Urusei Yatsura: The Final Chapter (Movie) Review

Urusei Yatsura – Kanketsuhen Movie Review
うる星やつら 完結編

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Lum awakes in class from a nightmare, accidentally electrocuting Onsen-sensei. After class, Lum tries telling the dream to Ataru, who’s not really interested in anything but the girl hunt. Sakura-sensei and Cherry both detect bad omens. They inform Ataru of this, inviting him to the local shrine where Sakura-sensei shows Lum about to be enveloped in darkness. Ataru is warned not to let this happen. Meanwhile, Lum gets word from her parents about her great grandfather, who’s recently been discovered in storage in a cold sleep tube, so she returns to Planet Oni for a visit. The senile old man is shocked and distressed to learn that his great grandchild is a girl.

On cue, an old man in black, Arab garb arrives, revealing that Lum’s has been promised to him as a wife by her great grandfather 120 years ago. She rejects this, but the old man says that she’s now to be given to his great grandson. Lum returns to Earth, but one day at school, the great grandson, Rupa, arrives in a chariot, pulled by flying pigs. He manages to get an engagement ring on Lum’s finger, which won’t come off, then departs, having caused considerable structure damage to the school. Rupa’s great grandfather explains to him that the ring contains mushrooms that will cause Lum to rapidly mature enough so that she loses her horns and enters adulthood, thus losing her powers for a time.

The next day, Ataru is jealous about the ring and provokes an attack by Lum. She discovers Rupa hiding nearby and fries him, but her horns fall out and he’s able to knock her out and kidnap her, taking time to show his prize to Ataru before he leaves. Ataru gathers his entire collection of girls’ names and telephone numbers and offers it to Shuutaro in exchange for a space shuttle. He doesn’t have one, but fortunately for Ataru, Benten and Oyuki arrive on Benten’s flying sled-bike. They drive over to Ran’s parked UFO, where they interrupt Ran and Rei in order to commandeer the space craft, much to Ran’s irritation.

With Shuutaro also on board, Oyuki warps them out, but they have a collision with another ship as they try to go to the dark dimension. They emerge on the dark planet in a lake with the smaller UFO lodged in Ran’s. Lum realizes that a rescue party has come, but her escape attempt with Ten-chan fails. There’s a hurry to get Lum married to Rupa since it is discovered that “Carla-sama” has returned. Carla finds Ataru, who was the only one to escape capture, and has him sign a marriage license as part of her ruse to get close to the church. Ataru gladly does so, but when the couple approach the church, Carla is recognized by Rupa’s troops.

Inside the church, Lum is protesting getting married when Carla arrives and starts attacking. Rupa’s great grandfather produces a clone of Lum, locking the real Lum away. The clone claims to love Rupa, causing Ataru to get angry. Rupa has negative words for Carla, causing her to give chase to Ataru and Rupa, who flee for their lives. The real Lum escapes, but during the chaos, she ends up falling off of the roof of the church tower. Lum dives after her, but as they fall, they argue. Lum gets angry and grows new horns, restoring her power and preventing them from getting hurt. Lum decides to remain behind while Ataru decides to leave with Benten and the others despite attempts to get the couple to reconcile.

On Earth, Sakura, Cherry, Shinobu, and Inaba discover that Lum is about to be swallowed in darkness and that the Earth will also be swallowed in ten days time. The group gathers at Ataru’s home, along with Carla, who tells of her childhood with Rupa and how the arranged marriage between Rupa and Lum irritated her. As the group eats nabe, some mushrooms from Carla are accidentally put in the nabe, causing them to have explosive, rapid growth. They are giant mushrooms that will overtake the planet in ten days. A reluctant Carla calls Rupa, who has a solution. Lum puts a price on the help – he has to say he loves her. Ataru refuses, so Lum hangs up on the video call.

Rupa demonstrates that his offer of help is genuine by sending a swarm of flying pigs in, who consume a few of the giant mushrooms. Lum challenges Ataru to a tag race, similar to their first encounter, where he has ten days to grab her horns or say he loves her. Rupa and Lum arrive on Earth and the contest begins. Lum refuses to fall for Ataru’s tricks and Ataru has no way of ever touching Lum. However, he refuses to say he loves her. Meanwhile, the marriage agreement to have Lum wed Rupa is voided, but when Lum’s father arrives on his space cruiser, Lum decides to up the ante and have everyone’s memories erased at the end of the ten day period if Ataru doesn’t say he loves her.

Ataru refuses to give into blackmail, and as he holds onto Lum’s old horns, he vows to never forget. Benten is also not happy with Lum’s tactics and says she’ll end their friendship if Lum proceeds with the plan. However, Benten accidentally activates the memory erasure device.  As such, Shuutaro and others scramble to shut down the device, but with no success. Meanwhile, Rupa and Carla manage to make amends as Rupa proposes marriage to Carla, who happily accepts. Despite everything, Ataru still refuses to give into blackmail and keeps promising himself that he won’t forget.

As the tenth day winds down, and exhausted Ataru continues to try to grab Lum’s horns. Lum is so desperate for him to say he loves her, even if it is a lie, but he won’t. Ataru stumbles around and falls. Getting back up, he recalls his life with Lum and tries to grab her again. When next he falls, he loses the horns. When Lum sees that Ataru had been holding her old horns all this time, she gives up and helps Ataru grab her by the horns on her head, thus Ataru wins. Rupa has his hoards of pigs come in to clear out the mushrooms and leaves with Carla. Lum and Ataru are beset by angry townsfolk, who aren’t happy Ataru skated out of saying he loves Lum. The two flee, Lum vowing she’ll get Ataru to say he loves her and Ataru vowing he won’t say it until his death bed.

Thoughts/Review:

And so, the final Urusei Yatsura anime title has been watched by me. Fortunately, this movie made for a good end to the franchise, and explains why folks disliked the sixth movie so much.

The production team decides to use the whacky relationship of Carla and Rupa to be framework with which to couch the look at Lum’s and Ataru’s whacky relationship. From there, the extras of things like comedy hijinks or character trademark actions happen.

The initial setup for the plot of this movie is an old one — some new character lays claim on Lum; Lum is taken from Ataru; Ataru isn’t going to let anyone have Lum, thus he sets out to get her back.

The difference this time out is that Ataru gets fooled by a Lum clone, but despite learning the truth, neither he nor Lum are willing to get off of their high horses.

For Ataru, it has always been a laugh (in a non-funny way) for Ataru to accuse Lum of cheating on him. After all, Ataru looks at girl after girl, often in front of Lum’s nose, all with the very real intent of playing around on Lum.  As such, his playing the part of the wounded party just makes my skin craw.

On the other hand, Lum’s own desires to have Ataru say he loves her, even if it is a lie, reeks of serious desperation. Again, Lum resorts to tricks to try to get what she wants from Ataru.

That being said, Ataru comes out a bit better in this movie outing than one might expect. I loved that the writers found a way for Ataru to never actually say the words Lum wanted to hear, yet express his love in various another ways, such as offering his entire girl collection to Shuutaro, trying to rescue her from the dark planet, or in the form of him holding onto her shed horns and vowing never to forget.  Ataru understands that he can’t say the words Lum wants to hear under the present circumstances because Lum would never know if he was lying or telling the truth.

I liked that the story went back to the beginning and had Ataru again faced with the task of chasing Lum (or telling her he loved her). This gave the series a feeling of closure as the circle is now complete.

(As an aside, I liked the flashback sequences where Ataru remembered times with Lum. It appeared to me that these scenes were redrawn and reanimated from scratch rather than simply use the old TV footage, which was a plus.)

What the writers couldn’t get Lum and Ataru to do, they accomplish via Rupa and Carla, who have a similar, tumultuous relationship where the woman is overbearing and the guy cares, but needs his space. As such, Rupa proposes to Carla rather than Ataru proposing to Lum.

There’s a decent amount of fun and humor to go along with everything else, including using old gags such as Ten-chan’s breath attacks being manually manipulated to target opponents.  These moments helped to keep the story from getting too deep or frustrating, especially after Lum and Ataru copped their attitudes.

In the end, this fifth movie is a good way to end the franchise. While it won’t provide the resolution to the romance between Ataru and Lum, it does show how they do care for each other in spite of their fights and such. Add to this the normal hijinks and fun the franchise was known for and you have a winner.

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4 Responses to “Urusei Yatsura: The Final Chapter (Movie) Review”

  1. Anonymous says:

    It’s been a long time, but I’m pretty sure this movie is the one that used the manga ending. I liked it too.

  2. O-chan says:

    Well I’m glad that you liked the final movie. I also felt the movie did a full circle with the movie franchise by essentially doing a role reversal with Ataru and Lum (in the first movie it was Ataru who was “engaged” to alien since childhood, taken to her planet, while Lum had to “rescue” him).

    There was a scene in the manga where Inaba told Shinobu all the Time Space Doors started producing black doorknobs leading to pitch black rooms, but since this movie was animated right after the Inaba OAV they used it to reintroduce the character into the anime.

    Finally, while pretty much recreating the manga I felt the anime team did a much better job with Ataru’s “I Won’t Forget” moment by adding the flashbacks, and placing Lum and Ataru on Tomobiki High’s roof (in the manga they were in the street). It really gave the scene that extra “ompf” of poignance. The composer did an excellent job conveying the sense of melancholy and drama in the BGM, much like how Movie 2 music really carried the creepy and mysterious atmosphere of the film.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Yeah, it was a good movie and as you said, the flashbacks were a very nice touch, more so since they were redone specifically for the movie rather than just reuse TV footage.

      In some ways, I’m sad the franchise is over for me now.

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