Mania Grade: B+
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- 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
- MSRP: 24.95
- 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. #08
By Chris Beveridge
February 05, 2002
Release Date: June 29, 2001
Urusei Yatsura TV Vol. #08
What They SayThe Review!
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.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. Oyuki in her finery take center stage this time around on the front cover. The back cover gives Oyuki'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:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Urusei Yatsura continues to be a show that I watch every second that's here. Each opening, each ending, each preview. If only the songs were provided in romaji!
Continuing to mess with convention and traditional folktales, Dracula is brought into play here. And instead of the smooth operator that we usually see in films and novels, he's quite the inept guy here, so much so that he doggie paddle flies. His faithful bat companion, Koomori (a multilayered pun unto itself) also transforms into a cute little redhead with a nice black outfit and black wings. She and Ataru team up to get cute girls for each other for their own respective ends, which leads to some amusing fights and chases.
There are two very strong episodes on this disc that go a good way towards looking at the nature of Ataru, which is one of the primary themes to this series outside of its humor. The first one has Lum deciding to go back in time ten years or so and "retrain" Ataru to be beholden only to her. She makes friendly with the precocious youth whose chasing women at this early age. She puts a little doll of her on the back of his head, which proceeds to shock him anytime he touches any woman besides her. And when present-day Ataru ends up getting sucked into the past and finding this out, devious plans are crafted...
The other strong episode is the last one here, that deals with Ataru and the newly moved in girl across the street, named Tsuyuko. As with any new girl, Ataru does his best to date her, but she keeps rebuffing him and being all dreary. He realizes, and she explains, that she's been cursed. Water seeps from her feet onto the floors, people she's with get soaked various ways, and there are clouds of rain that follow her on occasion. Once it's learned that her father was cursed by an a rain spirit during his childhood for breaking a promise, Ataru vows to break this curse by being a closer friend to her than anyone ever has in the past. While Ataru's motives are purely to get her in a less than honorable way, the ways he suffers and what he does is a testament to just how far he'll go, even for a date.
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.