Jul 21, 2021
Apparently, this film adapts the final story arc of the Urusei Yatsura manga, but it's not the final film. Go figure. This was great film! Probably my favorite Urusei Yatsura movie, so far. And yes, I liked it more Beautiful Dreamer. I'm going to summarize this entire film and give my thoughts along the way, because it's definitely worth talking about. So, no shit, I'm going to spoil the whole thing. I saw the 7.46 score and thought to myself, "Okay, I'll bite. What the heckie is going on in this motion picture!?"
I've been marathoning and writing reviews for these films back to back
and I've noticed two particular motifs. Either the world is falling apart by time and space being altered and manipulated. Lum is often connected to why the Earth is falling apart in the first place. Or it's a marriage plotline. This film is the latter. At least, it was for the first-half. A gross, decrepit old man meets a young Lum on her home planet, promising that he will return for her when she becomes older. In present day, present time ha ha ha ha ha 1988, Lum receives a message from her father, telling her that her great-grandfather has been found and he's been in a deep, cold sleep for twenty years. I'd like to quickly mention that the character designs in this film look great. I've noticed with time, the characters begin to look less sloppy and much more refined; especially after the first two films. Lum's father tells his grandfather that he has a great-granddaughter is coming by to visit them. This news terrifies Lum's great-grandfather, and it's revealed that one hundred and twenty years ago, Lum's great-grandfather made an agreement to the gross, decrepit old man, that if a girl is ever born in the family, the old man will take the girl for himself. I forgot to mention that the old man was young during that flashback one hundred and twenty years ago. It's difficult to tell, because he's always wearing a dark cloak and has the same goofy ass face. I thought this was a bit strange, because Lum's mother was also an option, but no one really mentions that. You can consider that a plothole, but the old man, at the very beginning of the film, said to Lum specifically, when she was a child, that he was going to return to HER when she got older. The man's got an excellent memory.
Introducing Rupa, the reason for why the old man is so adamant on capturing Lum. Master Rupa is the great-grandson of the old man and when the boy was young, he gave his great-grandson a pendant with a picture of Lum on it. He tells Rupa that he will someday marry this girl when he's older. And you ain't gonna believe this shit mutha fucka, but Rupa shows up to Earth, so he can take Lum for himself. Ataru feels a little out of character in this film, because he's so against someone else trying to confess their love to Lum, and stealing her away from him. Why would Ataru care? He's a womanizer. If anything, he should happy that someone is trying to steal her. However, Ataru is jealous, and he doesn't want anyone taking Lum. Before Rupa leaves on his chariot of Ryogas (If you've seen Ranma ½ you'll get that reference) he slips a ring onto Lum's finger, that slowly drains her of her powers. Her horns come off, meaning she has no powers. Rupa shows up once more with feeling, and steals Lum. Remember that Lum loses her horns here, this will be important later.
I don't understand why Benten and Oyuki show up every time Lum is in trouble. Strange how they have such impeccable timing. Anyway, they both show up and Lum is nowhere to be found. And right before they show up, Ataru tries to bribe Mendo into giving up his spaceship to save Lum. This scene is hilarious because he gives Mendo a bag filled with many phone numbers and addresses of women in Tomobiki. Ataru and the gang decide to take the easy route and save Lum with Benten and Oyuki. They all travel to Rupa's planet, which I'm going to call the Mushroom Kingdom. It makes sense in context. Rupa and his great-grandfather want to guarantee a successful marriage, so they clone Lum just in case the real Lum causes problems, and the clone is completely submissive. During this time, Ataru and the gang make it to the Mushroom Kingdom and are almost immediately captured by the royal guards, except for Ataru. Ataru escapes and meets a completely psychotic woman by the name of Carla. Carla is in love with Rupa, and it's a whole unrequited love situation. Carla is going to pretend to marry Ataru to make Rupa jealous. Are you confused yet? Trust me it makes sense in context. Ataru and Carla interrupt Lum and Rupa's wedding which gave me a déjà vu moment, because it reminds me of the climax of the first Urusei Yatsura film. Unlike the first Urusei Yatsura film, it takes an upsetting turn for the worse, when the real Lum is replaced by a clone. Ataru tells Lum, not knowing he's talking to a clone, that she needs to come home and not marry Rupa. She tells Ataru to piss off and this devastates Ataru, to the point where he actually plans on marrying Carla, just to get back at Lum. The real Lum hears about this and she plans to stay with Rupa, just to get back at Ataru. Ataru and Lum now hate each other and Ataru leaves Lum at the Mushroom Kingdom.
After this point, Ataru and the gang go back to Earth, including Carla. The movie slows down for a little bit, because the last twenty-five minutes up until this point was pure action. Things calm down for a little bit until Carla, the MVP of this film, brings along these inconspicuous mushrooms that grow to an enormous size when exposed to heat and/or light. Fantastic. So, they end up growing to a massive size. Overnight, the mushrooms take over the town of Tomobiki and the entire world. Lum and Rupa see this, and send a message to the people of Earth. The mushrooms will destroy the planet in ten days, and Rupa as the ability to stop the mushrooms by using the Ryogas. Lum interrupts and tells Ataru that if he can grab her by the horns within the ten day timeframe, Rupa will get rid of the mushrooms. I thought this was a great idea, because it's a callback to the very first episode of Urusei Yatsura. The series did a good job by bringing the storyline home full circle. Ataru also has the alternate choice of telling Lum that he loves her. If he says "I love you" to Lum, then everything is resolved. But he's a prideful asshole, so he refuses to do so. The final act of the film becomes very emotional at this point, but I was thinking to myself, "Why didn't Ataru just use the suction gun like he did in the first episode." I know that would ruin the moment, but it worked the last time. I forgot to mention that Lum also made a back-up plan just in case Ataru failed to grab her by the horns. She has the completely insane plan of using the MEMORY ERASING MACHINE OR WHATEVER to wipe everyone's memory clean. If you were discriminate against pencils, would you be erase-ist? Seems a bit overkill, considering the Earth will fall apart in ten days. It does lead to a pretty hysterical scene where the activation switch was the table that Benten was hitting against. She was trying to prevent it from being activated and accidentally set it off. Great scene, but I'm not going to mention the machine all that much, because it doesn't lead to anything noteworthy.
Time is running out quickly and Ataru isn't even close to catching Lum. However, during this time, Rupa discovers Carla on Earth and he apologies for his rude behavior. Carla was madly in love with Rupa and he dismissed her feelings for him. He realized that he was wrong and told Carla that he loves her. This scene kinda comes out of nowhere, but it was pretty romantic. Rupa decides to get rid of the mushrooms anyway, but the relationship between Lum and Ataru still needs fixing. Earlier in the film, when Lum lost her powers and lost her horns, they eventually grew back and she regained her powers. Ataru took her previous horns and used them to stop Lum. Ataru truly cares for Lum, because he had her horns the entire time or whatever. I promise you, it's a genuinely sweet moment, but it's difficult to explain and makes sense in context. Take a shot every time I said that in this review. They make up, and that's how the movie ends. It's also the official ending of Urusei Yatsura and honestly, it was a nice story.
What a fantastic film. I'm fully aware that the way I wrote this review, I didn't make it sound all that great. I'm really sorry if this review wasn't all that good, I'm absolutely exhausted from watching and writing all the time. I know that I'm in the minority when saying this, but this is my favorite Urusei Yatsura film, and I found it to be much more enjoyable than the second film. People just loooove Beautiful Dreamer! I'm going to be the outlier here and say this is the superior film. The storyline was much more entertaining and easier to follow. And it was just a nice conclusion to a ridiculous rom-com story like this. It was a heartfelt movie that got me a little emotional with it's amazing climax and ending. Sure the visual direction is not as strong as Beautiful Dreamer, but I feel that people only praise that film for it's visual direction/mind-fuck scenes, the man who directed it, and nothing else. If I'm being entirely honest, the storyline of Beautiful Dreamer is not all that strong. I just see a lot more rewatch and entertainment value in this film compared to the others. I'm so fucking tired. Only one left. This movie gets an 8 out of 10. Highly Recommend. My eyes burn.
Movies: 3 < 1 < 4 < 2 < 5
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