed. Asuka still fears men but seeing Mendou is brother to Ryouko, she thinks he is the big brother type. Safe to say the engagement is off.

* To get over her fear of men, Asuka’s mom sends her to deliver a letter to Mendou at Tomobiki. Imagine the chaos she would bring with all the men chasing her around thinking she is some suspicious person in armour. Girls can’t believe she is Mendou’s fiancée and Shinobu tries to intercept that and finds out she isn’t any particularly any threat since she sees Mendou as her brother. It could be all in her mind because Asuka bumps into Ryuunosuke and tries so hard to run away from him and Ryuunosuke chasing her down so hard to try to convince her she is a woman. Every time Ryuunosuke wants to show her boobs as proof, those damn guys just gather around. She can’t show and Asuka gets freaked out more. Eventually Asuka’s mom brainwashes her to just jump into the bosoms of a man. She did that to Ryuunosuke and they fly through several buildings thanks to her immense strength. In the end, nothing changes.

* Asuka’s mom still won’t give up and has Asuka date Mendou. Too bad with Ataru interrupting and Mendou’s agents getting in the way, all hell breaks loose again. Asuka’s mom decides to take drastic actions and has Asuka date Ataru who is believed to be the source of activating her phobia. She threatens to kill Tobimaru if she doesn’t. Asuka still can’t bring herself to do it and runs away while mother gives chase, destroying just about everything in their path. So when mother and daughter face off, they use Ataru and Tobimaru as weapons against each other. Man, it really must hurt a lot. And as expected, nothing changes in the end.

* Kurama steals Rei from Ran believing that this handsome guy is finally her match. With Ran forcing Lum to help her get Rei back, everyone either tries to expose or hide Rei’s real form because once she sees it, her dream comes crushing down again.

* Not Ataru loses all the time. There was one time Mendou panicked when he found an alien baby in his school’s locker. Turns out that this alien crash landed and needs fuel in the form of coin cash to fly back. Lots of them. A small price to pay for a rich boy to get this bugger off his back. And then what do you know? There are more similar aliens bugging him for the same thing. At this rate he is going to go broke! You give one, you have to give ‘em all.

* Then there was one time Ataru was the luckiest man for the day. Something very unusual. And indeed it is because with him being the ‘hero’, Mendou is like the ‘villain’. Turns out that Ataru was unconsciously summoning a demon via his morning jogging route. The demon has been giving him all the good luck all day and wants his soul at the end of the day. Ataru fights his ass off with the demon. Wow. Not even demons can beat this guy.

* One of the best and funniest episodes include when Ataru’s mom dreads going to PTA meeting at school. You know her son’s embarrassments, right? Too bad stupid Ataru had to say hi and bug her mom. Also here are Mendou’s elegant mom and Lum’s alien speaking mom. Because Lum’s mom made beefbowls out of Mendou’s mom’s raging bull, they start a civil war! Alien space crafts versus the private army! OMG! The human side is on par with the aliens?! Worse, Ataru’s mom decides to mediate between them via roulette. Don’t ask. They both lose their bets and Ataru’s mom rake in all the money. The cheated duo want their money back but obviously Ataru’s mom is an idiot too, oddly celebrating all that cash back in her home with her husband. Guess what? Mendou’s mom and Lum’s mom decide to call their forces to shoot and bomb the hell out of Ataru’s house! OMFG! That kind of explosion everybody should have died but amazingly they’re still alive. As expected.

* A WTF moment when Ran calls Lum as courtesy just to tell her she is going to steal Ataru again! WTF???!!! Because of that, Lum gets an idea to use her gun to clone Ataru and let the clone go to Ran. Unfortunately the clones think alike and since Ataru has a simultaneous date with Shinobu, you bet Shinobu is going to be damn confused to see twins of her boyfriends. Meanwhile Lum and Ran try to outdo each other and clone more Ataru to stave of the other, filling the streets with the idiots. Total chaos ensues when the clones want to go on a date and start bugging all the girls in the street. Pure pandemonium!

* Then there is this Count Dracula who targets cute girls to suck blood. He had the bad luck of targeting Ran and the tables are turned on him when she is the one who sucks his youth out of him. Only thing is, this old bat guy doesn’t have any youth left. He is forced to go find more blood and ironically ends up in some blood donation drive. He is then reduced to a pathetic coward because he got his blood taken away from him. By humans! And he is screaming to God for help! Hilarious.

* A mind boggling episode that has Ataru split into 2. One is the usual perverted lazy idiot and the other seems decently good and responsible. Now, everything would have been greatly solved with 2 of them because the idiot would prefer to go with Lum and live on her planet and the good one is Shinobu’s ideal since Ataru’s parents can’t afford to take care of 2 let alone one. But you know what? The mind boggling thing is how mom doesn’t really like the good Ataru because she still loves her idiot son! WTF???!!! Weren’t you the one complaining and accusing him of most of the shame brought to the family?! Weren’t you the one who always wished he was never born?! I guess this proves even as a mother, her son is still her lovable son even though he is an idiot. And yeah, they try to put both Atarus back again by crashing them into each other? Not working? Let them take it all out via fist fight!

* My point that this series doesn’t suffer from any repercussions or effects from one actions is further proven when Lum goes back 10 years in time in hopes of ‘retraining’ Ataru to be less of a pervert (failed of course). Guess what? Nobody then is freaked out seeing a strange flying alien girl and even more so those kindergarten kids! They’re just running along and living their normal life. Nobody cares! Worse, Ataru who was accidentally thrown back into this past cannot even recognize his own young self at first! And if all this actually happened in the past, you would think Ataru would have remembered something along this line that happened in his younger years. But no. He didn’t and it feels like this young Ataru is like a totally different person but with the same pervy nature.

* Lum’s interception of the phone call between Ataru and Shinobu causes the opening of a black hole with effects like the Bermuda Triangle!

* Cherry gives Ataru magical yellow ribbons which negates Lum’s powers. Poor Lum… Feeling so down when she can’t zap Ataru?

* An eating contest at a hotel. Sakura trumps even Cherry and Ataru and bankrupts the establishment! Still got more room for dessert?!

* Battle with some poetry wizard.

* Ataru trying to act out the ‘good parts’ from his diary when Lum time travelled and borrowed it from tomorrow. Let’s say it isn’t his day. And tomorrow is far worse…

* Lum’s dad tricking Lum into attending matchmaking party. Ironically, Ataru disguises himself to crash the party to bring her back.

* Body swapping with earmuffs.

* Raising and protecting a caterpillar from those jerks which actually turns out to be a fairy.

* Trying to put the library back in order so the characters from the books will return and end the chaos.

* Lum and Ten getting drunk and terrorizing the school. There’s another drunk incident when the gang drinks Lum’s alien drink and end up doing consecutive stupid acts. In public.

* Ten’s infectious cavity has Ataru and the boys trying to bite each other to spread the disease all for their own selfish sake to be cured. Another infectious disease when Lum gets sick but all the dumb boys paid Ataru to get a hold of her mask. Then they all got infected with her disease that makes their skin colour look funny.

* Lum’s friends organizing a secret reunion party.

* The teachers go in an all-out war against the students, trying to nab them for eating outside the school premises.

* A skiing race in which the winner gets to kiss the Snow Queen beauty. Ataru wins this helter-skelter but he didn’t realize the queen is Lum. Also another event that has the winner kiss Ryouko but this time Ataru thought it was a dance competition but actually a fighting competition. Guess he didn’t win this one either. Ryouko again offers the winner a kiss but this time they have to climb a giant Christmas tree. Because she thinks nobody is trying to reach her, she just fires the tree into space and turn it into a big fireworks.

* Ataru temporarily turning into a girl.

* Ataru directing a lame pathetic movie. Another episode has Megane directing and everyone realized too late the entire film was focused on Lum instead of them.

* Going back in time to cure Mendou’s phobia of cramped dark spaces. Unfortunately they meet his young bratty side. Yeah, it is unthinkable both sides take turns beating each other up and who’d knew our gang was the one responsible that led to his phobia.

* Ataru and Mendou trapped in a large vault as they try to out-survive each other rather than cooperate to get out.

* Cherry bringing some poisonous mushrooms and everyone eats it under the assumption it is some high grade mushrooms. The side effect has them do ‘talent’ shows. But no repeats. So what do you do when you run out of people? Bring more people in to eat it!

* Lum’s accidental switch of her very slippery soap with Sakura means she cannot hold or touch Tsubame during their date. And that guy thinks he doesn’t love him anymore…

* Attack of the killer potatoes! Yes, seriously! Killer potatoes! With aliens, spirits, deities, monsters and mythical creatures, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Ataru and co have to escape the killer potatoes while staying at Mendou’s mountain lodge. While they take the detour to reach the nearest village, they come back to square one because the entire mountain is now springing up with potatoes. Is it me or does some of the potatoes look like sh*t?

* Ataru losing to Ten for once and gravely injured?! That idiot could stand electric shocks, slaps, things being thrown at him and he never gets hurt. So why is his hand bandaged so badly? Apparently Ten has been biting on it and refuses to let go.

* Ataru’s parents are away for a trip, leaving him and Lum alone together. This means the other loser guys are hell bent on sabotaging them to be together for the night. Not that Ataru would want to be with Lum either. But when he realizes he will be screwed either way, whether he is officially engaged to Lum or not he will still be electrocuted if he flirts, he screws all that and tries to sleep with her. Too bad Lum made him wear a thick and stiff insulation suit to prevent her from electrocuting him while sleeping.

* Ryuunosuke is forced to pretend to be Shinobu’s boyfriend so he could get a free bra from a rival gang whose boss wants to date Shinobu. Yes, let that sink in for a while. Because those underlings didn’t like their boss to date Shinobu, thus the date as prove she is unavailable. You bet it gets chaotic when Ataru gets involved. And yeah, Ryuunosuke didn’t get any bra in the end…

* Ran cloning Lum to get back at her but the clones always revert to the original Lum instead of subservient ones. So the more Ran clones, the more Lums and all hell breaks loose when all Lums break out to live their daily lives. You’re not seeing double or triple or quadruple or…

* The guys trying to do all they can (lame tricks included) to peep at the other side of the girls’ bath (despite how noisy they are). Unfortunately for the guys all the girls were wearing swimsuits. This no good for you?

* Cherry’s weird pill has Sakura materialize her lonely young self who only wants to play. But everyone thinks this little cutie is Sakura’s illegitimate child!

* Ran is over the moon thinking Rei has kissed her when it is just licking paste off her face.

* Lum creates a magic lipstick in her attempts to kiss Ataru. Whoever wears the lipstick, their lips will be drawn to each other. Expect ultimate mayhem with lips flying around! Lots of gay kisses and some lesbian kisses! Eventually Lum gets her kiss with Ataru. Though, a glass was between them. I guess that is not bad itself.

* The gang tries to find Mendou’s lost family treasure but led on a wild goose chase of obstacles and dangers only to find that ‘treasure’ is a silly mask that Mendou’s grandpa had been wearing all the time. Looked in the mirror recently?

* When Ataru seemingly gets kidnapped by a ghost every night, the gang goes in search only to find it is Ryouko and her classmate girls hypnotizing Ataru to become a dog to play with them. Unfortunately she never really had hypnotizing powers to begin with as Ataru was just willingly playing the dog to play around with the girls. That’s why he’s so tired when he comes home every morning. Yeah, he got everyone fooled.

* Ryouko creating a voodoo doll of Mendou. But she gives it to Ataru to keep. So whatever accidents befall on him, Mendou gets it too. It doesn’t take long for Mendou to realize what is happening. So he reluctantly becomes Ataru’s bodyguard to keep him out of trouble but gets hurt himself. Isn’t it the same? In the end, Mendou creates a voodoo doll of Ataru and they can snap each other’s neck forever for all they care.

* A newly café setup in town with the Tomobiki students patron it because he has a beautiful daughter. But with teachers against them skipping class, fights often break out. Things get destroyed and they leave without paying. In the end, the café closes down but the owner gets his revenge by ordering every food delivery in town to school to rake up their tab.

* Ran bought some supernova star to win Rei’s heart. She loses it and blames Lum for stealing. Soon they go looking and it quickly descends into everybody getting the wrong idea that there is a bomb, a meteor crashing to Earth, whatever. Yeah, blame it on Ataru too. Then everybody starts chasing and running around till they got tired when the star has always been with Kotatsu Neko all along.

* Ran is sick so Lum pays a visit and thought of helping her do her chores but ends up making it worse so much so it is Ran who has to put things back in order.

* Ryuunosuke tries to remember how her mom looks like. When there is a photo of her, turns out there are many photos of other women. So his dad asked random women to be his mom then?

* Lum in hopes of instilling hope to a junior without resorting to using her own powers while fighting an ‘indestructible’ delinquent has her use strength enhancing drugs that gets less effective the more she takes them.

* Imagine the least feminine characters, Ryuunosuke and Benten fighting over who is more… Feminine?! It is a decided a play for them to act out who is most feminine but it ends up with chaotic violence with Ataru’s lecherousness, Lum’s zapping, men in dog suits, evil black aliens and the rest of the girls beating the crap out of everything. In the end, nobody wins. The school is destroyed and our least feminine duo are still punching each other.

* When Kaede decides to ditch her ninja life and find a new job, she has to run away from her matriarch. She bumps into Mendou whom they know each other from a field trip. He hires her to be his bodyguard but Ryouko will not easily accept and has her undergo a test with lots of traps. With needless interference from Ataru, needless to say she is better off finding a new job.

* Ryouko feels left out from Mendou’s New Year party so she sends a letter to Tobimaru asking him to marry her. He takes this as a challenge letter from Mendou and so does that idiotic rich brother. All hell breaks loose as usual when Ataru who isn’t part of the equation gets involved.

* A monk enlists Ataru and co to help ring the bell a thousand times. They do it thinking they will get monetary reward for every ring. Turns out they got the short end of the stick because they are paid in bells. Because ‘kane’ both means money and bell.

* Ataru and Lum take their fortune readings during New Year but each time all they end up is bad luck.

* Onsen tries to straighten up his students by doing home visits. Particularly Ryuunosuke, Mendou, Shinobu and Ataru. However with his misfortune and bad luck befalling on him, it seems his trips look more like a nightmare. Till he pays a visit to Lum’s parents did he finally have some faith in humanity (the irony) because they treat him like a human (another irony). Then they get drunk and now Lum’s dad won’t let him leave and wants to drink more together. Going to miss class…

* A Centaur alien tries to conquer Earth. But he had the bad luck to impersonate as Ataru and doesn’t his brainwashing technique look like kissing? You bet all the girls are going to beat him up given Ataru’s reputation and when he thinks he has got Lum to lock lips with him, she knows he is an imposter because the real Ataru will never kiss her. Yeah, beaten up badly that he would never want to come back to conquer Earth again.

* A rare episode whereby Shinobu gets entangled with an heir of a rich family. The father just died and the inheritance divided into his children. One of them is adopted so you bet the others are going to not let him have any. He and Shinobu have to dodge kidnappers and assassins till the will is read out. Then turns out that guy orchestrated all those to get back at his other siblings but Shinobu was smart enough to deduce him as the perpetrator and let the detectives arrest him. So nobody gets the inheritance? I thought Shinobu would get it then…

* Even Ataru’s mom gets her own episode. Albeit hers feels more like entering the Twilight Zone. After narrating about the typical cliché housewife’s life and task, she gets knocked out after tussling with other housewives during a sales bargain. When she wakes up and returns home, she finds her husband is already long dead and herself an old granny! Thank goodness that was just a dream. This time she goes home only to find her own doppelganger as Ataru’s mother! Phew. What a dream. Now she couldn’t care less because knowing this is still a dream, she continues to live out her wildest desires and superpowers. Till she wakes up. Is this still a dream? She is warned by the doctor she may be in someone’s dream or it could be partial reality. On her way home, the place is turned into a battlefield against aliens. When she wakes up again, she finds herself fighting alongside the resistance against those aliens and Cherry minions as the alien spy.

* Another Twilight Zone-like episode when Ataru mistakenly drinks Lum’s eyedrops. People start experiencing weird dreams that become real. But in a blink of an eye they wake up from it although there are remnants of that dream left behind. It gets worse when multiple Atarus appear. With different dimensions, worlds, fantasy and reality clashing, folks, Inception was here 30 years ago before that Hollywood movie! In the end, normal everyday life continues but now everybody has several clones everywhere. Still chaotic, though.

* A very rare episode that tosses away the usual silly comedy style. The usual gang is left stranded on a deserted island when they are picked off one by one in this horror survival mystery. It seems their deaths follow the English nursery rhyme of Who Killed Cock Robin but mixed with Agatha Christie style murders. Ataru is very shaken as he stumbles body after body of his friends and he starts going crazy when he discovers Lum’s lifeless body. As the sole survivor, he confronts the perpetrator who is no other than himself?! When Ataru is found, he has already gone crazy. Then it is revealed that this is an elaborated setup by the rest in hopes this ‘shock therapy’ would help cure his flirting ways. Everyone regrets this prank has gone too far and just when they thought Ataru is going to kill himself, actually he is back to his normal healthy self, trying to flirt with the sexy nurse. Nothing can cure this idiot so to speak. This is one of the more interesting episodes.

* Another interesting episode has Tomobiki organising a beauty contest. We see factions quickly rising as well as the underhanded tactics, cooperation, sabotaging and all the conspiracies from them as they try to get their preferred candidate ahead during campaigning. For some reason Ataru who ironically doesn’t give a damn about this is made the chief judge. Is it because he is the flirtiest guy in town? This campaigning isn’t just restricted to Tomobiki. Other local high school number one girls also decide to join in to preserve the ‘balance’. And because each also has their own preferred candidate, they make deals with Ataru that includes dating certain girls or having girls of their entire school to be his friend! Ataru being the sleazy guy he is accepts all of them! All the gifts, presents and whatever bribes, he takes them all! But the disappointing thing is that when the results are supposed to come out, Ataru has taken all his bribes and ran away. Thus leaving the contest without a winner and cancelled. WTF?! Yeah, Ataru is going to enjoy his time with Osaka babes… This is the twist? Yeah, I was so let down by this ‘ending’.

* Lum went into a parallel world where Ataru didn’t win his tag game against her. As a result, the world is ruled over by her kind and Ataru has deep hatred for her. As she tries to get back to her own world, she stumbles into other parallel worlds that include Mendou being married to her, the Stormtroopers are girls and get this, Ryuunosuke is a boy being forced to cross-dress as a girl! There is even a world where Ataru is such a great gentleman who is genuinely in love with her! Guess what? Lum doesn’t like this Ataru and prefers the flirty idiot! So why the f*ck is she always getting upset then when he goes astray?! This is her choice! You made it, you live with it! Oh well, it goes to show that despite Ataru being an idiot, he is her lovable idiot. I know. Where would the fun be if Ataru doesn’t get zapped anymore, right?

* Ataru’s dad is having a bad day at work, broke, got hit by a truck and his family arguing. Then some Tanabata Star comes to the family in to grant 3 wishes. Nobody believed him till they accidentally used one of the wish to fix the house. Got to make the other 2 wishes count, right? Too bad dumb Cherry wished for a yakisoba and now they are only left with 1 wish. Gotta think carefully. So while they ‘discuss’, we see their true colours and selfishness why their wish. They have to decide fast before dawn, the time limit of the wish. In the end everyone decides to draw lots. Dad wins but they cannot believe his wish is to go back and fix the mistakes in his life. Mom thinks he regrets marrying him and Ataru thinks he regrets having him as a son. So when they finally selfishly decide to go make whatever the last wish, the star is out drunk. Dawn is approaching. Quick wake him up! Cherry uses the last wish to wake him up. And with that, all wishes are granted. Back to your miserable lives…

* Final episode antics. I don’t know what is going here in this costume party except that everything is so chaotic as though this last episode is an excuse for every damn character (major and minor) to appear for one last time. The only highlight is that for the first time Ataru willingly kissed Lum! They’re in a dark place where nobody is looking as Lum prepares herself and Ataru a little hesitant at first. But when the coast is clear, they smooch. So this guy really likes her after all? Then what do you know? The darkness ‘disappears’ and everybody is around them. Back to those chaotic moments…

Those Cartoonish Days…
Phew! Well, I think I already had enough. Because there are 6 movies and 12 additional OVAs to boot in addition to the TV series! Don’t even talk about the video games! Yes, there are 3 of them! Man, I don’t think I can stomach any more of Lum’s zapping and Ataru’s lecherous ways. That’s enough Urusei Yatsura for me for one sitting and session. Besides, those movies and OVAs are hard to find online. Oh wait. They aren’t. Nah… I’m too lazy at this point and need a break. Maybe in the future I’ll consider watching them but for now, my stint with the TV series has ended.

Story/Plot
Back in the very early days of anime when everything wasn’t as complicated or convoluted till your brain hurts, the story and plot for the series is simple. So simple that looking back at this point in time that everything just looks plain silly. As I have mentioned that each episode serves more like standalones and fillers instead of a long continuous storyline. It is good in a way in the sense that you don’t have to watch every episode meticulously to follow the plot and doom will be upon you if you do miss out on one. Because of the comedic genre of the series, the one thing that always ‘bothered’ me about the ‘plot’ for each episode is that many of them end in some sort of cliff-hanger. What do I mean is that whatever happened during or at the end of that episode, the results do not seem to effect the next episode. It’s like resetting and starting all over again with the consequences ignored. For example when the end of an episode brings dinosaurs and people from the old feudal era to the modern day world and as a result wreaking havoc in modern times, that episode ends as that. That is all. Therefore the plots of each episode play out to have a more cartoonish feel. With no actual storyline and the characters maintaining status quo, it feels like the need to come up with all sorts of silly shenanigans just to fill up the huge number of episodes even if it doesn’t outright make any sense. And believe me, a lot of it don’t. Thus sometimes when I was hoping to get some sort of ‘proper explanation’, the downside of how it suddenly ends like that could be just unsatisfying.

Characters
It is a double edged sword for this one. This series certainly has a lot of main, supporting and side characters. Once you watched a few episodes on them, you can certainly tell that they will stay the same way for the rest the series. This is both good and bad since we can expect the kind of shenanigans that the character will play out but on the other hand it plays the same routine all over and over again. Like how Ataru keeps harassing other girls and Lum tries to stop his unfaithfulness and zaps him. Or how Ryuunosuke annoyingly keeps reminding others that she is a girl when others think she is a man. Or how Asuka continues to scream and freak out when a man other than her brother comes close to her. Or how Ryouko often acts like she is the poor victim but has an ulterior motive to play some devilish prank on her bother. Like as though this defines her existence. Yeah, it is. They become predictable that it takes away the fun to the point it is just annoying. Thus the characters can be as silly as they can be considering for the sake of the silly comedic plot, their alliance is as fragile and unstable like shifting sand. One minute they can say something like this and the next second they will u-turn their decision, betray whoever they agree with, blame them. It’s like nobody has any backbone in this sort of situation or that they are just selfish in covering their own ass.

Though sometimes some characters get their spotlight, it doesn’t deviate much or develop them owing to the standalone style story and plot aforementioned. And that is the thing too with too many characters because some don’t get too many decent appearances like Lum’s parents (they were in the beginning but slowly relegated to just cameos) and Ten’s mom (just a couple of them). Some like Ataru’s parents appeared decently in the initial episodes but as more characters are introduced, we seem to see less of them and that they have dropped out from even their trademark shenanigans of mommy regretting giving birth to Ataru and the family blatantly just ignoring and closing an eye on whatever troubles Ataru brings. So it’s like as though after the usual Ataru-Lum-Mendou-Shinobu-Sakura tomfooleries, they let some other character take the lead for an episode before going back to the usual.

Ataru feels so cartoonish (as well as all other characters) because of his tendency never to get injured from all those dangerous stuffs that would have killed a normal person outright. It is like in exchange for being a lecherous idiot, he gains this immortal body in which no harm would stay (or not last long) on his body. Damage doesn’t stay long and in no time he bounces back. Thus I feel that this is the main reason why he doesn’t learn and continues his lecherous ways. I mean, who is going to stop him, right? Not even Lum’s zapping. Speaking of her, she is as guilty as Ataru. Not just her annoying tendency to make him not stray (thus a cover and reason for her to get all sadistic with him), but look at her younger days especially with Ran. She practically ruined and traumatized that poor girl’s childhood! There is literally no one good memory of Ran she had with her! Can you blame Ran for always wanting to get revenge but her plan backfires? Yeah, somehow I feel this same principle applied to Lum although she seems a bit better now but that still doesn’t dismiss the fact that she was a total ass back then even if it seemed she was unintentional. Or maybe Ran is just a bad luck magnet.

It just proves that having money and all the high-tech facilities or a huge personal army doesn’t guarantee Mendou success or what he wants. Like I said he is on the same level of idiocy as Ataru except that he just looks better and have more money. He might be even more hypocritical than Ataru because despite declaring his love to Lum, he doesn’t hesitate to flirt with other girls. At least in the sense that girls do flock to him but he really does oblige them so as to look cool in their eyes. But he doesn’t mind being their lover if they ever allow him. So does this guy really want a harem with Lum as his number one? Shinobu doesn’t really make an impact unless you need some psycho strong girl to throw stuffs. That is why sometimes it feels that for her to ‘stand out’, there are a few episodes that involves a pure innocent fox child coming all the way from the forest to impress her with his innocent love and an ugly delinquent with huge ugly lips trying to smooch her like a raging bull. Funny, he is one character whom she can never beat up till he flies away. As stubborn as Ataru, eh?

One thing I noticed is that the other unimportant classmates as background extras in Ataru’s class. I know we won’t notice them but sometimes I notice they change. Sometimes they look like plain students but other times they look like delinquent students imported from a delinquent school. Then there is this high pitched alien piranha in a spacesuit that keeps popping up randomly in some scenes. I believe it is more of some joke but I don’t really understand it. During the very early episodes when the series just started, Tomobiki is filled with citizens who know about the infamous Moroboshi family especially their son. Yeah, there was a woman who seem to love to spread gossip about them. The family is so famous that practically everyone knows what is going on and sometimes would just gather whenever there is an ‘incident’. Slowly as more of other staple characters pop up, the townspeople seems to have gotten accustomed to all the shenanigans and don’t make a big fuss about it while carrying on their daily lives. It’s like they don’t give a f*ck anymore. Strangely, all the random girls that Ataru tries to hit on in the streets, shouldn’t they be wary if he is that infamous? I’m not trying to restrict their freedom just to stay away from this creep but you can definitely spot him from miles away with his annoyance and start taking evasive action. Some handle it well, some don’t even need to react (because Lum will reach him first) but mostly many would just outright reject him. Yeah, looks like they’re not scared of him.

Romance
I started realizing along the way that this series was meant to be more of a slapstick comedy than a true romance genre or even a romantic comedy. This means Ranma 1/2 better fills this category than Urusei Yatsura so to speak. If you have watched and known Ranma 1/2, then you would have seen the various ‘complicated’ love polygons for the many characters. But here it is more straightforward and the romance level that you would hope and want to see. Because for our obvious example in Ataru and Lum, it is just mind boggling to see Ataru hitting every pretty babe except Lum but still won’t let her go. On the other hand, Lum is so busy zapping him to keep him in line that she practically does nothing else when it comes to stop his foolishness. Heck, at a certain point we might believe Lum is a sadist who gets her kicks zapping him because a different but good Ataru is not the same as this dumb Ataru! And she doesn’t want that?! Oh well, Ataru might be an idiot but she is HIS idiot! You know what they say about a man changing and a woman staying the same but the opposite is often true. So is this bad romance between them?

The really annoying thing is how Ataru doesn’t treat Lum nicely, ignores her and goes around flirting. But at the same time when Lum plays his game or looks like she might gun for another guy, Ataru becomes a tsundere jerk trying to get her back. I mean, if he really hates her, why not just let her go? I know this proves that he likes her deep down inside and it must be that manly pride crap that he doesn’t want to show it but this is just annoying. It’s the same for Lum like as though she is really hoping that Ataru would change after zapping the hell out of him but always fall for the same trick of his unfaithfulness. There are so many other better fish out there and she had to really pick him. Yeah, love is weird. Or they’re just being dumb. It’s as though they’re trying to make a joke out of Ataru’s electrifying love.

I would have love Shinobu to get involved in the love triangle but that quietly fizzled out as she became fixated on Mendou. But she might just be all superficial over him because I clearly remember she told him right in the face that she only loves him for his handsome face! He is nothing without that! Is this true love? So we have Shinobu (and other unimportant girls) chasing after Mendou, Mendou and the Stormtroopers chasing after (protecting, they say) Lum, and Ataru chasing about anybody in a skirt. Ryuunosuke providing some yuri potential (oddly Shinobu knows herself as straight despite saying she’d fall for her but when the real deal comes she backs out) and even some funny gay moments between the guys (more of comedic instead of being serious romantic), ah yes, a period where being straight is this simple compared today.

Pop Culture References
Seeing that this is a very old series, what kind of pop culture can it make references to, you might ask? Well, even older series! From local references like Ultraman and Masked Rider series to Lupin and Fist of the North Star, but the one thing I notice they keep using is the Star Wars as its pop cultural references. For example that episode that has Ataru and the Stormtroopers barging into Mendou’s estate to save Lum has full of them. Even that “It’s a trap!” line! But over the other episodes, there are subtle Star Wars references and there is even a BGM sounding very close to its trademark soundtrack. Well, seeing how the original Star Wars trilogy was just released a few years back during that era, I suppose the hype and craze must have hit Japan too. Yes indeed. The force is strong in this one then too.

Drawing/Art
Old retro anime style, what else can I say? Character designs from that era having that one kind look that it really defines that era. This means hot looking guys like Mendou and Rei have this one kind look and the same can be said by hot looking girls like Sakura. Is it me or does that era’s characters love to have sideburns? All the characters I see seem to have them. If that isn’t the strangest, wait till you see the early opening and ending credits animation. The characters look like they just came out from Charlie Brown AKA Peanuts comic strip! With the kind of nonsensical shenanigans going on, the artwork can get a bit cartoonish and well, explosive. That or pulling a mallet out of nowhere and hammering it in. I suppose it is a cue for the punchline. So unbelievably dumb that they had to put in explosions to ‘blow your mind away’. Get it? Okay sorry, bad joke. Sometimes I noticed that quality dips in certain episodes and that the animation was just odd but you can’t blame the animation technology back then. And also it goes without saying that some of the character designs you see here become inspiration and groundwork for Rumiko Takahashi’s future works like Shinobu in Akane and Kurama in Kodachi from Ranma 1/2 and Sakura in Kyoko from Maison Ikkoku and Ten in Shippo from Inu Yasha.

Opening/Ending Themes
With such a long running series, there is bound to be a lot of opening and ending themes (6 and 9 respectively). The one I like best is the second ending theme, Kokorobosai Na by Helen Sasano. It has this tropical and salsa feel to it that makes it quite catchy. I also like the insert song, Margarita also sung by Helen Sasano. It has this dreamy bossa nova feel to it. The fourth opening theme, Chance On Love by Cindy is not too bad too as it has some cute lyrics in English. The first opening theme, the love cheeky Lum No Love Song by Yuuko Matsutani feels like the series’ theme since it lasts the longest (the first 77 episodes). I thought it was going to be forever this song till they decide to change its opening theme after every 20 episodes or so. Some of the songs in the middle of the series feel like it has western music influence in it. It is so because some dude named Ralph McCarthy wrote some of the songs. Some are good like the seventh ending theme’s Open Invitation by Cindy and the eighth ending theme, Every Day by Steffanie but some just feels meh like the fifth opening theme Rock The Planet by Steffanie. Others feel weird like Uchuu Wa Taihen Da by Yuuko Matsutani (first ending), Dancing Star by Izumi Kobayashi (second opening), Hoshizora Cycling by Virgin VS (third ending) I, I You and Ai by Izumi Kobayashi (fourth ending), Yume Wa Love Me More by Izumi Kobayashi (fifth ending) while others feel pretty normal such as Pajama Jama Da by Kanako Narikiyo (third opening), Tonogata Gomen Asobase by Shoko Minami (sixth opening) and Good Luck by Shoko Minami (ninth ending). Note: In most of the credits animation, Lum is doing some weird dance. Sorry, not infectious enough for me to follow.

Music
Well, I happen to notice that a lot of them have this resemblance to Ranma 1/2. Or is it because the latter took some inspiration from this one? You’ve got the suspenseful rock beat to the peaceful everyday life tune, the joker tune, the mischievous chase/pursuit song, the cheeky hijinks/prank song, the sad and sorrowful piece, the space song and even a disco and waltz type. The variety might not be much at that time as compared to today’s standards but still some of them are quite fun to listen to as it is simple and catchy. Also to note, I noticed that a few instances where they use some songs from The Beatles. I have heard a few BGMs that plays to the tune of Magical Mystery Tour, The Fool On The Hill and yes, Your Mother Should Know. Seriously.

Voice Acting
I don’t really want to go into this and list down every one of them because there are really tons of them over the long running series. I’ll say that it is just okay for an old anime during that time. Many of the seiyuus are already dead or long retired (may they rest in peace) and a few still active in the industry. Such is the case for Shigeru Chiba as Megane. I thought he sounded familiar but it took me a long time to do so. This is the guy who voiced Buggy in One Piece, one of the many characters in a long illustrious voice acting career. I’m not sure if it is annoying but Lum tends to end most of her sentences with “~cha” unless it is “Darling”. It makes her unique but sometimes it feels like a speech impediment? The other thing I want to note is Ran’s seiyuu. I noticed that halfway through her seiyuu changed because the new Ran doesn’t sound as aggressive and feminine as the original one. I prefer the old one since that left an impression on me as the new one feels like she is trying to emulate that Ran but just couldn’t live up to it.

Overall
This series still gives me some nostalgic charm although I watched it over 35 years late because of its retro and simplistic (sometimes nonsensical) plots and characters. Still, personally I prefer Ranma 1/2. That is my anime origin after all. It is no doubt that Urusei Yatsura as one of the earliest animes would lay the groundwork and inspire other future animes to come so it is still very much an influential anime throughout time. The huge number of episodes might be a turn off if you plan to binge watch but it is one of those classic anime series that you need to watch if you want to appreciate the early versions of anime. I know I am guilty of not watching classics everybody considers classic (such as the Hayao Miyazaki movies) but I guess everyone has their own opinions on what constitutes to be great and classics (excuses!). It may not be legendary like animes that seem to go on forever (looking at you certain ninja and pirate series) but I’m sure this retro would be an electrifying experience. Sorry, trying to make a pun. What? You don’t think this series is worth it? How shocking!