Urusei Yatsura – 194

うる星やつら episode 194 (TV anime)
Urusei Yatsura Ep. 194 review

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Note: This was actually a rerun of episode 44. However, since I never blogged that episode, I’ll go ahead and do so now.

Urusei Yatsura - 194Lum is sewing a small doll when she notices the time and forces Ataru to go with her to a restaurant, where Lum’s troops are waiting to celebrate her first year on Earth.  Megane and the others aren’t too pleased with Ataru being there, and he’s annoyed as well, telling Lum that she’s totally ruined his life. When he confirms to her that she’s a bother to him, she quietly leaves, telling Ataru bye from the door. Megane and the others are not pleased as Lum goes to the Moroboshi residence, gathers Ten-chan, and flies away. Ataru goes home to find Lum isn’t there. At dinner, his parents are happy with the peace of not having Lum and Ten-chan around. Ataru doesn’t eat much and returning to his room, he finds the Lum doll that Lum had made, wondering if she’s gone forever.

Urusei Yatsura - 194At school, Ataru carries the doll with him while everyone wonders where Lum is. Megane and company seize the doll and play keep away with a frustrated Ataru. Upon learning that Lum is missing, Shuutaro has his military search high and low, but to no avail. Ataru gets the doll back and that evening, Shinobu calls him to meet her at a park. Ataru says they can now get back together since Lum is gone, but the doll in his pocket tells Shinobu otherwise, so a depressed Ataru faces the truth and leaves. Slowly wandering the city, Ataru eventually trips over a garbage can and weeps over Lum’s absence, not knowing that she’s in orbit on her father’s ship, getting her papers to live on Earth renewed while secretly listening to him via a hidden mic in the doll. The following day, Lum returns, causing Ataru to be much relieved though he pretends otherwise.

Thoughts/Review:

This penultimate episode showed the top 10 Urusei Yatsura episodes, as rated by Japanese fans. So I thought I’d run through them real quick.

Urusei Yatsura - 194

10.  Episode 1.1 (“I’m Lum-chan the Notorious!”) — It makes sense that the first episode (which was when the series had each episode composed of two, half-episodes) would make the list.

Urusei Yatsura - 194

09. Episode 43 (“Terror of Meow”) — I don’t really remember anything about this episode, which has Ataru fighting Torajima. When I read a summary, I vaguely recalled it. Thankfully, Ataru stopped getting beaten by Torajima.

Urusei Yatsura - 194

08. Episode 30 (“A Beautiful Girl Brings the Rain”) — Again, I only vaguely remember this one.  I think it dealt with an ame-warashi.

Urusei Yatsura - 194

07. Episode 107 (“Parallel Worlds! Where’s Darling?”) — I do remember this episode as being one where things vastly improved animation-wise, and the story was pretty entertaining with Lum jumping from Earth to Earth.

Urusei Yatsura - 194

06. Episode 158 (“The Return of the Purehearted Fox! I Love Shinobu-san”) — Any Kitsune episode sucked as far as I was concerned, and this one was no exception. Yet the Japanese saw things differently.

Urusei Yatsura - 194

05. Episode 157 (“Darling, I Love Your Kindness”) — I do remember this episode quite well as I think it was probably the most touching story in the entire series.  Plus, it ended with Ataru and Lum having a nice, couple moment after visiting Nozomi’s grave.

Urusei Yatsura - 194

04. Episode 10 (“Pitter Patter Christmas Eve”) — I certainly remember this episode, mainly because this was the first time that Ataru wasn’t a complete and total arsehole when it came to Lum.

Urusei Yatsura - 194

03. Episode 105 (“Scramble! Rescue Lum!”) — This was another episode I easily remembered, as it happened during a phase of the series where the episodes were really good. Ataru going after Shuutaro and everything Shuutaro’s riches provide in order to get Lum was simply good stuff.

Urusei Yatsura - 194

02. Episode 75 (“And Then There Were None”) — I have no memory of this episode, even from the description I read. Not a good sign of anything special (and I’m not taking the time to look at the episode again since I’m at a remote location). Despite that, this apparently forgettable episode ranks #2.

Urusei Yatsura - 194

Which brings things to episode 44, which ranked #1.  Watching the episode, I knew it was a repeat and I knew I had watched this episode once before, but it was an episode that I didn’t remember that well, so much so that it mostly seemed new save for the older character designs and the “been there, done that” feel of the story.

Urusei Yatsura - 194

I’m guessing that when I watched this episode, I probably did like it since Ataru reveals his true feelings for Lum.  However, like nearly everything Takahashi-sensei does, we can’t have actual character growth as that would ruin the status quo, which in the case of Urusei Yatsura is that Ataru desperately wants to girl hunt and date as many girls as his tongue could cope with, but can’t because Lum is a stone around his neck, even if he does care for said “stone” to some degree and doesn’t want anyone else to have it.  As such, 150 episodes later, Ataru hasn’t changed much, nor has Lum, and the status quo remains.

Urusei Yatsura - 194

So while this episode was a “Ataru really cares for Lum” story, I was pretty bored even though I couldn’t remember most of the details of the plot.  Thus, the “been there, done that” feel that comes not from rewatching an episode, but watching an episode where you know that in the end, none of it mattered.  However, for the Japanese fans, this was episode #1, probably because it did show how deeply Ataru cared for Lum.  I can understand that, even though I was bored.

Urusei Yatsura - 194

Well, only one more episode to go, after which I’ll write a final review.  ^_^

Urusei Yatsura - 194
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4 Responses to “Urusei Yatsura – 194”

  1. Kiddo626 says:

    Wow, Ataru in the screencap of episode 43 looks exactly like something out of Ashita no Joe: The lanky body shape, the angles and positioning of the body when throwing a punch, the hair style, the vacant look in the eyes whenever he gets hit particularly hard. LOL

    Concerning episode 75, that one was one of my personal favorites, IMO. This one was a real standout from the others at the time because it was just so surreal (You can totally see Oshii’s influence here.). In a sense, this is another “Ataru cares for Lum” episode, but unlike the other episodes, he nearly goes berserk for her here; Toshio Furukawa’s acting really gets some high praise from me for this episode. The ending is sort of anticlimactic, though, and yes, it’s pretty much business as usual from then on, but the ride there is very interesting and creative, and I can definitely see why it’s #2 in this list. Then again, I could’ve sworn reading somewhere that you’re not really into the surreal stuff (correct me if I’m wrong), so your mileage may vary on this. >_< One more thing, I thought you were going to post your final thoughts of the series after you’ve done the OVAs and the movies (Which of these two are you planning to tackle first, BTW?). I mean, wouldn’t it be more fair if you gave a more comprehensive review of the entire franchise before leaving it behind once and for all (which I’m sure you’re just itching to do =P)?

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      >Wow, Ataru in the screencap of episode 43 looks exactly like something out of Ashita no Joe

      That was probably on purpose too since Ashita no Joe predates this anime by a number of years. Urusei Yatsura often did nods to other anime titles and/or Western sci-fi/fantasy titles.

      >Then again, I could’ve sworn reading somewhere that you’re not really into the surreal stuff (correct me if I’m wrong), so your mileage may vary on this. >_< That would be a correct statement, so if this episode is surreal, then that would explain it vanishing from my memory. >One more thing, I thought you were going to post your final thoughts of the series after you’ve done the OVAs and the movies (Which of these two are you planning to tackle first, BTW?). I mean, wouldn’t it be more fair if you gave a more comprehensive review of the entire franchise before leaving it behind once and for all (which I’m sure you’re just itching to do =P)?

      I’ll do the TV series first, then the OVA’s, then the movies (which I seem to have misplaced and need to find). I’ve always done final reviews based on the type, which in this case would be the TV series. That’s how I did things for Ranma 1/2 over on the Community Anime Review site.

  2. O-chan says:

    Since your wrapping up the series, and it was Labor Day weekend I had some extra time on my handsI decided to actually watch all the Japanese top 10 episodes and add my own commentary. Not having actively watched this series in a bit it was a bit of a refresher to get my old DVDs out.

    Episode 1.1 (“I’m Lum-chan the Notorious!”) It’s the first episode, and it has a certain charm to it for establishing the events of the rest of the series. Episode 43 (“Terror of Meow”) This episode involved some kind of cat girl spirit. It was an okay episode, I really like some of the directional flourishes to the cat girls flashback. It was the kind of surreal nature that Mamoru Oshii would incorporate into other parts of the series. Episode 30 (“A Beautiful Girl Brings the Rain”) Typical Ataru girl chase episode. Nothing to write home about. Episode 107 (“Parallel Worlds! Where’s Darling?”) This episode also kind of sets up one of your frustrations with Lum and Ataru’s relationship. She had the option of picking the “perfect” Ataru and she still chose to return to her universe with the regular Ataru. Mind you this was an anime only episode, but I think it speaks volumes on how Lum sees her “Darling”. Episode 158 (“The Return of the Purehearted Fox! I Love Shinobu-san” Have to admit, kinda glazed over during this episode. Episode 157 (“Darling, I Love Your Kindness”) Pretty much agree with you. Episode 10 (“Pitter Patter Christmas Eve”) This being an early episode he was much worse to Lum than the more comical versions of his girl chasing in later parts of the series. He redeemed himself in the end because this was the first time he actually began to have authentic feelings for Lum (as opposed to his initial libido induced attraction). Episode 105 (“Scramble! Rescue Lum!”) Mamaru Oshii’s last outing with the series. The completist in me felt compelled to watch this with 106. This was also anime only and made sure to have Oshii leave on a high note. Episode 75 (“And Then There Were None”) This is actually one of the episodes in my top 10, another Oshii heavy episode. This episode defines why I prefer UY over Ranma, it’s ability to balance drama over comedy and make it not seem out of place. The entire episode had a dark atmosphere with all the characters being “murdered” based off of the “Who Killed Cook Robin?” poem. It’s also one of the few times Ataru is completely dead serious throughout the entire episode.

    “Which brings things to episode 44,”been there, done that” feel of the story.”

    Probably because this,the Christmas episode, and parts of “Rescue Lum” were very similar. The funny thing is this episode and the Christmas episode origins were from the manga and were in the same volume (at least in the American version) which seemed to focus on why Ataru isn’t a complete jerkwad and somewhat justifying his relationship with Lum.

    “However, like nearly everything Takahashi-sensei does, we can’t have actual character growth as that would ruin the status quo. As such, 150 episodes later, Ataru hasn’t changed much, nor has Lum, and the status quo remains.”

    True, very true but I think one should never tread into anything Takahashi related and think relationship progress is in the forefront. I also think audience demands (both in Japan and America) was very different during the 80’s and 90’s than it is now, much like sitcoms back in the day.

    I also feel that the cast of Urusei Yatsura is more like a dysfunctional family which eventually develops stockholm syndrome and merely except the repetitiveness as a daily ritual in their lives. Oddly enough, both Movies 3 and 4 call this out.

    I will offer more comments but I’ll reserve them when you give a series overview.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      When it comes to Takahashi-sensei and relationships, outside of Maison Ikkoku, she really doesn’t like making much progress with the characters. Yeah, in Inuyasha, Inuyasha and Kagome get together as do Sango and Miroku, but it is more of a, “OK, it’s over so here, these folks are together. Happy?” I know that’s just how she is, but it is frustrating.

      OK, time to watch the last TV episode.

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