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. #12
By Chris Beveridge
September 10, 2001
Release Date: September 10, 2001
Urusei Yatsura TV Vol. #12
What They Say
Ataru takes on every cat in town to save a pretty girl from a cursed fate; In the episode voted "Best Episode" by Japanese viewers, Lum decides to find out if Ataru is really serious about wanting to be rid of her; Benten, Oyuki and the rest of Lum's friends descend upon the High School; And then when the gang starts sneaking from school to get fast-food, the teachers mobilize for all-out war! The Review!
Disc twelve of the third box set offers up some good entertainment and what the Japanese considered to be the best UY episode ever. Of what I've seen of the series to date, I'm going to have to agree.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:
Things are about as expected here. The exception on this disc is with the second episode, where there's so many blues that are laid over other areas that it just doesn't look good at many points. Most of the episode looks good, but there are a few areas here that just look pretty poor. Otherwise, colors look good for the most part though there's some occasional bleeding in the reds which is more noticeable in the last episode with the pickled plums than elsewhere. There's the usual amount of noticeable macroblocking in some of the blue sky backgrounds and some very minor instances of cross coloration in a few areas, but nothing that really detracts in the end.Packaging:
Consistency counts, and this volume continues the same style as the first ten volumes, with the same pink tiger stripe background and one of the characters taking center stage. Showing up on a cover before being introduced in the series, Ryuunosuke gets the front cover for this volume. The back cover gives Ryuunosuke 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:
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)
Before talking about the "best episode" episode, let's talk about the other three.
The disc opens with Ataru doing his thing; taking on every conceivable odd to try and woo a woman. Even if she's an anthropomorphic woman who looks like a cat. This is where the catgirl fixations get taken to the extreme. The all white kitty ends up causing quite the fight for her, when it's discovered that she's somewhat possessed by a cat. Since it's mating season, Ataru has to take on not only the big cat on the town but Ten as well, as all three aspire to kiss the girl and return her to form. The way this episode runs is hilarious, with Ataru's parents trying to ignore everything occurring outside their bedroom while all the fighting goes on on their rooftop.
The weak episode on this disc is the reunion one. All of Lum's friends from her planet and area of space have decided to do a reunion party since they don't get to see her anymore. They end up creating a dimensional space above her Tomobiki classroom and everyone's coming from all over to celebrate. Of course, being the inept folks they are sometimes, they get noticed by Lum and the others, and they avoid Lum at all costs so as to not give away the surprise. Lum of course takes this the wrong way and sees only her friends avoiding her. As more and more people arrive, more of the Earthlings get sucked into the dimensional area, including Mr. Onsen, leading to his bewilderment. It's an okay episode, but pales next to the others on the disc.
The last episode on the disc is a great one showing "student ingenuity". A new ruling has come down from the higher-ups in school administration and students are now no longer allowed to go out for their lunches to the various local restaurants. This does not fly well with the kids here and so goes an all out war. The kids sneak out to various places while the teachers track them and lay in surprise. Some store owners are turncoats while others are faithful to the students. There's a lot of great moments in here as the kids all do their best to get the beefbowl that they want.
As for the best episode ever? Well, I can certainly see why. According to the liner notes, it was voted as such after the series ended in 1986. The episode deals with the emotions of Ataru as he realizes that Lum has indeed left him as he requested. There's a huge amount of internal conflict within him that show what we've known from earlier episodes, that he truly does love her. While he continues to suffer after realizing his request came true, Mendou and Lum's Stormtroopers are doing everything possible to try and find Lum throughout the area. It's a great episode with a lot of emotion and provides one of the few rare times that you really care for Ataru.
Another bright side, the next closing song has arrived! Cosmic Cycler! Woo! This fun little ditty is a great way to end the show and I have to admit that when the really high pitched singers come on, my daughter's head whips around and her eyes get huge at that point. She's getting more and more into Urusei Yatsura, which can only be described as a good thing.
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.