Urusei Yatsura TV Vol. #15 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: B
  • 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. #15

By Chris Beveridge     September 10, 2001
Release Date: September 10, 2001


Urusei Yatsura TV Vol. #15
© AnimEigo


What They Say
The Urusei Yatsura gang run amuck in a twisted retelling of the life of Japan's greatest swordsman, Miyamoto Musashi; Onsen-Mark lays down the law in class and ends up getting the silent treatment; Lum's dad decides to live in the Moroboshi house after a family quarrel; And a ski vacation goes rapidly downhill when the guys use every dirty trick they know to obtain the "Kiss of Miss Snow Queen"!

The Review!
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. 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. The fourth episode on this disc, the Snow Queen one, is a bit worse for source material than the others. There's an overall fuzziness around most of the characters that give some of the lines a really soft jittery look in places.

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. Lum gets the front cover for this volume with a bit of a different look, a reddish pink sort of jungle garb. The back cover gives us an Onsen-Mark 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:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Things pick up on this disc a fair bit more than the last one with some better episodes overall.
The first one presents yet another trip into the past with a retelling of the life story of Musashi Miyamoto as played by Onsen-Mark. While I generally do get into the history retellings, this one just felt fairly flat for me and didn't do much overall. However, when Onsen-Mark takes center stage in the second episode, I was all over that one.

Things haven't been going too well for Onsen-Mark, and when he learns from the school principal that the PTA and other parents are getting annoyed about his class while taking a break and eating, he decides that he's simply going to put his foot down. Ataru and some of the others catch him while he's outside, and he gives them the final word; any screw-ups or talking, and detention for all. And nothing can scare some kids like the thought of detention.

The entire class gets word of this, and when Onsen-Mark starts class by telling it again, he's quite pleased to see everyone being attentive and quiet. Quiet to the point where they won't answer questions even when he gives permission to talk, but this is minor to the great silence that now permeates the worst classroom in the school. Things do end up going downhill though, when Jariten shows up and nobody is talking, and he feels slighted and ignored and wages war on the classroom. But that's all in good fun.

The last episode on the disc, the Kiss of the Snow Queen, was also a really good episode. Lum gets Ataru to agree to a weekend getaway skiing. Of course, he only does it when he realizes there's a Snow Queen beauty at one particular resort and he'll figure a way to ditch Lum and get things moving with this particular hottie. The two keep things quiet and make their way up to the resort, but not before Shinbou and one of the Stormtroopers finds out. So with usual haste, everyone finds their way to the resort and for a way to try and break things up between Ataru and Lum.

There's a fair amount of simple wacky antics kind of fun about this episode, with everyone participating in a skiing treasure hunt, where the winner will receive a kiss from the Snow Queen. Only Ataru didn't get a look at her, but everyone else did and they're all into the race. Ataru even teams up with Jariten in this race to at times give him an edge against the competition.

These episodes also serve us yet another new ending, this one similar to the others in being mostly repetitive animation, but showing more mini super deformed versions of the characters all chasing after Ataru for their various reasons. It's a fun song to sing along to.

Features
Japanese Language,English Subtitles

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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