Episode 35 – Urusei Yatsura

Call me jaded, but I think Rei and Ran are some of the blandest characters in the main cast. Ran has the potential to be fun when she bounces off of Lum—and they were also childhood friends. But Rei has nothing on him. Considering Ran didn’t interact much with Lum in this episode, the first half of it felt bland. The episode as a whole is saved thanks to the back half focusing on Lum. Her being more proactive and Ataru taking a backseat was refreshing. I would like to see more episodes focusing on Lum’s perspective or seeing her go on adventures with the crazy gadgets that she develops. Maybe the show doesn’t feel like we need a lot of those stories when she’s very open about how she feels but if we can spend time giving character insight into Ataru, I don’t see why we can’t also do that for Lum.

The other reason I wouldn’t say I liked the first skit that much is the weirdly confusing resolution to the neatly set-up mystery around the cupcakes. I know that the cupcakes were not poison but Ran should’ve taken more responsibility for the whole ordeal even if she didn’t kill anybody. Besides she’s getting mad that people got mad at her for the cupcakes after what they did to Ataru—but she gave a cupcake willingly to a creature that was put in a similar bloated state. Just because it doesn’t kill doesn’t mean that her cupcakes didn’t cause people a lot of pain or make them incredibly uncomfortable. She got off too easy and that spoiled whatever punchline they were going for at the end.

The second half of this episode was a good palate cleanser. That cute little fox boy returns and their gimmick about wearing disguises based on the other characters is adorable. I was confused about where the episode was going with the legend of the fox transformation. Still, the scene of everybody gathering around and eating as adorable foxes just warmed my heart. Hands-down a highlight of the episode.

I guess I should also mention that the side plot revolving around the teacher doing home visits that have been happening at the end of each episode this season got resolved. I’m echoing my feelings last week about how even though this guy is being presented as an unreasonable and abrasive teacher, he gets dealt such a bad hand that I’m starting to feel sympathy. No one treats this guy like a human except for Lum’s parents—and that’s quite sad. It would be nice to get a follow-up on this resolution regarding the kids wondering if their teacher retired because they treat him like garbage but that’s probably wishful thinking. Overall, it was a fine two-minute distraction at the end of each episode but it was not super relevant either.


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