File: Lamplight Days
Urusei Yatsura episode 16 begins with Ataru, Mendo, Shinobu, and Lum visiting the beach. They spy on two people getting flustered over the ocean’s current.
Ataru and his friends greet the two and take them to their cafe. The man introduces himself and his son Ryunosuke to them and says he’ll take over the cafe one day. Ryunosuke’s father explains that their business and the ocean work in unison. Each Summer–the ocean’s waves get intense, causing their family business to lose sales.
Ataru and Mendo feel it’s best to depart and let Ryunosuke and his father deal with the issue themselves. Before Ataru and his friends leave, they overhear Ryunosuke and his father bickering about the family business again. Ryunosuke says he doesn’t want to live like a man and reveals that he’s a woman. Ataru and Mendo rush back to Ryunosuke’s cafe to confirm this information. Ataru tells Lum that he wants to help Ryunosuke out. Ataru and Mendo flirt with Ryunosuke, and she beats them up. Ryunosuke looks at Lum and Shinobu and says she’s jealous of their girly demeanor.
She wishes she could wear female clothing, but her father wants her to be more masculine so she can run the family business properly. After seeing them bicker over trivial things, Ataru and his friends attempt to leave again. However, Ryunosuke’s father convinces them to help them out in exchange for a free meal. Ryunosuke and her father get into a fistfight and knock each other out. Lum and her friends argue that their first step in helping these two out is to prevent them from fighting. Ryunosuke and her father wake up and learn they’ve been chained up. Lum says they should try to talk things out instead of using their fists.
Unfortunately, Ryunosuke and her father don’t listen, resulting in the cafe collapsing due to their overwhelming strength. Ataru and his friends call it quits and leave the beach. A week passes, and we see Ryunosuke and her father enter Tomobiki Town and get into a fight. Ataru and Lum spot the pair and greet Ryunosuke’s father. He explains their looking for ways to make cash since they need to rebuild their cafe. They plan to work at a live-in job at Ataru’s school’s supply store. Ryunosuke will be attending classes with Ataru and his friends. Ryunosuke’s father offers her a chance to attend school in a sailor uniform, but she must defeat him in a fight.
She fights her father but loses due to Ataru’s interference. Ataru’s teacher (Onsen-Mark) introduces Ryunosuke to the class. She’s wearing a boy’s uniform, and the girls mistake her for a male. Mendo grows concerned as he now has competition. Mendo, Ataru, and two other boys meet up and plot to put Ryunosuke in a sailor uniform. Ataru and the boys meet Ryunosuke’s father, batter him, and retrieve a sailor uniform. Ryunosuke discusses his livelihood with some female classmates and wishes she could wear a sailor uniform like them. Ataru and his friends present Ryunosuke with a sailor uniform.
Although she’s grateful for their offer, she wants to defeat her father in the fight before wearing it. Ran arrives and catches Ryunosuke’s attention. She represents the girls she idolized as a kid. When Ran leaves, Ryunosuke asks Lum how she can get in touch with Ran. Ryunosuke slips a letter toward Ran, who thinks it’s a love letter from her. Ran plans to meet Ryunosuke and wonders how she should approach her. Lum tells Ran that Ryunosuke’s a girl, angering Ran because she thinks Lum’s trying to make a fool out of her. Ran approaches Ryunosuke and says she’d like to go out with her, angering Ataru.
At the school gate, Ryunosuke hopes she can learn how to become someone like Ran and make a sailor uniform look good. Ran arrives. Ryunosuke asks her if she teaches her everything she needs to know about women. Ran laughs. She still believes Ryunosuke’s a boy and is acting perverted toward her. They head to a cafe to have parfaits. Ryunosuke tries mimicking Ran’s posture while eating the dessert, but Ataru butts in. Ran notices Lum, and they head into the restroom to discuss things. Ran believes Lum has feelings for Ryunosuke, but Lum assures her she’s only here because Ataru wants to spy on Ryunosuke.
Ryunosuke and Ran go on a boating trip, but that gets ruined by Ataru. Afterward, Ran confronts Lum about her annoyance with her. Ryunosuke looks at them from afar and feels she has more things to learn. The episode concludes with Ryunosuke vowing to become woman-like so she can wear a sailor uniform.
The Episode Review
We’ve finally received a single-segmented episode. This one introduces two new characters and gives them adequate screen time. Ryunosuke finds herself in a tight predicament with her father, and many fans may resonate with her character. Pretending to be someone you’re not can lead to many saddening events from a mental and physical perspective.
Ryunosuke’s character captures that issue humorously and beautifully. Even though Ryunosuke’s decision to prove herself worthy of wearing a sailor uniform sounds silly, I adore her drive and commitment. It’ll be great to witness how and when Ryunosuke proves her father wrong in the coming episodes. It’ll lead to a satisfying victory for Ryunosuke and audience members who relate to her character.
In the meantime, I can’t help but worry about Urusei Yatsura’s decision to sideline Ataru and Lum’s relationship development in favor of introducing new characters. It’s been a while since we had an intimate moment between the two, and it’d be great to see a tidbit of that shine forth in future episodes. Although the anime’s comedy’s been wonderful–it’s not delivering a worthwhile romance.
Overall, this was a fun episode with some great themes. Ryunosuke’s character is intriguing, and I can’t wait to see more from her. Hopefully, future episodes can focus on Ataru and Lum’s romantic quarrels and activities.
Episode Rating -