Grin. So… this morning I couldn’t sleep and stumbled out to the living room to watch some TV. Nothing particularly interesting was on. I watched a documentary on fish farming.
Then, at ~1:20, I started flipping channels when I saw that one of the public access channels was advertising a 2 hour “Japanese Animation and Other” show. I figured it was worth a shot.
Turned out to be reviews of books on Nazism… so… I went back to the fishes. They’re trying to farm cod out in the open ocean now, you know.
10 minutes later, my documentary ended, and I decided to give the show another chance and was… shall we say, pleasantly surprised.
Turns out, they were airing anime. Specifically, I tuned in to recognize Pajamas Get in the Way – one of the Urusei Yatsura opening sequences. Lum dancing and everything. (The cute Lum, not the MMO guy)
Anyhow. Not only was my television providing me with Urusei Yatsura at 1:30 in the morning, it was providing episodes I hadn’t actually seen before – I’ve only actually seen about 60 or 70 of the >200 TV series episodes.
So… I got to watch episodes 138 and 140.
uy 138 – haunted house special! quest for mendo estate treasure!
Pretty classic sort of happenings here. Shutaro’s grandfather is supposedly dying (but is partying it up until the last), and sends him off to find the family treasure. Naturally Lum, Ataru, Ten, Shinobu, and the Stormtroopers all fall out of the sky for no reason whatsoever and join in the hunt. There is a cute little antarctic octopus, a forgotten theme park and its loyal (starving) ticket taker, an army of robotic penguins that spray shaved ice, a hedge labyrinth, and of course lots of lightning.
I rate the episode a 4 out of 5. Certainly representative of the rest of the franchise and worth the time if you’re a fan. It loses points for not having anything particularly notable to recommend it over half of the other episodes in the series, however.
uy 140 – lum-chan’s becoming a cow?
This episode is really kind of out there – even for UY. Episode opens (and closes) with film noir sort of train station meeting scene. Then Ataru and Lum each get bitten by a cow at the pet store. Lum watches vampires on television and then decides she’s turning into a cow. Enter weird fever dream where Lum imagines a very Japanese faerie tale setting where she (as a cow) visits (peasant woodcutter type) Ataru at his hut in the woods. It reminded me immediately of the Yuki-Onna stories. Naturally, Lum’s not turning into a cow, but threatened hardship brings out Ataru’s true feelings and all ends well.
I rate this episode 3 out of 5. It is… really very weird. And while it certainly belongs in the series, it’s not as enjoyable standalone as other less bizarre episodes. This one’s worth watching, but only if you’re a big fan and are already quite familiar with the show.