Anime Meta-Review


Urusei Yatsura: OAV Volumes no.2,3,5


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-3 of 3
  • type: OAV
  • grade: watchable
  • 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 group includes OAV numbers 2,3 and 5. each of these tapes hold 2 stories. Tape 2 has the stories "Raging Sherbet" and "I Howl at the Moon". Tape 3 has the stories "Catch the Heart" and "Goat cheese" Tape 5 has the stories "Nagisa's Fiance" and "The Electric Household guard".

"Raging Sherbet" is a fun piece largely centered around Lum and her female alien friends, largely Oyuki, Benten and Ran. Ran has borrowed a sherbet bird for a get rich quick scheme, but the animal is less than impressed at being brought to earth and put to work, leading to a fun aerial combat. "I Howl at the Moon" involves Ataru, Onsen-Mark and another one of Lum's special treats, complete with `unexpected' side effects on humans. The action is more restrained and the ending somewhat romantic. "Catch the Heart" introduces a magical candy that causes chaos at school. "Goat Cheese" is a good fun comedy/horror focusing on Mendou, Shinobu and Lum, Ataru. "Nagisa's Fiance" focuses on Ryunnosuke who's thoughtless father has pledged him (actually her) to another tea house girl. The fact that this tea house girl died (trying to perfect a red bean and sea urchin shaved ice treat) only marginally complicates things in this drama centered piece. The "Electric Household guard" gives us an insight into the Mendou family, including its unusual heirs and nutty retainers. There's quite a lot of action, explosions and chasing to keep the viewer entertained.

I don't know if that was worth it, but it might indicate that the stories have quite different styles, casts and focuses. This was most clearly demonstrated on OAV 2 where the two stories have different openings and closings. Indeed the second story used the classical TV opening, which was good to see again. Another difference is that only OAV 2 has the full school cast (Lum's Stormtroopers) and Mendou's Army being called out to intensify the chaos. Not that this is negative, since both these things were added to UY by the anime (they aren't present in the manga). On the other hand the attitude and atmosphere is definitely in the spirit of the TV series. Unlike OAV #1 it does not extend the UY world, but then on the other hand it doesn't demean it like OAV #4. Basically if you enjoy the light hearted action and comedy (both character driven and action based) you'll probably enjoy this. If you don't know UY you're probably going to wonder about the characters, but will probably still enjoy it. But if you dislike UY then this will not be the material to change your mind. I must admit that I watched it, and quite enjoyed it, but neither found it to stick in my memory or demand a re-watch...which is why it is given the rating it is.

Certainly the pleasure is made easier by the animation. It clearly has a bit more money and time than the television series and this is well used for some effects and action sequences. Indeed some of the sequences, especially ataru's ninja skills, are really nice done. At the same time it doesn't try to be too flashy and also maintains the look of the TV series (more or less). As a result of this those who don't know its heritage might be under-impressed by its appearance. It is also worth mentioning again that these tapes were clearly made at different times, so the animation quality and style is fairly variable.


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