This is a very special anime season. Not only is it overflowing with quality new shows like Chainsaw Man and Gundam: the Witch from Mercury and Reincarnated as a Sword, but we also get the return of beloved favorites like Uzaki-chan, SPY x FAMILY, Golden Kamuy even Bleach. But now the most unexpected anime of all is back after four decades, in the form of Urusei Yatsura 2022. So let’s take a look at the rebooted series together!
A Classic Anime Gets a Reboot! What Should We Expect from Urusei Yatsura 2022?
The new Urusei Yatsura 2022 is a proper reboot of the classic anime, giving us the same story as the original but updated for a modern age. It’s being animated by David Production of Jojo fame, and the show is running in Fuji TV’s Noitamina time slot, reserved for only the best works. The new series aired exactly 41 years after the original show. In keeping with the strong support behind the project, 46 episodes are planned, airing across four cours. Wow!
The story of Urusei Yatsura is such a classic that all anime fans know it, right? That’s actually part of the problem. With 195 episodes, 12 OAVs, and 6 movies, the classic anime might be a little unapproachable to fans who weren’t around then.
The basic story is this: the Earth is being invaded by aliens from the planet Oniboshi (“Planet Ogre”), and Ataru Moroboshi has been randomly selected to represent Earth in a game of tag with the alien princess Lum. Ataru wants to marry the pure-hearted Shinobu, though he’s such a pervert that his eyes wander whenever a new girl enters his field of vision. The other core characters are rich boy Shutaro Mendo, comic relief Buddhist priest Cherry, Lum’s childhood friend Ran, and her baby cousin Ten-chan.
(If you’re interested in dipping your toe into classic UY, I recommend starting with the first two films, Only You and Beautiful Dreamer, created by legendary director Mamoru Oshii. They should be available on Crunchyroll in most countries.)
It’s impossible to overestimate Urusei Yatsura’s influence on the anime and manga industry. The first mega-popular anime helped establish the modern industry as we know it today, just as blockbusters like Jaws and Star Wars changed movies forever back in the 70s. Although the series was too early to find commercial success in the West, it created a wave of proto-otakus around the world who would help later works like Macross, Akira, and Sailor Moon attain popularity.
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Proof We Can Never Go Back: Lum’s Nipples
Have you ever visited your childhood home to see what had become of the old neighborhood? I’ll bet you were disappointed with all the changes you saw because, in the end, we can never go back to the nostalgic bygone days of our youth.
That’s the same with the new Urusei Yatsura 2022 series. While the show is top quality, I guess it was a given that we wouldn’t get a repeat of The Nipples That Changed the World. The topless scene in episode 1 of the classic series was incredibly influential, opening mental doors about what was possible in this new undiscovered country called anime. Believe me when I say that J-List would not exist if it weren’t for Lum’s nipples!
There’s a lot of Hidden Cultural Information in Urusei Yatsura
There’s a lot of interesting cultural information hidden beneath the surface in Urusei Yatsura that’s not easy for Westerners to see. For example, while we associate the tiger stripe print with Lum-chan and think that any character wearing it is doing Urusei Yatsura cosplay, in reality, the tiger stripe pattern is what oni (ogres, pronounced oh-ni) traditionally wear, and Lum and her family are essentially cosplaying ogres. Oni has been a part of Japanese folklore and literature for more than 1200 years.
Ataru and Lum play a game of tag in episode 1 because this children’s game is called oni gokko or “playing ogre” in Japanese.
The classic Space Invaders coin-op game is called Invader Game in Japanese, and Lum being an “invader” is a reference to this game that no Japanese person could miss. Also, when Lum calls Ataru “Darling,” she’s making a reference to Bewitched, aka Okusama wa Majo, the American TV show which was a smash hit in Japan. Darren’s name in Japanese was Darling.
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Thanks for reading this post on the reboot of the classic anime Urusei Yatsura. What are your thoughts on the new series? Tell us below, or reply to us on Twitter!
J-List’s sister company J18 Publishing never stops working hard for fans! They’ve got several new releases including the latest Netorare Sister doujin from legendary artist Satou Kuuki, fully translated and uncensored. The book is in stock in San Diego and ready for you to order!