Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer (of 6) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Tuesday, September 08, 1998
Release Date: Tuesday, September 08, 1998

What They Say
Life is but a dream...Or is it? How do you know if you're awake, or just dreaming that you're awake? This may sound like a silly question-- unless you're a student at Tomobiki High School!
Something strange-- stranger than usual--is happening at Tomobiki High School, but with wacky classmates like Lum (a beautiful alien princess with a "shocking" personality), and Mendou (the suave scion of the wealthiest family on Earth)--anything can happen! When Ataru, Lum Mendou, and the rest of the gang discover that they've been reliving the "day before the School Festival" over and over again, they may be confused--but they aren't surprised! But things are getting worse, and if they don't find a way to break the chain--they'll be trapped forever...

The Review!
Years ago, when Animeigo was bringing over Urusei Yatsura for the first time, I decided that I'd take the plunge and order the first four tapes. Two TV series tapes and the first two movies. The first two TV series tapes were enjoyable enough, but it didn't really grab me. The first movie seemed like just a longer episode. I figured, ah well it was worth a try. Then the last tape comes in, movie #2. Beautiful Dreamer. It had me hooked. If this was the range that the show achieves after awhile, then I'm in for the long haul. Almost 20 TV tapes, several OVA's and 6 movies later, (never mind the UY10 LD box set from Animeigo as well), the first DVD has finally made it out.

The only somewhat unfortunate thing about this disc is the ownership of it. Animeigo owns the rights to all UY except this movie. When it was released on tape, US Manga worked with Animeigo to have the subtitles be in their format so as to not break it all up from the continuity. This worked well, and everyone was happy. The unfortunate side now is that with the DVD release, the Animeigo translation could not be used. This is not to say that Neil Nadelman, always a favored translator of mine, did a bad job at all, but there is small differences in the translation. They seemed quite noticeable to me as I had just watched the out of print laserdisc about two weeks ago. Ah well, it's still good to see Lum on DVD.

The audio on the disc is very good, very clear. Some surround effects at times, but this is more of a front stage movie.

The audio is very crisp and slightly brighter than the laserdisc release. Unlike the recent review for Roujin-Z and Area 88, the colors in this movie are very vibrant and full of life. The disc really lets them shine through. Quality is top notch throughout the disc.

Packaging is the ever lovely keepcase, with the CPM "ANIME DVD" brand on the right. Know your friend! is what I think now when I see that brand.

The menus are good, functional, nothing too flashy.

As for the movie itself. I love it. The concept is based on an old Japanese myth story (as are most UY stories) about a man who spends time in the Turtle Palace and a hundred years pass by outside while he's in there. A similar thing happens to Lum and the gang, as they come to realize they are the only ones left in the world.

The movie is wonderfully shot, the sequences set up for excellent effect. Parodies abound as well of Hollywood movies towards the end. If you haven't seen any UY before, as CPM might guess, they do include an introduction to UY. I'd say give this disc a shot, as it is mostly self contained, though understanding some of the character synergies may not come through upon first watching. This is definitely a series that should be out on DVD. Animeigo? This is now the third time I've bought this show. I'd be more than willing to buy the TV series, OVA's and movies again. Anyone else?

Oh, as a side note, I despised the dub of this show. Ick. Just watching 5 minutes made me want to tear my hair out. ick ick ick.

Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Character Gallery,An introduction to Urusei Yatsura

Review Equipment
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.

Mania Grade: A+
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: A
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: Central Park Media
MSRP: 29.99
Running time: 90
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Urusei Yatsura