The Glove of Love & Conflict / How I’ve Waited For You…
Episode 5 of Urusei Yatsura begins with some classmates informing Ataru that there’s a new school nurse. Ataru rushes to the nurse’s office to get a good look at her. He learns it’s Sakura, the shrine maiden from an episode prior.
Meanwhile, tons of boys, including Mendo, gawk over Sakura. However, after glancing at her again, Ataru develops feelings for Sakura. Sakura shoes everyone away with one of her heels. Seconds later, some men arrive and ask Sakura to perform an exorcism on their boxing gloves. Seconds later, Cherry’s cat and Cherry barge into Sakura’s office because the cat stole his fish.
Sakura knocks them out of her office with her chair. The men notice that Sakura sent one of the gloves flying along with Cherry and his cat. At the same time, Lum is flying over the area and gets hit by the same glove. Lum shows it to Ataru in school, and he explains what it is. However, Ataru realizes the glove’s possessed by something as it’s forcefully moving him around.
The glove forces him to cuddle with various girls, resulting in Lum punishing him with her electricity. The glove forces Ataru to fondle Mendo, and the two get into a heated argument. Sakura arrives in the classroom in her shrine maiden outfit and explains the situation to everyone. She says the glove is cursed by an entity called the Love Clincher.
It adores getting close and personal with people by performing a cinch hold. One of the men says the glove in his possession is known as Rage Hitter, who enjoys lashing out at people to punch them. Sakura explains a residual boxer cursed these gloves and used them in the past. He was a fearsome being that no one wanted to meet. Lum gets close to Ataru, activating the gloves. He protects Lum by taking the glove’s punch.
Everyone praises Ataru for his heroism. Ataru approaches Mendo, and the right glove sends him into the air. This results in another fight between Mendo and Ataru. Sakura hatches a scheme. She places Ataru and Lum inside a barrier-covered boxing ring. Sakura says that Lum and Ataru should continue doing their back-and-forth antics in the ring to help with the exorcism.
Ataru protects Lum to the best of his abilities because he doesn’t want to hit a woman. Ataru gets knocked out by his own hooks as Sakura enters the ring and removes the gloves. She says the exorcism worked as the constant hugging and punching satisfied the spirit. The segment concludes with Sakura punching Ataru effortlessly after he tries to make a move on her.
In the next segment, Lum and Ataru are heading to school. Ataru tells her not to interfere with his scoring girls’ routine as they pass by a loving couple holding hands. Lum tries to grab Ataru’s hand, but Ataru spots Shinobu and rushes toward her, infuriating Lum. At school, Mendo receives another love letter from a female classmate. His male classmates are jealous as Mendo can’t get enough of all this affection sent toward him.
Ataru and Lum arrive as Ataru’s male classmate glances at his disrespect toward her. His classmates head into the restroom to let out some steam. They forge a vengeance-filled scheme to get back at Mendo for swiping all the girls off his feet. In class, the boys create a fake love letter directed toward Ataru. Once the boys complete it, they get Ataru to read it aloud.
Ataru reads some hateful remarks toward Mendo, which catches his attention. Mendo looks at the letter’s handwriting and says it couldn’t have come from a cute girl. Lum arrives and notices Ataru jumping in glee. Mendo tells her that he’s joyful because he received a love letter from a girl. Lum demands Ataru tell her who gave him the letter.
Lum cries into Mendo’s chest, which makes him happy and the other male classmates jealous. Lum asks him if he’s mad that she’s in the arms of another man, but he responds that they look great together. Mendo tells Lum that she needs to give up on Ataru since he’d rather gawk at a fake love letter than cuddle with her. This angers Ataru, who believes the girl who gave it to him is real.
Mendo and Ataru form a bet around this situation. Mendo says if the girl isn’t real, he gets to take over as class president. Ataru says if she is real, Mendo must fork over 10,000 yen to him. Some male classmates forged the letter huddle to devise a plan. They don’t want Ataru to lose, so they ask a girl at a café to pretend to be Otoko for one hour, the fake girl they made up.
The fake Otoko accepts the offer. The following day, one of the classmates hands Ataru a new letter from Otoko. She wants to meet Ataru at the Ketaguri Café at 4 pm. Lum’s jealous and says she might move on from Ataru and be with Mendo instead. Ataru pretends to care but immediately throws Lum into Mendo’s arms. Lum electrocutes Ataru and flies away.
In a tree, Lum ponders about Otomo. Lum overhears a conversation from the Ataru’s male classmates that the girl who was going to pretend to be Otomo can’t do the deed because she has a stomach ache. She had taken the 3,000 yen they paid her and pigged out. The boys head into class as Ataru prepares for his date with Otomo.
He promises to take them out to dinner when he wins the 10,000 yen from Mendo. Mendo taunts Ataru, angering him. The boys are nervous as they can’t bring themselves to tell Ataru the truth. They’re worried about Mendo becoming the new class president because of the demands he made in previous episodes ago. Lum refuses to help Ataru because she wants him to learn a lesson.
At the café, Ataru awaits Otomo’s arrival. All his male classmates are sitting in separate booths along with Mendo. Elsewhere, Lum thinks about Ataru’s situation. She starts getting second thoughts about the whole matter and feels terrible for him. After an hour passes, Mendo tells Ataru he’ll give him 15 more minutes. If she doesn’t show, he loses the bet.
At the same time, tears fall down Lum’s face as she thinks about how much pain Ataru must be feeling inside. As soon as the time runs out, Mendo declares his victory while Ataru sits in his booth in shame. Seconds later, Lum arrives dressed up as Otoko, surprising everyone. Ataru’s thrilled until he gets another look at Otoko and realizes its Lum.
Lum whispers into Ataru’s ear that he should play along because she knows he doesn’t want to look like a clown in front of everyone. Ataru agrees, and they enact their role-play. The two leave the café. When they are a decent distance away, Lum informs Ataru that everything was a prank. The two get into a small argument. Lum notices another couple holding hands in front of them.
Meanwhile, Ataru can’t believe he owes her a favor. However, he looks at Lum again and questions if she’s always looked this pretty. Before Lum flies away, Ataru grabs her hand and suggests they continue walking together a bit longer. The following day, Lum receives a transmission from her father. Lum’s father reminds her about their clan’s annual showdown event.
The episode concludes with a group of warriors traversing what appears to be Lum’s home planet.
The Episode Review
The fifth episode of Urusei Yatsura features a beautiful blend of hilarity, drama, and romance among our cast. Some concepts touched upon in previous chapters are starting to crop up in Ataru and Lum’s relationship. Instances like Lum contemplating her connection with Ataru played off the lesson she learned from Kurama about setting standards.
The boxing glove segment had fun gags and gave fans another likable trait for Ataru’s character. While he’s shown to be a delinquent pervert, he has dignity. It shows that he isn’t completely brutish when he vows not to let the glove harm Lum. It’ll remind fans of Ataru’s other heroic acts toward Lum from previous episodes. Besides that, the boxing segment didn’t add much to the narrative and could’ve been trimmed.
The second set piece held my attention and had me tearing up by the end. This one has Lum questioning Ataru’s horrid handling of their relationship and gives her a backbone. Although Lum’s decision to dress up as Otomo feels slightly predictable, this episode puts some emotional impact behind her decision, making the matter feel authentic.
This scene also gets Ataru to realize Lum’s beauty. Seeing Lum and Ataru holding hands at the end of the episode was really rewarding. Hopefully, the anime will continue building upon their bond with each new chapter.
Fans will be delighted to see Ataru and Lum’s romance naturally progress. I can’t wait to see what future chapters bring to the table!