Urusei Yatsura (film series)

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Urusei Yatsura
Lum-Beautiful-Dreamer.png
Poster detail from the second Urusei Yatsura movie, Beautiful Dreamer
うる星やつら
Genre Comedy, romance, science fiction
Anime film
Only You
Directed by Mamoru Oshii
Written by Tomoko Konparu
Studio Studio Pierrot
Licensed by
Released February 13, 1983
Runtime 112 minutes
Anime film
Beautiful Dreamer
Directed by Mamoru Oshii
Written by Mamoru Oshii
Studio Studio Pierrot
Licensed by
Released February 11, 1984
Runtime 98 minutes
Anime film
Remember My Love
Directed by Kazuo Yamazaki
Written by Tomoko Konparu
Studio Studio Deen
Licensed by
AnimEigo
MVM Films
Released January 26, 1985
Runtime 91 minutes
Anime film
Lum the Forever
Directed by Kazuo Yamazaki
Studio Studio Deen
Licensed by
AnimEigo
MVM Films
Released February 22, 1986
Runtime 95 minutes
Anime film
The Final Chapter
Directed by Satoshi Dezaki
Written by Tomoko Konparu
Studio Magic Bus
Licensed by
AnimEigo
MVM Films
Released February 6, 1988
Runtime 86 minutes
Anime film
Always, My Darling
Directed by Katsuhisa Yamada
Studio Madhouse
Licensed by
AnimEigo
MVM Films
Released August 18, 1991
Runtime 77 minutes
Original video animation
Making of Urusei Yatsura 4: Lum the Forever
Directed by Kazuo Yamazaki
Studio Studio Deen
Licensed by
AnimEigo
MVM Films
Released February 15, 1986
Runtime 45 minutes
Original video animation
Studio Studio Deen (1–3)
Magic Bus (4–9)
Madhouse (10–12)
Released September 24, 1985December 23, 2008
Episodes 12 (List of episodes)
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Urusei Yatsura, a Japanese anime and manga series, has six movies and twelve OVA releases. 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.[1] Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer was also directed by Mamoru Oshii and was released on February 11, 1984.[2] Urusei Yatsura 3: Remember My Love was directed by Kazuo Yamazaki and released on January 26, 1985.[3] Urusei Yatsura 4: Lum the Forever was directed again by Kazuo Yamazaki and released on February 22, 1986.[4]

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.[5][6] The final film, Urusei Yatsura: Always My Darling was directed by Katsuhisa Yamada and was released on November 2, 1991.[7] 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.[8]

On September 24, 1985, the special Ryoko's September Tea Party was released consisting of a mixture of previously broadcast footage along with 15 minutes of new material. Almost a year later on September 15, 1986, Memorial Album was released, also mixing new and old footage.[9][10] 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.[11] The OVA's were released in North America by AnimEigo who released them individually over 6 discs.[8]

On December 23, 2008 a new special was shown for the first time 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.[11][12] On January 29, 2010 a boxset was released featuring all of the recent Rumiko Takahashi specials from the Rumic World exhibition. Entitled It's a Rumic World, the boxset contains The Obstacle Course Swim meet as well as a figure of Lum.[13] The OVAs are not true OVAs, however, as they were all released in the theater prior to being released on video.[9]

Only You[edit]

Release date: February 13, 1983, dubbed 1995.

Urusei Yatsura: Only You (うる星やつら オンリー・ユー Urusei Yatsura Onrī Yū?) was released in 1983. The guest characters include Elle, another alien princess, who is in charge of Planet Elle.

Six-year-old Ataru steps on Elle's shadow during an impromptu game of shadow-tag; in Elle's culture, this is viewed as a marriage proposal. Eleven years later, Elle returns to Earth in order to marry Ataru — by which time not only had he forgotten the events of his childhood, but he was also going out with Lum. The rest of the plot focuses on Lum's attempts to prevent the marriage.

The film was directed by Mamoru Oshii who was mad at the many requests that the producer made of him to alter the movie[citation needed]. Rumiko Takahashi considers this film her favorite and it is the most true to the original series.

Additional cast[edit]

Beautiful Dreamer[edit]

Release date: February 11, 1984, dubbed 1996.

Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer (うる星やつら2 ビューティフルドリーマー Urusei Yatsura 2 Byūtifuru Dorīmā?) is the second Urusei Yatsura movie.

Not all is normal in Tomobiki, even by its standards. The students have been preparing feverishly for the first day of the student fair, which is scheduled to go on the next day. However, problems arise when some begin to notice that the next day simply will not come. As the students begin to try to find the reason for the problem, their beliefs about reality and the world of dreams are challenged.

Even though the movie is generally well loved by English-speaking fans, when it was first released in Japan the response was not as favorable. Writer/director Mamoru Oshii, unsatisfied with how the first film, Only You had developed, rejected the idea of catering to audience expectations and decided to do the film his own way. This almost caused Rumiko Takahashi, the manga artist, to reject the script because it deviated so far from the original story, and generated a lot of criticism for Oshii, generally from the fan community.

As a result Oshii quit working on the production of Urusei Yatsura and went on to do other more experimental projects. This is also seen as the first movie in which he displayed his unique directing style. The Red Spectacles, released in 1987, can be seen as a live version of this movie.[citation needed]

Both movies borrow heavily from the Japanese fairy tale of Urashima Tarō.

Beautiful Dreamer is also the only Urusei Yatsura film released in the United States by US Manga Corps and not AnimEigo, though AnimEigo is credited with doing the translation and subtitling of the film on the VHS release, as well as designing the packaging to match the other movies in the series. Their movie DVD box also included a space for it. This movie also aired on the Sci-Fi Channel's anime lineup in the U.S.

The Japanese DVD release of the film is presented in 16:9 anamorphic widescreen, and features both the original mono soundtrack as well as an all-new 5.1 surround audio track, both in Japanese. An audio commentary is also included on the DVD. This version is not available in the United States. A Blu-Ray version of the Japanese DVD was recently cancelled.

This film has been referred to by most fans as the best film in the Urusei Yatsura series.

Additional cast[edit]

Remember My Love[edit]

Release date: January 26, 1985, dubbed 1995.

Urusei Yatsura 3: Remember My Love (うる星やつら3 リメンバー・マイ・ラヴ Urusei Yatsura 3 Rimenbā Mai Ravu?) is the third Urusei Yatsura movie. The guest characters are:

  • Ruu, a mysterious boy bent on fixing Lum's life
  • Lahla, Ruu's tutor, who tries to get things set straight

The third film finds Ataru transformed into a pink hippopotamus, which sends Lum chasing after the wicked magician responsible, with catastrophic results. With Lum gone, her friends decide that there is no reason to remain, and so Tomobiki slowly returns to normal. The highlight of the film is a high speed chase scene with an angry Lum flying after the mysterious Ruu through the city at night and into a hall of mirrors ( and illusion ). Ataru's true feelings for Lum are probably more obvious in this film than any of the others.

Additional cast[edit]

Lum the Forever[edit]

Release date: February 22, 1986, dubbed 2003.

Urusei Yatsura 4: Lum the Forever (うる星やつら4 ラム・ザ・フォーエバー Urusei Yatsura 4 Ramu za Fōebā?) is the fourth Urusei Yatsura movie. Guest characters include Tarōzakura, the great cherry tree.

The basic plot is centered on the great cherry tree Tarōzakura and what happens after it is cut down during the making of a movie, Lum loses her horns-and her powers! Thus begins the strangest and most lyrical of the Urusei Yatsura movies. The fourth film is the subject of much debate, as it is probably the hardest of all the Urusei Yatsura films to fully understand. Many consider it to be a multi-layered masterpiece, while others feel it is little more than a confused and rambling mess.

There was also released on 15 February 1986 a Making of Urusei Yatsura 4: Lum the Forever (メイキング・オブ・うる星やつら4 アニメ製作の実際?) documentation about the film.

Additional cast[edit]

The Final Chapter[edit]

Release date: February 6, 1988, dubbed 1995.

Urusei Yatsura: The Final Chapter (うる星やつら 完結篇 Urusei Yatsura: Kanketsuhen?) is the fifth Urusei Yatsura film. Guest characters include:

  • Rupa, Lum's fiancé
  • Carla, is said to be Rupa's betrothed.

The fifth film is an animated adaptation of the final story of the manga and is also the official ending of the anime series, in which Lum and Ataru must repeat the game of tag played out in the first episode of the television series, or the Earth will be infested with mushrooms larger than buildings. Further, should Ataru lose, Lum will leave forever and everyone's memories will be changed so that they don't remember she, or her friends, were ever there. Finally, Lum refuses to allow Ataru to win unless he says to her those three words "I love you," that he has steadfastly refused to say over the entire series. Maison Ikkoku: The Final Chapter was also released on the same date as this movie was released.

Additional cast[edit]

Always, My Darling[edit]

Release date: August 18, 1991[14]

Urusei Yatsura: Always My Darling (うる星やつら いつだってマイ・ダーリン Urusei Yatsura Itsudatte Mai Dārin?) (alternately Forever My Darling) is the sixth Urusei Yatsura film and the tenth anniversary special. It is not the end of the anime series despite coming after The Final Chapter. The character designer and animation director for the movie was Kumiko Takahashi. The regular theatrical release in Japan was the November 2, 1991 and it was shown on a double bill with the first Ranma 1/2 feature, Big Trouble in Nekonron, China. Guest characters include Lupika, another alien princess.

Lupika, an alien princess, is in love with a tofu seller. To make him love her too (at least, announce his love. He obviously fears the social taboo of a tofu vendor marrying a princess), she needs to get a love potion, which is in a certain temple. Legend has it that the only person that can obtain this love potion is the most lecherous man in the universe. That man turns out to be Ataru Moroboshi. Lupika kidnaps Ataru to make him get the potion, and Lum and her friends go out to search for Ataru.

This movie has been referred to by some fans as the worst of the series.[15][16]

Additional cast[edit]

OVA releases[edit]

UruseiYatsuraOVAvolume2-DVDcover.jpg

Urusei Yatsura also has a number of direct-to-market video releases which include stories not covered in the TV series or movies. However, they are not true OVAs as all of them were released in the theater prior to being released on video. All but one of these were released after the ending of the series, so popularity may have also been a factor in the continued release of new animation.

International Title Japanese Title Released Runtime
Ryoko's September Tea Party 了子の9月のお茶会 (Ryōko no 9-gatsu no Ochakai) September 24, 1985 48 min
Memorial Album アイム THE 終ちゃん (Aimu za Shū-chan) September 15, 1986 28 min
Inaba the Dreammaker 夢の仕掛人、因幡くん登場! ラムの未来はどうなるっちゃ (Yume no Shikakenin, Inaba-kun Tōjō! Ramu no Mirai wa Dōnaruccha) July 18, 1987 58 min
Raging Sherbet 怒れシャーベット (Ikare Shābetto) August 8, 1988 27 min
Nagisa's Fiancé 渚のフィアンセ (Nagisa no Fianse) August 8, 1988 27 min
The Electric Household Guard 電気仕掛けのお庭番 (Denki Jikake no Oniwaban) April 4, 1989 26 min
I Howl at the Moon 月に吠える (Tsuki ni Hoeru) April 4, 1989 26 min
Goat and Cheese ヤギさんとチーズ (Yagi-san to Chīzu) July 22, 1989 26 min
Catch the Heart ハートをつかめ (Hāto o Tsukame) July 22, 1989 26 min
Terror of Girly-Eyes Measles 乙女ばしかの恐怖 (Otome Bashika no Kyōfu) June 21, 1991 25 min
Date with a Spirit 霊魂とデート (Reikon to Dēto) June 21, 1991 28 min
The Obstacle Course Swim Meet THE 障害物水泳大会 (Za Shōgaibutsu Suiei Taikai) December 23, 2008 29 min

Sources:[9][11][12][17][18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Only You". Furinkan.com. Retrieved January 2, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Beautiful Dreamer". Furinkan.com. Retrieved January 2, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Remember My Love". Furinkan.com. Retrieved January 2, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Lum the Forever". Furinkan.com. Retrieved January 2, 2010. 
  5. ^ "The Final Chapter". Furinkan.com. Retrieved January 2, 2010. 
  6. ^ "About the Anime". Furinkan.com. Retrieved January 2, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Always my Darling". Furinkan.com. Retrieved January 2, 2010. 
  8. ^ a b "Urusei Yatsura — Anime Products". Animeigo. Retrieved December 18, 2009. 
  9. ^ a b c Animage Editorial Staff (March 1999). Animage Pocket Data Notes 1999. Tokyo, Japan: Tokuma Shoten. p. 69. 
  10. ^ "Urusei Yatsura". AnimEigo. Retrieved January 10, 2010. 
  11. ^ a b c "OVA's". Furinkan.com. Retrieved January 2, 2010. 
  12. ^ a b "Event-Only Urusei Yatsura Anime to Debut This Month (Updated)". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 2, 2010. 
  13. ^ "It's a Rumic World スペシャルアニメBOX". Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved January 2, 2010. 
  14. ^ うる星やつら いつだってマイ・ダーリン (in Japanese). madhouse.co.jp. Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  15. ^ Proulx, Mason. "10th Anniversary Movie: Itsudatte My Darling". Tomobiki-cho, The Urusei Yatsura Web Site. Retrieved 2007-05-28. 
  16. ^ "Urusei Yatsura: Always my Darling". Anime Meta-Review. Retrieved 2007-05-28. 
  17. ^ うる星やつら 乙女ばしかの恐怖 (in Japanese). madhouse.co.jp. Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  18. ^ うる星やつら 霊魂とデート怖 (in Japanese). madhouse.co.jp. Retrieved 2011-07-31. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]