English did not fare well in this series, even simple ones.
Originally I have mentioned that I will only watch all six of the Urusei Yatsura movies after maybe one or two other reviews, but after reading the whole manga, I went ahead and watched them anyway (Gigantic Formula and Macross has to wait a bit). So here is my take of all 6 movies, consolidated into one single blog entry. It is highly unlikely that I will watch the OVA, so this should be the last Urusei Yatsura-related review in this blog.
Movie 1 – Urusei Yatsura: Only You (うる星やつら オンリー・ユー)
Mendou did not feature prominently in any of the movies, so I give him face and put one of the best characters in the TV anime here.
Takes place in the first 40 episodes of the TV anime, where Shinobu still have shreds of feelings for our lecherous Moroboshi 'Darling' Ataru, this movie is basically a flip of the ending of the manga (and storyline of the fifth movie). Instead of Lum, it is Darling instead who was kidnapped by a random alien who wants to marry him. With this, Lum and her friends plus her father personal army has to invade the kidnapper's planet to save her Darling.
Basically, almost all the things I have mentioned in the TV anime review (character development etc.) applies here (in all six movies), but in this movie, Darling did not show the full extent of his character strengths as shown in the TV anime yet. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it is still early in the series, but Darling is not decisive and cold-hearted enough unlike the version in the manga and TV anime series. The story is pretty decent but I think it is more suited as a TV anime episode than a movie.
Movie 2 – Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer (うる星やつら２ ビューティフル・ドリーマー)
The members of the notorious 2nd year 4th class, stuck in the same grade for 3 years except in the third movie.
Takes place roughly between episode 70 and 100 and followed the usual plot device the TV anime uses; this movie is an elaborate modern adaptation of Urashima Taro mythology, amongst others. Instead of a person, it was the whole Tomobiki city that was whisked on the back of the 'turtle' to the 'dragon palace'. Read the Wikipedia entry above to see what this mythology is all about.
Darling returned to his very best in this movie, which by itself is better than the first movie above. The discourse between Darling, Mendou and Sakura in the last half-hour of the movie is the highlight of the movie.
Movie 3 – Urusei Yatsura: Remember My Love (うる星やつら３ リメンバー・マイ・ラブ)
His ability of thoroughfully mocking other people is what makes Darling one of the best characters in anime history.
Takes place roughly between episode 100 and 150, this is the best movie from all six Urusei Yatsura movies. Darling and Lum visits a newly-opened amusement park, and Darling was turned into a pink hippo at a magic show. Lum went ahead chasing the culprit while Darling moped around crying at his fate.
The story in movie is excellent despite my pathetic summary above, better than the movies that comes before and after this one. This is also the only movie (or anime episode or manga chapter) that sees the 2nd class 4th class moved up a year.
Movie 4 – Urusei Yatsura: Lum The Forever (うる星やつら４ ラム・ザ・フォーエバー)
This movie stinks, just like the sewers these rats lives in.
If the last movie is the best from all six, this movie is the worst of them all. Takes place in the last 45 episodes of the TV anime, this movie does a Movie 2 and takes another plot device used multiple times in the anime (in this case, making an amateur film). The film contained elements of an old story passed down within Mendou's family, and it (the story) comes true when an old sakura tree in Mendou's estate was cut down during the filming of the movie.
IMHO, this movie tried to pull an Evangelion but failed very miserably. The plot is incoherent, some events are not properly explained, some characters (like Darling near the end of the movie) behave irrationally and the ending is well… ambiguous. There are many loose ends after the end credits stopped rolling.
Movie 5 – Urusei Yatsura: The Final Chapter (うる星やつら 完結編)
What will you get if you try to sexually harass a girl that can emit electricity.
Takes place after the TV anime ends (which spans about 13 out of 15 volumes of the manga), this movie is simply the ending of the manga (and consequently, the series) being brought to 2D animation. There are no major omission and alterations as far as I can see. Basically the opposite of Movie 1, Lum is kidnapped by an alien who wants to marry her. With this, Darling and friends plus his father-in-law personal army has to invade the kidnapper's planet to save his fiancée.
Unlike Movie 1, Darling's character strength is as good as it can be, which helps a lot. The story itself is decent and unlike Movie 1, deserved to become a movie.
Movie 6 – Urusei Yatsura: Always My Darling (うる星やつら いつだって・マイ・ダーリン)
Surprisingly, this awesome scene is lacking in the TV anime or manga. I would kill to see a Mendou vs. Jariten deathmatch.
Takes place after movie 5, definitely; our lecherous Darling is kidnapped by yet another alien princess and yet again Lum has to do what she has done in Movie 1 in this last Urusei Yatsura movie. Personally, I think this one is better than Movie 1 though, mainly because the weakness of Darling character strength is not apparent here. Overuse of this alien kidnapping can be tiresome though.
Ranking of the movies from the best to the worst: Movie 3, Movie 2, Movie 6, Movie 5, Movie 1, Movie 4.
Character development does not really matter here because it seems that the movies should have been watched in the chronology sequence I have written above. This mean, unless noted, all of my comments in the TV anime review applies here.
Rei has this cool spaceship and yet he never shows it in the TV anime. Instead we have to see his goofy backpack instead.
Same as TV anime comment.
Same as TV anime comment.
Lum with her awful and unhelpful description of a spaceship that kidnapped her beloved Darling.
The OST in all movies are decent. For OP/ED themes, Movie 1 uses OP/ED themes from TV anime that is not exactly good. Movie 2 has good English ED theme, but the English OP theme is forgettable. Movie 3 has great OP and ED themes. Movie 4 has good ED theme. Unfortunately, Movie 5 and 6 regressed to Movie 1 level.
Same as TV anime conmment, except for Movie 3 which has better timeline management.
One-liners like this is also what makes this series so awesome.
Movie 1 – 7 out of 10.
Movie 2 – 8 out of 10.
Movie 3 – 9 out of 10.
Movie 4 – 5 out of 10.
Movie 5 – 8 out of 10.
Movie 6 – 7 out of 10.
Nevertheless, for its time, Urusei Yatsura as a whole (TV anime + movies + manga) is truly a great work done by Takahashi Rumiko. Many of its elements have been copied by other titles, especially Darling's character that has been copied in characters like Raou in Inukami. IMO, this is better than Takahashi Rumiko latter works Ranma 1/2 which I watched and read before this blog is started. The arts is archaic (this anime was aired when I am still a snot-nosed brat) but a recommended watch.
Our hero, deprived of women.