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Those who consider themselves old-school anime fans no doubt know about the legendary series called Urusei Yatsura. Originally released in 1978 as a manga, it would get an anime adaptation in 1981 and would last for over 194 episodes with several OVAs and films…yeah the series is pretty popular. Now nearly 40+ years later, our alien hottie Lum returns to the anime world thanks to David Production for a new adaptation, but can such a classic series be given new life in 2022? We wondered ourselves here at Honey’s Anime and we have some thoughts on the newly planned 46-episode series. Welcome to yet another first impression article where we look at today’s Urusei Yatsura!
Love is Weird but Kind of Silly
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Urusei Yatsura doesn’t waste time diving into the main plot and we’re glad. Invaded by aliens, Ataru Moroboshi ends up being tasked with saving Earth by catching the alien beauty named Lum, which he does. During this strange game for Earth’s freedom from people of another world, Lum hears Ataru mention marriage—he wanted to marry Shinobu Miyake, his current girlfriend—and takes it that they are destined to be married. Lum and Ataru have a weird married relationship but the comedy from them is super silly and fun. Plus, come on, who wouldn’t want to be married to an incredibly hot alien-like Lum…well, not Ataru, who still prefers his girlfriend which we have to admit is some dedication.
That Old-School Feeling We Missed
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One of the strengths—and weaknesses but more on that later—seen in Urusei Yatsura is the old-school feeling. Everything from the way characters scream, the eyes becoming almost comically 80s looking, and the ecchi hit that older anime feel. We kind of miss that in series nowadays that prefer removing the original over-the-top antics in the 80s and 90s in favor of slapstick humor that, while good, doesn’t remind us of the original anime era we loved growing up with.
Lum… Did You Do Something With Your Hair?
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We haven’t mentioned it yet, but let’s finally admit it, Urusei Yatsura looks so much better than the original. We are really glad that character designs and the overall look of the series still pay respect to the original 1981 anime and that is a hard feat for any studio to accomplish. You can’t deny that many would probably prefer to watch this version of Urusei Yatsura over the older one…which didn’t age that well but again, it’s a 40+-year-old anime.
Dad’s Laughing, We’re Not Really
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Here’s the reality of a series like Urusei Yatsura, which came ages ago, coming out in 2022. Many elements of the humor and the story kind of feel dated now. They clearly tried to infuse modern-day jokes and humor in Urusei Yatsura but we don’t know if many modern-day anime fans will love the various old-school tastes that this series still explores. Honestly, it would have probably been less risky rewriting the themes of Urusei Yatsura than trying to stay close to the original when anime has come a long way in terms of comedy, timing, and style.
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Urusei Yatsura is either going to be a beloved series or a hated one. The reason we can see many disliking Urusei Yatsura is that it clearly tries to be like the original 80s series and that really won’t resonate with anime fans who grew up on modern rom-coms like Kaguya Sama or Nisekoi. Urusei Yatsura is still a fun anime to watch and we love Lum with all of our hearts but 40+ episodes of what we’re seeing now might not be that great in hindsight…
Are you a fan of the original Urusei Yatsura and/or just like the current 2022 version? Comment below to sound off with your thoughts on this series! Be sure to keep stuck to our old-school hive here at Honey’s Anime for more anime first impressions and coverage of the fall 2022 anime season!