Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, February 13, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, September 08, 1998
You ever have one of those days that seems to go on forever? Well, Lum and her pals are having one of those days, the day before the school festival, to be exact. Then people start disappearing, time seems to stretch on forever and incredibly odd things begin to happen. Has the world finally snapped or is there something even more sinister at work? Can Lum and Company figure out what's going on before they all disappear? Get ready for flying turtles, giant pigs that swallow the earth, faceless musicians and stuff that makes Salvador Dali look sane and see if you can figure out what's going on before Mendou and Sakura do.
Just so you know, I have never seen any of the series or the movies before. So I was a virgin UruseiYatsura watcher with this one. I must say it intrigued me enough to want to see the rest of the shows. Now, on to the review. The animation is in the old 80's style that looks a bit dated today, but its as fluid and clean as anything else I've seen. The quality is top notch, just the style isn't quite what I prefer. The sound was fun and fit the scenes quite well (especially Lum's flying sound effect). The plot on this one was just great. I love the way the animation captured the dream-like quality of the world, with its familiar and yet not quite so familiar look. This added another dimension to the plot and made it better. But I must say thank god for dubbing. I had a hell of a time following it the first time I watched it subbed. The dub helped me out tremendously. Just another perk of DVD's format. Now the acting: Once again the Japanese voices were great in many cases, a few things were delivered strangely, but overall it was fun. The English dubbing made me want to kill myself and others. The voice actress for Sakura and the gentleman who did Mujaki were suffering from GITS syndrome, either going through the motions or doing their first dub. Painful. The music fit the film quite well.
As to the disc itself, the sound was decent, nothing to flashy. The picture was clear and crisp looking, however I did see a few colored spots appear in a few early scenes. Now I don't know if these are on the master or just a result of the compression, but they are noticeable, but not too distracting. The menu is standard and not too exciting. It works well enough. The presentation was a little boring for my tastes. I like having the insert inside the case and found it strange that the notes were on the inside of the cover. I guess is lowers cost and I won't complain there but I like the inserts better. The disc itself is boring looking (compared to GITS or even Armitage). As to the cover itself, its got Lum on it in a swimsuit so that should attract most male buyers at least, but it lacks some kind of sparkle. The goodies are fine, I love watching trailers so I always give high marks for those. I also like the intro and the Character introductions, these were quite helpful to a first time viewer like me. All in all I'd say get this DVD. It's fun to watch and the characters are very cool, and the plot has enough twists to make you watch it again and again. Plus, it makes a nice compliment to my mostly serious and action packed anime on DVD collection.
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.
Mania Grade: NA
Audio Rating: N/A
Video Rating: N/A
Packaging Rating: N/A
Menus Rating: N/A
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: Central Park Media
Running time: 90
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Urusei Yatsura