Urusei Yatsura: Only You (Movie)

うる星やつら オンリー・ユー
Urusei Yatsura: Only You
Urusei Yatsura Movie 1

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Urusei Yatsura: Only YouEleven years earlier, a boy named Ataru played with an alien girl named Elle and became engaged to her. In the present, invitations go out to everyone Ataru knows, so the school is talking about Ataru two-timing Lum and wondering who Elle is. Megane and the stormtroopers lure Ataru to the clock tower, where they enlist help to interrogate Ataru. He claims to not know who Elle is despite repeated attempts to get him to confess. Shinobu enters and proceeds to beat Ataru, but he still claims no knowledge. Lum comes in and saves him from the others, but then demands to know who Elle is after Ten-chan made her aware of the invitations. He still protests he knows nothing, so Lum fries him, catching everyone else in the clock tower as a result, destroying the clock workings as a result.

Urusei Yatsura: Only YouShuutaro’s armored division arrives and he races to the clock tower. Lum refuses him, but is interrupted when a giant UFO drops down, and a beautiful young woman descends anti-grav stairs. Ataru runs to her, thinking she’s Elle based on what she’s said, but she’s not Elle. A short, old woman descends, whom Ataru fears is Elle. He tries to escape, but is unsuccessful. The old woman is Elle’s nanny and the other woman is the captain of the ship. When Lum hears that Ataru got engaged 11 years earlier, she tries to fry Ataru, only to find that a barrier protects him. The old lady gives Ataru a day to put his things in order, so he happily returns to the school building while a frustrated and depressed Lum leaves the area.

Urusei Yatsura: Only YouAfter being forced to leave a cafe, Lum is met by Benten, who’d received an invitation to this wedding along with Oyuki. Benten detects the person who’d been tailing Lum and forces her into the open, causing the tail to make an escape. Benten and Lum head to a beef bowl place, where Benten encourages Lum to not give up. With new determination, Lum decides to fight for Ataru, while Benten arranges for weaponry to be delivered to her, charged to Planet Elle. Rei arrives to get a beef bowl, but Benten forces him out of the place and then forces him to take care of the sleeping Ten-chan, whom Lum had abandoned. The owner of the beef bowl establishment realizes that Lum and Benten skipped out without paying the bill.

Urusei Yatsura: Only YouAtaru prepares for his wedding in spite of his mother’s weeping and his father’s attitude. Lum arrives, informing them that Ataru will be going to her planet to marry her. Since the barrier protects Ataru from Lum’s lightning, she uses a giant vacuum to suck him and the others up to her ship. Benten, in a hired space taxi ship, grabs all of the other wedding guests. Getting to her father’s ship, Ataru’s parent’s decide that Ataru should marry Lum after having a chat with Lum’s parents. Ataru is depressed by this, but reluctantly agrees to go along with it. In one of the rooms on the ship with a large viewing area, Lum electrocutes Ataru and forces an engagement ring onto him before having him put one on her.

Urusei Yatsura: Only YouLum’s father’s ship encounters a massive space distortion, which turns out to be Elle’s fleet warping in. The Oni launch their fighters and prepare for a fight, not realizing that the Elle people have a spy on board. Ataru uses the pretense of trying to stop a war to get to Elle’s side, but Lum won’t hear of it and knocks him out. The Elle spy, Rose, knocks Lum out, then flees to a giant shuttle with the unconscious Ataru, not realizing that Megane, Perm, Chibi, Kakugari, Shinobu, and Shuutaro are inside. Lum gives pursuit in a damaged fighter, but it blows up, causing Ataru to mourn her apparent death. Rose docks with another ship, and is chastised for bringing the others in addition to Ataru.  That ship then heads to Planet Elle, where upon landing, Ataru tells Megane that he’s going to marry Elle and form his ultimate harem with the power of a king.

Urusei Yatsura: Only YouElle comes out to greet her future husband, going for Shuutaro initially. She and Ataru, whom she calls “Honey,” have a chat. When Elle leaves, she tells Shuutaro to meet her that night, pleasing him. That night, Shuutaro meets Elle, but he’s taken to her prize vault – a massive collection of handsome men in cryo-tubes, frozen alive forever. Shuutaro panics over this, so Shinobu, who was with the others observing Shuutaro’s meeting with Elle, uses her enormous strength to save him. Ataru is angry over this betrayal by Elle and doesn’t want to marry her. As a result, she has him tossed into prison, sharing a cell with Ten-chan. Ten-chan enjoys the irony of the situation Ataru is in, but is surprised to see Ataru remorseful for what he’d done to Lum.

Urusei Yatsura: Only YouElsewhere, Benten and company are stopped as she works on her bike when Lum is observed flying overhead. Benten figures Lum is going to rescue Ataru, so she and the others will help by providing distractions. The following day, a defeated and shrunken Ataru goes down the isle with Elle. Benten, Oyuki, and the others cause distractions for the security forces to have to deal with while Lum steals a patrol craft and makes it to the church. Kuruma has released all 99,999 men held in cryo-storage, all of whom are keen to bust up Elle’s wedding, but none are interested in Kuruma. They arrive at the church as well, and chaos emerges.

Urusei Yatsura: Only YouUsing the space taxi ship, Benten rescues Ataru, Lum, and Ten-chan, but also gets Elle to. The driver accidentally hits warp, causing the group to witness when Ataru and Elle were children. The game of shadow tag that they played clearly showed that Ataru lied when he said he stepped on Elle’s shadow, meaning they were never engaged. After saying goodbye to their younger selves, the space taxi warps back to the present, where Elle disembarks and orders them to leave, never to return. The taxi deposits the group for Lum’s and Ataru’s wedding, but at the last moment, Ataru decides he can’t go through with the wedding and flees. The chase of Ataru is then on.

Thoughts/Review:

After having watched 195 TV episodes and 12 OVA episodes, it was rather nice watching this franchise in movie form.  Everything about this movie felt big, as it should for a movie production.

Urusei Yatsura: Only You

The writers did a good job putting in all of the expected elements from the manga and TV series into the movie, but giving them purpose.  For example, when Shinobu goes “Hulk” and destroys the cryo-device to save Shuutaro, it had purpose above and beyond the fact that Shinobu is strong, and it is funny seeing her go from sweet girl to She-Hulk (sans the green skin) going on a rampage. So, we get Lum trying to fry Ataru, beef bowls, Kuruma wanting a man, and more.

Urusei Yatsura: Only You

The movie gave me several laughs. I recall Ataru’s attempt to flee when he thought the old woman was Elle. There was Rei’s attempt to order a beef bowl that was thwarted by Benten, and later, his chowing down on Planet Elle. There was Lum’s forcing Ataru to put on a ring, followed by Rose’s failed attempt to impersonate Lum. There were other moments too, but while this may not have been the funniest thing I’ve seen, it had good, funny moments.

Urusei Yatsura: Only You

There were also some parodies here, or at least subtle (or not so subtle ones, depending on your point of view) ones. I’m pretty sure the ship from Planet Elle was a parody reference to Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Urusei Yatsura: Only You

The space taxi “sucking up” people from Tomobiki was a lot like the ships in the video game Defender, which did something similar.

Urusei Yatsura: Only You

The story itself provided a nice vehicle to have Ataru be lecherous with purpose, but also express his feelings for Lum on more than one occasion.  The tricky part was how to do all this while ending things with the status quo restored. After all, the entire premise of Urusei Yatsura is that Ataru has Lum, doesn’t want anyone else to have her, but doesn’t want to be tied down to her as he wants to have the ultimate harem.

Urusei Yatsura: Only You

Another positive for the movie is that Ten-chan had a limited role, thus couldn’t get very annoying. Cherry only scored a limited cameo appearance early on, so not having his annoying mug around helped greatly. Plus, at this time, there was no Ryuunosuke nor Fujinami-san (at least, I don’t think they’d been introduced yet), so no Fujinami is good times indeed.

Urusei Yatsura: Only You

Personally, I could have done without the two musical interludes that were inserted into the movie. All those do is bring things to a screeching halt. Granted, these songs were probably put in so that sales of the movie’s soundtrack would be improved, but otherwise, they serve no real purpose, IMO.

Urusei Yatsura: Only You

In the end, I found I really enjoyed this first Urusei Yatsura movie in a way I never enjoyed any of the TV episodes nor the OVA’s. This was due to the size and scope of the movie, allowing the writers to productively get elements fans expected from the franchise into the movie, but keeping the annoying stuff to an absolute minimum.  I’m hoping the next movie does more of the same.

Urusei Yatsura: Only You
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8 Responses to “Urusei Yatsura: Only You (Movie)”

  1. Kiddo626 says:

    I thought this movie was okay. It was nice seeing old characters again who had pretty much disappeared as the series progressed. *coughKuramacough* Thought Ataru was a bit more of a jerk to Lum than he normally was, though that can be blamed on it still being early on in the series. Besides, he made up for it later on, anyway, so it’s all good. ^_^ Did you happen to catch the reference to The Graduate, by any chance? 😛

    As for Movie 2, well… I personally loved it, but I think you’re probably going to struggle with it. It’s light on the laughs, and it’s got the surreal stuff. But it’s actually got a pretty solid story that I found very thought-provoking, so hopefully, that’ll be a bonus for you. This was basically Oshii’s swan song before he left the UY franchise for good, and this movie has a lot of the touches that you’d see in future Oshii movies (the nature of dreams, etc.). IMO, Movie 2 is to this franchise what Hayao Miyazaki’s “Castle of Cagliostro” is to the Lupin III franchise: Completely different in tone to the rest of the series (and a springboard for some of the more prolific directors of our time) but enjoyable in their own rights. I really hope you enjoy it! 🙂

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      > It was nice seeing old characters again who had pretty much disappeared as the series progressed. *coughKuramacough*

      *lol* Yeah, she did get dumped after a time. She didn’t have a great role in this movie, but it was important.

      Not sure when I’ll get to Movie 2, but sometime.

  2. O-chan says:

    I think Kiddo626 pretty much covered everything I was going to say about Movie 2, having rewatched Patlabor 2 two yesterday it’s amazing how Oshii loved to have characters sitting around questioning ethics, philosophy, and the meaning of existence.

    I want to make you aware that every movie in the Urusei Yatsura franchise is a different can of worms and each one stands on it’s own. The thing I like about Movie 1 is it accidently acts as a bookend with Movie 5. In many ways both movies have a similar plot and character dynamics with Movie 5 representing a spirit closer to the later TV series/early OAVs.

    Dealing with this movie it’s actually one of my definitive anime movies of the 80’s (Beautiful Dreamer, is an acquired taste). This movie is the definitive Urusei Yatsura theatrical experience because I think the movie was a good marriage of the manga elements and the TV elements. Even though Oshii directed this and the second movie he kind of went rogue with Movie 2 by excluding Takahashi as a consultant (he says as much in the DVD commentary) which here Takahashi was closely involved. I actually have a booklet that was handed out in Japanese theaters and it has a few Takahashi orignal art pieces in relation to the movie.

  3. O-chan says:

    Oh thank goodness!!! You are NOT watching movie 6 last, that movie was like a slap in the face to everything Movie 5 did. It made the early episodes of the TV series look like Shakespeare.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I also thought this was the definitive UY movie. Virtually everything that makes UY, UY, with a large scope to take advantage of the unique universe. Also, the romance and humor elements were well balanced in a way that few of the other movies and OVAs can even compare.

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