Good Day For a Departure / Oyuki / Ataru Retires
Episode 6 of Urusei Yatsura begins with Lum informing Ataru that he’ll be participating in Setsubun with her on her home planet. Ataru wants to feast on his once-a-year meal Sukiyaki, though. She opens up an interdimensional portal in his room, and the two arrive at her planet.
Ataru and Lum link up with Lum’s father. He and his people will battle an opposing faction deemed the Lucky Gods. Someone blows a horn, and the Onis and Lucky Gods engage in a game of basket tower toss, disappointing Ataru. However, Ataru spots one of Lucky God’s noble red-haired female warriors and heads toward her.
Lum tells Ataru to get away from her. Lum confirms the red hair girl’s name is Benten and her longtime friend. At Ataru’s home, his mother is upset that they ate Sukiyaki without him. Cherry arrives and tells them that he received a premonition that Ataru is in Hell. Cherry suggests that his parents must help Cherry guide Ataru’s soul to Heaven to honor his death. Before he can do so, he asks Ataru’s mother to make him some Sukiyaki.
Meanwhile, Lum’s angered by Ataru’s flirtatious attempts on Benten. Benten forges a scheme. She plans to play along with Ataru to spite Lum. Benten flirts with Ataru, and Lum loses control over her team’s basket. After the battle ends, Lum’s father announces the winner. The Lucky Gods claim victory as Lum’s father chooses Ataru to face punishment per the Setsubun traditional rules.
At Ataru’s house, his parents and Cherry finish their second round of Sukiyaki. Ataru’s mother threatens him to proceed with the ritual since Cherry wants to depart. Cherry summons a vision that allows them to peer into Ataru’s whereabouts. His family and Cherry notice Ataru strapped to a pole while being pelted with items. The segment concludes with them his parents comically believing Ataru’s in Hell.
The next set piece starts with Ataru waking up from a cold next to Shinobu. Suddenly, everyone from Mendo to Cherry starts arriving at his room. Mendo and some students are furious that Lum isn’t with Ataru. Ataru tells them that Lum went to Neptune to visit an old friend. Suddenly, cold weather engulfs Ataru’s room. Mendo opens one of Ataru’s closets, causing an avalanche to shower everyone with snow.
Ataru’s schoolmates dig away in the snow to find Ataru held by a mysterious girl. Cherry plans to exorcise the girl because he thinks she’s a demon. Mendo stops him. The girl reveals that Ataru’s closet now houses a mysterious portal to her world. She asks if everyone can guide her back to her place, and they accept. Ataru and his friends follow the girl.
Ataru tells one of his friends that Lum turned his closet into an interdimensional passageway the other day. Mendo comments how the entrance has vanished, so they can’t turn back now. The girl tells the group not to fall behind because the passage they’re traversing now crosses through dimensions. They reach a large hole, and the girl hears two cries for help.
Someone points out that one of the voices is Lums. The girl hops into the hole, and Ataru and the others follow suit. Lum rushes to Ataru’s aid. Lum asks why he came here and confirms that they’re on Neptune. It appears the girl they were following was her old friend, Oyuki. Other girls ask Ataru’s male classmates and Mendo to shovel away at the snow.
Ataru, Lum, Shinobu, and Cherry follow Oyuki into her mansion. Inside, Oyuki says they opened an interdimensional hole to dispose of all the snow they have to shovel on her planet. Oyuki reveals her undergarments and plans to prepare tea for everyone. Ataru was infatuated by Oyuki’s pleasant demeanor and dashing appearance. Lum electrocutes him out of jealousy, causing Ataru to leave the area.
Alone, Ataru recounts how Oyuki’s better than Shinobu and Lum because she’s kinder. Oyuki takes Ataru to a room because she notices he has a fever. Ataru and Oyuki put the moves on each other. Before they do anything further, Oyuki’s manservant B-Bo breaks one of the room’s walls and attacks Ataru. Ataru realizes that B-Bo’s a yeti.
Oyuki informs Ataru that B-Bo views her like an elder sister and doesn’t like men showing affection toward her. B-Bo chases Ataru to the interdimensional hole and returns to Ataru’s home. Several hours later, Tomobiki Town’s citizens and news crew cover the events unfolding at Ataru’s household. B-Bo is holding Ataru atop his house, making it look like a parody of King Kong.
B-Bo and Ataru yell while Lum, Oyuki, and the others look at them. The next day, Shinobu reads an article covering the event while Ataru’s wrapped up in bandages as Lum scolds him. Oyuki and B-Bo stand inside Ataru’s closet. Ataru asks Oyuki and Lum to close off the interdimensional passageway to prevent him from getting more sick.
Shinobu wonders what happened to Mendo, as he hasn’t appeared in school for days. We discover Mendo stayed on Neptune to continue shoveling the snow to appease Neptune’s women. This set piece ends up revealing the countless piles of snow he dug up. The final segment starts with Ataru’s homeroom teacher informing the class that their first semester has concluded and to complete their Summer homework.
Ataru tells everyone to sit down as he announces his retirement. His homeroom teacher misunderstands Ataru’s remarks and thinks he’s abandoning this school. Before Ataru could refute this, Mendo announces that Ataru is retiring from being Urusei Yatsura’s protagonist. Mendo prepares to overtake Ataru’s role, but Cherry arrives and plans to take the mantle.
Sakura knocks Cherry off the guest and announces she’ll be the main character. The cycle continues with more characters from Benten to Kurama popping up. Ataru tells them all that he planned to retire as class president. This episode concludes with Lum saying she’s the main protagonist.
The Episode Review
The sixth episode of Urusei Yatsura doesn’t capture the momentum of the previous chapter’s finale but introduces some nice set-up for future characters and subplots. However, the humor in every set piece is well-executed, but the 4th wall humor in the third one may surprise many people. The comedy in “Ataru Retires” carries mixed baggage. While it’ll provide some laughs, it doesn’t offer anything valuable.
“Good Day For a Departure” didn’t live up to expectations. I couldn’t help but relate to Ataru’s disappointment with how the battle between the Onis and Lucky Gods turned out. While the show’s other contests were coated in lightheartedness, it would’ve been interesting to see a competition with more depth and activity. With how much build-up it received from Lum and her father, I expected more from the Setsubun competition.
Fans may have similar grievances with Benten’s handling in episode six. She doesn’t receive as much attention as Oyuki does in her segment. All we receive is information about her being Lum’s old friend. While she displays some mannerisms that help her stand out, it would’ve been intriguing to receive more information about her, her people, and their culture.
Overall, this episode had some decent humor and heartwarming moments. Unfortunately, it doesn’t live up to the previous episode’s stellar conclusion. Let’s hope the next episodes will give more screen time to our new cast members and develop Lum’s relationship with Ataru further.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|