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Urusei Yatsura

Urusei Yatsura
Urusei Yatsura volume 1 tankobon cover.jpg
Cover art of the 1980 first tankōbon volume featuring lead characters Ataru Moroboshi and Lum Invader
Genre Teen comedy, Romance, Science fiction
Written by Rumiko Takahashi
Published by Shogakukan
English publisher Viz Media
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Weekly Shōnen Sunday
Original run 19781987
Volumes 34 (List of volumes)
TV anime
Directed by Mamoru Oshii
Kazuo Yamazaki
Studio Studio Pierrot, Studio Deen
Licensed by AnimEigo
Network Fuji Television, Animax, ATV
English network Animax Asia, Animax India
Original run October 14, 1981March 19, 1986
Episodes 195 (List of episodes)
Original video animation
Studio Kitty Films
Licensed by Animeigo North America
United KingdomMVM Films
Released 19852010
Episodes 12 (List of episodes)
See also
Anime and Manga Portal

Urusei Yatsura (うる星やつら?) is a comedic manga series written and illustrated by Rumiko Takahashi that premiered in Weekly Shōnen Sunday in 1978 and ran until its conclusion in 1987. Its 374 individual chapters were collected and published in 34 tankōbon volumes. The series tells the story of Ataru Moroboshi, and the alien Lum who believes she is Ataru's wife after he accidentally proposes to her. The series makes heavy use of Japanese mythology, culture and puns. The series was adapted into a TV anime series produced by Kitty Films and broadcast on Fuji Television affiliates from 1981 to 1986 over 195 episodes. Eleven original video animations and six theatrical movies followed, and the series has been released on VHS, Laserdisc and DVD in Japan.

The manga series was republished in several different formats in Japan. Viz Media licensed the series for English publication in North America under the names Lum and The Return of Lum, but the series was dropped after nine volumes were released. The television series, OVAs and five of the films have been released in North America with English subtitles by AnimEigo who provided extensive notes on the series to allow people to understand the many cultural references and jokes in the series that would normally be impenetrable for non-Japanese. The remaining film Beautiful Dreamer was released by Central Park Media. Five of the movies as well as the OVA's are available from MVM Films in the United Kingdom.

The series has received positive reception inside and outside of Japan from both fans and critics. In 1981, the series received the Shogakukan Manga Award. The television series is credited with introducing the format of using pop songs as opening and ending themes in anime. In 2008 the first new episode in 17 years was shown at the Rumiko Takahashi exhibition It's a Rumic World.



An alien race known as the Oni arrive on Earth with the intention of invading the planet. Instead of taking over the planet by force, the Oni give humans a chance to fight for the rights to the planet by competing in a competition. The competition is a variant of the game of tag (literally "the game of the Oni" in Japanese), in which the human player must touch the horns on the head of the Oni player within one week. The computer selected human player is Ataru Moroboshi, a highly lecherous, very unlucky and stupid high school student from the Japanese city of Tomobiki, and the Oni player is Princess Lum, daughter of the leader of the attempted Invasion.

Despite his initial reluctance to take part in the competition, Ataru becomes extremely interested in the game when he meets Lum. When the competition begins, Lum surprises everyone by flying away and Ataru finds himself unable to catch her. Before the last day of the competition, Ataru's girlfriend Shinobu Miyake encourages Ataru by pledging to marry him if he wins. On the final day of the competition, Ataru wins the game by stealing Lum's bikini top, which prevents her from protecting her horns in favor of protecting her modesty. In celebrating his victory, Ataru expresses his joy at being able to get married; however, Lum misinterprets this as a proposal from Ataru and accepts on live television. Despite the misunderstanding, Lum falls in love with Ataru and moves into his house.

Despite Ataru's lack of interest in Lum (due of immense shame that the tag game brought to him) and attempts to rekindle his relationship with Shinobu, Lum frequently interferes and eventually Shinobu loses interest in Ataru. Still, Ataru's high flirtatious nature persists despite Lum's constant attention. Lum attempts to stop him from flirting, which results in Ataru receiving powerful electric shock attacks from Lum as punishment. Two characteristics of Ataru are particularly strong: his bad luck that draws to him all possible weirdos of the planet, the spirit world and even galaxy, and his prodigious ability to support extreme physical wounds without a scratch, beyond doing incredible physical performances like ninja tricks and catching a katana with his bare hands.

Later Lum begins attending the same school as Ataru despite his objections (he strangled himself with the food he was eating when he heard the news), and Lum develops a fanbase of admirers among the boys of the school, including Shutaro Mendou, the rich and handsome heir to a large corporation all the girls from Tomobiki are crushing on ( who is in truth not so different from Ataru ). Despite their romantic interest, none of Lum's admirers would risk upsetting Lum by trying to force her and Ataru apart, although this doesn't stop them from trying to get Ataru punished from his own behavior, and interfering every time they get closer.

As the series continues Ataru develops his own feelings for Lum but, for reasons never explained, he denies them even to himself and acts brashly towards her. Only when he is almost certain to lose her, he shows how much he values her, sometimes even putting his life in peril, almost to a suicidal level. After the danger passes, his idiocy and blasé attitude resume. Most visibly in the Destiny Production Arc, he had the opportunity to construct his ideal future, where he is the master of a harem. However, while visiting this future he discovered that Lum dumped him because of the ill-treatment that his future-self (to keep the harem, set in a mere six tatami mat apartment, he sold all of her things, made her find a part-time job, sleep on the roof, and even stopped feeding her) the present Ataru didn't think twice before throwing this future aside. Similarly, seeing how happy Lum was in a future where they were getting married, he did all he could to save it.

The stories are mostly unconnected and very few of them actually told events with later effects in the plot, the majority of the stories concluding without explaing how the things settled, as in the next story all is back to normal. The manga plot differes from the anime/movies plot in some details. First many characters, that appeared only a couple of times in the manga, became regulars in the anime. The best examples of this are the Lum Strormtroopers: Megane, Chibi, Perm and Kakugari. While in the manga they appeared only in the first two volumes, later replaced by Shuutaro Mendou, in the anime they are among the main characters ( particularly Megane), filling they roles alongside Mendou. Another example is Ten, the arsonist cousin of Lum, that in the manga appeared from the seventh volume, but in the anime he appeared since the third episode, so many tales are modified to include him. Many of the anime episodes are based on two or more tales put together, others are entirely new tales, and others are expanded single chapters. Also the tales composed of more chapters are compressed in single episodes. Finally, the order in which stories are told is different from the one of the manga.

Also, Ataru and Lum are closer in the anime, sharing many more romantic moments and even properly kissing each other a couple of times (somenthing that never happened in the manga). However, their relationship in the anime is also more complicated, because the order of episodes is different than the original manga order, so the evolution of the characters isn't linear. So in some episodes Ataru is extremely (but subtly) attached at Lum, but in the next he tries to get rid of her forever. The same concept is appled to the other characters. For this reason the love square between Shinobu, Lum, Ataru and Mendou never came to an end, while in the manga Shinobu has a storyline devoted to her moving on from her crush, Mendou, in favor of Inaba, a trans-dimensional man dressed as a bunny, that in the anime appeared only in the first OVA and in the fifth movie.


The title of the series roughly translates to "Those Obnoxious Aliens". The title is written using specific kanji instead of hiragana to create a Japanese pun.[1][2] In 1977, Takahashi created Those Selfish Aliens, a "wacky boy meets alien" romantic comedy. Urusei Yatsura was developed from similar concepts, and published when Takahashi was twenty-one years old.[3] Takahashi said that she had been dreaming about the overall universe of Urusei Yatsura since she was very young. She said that the series "really includes everything I ever wanted to do. I love science fiction because sci-fi has tremendous flexibility. I adopted the science fiction-style for the series because then I could write any way I wanted to". The series was her first major work, having previously only published short stories.[4] Takahashi considers Ataru to be the main character.[5] When Takahashi ran out of ideas she would create new characters.[6] Takahashi had difficulty meeting deadlines to begin with, so chapters were published sporadically until 1980. She shared a small apartment with two assistants, and often slept in a closet due to a lack of space. While writing Urusei Yatsura she also began work on Maison Ikkoku.[7] In 1994, Takahashi stated that she will not produce any more content for the series.[8] Bewitched is credited as being an inspiration for Takahashi. Lum's use of the English word "Darling" was to emphasise her status as a foreigner.[9]

The characters of Megane, Perm, Kakugari and Chibi are recurring characters throughout the anime adaption, however in the manga they are nameless fans of Lum who are never seen after Mendou is introduced.[2] In contrast the character Kosuke Shirai plays a large role in the manga, but does not appear in the anime series. His role is often performed by Perm.[10] The second half of the anime is closer to the manga than the first half.[2] The character Ten made a much later appearance in the manga than in the anime.



The series began sporadic serialisation in 1978's 39th issue of the manga anthology Shonen Sunday and ended in 1987's eighth issue after publishing 374 chapters over almost 6000 pages.[2][11][12] A total of 34 individual volumes with 11 chapters each were released in tankōbon format between 1980 and March 1987.[12][13][14] After the tenth anniversary of start of the series, it was printed in 15 "wideban" editions between July 1989 and August 1990.[15][16] Each volume contained around 25 chapters, and were printed on higher quality paper, with new inserts.[12] A bunkoban edition of the series was released over 17 volumes between August 1998 and December 1999. Each volume contains forewords by other manga creators discussing the influence the series had on them.[12][17][18] A "My First Big" edition was printed between July 2000 and September 2004. This edition was similar to the tankōbon but used low quality paper and were sold at a low price.[12][19][20] A shinsoban edition over 34 volumes was released between November 17, 2006 and March 18, 2008. This edition was also similar to the tankōbon but used new cover artwork and included a section that displayed artwork from current manga artists.[12][21][22]

After requests from fans, Viz Media licensed the series for release in English across North America under the title of Lum * Urusei Yatsura.[23] Despite a strong start, the series was dropped after 8 issues. The series was then reintroduced in the monthly Viz publication Animerica and because of the long gap the series was retitled The Return of Lum.[12] The English release finished in 1998 and is now out of print. The first 11 volumes of the Japanese release were covered, but several chapters were excluded and a total 9 English volumes of the series were released.[2][12]


The series was adapted by Kitty Films into a 195 episode TV series that aired from October 14, 1981 to March 14, 1986 on Fuji Television. With the exception of episodes 10 and 11, the first 21 episodes contained two stories.[2][24][25] The first 106 episodes were directed by Mamoru Oshii and the remainder by Kazuo Yamazaki.[26][27] Six opening theme songs and nine closing themes were used during the series.[28]

On December 10, 1983, the first VHS release of the series was made available in Japan.[29] The series was also released on fifty Laserdiscs.[30] Another VHS release across fifty cassettes began on March 17, 1998 and concluded on April 19, 2000.[31][32] Two DVD boxsets of the series were released between December 8, 2000 and March 9, 2001.[33][34] These were followed by fifty individual volumes between August 24, 2001 and August 23, 2002.[35][36]

During 1992, the series was licensed for a North American release by AnimEigo. Their VHS release began in October of the same year and was among the first anime titles to receive a subtitled North American release. However the release schedule was erratic.[2][23][37] AnimEigo later released the series on DVD. The series was available in box set form as well as individual releases. A total of 10 boxsets and 50 individual DVDs were released between March 27, 2001 and June 20, 2006.[38][39] Each DVD and VHS contained Liner notes explaining the cultural references and puns from the series.[40] A fan group known as "Lum's Stormtroopers" convinced the Californian public television station KTEH to broadcast subtitled episodes of the series in 1998.[23] AnimeEigo's license later expired, and has confirmed that the series is out of print as of September, 2011.[41]


During the Television run of the series, four theatrical films were produced. Urusei Yatsura: Only You was directed by Mamoru Oshii and began showing in Japanese cinemas on February 11, 1983.[42] Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer was also directed by Mamoru Oshii and was released on February 11, 1984.[43] Urusei Yatsura 3: Remember My Love was directed by Kazuo Yamazaki and released on January 26, 1985.[44] Urusei Yatsura 4: Lum the Forever was directed again by Kazuo Yamazaki and released on February 22, 1986.[45]

After the conclusion of the television series, two more films were produced. A year after the television series finished, Urusei Yatsura: The Final Chapter was directed by Satoshi Dezaki and was released on February 6, 1988 as a tenth anniversary celebration. It was shown as a double bill with a Maison Ikkoku movie.[30][46] The final film, Urusei Yatsura: Always My Darling was directed by Katsuhisa Yamada and was released on August 18, 1991.[47] [48] In North America, "Beautiful Dreamer" was released by Central Park Media. The remaining five films were released by AnimEigo in North America and MVM Films in the United Kingdom.[40]

  OVA releases

On September 24, 1985, the special Ryoko's September Tea Party was released consisting of a mixture of previously broadcast footage along with 15 minutes of new material. Almost a year later on September 15, 1986, Memorial Album was released, also mixing new and old footage.[49][50] On July 18, 1987 the TV special Inaba the Dreammaker was broadcast before being released to video. It was followed by Raging Sherbet on December 2, 1988, and by Nagisa's Fiancé four days later on December 8, 1988. The Electric Household Guard was released on August 21, 1989 and followed by I Howl at the Moon on September 1, 1989. They were followed by Goat and Cheese on December 21, 1989 and Catch the Heart on December 27, 1989. Finally Terror of Girly-Eyes Measles and Date with a Spirit were released on June 21, 1991.[51] The OVA's were released in North America by AnimEigo who released them individually over 6 discs.[40]

On December 23, 2008 a new special was shown for the first time at the It's a Rumic World exhibition of Rumiko Takahashi's works. Entitled The Obstacle Course Swim Meet, it was the first animated content for the series in 17 years.[51][52] On January 29, 2010 a boxset was released featuring all of the recent Rumiko Takahashi specials from the Rumic World exhibition. Entitled It's a Rumic World, the boxset contains The Obstacle Course Swim meet as well as a figure of Lum.[53]

  Other media

Cover of Vinyl release of Music Capsule
  Music Capsule LP album

A large number of LP albums were released after the series began broadcasting. The first soundtrack album was Music Capsule which was released on April 21, 1982, and a follow up Music Capsule 2 was released on September 21, 1983. A compilation The Hit Parade was released in July 1983, and The Hit Parade 2 was released on May 25, 1985. A cover album by Yoko Matsutani, Yoko Matsutani Songbook was released on May 21, 1984. Lum's voice actress Fumi Hirano also released a cover album, Fumi no Lum Song which was released on September 21, 1985.[54][55]

Many games have been produced based on the series.[56] The first game to be released was Urusei Yatsura: Lum no Wedding Bell (うる星やつらラムのウェディングベル?), which was released by Jaleco for the Nintendo Family Computer on December 23, 1986, exclusively in Japan.[57] The game was a port of the arcade game Momoko 120%.[58] In 1987, Urusei Yatsura was released by Micro Cabin for the Fujitsu FM-7 and Urusei Yatsura: Koi no Survival Party (うる星やつら恋のサバイバルパーチー?) was released for the MSX computer.[59][60] Urusei Yatsura: Stay With You (うる星やつら STAY WITH YOU?) was released by Hudson Soft for the NEC PC Engine CD on June 29, 1990 with an optional music cd available.[61] Urusei Yatsura: Miss Tomobiki o Sagase! (うる星やつらミス友引を探せ!?) was released by Yanoman for the Nintendo Game Boy on July 3, 1992.[62] Urusei Yatsura: My Dear Friends (うる星やつら~ディア マイ フレンズ?) was released by Game Arts for the Sega Mega CD on April 15, 1994.[63] Urusei Yatsura: Endless Summer (うる星やつら エンドレスサマー?) was released for the Nintendo DS by Marvelous on October 20, 2005.[64]


Takahashi stated that the majority of Japanese Urusei Yatsura fans were high school and university students. The series' peak readership figures were with 15-year-olds, but the distribution of readers was skewed towards older males. She said that this was "very easy" for her since the ages of the readers were similar to her own age; Takahashi expressed happiness that people from her generation enjoy the series. Takahashi added that she felt disappointment that Urusei Yatsura did not gain much interest from children, believing that the series may have been too difficult for children. She believed that "manga belongs fundamentally to children, and maybe Urusei Yatsura just didn't have what it took to entertain them".[65]

The manga received the Shogakukan Manga Award in 1981.[66] The series is considered an excellent source for references to Japanese culture and mythology.[67]

In Manga: The Complete Guide, Jason Thompson referred to the original manga as "A slapstick combination of Sci-Fi, fairy-tale and ghost-story elements with plenty of cute girls". He also notes that Lum is "the original Otaku dream girl". He awarded the series four stars out of four.[68] Christina Carpenter of THEM Anime praises the characters and humor and notes the influence the series had on other series over the years. Carpenter summarises the series as "Original and unapologetically Japanese classic that earns every star we can give" and awarded the series five stars out of five.[69] In an interview with Ex.org, Fred Schodt expressed a surprise at the popularity of the English release of the manga as he believed the cultural differences would be a problem.[70]

In The Anime Encyclopedia, Jonathan Clements and Helen McCarthy viewed the series as "a Japanese Simpsons for its usage of domestic humor and make note of AnimEigo's attention to providing notes for those unfamiliar with Japanese culture. They summarise the series as "a delight from beginning to end" and that the series "absolutely deserves its fan favorite status".[71] Writing in Anime from Akira to Princess Mononoke, Susan J. Napier dedicates several pages to discussion of the series, regarding it as "a pioneering work in the magical girlfriend genre". Napier contrasts the series to Western shows such as Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie, highlighting their harmonious resolution to the chaos in comparison to Urusei Yatsura's "out of control" ending to each episode. Napier later compares the series to other magical girlfriend series such as Ah! My Goddess and Video Girl Ai.[72] Fred Patten writing in Watching anime, reading manga: 25 years of essays and reviews credits the series with being the first program to inspire translations from fans.[73] Patten later credits the series for introducing the phenomenon of using anime to advertise pop songs, claiming it was a deliberate decision by Kitty Films.[74] Like Napier, Patten compares the series to Bewitched, but also to Sabrina the Teenage Witch.[75]

The series received two awards from the magazine Animage as part of their reader-voted Anime Grand Prix. In 1982, the theme song "Lum no Love Song" was voted best anime song. In 1983, the sixty-seventh episode was voted best episode.[76][77] In 1992, the singer Matthew Sweet released the single "I've been waiting", the video of which features images of Lum from the series.[78] In 1993, a band from Glasgow formed under the name "Urusei Yatsura" as a tribute.[79]

  Japanese culture in Urusei Yatsura

  Fūjin-raijin-zu by Tawaraya Sōtatsu, with Raijin shown on the left and Fūjin right.

The Urusei Yatsura series is deeply interwoven with various elements of Japanese culture, leading to its resonance with Japanese viewers. However, it has been suggested that non-Japanese audiences may experience difficulty when attempting to understand the Urusei Yatsura fictional world. [80] [81]


  Hannya, mask of deep-seated love-hatred.
  Yuki-onna, the beautiful woman leading people to underworld.

Based upon traditional representations of the "Oni", Lum (ラム?) [82] and her kindred are aliens that come from the Oni's planet. In Japanese folklore, "Oni" (?) are simultaneously demons,[clarification needed] symbolizing power, enemies and plague. On the other hand, the people have been worshiping Oni as greater force than the intellect.[83][84] In the first episode of Urusei Yatsura, the Oni people are enemy invaders of Earth.

  Kibune Shrine, there is "Legend of Princess Oni" which is one of Kyoto's mysterious stories. This story is origin of "Setsubun" (節分?).[85][86]
  Mikos wearing the Hakama
  Rabbit is envoy of gods. Chōjū-jinbutsu-giga, a manga of 12th century in Japan, National Treasures of Japan

The motif used in Lum's character design is possibly representative of the Oni "Raijin" (雷神?) (Oni characters with the same motif as Lum are sometimes called "Ogres"). Raijin is a god of lightning, and he is often depicted as a traditional Oni in ancient Japanese artworks. The god possesses cattle-like horns on his head, wears tiger fur, has the ability of flight and is capable of producing lightning bolts.[87] The character of Lum is also possibly derived from, or meant to represent, a "Hannya" (般若?) Oni, in addition to being a Raijin. The ancient Japanese believed that an implacable woman's spirit is changed into a Hannya after her death; a Hannya is therefore another type of demon and also a popular Oni image, particularly for women who appreciate the figure's representation of determination. Lum is depicted as a "cute girl", but similar to a Hannya, her personality projects a woman with a single-minded and implacable side. It should be remembered that there is "Oni-baba" (鬼婆?) as Lum's attribute. Oni-baba is also called "Yama-uba" (山姥?) or "Kijo" (鬼女?). Oni-baba is often drawn as woman having horns and tusks. She is a cannibal phantom living in mountains in folklore. Lum has tusks and occasionally bite her partner, but Japanese don't have uncomfortable feeling in her behavior such as carnivores because they associate female Oni with Oni-baba. 

"Benten" (弁天?) and "Oyuki" (お雪?) are two of Lum's friends and fellow Oni in the series. Benten's character design is "Benzaiten" (弁財天?). Benzaiten is related to the goddess of money from India, and one of 7 lucky gods (or Seven Gods of Fortune); "Shichifukujin" (七福神?). Oyuki's character motif is related to a"Yukionna" (雪女?). A Yukionna is a Youkai or a ghost. The Yukionna are very beautiful women, often leading unsuspecting people to Hades or Hell during a snowy winter nights.[88][89]

"Sakura" (さくら?) is an important character in the series, who is also a "Miko" (巫女 or 神子?). She is portrayed as having supernatural powers. Modern "Miko" assist with shrine functions, perform ceremonial dances, offer omikuji fortune telling, and sell souvenirs. The prototype for this position is the ancient shaman, and has existed from the Bronze Age. Miko are said to make conversation with gods and ancestor ghosts, and they lead ancient rituals as well as ministering to the people of their shrine. "Himiko" (卑弥呼?) is the most famous "Miko" in Japanese history; queen of the ancient country of "Yamataikoku" (邪馬台国?) in Japan (then known as "Wa"). In modern Japan, there are still many shaman called "Noro", "Yuta" or "Itako", and they are believed to have supernatural powers to this day. The female shamanic culture exists widely in South-Eastern Asia, Eastern Asia, and further into Alaska in the Northern Hemisphere.[90][91][92]

"Sakuranbou" (錯乱坊?) is a monk of "Shugendo" (修験道?). Shugendo is a religious fusion of "Mikkyo" (密教?)(Esoteric Buddhism) and Japanese Animism. It's monks believe they are able to get supernatural power by hard ascetic training in nature. We can see still many Shugendo monks in modern Japan. [93]

"Kotatsuneko" (コタツネコ?) is a monster cat, that is a "Bakeneko" (化け猫?); one kind of "Youkai" or ghost. In Japan, there is a folklore that cats have mysterious powers. [94] Cats that are over the age of ten are able to understand human language, and over 20 year-old cats can change themselves into a Bakeneko. The cat's mystic power is not necessarily misfortunate, it may also bring good luck like a "Manekineko" (招き猫?).[95][96]"Kotatsu" (炬燵?) is most popular heating system in Japan, most of the home in Japan have one or two Kotatsu. Steam heater and oil heater is not efficient heating system, because Japanese houses is wooden. Therefore, almost Japanese use Kotatsu for heating their body directly. The Spending time in a quiet winter night with Kotatsu, it is one of the happiest time for the Japanese and cats. It's easy to understanding that cats stick to Kotatsu for Japanese. [97][98][99]

In this series, the animals that have the uncanny ability often had came out. Japanese folklore have many stories that the animals,especially "Tanukis" (タヌキ?) and foxes, have the ability to transform the appearance,and they fool people. There are many such a stories In Japanese traditions. Foxes have been worshiped as Kami of rice. "Inari Jinja" (稲荷神社?) Inari Jinja shrines that the principal image is foxes are able to be found all over the country. Meanwhile, Raccoon dogs have not been deification, they appeared as somewhat goofy characters or villains in fairy tales. [100]

Inaba who came to Tomobiki town from other space was dressed as a rabbit. In Asia, there is a traditions that rabbits live in the moon. Furthermore, because rabbits can come and go freely between the mountains and human habitations, they has been considered messengers of gods. Inaba named is derived from the myth of "The white rabbit in Inaba(Hare of Inaba)". [101] [102]

The raccoon dog named O-shima had appeared in the 3rd movie. In the TV series, there was a episode that he was working something in the closet of Ataru's room. This is a parody of the folk tale called "Tsuru no on-gaeshi" (鶴の恩返し?), "The Grateful Crane". In this country, there is the famous the folk tale called "The Grateful Crane" which is known by 5 years old children even. This folklore is a story that a crane return the favor to elderly couple by shaving the own feather. [103] This story has been an exemplar of social norm to do kindnesses to others, to return favors to others. And it has been applied for many other anime and manga, not only to Urusei Yatsura. [104] [105]


  Lum adorned in Furisode. Furisode is formal-wear for unmarried woman. Kimono drawn by Takahashi reached the level of art. At the time, boys manga creator who could draw kimono so meticulously were very rare.
  Japan will have the richest opportunity to see the traditional clothing in the developed countries.[106]
  Women's and men's Yukata. Yukata is the most essential clothing for the summer events in Japan.

Lum's not only appears in a bikini costume; Lum is often costumed as various ways as an actual Japanese girl. Urusei Yatsura depicted fashion in a level of detail that was unprecedented for a boy-oriented comic at that time. Teenagers regardless of gender were fascinated by Lum's fashionable appearance. Particularly impressive costumes were traditional Japanese "Kimonos" (着物?) in her fashion.

Kimono had been drawn many times in this series. The author, Rumiko Takahashi (高橋留美子?), is a good artist that can draws beautiful Kimonos. There are many types in Kimono of Japan , the main are "Furisode" (振袖?), "Tomesode" (留袖?), "Yukata" (浴衣?). She has been able to draw correctly the detail and difference of the types.

Furisode is formal-wear for unmarried woman, this cloth category is called "Haregi" (晴着?). Furisodes are produced from silk cloth ​​by hand even today, they are very beautiful but very expensive. It's a longing to own her beautiful kimono for Japanese young woman.

Tomesode is everyday-wear for women, and Married women can also use it as formal-wear. Of course, there is the special Tomesode(called Iro-tomesode) for formal scene of married women. Lum has been wearing Tomesode a few times in this series. Difference between Tomesode and Furisode is the length of the sleeve. Tomesode can be made from cutting sleeve of Furisode.

Yukata is night-wear for man and woman. The material is cotton or hemp for well-ventilated, because to spend coolly in humid summer of Japan. Yukata may also be worn as lounge-wear. In traditional Japanese inn; "Ryokan" (旅館?), it's common to rent Yukata free. [107] Because Yukata isn't so expensive, teenager can purchase one. Yukata is most essential costume for the summer events in Japan. Many young women prefer to wear Yukatas. [108]

Kimono form had been almost established in the 16th century, then it have not been changed so significantly until the present. [109] [110] [111] In other developed countries, the traditional clothing may not be found so often as Japan. [106]

"Serafuku" (セーラー服?), the sailor suit, it must not be forgotten in Lum's costume. Elizabeth Lee, the teacher came from the United States, she adopted sailor suit in a schoolgirl uniform in Japan. That's in 1920s. Until then, schoolgirls had been wearing tomesode and hakama. Subsequently, the sailor suit had been made many improvements, it was called Sarafuku that spread quickly in Japan, and became the standard of the schoolgirl uniform in Japan. Now, the Serafuku has also been adopted in Thailand and Saudi Arabia, etc. [112][113]


  Hanami around "Himeji jo" (姫路城?).
  "Bento" (弁当?)

Since being mild and rich nature, Japanese have thought kindly of outdoor events from ancient times. These events, "Hanami" (花見?) and "Utakai" (歌会?) are often done in present yet and also appeared in this manga many times.Remains in the ancient document records 812 AD, that held a Hanami at "Shinsen'en" (神泉苑?) under the auspices of the "Saga Tenno" (嵯峨天皇?). Of course, It goes without saying that wonts such as Hanami had been widely spread among the ordinary people. The meals be served In the Hanami and Utakai. The Bento culture has been developed as outdoor dining for that. Although Most major Hanami is by cherry blossoms, meanwhile plums, apricots, apples, peaches, azaleas and other flowers will be subject of Hanami too.

There are some episodes about fighting with Lum and Benten in Spring. This is based on "Setsubun" (節分?), by striking beans to Oni at February 3, people believe being able to spend safety that one year. One of the origin is the legend of princess Oni of 1000 years ago.[85] (It is a sad love story, but doesn't matter with Urusei Yatsura.)

In this manga, there is a lot of the scene of cleaning the classroom by students. It is not special case. It's not limited to schools, also Japanese will clean corporate offices, factories and roads in front of home themselves. From toddler age, people are trained to look after themselves in Japan. This is called "Shitsuke" (?). This Kanji is consisted from 2 kanjis of meaning "own" and "beauty", and also used as a verb.


  "Urashima Taro" was taken to the utopia by a turtle,and he has fallen in distortion of space-time. This legend had been listed in the "Nihon Shoki"(1300 years ago).

The monster title Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer, in this movie, the legend of "Urashima Taro" (浦島太郎?) has been one of base stories.[114] This legend is as follows, once upon a time, Urashima Taro helped a sea turtle, he was taken to "Ryūgū-jō" (竜宮城?) (the Dragon's Palace) on the ocean floor for the hospitality. And he came back the ground, it had passed time of 300 years, the society and the village he lived had already disappeared. 

Director Mamoru Oshii (押井 守?), he polymerized this legend and the allegory that a human can't distinguish between the boundaries of dream and reality,[115] and he pulled off an achievement which the animation characters were made to be confronted by "the reality" that their town had been closed the space-time.[116][117] In spite of poor distribution and in limited market on television animation, Beautiful Dreamer has received high evaluation.[118] [119] Particularly having gotten high rating from the filmmakers, this movie has influenced on the subsequent Japanese films, mangas and other medias. Until then, the theme of most Japanese anime had been fantasy and SF and sports, but after this movie, dreams and consciousness has became one of the major themes of Japanese animation and manga. This film won him a reputation, he has became one of the masters of the Japanese film industry along with Kurosawa and Hayao Miyazaki.[114] [120] [121] [122]

The turtle in this movie is similar to the turtle of Ptolemaic theory, however of course, it's a quotation from the Urashima legend. "Baku" (?) which play an important role is a legend animal were transmitted to Japan from China. In China, Baku was used as the design of amulet in order to ward off evil. In Japan, people has handed down orally to interpret the Baku eat nightmares.

  Post-surrealism art

  Post-surrealism manga, "Neji Shiki". Despite first time, you might have remembrance of this image.

Avant-garde artistic expression modes had been applied to the TV series and movie of Urusei Yatsura, It was very unusual attempt as for prime time broadcast. One of the artistic expression was post-surrealism; a manga "Neji Shiki" (ねじ式?)(Screw style) of Yoshiharu Tsuge (つげ義春?) was its typical style. The besides Tsuge, there are Shuji Terayama, Tadanori Yokoo in the principal artists of post-surrealism in Japan. We can see the strong influence of their works to the current Japanese manga and anime, etc.

Mangas of Yoshiharu Tsuge has uncomfortable feeling mood against reality, like as Giorgio de Chirico or Paul Delvaux added Wabi Sabi (侘び寂び?). In pictures of Yoshiharu Tsuge, the unstable perspective had been used in the same way of Giorgio de Chirico's works; therefore the readers were always arouse feelings of anxiety. Erotic women and realistic background drawn in detail; on that point we might be able to say it's similar to Paul Delvaux. The characters are bizarre; it can be also said being similar to representations of Dali and Hokusai. The story is absurd, but there is barely plot of story, the ochi (オチ?) (the punch line of a joke) is very fuzzy. The readers is suddenly thrown out in the middle of the story, and will feel a sense of loss strongly. Because being a scene similar in "Spirited Away", people recognized the picture in the cover of "Neji Shiki" who will be not few. Japanese people have conscious strongly nostalgic and deja vu feeling toward his works. [123] His comics had been announced from the 1960s, they were very avant-garde subculture at that time (still now too). The manga "Neji Shiki" had been also attempted to make visualization by the short film, but it could not be said to be the succeeded work.

In major media, Urusei Yatsura is the first one attempted to apply avant-garde Surrealism such as "Neji Shiki". The most typical works are TV episode #76, #132 and "Beautiful Dreamer". The scene of these episodes have many allegory tools; like as medieval western painting.[124] The items with attributes such a mask, beldam and dolls have been located in these works, they drag the viewers into special psychology mode without mercy. [125] The cultures with long history are cleverness, there are full of allegory in even cheap TV animations. This is the reason why almost Japanese people value "Beautiful Dreamer" highly made by cheap money, than "Inception" with rich budget. [126] [127] [122] Japanese animation persisting stubbornly handmade painting without easily shifting into 3D CG, and the medieval western paintings with rich allegories; it is interesting implication that they have common rules. [128]

One by one of such a representations itself is not rare, the use in Urusei Yatsura is not the first time. But Urusei Yatsura established one style with summarizing such a representations of post-surrealism. In the 1980's, Urusei Yatsura TV series had a viewing rate close to 30% in the prime time of the national broadcast; hence it follows that most of teenagers were watching this TV series.[129] It had been used in the whole film of Beautiful Dreamer, the effect has been demonstrated. It became possible to make creative visions like this, because worldview of Urusei Yatsura is wider extremely, and animation creators have long films for broadcast time being longer against original story.

Mamoru Oshii used visual representation of post-surrealism such as "Yoshiharu Tsuge"(hereinafter, this is called "Tsuge-ism") as for visual representation of between this world and the underworld. Because It was very effective, Japanese people were committing "Tsuge-ism" to memory as strongly striking image. Although "Tsuge-ism" was merely as one of sub-culture before that time, Urusei Yatsura was one of opportunity for widely recognized the representation; the subsequent influence of post-surrealism against subsequent visual representation can not be ignored in Japan. With increasing of arts, films and manga influenced by post-surrealism, Urusei Yatsura is being valued highly. [130] [122]

Notwithstanding "Urusei Yatsura was a comedy manga for boys, it had delicate and female representation about fashion by the female creator. Rumiko Takahashi's works are filled with motifs of traditional culture inspired from her deep knowledge of Japanese history. And it has become one of the major attractions of her works. Japan is "Kuni"(country) of Iron Age has continued as modern nation intact until today.[131] Japanese lifestyle had been established in the 16th century. Although the social system has changed during 500 years, the traditions and customs are passed down, the basic values ​​have not changed much even today. Japanese are able to understand what the worldview and mentality of people of 500 years or older ago without difficulty.[132] For this reason, newest manga and anime even have rich allegories of old age. By knowing the history of Japan, the readers should be able to enjoy a deeper latest them.[133]


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  103. ^ "鶴の恩返し". studioadvantage/Youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7BxdNCzx9M. Retrieved March 31, 2012. 
  104. ^ "The Crane Lady". HeartLand Gaien. http://www.geocities.co.jp/HeartLand-Gaien/7211/turu.html. Retrieved April 16, 2012. 
  105. ^ "鶴の恩返し". 日本文化いろは辞典,Synergy Marcketing, Inc.. http://iroha-japan.net/iroha/D02_folktale/05_tsuru.html. Retrieved April 16, 2012. 
  106. ^ a b Maïa Maniglier. "French women enlighten "Kimono". Splendor that the folk costume live in contemporary. フランス女性が開眼した「着物」 民族衣装が現代も生きる素晴らしさ". Nikkei. http://www.nikkeibp.co.jp/article/column/20090317/139556/. Retrieved April 30, 2012. ,"Kimono are ethnic costumes but also daily basis clothes. The ethnic costume is being worn usual, it is seen in only Japan in the developed world. It's very wonderful thing."
  107. ^ "Yukata". About.Com. http://japanese.about.com/library/blhiraculture37.htm. Retrieved April 17, 2012. 
  108. ^ "Symbols of Japanese Summer". About.Com. http://japanese.about.com/library/weekly/aa081901a.htm. Retrieved April 17, 2012. 
  109. ^ "Japanese YUKATA— Summer Kimono". Nippon Style .info. http://www.japanstyle.info/08/entry139.html. Retrieved April 17, 2012. 
  110. ^ "Kimono, Learn Japanese - Japanese language and culture". gaikoku.info . http://gaikoku.info/japanese/kimono.htm. Retrieved April 17, 2012. 
  111. ^ "Kimono". Let's travel in Japan. http://www.ltij.net/kimono.html. Retrieved April 17, 2012. 
  112. ^ "The Birth of Serafuku, セーラー服の誕生". Nishi-Nippon Railroad Co., Ltd.. http://www.nishitetsu.co.jp/n_news/backnumber/n0105/special_main.htm. Retrieved April 30, 2012. 
  113. ^ Miss Diamond and Serafuku, Elizabeth Lee and her period. ミス・ダイヤモンドとセーラー服 エリザベス・リーとその時代. Chuokoronshinsha 中央公論新社. http://books.google.ru/books?id=yYlqSwAACAAJ. Retrieved April 30, 2012. 
  114. ^ a b "SF top movies / SF 傑作選". http://pliocena.com/sf/urusei2.html. Retrieved May 3, 2012. 
  115. ^
      "Zhuang zhou meng die" (庄周梦蝶)
    Another important motif is "Zhuang zhou meng die"(庄周梦蝶)which is Chinese classic narrative; "Kocho no yume" (胡蝶の夢?) in Japan; "Zhuangzi dreams of a butterfly". It's a narrative as follows, "I woke up from dream when I had been flying as a butterfly. Had I dream I was a butterfly? Am I being in dream of a butterfly?". Zhuangzi(BC369) had said we cannot discriminate between dream and reality.
  116. ^ "Looping dream". Masamune Nishiura @ Private blog. http://www.ippongi.com/2011/08/18/beautifuldreamer/. Retrieved May 5, 2012. 
  117. ^ "Celebrity selection movies". Takaya Kamikawa(上川隆也) @ Kinema Junpo. http://www.nihoneiga-dvd.com/column/. Retrieved May 5, 2012. 
  118. ^ "Ura no mado kara nagamete mireba 裏の窓から眺めてみれば ". Yoshihisa Tanigawa. http://uramado.cocolog-nifty.com/uramado/2004/12/post_7.html. Retrieved May 3, 2012. 
  119. ^ "Study of Oshii's works". Iori Amasaki. http://amasaki.web.infoseek.co.jp/Osii/Movie/urusei.html. Retrieved May 3, 2012. 
  120. ^ Asahi Shinbun, 2010/10/21,The movie magazine, Kinema Junpo announced the top ten animation film in movie history. The best one of domestic The Castle of Cagliostro by Hayao Miyazaki, The best one of overseas is Fantasia by Ben Sharpsteen. The magazine aggregated the votes of total 67 of intellectuals and commentators. Below the 2nd is as follows. [Domestic] 2) Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, 3) My Neighbor Totoro, 4) Crayon Shin-chan: The Storm Called: The Adult Empire Strikes Back, 5) AKIRA, 6) Puss in Boots, 7) Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer, 7) Hols: Prince of the Sun, 7) The Legend of the White Serpent, 10) Summer Days with Coo, 10) Summer Wars, 10) Castle in the Sky, 10) Grave of the Fireflies
  121. ^ For various reasons, official comments and ratings of the work have been almost none. Whenever similar theme films such as "Dark city" and "Inception" is released from Hollywood, people of the Japanese film industry gather attention to the Beautiful Dreamer. 30 years later now, lively discussions have been expanded on BBS and blogs of internet, there is a tendency of further enhance the evaluation in recent years.Steve Head (co-creator of IGN FilmForce, host of the Diabolique Radio Show) . "Dark City". IGN. http://movies.ign.com/articles/508/508858p1.html. Retrieved May 3, 2012.  "URUSEIYATSURA 2 Beautiful Dreamer @ Media Data Base". Hajime Kurita. http://www.accessup.org/janime/7_URUSEIYATSURA_202_20Beautiful_20Dreamer/. Retrieved May 4, 2012. "Beautiful Dreamer@2ch BBS". 2ch. http://logsoku.com/search.php?query=%E3%83%93%E3%83%A5%E3%83%BC%E3%83%86%E3%82%A3%E3%83%95%E3%83%AB%E3%83%89%E3%83%AA%E3%83%BC%E3%83%9E%E3%83%BC. Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  122. ^ a b c In the "Inception" page of the Wikipedia, the Escher Penrose stairs has been used to describe the layered dreams. 26 years before this movie, Escher staircase had been used also in the brochure of "Beautiful Dreamer". For the Japanese people saw Beautiful Dreamer 26 years ago, there was nothing to look at except luxurious SFX in "Inception". Not few Japanese believe Inception is inspired of "Beautiful Dreamer".(This is not fact.) See also links: http://rocky-rocky.at.webry.info/201008/article_8.html, http://plaza.rakuten.co.jp/poetarin/5062, http://cinema.pia.co.jp/imp/152816/667801/, http://k.onodera.blog.ag/index.php/k.onodera/00000000000000126993, http://www.geocities.jp/eiganohanashi2004/eiga270.html, etc
  123. ^ Shohei Nakajo. "Intoxicated with the poison of Yoshiharu Tsuge". Chikuma Shobō corp.. http://www.chikumashobo.co.jp/blog/pr_chikuma/entry/230/. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
  124. ^
      "Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time", How many you can find allegories?
    Allegory tools: Example,"Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time" of Agnolo Bronzino.
  125. ^ "Urusei Yatsura #76, "The desperate hyperspace part-time job !"". http://fuji-san.txt-nifty.com/osusume/2005/03/76.html. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
  126. ^ Maki a Loki. "Movie "Inception"". Tokyo Geijutsushi(Tokyo art history). http://tokyoartvillage.blog36.fc2.com/blog-entry-529.html. Retrieved May 20, 2012.  (An excerpt and translate)"Of course, Inception has dreadfulness and tremendous impacts of CG, although it is a problem of making picture no longer, not of the movie."
  127. ^ Tomohiro Machiyama, Shinji Miyaji, Tesuo Shinbo. "Movie "Inception" Review". Video news dot com.  (An excerpt and translate)"Machiyama: "Inception" is similar to the Beautiful Dreamer of Mamoru Oshii. It was a breakthrough. The others did not it in the feature film at that era. Miyaji: I should have seen it after the Ponyo."
  128. ^ Keita Ishikawa. "An Introduction of Post-Surrealism in Japan #1". http://hihyosai.mikosi.com/10/10-07.html. Retrieved May 20, 2012. ,(An excerpt and translate) "For the reason, surrealism has strongly influenced to innovative and radical cartoonists such as Yoshiharu Tsuge or Genpei Akasegawa. The radical spirit (of these mangas) and the spirit of surrealism from Europe, they have common roots; that fact maybe closely connected to the reason why Japanese manga has acquired the reader in the world."
  129. ^ Terebi Sedai. "Urusei Yatsura TV series viewing rates". http://www2.tokai.or.jp/uy./nehori.html#f3. Retrieved May 20, 2012. 
  130. ^ Hiroaki Ikeda, Susan Jolliffe Napier, Yomota Inuhiko. "Cinema Reviews Archive". Kinema Jumpo. http://fuji-san.txt-nifty.com/osusume/2005/03/76.html. Retrieved May 20, 2012. ,(An excerpt and translate)"We can say, "Beautiful Dreamer" is the representative work of postmodern arts in a number of ways." by Susan J Napier
  131. ^ There is the evidence of diplomatic relations between Japan and China continent in the 1st century BC. In the 2nd century AC, the Wa (?) union had established. The Yamato sovereignty was established in the 4th century. It is commonly understood that they had became the Imperial Court. The establishment of Japan nation is believed to be in this term.  In the periodization of Japan, the period from the 10th century BC to the 3rd century BC called Yayoi (弥生?) period; this period is comparable from the Neolithic age to the Iron age in terms of the world history.
  132. ^ Konokuni no katachi, vol.1, p.48, Bunshun bunko, Ryoutaro Shiba
  133. ^ Frederik L. Schodt, "Dreamland Japan: Writings on Modern manga". Stone Bridge Press, September 1, 1996. http://www.amazon.com/Dreamland-Japan-Writings-Modern-Manga/dp/188065623X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334765364&sr=8-1. , Google books: Dreamland Japan: Writings on Modern manga. Stone Bridge Press, September 1, 1996. http://books.google.ru/books?id=Loug6sbKTvEC&lpg=PP1&hl=ja&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false. , Japanese version:"Nippon manga Ron". Maaru sha, 1998/03. http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/switch-language/product/4837307337/ref=dp_change_lang?ie=UTF8&language=en_JP. , p301, "The english translation versions of Japanese manga are the entertainment and the Rosetta Stone for mutual understanding between Japanese and foreign people at the same time, because it has possibility of getting a clue."

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