Anime Meta-Review


Urusei Yatsura: Inaba the Dream Maker


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1 of 1
  • type: OAV
  • grade: worthy
  • people: Takahashi
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

Some explanation is in order. There are 6 Urusei Yatsura OAV tapes. They were all made seperately and are a real mixed bag. Thus they have been seperated into seperate groups arranged by quality and similarity. This particular example is OAV number 1. Indeed this piece was one of the examples that made it neccessary. It has an opening unique from the other OAV's, is movie length, has a different feel and superior quality to most of its brothers. It seemed unfair for this suprisingly enjoyable movie to be obscured by the others.

The story focuses on Shinobu (which makes a nice change) who comes in contact with one of the dreadful rabbits of destiny. Well, a cute but somewhat strange guy in a rabbit suit anyway. After a less than subtle pick up line the rather touchy Shinobu sends him stratospheric, but finds he's left behind a strange key. Worried about him getting in trouble she enlists Lum (and thus Ataru) to help return it, leading them into a very strange alternate dimension. In addition this dimension both connects to and has some role in creating the possible futures of the characters. Letting Ataru and Lum into the machinery of fate is bound to be entertaining, but along the way there are some good opportunities for character realisation, and even some unexpected romance for someone who received none during the series.

The anime borrows heavily from Alice in Wonderland for jokes and environment, but is creative enough with what it borrows. In addition it is clever because it makes the UY requirement of having lots of cameo appearances a core part of the plot, while making it clear that only a small group are centrally involved. It is also quite adventurous and skilled in its writing, actually exploring some elements of UY itself as well as making the `villains' interesting in themselves. The dialog and character, especially for Ataru and Lum is quite well brought out. This is really rather good, being able to compete with some of the movies and significantly more impressive than the rest of the UY OAV's. The conclusion is cheeky and charming, while being satisfying. Of course if you like UY precisely for the hyperactive mayhem rather than character and story you may see this piece very differently.

The animation is similar in quality to the later movies. Thus Lum looks quite `fleshy' and Ataru actually shows some muscle. This somewhat reduces from the `look' of classic UY, but it's good enough. The animation is quite reasonable in quality, with some good action sequences that use the environment well and good observation of character. Indeed some of the `other dimension' animation, while being simple in appearance, works really well. The sounds and voices are well done, and music and incidentals seemed good enough. A solid production effort all round.


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