Transfer Student Close Call… / Farewell Party Close Call…
Episode 8 of Urusei Yatsura begins with Ataru’s principal informing Ataru’s teacher that a new transfer student will be arriving at his class today. His teacher’s flustered to discover that Lum is a transfer student.
Lum’s father promises Ataru’s teacher that Lum will be on her best behavior. In class, Ataru’s teacher introduces Lum to the class. Everyone is thrilled, but Ataru ends up choking on a piece of food. Meanwhile, everyone goes outside to attend today’s recreation day. While some female classmates frolic toward Lum, one of Ataru’s friends asks him what sport appeals to Lum.
Ataru doesn’t care until someone mentions that another class received a good-looking transfer student. The girl’s name is Ran, and Ataru doesn’t hesitate to introduce himself to her. Lum grabs Ataru and tells him he should be cheering for her instead. Lum glances at Ran with jealous eyes. Before Ran attends her sporting event, Lum walks past her and requests that she meet her behind the gym later.
Later, Ran meets with Lum after class, and it turns out that they know each other. Lum asks Ran if she transferred to the school to meet her. Ran admits that she does, but Lum asks why she wanted to meet her while disguised as a human. Ran says it’s integral that she did. We receive a flashback to Ran on her spacecraft as she remarks how she was looking at old photos of her playing with Lum when they were children.
In the present, Ran reveals that she and Lum once fell in love with a handsome stud named Rei. Lum denies it, despite Ran confirming Lum was once engaged to Rei. Lum says it’s all in the past, angering Ran. Ran shows her true colors and reveals that she visited Earth to enact revenge on Lum. Ran vows to steal Ataru from Lum and drain his life energy by making lip contact with him.
Ran tells Lum not to inform anyone of her being an alien. If she does, Ran promises to tell everyone that she wet the bed before. Ataru’s teacher begins the scavenger hunt race, and Mendo grabs a card indicating that he must find an electrifying beauty. Ran obtains her card and asks for Ataru’s assistance. Lum tries to prevent him from heading toward Ran, but Mendo grabs her aside.
Ran asks for Ataru to kiss her. Unfortunately, Lum throws a block at Ataru to prevent him from kissing Ran. Ataru’s teacher announces the next activity will be a cavalry battle, and they begin. With Lum on his and other’s back, Ataru heads toward Ran to attempt to kiss her. Despite Ran and Ataru’s efforts, Lum prevents them from kissing again.
However, Ran kisses one of Ataru’s classmates in the situation and drains their life energy. Later that day, Lum and Ran visit an area next to Tomobiki’s bridge. Lum requests that she leaves Ataru alone but Ran steers the conversation into another memory. In a flashback, we see a younger Lum and Ran making wishes while staring at the stars. They reveal their dreams to each other.
They both wish to find the world’s most wonderful husband. Ran brings up Rei again and gets infuriated by the fact that he only had eyes for Lum and not her. The segment ends with Ran yelling and vowing to murder Ataru to get payback. The next set piece features Lum standing near a tree. She received a letter from Ran, who wanted to meet her at this location to inform her about something.
Ran sends an android of herself to meet with Lum. The android reveals that Ran plans to return home and no longer wants to seek revenge on her. She plans to hold a farewell party on Sunday and wants Lum to attend the fiesta with Ataru. Lum grows suspicious as Ran’s robot asks that she doesn’t tell him that she’ll be going home. The robot explodes and drops a map signifying the location of Ran’s farewell party.
On Sunday, Lum and Ataru arrive at Ran’s party. Ran shows them to her room and hands them some cookies and refreshments. Lum’s worried about the meal having tranquilizers or something. When Ran heads into the kitchen to grab something, Lum notices one of Ran’s sentient creatures that she’s playing off as a mundane vase. Lum pours the cookies into his mouth to see if Ran put something inside them.
It turns out that Ran places something in the cookies as the creature falls asleep. Ran returns with a cake and is furious that her plan didn’t work. Lum heads into the kitchen to clean off their dishes. Behind the curtain, Lum knows Ran might try to seduce Ataru behind her back. Lum peeps through the curtain to spy on them. Ataru suggests Ran kiss him while Lum’s gone, but Ran doesn’t want to upset Lum.
Seeing Ataru egging Ran to kiss him–angers Lum. Ran heads into the kitchen and sees Lum cleaning the dishes. Ran glances at her oven and informs Lum to return to Ataru’s side. As Lum heads back into Ran’s room, she wonders if Ran gave up on taking Ataru from her. When Lum returns, she notices Ataru’s missing, and he left a door wide open. It turns out that Ataru went on a stroll.
During his stroll, Ataru wonders why Ran’s home looks off-putting. Meanwhile, we learn that Ran was baking an Ataru-looking android inside her oven. Lum barges into the kitchen as Ran swiftly pushes her Ataru clone into the hallway. Ataru notices the clone and finds it strange. Ran grabs the real Ataru and tells Lum he was here the whole time. Lum grabs the real Ataru and plans to head home.
At the same time, Ran enters the hallway and kisses the fake Ataru android because she believes it’s the real one. Ran realizes her mistake and yells as Lum tries dragging Ataru home. At night, Lum ponders over her encounters with Ran and wonders if she’s really going home. The next day, Lum notices Ran and asks why she didn’t go home. Ran yells at Lum and says she hasn’t finished getting her revenge yet.
The episode concludes with an oni-like creature roaring into the sky while holding a Lum-looking toy.
The Episode Review
This series continues introducing new characters into the mix, which could be either very good or bad. While Ran’s character received more screen time than Benten, many might be worried that the show might be putting too many eggs into its basket. On the other hand, the interactions and mischief this week were leaps above the previous episode.
Ran’s an interesting character because of her connection with Lum. She not only holds a grudge against Lum–but administers more effort to rile her up than girls like Benten. While it’s unfortunate that Shinobu’s getting sidelined by more females, I’m intrigued to see how Ran’s plans unfold as the series progresses. Ran also brings up an intriguing piece of intel that sheds more light on Lum’s background.
The whole concept of another rival for Ataru intrigues me. While I’d prefer the anime to build upon the rivalry between Mendo and Ataru, Rei’s character could bring some fun humor and drama. This is because he was Lum’s former husband and likely retains feelings for her. Maybe Rei’s involvement with the group will help Ataru progress and develop closer feelings for Lum.
Ataru’s not entirely cold-hearted. He has shown numerous times to have a caring side. Rei could be what the series needs to unlock that aspect of Ataru’s heart and soul. As always, we’ll have to wait and see how it turns out. Overall, this chapter contained some nice banter and humorous slapstick. It also fleshes out Lum’s backstory further. Let’s hope the next episode can deliver more tension and humor.