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YMMV / Urusei Yatsura

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  • Adaptation Displacement: The anime adaptation is sometimes more fondly remembered than the original manga, particularly the more surreal and experimental episodes and films (where director Mamoru Oshii started making a name for himself).
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • The primary antagonist in the series is actually Lum. She's the one who assumed Ataru wanted to marry her (when all he said was "Now I can get married"), and basically intruded on every aspect of his life since then due to that assumption. Sure, Ataru is a Jerkass, but he has a good point about wanting to enjoy the days of his youth and how he's the victim during his rant in the episode, "After You've Gone".
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    • Considering all the physical punishment from Shinobu, Ryuunosuke, and other females combined with the constant electric shocks from Lum, does Ataru subconsciously enjoy being abused by women?
  • Americans Hate Tingle: While Urusei Yatsura has its fans in North America and the UK (enough for AnimEigo to spend the better part of 15 years translating every single bit of anime), it nonetheless has the unfortunate distinction of being the only Takahashi series to not have the original manga fully adapted into English – Viz put out a few chapters but then dropped it (possibly because its heavy reliance on puns and wordplay makes it a nightmare to translate). It's also the only Takahashi series whose anime was not fully dubbed – only the movies have a widely-available English track. note 
    • As of 2019, Viz has begun translating and releasing the entire manga in several volumes. It only took us forty years.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: So very many.
    • The most notable one occurs in Movie 3: Remember My Love. The orb which contains Lum's curse traps Lum and Ataru within its energies. We then see visions of fairy, dinosaur, and seagull versions of Lum and Ataru meeting and falling in love with one another. Not only does this scene have no bearing on the plot, but it also makes no sense even in the context of Lum and Ataru's predicament. And once it's over, it is never mentioned again.
      • The idea seems to be that the orb is frantically Reality-Bending but just can't stretch it far enough to separate them. A bit rich in light of the rest of the series though. Hell, a bit rich in light of the very next scene.
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    • Thanks to the Reset Button, there are countless Big Lipped Alligator Episodes.
    • Shinobu's following the wind chimes through the streets in Beautiful Dreamer is another as, even among the random events in the plot, that one remains completely unconnected from everything else.
  • Ear Worm: Every single opening and ending theme.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Megane and the other Stormtroopers in the anime. In the manga, they are in the background a half-dozen or so times until disappearing after Mendou's debut.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple : Ataru/Lum, to the point where Takahashi was forced to make them the Official Couple.
  • Franchise Zombie: A rarity for a Takahashi series, which are usually far more likely to be Cut Short after catching up to the source material and devolving into filler. This show has the biggest episode count of any Takahashi series to date (196 episodes) and ended not long before the manga did – though a crucial manga arc had to be covered in an OVA and the actual final arc was covered in the fifth movie. OVA's continued to be produced for years after the series ended, as was one more movie.
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  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The show (or rather, the character Lum) is still extremely popular in Italy.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In Episode 96 Ryunosuke meets a group of student delinquents from another school. One of which shares a shockingly strong resemblance to Kazuma Kuwabara. Oddly, Yu Yu Hakusho came out 11 years after Urusei Yatsura, and both shows were animated by Studio Pierrot and aired on Fuji Television. But it doesn’t even end there. Said delinquent is even voiced by Megane’s seiyuu, Shigeru Chiba. Guess who he later ended up voicing?
  • Ho Yay:
    • Thanks to a lipstick that draws the lips of the people using it together, Ataru and Mendou end up in a full-frontal smooch by mistake. Both are promptly disgusted: a dappya fish monster even offers the readers three panels to recover from this shock. The participants of the kiss think they require more.
    • Also, Dracula's bat (a male) disguises himself as a pretty girl to lure Ataru (and Co.) with predictable results. In the end, Ataru manages to plant a big kiss on the bat boy's lips to Lum's ROFLMAO reaction (she knew it was a male spirit in disguise the whole time).
  • I Am Not Shazam:
    • Lum and the other Onis come from the planet Oniboshi. The title is a complicated Japanese pun that is partly based on "urusai" and "-sei" (meaning star or planet, the same kanji used for -hoshi/-boshi). The meaning of the title was explained in the Viz manga, so it became widely known, and fans have misinterpreted that as meaning that Urusei is the actual name of the planet. Fanfic then spread it further.
    • Urusei Yatsura means literally "those noisy guys", but idiomatically refers to annoying next-door neighbors. Combining the idiom with "sei" makes it something like "those noisy other-planet neighbors". You could do roughly the same gag in English with "Annoyliens". Or as AnimEigo puts it, "Those Obnoxious Aliens", which also has the fun of sounding like a '50s sitcom.
  • Iconic Character, Forgotten Title:
    • The series is often called "Lum" because the English manga used the title "Lum" with "Urusei Yatsura" written in small print under it. This was probably a good decision, since English speakers can pronounce "Lum" (especially back then before the modern manga boom).
    • In some European countries, the series is actually re-titled and known as "Lamu" (Lum's name in the dub, taken from the Japanese pronunciation / spelling of "Lum", which is ラム).
  • Iron Woobie: Ryuunosuke. She has a very terrible life. Forced to live as a male, in poor condition with an Abusive Parent. But she is also determinated and strong.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Ataru. He's canonically the biggest lech in the galaxy who leers at girls and often treats his devoted fiancee, Lum, like dirt or an annoying obstacle to him acquiring a harem, but considering how gleefully the universe seems to love punishing him with outrageous and consistent misfortune and how he's shown a couple of signs of being a good person deep down who genuinely loves Lum, it reaches the point where you also can't help but want him to actually get lucky for once or at least have one day where the entire universe isn't out to get him. As one review of the series commented (paraphrased), even though Ataru completely deserves every bit of suffering heaped upon him, you can't help but feel for him at the same time and hope that fate will cut him a break one day.
    • Ran, who is an embittered Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who takes things out on Lum, but it's easy to feel bad for her considering her appalling Abusive Parent. And when she was a child, she was always punished for Lum's mistakes and mideeds.
  • Les Yay:
    • Ryunosuke goes out with Ran... so she can learn about femininity from a Girly-girl. Ataru actually tries to interfere to try and stop Ran from turning lesbian.
    • In the anime version of the "magnetic lipstick" story, Ryuunosuke accidentally has a kiss with Shinobu after they get daubed with the lipstick as well.
    • Both above examples have nothing on the very strong relationship between Ryuunosuke and Benten. It was outright teased by characters that Ryuunosuke might be in love with Benten, and Benten definitely feels something towards Ryuunosuke. Although between those two, it may no longer be Les Yay, but Homoerotic Subtext, or even outright canon feelings between those two girls, depending on how one interprets the relationship between Benten and Ryuunosuke.
  • Nightmare Fuel: "The Horror of Outraged Oyuki". Ran's afraid of her for a very good reason... The BGM especially amps things up.
    • "And Then There Were None" sends the gang to a desert island (over 20 years before "Remote Island Syndrome") to be graphically killed off one by one. It was just a prank on Ataru, but still. Funnily enough, this episode was ranked #2 in the penultimate episode's Top 10 countdown.
    • Also, the department store marching band in Beautiful Dreamer.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Sakurambo, to some people, can be very annoying since most of his appearances involve him eating someone else's food and/or otherwise causing trouble. Doesn't seem like a big deal, but people who have been strapped enough for cash to skip meals can probably relate. For what it's worth, the cast consider him one in-universe.
    • Mr. Fujinami is this thanks to his treatment of Ryuunosuke being increasingly at-odds with Western standards of decency – if it weren't Japan (a country notorious for its lack of mental health infrastructure and its reluctance to intervene in dysfunctional families), he would have been arrested and/or committed years ago; at the very least, he would have lost custody of Ryuu-chan. Indeed, his actions could be "triggering" to the gender-nonconforming, who are likely to have endured similar abuse. The fact that it's all Played for Laughs does not help, even in modern OVA's.
    • Shinobu was apparently one for the original generation of Shonen Sunday readers, since they badgered Rumiko Takahashi relentlessly to swap her out for Lum as the other half of the Official Couple (as did her editor).


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