Urusei Yatsura TV Vol. #46 - Mania.com

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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. #46

By Chris Beveridge     January 19, 2006
Release Date: June 06, 2006

Urusei Yatsura TV Vol. #46
© AnimEigo

What They Say
In the 46th installment of the show that turned yoga into a contact sport, the smell of sake is in the air as Sakura tries to rid herself of a spirit with a taste for spirits.

The Review!
The random adventures continue in the volume that kickstarts the tenth and final box set of the series release.

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.

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.

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. This cover is a bit of a change as it has a number of characters on it in bubble headshots floating across and it's a nice change of pace, though they are just as fuzzy as previous releases. 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.

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.


Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The latest installment of unconnected episodes brings about the usual kind of comedy and hilarity that have been seen throughout the last batch of discs. There continues to be some good material here and surprise that they can still find stories that haven't been done to death but they're still not quite at that same comedic level as the first couple of seasons, partially just due to the familiarity with it all. It's not quite stagnant but that flair of originality just isn't there like it used to be.

That said, there is a good bit of fun to be had here with the very familiar characters. The opening episode lets Sakura shine a bit as she goes through the process of performing an exorcism on a wine barrel that has a spirit inside of it. The exorcism goes poorly though and the spirit ends up inside her which then has her subconsciously wanting to drink. The "spirit spirit" as it becomes known, does its best to get her tipsy at the least which leads to bad situations at the outdoor tea ceremony that Mendou has for her, Shinobu and Lum. No liquor is there but with Ataru now learning of the spirit's influence on her he's giving her food laced with liquor. Even worse, Mendou's father is having an outdoor party of his own with real liquor along with Cherry, Kotatsu-Neko, Onsen and the principal. This draws the spirit spirit out even more and it just gets sillier as it goes along.

One episode that started off in an interesting way and then went completely strange has everyone being kept down by a week of rain. Lum's getting cabin fever over it but then realizes that something has to be done since all Ataru has done all week is eat and read comics which has led to him having a really full belly now. She drags him off to a yoga class which she's surprised to find others there such as Mendou and Sakura but all of them are shocked that that class is really being run by Cherry. It has some amusing moments before it goes into strange territory that has their imaginations going well. It does have some really great scenes though where Lum and Ataru end up married with kids and the kids are all like Ten-sized versions of Ataru with green hair and all. It's so wonderfully perfect but sadly far too short and unexplored.

The episode I had the most fun with though is the last one which has Lum creating a special soap for herself to use but it ends up in Sakura's hands by accident. The soap is so potent that when it's used, it overbubbles fast and covers your entire body. This is a problem because it works so well that when you try to touch that person, such as Tsubame trying to hold Sakura's hand, her hand simply pops out of his like a bar of wet soap. Ataru sees this as an opportunity and ups his chasing of her while Tsubame tries to figure out whether he's being rejected or not. It's a bit more slapstick than Sakura usually ends up in and she rolls well with it. It's especially good since it provides some fanservice of her as well.

In Summary:
Even when the material is weaker than it used to be, Urusei Yatsura is a show that still brings a smile to my face with its character and sense of humor. There continues to be some good cultural bits throughout as well as plain weird material that's always been there. This volume has some solid episodes to it that had us laughing and looking forward to more of it. Fans who've made it this far will likely find it just as amusing as it fits well with the last several volumes that have come out.

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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