Anime Meta-Review


Urusei Yatsura: OAV Volume no.4


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1 of 1
  • type: OAV
  • grade: flawed
  • 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 4, which is composed of two sections titled "Date with a Spirit" and "Girly-Eye Measles". This tape had a major part in the decision to seperate them out, because it is flawed, but shouldn't be allowed to bring shame on its brothers.

Certainly the stories sound interesting enough. In "Date with a spirit" Tsubame has been haunted by a spirit. Unfortunately it's a rather possesive 16 year old girl who has decided that Tsubame must be her true love. This goes down badly with Ataru who can't cope with the idea of a girl not being his (the existence of life not withstanding) and even worse with the priestess Sakura (Tsubame's Fiancee). In "Girly-Eye Measles" Ataru has caught a strange alien flu that makes your eyes look strange. In fact it makes them look exactly like the most extreme form of shoujo anime girls eyes, even though the sickness only effects males. Lum's efforts to control the spread of this virus are hampered because keeping Ataru from `socialising' is impossible. In time her anger with Ataru turns to horror as the entire UY cast is affected, and redrawn, by this virus.

The real problem is that they are just woefully unsubtle and formulaic. The most minor of jokes (the synopsis above is minimal yet largely complete) are stretched out to fill a full episode. Even for UY, which isn't deep at the best of times, these are shallow. Even worse they try to conceal this deficit with `manic' action and lots of yelling which the creators don't have the skill to manage either. This leads to the warmth and character, which has always been the strength of UY, being largely absent. Which leaves simply a formless, silly mess with little to redeem it. The nicest thing that can be said is that the first episode isn't quite as bad as the second, but I do feel for you if you bought this.

The animation is also very different, with the characters looking quite different from what we have come to expect. On looking at the Anime Movie Guide I was interested to note that this OAV has a date (1991) out of sequence with the rest of the OAV's. Perhaps there is more to the story? Certainly the animation seems to be much looser in style, and attempting to be far more `impressive' while actually having far less budget and skill in production. Thus there is an artificial feel to it, as if a bunch of visual `scenes' have been represented in the most primitive form. In addition the colors are strangely subdued, as if they also feel they are acheiving a more real-world vision...even though the appearance is even more cartoony than other UY samples. While there is no one thing that seems the `flaw' this leaves an unpleasant taste in the mouth.


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