Mania Grade: B
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- 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. #39
By Chris Beveridge
April 25, 2005
Release Date: April 29, 2005
Urusei Yatsura TV Vol. #39
What They Say
In Volume 39 of the show that takes brotherly love to a whole new level, a normal day turns bizarre when Ataru drinks Lum's eye drops and begins to have dreams that affect the entire town of Tomobiki in "The Ennui Plague. Whither Tomobiki?" Ran cooks up some love-mushroom soup for Rei, only to see it slurped down by a hungray cat in "Ran In Peril!" Kotatsu-Neko's First Love Oden?!" An arranged date between Asuka and Mendou becomes a battlefield when Ataru shows up unannounced in "The Armored Girl Is Back Again! Dates Of Thunder!" And a strange monk with an even stranger proposal shows up in Sakura's office in "Monk Of Mystery! Bell Bashing Battle Royale!"The Review!
Much like the last volume, the stories are less tied to one character and instead give us time with the interesting supporting cast of the series.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. Ran returns for this cover with a cute shot of her in her dress and apron while she puts out one of her bright energetic smiles to the world. 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:
(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
In a way, watching this volume felt like living the month of April 1985 all over again as all of these episodes were from that month. Taking a twenty year dip back in time to watch anime certainly isn't at the top of my list but it's always amusing when the episode airdates match up to the same month I end up getting into the show itself.
This volume goes with four new episodes that are pretty varied and bring in a mix of lead and secondary characters to have a lot of fun with. The opening episode is almost like one of the movies in a sense when Ataru ends up drinking something of Lum's thinking it's a cola but is instead her eye-drops. The episode actually starts with a Megane narration that always strikes me as funny as he talks about the boredom of the days and how they all roll together after awhile. Once Ataru drinks the eye-drops however, his dreams begin to effect the entire town. From small things at first until the entire school is demolished and multiple versions of the world rotate around them, it's complete chaos as the dinosaurs eventually arrive and everyone is doing their best to survive in a world truly gone topsy-turvy. It's quite and surreal feel at times places it as a little cousin to some of the movies with a similar nature such as Beautiful Dreamer.
A new Ran episode combines a few things that I enjoy as it brings Kotatsu-neko into play when he ends up getting a hold of the special soup that was being made for Rei that would have him falling madly in love with her. Kotatsu-neko is just beautiful during all of this with his expressions and the way his body movements express everything else since he says so precious little. This plays nicely with the next episode that has an arranged date being made between Shutaro and Asuka. Since her fear is still great, Asuka's mother asks Shutaro to spend time with her to try and get her more used to being around men. She's good with him and Ton but everyone else sets her into panic mode. All the Sunglasses Men in the Mendou compound have to dressed up for that day which apparently means dressing up in bulky animal and other costumes so you can't tell that they're male.
Of course, Ataru gets involved as he wants to date the cute Asuka as well and he ends up appearing inside of Shutaro's kimono like a second head on his shoulder which only serves to really freak Asuka out. Lum tries to keep tabs on things by playing a guard of Asuka's, which means we get her in the glasses and short-shorts. This episode plays up the action comedy nicely as Asuka is frantically racing all over the compound and destroys anything that gets in her way since she's so completely afraid of men. Every turn seems to reveal more men which only sends her into further fits. With Shutaro being so out of it and Ataru "trapped" in the same kimono, things just escalate here as they always do but it still makes me laugh a lot.In Summary:
Like the last volume, there isn't anything truly stand out here but there is some good material, particularly the first episode that plays up the strangeness of the entire situation and the third episode that lets Asuka run wild once more. Lum and Ataru parade through each of the episodes but they don't dominate all of them which continues to be a real plus to the show since practically every character in it can and does hold their own for taking on the lead position at one time or another. The series continues to be a lot of fun and I'm almost now dreading that I'm getting closer to having no new material for it.
Japanese 2.0 Language,English Subtitles
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.