I know there's at least one other fan of anime on this board, and perhaps more, so I thought I'd do a review of some of the anime I've watched. I'm hoping others will do the same.

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Title: Urusei Yatsura

Episodes: 195 episodes, 6 movies, 12 OVA’s, 1 special

Category:  Comedy

 

Plot:  

 

Ataru Morobishi s a perverted 17 year old high school boy, who is one day picked as the defender of the Earth against alien invasion. In order to win the contest, he has to seize the horns of the handpicked alien champion, Lum. He has 10 days to do so, and fails the first 9 days. His girlfriend Shinobu tells him that she’ll marry him if he succeeds, and the next day, he comes up with the brilliant strategy of using a suction cup gun to steal Lum’s top and prevent her from flying away. He wins and proposes to Shinobu, but Lum thinks he’s proposed to her and accepts. Hilarity ensues.

 

Characters:

 

Here are the main characters of the anime:

 

Ataru Morobishi – A perverted 17 year old high school student who’s never met a pretty girl he didn’t want to romance. He’s also extremely unlucky.

 

Lum – A 17 year old alien princess who considers herself betrothed to Ataru and wants to keep him from talking to other women. She can fly and also use electrical shocks from her body on others, which she does to Ataru frequently.

 

Ten – Another alien, around 5 years old. Related to Lum in some way, and can fly and breathe fire.

 

Shinobu – A childhood friend and longtime love interest of Ataru. She gets angry with his philandering, but she’s always ready to take him back too.

 

“Cherry” – An ancient Buddhist priest who lives on the streets and tends to interfere a lot with Ataru’s business.

 

Sakura – Cherry’s niece, a shrine maiden and also the school nurse.

 

What's good:

 

This is a much older anime series, premiering around 1980. It’s essentially a sitcom, as there’s generally a bit of a reset at the end of each episode, although characters carry over.

 

So the question is, if this is a sitcom, is it funny? The answer, in my opinion, is yes. There’s a lot of slapstick comedy—the show sort of reminds me of I Dream of Jeannie meets Looney Tunes—and lots of cute moments and running gags, like Ataru’s mother constantly saying that she wishes she never had Ataru.

 

Oh yes, his parents are actually around, which is almost odd for an anime set in high school, but they are there. His mother is a standard Japanese housewife, and his father is a salaryman. Given how frequently the antics of the others end up destroying their house or the neighborhood or the city, it’s nor surprising that they aren’t so happy with Ataru.

 

Speaking of Ataru, in many ways he reminds me of Johnny Bravo, and I wonder if there was some homage or inspiration there. While he does tend to chase every girl he sees, he’s also rejected by all of them except for Lum and Shinobu (well, okay, some other women give him the time of day, but nobody really worth mentioning). Despite everything about him, you sort of end up feeling sorry for the guy for everything he goes through, and how frequently he’s blamed for everything, even when it’s not his fault.

 

Lum is also a great character, incredibly gorgeous, usually running around in a leopard skin bikini (to be fair, all of the aliens of her race wear very little and all in leopard skin). She’s extremely devoted to Ataru, and all things being equal, he’s devoted to her too, despite the number of times he wishes she weren’t around so he could chase girls.

 

Ten—short for Jariten—is amusing as well. He constantly talks about what a good boy he is, but really he’s a bit of a stinker. He does believe Ataru is not right for Lum and tries to denigrate him in her eyes constantly.

 

One other little thing that was nice is that there are a lot of characters based on Japanese myths and legends. One recurring character is Kintaro, and others make reference to those characters as well, which can be fascinating if you aren’t familiar with them.

 

What doesn't work:

 

Despite the way he sounds, there are definitely times when you feel sympathetic for Ataru, especially in the early episodes. He’s never asked for any of this, but it all gets put on him anyway.

 

Something else that doesn’t really work is you never really understand why Ataru doesn’t try harder with Lum. She is beautiful, albeit prone to shocking him frequently, and she’s devoted. At a certain point, you kind of just say “dude, just enjoy the alien”.

 

Also, for as many episodes as this show has, the episodic nature means that it can get a little tiresome after awhile. It was obviously extremely popular in Japan which is why it ran so long, but not a whole lot changes throughout the anime.

 

Fanservice Level:

 

Despite how it sounds, there really isn’t any, at least not in any sense I could call unnecessary. There’s a little bit of nudity, but for the most part it’s pretty tame.

 

Perverted Character:

 

Ataru is a skirt chaser of the first degree, always has been and likely always will be. That being said, his perversions never veer into the uncomfortable range.

 

Final Thoughts:

 

Full confession time: I didn’t watch the entirely of this anime as there didn’t seem to be much point. For what it is, it’s very enjoyable. In small doses, it’s a lot of fun, although I don’t know that I’d recommend binge-watching.

 

My rating: 7/10

 

Interesting. Another one that I've always heard of, but never seen.  I have seen some "interesting" photos of women cosplaying as Lum.

Just searched for this on Google. I'm actually surprised at the restraint shown in those outfits.

The Baron said:

Interesting. Another one that I've always heard of, but never seen.  I have seen some "interesting" photos of women cosplaying as Lum.

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