Urusei Yatsura TV Vol. #10 (of 50) (Mania.com)
Review Date: Friday, June 29, 2001
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. Probably one of the more amusing child characters from any series, Jariten gets the front cover for this volume. The back cover gives Jariten'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)
I haven't gone through a box set this fast in ages. The final four volumes of the second box set were flashed through in really just about two days, which for me and the amount of material I have to go through, is pretty good. The 10th volume even provides me with some really great Ran episodes as well, making it extra-sweet.
The two book end episodes on this disc feature much ran goodness. The first one provides a flashback to tiny tot versions of Ran and Lum back on the Oni homeworld. Going by Ran's version of events (and we never see Lum's really), Lum was always doing things without thinking and getting poor sweet Ran in trouble. Ran's mother is one of those very strict disciplinary mothers, which helps explains Ran's almost split personality that she's gotten over the years. There's some amusing bits throughout the flashbacks, as well as the present-day situation where Ran and Lum meet for an afternoon treat.
The last episode deals with Ran's master plan to steal Lum's prize treasure, which of course is Ataru. She plans a date for him behind Lum's back, and Ataru makes on with Shinobu without knowledge of the impending Ran one. Ran warns Lum that she's going to get him though, so Lum gets very protective and won't let him out of her site. And to try and confuse Ran, Lum puts together a copy gun, which makes a duplicate version of Ataru, with the only difference being a ' over his head.
As with other episodes, Ataru's true nature shows through, and he heads off for both dates after getting away from Lum. The rub is that both want to date the other persons date. Ataru prime goes for Ran, but doesn't want Ataru' to get too close to Shinobu. But eventually they head off for their own respective dates, with Lum searching and Ran plotting her evil plan to make Ataru her own.
The middle episodes provide the usual varied single episode themes. One focuses on a self-study session that the class gains, and the ways they go through to keep it. It all goes on the line though when Rei shows up, and starts turning into the giant beastie he is and causes trouble. The other episode is a tale of old school stories coming back after many years, with the mysterious kidnapper of women named Red Mantle making a reappearance during the first disco party in the school gym. This episode is great just to see the whole disco bit, and we also get a taste of one of the upcoming ending songs.
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