Urusei Yatsura (2022) – Season 1 Episode 22 Recap & Review

Big Bottle, Little Bottle / When Love Strikes / The Tomo-1 Queen Contest

Episode 22 of Urusei Yatsura begins with Ten selling his lollipop for a magic bottle to a salesman on a strange planet. Ten heads back to Ataru’s place to mess with the bottle. Lum arrives and gets sucked into the bottle. Lum frees herself from the bottle using her electric powers but remains small. She reads the label on the bottle, and it says they must purchase the big bottle to return her to her size. She orders Ten to buy a new bottle for her. He leaves. Ataru enters the room and notices Lum has shrunken.

Lum tells Ataru that she needs love from him to become normal. Although Ataru’s annoyed with Lum’s antics, he plays along with Lum’s charade. After spending a night with Lum, Ataru grows concerned for her. However, he overhears Lum discussing her situation with Cherry’s cat friend Kotatsu and learns she lied, angering Ataru. Ataru locks Lum up in a cage since she lied to him. He leaves to pick up some girls, angering Lum. Meanwhile, Ten asks an anthropomorphic turtle where the bottle salesman is at. We learn the salesman’s a scarecrow named Gosaku and that he’s smashing all the bottles at the dump.

Ten plans to confront Gosaku before he smashes all his bottles. At the same time, Ataru fails to get himself a date. Ten arrives and explains the situation to Ataru. He realizes Lum might be in actual danger and heads home. He spots Lum on the rooftop since a cat freed her from her cage prison. Lum doesn’t listen to Ataru, so he grabs her and gets picked up by Ten in his scooter. They travel to Gosaku’s dump where he’s still smashing bottles. They reach the location, and Ataru throws Lum in the jar, returning her to normal size. The segment concludes with Lum walking alongside Ataru, who is wearing a cage for a hat.

In the next segment, Shinobu’s walking and spots three dogs messing with a little fox. Shinobu scares them off and takes the creature to an officer. The officer promises to find the creature a new home. Unfortunately, this officer’s not the brightest, and the fox escapes to look for Shinobu.

The fox spies on Shinobu throughout the day and notices her with Ataru and plots. Shinobu arrives at school early and sees a flower in a pot. The fox (with an Ataru disguise) greets Shinobu as more students arrive in class. Everyone is weirded out by the mini Ataru as the fox knows his disguise isn’t working.

We also learn that it has transformation powers. The fox starts cleaning up his pawprints and everyone starts buying into it being Ataru. Eventually, Ataru arrives in class and starts fighting the fox. The tussle causes the fox to run out of power, revealing himself to everyone in the class. Ataru and the others try to get revenge, but Shinobu stops them.

Shinobu feels the fox only wanted to repay his debt to her, so she lets him go peacefully. The fox returns disguised as Onsen-Mark, and the students tie up the real one to let the fox teach. This set piece concludes with Onsen-Mark demanding them to let him go since he’s their real teacher.

The final segment has Tomobiki High School holding a Queen of the School competition. The winner will receive 150 thousand yen as a reward. Some participants include Lum, Shinobu, Sakura, Ran, Ryonosuke, and other students. The first competition is a test of strength, and most girls succeed. Ryonosuke’s father learns Ryonosuke is competing and doesn’t want her involved.

When he learns she can win 150 thousand yen from the competition–he allows her to compete. We reach the competition’s final round, and Lum, Shinobu, Sakura, Ran, and Ryonosuke are the finalists. The episode concludes with Ataru telling the audience to wait until next week to discover who will be crowned the winner.

The Episode Review

Going into this chapter was a bit difficult. Urusei Yatsura’s grown accustomed to giving viewers comedy-centric chapters that feature our characters participating in goofy scenarios to get a laugh out of its viewer base. Of course, toward the end, we get a nice segment dedicated to exploring Ataru’s deep affection toward Lum.

While it was great to finally see Ataru feel concerned for Lum after receiving countless humor-centric chapters, it feels a bit late. Next week is the finale, and it appears this season will conclude with a beauty contest. While it’ll have some amusing segments, I can’t help but feel a bit bummed that we didn’t receive more serious scenarios in the previous episodes of the anime.

The second set piece includes some decent drama involving a fox and Shinobu. While it’s played for laughs, seeing the fox go to many lengths to repay a debt to Shinobu touched my heart. To conclude, this chapter was okay at best. It gives viewers more insight into Ataru’s mindset. It shows how he does care for Lum despite his quirky lust for other girls. Hopefully, the final episode of this season can somehow give us some nice tension to prepare us for a possible second season.

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You can read our full season review for Urusei Yatsura season 1 here!


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