Urusei Yatsura (TV)
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Rumiko Takahashi first TV series. Airing from October 14, 1981 to 1986, in total the animated UY had produced 197 TV episodes and has been known as one of the most influential animated television comedies.
The title is a pun. First, the word "urusei" is pronounced "urusai," which is Japanese for "loud or obnoxious.", and Rumiko Takahashi, the series creator, writes it with a different meaning. For the "sei" portion of "urusei," she uses the kanji "hoshi," which has an alternate reading of "sei," and which is how it is read in this case. This kanji means "star" or "planet," and thus gives the phrase its alien significance, or a bunch of Obnoxious Aliens (The title for the dubbed verison of TV Series 1)
Lum was probably named for the voluptuous 1970s Sino-American bikini model Agnes Lum. Another possible source for the name could be series creator Rumiko Takahashi, who gave herself the nickname "Rum" (or "Lum") in childhood.
Lum's ex-boyfriend Rei transforms into a giant tiger-striped cow who strikingly resembles the Toho kaiju Baragon from Frankenstein Conquers the World, Destroy All Monsters, and Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack.
The first season's episodes almost always were two self-contained fifteen-minute stories in one episode.
Ataru Moroboshi's name literally means "to be struck by a falling star" i.e. someone so unlucky that if there's a one-in-a-million chance of having a calamity strike, he'll be the one to get it. This is alluded to in the second "eyecatch" commercial bumper used, where Ataru is hit ont he head by the "hoshi" kanji in the "Urusei Yatsura" name.
When spoken out loud, Cherry's real name, Sakuranbo, sounds just like the Japanese word for "cherry". However, when reading the kanji used to spell his name, the meaning can be interpreted as "Demented Monk"; a very fitting description, indeed.
Was, for its time, one of the most popular anime shows in Japan. It even succeeded in forcing "Captain Harlock: Endless Oddessy SSX" (the spin off to "Arcadia of My Youth") off of the air for lack of viewers in its time slot.
The "Dappya Monsters" who appeared in many episodes were not actually intended to be cast members of Urusei Yatsura, but instead are a complex in-joke started by Takahashi in the manga and carried over into the TV series. They were the alien invaders in Takahashi's first work, "Kattena Yatsura!" ("Those Selfish Bastards!") a manga story that got Takahashi her contract with Shogakukan, where she started work on Urusei Yatsura.
Lum's manner of speaking ("uchi" meaning "I" and the ending "datcha") was copied by Rumiko Takahashi from the speech patterns of Japanese high school girls of the period. To a Japanese ear, Lum sounds a little like a "Valley girl".
Though the protagonist of the series is often thought to be Lum, Takahashi has stated that she had always meant for it to be Ataru.
Ran's outfit in the Opening Rock the Planet is based on Maris from Rumiko Takahashi's "Maris the Chojo".
Princess Kurama's race is based upon the Tengu. Most of her servants are of the bird-faced variety and not the long nosed kind. Kurama herself doesn't look much like the tengu of legend except for her hair looking like crow wings and carrying a giant leaf that controls the wind.
Benten comes from a race where the people are modelled after the Shichi Fukujin, only with a bike gang motif. The Shichi Fukujin were a group of seven Japanese Shinto gods of luck. They are often portrayed in a ship of treasures, called Takara-Bune. The Shichi Fujukin ("seven happiness beings") are: Benten, Bishamon, Daikoku, Ebisu, Fukurokuju, Hotei, and Jurojin. At Sanganichi, the Japanese New Year, people pray to them after cleaning their houses thoroughly.
Benten was based on the Japanese goddess of love, eloquence, wisdom, the arts, music, knowledge, good fortune and water. She is the patroness of geishas, dancers, and musicians. Originally she was a sea goddess or water goddess, on whose image many local deities near lakes were based. Later she became a goddess of the rich and was added to the Shichi Fukujin. The island of Enoshima rose up especially to receive her footsteps. Benten is portrayed as a beautiful woman, riding a dragon while playing on a stringed instrument. She has eight arms and in her hands she holds a sword, a jewel, a bow, an arrow, a wheel, and a key. Her remaining two hands are joined in prayer. It is often related that when a dragon devoured many children, she descended to earth to stop his evil work.Urusei Yatsura's Benten does share a few traits with the goddess Benten, but overall part of the joke of her character is that she's not at all wise, elegant or artistic like the figure she's based on. Rather she's as tomboyish and violent as they come.
When taking apart Oyuki's name: Yuki means snow and the O as a prefix is an honorific character which is one way of adding a level of politeness when referring to a certain word. Oyuki means "honourable snow." Oyuki isn't an uncommon name in Japan and it fits her perfectly.
Oyuki is based on the Japanese yokai Yuki-Onna or Snow Woman.
Ran's name has two meanings, both of which are suited to her warped personality. One meaning can be taken as "orchid," the other as "civil war."
Takahashi has claimed that the character of Ran was loosely based upon gaki. Gaki are ghosts tormented by a ravenous hunger for the lifeforce of humans. They only appear at night, usually as small clouds of black smoke or balls of cool fire. They can use shapeshifting to assume a human form, though it will rarely be the form the gaki had in life. They may also show a monstrous visage to frighten their victims. In Zen monasteries it is customary to make a small food offering to the gaki before beginning to eat a meal. Like a gaki, Ran seems to change from a pleasing visage to a scary one continually. When her frightening side shows she seems almost demonic with fangs and pointy ears. At moments like these, the way her hair even moves like a nebulous cloud is related to the idea of a gaki's insubstantial form. Also her rather vampiric power to suck the youth and vitality out of people is similar to the way gaki are said to feed on humans.
Ten's little friend Kintaro is based upon the Japanese childen's story hero of the same name. Apart from the fact that he comes from space, Urusei Yatsura's Kintaro looks exactly like he's described in stories. The Kintaro of storybooks is also referenced many other times throughout Urusei Yatsura. Especially with Shinobu who has a similar hairstyle and has his superhuman strength.
The series takes place in the fictional town of Tomobiki-cho or Tomobiki town. The word Tomobiki is based on the Japanese weekday used in an old complex calender system that was used in Japan until the beginning of the 19th century. A month had 28 days then. A month also had 5 weeks, and a week had 6 days. The six days included Taian, Butsumetsu, Senpu, Tomobiki, Shakko, and Sensho. They are called Rokuyo. According to the old lunar calendar, there the day which comes around on the fourth of every sixth day is called Tomobiki (or "taking along friends"). Few if any funerals are held on this particular day in Japan, for a funeral service observed on the Tomobiki-day will soon be followed by another funeral in the same family (bringing friends along as the name of the day implies). If a funeral must be observed on this day, a doll is put in the coffin, so that it will take the place of the one whom death would otherwise claim. Tomobiki itself is not considered an unlucky day, but it can be. If you have good fortune, your friends may have good fortune too. But if you are one who brings his bad luck along with you, on this day it is thought that the very same bad luck will visit with the people around you.
Although her uncle is a buddhist monk, Sakura is a Shinto miko. Miko are Japanese shrine maidens, priestess, holy women, etc. The title has many different translations. They are Shinto in origin and care for the daily upkeep of temples, purifying, exorcisms and the like. These days many young girls are hired on at temples as miko, regardless of any spiritual inclination. They often help sale trinkets in the temple gift shops. They are known for their white tops and red hakama. Sakura uses her formidable spiritual powers to exoricise demons and any other nasty creatures that haunt Tomobiki.
In episode 1, Ataru's task to grab Lum by the horns comes from a folk belief that if you can catch an oni by the horns, he (or she) is obligated to grant you a wish. Therefore by Ataru shouting "I can get married" while holding Lum's horns, he is inadvertently making a wish. And of course, Lum misinterprets just whom Ataru wants to marry...
In episode 4, in the first segment, the logo on the shirts of the spaceman are similar to the ones the 80’s LEGO spacemen had on.
In episode 10, marks the first time an episode is presented with one singular plot instead of two separate installments.
In episode 11, the plot is a parody of The Tale of Genji. The humble guide is in fact Murasaki Shikibu, the author of the story.
In episode 16, the first segment is the first episode of the series that is not based on a pre existing manga chapter.
In Maison Ikkoku, there is a picture of Lum zapping Ataru from Urusei Yatsura in episode 31. It was in a magazine that Kyoko was reading.
In episode 31, Kyoko from "Maison Ikkoku" appears on the cover of a book.
In episode 32, C-3PO, Gamera, Godzilla, Manda from "Atragon", Monkey from "Songoku: The Road to the West", Spock, Superman, Tiger Mask, Ultraman, & Yoda make cameos in the library.
In episode 36, near the end before Rei departs from the class, some of the students can be seen with the appearances of Rumiko Takahashi and the characters of Wasted Minds(Dust Spot).
In episode 37, Kamen Rider 1, Kamen Rider 2, & Tiger Mask can be seen dancing at the party.
In episode 43, the animation style associated with the boxing is reminiscent of the anime "Ashita no Joe".
In episode 44, Ten was seen reading a Maison Ikkoku manga.
In episode 46, posters of short stories by Rumiko Takahasi Maris the Chojo, Wasted Minds, & War Council can be seen when Ataru and Lum separate from Megane.
In episode 46, a Maison Ikkoku Magazine can be seen in the Tobacco place Perm entered. While Mr. Otonashi and Ikuko from the same series make cameos.
In episode 57, Ataru's mom was wearing a Piyo Piyo apron from Maison Ikkoku. While Mr. Invader was seen reading the second volume of Maison Ikkoku manga.
In episode 61, the quote "Heroes are supposed to come and go like the wind" is a pun based on the lyrics to the Moonlight Mask TV series.
The opening narration in episode 62 is a parody of the opening narration of Yamato.
In episode 64, Soichiro, Kyoko Otonashi, Yusaku Godai, & Yotsuya from Maison Ikkoku appear on the chart.
There are many references to "Maison Ikkoku" in many epidodes during the series - in episode 65 - Ran-chan no deeto daisakusen - "Date: impossible for Ran" - in 20:03min to 20:26min there's a couple in close up which character design is very similar to Yotsuya-san and Akemi-san.
In episode 66, the movie Lum sees at the theater, "Laughing Target" was a short story by Rumiko Takahashi.
In episode 68, when Ryuu and her father were fighting and making blurry bionic movements just like Cyborg 009.
In episode 72, paid homage to Cyborg 009 by turning Lum, Mendo, Shinobu, Perm and Ryuunosuke into a cyborg super team with similar powers.
In episode 81, Kyoko, Akemi, Ichinose & Kozue from Maison Ikkoku appear in the photograph.
In episode 99, Wendy from “All Quiet at the Library!“ episode makes a cameo on the Wendy’s restaurant logo.
In episode 99, one of the fast-food fighters is named Crepe Mami a reference to Creamy Mami.
In episode 108, Kyoko & Ichinose from Maison Ikkoku make cameos as bystanders.
In episode 111, a magazine featuring a risqué full body shot of Kyoko from Maison Ikkoku was seen next to Ataru's pillow.
In episode 128, Yotsuya & Ichinose from Maison Ikkoku make a cameo as bystanders.
In episode 129, When each of the Three Girls Gang prepare to use their Sure Death Techniques, a Space Sherif from the Metal Hero Series appears: Uchū Keiji Sharivan when Sugar uses her Invisibility Technique. Uchū Keiji Gavan when Ginger uses her Fake Death Technique. Uchū Keiji Shaider when Pepper uses her Shed Skin Technique.
In episode 129, Rei can be seen on the TV at the beginning of the episode.
In episode 129, Kurama can be seen on the streets after Lum destroys it.
In episode 131, Akemi, Yotsuya & Ichinose make cameos as high school students.
In episode 134, Akemi from Maison Ikkoku can be seen on the cover of a magazine.
In episode 135, a mermaid and a lost soul from Rumiko Takahashi's Mermaid Saga make a cameo.
In episode 135, Kattena Yatsura makes a cameo in the crowd.
In episode 135, a sign advertising Rumiko Takahashi's face Pack can be seen.
In episode 135, Maris the Chojo makes a cameo at the park.
In episode 137, Kyoko, Godai & Yagami from Maison Ikkoku make cameos as high school students.
In episode 142, Mr. Otonashi, Hanae Ichinose, Yotsuya, Nozomu Nikaido & two characters resembling Mrs. Nikaido and Soichiro from Maison Ikkoku make cameos.
In episode 145, Ichinose & Kyoko from Maison Ikkoku can be seen as bystanders carrying tennis equipment.
In episode 157 “I Love Darling's Sincerity” you can see Akemi Roppongi and Hanae Ichinose from Maison Ikkoku in the theater audience and Mrs. Ichinose again at the amusement park.
In episode 158 , you can see Ken from Hokuto no Ken in the classroom, and on the road Lupin and Jigen in the car from Castle of Cagliostro.
In episode 158, Kenshiro from "Fist of the North Star" appears as one of the students.
In episode 158, Lupin & Jigen are seen in a Fiat 500 on the highway.
In episode 158, Lupin is seen wearing a pink jacket as a reference to "Lupin III: Part 3".
In episode 158, An Ultraman mask can be seen at a mask stand.
In episode 158, one of the robots from "Lupin III: Part 2" episode 155 "Farewell My Beloved Lupin" can be seen on the highway.
In episode 158, the man in the red shorts being crucified on a cross is a caricature of Mamoru Oshii.
Ryunosuke's dad was reading a Maris the Chojo manga on the boat in episode 159.
In episode 159, Kei and Yuri from Dirty Pair can be seen at the beach.
In episode 161, when Ataru thumps the miniaturized Lum off his head, she ends up in front of a movie poster for "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind." Just prior to this, Ataru was reading a magazine article on the movie "Ladyhawke" and the 1984 horror movie "Razorback."
In episode 162, the anime movie "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" is parodied with references to the "Eight Days of Fire" (Seven Days of Fire in the movie); Lum flies a mehve, complete with breathing mask; Shuutaro's tanks charge like the Ohmu do at the end of the movie; Megane is lifted up by magnetic tapes in a similar manner to what the Ohmu did to Nausicaä in the anime; and a plant is show growing in the sand at the end of the episode, mimicking the movie's ending. Also parodied in this episode is the live-action movie "Daimajin."
In episode 184, Mr. Otonashi, Kyoko, & Godai from Maison Ikkoku make cameos.
In episode 187 (14'10), there are a poster of Minky Momo on the wall.
In episode 195, Cyborg 009, King Ghidorah, Kyoko Otonashi from "Maison Ikkoku", Moguera from "The Mysterians", Moonlight Mask, Mothra, & Ralph Hinkley from "The Greatest American Hero" make cameos.
In episode 195, a Godzilla with pants model kit was shown.
Amaterasu in episode 195, was the Japanese Shinto sun goddess, ruler of the Plain of Heaven, whose name means 'shining heaven' or 'she who shines in the heavens'. She is the central figure in the Shinto pantheon and the Japanese Imperial family claims descent from her. She is the eldest daughter of Izanagi. She was so bright and radiant that her parents sent her up the Celestial Ladder to heaven, where she has ruled ever since. When her brother, the storm-god Susanowo, ravaged the earth she retreated to a cave because he was so noisy. She closed the cave with a large boulder. Her disappearance deprived the world of light and life. Demons ruled the earth. The other gods used everything in their power to lure her out, but to no avail. Finally it was Uzume who succeeded. The laughter of the gods when they watched her comical and obscene dances aroused Amaterasu's curiosity. When she emerged from her cave a streak of light escaped (a streak nowadays people call dawn). The goddess then saw her own brilliant reflection in a mirror which Uzume had hung in a nearby tree. When she drew closer for a better look, the gods grabbed her and pulled her out of the cave. She returned to the sky, and brought light back into the world. Later, she created rice fields, called inada, where she cultivated rice. She also invented the art of weaving with the loom and taught the people how to cultivate wheat and silkworms. Amaterasu's main sanctuary is Ise-Jingue situated on Ise, on the island of Honshu. This temple is pulled down every twenty years and then rebuild in its original form. In the inner sanctum she is represented by a mirror (her body). She is also called Omikami ("illustrious goddess") and Tensho Daijan (in Sino-Japanese pronunciation).
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