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 is a manga series by Rumiko Takahashi that was published in the Weekly Shōnen Sunday from 1978 to 1987. It was adapted into a TV anime series which aired on Fuji Televisionmarker affiliates from 1981 to 1986, lasting 195 episodes. The show is also known as Lum/Lamu, the Invader Girl, and, Those Obnoxious Aliens. The English translation of the manga, published by Viz Communications, was short-lived, and was divided into two series titled Lum and The Return of Lum, named after the female protagonist. The manga received the Shogakukan Manga Award in 1981. The series is considered an excellent source for references to Japanese culture and mythology.


The anime version spanned 6 films, 11 OVAs, and 195 half hour TV episodes (comprising 218 separate stories, as the first season's episodes consisted of two fifteen-minute segments), which originally premiered across Japanmarker on the terrestrial Fuji Televisionmarker network between 1981-1986, and was later aired across Japan by the anime satellite television network, Animax, who have also broadcast the series across its respective networks worldwide, including Southeast Asia, Hong Kongmarker, Taiwanmarker, South Asia and other regions. The series was also aired in Italymarker from 1983 on many local channels, in Francemarker from 1988 on TF1marker and later across the United Statesmarker on PBS, from 1998. AnimEigomarker is the North American distributor for all of these except the second movie Beautiful Dreamer, which is distributed by Central Park Media. There were also two episodes (four stories) translated and dubbed in the United Kingdommarker and shown as Lum the Invader Girl on BBC Choice shortly after its launch. Urusei Yatsura is set to make a return in 2010 for an OVA as part of a Rumiko Takahashi project called "It's a Rumic World" which will also feature revivals of Ranma and Inuyasha.

Title explanation

The original title is a Japanese pun, and roughly translates as "those obnoxious aliens". The word urusei is a crude way of saying urusai, which means "noisy" or "obnoxious", and is also a slang phrase for "shut up!" (As in, "You're being noisy, shut up!"). However, instead of the normal hiragana for sei ( ), the kanji for is used. Japanese names of other planets end in the suffix -sei (Mercury is Suisei, Venus is Kinsei, Mars is Kasei, Jupiter is Mokusei, Saturn is Dosei, Uranus is Tennōsei, Neptune is Kaiōsei, and Pluto is Meiōsei). The second word in the title, yatsura, is the plural form of , the low-respect pronoun for "the person over there" and carrying the connotation of a hooligan or jerk. Along with the pun, the title roughly translates as "A bunch of noisy Alien People". Oniboshi is the name of the planet from which Lum, Ran, Benten and the other alien characters originate (according to the manga), although it is sometimes (mistakenly) referred to as Uru as well.

AnimEigo did in fact release a few episodes in English-dubbed form under the title Those Obnoxious Aliens, but the dubbed VHS tapes sold poorly and production of the dubbed version was aborted after only two episodes. Aside from this release and several of the movies which feature a different English voice cast from Those Obnoxious Aliens, the series is only available in English in the United States in subtitled form. Viz released part of the manga in the United States in 1989 under the titles Lum * Urusei Yatsura and The Return of Lum, but this release is now out of print.

Production

Takahashi said that she had been dreaming about the overall universe of Urusei Yatsura since she was very young. She said that the series "really includes everything I ever wanted to do. I love science fiction because sci-fi has tremendous flexibility. I adopted the science fiction-style for the series because then I could write any way I wanted to."

Plot

The plot concerns the adventures of a group of teenagers who live in Tomobiki, a fictional area of Tokyomarker in the Nerima area. The name comes from the Rokuyō calendar, in which Tomobiki translates as "dragging friends along"; while that day is not especially auspicious or unauspicious, it will cause one's luck (whether good or bad) to transfer to another person. The name likely refers to how the arrival of Lum the lady alien has made the town a very weird place, with other aliens often visiting and various disasters befalling it, usually the local high school or protagonist Ataru Moroboshi's house, and usually having something to do with Lum and her girlfriends. As such, it is a rather peculiar thing to name a town. The story centers around an extremely lecherous and very unlucky high-school boy, Ataru Moroboshi, and the female bikini clad alien Lum.

On the first day of the story, Sakurambo - "deranged monk" in Japanese (or Cherry - the word's other meaning - as he prefers to be known), a Buddhist monk, suddenly predicts very bad luck for Ataru; upon returning home, the boy encounters a very nasty surprise: a party of oni (demon) aliens have come to conquer Earth. They give mankind a fighting chance, however; through the computer, they have randomly selected a human to compete against their representative in a game of tag (or onigokko, as the game is called in Japan, providing yet another pun). Should the chosen human - that being Ataru, of course - win, they will withdraw. It turns out that his competitor is not their rather robust leader, but his stepdaughter, the bikini and go-go boots-wearing princess Lum. If Ataru can grab her horns (a characteristic of oni or ogres, in English) within ten days, he wins. However, the seductive Lum easily outruns him without even trying because she is capable of flight. After nine days, the whole world is beginning to feel highly agitated when he repeatedly fails to even touch her. But Shinobu, Ataru's childhood friend and currently platonic friend, promises to marry Ataru if he catches Lum and saves the Earth. With newfound motivation, Ataru steals her (Lum's) top, tricking her (Lum) into flying at him to get it back and thus catches her horns. In his moment of triumph, he yells "Now I can finally marry her!". Lum, misunderstanding this as a marriage proposal for her, accepts on the spot amidst the general celebration that Earth is saved.

Lum falls in love with Ataru after she believes he accidentally proposes to her, while Ataru is always chasing after every girl he sees (despite their not being interested in him) leading Lum to slyly punish him with electric shocks, another ability of hers (in the story, flying and electricity are not related to any technology). Lum never calls Ataru by name, even to other people she calls him by the English word, "darling". This is the main reason for the many occurrences of the word throughout the titles and songs of the series. The series is heavily episodic, with only occasional plots spanning more than one chapter / episode. Each of these usually concerns Ataru's ill-luck, his lechery (and Lum's jealousy thereof) or the wide variety of weird humans and aliens who love, hate, or simply meddle with Lum and Ataru.

Characters

Media

Manga

Anime

The series was adapted into a 195 episode Tv series that aired from October 14, 1981 to March 19, 1986. It was originally shown on the Fuji Televisionmarker network between, and was later rebroadcast by the anime satellite television network, Animax. Movie and OVA adaptions followed.

There are a few differences between the stories of the manga and anime series. The most noticeable (bar Lum's hair being green from originally being iridescent) is how some of the later stories and characters in the manga (such as Inaba and Nagisa) are not part of the regular TV series, only appearing on the OVAs. Additionally, the anime officially ends with the fifth movie; the sixth was only an anniversary special and therefore theoretically would take place before the fifth movie.

Also missing from the anime is the iconic character Kosuke, one of the students of classroom 2-4 and the only one outside the main cast who is reasonably developed in the manga. His character, in stories that called for Kosuke, is usually replaced by Perm. (In the Urusei Yatsura 2008 OVA special accompanying the tour of the Takahashi-themed It's a Rumic World exhibit, Kosuke finally made his first "official" animated appearance, voiced by Kappei Yamaguchi, best known as the voice of two other popular Takahashi characters: male Ranma Saotome and Inuyasha). Further, Lum's Stormtroopers in general, who early on in the manga were dropped from the cast of regulars in favour of more dimensional characters (such as Kosuke) became major regulars in the anime and were used in many cases when it was necessary for Ataru and (especially) Lum to interact with school chums. Additionally, Lum's cousin, Tendo, was introduced much earlier in the TV series (episode two) than in the manga. Finally, some stories are slightly altered (mostly by adding or removing plot detail) to better suit the anime format.

Movies

OVA releases

Urusei Yatsura also has a number of direct-to-market video releases which include stories not covered in the TV series or movies. All but one of these were released after the ending of the series, so popularity may have also been a factor in the continued release of new animation. Also, unlike the others, Inaba the Dreammaker was first featured as a TV Special before being released on video. For the American release by Animeigomarker, they were released over 6 discs that were sold individually. In the Uk, they were released as a value boxset by MVM. Following is a list of these OVAs, official English title in bold, followed by the original Japanese, (a rōmaji transliteration in parentheses), and the original Japanese release date (also in parentheses):

  • (1985)
  • (July 18, 1987)
  • (December 2, 1988)
  • (December 8, 1988)
  • (August 21, 1989)
  • (September 1, 1989)
  • (December 21, 1989)
  • (December 27, 1989)
  • (June 21, 1991)
  • (June 21, 1991)
  • (1993)
  • (January 29, 2010)


New 2010 OVA - Obstacle Course Swim Meet

On the 20th July a video preview was posted on youtube which showed footage of the new OVA.Japanese film distributor Pony Canyon has announced a January 29, 2010 release for a limited edition “It’s a Rumic World Special Anime Box” DVD collection. The 19,950 yen collection will include the Urusei Yatsura: Za Shougaibutsu Suieitaikai (The Obstacle Course Swim Meet), Ranma ½: Okumu! Shunmin Kou (Nightmare! Incense of Deep Sleep), and Inuyasha: Kuroi Tetsusaiga (Black Tetsusaiga) 30 minute movies, the original opening animation clip, a 32 page booklet, and 12 cm figures of Lum, female Ranma, and Inuyasha.The films were exclusively screened during the “It’s a Rumic World” art exhibit held in Tokyo’s Ginza district from July 30 - August 11, 2008.

Theme songs



Openings:
# Title Recording artist
1 Lum No Love Song Yuko Matsutani
Episodes 1-77
2 Dancing Star Izumi Kobayashi
Episodes 78-106
3 Pajama Jama Da Kanako Narikiyo
Episodes 107-127
4 Chance On Love Cindy
Episodes 128-149
5 Rock The Planet Steffanie
Episodes 150-165
6 Tonogata Gomen Asobase Shoko Minami
Episodes 166-195




Endings:
# Title Recording artist
1 Uchū Wa Taihen Da! Yuko Matsutani
Episodes 1-21
2 Kokoro Bosoi Na Helen Sasano
Episodes 22-43
3 Cosmic Cycling Virgin VS
Episodes 44-54 & Episodes 65-77
4 I, I, You And Ai Izumi Kobayashi
Episodes 55-64
5 Yume Wa Love Me More Izumi Kobayashi
Episodes 78-106
6 Koi No Möbius Rittsu
Episodes 107-127
7 Open Invitation Cindy
Episodes 128-149
8 Every Day Steffanie
Episodes 150-165
9 Good Luck: Towa Yori Ai Wo Komete Shoko Minami
Episodes 166-195


Games

A number of video games based on the Urusei Yatsura manga and anime were produced in Japan over the past twenty years:

Name Publisher System Genre Release Date
Lum no Wedding Bell Jaleco Nintendo Family Computer platformer 1986
Urusei Yatsura Micro Cabin MSX2 puzzle game 1987
Stay With You Hudson Soft PC Engine visual novel 1992
Urusei Yatsura Nintendo Game Boy visual novel 1992
My Dear Friends Game Arts Sega Mega-CD visual novel 1993
Endless Summer Marvelous Interactive Nintendo DS dating sim 2005



Reception

Rumiko Takahashi said that the majority of Japanese Urusei Yatsura fans were high school and university students. Urusei Yatsura's peak readership figures were with 15-year olds, but the distribution of readers was skewed towards older males. She said that this was "very easy" for her since the ages of the readers were similar to her own age; Takahashi said that she felt happy that "people from my same generation enjoy my manga." She expressed satisfaction with the fact that many Urusei Yatsura readers were male; she did not find this fact unnerving since the series was serialized in a magazine for boys. Takahashi said that she felt "a little disappointed" that Urusei Yatsura did not gain much interest from children. Takahashi believed that the series may have been "been too difficult for children." She believed that "manga belongs fundamentally to children, and maybe Urusei Yatsura just didn't have what it took to entertain them."

References



External links




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