Urusei Yatsura TV Vol. #05 (of 50) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Tuesday, February 05, 2002
Release Date: Friday, August 04, 2000

What They Say
When the ONI, a mysterious race of Aliens, come to repossess the Earth, they give us one chance to save our planet; a champion, selected at random, must defeat their princess, Lum, in their national sport - TAG! Unfortunately for Earth, the champion turns out to be Ataru Moroboshi, a lecherous lad whose lack of luck is legendary.

When Ataru lays eyes on the curvaceous Lum, he readily agrees to take on the task of touching the tips of her tiny horns. Alas, when the contest begins, he finds out that the Oni forgot to mention one small matter - Lum can fly! When all seems lost, his girlfriend Shinobu promises to marry him if he wins. Inspired to new lows of deviousness by the prospect of getting just to first base, Ataru pulls it off.

Unfortunately, Lum misinterprets his victory cry as a proposal of marriage to HER, and promptly agrees.

So Ataru ends up with Lum living in his closet, planning their wedding, and zapping him with high-voltage shocks if he even looks at another woman; Shinobu isn't sure if she's been jilted or she's been saved from a life of misery; his Lum-crazed schoolmates are plotting to get him "out of the way"; and his parents are loudly wishing he's never been born.

And that's the setup to Japan's all-time favorite Anime TV series, one that lasted almost 200 episodes, plus 6 movies and 11 OVA's!

The Review!
Simply put, you cannot have enough Lum. Thankfully disc five provided me with more fun and wackiness, though there is now an unknown wait until more comes out.

In terms of video and audio quality, it's pretty similar to the rest of the set. The backgrounds are a bit pixellated and there's a few hints of artifacting here and there and an occasional rainbow from some tight linework.

What this disc does provide, and in spades, is great and funny stories. One of the first ones, episodes 18, is Girl's Day! The Coming of Ran. She's one of my favorite female characters to grace this series and much like Mendou, her arrival provides another shift in how the characters interact. And she's cute too!

There are some hilarious moments in the episode when Ataru gets a copy of his diary from tomorrow. Since he writes everything in a positive way, he ends up fooling himself into thinking he's going to have a great day and ends up being completely messed over. Many, many times.

Whose Kid is This lets Mendou take center stage again, as an alien baby decides to adopt him. Ataru gets picked on a lot in this episode in some very amusing ways and the reactions of the girls upon imagining the supposed wife Mendou must have had are great.

The final two episodes are a bit slower overall and not as interesting as the first couple. Sleep Springtime Class Room had the undesired affect of making me a bit sleepy. There were some cute moments, especially when a completely happy Mendou begins dancing wildly with Ataru and the girl Shunmin.

The final episode, Peach-blossom Poetry Contest, nearly did me in as I was already tired from the previous episode. While there are several amusing moments, having them recite poetry was a bit sleep inducing. Well, except for Ataru's attempt, which simply boggled my brain in trying to decipher it. At least Ran was in this episode!

Japanese Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 HDTV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster gold plated component cables and Sony speakers.

Mania Grade: A-
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: B-
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: AnimEigo
MSRP: 29.99
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Urusei Yatsura