English: Urusei Yatsura
Synonyms: Lamu, Lum, Those Obnoxious Aliens
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 14, 1981 to Mar 19, 1986
25 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.861 (scored by 2448 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
SynopsisUrusei Yatsura concerns the tempestuous relationship between two focal characters: Ataru Moroboshi who is possibly the most unfaithful, unlucky and lecherous idiot to have ever been born, and there's Lum, a tigerskin-bikini clad alien package of sex appeal, jealousy and electricity who's fallen for him. The series chronicles the misadventures of these two stubborn teenagers along with a veritable entourage of weird characters. Among these characters is the richest boy on the planet, a superhuman schoolgirl, a fire-breathing baby, a powerful priestess/school nurse, a cute and psychotic alien vixen with a split personality, a gender-bending martial artist, an alien biker chick, an ice queen of Neptune, a deranged monk, a giant ghost cat and hundreds of other lunatic personalities; aliens, humans and inhumans alike interract in endless hysteria in a town named Tomobiki.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Urusei Yatsura
Side story: Urusei Yatsura Special: It's Spring! Take Off!, Urusei Yatsura OVA, Urusei Yatsura Movie 1: Only You, Urusei Yatsura Movie 2: Beautiful Dreamer, Urusei Yatsura Movie 3: Remember My Love, Urusei Yatsura Movie 4: Lum The Forever, Urusei Yatsura Movie 5: Final, Urusei Yatsura: Za Shougaibutsu Suieitaikai
Sequel: Urusei Yatsura Movie 6: Itsudatte My Darling
Characters & Voice Actors
Back in my "Maison Ikkoku" review, I mentioned that it seems that fans have a tendency to neglect some of the old classics that made the creators they love big in the first place. Either that or they turn a blind eye to them, seeing as they're "old". I'll probably get some flack for all that, but it's just so prominent in today's anime fandom that the latest things out there are "the best anime ever" one day, and when "one year later" rolls its way by and/or when the series ends, it would be a thing of the past.
And the cycle goes on and on. This is the way everything in the media and life is unfortunately. But there are still series out there that can still be remembered by the vetran anime fans and are held in high esteem as being influential to many manga artists (Like "Dragonball" for example. Eiichiro Oda, one of the people influenced by DB went on to make "One Piece", which is freakishly popular in Japan), and "Urusei Yatsura" is no different. Heck, reruns of it still play on Japanese primetime and the manga gets reprinted constantly!
The story is about Ataru Moroboshi, who, as normal as he looks, is the unluckiest and most girl-crazy being in the entire universe. His mere existance attracts unnatural bad luck towards himself and the people around him.
But one day, Ataru comes home to see that the leader of a race of alien oni is sitting in his house. It turns out that he has been randomly selected by computer to race in the major sport of the Oni's planet: the game of tag. He's challenged to race the leader's daughter, the beautiful, tiger bikini-clad Lum. Ataru has to chase Lum for ten days and grab her horns, or else the race of Oni aliens will take over Earth.
This seems easy to Ataru at first...that is, until he finds that Lum can fly, taking the difficulty level way higher than he expected. On the night before the last day, Ataru's childhood friend Shinobu promises to marry him if he is able to win. Full of a new burst of confidence, Ataru grabs Lum's horns in the final minutes of the game and shouts, "NOW I CAN MARRY HER!!" Unfortunately, Lum misunderstands what he means and takes his victory cry as a marraige proposal to her, which she accepts promptly and starts calling him "Darling".
At first UY may seem like another "Love Hina" type of anime, where the show lives to only show fan service and nudity. Other then some little things and unexplicit nudity, the show's pretty clean, depending on which episode it is (there's only two I know of that featured nudity), but seeing the art quality and film quality making them look less detailed, I doub it'll infect anyone. Other than that, it's nothing else than what you would see on BayWatch: four alien chicks in bikinis.
Though it's definitely a good example of 80s anime. Sure, it's incredibly cheezy and the kind of funny that makes you laugh because of how dumb (in a good way) the show is, but it plays like a dream.
Another thing I might want to bring up is that some sites cite this series as a "harem anime". Sure, there's a bunch of women in it and a central male loser character, but keep in mind that most of the women in UY hate Ataru. Despite his barely controlable libido, Lum loves him no matter what. D'awwwww.
The story is very lighthearted and wacky, with all sorts of bizzare references to Japanese mythology and cheesy puns on the language. The artwork is colorful and very cartoon-esqué, but the main target that the show wants is plain fun. It creates a happy mood for the viewers and freely takes you on a random and crazy ride through all the characters.
"Urusei Yatsura" has probably one of the biggest casts out of Rumiko's other stories (next to "Ranma 1/2"). We have Lum's fire-breathing cousin Ten, who hates Ataru with a purple passion and will do whatever it takes to make Ataru look bad, Ran, a redheaded alien with a split personality, the noble Oyuki, the motorbiking Benten, and an assortment of many other weird monsters and aleins.
There's a good balance of humans too, like Shinobu, who can come across as sincere but can get so angry that she's able to lift ridiculously heavy objects and throw them, Lum's fanclub at Tomobiki High, consisting of a bunch of nerds that are ready to reprehend Ataru if he commits a misdeed related to Lum, Ryuunosuke, a girl raised to be a boy by her sexist father, the rich and handsome Shuutaro Mendou, and Ataru's (REALLY) whiney parents who do hardly anything but mourn that the wish they never had Ataru.
Take all these characters and put them in a regular environment, and it's one wacky romance-comedy thoughout all 195 TV episodes, 4 movies, and 6 OVAs.
But one thing that can strike someone funny is Ataru's character. He's a far cry from the meek yet determined Yusaku Godai, and Ranma Saotome and Inuyasha, who are characterized with bravery and great fighting skills.
However, as much of an idiot and a pervert that Ataru makes himself out to be, he's actually a very caring person, and an intelligent one at that. His legendary bad luck and resistence to injury has convinced him to be otherwise and that's the reason why he acts the way he does. And as much as he dismisses it, he truly loves Lum as much as she loves him.
With a strong amount of sotries and characters, along with loads of laughs and catchy songs and BGM, "Urusei Yatsura" is an anime that is particularly hard series to get bored of. read more
As a general rule, people usually forget what has come before. For anime fans, particularly those who aren’t Japanese, this is all too often the case as new shows are hailed as the best ever, groundbreaking, or original while completely ignoring what influenced them in the first place. Urusei Yatsura may not be (it's not) the greatest series in the history of anime but it ranks right up there in the top five most influential of all time.
Urusei Yatsura is the first of Rumiko Takahashi's work to receive an anime adaptation. It centers on what is today a tried and true anime concept, a beautiful alien girl, Lum, falls in love with a rather ordinary and none to bright boy, Ataru. While this may or may not have been the first time this had ever been put to film, you can be sure this was the first time it was done so successfully and thus spawning decades of future imitators. Add in a cast of gorgeous girls and other zany and outrageous characters and a memorably stupid and lecherous leading man, you have the framework for an amusing series.
However for modern fans a few things that are missing from the show will likely effect their overall enjoyment. For starters, Urusei is almost a completely episodic anime with absolutely nothing in regards to an overriding storyline. Once characters have been introduced into the series canon they change little if at all. Because of the nature of this format it makes many of the episodes completely predictable and annoyingly repetitive. A basic episode revolves around Ataru chasing girls, Lum becoming angry, followed by Lum electrocuting him. Additionally quite a few characters are nauseatingly annoying or generally grate on your nerves and outstay their welcome.
All that being said, when Urusei Yatsura is good, it’s REALLY good. But any viewer determined to take the leap into this series would be wise to savor it slowly over time. Over the several years I spent watching this series I found a few episodes at a time was the best I could manage in any given sitting. I would suggest that pace for anyone as well. If you are interested at all in the history of anime, UY should be near the top of your list. While most fans may not be familiar with most if not all of its characters, everyone is familiar with them as they live on today after being pioneered in this series.
The alien girl Lum remains today even thirty years later as one of the most iconic figures of anime. It’s pretty much impossible to dislike Lum. Most people think of her as a tsundere type character but she’s not. Lum is honest with her feelings and incredibly jealous. Add her electrocuting powers, she makes for a girl I don’t think any man with a brain would dare defy or cheat on. Since Ataru is an idiot he doesn't ever learn though. Despite her jealousy and frequent use of her power she never comes across as a bully or a bitch. More often than not you find yourself feeling a little sorry for her that she has fallen for such an unfaithful and idiotic man. Love is blind they say...
For Ataru, he is an unrepentant louse and womanizer in addition to being a complete idiot. You might think that because of his personality that he would not be a likable character either but that’s not the case at all. Despite his odious character defects he remains a charming and likable character throughout the series. Whether you just like his antics or like watching him in pain or being punished. While it becomes obvious that Ataru really does care for Lum, his womanizing and rejection of Lum's advances seem to be out of a desire to not be tied down or in liking being chased. Even though he is completely and totally unsuccessful in wooing any woman other than Lum he never seems to give up.
The supporting cast is enormous, as one would expect from a series of this length. The results are mixed. Because many characters have extreme personalities I often found that they became annoying if they were featured too often. Shinobu starts as Ataru's girlfriend and vies for his affections in the early parts of the series. She is one of the rare exceptions to change over the course of the series. I was glad to see her not pine over Ataru for the entire series though she took a rather strange turn from being an ordinary Japanese girl to being a super strong girl. Mendou also shines as the super rich boy who is adored by all the girls, except the one he most wants (Lum). But in actuality he is just as much of a womanizer as Ataru is. He makes for an excellent foil. Others like Jariten, Ran, and Megane are generally amusing but tend to get on your nerves if they get too much screen time. Cherry and Ryuunosuke's father are ALWAYS annoying and generally made me swing from the desire to punch a hole through my television and projectile vomiting.
From an artistic standpoint, due to its success it’s likely to have influenced character designs for an entire generation and eventually lead to what we have today. I think you can probably trace the origins of "moe" back to at least this series as the thin, lanky, and elegant body types of the 70's give way to younger, chubbier, and cuter looking ones. Despite its age though and the peculiarities of animation from this era its still looks fabulous. The characters are extremely expressive and have enough dissimilarity that they are easily distinguishable from each other, with only a few exceptions.
The seiyuu performances are first rate and each brings out their characters to perfection. Whether it be Lum's anger or Ataru's perverted giggling you can’t help but be drawn into Urusei's universe. The series features many different OP/ED themes that vary from your standard J-Poppy tunes that wouldn't be that out of place today and the very dated engrish disco tracks. It’s old enough now that you may just have some 80s nostalgia.
I my opinion everyone should give this series a watch. While it certainly isn't an easy viewing experience, getting through it will give you an appreciation for the history of animation in Japan and an insight on Japanese pop culture. Not to mention it's also pretty damn funny.
Another really funny anime series, written by the same manga-ka. Both series are very alike because they don't focus on a main plot. Instead, they tend to concentrate on the characters, their evolution and their relationships throughout the series.
Urusei Yatsura was the first big series and success of Rumiko Takahashi, it was on Urusei Yatsura where she developed her clever and wacky classic comedy stories that she would also use later on Ranma. Both series went to being highly influential on the anime industry and comedy anime was never the same after them, especially Urusei Yatsura.
Needless to say that if you enjoy one, you'll also enjoy the other.
Firstly, they're by the same mangaka, Rumiko Takahashi, and they have the same wacky, absurd type of comedy, stupid, crazy, unique characters, and surreal, insane (mis)adventures, all put into a rather normal, slice of life-ish situation.
In both anime the 2 main characters don't exactly get along well with each other, even though they live under the same roof and are destined to get married.
Also, the male and female protagonist of both series have about 3 or 4 people who are hopelessly in love with them, and constantly chase after them trying to break the couple up, and who, also, deeply hate the fiancée of their loved one.
In both series the main female character (Akane/Lum) is a short-tempered, easily angered tsundere, but actually cares a lot about the main guy (Ranma/Ataru).
Both anime have a huge cast and a lot of weird supporting characters.
Also, both are really long series, and have a bunch of OAVs, specials, movies, and OSTs.
The main difference is that Ranma 1/2 is better, funnier, and about martial arts, and Urusei Yatsura is a sci-fi series (even though Ranma has some fantasy/supernatural elements too).
They are made by the same manga-ka.
The main characters don't get along very well even though they live together and are destined to be married.
Other people who are desprately trying to break them up both sets of main chartacters who live with their parents and go to the same highschool.
Both shows are long running comedies that emply lots of slap stick and ironic humor and mnisadventures. Also both shows have their share of movies and ovas, and a huge OST set.
Both series are, of course, from the same author... which is why one can recognize a lot of familiar faces between the two. Both series have static characters with fairly linear plotlines that you can usually predict a mile away, but these traits bring a certain pleasant quality to both of them. They're great series to relax to if you just want to sit down and watch some "wacky hijinx."
A lot of the themes of Ranma 1/2 were first developed in Urusei Yatsura. There are so many similarities, in fact, that you may wander why you should watch one if you've seen the other (just remember that Urusei Yatsura was a hit in Japan and Ranma wasn't).
There is a character Ryuunosuke that has a very similar relationship to her father to Ranma's and his dad. That character is also a female martial artist like Akane and a female crossdresser like Ukkyo. Lum and Ten wear tiger stripes like Ryoga, and all of them have fangs. Themes of Japanese folklore pervade both series. Lum's obsession with Ataru is similar to ... well, all the girl's fascination with Ranma. Ataru's relationship to Ten is similar to Ranma's relationship to P-Chan. Cherry the preist is reminiscent of Happosai. Mendou is reminiscent of Kuno, though he was trained in much the same way Ranma got Cat-Fu. As I said, the similarities are extensive.
the main plots are very simmilar, the bigest differance is in the main characters. in To-Love-Ru the main character is shy and in-experanced with girls. but in Urusei Yatsura the main charater thinks of himself as a lady killer.
Crazy alien chick? Pervyness? Yep, we've got 'em both.
Somewhat similar stories as well.
Both series also can tend to give the feeling, "yeah, this doesn't seem like it will get anywhere, but WHATEVER! :D"
To-LOVE-Ru has the same EXACT story setup at the beginning. Guy has a girl he likes who also likes him, alien princess comes from outer space, alien father could destroy the earth if he doesn't stay with her, etc. You could say that Urusei Yatsura is the origin of this type of story.
Both stories involve a lead female character who is a beautiful alien that becomes the fiance of the male lead character through some misunderstanding even though the male lead has his eyes on another girl.The alien girl also loves spicy food and sometimes tries to use machines with disastrous effects.
Opening Theme#1: "Lum no Love Song" by Hiroko Matsuya (eps 001-077)
#2: "Dancing Star" by Izumi Kobayashi (eps 078-106)
#3: "Pajama Jama da!" by Kanako Narikiyo (eps 107-127)
#4: "Chance on Love" by Cindy (eps 128-149)
#5: "Rock the Planet" by Steffanie (eps 150-165)
#6: "Tonogata Gomen Asobase" by Shoko Minami (eps 166-195)more
Ending Theme#1: "Uchuu wa Taihen da!" by Hiroko Matsuya (eps 001-021)
#2: "Kokorobosoi na" by Helen Sasano (eps 022-043)
#3: "Hoshizora Cycling" by Virgin VS (eps 044-054)
#4: "I, I, You and Ai" by Izumi Kobayashi (eps 055-077)
#5: "Yume wa Love Me More" by Izumi Kobayashi (eps 078-106)
#6: "Koi no Mobius" by Rittsu (eps 107-127)more
#7: "Open Invitation" by Cindy (eps 128-149)
#8: "Every Day" by Steffanie (eps 150-165)
#9: "Good Luck" by Shoko Minami (eps 166-195)
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