Cover art of the 1980 first tankōbon volume featuring lead characters Ataru Moroboshi and Lum Invader
|Genre||Teen comedy, Romance, Science fiction|
|Written by||Rumiko Takahashi|
|English publisher||Viz Media|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Sunday|
|Original run||1978 – 1987|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Mamoru Oshii
|Studio||Studio Pierrot→Studio Deen|
|Network||FNS (Fuji TV)|
|English network||Animax Asia, Animax India|
|Original run||October 14, 1981 – March 19, 1986|
|Original video animation|
|Released||1985 – 2010|
Urusei Yatsura (うる星やつら) is a comedic manga series written and illustrated by Rumiko Takahashi and serialized in Weekly Shōnen Sunday from 1978 to 1987. Its 374 individual chapters were published in 34 tankōbon volumes. It is the story of Ataru Moroboshi, and the alien Lum, who believes she is Ataru's wife after he accidentally proposes to her. The series makes heavy use of Japanese mythology, culture and puns. The series was adapted into an anime TV series produced by Kitty Films and broadcast on Fuji Television affiliates from 1981 to 1986 with 195 episodes. Eleven OVAs and six theatrical movies followed, and the series was released on VHS, Laserdisc, DVD, and Blu-ray Disc in Japan.
The manga series was republished in different formats in Japan. Viz Media licensed the series for English publication in North America under the names Lum and The Return of Lum, but dropped the series after nine volumes were released. The television series, OVAs, and five of the films were released in North America with English subtitles by AnimEigo. They provided extensive notes on the series to allow people to understand the many cultural references and jokes in the series that would not normally be understood by non-Japanese. The remaining film, Beautiful Dreamer, was released by Central Park Media. Five of the movies, as well as the OVA's, are available from MVM Films in the United Kingdom.
The series received positive reception in and out of Japan from fans and critics alike. In 1981, the series received the Shogakukan Manga Award. The television series is credited with introducing the format of using pop songs as opening and closing themes in anime. In 2008, the first new episode in 17 years was shown at the Rumiko Takahashi exhibition It's a Rumic World.
An alien race known as the Oni arrive on Earth to invade the planet. Instead of taking over the planet by force, the Oni give humans a chance to fight for the rights to the planet by taking part in a competition. The competition is a variant of the game of tag (literally "the game of the Oni" in Japanese), in which the human player must touch the horns on the head of the Oni player within one week. The computer selected human player is Ataru Moroboshi, a lecherous, unlucky and stupid high school student from the Japanese city of Tomobiki, and the Oni player is Princess Lum, daughter of the leader of the Invasion force.
Despite his initial reluctance to take part in the competition, Ataru becomes interested in the game when he meets Lum. When the competition begins, Lum surprises everyone by flying away and Ataru finds himself unable to catch her. Before the last day of the competition, Ataru's girlfriend Shinobu Miyake encourages Ataru by pledging to marry him if he wins. On the final day of the competition, Ataru wins the game by stealing Lum's bikini top, which prevents her from protecting her horns in favor of protecting her modesty. In celebrating his victory, Ataru expresses his joy at being able to get married; however, Lum misinterprets this as a proposal from Ataru and accepts on live television. Despite the misunderstanding, Lum falls in love with Ataru and moves into his house.
Despite Ataru's lack of interest in Lum (due to immense shame that the tag game brought to him) and attempts to rekindle his relationship with Shinobu, Lum frequently interferes and Shinobu loses interest in Ataru. Still, Ataru's flirtatious nature persists despite Lum's attention. Lum attempts to stop him from flirting, which results in Ataru receiving powerful electric shock attacks from Lum as punishment. Two characteristics of Ataru are particularly strong: his bad luck that draws to him all weirdos of the planet, the spirit world and even galaxy. His prodigious ability to support extreme physical wounds without a scratch while doing incredible physical performances like ninja tricks and catching a katana with his bare hands, keeps him alive.
Later Lum begins attending the same school as Ataru despite his objections (he strangled himself with the food he was eating when he heard the news). Lum develops a fan base of admirers among the boys of the school, including Shutaro Mendou, the rich and handsome heir to a large corporation that all the girls from Tomobiki have a crush on ( who is in truth not so different from Ataru ). Despite their romantic interest, none of Lum's admirers will risk upsetting Lum by trying to force her and Ataru apart, although this doesn't stop them from trying to get Ataru punished due to his bad behavior, and interfering every time they get close to him.
As the series continues Ataru develops his own feelings for Lum but, for reasons never explained, he denies them even to himself and acts brashly towards her. Only when he is almost certain to lose her, he shows how much he values her, sometimes even putting his life in peril, almost to a suicidal level. After the danger passes, his idiocy and blasé attitude resume. Most visibly in the Destiny Production Arc, he had the opportunity to construct his ideal future, where he is the master of a harem. However, while visiting this future he discovered that Lum dumped him because of the ill-treatment that his future-self (to keep the harem, set in a mere six tatami mat apartment, he sold all of her things, made her find a part-time job, sleep on the roof, and even stopped feeding her) the present Ataru didn't think twice before throwing this future aside. Similarly, seeing how happy Lum was in a future where they were getting married, he did all he could to save it.
The stories are mostly unconnected and very few of them actually told events with later effects in the plot. The majority of the stories concluding without explaining how the things got settled, as in the next story, all is back to normal. The manga plot differs from the anime/movies plot in some details. First many characters, that appeared only a couple of times in the manga, became regulars in the anime. The best examples of this are the Lum Stormtroopers: Megane, Chibi, Perm and Kakugari. While in the manga they appeared only in the first two volumes, later replaced by Shuutaro Mendou, in the anime they are among the main characters (particularly Megane), filling the roles alongside Mendou. Another example is Ten, the arsonist cousin of Lum, in the manga appeared from the seventh volume, but in the anime he appeared since the third episode, so many tales are now modified to include him. Many of the anime episodes are based on two or more tales put together, others are entirely new tales, and others are expanded single chapters. Some of the tales composed of more than one chapter are compressed into single episodes. Finally, the order in which stories are told is different from the one of the manga.
Also, Ataru and Lum are closer in the anime, sharing many more romantic moments and even properly kissing each other a couple of times (something that never happened in the manga). However, their relationship in the anime is also more complicated, because the order of episodes is different than the original order of the manga, so the evolution of the characters isn't linear. So in some episodes Ataru is extremely (but subtly), attached to Lum, but in the next episode he tries to get rid of her forever. The same concept is applied to the other characters. For this reason the love square between Shinobu, Lum, Ataru and Mendou never came to an end, while in the manga Shinobu has a storyline devoted to her moving on from her crush, Mendou, in favor of Inaba, a trans-dimensional man dressed as a bunny, that in the anime appeared only in the first OVA and in the fifth movie.
The title of the series roughly translates to "Those Obnoxious Aliens". The title is written using specific kanji instead of hiragana to create a Japanese pun. In 1977, Takahashi created Those Selfish Aliens, a "wacky boy meets alien" romantic comedy. Urusei Yatsura was developed from similar concepts, and published when Takahashi was twenty-one years old. Takahashi said that she had been dreaming about the overall universe of Urusei Yatsura since she was very young. She said that the series "really includes everything I ever wanted to do. I love science fiction because sci-fi has tremendous flexibility. I adopted the science fiction-style for the series because then I could write any way I wanted to". The series was her first major work, having previously only published short stories. Takahashi considers Ataru to be the main character. When Takahashi ran out of ideas she would create new characters. Takahashi had difficulty meeting deadlines to begin with, so chapters were published sporadically until 1980. She shared a small apartment with two assistants, and often slept in a closet due to a lack of space. While writing Urusei Yatsura she also began work on Maison Ikkoku. In 1994, Takahashi stated that she will not produce any more content for the series. Bewitched is credited as being an inspiration for Takahashi. Lum's use of the English word "Darling" was to emphasize her status as a foreigner.
The characters of Megane, Perm, Kakugari and Chibi are recurring characters throughout the anime adaption, however in the manga they are nameless fans of Lum who are never seen after Mendou is introduced. In contrast the character Kosuke Shirai plays a large role in the manga, but does not appear in the anime series. His role is often performed by Perm. The second half of the anime is closer to the manga than the first half. The character Ten made a much later appearance in the manga than in the anime.
The series began sporadic serialization in 1978's 39th issue of the manga anthology Weekly Shōnen Sunday and ended in 1987's eighth issue after publishing 374 chapters and almost 6000 pages. A total of 34 individual volumes with 11 chapters each were released in tankōbon format between 1980 and March 1987. After the tenth anniversary of start of the series, it was printed in 15 "wideban" editions between July 1989 and August 1990. Each volume contained around 25 chapters, and were printed on higher quality paper, with new inserts. A bunkoban edition of the series was released over 17 volumes between August 1998 and December 1999. Each volume contains forewords by other manga creators discussing the influence the series had on them. A "My First Big" edition was printed between July 2000 and September 2004. This edition was similar to the tankōbon but used low quality paper and were sold at a low price. A shinsoban edition over 34 volumes was released between November 17, 2006 and March 18, 2008. This edition was also similar to the tankōbon but used new cover artwork and included a section that displayed artwork from current manga artists.
After requests from fans, Viz Media licensed the series for release in English across North America under the title of Lum * Urusei Yatsura. Despite a strong start, the series was dropped after 8 issues. The series was then reintroduced in the monthly Viz publication Animerica and because of the long gap the series was retitled The Return of Lum. The English release finished in 1998 and is now out of print. The first 11 volumes of the Japanese release were covered, but several chapters were excluded and a total 9 English volumes of the series were released.
The series was adapted by Kitty Films into a 195 episode TV series that aired from October 14, 1981 to March 14, 1986 on Fuji Television. With the exception of episodes 10 and 11, the first 21 episodes contained two stories. The first 106 episodes were directed by Mamoru Oshii and the remainder by Kazuo Yamazaki. Six opening theme songs and nine closing themes were used during the series.
On December 10, 1983, the first VHS release of the series was made available in Japan. The series was also released on fifty Laserdiscs. Another VHS release across fifty cassettes began on March 17, 1998 and concluded on April 19, 2000. Two DVD boxed sets of the series were released between December 8, 2000 and March 9, 2001. These were followed by fifty individual volumes between August 24, 2001 and August 23, 2002. The first Blu-ray boxed set of the series was released on March 27, 2013, with three more boxed sets to follow.
During 1992, the series was licensed for a North American release by AnimEigo. Their VHS release began in October of the same year and was among the first anime titles to receive a subtitled North American release. However the release schedule was erratic. AnimEigo later released the series on DVD. The series was available in box set format as well as individual releases. A total of 10 boxed sets and 50 individual DVDs were released between March 27, 2001 and June 20, 2006. Each DVD and VHS contained Liner notes explaining the cultural references and puns from the series. A fan group known as "Lum's Stormtroopers" convinced the Californian public television station KTEH to broadcast subtitled episodes of the series in 1998. AnimeEigo's license later expired, and has confirmed that the series is out of print as of September, 2011.
During the Television run of the series, four theatrical films were produced. Urusei Yatsura: Only You was directed by Mamoru Oshii and began showing in Japanese cinemas on February 11, 1983. Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer was directed by Mamoru Oshii and was released on February 11, 1984. Urusei Yatsura 3: Remember My Love was directed by Kazuo Yamazaki and released on January 26, 1985. Urusei Yatsura 4: Lum the Forever was directed again by Kazuo Yamazaki and released on February 22, 1986.
After the conclusion of the television series, two more films were produced. A year after the television series finished, Urusei Yatsura: The Final Chapter was directed by Satoshi Dezaki and was released on February 6, 1988 as a tenth anniversary celebration. It was shown as a double bill with a Maison Ikkoku movie. The final film, Urusei Yatsura: Always My Darling was directed by Katsuhisa Yamada and was released on August 18, 1991. In North America, "Beautiful Dreamer" was released by Central Park Media. The remaining five films were released by AnimEigo in North America and MVM Films in the United Kingdom.
OVA releases 
On September 24, 1985, the special Ryoko's September Tea Party was released consisting of a mixture of previously broadcast footage with 15 minutes of new material. A year later on September 15, 1986, Memorial Album was released, mixing new and old footage. On July 18, 1987 the TV special Inaba the Dreammaker was broadcast before being released to video. It was followed by Raging Sherbet on December 2, 1988, and by Nagisa's Fiancé four days later on December 8, 1988. The Electric Household Guard was released on August 21, 1989 and followed by I Howl at the Moon on September 1, 1989. They were followed by Goat and Cheese on December 21, 1989 and Catch the Heart on December 27, 1989. Finally Terror of Girly-Eyes Measles and Date with a Spirit were released on June 21, 1991. The OVA's were released in North America by AnimEigo who released them individually over 6 discs.
On December 23, 2008 a special was shown at the It's a Rumic World exhibition of Rumiko Takahashi's works. Entitled The Obstacle Course Swim Meet, it was the first animated content for the series in 17 years. On January 29, 2010 a boxed set was released featuring all of the recent Rumiko Takahashi specials from the Rumic World exhibition. Entitled It's a Rumic World, the boxed set contains The Obstacle Course Swim as well as a figure of Lum.
Other media 
A large number of LP albums were released after the series began broadcasting. The first soundtrack album was Music Capsule which was released on April 21, 1982, and a follow-up Music Capsule 2 was released on September 21, 1983. A compilation The Hit Parade was released in July 1983, and The Hit Parade 2 was released on May 25, 1985. A cover album by Yuko Matsutani, Yuko Matsutani Songbook was released on May 21, 1984. Lum's voice actress Fumi Hirano also released a cover album, Fumi no Lum Song which was released on September 21, 1985.
Many games have been produced based on the series. The first game to be released was a handheld electronic game, released by Bandai in 1982. Following it were microcomputer games, as well as Urusei Yatsura: Lum no Wedding Bell (うる星やつらラムのウェディングベル), which was released by Jaleco for the Famicom on December 23, 1986, exclusively in Japan. The latter was developed by Tose as a port of the unrelated arcade game Momoko 120%. In 1987, Urusei Yatsura was released by Micro Cabin for the Fujitsu FM-7 and Urusei Yatsura: Koi no Survival Party (うる星やつら恋のサバイバルパーチー) was released for the MSX computer. Urusei Yatsura: Stay With You (うる星やつら Stay With You) was released by Hudson Soft for the PC Engine CD on June 29, 1990 with an optional music cd available. Urusei Yatsura: Miss Tomobiki o Sagase! (うる星やつらミス友引を探せ!) was released by Yanoman for the Nintendo Game Boy on July 3, 1992. Urusei Yatsura: My Dear Friends (うる星やつら~ディア マイ フレンズ) was released by Game Arts for the Sega Mega-CD on April 15, 1994. Urusei Yatsura: Endless Summer (うる星やつら エンドレスサマー) was released for the Nintendo DS by Marvelous on October 20, 2005.
Japanese culture in Urusei Yatsura 
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (April 2012)|
||This section may contain original research. (April 2012)|
The Urusei Yatsura series is deeply interwoven with various elements of Japanese culture, leading to its resonance with Japanese viewers.
Based upon traditional representations of the "Oni", Lum (ラム) and her kindred are aliens that come from the Oni's planet. In Japanese folklore, "Oni" (鬼) are simultaneously demons,[clarification needed] symbolizing power, enemies and plague. On the other hand, the people have been worshiping Oni as greater force than the intellect. In the first episode of Urusei Yatsura, the Oni people are enemy invaders of Earth.
The motif used in Lum's character design is possibly representative of the Oni "Raijin" (雷神) (Oni characters with the same motif as Lum are sometimes called "Ogres"). Raijin is a god of lightning, and he is often depicted as a traditional Oni in ancient Japanese artworks. The god possesses cattle-like horns on his head, wears tiger fur, has the ability of flight and is capable of producing lightning bolts. The character of Lum is also possibly derived from, or meant to represent, a "Hannya" (般若) Oni, in addition to being a Raijin. The ancient Japanese believed that an implacable woman's spirit is changed into a Hannya after her death; a Hannya is therefore another type of demon and also a popular Oni image, particularly for women who appreciate the figure's representation of determination. Lum is depicted as a "cute girl", but similar to a Hannya, her personality projects a woman with a single-minded and implacable side. It should be remembered that there is "Oni-baba" (鬼婆) as Lum's attribute. Oni-baba is also called "Yama-uba" (山姥) or "Kijo" (鬼女). Oni-baba is often drawn as a woman having horns and tusks. She is a cannibal phantom living in the mountains in folklore. Lum has tusks and occasionally bites her partner, but Japanese don't have an uncomfortable feeling in her behavior such as carnivores because they associate female Oni with Oni-baba.
"Benten" (弁天) and "Oyuki" (お雪) are two of Lum's friends and fellow Oni in the series. Benten's character design is "Benzaiten" (弁財天). Benzaiten is related to the goddess of money from India, and one of 7 lucky gods (or Seven Gods of Fortune); "Shichifukujin" (七福神). Oyuki's character motif is related to a"Yukionna" (雪女). A Yuki-onna is a Yōkai or a ghost. The Yukionna are very beautiful women, often leading unsuspecting people to Hades or Hell during a snowy winter nights.
"Sakura" (さくら) is an important character in the series, who is also a "Miko" (巫女 or 神子). She is portrayed as having supernatural powers. Modern "Miko" assist with shrine functions, perform ceremonial dances, offer omikuji fortune telling, and sell souvenirs. The prototype for this position is the ancient shaman, and has existed from the Bronze Age. Miko are said to make conversation with gods and ancestor ghosts, and they lead ancient rituals as well as ministering to the people of their shrine. "Himiko" (卑弥呼) is the most famous "Miko" in Japanese history; queen of the ancient country of "Yamataikoku" (邪馬台国) in Japan (then known as "Wa"). In modern Japan, there are still many shaman called "Noro", "Yuta" or "Itako", and they are believed to have supernatural powers to this day. The female shamanic culture exists widely in South-Eastern Asia, Eastern Asia, and further into Alaska in the Northern Hemisphere.
"Sakuranbou" (錯乱坊) is a monk of "Shugendō" (修験道). Shugendo is a religious fusion of "Mikkyō" (密教)(Esoteric Buddhism) and Japanese Animism. It's monks believe they are able to get supernatural power by hard ascetic training in nature. We can see still many Shugendo monks in modern Japan.
"Kotatsuneko" (コタツネコ) is a monster cat, that is a "Bakeneko" (化け猫); one kind of "Youkai" or ghost. In Japan, there is a folklore that cats have mysterious powers. Cats over the age of ten are able to understand human language, and cats over 20 years old can change themselves into a Bakeneko. The cat's mystic power is not misfortunate, it may also bring good luck like a "Maneki-neko" (招き猫)."Kotatsu" (炬燵) is the most popular heating system in Japan, and many of the homes in Japan have at least one Kotatsu. Steam and oil heating are not efficient heating systems because Japanese houses are wooden and poorly insulated. Most Japanese use Kotatsu type heaters for direct body heating. Spending time in a quiet winter night with their Kotatsu, is one of the happiest times for the Japanese and their cats. It's easy to understanding that cats stick to Kotatsu and the Japanese.
In this series, the animals have uncanny abilities that often appear. Japanese folklore have many stories where animals, especially "Tanukis" (タヌキ) and foxes, have the ability to transform their appearance, and fool people. 
There are many such stories In Japanese traditions. Foxes have been worshiped as Kami of rice. "Inari Jinja" (稲荷神社) Inari Jinja shrines: the principal image is a fox and they are found all over the country. Meanwhile, Raccoon dogs have not been deified, so they appear as goofy characters or villains in fairy tales.
Inaba who came to Tomobiki town from outer space was dressed as a rabbit. In Asia, there is a tradition that rabbits live in the moon. Because rabbits can freely go between the mountains and human habitations, they have been considered messengers of gods. Inaba named is derived from the myth of "The white rabbit in Inaba(Hare of Inaba)".
The raccoon dog named O-shima appeared in the 3rd movie. In the TV series, there was an episode where he was working on something in the closet of Ataru's room. This is a parody of the folk tale called "Tsuru no Ongaeshi" (鶴の恩返し), "The Grateful Crane". In this country, there is a folk tale called "The Grateful Crane" which is known by children. This story is that a crane returns a favor to an elderly couple by shaving his own feathers. This story has been an example of doing kindnesses to others, and to return favors to others. It has been applied to many other anime and manga, not only to Urusei Yatsura.
Lum wears many outfits aside from her tiger bikini, she is often dressed in in the same styles as a typical Japanese girl. Urusei Yatsura depicted fashion in a level of detail that was unprecedented for a boy-oriented comic at that time. Teenagers regardless of gender were fascinated by Lum's fashionable appearance. Particularly impressive costumes were traditional Japanese "Kimonos." (着物)
Kimono have appeared many times in this series. Rumiko Takahashi's skill at depicting the precise details and elaborate patterns of different styles of kimono was very rare among mostly male shonen-manga authors at the time. There are many types in Kimono of Japan. The main ones are "Furisode" (振袖), "Tomesode" (留袖), "Yukata" (浴衣). She has been able to draw correctly the details and differences of each one.
Furisode are formal-wear for unmarried women, this cloth category is called "Haregi" (晴着). Furisodes are produced from silk cloth by hand even today, They are very beautiful but very expensive. Young Japanese women long to own their own beautiful kimono.
Tomesode is everyday-wear for women, and married women can use it as formal-wear. Of course, there is the special Tomesode (called Iro-tomesode) for formal wear as well being worn for daily wear by married women. Lum has worn Tomesode a few times in this series. The difference between Tomesode and Furisode is the length of the sleeve. A Tomesode kimono can be made from shortening the sleeves of a Furisode.
Yukata is night-wear for men and women. The material is cotton or hemp for ventilation, so as to be cooler in the humid summer of Japan. Yukata may also be worn as lounge-wear. In a traditional Japanese inn, "Ryokan" (旅館), it's common to rent Yukata free. Because Yukata is not expensive, teenagers can purchase them. Yukata is the essential costume for summer events in Japan. Many young women prefer to wear Yukatas.
"Serafuku" (セーラー服), the sailor suit school uniform, is another staple of Lum's wardrobe. It was introduced in Japan in the 1920s by American teacher Elizabeth Lee. Until then, schoolgirls had been wearing tomesode and hakama. Subsequently, the sailor suit design has been updated, and has become the standard schoolgirl uniform in Japan. The Serafuku design has also been adopted in Thailand and Saudi Arabia, etc.
Since being of a mild climate, Japanese have participated in outdoor events from ancient times. These events, "Hanami" (花見) and "Utakai" (歌会) are done in the present and appeared in the manga many times. Remains in the ancient documents of 812 AD, indicate that a Hanami was held at "Shinsen'en" (神泉苑) under the auspices of the "Emperor Saga" (嵯峨天皇). The meals were served In the Hanami and Utakai. The Bento culture has been developed as outdoor dining for that purpose. Although most major Hanami is by cherry blossoms, plums, apricots, apples, peaches, azaleas and other flowers are used for Hanami too.
There are some episodes about fighting with Lum and Benten in Spring. This is based on "Setsubun" (節分), by striking beans to Oni at February 3, people believe they will be safe that year. One of the origins is the legend of princess Oni from 1000 years ago. (It is a sad love story, but doesn't matter with Urusei Yatsura.)
In this manga, there are a lot of scenes of students cleaning their classrooms. It is not a special case. It's not limited to schools. Japanese will clean corporate offices, factories and roads in front of their home themselves. From toddler age, people are trained to look after themselves and their surroundings in Japan. This is called "Shitsuke" (躾). This Kanji is combined from 2 kanjis of meaning "own" and "beauty", and also used as a verb.
The monster title Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer, is one of The 3 Works of 1984. The legend of "Urashima Tarō" (浦島太郎) has been one of the base stories in this movie. This legend is as follows, once upon a time, Urashima Taro helped a sea turtle, and he was taken to "Ryūgū-jō" (竜宮城) (the Dragon's Palace) on the ocean floor for helping. When he came back to the shore, 300 years had passed, the society and the village he lived in had disappeared.
Director Mamoru Oshii (押井 守), polymerized this legend and the allegory that a human can't distinguish between the boundaries of dream and reality, He pulled off an achievement in which the animation characters were made to be confronted by "the reality" that their town had closed the space-time loop. In spite of poor distribution and in a limited market on television animation,Beautiful Dreamer has received high evaluation. Having gotten high rating from the filmmakers, this movie has influenced the subsequent Japanese films, manga and other medias. Until then, the theme of most Japanese anime had been fantasy and SF and sports, but after this movie, dreams and consciousness have became one of the major themes of Japanese animation and manga. This film won him a reputation, and he has became one of the masters of the Japanese film industry along with Akira Kurosawa and Hayao Miyazaki.
The turtle in this movie is similar to the turtle of Ptolemaic theory, however of course, it's a quotation from the Urashima legend. "Baku" (獏) which plays an important role where a legend animal is transmitted to Japan from China. In China, Baku was used as the design of an amulet in order to ward off evil. In Japan, people have handed down oral tradition to interpret the Baku eating nightmares.
Avant-garde art 
Avant-garde artistic expression modes had been applied to the TV series and movie of Urusei Yatsura, It was very unusual attempt as for prime time broadcast. One of the artistic expression was post-surrealism; a manga "Neji Shiki" (ねじ式)(Screw style) of Yoshiharu Tsuge (つげ義春) was its typical style. The besides Tsuge, there are Shūji Terayama, Tadanori Yokoo in the principal artists of post-surrealism in Japan. We can see the strong influence of their works to the current Japanese manga and anime, etc.
Manga of Yoshiharu Tsuge has an uncomfortable mood against reality, as Giorgio de Chirico or Paul Delvaux added Wabi-sabi (侘び寂び). In pictures of Yoshiharu Tsuge, the unstable perspective had been used in the same way of Giorgio de Chirico's works; therefore the readers had feelings aroused of anxiety. Erotic women and realistic background drawn in detail; on that point we might be able to say it's similar to Paul Delvaux. The characters are bizarre; it can be said it is similar to representations of Dalí and Hokusai. The story is absurd, there is barely any plot, the ochi (オチ)(the punch line of a joke) is very fuzzy. The reader is suddenly thrown out in the middle of the story, and will feel a strong sense of loss. Because being a scene similar in "Spirited Away", not a few people recognized the picture on the cover of "Neji Shiki". Japanese people are strongly nostalgic and experience deja vu toward his works.  His comics had been announced from the 1960s, they were very avant-garde subculture at that time. The manga "Neji Shiki" had attempted to make visualization by a short film, but it could not be said to succeed.
In major media, Urusei Yatsura is the first one attempted to apply avant-garde Surrealism such as "Neji Shiki". The most typical works are TV episode #76, #132 and "Beautiful Dreamer". The scene of these episodes have many allegory tools; like medieval western painting. The items with attributes such a mask, beldam and dolls have been located in these works, they drag the viewers into special psychology mode without mercy. The cultures with long history are cleverness, there are full of allegory in even cheap TV animations. This is the reason why almost Japanese people value "Beautiful Dreamer" made by cheap money, than "Inception" with rich budget.  Japanese animation persisting stubbornly handmade painting without easily shifting into 3D CG, and the medieval western paintings with rich allegories; it is interesting implication that they have common rules. 
One of such a representations itself is not rare, the use in Urusei Yatsura is not the first time. But Urusei Yatsura established one style with summarizing such a representation of post-surrealism. In the 1980s, Urusei Yatsura TV series had a viewing rate close to 30% in the prime time of the national broadcast; It follows that most of teenagers were watching this TV series. It had been used in the whole film of Beautiful Dreamer, and the effect has been demonstrated. It became possible to make creative visions like this, because worldview of Urusei Yatsura is wide, and animation creators have long films for broadcast times as long as the original story.
Mamoru Oshii used visual representation of post-surrealism such as "Yoshiharu Tsuge" (hereinafter, this is called "Tsuge-ism") for visual representation of between this world and the underworld. Because It was very effective, Japanese people were committing "Tsuge-ism" to memory as a strongly striking image. Although "Tsuge-ism" was merely as one of the sub-culture images before that time, Urusei Yatsura took every opportunity to have it recognized. The subsequent influence of post-surrealism against subsequent visual representation can not be ignored in Japan. With increasing influencing of arts, films and manga by post-surrealism, Urusei Yatsura is being valued highly. 
Notwithstanding "Urusei Yatsura was a comedy manga for boys, it had delicate and female representation about fashion by the female creator. Rumiko Takahashi's works are filled with motifs of traditional culture inspired from her deep knowledge of Japanese history. It has become one of the major attractions of her works. Japan is "Kuni" (country) of Iron Age has continued as a modern nation intact until today. Japanese lifestyle had been established in the 16th century. Although the social system has changed during 500 years, and the traditions and customs are passed down, the basic values have not changed much even today. Japanese are able to understand what the world view and mentality of people of 500 years ago without difficulty. For this reason, newest manga and anime even have rich allegories of old age. By knowing the history of Japan, the readers should be able to enjoy a deeper understanding of them.
Takahashi stated that the majority of Japanese Urusei Yatsura fans were high school and university students. The series' peak readership figures were with 15-year-olds, but the distribution of readers was skewed towards older males. She said that this was "very easy" for her since the ages of the readers were similar to her own age; Takahashi expressed happiness that people from her generation enjoy the series. Takahashi added that she felt disappointment that Urusei Yatsura did not gain much interest from children, believing that the series may have been too difficult for children. She believed that "manga belongs fundamentally to children, and maybe Urusei Yatsura just didn't have what it took to entertain them".
In Manga: The Complete Guide, Jason Thompson referred to the original manga as "A slapstick combination of Sci-Fi, fairy-tale and ghost-story elements with plenty of cute girls". He also notes that Lum is "the original Otaku dream girl". He awarded the series four stars out of four. Christina Carpenter of THEM Anime praises the characters and humor and notes the influence the series had on other series over the years. Carpenter summarises the series as "Original and unapologetically Japanese classic that earns every star we can give" and awarded the series five stars out of five. In an interview with Ex.org, Fred Schodt expressed a surprise at the popularity of the English release of the manga as he believed the cultural differences would be a problem.
In The Anime Encyclopedia: A Guide to Japanese Animation Since 1917, Jonathan Clements and Helen McCarthy viewed the series as "a Japanese Simpsons for its usage of domestic humor and make note of AnimEigo's attention to providing notes for those unfamiliar with Japanese culture. They summarise the series as "a delight from beginning to end" and that the series "absolutely deserves its fan favorite status". Writing in Anime from Akira to Princess Mononoke: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation, Susan J. Napier dedicates several pages to discussion of the series, regarding it as "a pioneering work in the magical girlfriend genre". Napier contrasts the series to Western shows such as Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie, highlighting their harmonious resolution to the chaos in comparison to Urusei Yatsura's "out of control" ending to each episode. Napier later compares the series to other magical girlfriend series such as Ah! My Goddess and Video Girl Ai. Fred Patten writing in Watching anime, reading manga: 25 years of essays and reviews credits the series with being the first program to inspire translations from fans. Patten later credits the series for introducing the phenomenon of using anime to advertise pop songs, claiming it was a deliberate decision by Kitty Films. Like Napier, Patten compares the series to Bewitched, but also to Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
The series received two awards from the magazine Animage as part of their reader-voted Anime Grand Prix. In 1982, the theme song "Lum no Love Song" was voted best anime song. In 1983, the sixty-seventh episode was voted best episode. In 1992, the singer Matthew Sweet released the single "I've been waiting", the video of which features images of Lum from the series. In 1993, a band from Glasgow formed under the name "Urusei Yatsura" as a tribute.
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- Lum's name and looks are a quotation from Agnes Lum. She was a popular pin-up girl at 1970s last half in Japan who was from Hawaii. (English) "Cast of Characters: Lum". Tomobiki-cho, The Urusei Yatsura Website. Archived from the original on 4 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-22.
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- The 3 works of 1984 are these 3 films: "Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer", "Macross: Do You Remember Love?", and "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (film)". The 3 works are believed to be located in the most important place in Japanese animation. The year 1984 was the eve of the bubble economy, Japan had been filled with energy. It has been picked up as theme of "1Q84" by Haruki Murakami, "the 1984" has a lot of attention recently as the turning point of Japanese culture. "Real of 1984 / 村上春樹「1Q84」を読む前に知りたい本当の1984". Retrieved July 1, 2012., Editorial department of Animage(a animation magazine of japan). "1984年の「アニメージュ」/Animage of 1984". Tokuma Shoten.ltd. Retrieved July 3, 2012., Yuichiro Oguro(Writer). "Mr. Anime, 365 days". WEB ANIME STYLE. Retrieved July 3, 2012., Yoko Gomi(Animator). "アニメーション思い出語り/Remember talk of Animation". WEB ANIME STYLE. Retrieved July 1, 2012., Ryusuke Hikawa(Writer). "BANDAICHANNEL". Bandai Co., Ltd. Retrieved July 1, 2012., "The 3 works of 1984". Retrieved July 1, 2012., "Macross". Retrieved July 1, 2012., "CinemaScape". Retrieved July 1, 2012.
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- Another important motif is "Zhuang zhou meng die"(庄周梦蝶) which is a Chinese classic narrative; "Kocho no yume" (胡蝶の夢) in Japan; "Zhuangzi dreams of a butterfly". It's a narrative as follows, "I woke up from a dream where I had been flying as a butterfly. Had I dreamt I was a butterfly? Am I a butterfly in a dream?". Zhuangzi(BC369) had said we cannot discriminate between dreams and reality.
- "Looping dream". Masamune Nishiura @ Private blog. Retrieved May 5, 2012.
- "Celebrity selection movies". Takaya Kamikawa(上川隆也) @ Kinema Junpo. Retrieved May 5, 2012.
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- Asahi Shimbun, 2010/10/21, The movie magazine, Kinema Junpo announced the top ten animation film in movie history. The best one of domestic The Castle of Cagliostro by Hayao Miyazaki, The best one of overseas is Fantasia by Ben Sharpsteen. The magazine aggregated the votes of total 67 of intellectuals and commentators. Below the 2nd is as follows. [Domestic] 2) Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, 3) My Neighbor Totoro, 4) Crayon Shin-chan: The Storm Called: The Adult Empire Strikes Back, 5) Akira, 6) The Wonderful World of Puss 'n Boots, 7) Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer, 7) Hols: Prince of the Sun, 7) The Legend of the White Serpent, 10) Summer Days with Coo, 10) Summer Wars, 10) Castle in the Sky, 10) Grave of the Fireflies
- For various reasons, official comments and ratings of the work have been almost none. Whenever similar theme films such as "Dark city" and "Inception" is released from Hollywood, people of the Japanese film industry gather attention to the Beautiful Dreamer. 30 years later now, lively discussions have been expanded on BBS and blogs of internet, there is a tendency of further enhance the evaluation in recent years.Steve Head (co-creator of IGN FilmForce, host of the Diabolique Radio Show) . "Dark City". IGN. Retrieved May 3, 2012. "URUSEIYATSURA 2 Beautiful Dreamer @ Media Data Base". Hajime Kurita. Retrieved May 4, 2012."Beautiful Dreamer@2ch BBS". 2ch. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
- In the "Inception" page of the Wikipedia, the Escher Penrose stairs has been used to describe the layered dreams. 26 years before this movie, Escher staircase had been used also in the brochure of "Beautiful Dreamer". The Japanese people saw Beautiful Dreamer 26 years ago, there was nothing to look at except luxurious SFX in "Inception". Many Japanese believe Inception is inspired by "Beautiful Dreamer". (This is not fact.) See also links: http://rocky-rocky.at.webry.info/201008/article_8.html, http://plaza.rakuten.co.jp/poetarin/5062, http://cinema.pia.co.jp/imp/152816/667801/, http://k.onodera.blog.ag/index.php/k.onodera/00000000000000126993, http://www.geocities.jp/eiganohanashi2004/eiga270.html, etc
- Shohei Nakajo. "Intoxicated with the poison of Yoshiharu Tsuge". Chikuma Shobō corp. Retrieved May 20, 2012.
- Allegory tools: Example,"Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time" of Agnolo Bronzino.
- "Urusei Yatsura #76, "The desperate hyperspace part-time job !"". Retrieved May 20, 2012.
- Maki a Loki. "Movie "Inception"". Tokyo Geijutsushi(Tokyo art history). Retrieved May 20, 2012. (An excerpt and translate)"Of course, Inception has dreadfulness and tremendous impacts of CG, although it is a problem of making picture no longer, not of the movie."
- Tomohiro Machiyama, Shinji Miyaji, Tesuo Shinbo. "Movie "Inception" Review". Video news dot com. Retrieved May 20, 2012. (An excerpt and translate)"Machiyama: "Inception" is similar to the Beautiful Dreamer of Mamoru Oshii. It was a breakthrough. The others did note it in the feature films of that era. Miyaji: I should have seen it after the Ponyo."
- Keita Ishikawa. "An Introduction of Post-Surrealism in Japan #1". Retrieved May 20, 2012.,(An excerpt and translate) "For that reason, surrealism has strongly influenced the innovative and radical cartoonists such as Yoshiharu Tsuge or Genpei Akasegawa. The radical spirit (of these manga) and the spirit of surrealism from Europe, they have common roots; that fact that they may be closely connected is the reason why Japanese manga has acquired the readers in the world."
- Terebi Sedai. "Urusei Yatsura TV series viewing rates". Retrieved May 20, 2012.
- Hiroaki Ikeda, Susan Jolliffe Napier, Yomota Inuhiko. "Cinema Reviews Archive". Kinema Jumpo. Retrieved May 20, 2012.,(An excerpt and translate)"We can say, "Beautiful Dreamer" is the representative work of postmodern arts in a number of ways." by Susan J Napier
- There is the evidence of diplomatic relations between Japan and China in the 1st century BC. In the 2nd century AC, the Wa (倭) union had been established. The Yamato sovereignty was established in the 4th century. It is understood that they had became the Imperial Court. The establishment of the Japanese nation is believed to be in this period. Japan, 10th century BC to the 3rd century BC; Yayoi (弥生) period; this period is comparable from the Neolithic age to the Iron age in terms of the world history.
- Konokuni no katachi, vol.1, p.48, Bunshun bunko, Ryoutaro Shiba
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- Patten, Fred (2004). Watching Anime, Reading Manga: 25 Years of Essays and Reviews. Stone Bridge Press. p. 243. ISBN 1-880656-92-2.
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- Patten, Fred (2004). Watching Anime, Reading Manga: 25 Years of Essays and Reviews. Stone Bridge Press. p. 41. ISBN 1-880656-92-2.
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|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Urusei Yatsura|
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