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EP. REVIEW: Urusei Yatsura


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Artemis X



Joined: 03 Feb 2017
Posts: 67
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2022 2:46 pm Reply with quote
Urusei Yatsura was not only responsible for basically pioneering the romcom genre of manga/anime, it also was the first show to have what would be known as the more conventional Female character models with the overly extravagant features which gave females more of a cute facial expression that we see in anime many generations later and still today. If you look at anything before it, female characters specifically looked kind of more cartoony there without as much glamor and less proportianate. Also I guess you can say the color was more vibrant as opposed to many 70's anime that was more monochrome.

So yeah, this show is pretty instrumental for laying the foundation for what would be known as the most popular genre in anime which is slice of life rom/com's and specifically Takahashi’s Distinct style would be used for generations to come.
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TheSleepyMonkey



Joined: 11 Jul 2022
Posts: 138
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2022 2:49 pm Reply with quote
Only thing I didn't inherently like that much about the premiere was that the pacing felt way too fast. But the episode as a whole was a fun, and I specially like the visuals.
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Moonsaber



Joined: 16 Jan 2007
Posts: 335
Location: USA
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2022 2:55 pm Reply with quote
UY wears thin on me after more than 25 years since I first saw it, but I could not help watching this gorgeous new adaption with a big smile on my face.

Don't expect the story to wow you, but I will probably be watching this just for the updated visuals and waxing nostalgic.

By the way MrAJ... Jettisoned is probably not the word you wanted there. That is something useless that is discarded.
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ZelosZoidberg



Joined: 23 May 2018
Posts: 444
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2022 3:11 pm Reply with quote
Ok/average premiere. One change I'm mixed on is how Lum's top comes off. On the one hand it's less silly using a suction dart gun to get it off on purpose but on the other hand it's somewhat worse having Ataru groping it off by accident.

I will say I'm loving the use of color here because it just pops on my OLED TV. That's the one improvement I will say that will make it hard going back to the original series when Discotek releases it.
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MFrontier



Joined: 13 Apr 2014
Posts: 6173
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2022 4:04 pm Reply with quote
It's very rare we get a remake of a classic 80's Harem romcom manga with such top tier production values, but it definitely sets the stage for a spectacular return of Urusei Yatsura.

The top tier animation, the memorable OP and ED, an amazing cast of seiyuu who capture the characters while still honoring what came before...it's a feast for the eyes. And I like how it still carries the same style of humor for a modern day audience.

They even brought back OG!Ataru for his dad!
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thepepin



Joined: 22 Jun 2022
Posts: 67
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2022 5:06 pm Reply with quote
I wonder if a lot of this show was period-specific and culture-specific. That may help explaining the Lum and Ataru stuff.

Lum is (kind of) easy: Takahashi did originally intend for her to be the villain(ess) but changed midstream due to her popularity. You might say "all she wanted was to marry the guy so how could she be a villain" ... well the answer is that her romantic affections were unrequited and her advances were unwanted. I am going to go ahead and propose that this would be much easier to wrap one's head around were the sexes reversed: Lum is a violent a stalking harasser. Yes, I am aware that this show was made in an era where sexual harassment and stalking were acceptable, and Ataru's behavior made him an unsympathetic victim. But in that same context, female villains were usually so because of their effects on relationships and male behavior and were more likely to be homewreckers, temptresses, seductresses etc. than motivated by power, money or revenge like male villains. In this sense, Lum was the villain for coming in between Ataru and Shinobu, which hindered Shinobu's efforts to make Ataru give up his lechery (childishness) and become a respectable responsible adult (which Ataru was willing to go along with, and yes at the time was considered one of the roles of a proper wife).

And a proper wife Lum could never be. Why? The sci-fi elements of the show obscured this, but Lum is an oni. Japanese mythology is replete with tales of oni who attempt to join human society but are betrayed by their fundamental nature, which they cannot control no matter how hard they try. Oni aren't necessarily "evil" but represent powerful, chaotic forces of nature. Her proper name is "Lum Invader" which was less a reference to an alien race attempting to colonize earth but more to her entering Ataru's life and disrupting his desires to have a stable life with Shinobu by injecting chaos. Now decades of western media has us viewing this as a good thing - the manic pixie dream girl comes along and rescues the straitlaced repressed guy from unhappy boring suburban monogamy - but early 1980s Japan saw things very differently. So even though Lum "only wanted to be a good wife to Ataru" 1. irrelevant because it was not what Ataru wanted and 2. even more irrelevant because of the harm that would have been done to Shinobu and 3. impossible because as an oni she was incapable of being a good wife to Ataru anyway and most of all 4. even when all of these things were repeatedly explained to her she continued her pursuit of Ataru anyway despite reason, propriety and morality dictating that she end it. Not because of "true love" but because she is an oni, and due to her nature cannot help but behave in a way that is contrary to to how humans "should" behave. She is a fantasy to Ataru - from her giving herself to him almost unconditionally to her "lively" behavior and even her bikini outfit she is the opposite of the more conservative, traditional and demanding Shinobu - but not one that a childish male who needs to graduate from school, get married, become gainfully employed and become a productive upstanding member of society needs.

That being said, Ataru is even more of a villain than Lum. Lum is an oni, so she cannot control herself or change no matter what she does. Ataru is human. Yes, he is a victim of a lot of misfortune that is beyond his control, but he is still fully capable of controlling his own behavior and ultimately character. If anything the misfortune that he cannot control should motivate him to be a better person: he would be viewed more sympathetically when bad things happen to him and he also wouldn't add to his own problems. But due to his immaturity - and other character problems - he doesn't do this.

I understand how calling them villains gives people pause because neither of them have bad intentions. But Ataru and Lum are examples how people should be judged by their actions - and the effects those actions have on others - instead of their intentions. Ataru in particular by the choices that he makes as opposed to viewing him as merely a victim of the bad things - which includes Lum - that happens to him.
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DRosencraft



Joined: 27 Apr 2010
Posts: 591
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2022 5:58 pm Reply with quote
Never saw the original series, so in that sense I came into episode 1 blind. I know of the series basically as this anime chick in leopard print with oni horns that used to show up in my image torrent searches being cosplayed by other anime chicks all the time. Knew the series was a romcom, but that was about it.

Having seen the first episode now, I am curious as to what the rest of the series has in store, not in the sense that I loved it and I'm eager to see more, but in the sense of why this got a reboot, and if they will do anything to make it better, because elsewise I would have probably be ready to drop it after ep 2 or 3 based on the track episode 1 has taken.

Yes, it is quick. Again, not knowing the original series, or even less so whatever manga it's based on. But that isn't a deal breaker if that speed can be maintained, the eventual slowdown is gradual, or the whole experience is entertaining nonetheless.

But for me it all just felt too "old". I imagine that for those who are familiar with the original that's pure nostalgia, and that is too fine in of itself. But from a broader perspective nothing in the episode seems unique to the genre, or even missed from the era. The art style isn't my cup of tea, but that's also fine I believe. But the story just feels "old" in the way worn out shoes feel "old."

Ataru is more dense than most harem romcom MCs, his only saving grace being that he's already all but confessed to his girl. But she in turn is super dense and seems to lack any real agency except to throw herself at Ataru in a far more conservative manner than modern anime takes that term, then appears to have zero ability to see anything that Lum is doing despite absolutely no effort for it to be hidden from her. If anything, Shinobu is the more extreme version of the often maligned trope of a decade plus ago where the romantic interest gets mad at the guy for seemingly no reason left and right. And Lum herself is the sort of loud, pushy, abrasive sort of love interest that fans seemingly excoriate constantly in other modern series like A Couple of Cuckoos, or Rent-A-Girlfriend.

This may all come across as harsh I suppose, but it's not to say the show is out and out terrible. It's just... I don't get the appeal outside of absolute pure nostalgia for something that may have been relatively unique in its original time, but now is incredibly common to the point it almost feels to me like this remake only exists to highlight how far (or little) modern anime has advanced.
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BadNewsBlues



Joined: 21 Sep 2014
Posts: 5158
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2022 6:14 pm Reply with quote
Damn I knew the manga was old but not that old.
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MFrontier



Joined: 13 Apr 2014
Posts: 6173
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2022 6:19 pm Reply with quote
@DRosencraft

I don't think Ataru and Shinobu are dense so much as prone to misunderstandings.

And it's not like Shinobu doesn't have reason to be ticked at Ataru. She tried to give him a "last chance" and then immediately looked at another woman right in front of her.
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Angel M Cazares
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Joined: 23 Sep 2010
Posts: 5099
Location: Iscandar
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2022 8:02 pm Reply with quote
The first episode was solid, but I miss the charm of the old show. I am planning to watch this new adaptation in large part to support Sentai/HIDIVE.
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Sven Viking



Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 998
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2022 10:58 pm Reply with quote
Views may have changed but Lum and Ataru’s behaviour wasn’t intended to be viewed as “acceptable” from the beginning. Like Mr. Bean etc. their (semi-self-inflicted) misfortunes are intended to offset their semi-villainy enough to make them likeable characters.
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thecritter



Joined: 09 Nov 2003
Posts: 61
Location: Northwest GA
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2022 2:19 am Reply with quote
Visually and animation wise, this new version is beautiful. But it's still just as damn irritating as the old version. The ML is simply a scumbag, and Lum is just as big an irritating ass. The king is just as arrogant and self-righteous. I'll pass.
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danpmss



Joined: 30 May 2015
Posts: 706
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2022 9:32 am Reply with quote
TheSleepyMonkey wrote:
Only thing I didn't inherently like that much about the premiere was that the pacing felt way too fast. But the episode as a whole was a fun, and I specially like the visuals.


The first anime despite being being 195 episodes long was just as fast paced, they actually ended the whole dispute within the first 12 minutes too, just before the commercial break iirc

But overall, they both only adapted 2 chapters (80s-ch1&3, 2022-ch1&5) in total, it's more like the insanity of the manga was naturally like that from the start.

Then again, much before Haruhi made it cool, episode 2 of the first anime was already adapting chapter 63 and 82, completely out of order, then the next episodes went with chapter 6 and 7, then 80 and 81, then back to 4 and 36, AND ONLY THEN chapter 5 and 2, in that exact order lol.

One could be expecting the same mess from this 2022 reboot, which to be fair is more or less a positive considering how absurd the storyline can get as it already was.
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moozooh



Joined: 30 Sep 2022
Posts: 53
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2022 1:57 pm Reply with quote
thepepin wrote:
I wonder if a lot of this show was period-specific and culture-specific. That may help explaining the Lum and Ataru stuff.

Thank you for this post. It encapsulates a lot of the thoughts I had upon reading the first couple volumes of the manga and wondering how in the world could anyone like any of these characters.

That being said, since this is meant to be a best-of rather than a complete adaptation, and the care and gusto the JoJo team at davidpro is putting into its production is evident, I'm willing to give it a shot at convincing me. If anything, the visual aesthetic has been nothing short of eye-poppingly beautiful in a season with no lack of interesting-looking anime.

DRosencraft wrote:
But from a broader perspective nothing in the episode seems unique to the genre, or even missed from the era.

Having a legendary trend-setter work panned for not being unique to the trends it set is truly surreal.
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DRosencraft



Joined: 27 Apr 2010
Posts: 591
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2022 2:33 pm Reply with quote
moozooh wrote:

DRosencraft wrote:
But from a broader perspective nothing in the episode seems unique to the genre, or even missed from the era.

Having a legendary trend-setter work panned for not being unique to the trends it set is truly surreal.


That's my overall point. It may have established certain trends, but that was now something like 40 years ago, and many of those trends were either eschewed for not making for particularly good entertainment or are repeated in virtually all modern romcoms. My point isn't to demean the IP, but to note that hard hill to climb in what so far seems to be just a straight remake of the original series. If you're saying that it's got a timeless story that transcends and defines the genre, fine; as I noted, it's just one episode so far and I personally don't know much about where the story goes. But absent that it's a little like comparing the first car to a new car. Yeah, the first car has its place in reverential history for establishing what is common today, and some new cars aren't great or do what you want; doesn't mean too many folks want Mercedes to remake a Patent Motor for them to ride around in. Or to put it another way, how many want to see someone else recreate the Mona Lisa with modern acrylic paint versus seeing the actual Mona Lisa?

It is still just one episode. Remains to be seen what they do with the rest of the story, if they change any trajectories or tastefully refresh anything. For UY fans I'm sure it's nice to see their old favorite redone with updated visuals. But right now as someone who isn't part of that crowd, a crowd that I can't envision being terribly large this far out from the original's airing, it just feels very stale. Good enough to keep consuming, but not something to go out of your way to.
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