Urusei Yatsura – Season 2 Episode 1 Recap & Review

Fantasy Balloon Gum / Love Knows No Barriers

Episode 1 of Urusei Yatsura Season 2 starts with Cherry giving the audience a recap of season one’s events. During this recap, Ataru discusses his love for the show’s female cast, except Lum. Ataru cuddles Cherry and Lum shocks him out of jealousy. Elsewhere, Ten offers Cherry’s cat friend Kotatsu special bubble gum. The bubble gum allows anyone to create something of their wildest imagination. Ataru arrives and Ten tells him what the gum’s capable of. Ataru swipes all the gum and flees. 

Ten tells Lum what Ataru did and she’s not surprised. At school, Ataru uses Ten’s gum to create copies of Benten and Oyuki. He tries enticing them to come to him, but they refuse. Before he forces himself upon the two, Lum arrives and hits him with a mallet. Realizing his mistake, Ataru uses another piece of gum to conjure a clone of himself. He uses his clone to keep Lum hostage, allowing him to escape.

Lum frees herself from the clone’s grasp and chases Ataru through the school. Ataru conjures up numerous clones to prevent Lum from punishing him. He ends up bumping into Mendo, angering him. Ataru and Mendo engage in a brief duel. Ataru whips up a giant Cherry head, which lands atop Mendo and other classmates. Ataru departs but bumps into Lum seconds later. Lum and Ataru argue for a bit. Suddenly, Ten arrives and uses his fire breath powers on Ataru. Lum scolds Ten for acting too harshly.

However, she apologizes to Ten when it’s revealed the Ataru before her was another bubble clone. Ten notices Ataru dropped several gum sticks on the ground. Lum uses the gum to create clones of Ryunosuke, Shinobu, and Sakura. She orders the clones to look attractive and hopes this will help her catch Ataru. Sakura exits her office and notices something’s caught several students’ attention. When she learns a clone of herself is putting on a frivolous show for them, this infuriates her. 

Elsewhere, Shinobu and Ryunosuke are peeved about their clones’ actions, too. The three women notice their clones are bonded by a string and follow the trail. They hope to bring the culprit behind this act to justice. To avoid getting caught, Lum flees to the rooftop, where Ataru happens to be residing. Ataru contemplates his failures and realizes he only has one piece of gum left. He uses the gum to conjure up clones of our female cast in swimsuits. 

Lum, Ryunosuke, Shinobu, and Sakura discover Ataru’s whereabouts and entrap him in gum. This episode’s first segment closes with Lum destroying Ataru’s harem before his eyes. The next segment begins at Ataru’s home. Ataru and Ten get into a heated battle during dinner. During this altercation, Ataru throws a rice cooker at Ten but it ends up hitting Lum instead. Ataru’s mother orders Ataru to apologize to Lum. Ataru apologizes and Lum starts acting strange. 

At school, Onsen-Mark asks Lum to read a passage. However, Lum reads the passage in her alien language, setting Ataru off. Mendo and the others grow concerned so Ataru tells them he accidentally threw a rice cooker at her. Mendo and the others punish Ataru. Ten arrives and chats with Lum in her native language. Ten turns to Ataru and tells him Lum no longer knows how to speak Earthling. Ataru summons Sakura to the classroom.

Mendo informs her about what’s going on with Lum. Sakura observes Lum and tells the others she’s suffering from temporary memory loss. As Ataru and Lum walk home together, Ataru flirts with several girls, angering Lum. Since Ataru doesn’t understand what Lum is saying, he ignores her. Lum departs. Ataru arrives home and notices Ten and Kotatsu hanging out. Meanwhile, Lum scavengers her ship for something and ganders at a book. 

At home, Ten tells Ataru that Lum may not return. Angered, Ataru kicks Ten and Kotatsu out of his room. The next day, Mendo approaches Ataru and asks him what he plans to do if Lum doesn’t recover. Ataru’s certain she’ll recover soon and isn’t worried about it. While walking home, Ataru spots Lum and calls out to her. However, she ignores him, making Ataru worry a bit. Based on a conversation between Ten and Sakura, we learn it’s been a week since Lum’s injury and she still hasn’t recovered yet. 

Ataru arrives home and notices Lum’s in his room. He sits on the opposite side and realizes Lum hasn’t recovered from her injury yet. With tears in his eyes, Ataru apologizes to Lum and hopes she’ll be able to understand his language again. Filled with joy, Lum makes Ataru wear an electronic translator mask. With it, Ataru can now understand what Lum is saying. As the two walk to school together, Ataru yells at Lum for making him wear this uncomfortable and unattractive device. 

The episode closes with Ataru begging Lum to get better soon. 

The Episode Review

After leaving fans with an amusing wrestling-themed finale, Urusei Yatsura’s remake returns with new comedic gags and mildly serious dilemmas involving Ataru, Lum, Mendo, and the others. As such, this episode’s structure confirms this anime will not be steering away from its episodic and split-segmented storytelling approach.

While some viewers will find this direction unlikable, the second segment offers diehard romance fans a smidge of hope. Having said that, the first episode was pure comedy. From its fantastical bubble gum concept to its slapstick and banter, one can tell Rumiko Takahashi (the series’s creator) had a blast putting her characters in these ridiculous situations. 

Fortunately, the second segment, though littered with comedy, delivers in the drama category. While it wasn’t as marvelously written as some of season one’s emotionally driven set pieces, there was enough tension there to appease critics. For instance, it was touching to see Ataru apologize to Lum. Although the sequence that proceeds this one diminishes this moment’s impact, fans can’t deny the warmth this apologetic scene gave them. 

Hopefully, we’ll receive more chapters like “Love Knows No Barriers” throughout this season. As mentioned in prior recaps/reviews, Urusei Yatsura is at its best when it strikes a perfect balance of drama and humor. Thus, if this remake’s second season can produce more episodes of the second segment’s caliber, then it’ll likely appease long-time fans and newcomers alike. As always, I’m rooting for its success. 

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You can read our Season 2 Review of Urusei Yatsura here!
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