Urusei Yatsura TV Vol. #09 (of 50) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, February 05, 2002
Release Date: Friday, June 29, 2001
What They Say
The new season really gets into full swing here as the episodes move steadily away from the two story mode to one general story with two subplots. As always, the episode nature of the show is a real draw, being able to cue up any episode and simply sit down and watch.
For our primary viewing session, we listened to this disc in its only language of Japanese. With the show being so old, it's a very basic audio track that's listed as 2 channel but is essentially a mono mix with everything coming through the center channel. Dialogue is clear and there aren't any noticeable dropouts, but the volume does sound a bit lower than discs we're used to listening to. Otherwise, it's about what you've come to expect from this show.
As with the previous volumes, this is probably the best this show has looked. Colors look good and solid most of the time, line noise is pretty minimal and the only real annoyance is the rainbows that are scattered throughout. Some are more annoying than others, but they cause some of the edge problems. We also had the unfortunate effect of this disc letting loose the chroma bug our deck has, which is where reds tend to just go nutty. It only seemed to effect the opening logo, which just looked bad, but that's a player defect (and with the player making 99% of my discs look fantastic, I'll take this one issue and live with it).
Consistency counts, and this volume continues the same style as the first five volumes, with the same pink tiger stripe background and one of the characters taking center stage. My favorite character Ran gets her sexy debut here on the front cover. The back cover gives Ran's bio as well as a summary of the episodes on this disc. There's no insert per se, but there are the "recipe card" liner notes again.
The menu design is a slight bit different than the original set, but works nicely nonetheless. Episode selection is from the main screen, and whichever episode is highlight, it also lists its original air date. There's no selection for languages/subtitles, since it defaults to the only language and with subtitles on. While not the most appealing menus in the world, they're fast and functional, and people are likely never to really need them.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Even after watching nearly sixteen episodes in the span of twenty four hours, I can't get enough. The ninth volume of Urusei Yatsura is particularly sweet as has Ran on the cover. Like I needed more incentive to keep putting the discs in the player.
There's a couple of really good episodes on this disc. The first one that is when Ten's horn falls off, which is part of growing up an Oni, though the reason why isn't really brought up. What it means though is that until a new one grows in, Ten is just an ordinary kid. No flame breath, no flying. This means only one thing to Ataru - revenge! And revenge he gets. From hiding and losing the original broken horn, to messing with Ten at every turn. The built up hostility between the two goes in a lot of fun directions here.
The other really fun episode focuses on Lum's first day as a student at Tomobiki High School. This is tied to the new teacher for the class arriving on his first day. He's the bright eyed optimistic type, spouting slogans and feel good phrases. When he arrives in the principle's office, and sees Lum there with her rather large and tall father, his world starts to crumble a bit. The new teacher manages to survive the attacks of the ruckus class that Lum and Ataru now share, and does his best to become a friend and authority figure to the students.
This provides some amusing situations when he pushes Ataru and Lum to join the volleyball club. The members of this club are led by a real hard-core volleyball fanatic whose been crushed in love in the past. Her passion is now with volleyball, much to the detriment of everyone else in the club who must follow her ways. There's a number of great jokes and situations made during this particular part of the episode.
The other two episodes on the disc were fun as well, but didn't strike as strongly as others have. The goblin in the pool was fun, more to see Ataru again take up a creature into his residence and get along with it, while the library episode with things from the books coming alive was decent. This episode suffered more from repetitive animation than other episodes, which whittled away our enjoyment when you see the same scene for the third time.
This show still elicits many outright laughs and many smiles. It's not something everyone likes, but for those who do, they love it with a passion. Very recommended.
Japanese Language,English Subtitles
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.
Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: B
Video Rating: N/A
Packaging Rating: A-
Menus Rating: C+
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: AnimEigo
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Urusei Yatsura