Urusei Yatsura TV Vol. #38 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: B-
  • Packaging Rating: B-
  • Menus Rating: B-
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 13 & 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. #38

By Chris Beveridge     April 22, 2005
Release Date: April 29, 2005


Urusei Yatsura TV Vol. #38
© AnimEigo


What They Say
The 38th installment of Urusei Yatsura showcases all the reasons why an episode a day may not keep the doctor away. First, in an effort to learn more about her mother (and possibly herself), Ryuunosuke follows her father to an amusement part where Mr. Fujinami's memories are brought to life in "Ryuunosuke's Dad Comes Clean! His Wife Is Still In His Memory!" Then, Oyuki gets mad at Ran (again), they both get sick, and everything begins to get a little colder in Tomobiki in "Spring In Full Bloom: Froze Because Of Oyuki's Cold!" Next, Ataru's lunch becomes Ten's pet when a blowfish suddenly gets powers that cause everyone to run for their lives in "Friendship Panic. I Love The Blowfish." And finally, mass hysteria envelops Tomobiki High School when Asuka visits Mendou in "THe Return Of The Armored Girl. Too Many Brothers!"

The Review!
Going with less focus on a particular character and just playing around with everyone, we get four more episodes that carry on the tradition well.

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. The problems we experienced previously with the macroblocking in the backgrounds, particularly blue skies, are far less pronounced this time around and in general the transfers seem a bit brighter and sharper. The feel of the cels continue to be apparent as we get further into the series. Some of the ghosting issues are still there and there's a fair bit of aliasing to be seen in many scenes but overall this looks like I expected it to but a bit better.

Packaging:
The dark purple flavored covers continue here and while they're not the best looking covers, they're all we're going to get with this series. Jariten appears again though a bit smaller and less fuzzy as he's with Sakura who shows off a bit of skin here in a sideways pose. The back cover maintains consistency to the past volumes and provides a short bit on the episodes as well as a character shot and witty comment. No inserts or "recipe cards" are included with this release as they've been moved to program notes on the DVD itself, a change I'm fully for.

Menu:
Episode selection is from the main screen, and whichever episode is highlight, it also lists its original air date. The layout remains the same as past volumes but this looks a bit better with an actual background, this time of a darkened moon in the sky, helps it to not feel quite as bland as earlier menus. One thing area that's also finally fixed is the ability to use the stop button from the menus, something that was weirdly disabled before and required you to actually be in the show to get it to stop playing.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Getting deeper into box set eight and more of the material originally airing back in 1985, we get four more episodes that shift away from focusing on any one particular character for too long and instead have some pretty varied stories across the board that remind us why this big cast is just so enjoyable to watch in action.

The opening episode lets us go back to dealing with Ryuunosuke and her continual quest to truly become a woman. She's actually excited this time because she's going to get a chance to dress up like her mother with her father's complete approval. In examining the situation, Sakura and the other girls determine that the reason that her father can't accept Ryuunosuke being a girl most of the time is because of his deep love of his wife of which Ryuu looks just like, so he's retreated into the fantasy of raising her as a boy instead to help keep himself from thinking of Masako more than he already does. But this one instance he's willing to relent after much argument and discussion and takes her to the amusement park where the two of them first met. This episode is a lot of fun since it plays with the usual gender role stuff and even really pokes fun at Ryuu for the way she's almost always in love with women without realizing it.

Ran gets to return to things in another episode here where she needs to get money fast for a date with Rei. Being pitifully broke, she first tries to get it from Lum who is also equally poor. The relationship the two have is still quite amusing since they're not really friends but people who barely tolerate each other. Ran decides to go for broke and approaches Oyuki for the money and comes up with this really out of the world story about a rabbit being eaten by a tree. What salvages the story for the viewer is Ran taking off her clothes for the tree and revealing just her undergarments. Oyuki decides to help Ran by doing a show at a festival where she'll keep half the proceeds. Ran's lesser nature gets the better of her during all of this and it's just pure insanity as each side tries to outdo the other. Ran comes across really well in this one and it was good to see Oyuki so talkative as opposed to her usually quiet self.

My favorite episode on this volume is the last one as it brings Asuka back into the show. She's still so completely sworn to her brother that it causes problems since she doesn't know how to act properly around them, much to Ton's dismay and loss of blood from his nose. So her mother comes up with a crafty plan of sending her to Tomobiki High with a letter for Shutaro so that she can interact with the outside world (which she's never been in) and with a lot of men. She entrusts her daughter to Shutaro for this and the crash course education that Asuka will receive by being around so many men. One of the best parts of this is how she ends up trusting Ryuunosuke while believing she's a he since she's such a gentle he to her. It's filled with lots of violence, quick action and Ataru poking his head in constantly where he can get closer to Asuka. It's just a lot of fun watching the antics of this kind of pairing occur.

In Summary:
With this installment of the series, we get more general stories and just a lot of fun all around. I was also really glad to get the Rock the Planet opening sequence as it's one of my favorites with the cast all in their SF outfits and flying around doing poses and the like. These aren't stand-out episodes for the most part but they are consistently amusing and very much the standard fare you find in a show as long running as this. The show has certainly found what works for it and continues to do just that and I'm still enjoying every minute of it.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI with upconversion set to 720p, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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