Urusei Yatsura (film series)

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Urusei Yatsura
Artwork for the Japanese Blu-Ray Urusei Yatsura film series box set
GenreComedy, romance, science fiction
Anime film
Only You
Directed byMamoru Oshii
Written byTomoko Konparu
Music byKatsu Hoshi
StudioStudio Pierrot
Licensed by
ReleasedFebruary 13, 1983
Runtime101 minutes
Anime film
Beautiful Dreamer
Directed byMamoru Oshii
Written byMamoru Oshii
Music byMasaru Hoshi
StudioStudio Pierrot
Licensed by
Discotek Media
ReleasedFebruary 11, 1984
Runtime96 minutes
Anime film
Remember My Love
Directed byKazuo Yamazaki
Written byTomoko Konparu
Music byMickey Yoshino
StudioStudio Deen
Licensed by
Discotek Media
MVM Films
ReleasedJanuary 26, 1985
Runtime93 minutes
Original video animation
StudioStudio Deen (1–2)
Magic Bus (3–7)
Madhouse (8–11)
Watanabe Promotion (9–11)
Sunrise (12)
Released September 24, 1985 December 23, 2008
Episodes12 (List of episodes)
Anime film
Lum the Forever
Directed byKazuo Yamazaki
Written byToshiki Inoue
Music byBun Itakura
StudioStudio Deen
Licensed by
Discotek Media
MVM Films
ReleasedFebruary 22, 1986
Runtime94 minutes
Original video animation
Making of Urusei Yatsura 4: Lum the Forever
Directed byKazuo Yamazaki
StudioStudio Deen
Licensed by
Discotek Media
MVM Films
ReleasedFebruary 15, 1986
Runtime45 minutes
Anime film
The Final Chapter
Directed byTetsu Dezaki
Written byTomoko Konparu
Music byToshiyuki Omori
StudioMagic Bus
Licensed by
Discotek Media
MVM Films
ReleasedFebruary 6, 1988
Runtime86 minutes
Anime film
Always, My Darling
Directed byKatsuhisa Yamada
Written byHideo Takayashiki
Music byMitsuru Kotaki
Licensed by
Discotek Media
MVM Films
ReleasedAugust 18, 1991
Runtime77 minutes

Urusei Yatsura, a Japanese anime and manga series, has six films 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 Tetsu Dezaki and was released on February 6, 1988 as a tenth anniversary celebration. It was shown as a double bill with a Maison Ikkoku film.[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] After re-releasing Beautiful Dreamer in North America in 2018, Discotek Media acquired the rights to the other five films in 2020.[9]

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.[10][11] 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.[12] The OVA's were released in North America by AnimEigo who released them individually over 6 discs.[8] AnimEigo produced dubs for the DVD releases.[13]

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.[12][14] 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.[15] The OVAs are not true OVAs, however, as they were all released theatrically prior to being released on video.[10]

Only You[edit]

Release date: February 13, 1983, dubbed 2003.

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.

6-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 film.[citation needed] Rumiko Takahashi considers this film her favorite and it is the most true to the original series.

A subtitled Laserdisc of the film was released by AnimEigo in North America on September 25, 1993.[16]

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 film.

Like its predecessor, Beautiful Dreamer borrows heavily from the Japanese fairy tale of Urashima Tarō.[17] 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 Takahashi to reject the script because it deviated so far from the original story.[citation needed]

Even though the film is generally well-loved by English-speaking fans, when it was first released in Japan the response was not as favorable. Criticism was especially given towards 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. Despite this, the film has been referred to by most fans as the best film in the Urusei Yatsura series.[citation needed]

Additional cast[edit]

Remember My Love[edit]

Release date: January 26, 1985, dubbed 2003.

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 film. 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.

The film grossed ¥1.17 billion ($10.73 million) at the Japanese box office, becoming the year's eighth highest-grossing Japanese film.[18] A subtitled Laserdisc was released by AnimEigo in North America on January 19, 1994.[19]

Additional cast[edit]

Lum the Forever[edit]

Release date: February 22, 1986, dubbed 2004.

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 film. Guest characters include Tarōzakura, the great cherry tree.

A horror film production comes to town, casting the cast of the series as extras in the production. But when the director orders the cutting down of a cursed great cherry tree called Tarōzakura, the remains of the tree curses Lum by way of removing her horns and powers. The quest to restore Lum's demon powers puts Ataru at odds with the spirit of the tree, who forces the cast of the slasher film to believe they are their roles as it seeks vengeance upon the film crew.

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 2004.

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 film.

Additional cast[edit]

Always My Darling[edit]

Release date: August 18, 1991,[20] dubbed 2005.

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 film 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 ½ 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 film has been referred to by some fans as the worst of the series.[21][22]

Due to this, this is the last animated released content for the franchise until 2008 with the 12th OVA.

A subtitled Laserdisc was released by AnimEigo in North America on July 27, 1994.[23]

Additional cast[edit]

OVA releases[edit]


Urusei Yatsura also has a number of direct-to-market video releases which include stories not covered in the TV series or films. However, they are not true OVAs as all of them were released in theaters 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 minutes
Memorial Album アイム THE 終ちゃん (Aimu za Shū-chan) September 15, 1986 28 minutes
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 57 minutes
Raging Sherbet 怒れシャーベット (Ikare Shābetto) December 2, 1988 27 minutes
Nagisa's Fiancé 渚のフィアンセ (Nagisa no Fianse) December 8, 1988 27 minutes
The Electric Household Guard 電気仕掛けのお庭番 (Denki Jikake no Oniwaban) August 21, 1989 26 minutes
I Howl at the Moon 月に吠える (Tsuki ni Hoeru) September 1, 1989 26 minutes
Goat and Cheese ヤギさんとチーズ (Yagi-san to Chīzu) December 21, 1989 26 minutes
Catch the Heart ハートをつかめ (Hāto o Tsukame) December 27, 1989 26 minutes
Terror of Girly-Eyes Measles 乙女ばしかの恐怖 (Otome Bashika no Kyōfu) June 21, 1991 25 minutes
Date with a Spirit 霊魂とデート (Reikon to Dēto) June 21, 1991 28 minutes
The Obstacle Course Swim Meet THE 障害物水泳大会 (Za Shōgaibutsu Suiei Taikai) December 23, 2008 29 minutes



  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. Archived from the original on December 26, 2009. Retrieved December 18, 2009.
  9. ^ "Discotek Announces Memories, Urusei Yatsura Movies, and More". Crunchyroll. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  10. ^ a b c Animage Editorial Staff (March 1999). Animage Pocket Data Notes 1999. Tokyo, Japan: Tokuma Shoten. p. 69.
  11. ^ "Urusei Yatsura". AnimEigo. Retrieved January 10, 2010.
  12. ^ a b c "OVA's". Furinkan.com. Retrieved January 2, 2010.
  13. ^ "Urusei Yatsura (archive)". AnimEigo. Archived from the original on February 18, 2004. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  14. ^ a b "Event-Only Urusei Yatsura Anime to Debut This Month (Updated)". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 2, 2010.
  15. ^ "It's a Rumic World スペシャルアニメBOX". Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved January 2, 2010.
  16. ^ "Animerica". Animerica : Anime & Manga Monthly. Viz Media. 1 (7): 18. September 1993. ISSN 1067-0831.
  17. ^ Shamoon, Deborah (February 12, 2016). Folktales and Fairy Tales: Traditions and Texts from around the World (2nd ed.). ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781610692540. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  18. ^ "1985年(1月~12月)". Eiren. Motion Picture Producers Association of Japan. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  19. ^ "Animerica". Animerica : Anime & Manga Monthly. Viz Media. 2 (2): 15. February 1994. ISSN 1067-0831.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ Proulx, Mason. "10th Anniversary Movie: Itsudatte My Darling". Tomobiki-cho, The Urusei Yatsura Web Site. Retrieved 2007-05-28.
  22. ^ "Urusei Yatsura: Always my Darling". Anime Meta-Review.
  23. ^ "Animerica". Animerica : Anime & Manga Monthly. Viz Media. 2 (7): 18. July 1994. ISSN 1067-0831.
  24. ^ うる星やつら 乙女ばしかの恐怖 (in Japanese). madhouse.co.jp. Retrieved 2011-07-31.
  25. ^ 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]