Urusei Yatsura – 173

うる星やつら episode 173 (TV anime)
Urusei Yatsura Ep. 173 review


SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Urusei Yatsura - 173Ryuunosuke and Fujinami are prepared to do a death dual on Ganryu Island, sponsored by the Mendou family with Shuutaro and Ryoko handling things and Ataru selling bets to the massive crowd that has gathered. This fight started two months earlier under normal enough circumstances when Fujinami hid all of the female swimsuits from Ryuunosuke so that she could not participate in swim class. Shinobu finds their fight over swimsuits to be stupid, but Benten arrives and after talking with Ryuunosuke about her odd situation, tells Ryuunosuke that no parent doesn’t love their child. As such, Benten reckons that this is Fujinami’s way of showing love, though Ryuunosuke doesn’t believe it.

Urusei Yatsura - 173That night, Ryuunosuke observes her sleeping father and decides he’s rotten to the core. When the wall clock makes a funny noise and stops, Ryuunosuke takes it off the wall to wind it, but discovers a large hole in the wall. After accidentally setting off the rat trap inside, Ryuunosuke finds a bunch of letters, some quite old, written by Fujinami to her mother, Masako, whom the letters indicate is dead. Ryuunosuke doesn’t want to believe it but learns that Masako died after giving birth to Ryuunosuke and had wanted a strong boy rather than a weak girl. As such, Fujinami had vowed to raise Ryuunosuke as a boy, though as the most current letter states, on the anniversary of Masako’s death, he will give Ryuunosuke her mother’s swimsuit.

Urusei Yatsura - 173Ryuunosuke spends the whole summer dreaming of getting that swimsuit and happily does anything for her father. This causes quite a stir among the school’s populace. However, on the last day the pool is opened, Ryuunosuke races home, only to have Fujinami suddenly shift his story from Masako being dead to her being alive. Realizing she’d been tricked, Ryuunosuke attempts to beat her father, only to be thwarted by Ataru and Shuutaro, both of whom aggressively hit on her. She repeatedly beats them back before running away, vowing to kill Fujinami, which is applauded by a gathered group of students.  Fujinami arrives, saying he’ll take Ryuunosuke’s challenge and if she wins, he’ll treat her like a girl.

Urusei Yatsura - 173Ryoko hears of the fight and says that she’ll set the perfect stage for Ryuunosuke-sama on Ganryu Island and has her people make it so. While this happens, Ryuunosuke trains like a boxer and rejects Shinobu’s pleas to not challenge her father, stating she can win. Sakura-sensei disagrees and though Ryuunosuke matches Fujinami in many areas, she lacks guile. So, Ataru, Shinobu, and Lum come up with a sneak attack plan for Ryuunosuke to use when she lands on the island, but Fujinami quickly counters and the fight is on. Ryoko finds the fight not spicy enough and launches missiles and tank rounds into the fray. Eventually, it appears that Ryuunosuke has won and thinks she’s about to see a swimsuit, but it is another trick and her fight with her father continues.

Thoughts/Review:

The thing about an episode where Ryuunosuke thinks she’s going to get some female clothing is that she’s not going to get female clothing, thus making the episode rather a pointless exercise.

Urusei Yatsura - 173

That said, while it is clear that Fujinami was pulling Ryuunosuke’s chain a lot, the letters do have a certain honest feel to them even though Fujinami reneged on his promise. While it may explain why Fujinami raised Ryuunosuke as a boy, it doesn’t make him more sympathetic.

Urusei Yatsura - 173

The episode also seemed like an excuse to have a great many cameos. Ryoko’s appearance made no sense other than she hadn’t been seen in a while. Benten’s made more sense in light of her recent fight with Ryuunosuke. Others were just there in the crowd, including ghosts. ^_^;

Urusei Yatsura - 173

There was a Rocky feel for Ryuunosuke’s training. I’m guessing that’s on purpose.

Urusei Yatsura - 173

So, a “been there, done that” retread episode that is highly predictable and thus completely unfunny to me.

Urusei Yatsura - 173
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12 Responses to “Urusei Yatsura – 173”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, this is unrelated, but it may be of interest to you that MSN 338 raws are out.
    [link] mangahead.com/Manga-Raw-Scan/Mahou-Sensei-Negima/Mahou-Sensei-Negima-338-Raw-Scan

  2. arimareiji says:

    Personally, there’s only one UY character who irritates more than Ten… and it’s Fujinami by a wide margin.

    Maybe I’d understand better if I had been a Japanese person watching it when it first came out. But as an American watching it in the 2000’s, I couldn’t stand him, didn’t find him funny at all, and quite honestly didn’t understand why Ryuunosuke hadn’t committed patricide yet. No sane jury would convict her.

    Good for her, getting a little of her own back. But unfortunately she’s permanently stuck as the rabbit in a Trix commercial, so it doesn’t do any good.

  3. O-chan says:

    Some of those screencaps you really see the early Ranma 1/2 style begin to creep into the anime. Especially that last shot of Ryuunosuke.

    Fujinami never really clicked with me. He basically emotionally and physically abuses his daughter on a daily basis. It makes me really upset when we have really touching episodes were Ryuunosuke is truly melancholy over her situation and her father continues to be a selfish, deluded prick!

    The good news it Ryuu’s situation is somewhat balanced out in the OAVs with a new character. To say anymore would be some major spoilers…^_^

  4. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Personally, there’s only one UY character who irritates more than Ten… and it’s Fujinami by a wide margin.

    Yeah, I can’t say I disagree there.

    Maybe I’d understand better if I had been a Japanese person watching it when it first came out. But as an American watching it in the 2000’s, I couldn’t stand him, didn’t find him funny at all, and quite honestly didn’t understand why Ryuunosuke hadn’t committed patricide yet. No sane jury would convict her.

    In 2011, he’s still not funny. It really must be a Japanese thing.

    Good for her, getting a little of her own back. But unfortunately she’s permanently stuck as the rabbit in a Trix commercial, so it doesn’t do any good.

    *lol* Yeah, even the Trix rabbit did score the cereal once, if I recall correctly. However, your point is well taken.

    Some of those screencaps you really see the early Ranma 1/2 style begin to creep into the anime. Especially that last shot of Ryuunosuke.

    I hadn’t been paying attention, but now that you mention it, you’re right.

    It makes me really upset when we have really touching episodes were Ryuunosuke is truly melancholy over her situation and her father continues to be a selfish, deluded prick!

    That is true. For the first time, Fujinami has a bit of a sympathetic streak, but in the name of the lame-brained “comedy,” Fujinami continues to be bullheaded and thus the status quo remains.

    The good news it Ryuu’s situation is somewhat balanced out in the OAVs with a new character. To say anymore would be some major spoilers…^_^

    The OVA’s are on the list to watch after the TV series, so I have something to look forward to.

  5. Steven says:

    I don’t mind Fujinami’s antics because Takahashi’s humour has always had a mean-spirited streak. Which is, in fact, a large part of the reason I love UY and indeed Maison Ikkoku as well.

    Trouble is, we’ve seen it all before, and this is another episode with not enough content. I did, however, enjoy the crowd scene cameos from the taxi driver (episode 1) and the hole-digging guy.

    Strap yourself in and hold tight because the next episode features everyone’s least favourite shape-shifting fox. Ugh.

  6. AstroNerdBoy says:

    I don’t mind Fujinami’s antics because Takahashi’s humour has always had a mean-spirited streak.

    The mean-spirited stuff isn’t what irritates me. Its the fact that Ryuunosuke will not get a payoff and that there won’t be any advancement in character. As someone said before, its the Trix Rabbit syndrome and that sucks.

    Trouble is, we’ve seen it all before, and this is another episode with not enough content. I did, however, enjoy the crowd scene cameos from the taxi driver (episode 1) and the hole-digging guy.

    Episode 1 was SOOOO long ago. *lol*

    Strap yourself in and hold tight because the next episode features everyone’s least favourite shape-shifting fox. Ugh.

    Yeah, seen it and reviewed it. ^_^

  7. Jey Rico says:

    This story FAILS me because:
    a) No Build-up, No Climax& No Resolution whatsoever instead of having one
    b) Plot was both Silly and Stupid instead of being Intelligent
    c) Side Characters Betray their manga counterparts instead of Helping the Main one
    d) Setting was Over-budget instead of being Simple
    e) Theme was Mashed-up instead of being Pure
    f) Conflict was No Where because of the Random bullshit happening around instead of actually Focusing on it
    g) Reusing Too Many past scenes we’ve already Familiarized instead of Expanding/Improving the Original one
    h) Too Much Filler that adds no emotion, weight, depth& has weak connection to the plot
    i) The Emotional Potential of the Story was Wasted instead of being Adapted
    j) Story is more fit to be called Filler than a Weak or Poor Adaptation

    The anime does not offer any form of Build-up- What we get are repeated scenes from past episodes, useless cameos and more filler that does not advance the plot. There is also No Form of Climax- Ryoko blowing the place to kingdom come was just pure randomness. Nor does it offer any sense of closure- What Ryu gets from Mr. Fujinami is just a random piece of cloth that she easily brushes off, she never gets what she wanted.

    Conclusion:
    -Why the f*ck did they not follow the original manga’s idea.
    The story had great potential because it adds another layer to Ryu’s complex character. It was all about her woes and struggles and how the Gang of Four (Ataru, Lum, Shinobu& Mendo) actually managed to help her overcome it. The manga story was more climactic and action-packed to begin with because Ryu actually suffered serious defeats repeatedly and had to rely on outside help. It was also more emotional and intelligent because Ryu’s sense of pride and refusal to use deceit actually had the Gang come up with ways on how she could adapt to her opponents tactics. This chapter also marks the time where the Gang gave their full support and aid to Ryu’s in her personal problem. Without their combined help, she would have been defeated again. The manga also has a resolution and closure because in the end, Mr. Fujinami actually admits defeat and gives Ryu what she wanted (albeit not quite exactly) but at least she managed to wear it at the pool.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      -Why the f*ck did they not follow the original manga’s idea.

      While I obviously can’t speak specifically as to why the anime didn’t do things like the manga, I do know that in general, there are a number of things that play into it.

      1) The production team/director want to put their own stamp on things.
      2) The manga story may not have fit into the anime’s time constraints.
      3) It was decided that some things in the manga wouldn’t play out well in the anime.

      Personally, I prefer more faithful adaptations of manga stories.

      • Oldtaku Observer says:

        After researching for a month I found some answers:
        -Michiru Shimada(r.i.p.) best known for writing episodes for One Piece and Little Witch Academia & Kazuo Yamazaki, UY’s series director himself were the writers for this episode. The people who made this episode were obviously talented people but they were starting to lose passion (just like Oshii before) and so wasted the story’s potential and perhaps their own as well. Considering how creative these people are, I think that this was their attempt to dissuade or disappoint viewers from UY by completely deviating from the original source material (although not in the same way as what Oshii did) because the production team was showing signs of burnout & fatigue at that time. And considering that the anime industry was much harsher in the past compared to today it is understandable.

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          I think that this was their attempt to dissuade or disappoint viewers from UY by completely deviating from the original source material (although not in the same way as what Oshii did) because the production team was showing signs of burnout & fatigue at that time.

          I’m not sure if they were trying to dissuade or disappoint UY fans on purpose. I don’t disagree that the production team was probably burned out. I suspect that’s why they phoned it in when it came to story and such. In my mind, they were hoping fans like certain antics and thus those got thrown into the mix, whereupon the production team could do another episode without as much effort.

  8. Oldtaku Observer says:

    The first time that I saw this episode, I was instantly turned off by its sense of direction. It was too fast, too jerky and scenes didn’t make any sense except for pointless fan service. Previous episodes had some flaws as well but at least they were decent enough to stand out as good stories.
    I didn’t understand why I didn’t enjoy this episode before but after re-downloading it after a year, I finally learned why- It Screams with Dull Repetition. Everything about it starting from the first scene is full of recycled, rehashed and reiterated plots. Given UY’s repetitive nature, it’s understandable but the unrelenting repetitiveness of this episode just feels so redundant.

    Here are some elements of redundancy that I noticed:
    -The dark foreboding atmosphere with crows- already did that on Episode 132 Voodoo doll story. Compared to this episode it was necessary to the plot. The symbolism was actually good because crows symbolize two things in that episode- danger and bad luck. Each time we cut back to crows fluttering their wings, bad luck happens to Shutaro, but that’s not all, crows are already present around Tomobiki- it symbolizes the looming presence of danger that’s going to happen to Shutaro despite the shows comedic take. There is nothing ominous or threatening that will happen in this faux symbolism- only a disappointing plot follows. This episode just betrays what has been brilliantly done with that episode.
    -The ominous “How we got here “premise on Ganryuu Island- already did that with Episode 162 Cheerleading Robot story. Compared to this episode, that episode was intriguing because it explains how destruction came upon Tomobiki High and does it well because a final battle actually took place. This episode just betrays us considering that it’s gonna lead us all into an anti-climactic finish.
    -Mr. Fujinami and Ryunusuke taking the role of Musashi and Kojiro, not to mention Ganryuu Island itself- already did that on Episode 55 Badboy Musashi. If this story actually allegorizes the Musashi Miyamoto story, I might have considered but it doesn’t so what was the point? And why were they using weapons despite being established as bare fisted fighters in the series?
    -Mendo siblings sponsoring the event and using their resources to generate mood and artificial atmosphere- Please, Ep 79 Ryoko’s tree, Ep 124 Ryoko’s dorm and 142 Alien juice excelled in creativity compared to this. The Mendo Siblings actually achieved something when they hosted those events. How about this event? Well, it’s a total waste of budget since Ryu and her dad just bickered in the end.
    -Scenes of military vehicles in the area signifying something spectacular is about to happen- Sorry, just an attempt to fool us viewers.
    -The barrage of (mostly non-speaking) cameos- already did that on Ep 45 Lum’s Class Reunion but compared to this episode their presence actually made sense. They didn’t feel like cameos, they felt more like secondary characters with a role and purpose to the plot. They were integral to the story, without them certain melodramatic aspects of that episode wouldn’t work at all. The cameos in this episode however just makes no sense. They don’t contribute anything aside from being spectators.What’s more baffling is that most of these characters had never met Ryu or Mr. Fujinami or even interacted with either and yet here they are placing their bets.
    -Girl’s having an infatuation and cheering at Ryu- Already did that on Ep 90, 91 and 159. I do not have any idea why people in the background are always gushing and cheering in this episode when they have no reason to instead of actually helping or aiding Ryu. Their all useless spectators gushing at the slightest bit of action.
    -Ryu discovering her father’s letters and feeling sympathy- Please we know where this all ends. Ep 81 and 147 did a better job because it makes fun of Mr. Fujami’s sympathetic streak. Once he does something sympathetic like regretting his past actions or crying in bed, it easily cuts back to him doing things like eating food and reading shojou manga as if he was joking from the start. This episode just doesn’t play the sympathy well, I couldn’t even feel the melodrama that they were intending. By now you realize that maybe Ryu might learn a thing or two when it comes to Mr. Fujinami playing sorry. I was waiting for Ryu to punch Mr. Fujinami straight to the wall or at least run away from home just like what she did the previous episodes before but nope she just declares revenge- which is out of character since she’ll instantly give you a straight punch instead of declaring revenge.
    -Ryu grabbing a random Tomobiki student and coercing him to repeat his previous sentence- Already done that to a random takoyaki vendor in Ep 108. Compared to this episode, Ryu’s reactions were necessary and realistic, she had never been addressed according to her gender by anyone before, for her it was something that she only dreamed of and wanted to configure it by asking the vendor to repeat the line. Her actions in this episode just appear as a callback instead of a continuity nod.
    -Ryu feeling sad and longing for something that she wants- already did that on Ep 81, 147 and Ep 123. Compared to this episode it was actually more sympathetic because it concerns Ryu’s longing for her missing mom, in short words- it was personal. The anime writers just shoehorned that the swimwear belonged to her mother(in the manga, it wasn’t) to make it appear connected yet they don’t handle the melodrama well.
    -Ryu declaring that as long as she cannot defeat Mr. Fujinami she cannot truly enjoy her womanhood- already did that on her debut episode 63. Compared to this episode, a fight actually ensues after that and with results. This episode is just anticlimactic because when Ryu is about to punish her father, Ataru and Shutaro just stop her wit their flirting, and when she begins to cry, they try to hit on her again, how insensitive & inconsiderate. And those two were supposed to be the shows most chauvinistic characters- able to give immediate rescue/support to any woman in danger/need. Remember how supportive Ataru& Mendo was to Ryu when she ran away from home on Ep 81. Ataru or Mendo couldn’t even flirt when Ryu was feeling down in that episode and here they are being insensitive jerks to a dejected person.
    -Ryu evading popcorns easily yet being offended when one actually lands on her head- Popcorns? Ridiculous. Benten’s tiny metal balls in Ep 160 actually punctures walls (in the manga), plus she was using a slingshot aimed at Ryu, let’s not forget her super strength as well. It had more risk compared to – snapping and spitting popcorns at Ryu, so why was there a need to repeat this scene in a lame way.
    -Ryu’s training montage after challenging her father- Please, Lum’s training montage did a better job than that in Ep 137 and why would she need to train anyway? Strange thing for someone who jumps into brawls without a second thought, who gets into physical fights with her father on a daily basis and has developed an unconscious conditioned reflex from fighting all through her life.
    -Ryoko blowing the place to kingdom come- already did that on Ep 79 Ryoko’s tree & Ep 140 Shutaro’s cake. Compared to this, those episodes had build-up and creativity in them. We were never hinted that Ganryuu Island was rigged with weapons, nor any indication that it belonged to the Mendo’s or it probably might not be the real Ganryuu Island but who cares. After leading us from a messed up plot to an anticlimactic battle, the story further disappoints us by making a last ditch effort of throwing in the old “stuff blowing up ending”. Is this a Gainax Ending because it just comes out of nowhere, it’s never a part of Ryu’s struggle, never integral to the story’s conflict, theme or even climax. Perhaps that it was a method to end a messed up plot that never made sense to begin with.

    It’s like the writer had run out of ideas and just copy and pasted stuff from previous episodes without a thought if they mattered or not.

    I know that UY is mostly rinse and repeat but it’s always done with talent and creativity, new episodes always feel fresh and authentic even the semi-boring Kitsune episodes count because they were always interjecting new elements despite the episode’s melodramatic take. However, the problem with this episode is that it has nothing significantly new or entertaining to offer nor is it imbibed with enthusiasm or fun, in short words it’s Plain Boring.

    Conclusion:
    After researching for a month I found some answers:
    -Michiru Shimada(r.i.p.) best known for writing episodes for One Piece and Little Witch Academia & Kazuo Yamazaki, UY’s series director himself were the writers for this episode. The people who made this episode were obviously talented people but they were starting to lose passion (just like Oshii before) and so wasted the story’s potential and perhaps their own as well. Considering how creative these people are, I think that this was their attempt to dissuade or disappoint viewers from UY by completely deviating from the original source material (although not in the same way as what Oshii did) because the production team was showing signs of burnout & fatigue at that time. And considering that the anime industry was much harsher in the past compared to today it is understandable.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      It’s like the writer had run out of ideas and just copy and pasted stuff from previous episodes without a thought if they mattered or not.

      Yeah, pretty much. ?

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