Urusei Yatsura TV Vol. #42 - 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. #42

By Chris Beveridge     November 07, 2005
Release Date: February 07, 2006


Urusei Yatsura TV Vol. #42
© AnimEigo


What They Say
In the 42nd installment of the show where childish curses have not yet become a thing of the past, Lum gets a bump on the head which causes a slight translation problem. Ten stumbles across a magical world that enlists his help to find some lost food, Ran is feeling sick... and a little angry... and a little under-appreciated and an adventurous octopus finds refuge in a not-so adventurous place.

The Review!
Leaping around several characters and situations, Urusei Yatsura has no clear theme other than fun and wackiness here.

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. A close-up of Shinobu's face and a bit of her uniform take the cover for this volume which is unfortunate since she's barely a player in these episodes and it just makes you want to see more of here really soon. 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 Mount Fuji in the background radiating yellow and red working properly again is the ability to use the stop button from the menus, something that was weirdly disabled in some volumes before and required you to actually be in the show to get it to stop playing. With the language selections being as they are, the players' presets didn't matter much.

Extras:
None.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Dipping into another set of four episodes, Urusei Yatsura has less of a theme this time around in terms of blocks of episodes which is a plus and moves across a number of different stories and lets the various main characters get more play instead of it just seeming like one or two of them are dominating the batch. The mix is just right with enough weirdness, fan service and outright laughter that it is a solid entry in the series.

The first episode is one that I'm sure the people at AnimEigo live for as it has an accident occurring in the Moroboshi household that gives Lum a solid knock on the head. What results from it is that she forgets how to speak in Japanese and uses only her native Oni language which is subtitled with a series of wingdings. Ataru uses this opportunity to get out of the house and do massive girl hunting since Lum is trying to figure out how to get her language skills back as she can't understand what Ataru is saying. His girl hunting is positively comical this time around as he spends days out at a time going after them and actually making some progress once he gets past the opening stages of idiocy of just asking for their phone numbers, flipping skirts and the like. Everyone is getting mad at him for the way he treats Lum since it keeps her away from everyone but watching him go at it with the girls is just perfect.

Lum gets more screen time but comes off worse in another episode here called "Sick Call Panic! It's Not My Fault!" as Ran has found herself the victim of a basic Earth cold and is cooped up in her spaceship. The way she goes about things makes you wonder if she's really wanting Lum to be there or not, but she continually sends notes and threats to Lum about her being sick but almost being better and that Lum had better stay away. Lum takes the hint and stays away for the most part but some of Ran's pleadings to stay away seem to call her to visit so she eventually does come and visit. This alternately seems to make Ran happy and scared and as we see how Lum used to act when she visited Ran as a child when Ran was sick it all makes sense. Similar to past trips to their childhood, Lum's ways seem to always get Ran into even more trouble and situations that Lum herself would come out of nice and clean. The cuteness factor is high here though from the tiny robot Ran's to the way so many things in her place have Rei's image as a giant moo-cow on them. Having child versions of the characters also made for a lot of fun since their time as friends is just so mean at times.

My favorite episode on this volume has to be the last one though where we're taken to the Mendou estate once again and the story revolves around their most lovely and curious creature, the tiny octopus. It kicks off with some amusing homages to slasher movies as it has one of the creatures that's been kept locked up in the basement breaking free and out loose on the properly. Shutaro had been instructed to keep it under lock and key by his grandfather on his deathbed so he takes it seriously as they try to find the little guy and stop him before he goes adventuring. After being out of school for a week, a bunch of the gang shows up at his place to see what's up and they get wrapped up in the weird strange silly adventure which even the narrator comments on. I simply love the little octopi that make up part of the estate, especially the entire roll call sequence that they go through. The main octopus of this tale is a really amusing fellow as well and though the story is pretty much senseless, it fits perfectly into the series.

In Summary:
This volume has a lot of fun material to it, from the wingdings of Lum's native language subtitles to Ten's chasing of butterflies and getting so hot that he can't land. Add in the fun of the octopi of the Mendou estate and a massive girl hunting binge by Ataru and a lot of the bases are covered here. Some of the secondary characters that need more time do show up here in a few places but mostly as one joke notes, such as Shinobu and Cherry. They do serve as reminders that they exist though and that more material needs to be told about them. This is a good set of episodes overall and had us laughing quite a lot.

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, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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