Urusei Yatsura OVA – 12 – The Obstacle Course Swim Meet

うる星やつら OVA episode 12 (OAV anime)
Urusei Yatsura OVA Ep. 12 review

うる星やつら ザ・障害物水泳大会
It’s a Rumic World Urusei Yatsura – The Shogaibutsu Suiei Taikai

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Lum brings Ataru a special, cooling wind chime from Oyuki, and though Ataru likes its cooling effect on such a hot night, he is dismissive of Lum’s efforts, leading her to fry him. The next morning, Ataru’s parents enjoy the wind chime while Ataru and Lum head to school. On the way, they encounter Shinobu and Ran, whom Ataru hits on, angering Lum, who accidentally fries Shuutaro in the process. In school, Ryuunosuke and Fujinami-san are fighting over the male swimsuit Fujinami picked for his daughter for the forthcoming swim meet. In class, Onsen-sensei states that the winner of the school’s swim meet will be exempted from homework for the rest of the school year. This gets the previously uninterested class fired up for swimming.

In the gym, Ataru is suspicious of why they’ve been gathered there and not at the pool. Onsen-sensei and the principle have prepared a route the students must follow to get to the pool. The students look to rebel, so Onsen-sensei motivates them by stating that anyone not participating gets 5-years of homework over the summer break. The students race out of the gym and in the process, Lum accidentally hits Ran, causing her to go on a rampage that takes out half the students in the school. As Sakura-sensei tends to them, the students head down the hall, where Ryuunosuke’s and Fujinami-san’s fight has them throwing furnature out of the school’s store, where they reside, taking out a few students. Ataru halts the mass to wait for the poor family to run out of things to throw, only to get nailed anyway by Ryuunosuke.

Ran arrives, still on a rampage, so Ataru manages to get Shuutaro tossed into her path, destroying her big gun. The students encounter slime, goo, hurdles, and more and they run down the hall. Ataru is caught in a floor trap, but is rescued by Lum, only for both to be snared in a packing tape trap. Shuutaro cuts Lum free, but plans violence against Ataru despite Shinobu’s request for him not to. Ataru takes advantage and manages to break free to head but Shuutaro, but ends up entangled with him. The two make a truce and break free, but Ataru clunks Shuutaro on the head and races off.  Elsewhere, Fujinami chases Ryuunosuke, who has a girl’s swimsuit, but it catches fire in an obstacle and is destroyed. She then punches her father skyward as punishment.

Back at the Moriboshi residence, Benten and Oyuki find Ataru’s parents frozen as the cooling wind chimes have multiplied.  At the school, the insane obstacle course continues, culminating in a number of water slides, only some of which will get them to the pool. Ataru tries to get Lum to fly him to the pool, but she’ll only do it if he goes on a date with her. He refuses and accidentally heads down a water slide, using sheer willpower to get to the pool along with Shinobu, Shuutaro, and some others. Onsen-sensei announces a change of prize from no homework to a kiss from the principal. The students aren’t interested in playing water basketball, until the ball explodes since they have to score in 3-minutes. The balls can also explode at random.

When Ataru takes advantage of the situation to hit on girls, Lum fries him, electrocuting everyone in the pool. They all pretend to be knocked out, meaning Lum will get the hot kiss, but Kotatsu-neko saves her by turning everyone face-down in the pool, forcing them to “wake up” for air. With only six survivors, the next event is a pool race, and to motivate the students, man-eating snakes are dropped into the pool. Lum gets snagged by one, but won’t use lightning lest she fry everyone. Shes dragged underwater, forcing Ataru to make a daring rescue attempt while Shinobu makes short work of all the remaining giant snakes. Ataru does mouth-to-mouth on Lum, then tells her that she needs to be more careful.

Meanwhile, Sugar, Pepper, and Ginger have decided to attack Oyuki and Benten, who’ve just gathered the cooling wind chimes. The chase leads them to the pool, where the trio’s attack causes various soup explosions, creating soup tsunamis. Ryoko, using her family’s satellite, sees her “oniisama” in danger, and sends out the Mendou military. Shuutaro tells her to stop this, but she leaves instead. The military attack rains down on all, causing the wind chime container to open, freeing them. The escaped chimes freeze everything expect Oyuki, Kotatsu-neko, Ten-chan, and the Principal, who was under the kotatsu. Since Kotatsu-neko has the race goal, Principal kisses the giant cat on the paw. That night at the summer festival, Lum wants her date, but Ataru wants to hit on girls, starting with Kagome from Inuyasha, leading him to be fried again.


I hadn’t intended on writing so much for a summary, but this was an episode in which there was so much packed in, mainly because the production team wanted to make this as nutty as possible while making sure to include certain things that fans would want (Ataru and Lum kissing, Ataru being lecherous, Lum frying Ataru, Ryoko causing Shuutaro problems, Ryuunosuke fighting her father over her gender identity, etc.).

The intro was the funniest, combining Rumiko-sensei’s Urusei Yatsura (Ataru and Lum), Ranma 1/2 (Ranma, boy & girl form), and Inuyasha (Inuyasha and Kagome).  Although I’d previously seen the clip in 2009, I found it to be funnier this time since I’ve completed all three of these long series (in one form or other).

It is a testament to the popularity of the Urusei Yatsura franchise that a brand new OVA would be made for it some 30-years after the manga started in Japan, and some seventeen years after the last OVA episode was released in Japan.  As far as I can tell, all of the original seiyuu returned to do their roles (as did the seiyuu from Ranma 1/2 and Inuyasha for the intro), though I’m not sure about Megane’s seiyuu (he and Lum’s Bodyguards were only given cameos).

The character designs are quite different. I would not have recognized Shinobu at all except that I recognized her seiyuu’s voice. Most of the other characters are still recognizable despite looking different.

As to the episode itself, the production team basically modified the chase format that usually worked so well for Urusei Yatsura and modified it so that it became this competition. Thus, you got elements of chasing, with students trying to race to the pool, and the many unexpected and zany things that go with it. I found myself laughing quite a bit by everything that happened, including some oh so very wrong moments.

With less than thirty minutes to work with, I was surprised that the production team worked in Pepper, Ginger, and Sugar. I guess those characters were more popular than I would have thought.

Finally, while I didn’t look that closely throughout the episode, I’m pretty sure that at the end of the episode, in addition to Kagome from Inuyasha having a cameo, I think that Akane from Ranma 1/2 was there.  I also think that Kyoko, Yusaku, Ichinose-san, and Akemi from Maison Ikkoku had background cameos (possibly Kentaro as well). Kinda hard to tell for sure with the character design changes.

Ultimately, while this episode was certainly way over the top, I did find myself thinking about the possibilities of a new TV series or the like.  Then again, that probably wouldn’t be such a good idea. Better to have this final bang and go out in style, leaving the audience wanting more.

Update 7-JUNE-2015: I never knew it at the time, but this was one of three OVA titles for the It’s a Rumic World series (the other two being about Inuyasha and Ranma 1/2).
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10 Responses to “Urusei Yatsura OVA – 12 – The Obstacle Course Swim Meet”

  1. tomtom92 says:

    HOLYCRAP that girl with black hair on the 2nd pic under Thoughts/Review: with the red hair girl and the guy looks like Kagome from Inuyasha xD

  2. Kiddo626 says:

    I SO can’t wait till you review the movies. They were actually my intro to the franchise, so they’re pretty near and dear to my heart (except movie 6; that one was an abomination, IMO -_-). Again, I can’t wait! XD

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Just started watching the first movie (~45-minutes into it). I’ve liked it a lot so far.

    • Kiddo626 says:

      I hope you haven’t seen them all yet. Because I was going to tell you that you should watch movie 6 before movie 5. Two reasons:

      1.) Movie 5 is the proper ending to the Urusei Yatsura story, and it’s the film that’s the most faithful to the manga (I’d say it’s even better than the manga, actually.).

      2.) Movie 6 is awful, but I said that already. XD

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      OK, I’ll most certainly try to remember to do that.

  3. […] an OVA for Inuyasha, Ranma 1/2, and Urusei Yatsura.  You can read my Urusei Yatsura review here. I’ll update again when I see the other […]

  4. Chris says:

    I just watched this again last night and found myself belly-laughing more than I remember belly-laughing in the past. It’s just one gag after another – classic UY hilarity. Would have been better if Lum’s Stormtroopers had had more than just cameos for Megane and Chibi – but still very enjoyable. This is probably also the first animated appearance of Ataru’s friend Kosuke, who was originally a manga-only character (Perm took his place in the anime previously). It seems to be a combination of two different manga storylines, as I’ve read the manga version of the swim meet storyline and the subplot about Oyuki’s snow charms isn’t there.

    Re: the change in character design – Akemi Takada wasn’t involved as character designer this time, instead I believe it was Tsukasa Dokite, who worked on the original UY TV series. Dokite was also animation director and the designs do look like his art style. Shinobu’s shorter haircut was indeed a bit jarring at first but still made for an attractive design. Of course, Sunrise, and not Kitty Film, is the production company for these OVAs, although Studio Deen may still have been involved in animation assistance. The voice actors did their usual superb job.

    Re: Crossovers… watch carefully as Sakura-sensei is fishing people out of the pool and you’ll see panda-Genma and P-Chan from Ranma 1/2 there as well. The Maison Ikkoku cameos were also welcome as Tsukasa Dokite worked on that series too. If you watch the Ranma short (“Incense of Spring Sleep”) Lum makes a cameo there as well.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I just watched this again last night and found myself belly-laughing more than I remember belly-laughing in the past.

      Kinda makes me want to go back and rewatch it. ^_^

      Shinobu’s shorter haircut was indeed a bit jarring at first but still made for an attractive design.

      It is an attractive design. It just didn’t look like Shinobu to me. But I got used to it.

      As to crossovers, yeah I do remember them. I’m not sure why I didn’t mention them. I did review the Ranma 1/2 OVA and I did point out some cameos there.

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