Anime Reviews:


Urusei Yatsura: Only You

(1983)


While the films in this anime series (translated as Those Obnoxious Aliens) are definitely better animated than the TV episodes thanks to the extra money and time available, it is with reservations that I recommend the movies to you. This is simply because, if you haven't seen the first few instalments, you will have no idea what's been happening. And with 200+ TV episodes, the answer is a LOT.

30-word summary: High school lecher Ataru is 'owned' by alien babe Lum, who has taken up residence in his home, much to his distress. With her and her friends around, life isn't dull... It's amazing how this scenario can be stretched into an almost infinite variety of different ways: unlike the dreaded Ranma 1/2, which seems to run out of idea after about five episodes, there is a delightful sense of inventiveness. In the first movie, made in 1983 and titled Only You, we discover that Lum isn't the first alien princess to have targeted Ataru when another one, called Elle, turns up to collect him. At first Ataru is deeply keen on the idea - anything will be better than Lum and her super-electric-shocks - but then he discovers Elle has a special place for him. Deep-frozen, along with her other 99,999 'husbands'. All of a sudden, marriage loses its appeal.

Jim McLennan

A-Z of Anime Reviews


Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer

(1984)


Beautiful Dreamer, the second movie, switches perspective radically, with Lum herself being the target of affection. Strange things are happening in Tomobiki, the town where they live. 'Strange' is perhaps too mild a term, totally bizarre may be closer to the truth, as all of Lum's dreams appear to be coming true. And the dreams of an extraterrestrial girl are pretty weird. This film is perhaps the best in the series, using the ability of animation to portray a world that is both familiar and utterly bizarre.

Jim McLennan

A-Z of Anime Reviews


Urusei Yatsura: Remember My Love

(1985)


Movie three, which came out in 1985 under the title Remember My Love isn't quite up to the standard of the first couple, even if Ataru does get turned into a hippopotamus. This is due to a curse placed on Lum by a witch, to prevent her finding true love. Even with the addition of a most unusual funfair, this isn't as memorable as either of the first two films, though still contains a fair number of amusing moments.

All three of the above films are available in the UK through Anime Projects - and fortunately, so are several volumes of the TV series, so you needn't go into the films totally blind. As well as the TV episodes, and a whole host of OAVs, there are three further movies (including what may be the strangest feature-length anime), but those will have to wait until next time...

Jim McLennan

A-Z of Anime Reviews


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