Anime Meta-Review


Those Obnoxious Aliens


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-2 of 2
  • type: TV
  • grade: flawed
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Sun Sep 24 13:47:13 EST 2000
  • mod: none

This will only be a short review. However if you see this tape and are considering a purchase it may well be an important review. You see this title was used for an English dubbed version of the venerable, and much loved, classic Urusei Yatsura. I have a review of the subbed material, and despite its age it is still eminently watchable. As for this, well, the fans didn't like it much leading to only 2 episodes (of 200 in the full series) being produced. Indeed it has gained quite a reputation as an example of a bad dub.

That said I simply had to give it a try. The first interesting thing is that the opening song (which is still catchy) remains in Japanese. Also the material does not seem to have been edited. So the Urusei Yatsura review is still applicable for the content, letting me focus on the dub.

And the short version is that, yes, it's pretty diabolical. Trying to go deeper I am tempted to say that some of the voices aren't bad, they certainly avoid the `wooden' quality seen on other bad dubs, but there are some very strange choices. Firstly the casting is wrong for a lot of characters (with Ten and Mrs Moroboshi being good examples). However that is relatively subtle compared to their absurd attempts to do extreme characters, dramatics and some unbelievable accent choices. The first hint was when cherry (a dwarf-like demented buddhist priest) starts speaking in an indian accent (why?), followed by the government man sounding italian. However this pales beneath the evil of Lum, who sounds like some unearthly version of spanish. This is a major character and she's simply got a bizarre accent. I stand by my belief that english voice actors cannot do cute, but this isn't helping. Even for the more mundane characters the stilted timing in order to lip-sync, the disconnected feeling of many lines and the over-acting on humorous and dramatic scenes simply doesn't work. It may well be more watchable if you've seen little subbed Japanese anime, and no Urusei Yatsura, but it is still a very dodgy piece of work. In addition, given that there is only a tiny sample, there's precious little point in bothering with this. Although, if you want to torment a confirmed Urusei Yatsura fan you've probably found something close to an ultimate weapon.

Reviews of Urusei Yatsura in any form are relatively rare, but this one is even more specialised (and less pleasant). Indeed none of my regular sources have a review for this title.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:26 WST 2009