Urusei Yatsura TV Vol. #06 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: N/A
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Menus Rating: C+
  • Extras Rating: B-
  • 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

Urusei Yatsura TV Vol. #06

By Chris Beveridge     February 05, 2002
Release Date: June 29, 2001


Urusei Yatsura TV Vol. #06
© AnimEigo


What They Say


The Review!
After almost a year between releases for those who ordered direct, more Lum goodness has arrived, and like a man whose dying of thirst, this first volume did a mighty fine job of quenching it.

Audio:
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.

Video:
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).

Packaging:
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. Mendou gets his props this time around on the front cover. The back cover gives Mendou'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.

Menus:
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.

Extras:
The on-disc extras this time around actually exist! There are two public service announcements courtesy of Lum and friends for the Kansai Electric company, which are just insanely cute and funny. I loved these when I saw them on the VHS, the LD and now the DVD. And if you consider the recipe cards as extras, that's a huge boost right there (I consider them more of a packaging than an extra).

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
In one sense, this disc is a bit of a letdown in content, if only due to the 2nd episode being an hour long. What's wrong with that? Well, the first half is essentially a recap of the previous episodes, while the second half is an all new story. That's not bad really, but I just dislike recap episodes in general.

There's also the start of the transition of episodes to longer lengths. The first episode on the disc contains two separate stories. The first one is an amusing little number with Ataru being split in two, one with his love for Shinobu over everything else while the other is in love only with Lum and is heading to her homeworld to spend his life. Cherry's plan to seal the evil of the world away and Lum's special candy just didn't mix well in Ataru's stomach, leading to this situation.

But it's the second story that's the most telling from a hindsight perspective. The story has Ataru sleeping during the class council meeting, and with him being the president, he gets away with it. Mendou's furious, but gets ribbed from Ataru even while asleep. And it's during his sleep that we peek inside his head to see what his dreams are like. As luck would have it, he's having nightmares.

But these nightmares, as he finds out when it ends badly, are created by Mujaki and his Baku. These are the two characters we later see in a slightly different form and new introduction in the Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer movie (which is by far the most beautiful of all Lum movies and the best script of all Lum anime). Mujaki creates a variety of good dreams for Ataru, but they all invariably end badly in some way. But finally Ataru gets his dream dream, with a horde of babes at his feet (including Lum) and Mendou as his servant...

The remaining episodes, with the big class trip that Lum goes along on, are hilarious. There's dozens of tiny little red and white ninja's running about making insanely cute noises, and general wackiness. The last episode, which takes up the entire episode, focuses on a matchmaking party that has probably one of the biggest selection of bizarre looking aliens every drawn at one gathering.

The shows animation style isn't going to win itself any modern day awards, but for those who adore this show like I do, it doesn't get much better. Rediscovering Urusei Yatsura in large batches like this always brings a smile to my face. Very recommended.

Features
Japanese Language,English Subtitles,Kansai Electric Public Service Announcements

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Skyworth 1050P Progressive Scan codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.

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