What They Say
In the first Urusei Yatsura Movie, “Only You,” Ataru found himself a reluctant bridegroom trapped between two warring Alien Princesses.
In the second Urusei Yatsura Movie, “Beautiful Dreamer,” he found himself trapped in one of Lum’s dreams.
Those were just warmups. This time, Ataru finds himself…
It seems that when Lum was born, a postal screwup resulted in a witchy friend of the family not getting an invitation to the celebration. The witch put a curse on Lum– that she would never be happy with her True Love.
In the present, a new Amusement Park has been built in Tomobiki, and opening day finds the whole gang sampling its pleasures. At a magic show, however, Ataru gets turned into a large pink hippo-potamus– FOR REAL!
When Lum attempts to track down the magician that transformed her Darling, things start to get very weird, very fast!
The audio presentation for this film brings us the original Japanese language track with it encoded in stereo at 192kbps along with an English-language dub. The stereo mix for the show is fairly decent but it’s pretty reminiscent of the same kind of mix we got with the TV series itself so it’s not exactly a wild hopping time of sounds coming from every direction. The mix does sound good, and clearer than the TV mix since it’s several years more recent, and is free of problems such as distortions or dropouts.
Originally released in 1985, the transfer for this film is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and looks really good in a number of areas and really bad in others. It’s something where you want to try to avoid saying it’s a product of its times that just doesn’t hold up as well in conversion to modern playback but I’m not exactly positive on that. In general, the transfer looks decent and won’t be problematic for a lot of people. The areas where we had problems with it come in two flavors; one is that a number of backgrounds, such as the black space sequences or some of the darker night blue sequences, you can see a considerable amount of macroblocking going on there. There’s a pervasive amount of it throughout the show but it’s not anywhere as noticeable as it is in these sequences. The other is that a number of scenes throughout when some fast motions would go by there’d be some very noticeable interlacing going on. Other than that, there’s some of the typical associated with an older print such as some nicks and dust throughout but the colors in general look really good and there are some really nicely animated scenes that hold up very well.
From what I recall, much of this cover is what’s made up the past releases, not that the third movie has seen anywhere near as many releases as the second movie. The look of it is a bit of a color collision that works in some areas but not others. With the heavy red used in the artwork I think it clashes with the green of the logo and subtitle for it. Lum gets a decent piece of artwork but the mixing of her hair as red with the flame seems an odd choice. I do like the inclusion of the hanging windows with people looking through them however. The back cover provides only two minor shots from the show and a number of paragraphs summarizing the premise and maybe just a bit too much of the plot as well. The discs features are clearly listed and the layout easy to read though I wish AnimEigo would drop their sub/dub logo and simply list what actual languages are on there. Unlike past releases, there are no recipe card inserts included in this release.
The menus are a mixed bag. Set with one of the starry backdrops, it has various character animations fading in and out and doing a particular gag or something from the movie. It’s cute and it works but it’s all in English which will turn off a portion of the crowd. The other area that’s not my favorite is the transitional animations which add a bit of time to menu loads and gets annoying if you’re exploring all of the menus several times over. Access times are decent and the layout nicely done. The disc did not accurately read our players language presets however and default to English language with secondary subtitles.
There’s a mix of good extras included in the release. For English language fans, there’s a lengthy behind the scenes piece showcasing most of the actors from the show performing their roles, having small goofs and generally enjoying themselves being on camera. Having been such a long time viewer of this show, hearing their voices coming out of the characters mouths just doesn’t click for me so I admit my enjoyment isn’t quite as high with this. For those wanting more details about the show, the program notes section takes up the role of the recipe cards and provides them on the disc as I’ve longed for them to be for ages now.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
When it comes to the Urusei Yatsura movies, it seems like the second movie gets the most press and the others sort of fall off into the background, sometimes talked about but usually not. While having seen all of them before and owning them on two formats, I find myself guilty of the same thing. Even when I had time to heavily watch shows more than once, I rarely queued up anything past the second movie, even just for background noise.
That’s not to say that they’re bad, they just suffer from being associated with one of the best anime movies I’ve had the pleasure of seeing. To me, just about all of them pale next to Beautiful Dreamer. At the time, having them all released relatively close to each other, it was something of a disappointment to go from one month having the second movie and then a month or two later to third movie. In fact, it’s this particular movie that brought to light one of my favorite romantic aspects of anime in the inclusion of the red string tale. As it’s told throughout a number of anime series, often with younger kids or teens, everyone is tied to their soulmate through a red string that connects them across all of space. It varies by region as to whether it’s on your pinkie or your toe, but it’s always the same in that it cannot be broken. It’s a concept I like and one they have fun with here as when Lum learns of it and believes Ataru is her soulmate, Shinobu simply implies that her alien origins means it doesn’t work for her since it’s an Earth thing.
While the red string aspect makes itself known here and there throughout the story, including a perfect resolution to it, the bulk of the story veers away from it in favor of more traditional Urusei Yatsura storytelling. As it turns out, when Lum was born and the invitations went out, one of them got lost along the way and the witchy woman it was supposed to go to never got it. Feeling shunned, she casts a powerful curse upon the newborn baby girl in that she’ll never find true happiness with her true love. This powerful curse, placed in the form of a crystal ball, was so strong that it was found three hundred years later where a young motherless boy found it and gained the pent up magic within it. Knowing what he did about Lum from the story contained within the crystal ball and all it saw of her, he travels back to 1985 to save what he considers his one true love.
Ruu’s plan plays out flawlessly very early on. Capturing Ataru in a magic trick at a performance, he turns him into a human shaped pink hippo. This takes a huge toll on Ataru, for all the wrong reasons, and he ends up becoming quite the somber person throughout much of this as he tries to deal with it. It’s one of the more open and emotional times we see this character like this and in this form it still carries through with much strength. As he continues to be ostracized over his appearance, Lum tries to track down the magician that caused this and ends up caught up in Ruu’s own little world with the power of the curse.
Her leaving brings about one of the more intriguing things about this show and even though I believe it was done in the TV series as well, it emphasizes certain aspects of this group and its makeup. With Lum gone, all of them are vastly different people in a lot of ways. Shinobu seemingly loses her super strength. Mendou’s ability to talk with his octopi disappears and the Stormtroopers seem adrift, almost like their focus in youth is gone. Masterfully, this is all tied in not only to her disappearance but some sort of belief that the group is simply becoming older. Having followed them through several years and now with them moving on to becoming seniors, it’s all brought together nicely as if the magic of their youth is now leaving them and they must become adults.
Remember My Love has a very strong emotional core to it but it’s not really shown until the final third of the movie. Much of what comes before does have both humor and emotion, but the introspective and really deep meaning parts hit in the last arc that provide a solid payoff to this show. The time in the middle part of the film that focuses around the magician and Lum’s search and confrontations with him are interesting and serve well for motivations, but in the end it’s a part that doesn’t ring too heavily with me as the Urusei Yatsura universe has far too many stories that revolve around someone from their younger days or from the time before they were born that seem to interfere with their attempts to become a couple in the present. It’s a card that I think is just played too often. And even though it’s used here, I will say the results are very positive.
With it being several years since I had last seen this I had forgotten the emotional impact that it carries throughout and even more so in the end. With the passage of time and with me being a far different person than I was ten years ago when I likely last saw it in full, it’s made a bigger impact on me this time around with its strong emotions and character growth. Though the release suffers in some ways, the core show is definitely not one to be missed for Urusei Yatsura fans.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Behind the Scenes, Program Notes
Content Grade: A-
Audio Grade: B
Video Grade: C-
Packaging Grade: C+
Menu Grade: C+
Extras Grade: B
Released By: AnimEigo
Release Date: September 7th, 2004
Running Time: 93 Minutes
Video Encoding: 480i/p MPEG-2
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.