Trouble Rains Down!!! / Amazed In A Maze
Episode 3 of Urusei Yatsura begins with Shutaro (Mendo) wishing his grandfather well before he attends his first day at Tomobiki High School. When they arrive above the building, Mendo leaps out of the plane to make a dramatic entrance.
At the school, Shinobu chases Lum and Ataru because she’s tired of Lum’s affection toward Ataru. Shinobu throws a desk at Ataru but breaks a window instead. Everyone notices a strange parachute outside and decides to investigate. One of the students notices Mendo clinging to the desk Shinobu threw. His grandfather and henchmen ask Mendo if he’s alright while aboard the family’s jet.
A teacher scolds Mendo for having jets fly over the school, but Mendo pays him no mind. Shinobu approaches Mendo and apologizes to him. Mendo tells her not to worry as Shinobu starts developing feelings for him. In class, Mendo’s swarmed by many girls who ask him questions about his family and their wealth. Mendo notices Ataru bugging Shinobu and approaches them.
As Mendo flirts with Shinobu, Ataru grows jealous of their exchange and says that Shinobu is his girl. Angered, Lum shocks him and catches Mendo’s attention. Lum introduces herself to Mendo and tells him that she’s married to Ataru. Mendo’s disgusted by that thought and starts critiquing Ataru’s looks. This initiates an argument between him, Lum, Ataru, and Shinobu.
Minutes later, Ataru’s homeroom teacher announces that they’ll be holding elections for the new class president. Mendo declares his run for candidacy. He plans to punish slackers in his class with the most brutal punishments possible. Although everyone isn’t on board, Mendo says he’ll make females exempt, angering his male classmates.
Disgusted by his proposal, his male classmates’ band together and aim to have Ataru run against Mendo despite Ataru’s faults. After giving his proposal about calling dibs on all the girls in his class, their homeroom teacher asks the class to decide on a winner. Unfortunately, Mendo and Ataru reach a stalemate, and Mendo suggests a competition to declare the winner.
Whoever can shoot an apple off their opponent’s head with a cannon wins. Shutaro tries to kick off the event by initiating the rite of challenge involving throwing a glove at their opponent. However, Ataru dodges and annoys Mendo. Mendo chases Ataru to the school’s rooftops while Lum spies on them from the skies. Mendo throws the glove at Ataru, but Lum protects him.
Ataru tells Lum that Mendo challenged her to a duel, infuriating Lum. Lum electrocutes Mendo. All his classmates arrive, and Ataru tells them he came out victorious. Ashamed for losing against a fool, Mendo plans to end his life. As he prepares to die, Ataru cheers about his victory while everyone else tries to back Mendo out of the act.
Obviously, this is for comedic effect, as the next segment shows Mendo meditating in his family’s garden while thinking about Lum. At school, Lum’s searching for Ataru but runs into Mendo as he’s parachuting from the skies. Mendo comforts Lum, but she shoves him away for getting in the way of her search mission. Near a ballpark, Ataru asks Shinobu if she likes Mendo.
Shinobu confirms that she’s developed feelings for him because he’s more handsome, wealthier, and kinder than Ataru. Mendo and Lum arrive, engulfing them in his parachute. Lum finds Ataru, and he finds Mendo atop Shinobu, which angers him. Shinobu departs the scene full of glee and love. Ataru leaves the area with Lum following close behind. Mendo discovers that he’s fallen in love with Lum after Ataru and Lum depart.
The group attends a field trip in the forest. The teacher wants everyone to establish camaraderie with their classmates and lets them loose. Ataru’s upset that Lum decided to tag along because he wanted to get more intimate with Shinobu. Mendo approaches Lum and asks if she’d light to go sightseeing in a nearby cavern.
Lum accepts his offer after getting permission for Ataru to attend. Ataru joins them after conjuring up a quick scheme that’ll get him alone time with Shinobu. Shinobu joins the fray when learning that Mendo’s onboard. While exploring the cave, Ataru nudges Mendo’s shoulder and suggests they split up. Mendo catches onto Ataru’s scheme but decides to play along.
When they reach a split path, the two conduct their plan. After Mendo shuts his flashlight off, they all scramble to find each other in the darkness. Ataru thinks he’s with Shinobu but discovers its Lum whose wrapped around his shoulder. Mendo and Shinobu stumble upon them as Shinobu clings to Mendo. The four decide to head further into the cave, and Mendo’s shown badmouthing Ataru for his mistakes.
Mendo and Ataru initiate their plan again, and everyone scrambles to find each other. Mendo discovers he’s no longer with Shinobu but with Ataru, and the two spooks each other. The two decide to look for Lum and Shinobu. Mendo reveals the truth about his brave bravado and tells Ataru he can only act fine when women have their eyes on him. He suffers from nyctophobia and claustrophobia.
Mendo screams in fear, and Lum and Shinobu arrive. Upon arriving, Mendo puts on a brave act and pushes Ataru into a nearby wall. Ataru covers their eyes, triggering Mendo’s illness. The four continue their journey through the cave. The flashlight goes out for real this time. Lum utilizes her electric powers because she can’t find Ataru.
Unknowingly, Lum sets a rocket off, causing a massive explosion in the cave. Their teacher and classmates notice them from afar. Everyone but Shinobu bickers with each other. The episode concludes with a brief view of another alien spacecraft. Inside, a mysterious-looking female rests in a container.
The Episode Review
For an introduction, Mendo made quite an impression. While Mendo had his quirky moments in this episode, his dynamic with Ataru, Shinobu, and Lum caught my attention. It’s refreshing to give Ataru more competition and Shinobu a new love interest to impress. Since episode one, I’ve wondered why Shinobu didn’t move on and flock to another male.
This episode kind of answers that question through its depiction of the other male classmates besides Ataru. All the other male classmates don’t offer much in terms of goodwill or value. The fact that they all turned to Ataru for help in defeating Mendo in the election shows how weak-willed they are in comparison. Mendo gives Shinobu and Ataru more goals to work toward, and I’m thrilled to see what mischief he’ll endure with our cast.
While the first segment had a great mix of humor and romantic conflict between Mendo, Ataru, Shinobu, and Lum, the second episode didn’t bode too well. Granted, some will find it hilarious seeing Shinobu and Mendo develop plans to get alone time with the other’s girl. However, the second segment’s premise feels too nonsensical, considering Lum’s powers.
Lum could’ve easily brightened the caves with her electricity at any moment. There were other sprinkles in both segments where Mendo was slightly annoying with his crying or astonished replies. Besides those instances, these episodes served as a solid introduction for our rich boy, Mendo. Based on the cliffhanger, it appears our cast will be meeting another alien female.
Whether she’s related to Lum or not begs the question. Hopefully, she’s just as entertaining as Mendo was in this episode.