To Kill With Love / Studying Mayhem
Episode 9 of Urusei Yatsura begins with Cherry receiving a premonition that something bad is about to happen as Rei has arrived on Earth.
At Ataru’s house, Lum and Ataru get into an argument over Shinobu. Cherry arrives and warns Ataru to flee the area as a monster is heading his way. Meanwhile, Shinobu encounters Rei and gets startled by his presence. Lum and Ataru continue arguing with each other until Ataru spots Shinobu at his window. Shinobu’s not alone as she’s with Lum’s ex-fiance Rei, who startles everyone.
He transforms into his human-like form to calm them down. Ataru’s mother storms into Ataru’s room because she doesn’t want him to cause trouble. She finds Lum asking Rei to leave as Ataru introduces him to her. Ataru’s mother is heartstruck by Rei’s handsome looks. Shinobu asks Lum why she doesn’t like Rei. Lum argues that she doesn’t like Rei’s beast form and would rather spend her life with Ataru.
This infuriates Rei immensely. Ataru’s mother returns with snacks and blushes when Rei takes her hand. His mother notices his father depressed in the corner. The two rush down the stairs as Ataru’s mother aims to explain herself. Lum explains to Shinobu that she doesn’t like Rei’s slob-like nature and doesn’t care if he looks attractive. Lum hugs Ataru again, enticing Rei to transform into a beast again.
Lum confronts Rei for his behavior as he takes out some toys. Someone translates his actions into words. It appears Rei traveled to Earth to propose to Lum. Rei transforms into a human again and whips out a manual to help him propose to Lum. Lum continuously denies his attempts, hugs Ataru and declares she’d rather spend her life with him. Angered, Rei transforms and chases Ataru and Lum out of the house and toward Tomobiki Park.
We get brief instances of Lum and Ataru accidentally messing up different couples’ attempts at proposing. They encounter a man selling food, and this catches Rei’s attention. Ataru’s surprised as Lum says this is another aspect of Rei that she doesn’t like. This routine continues as we eventually arrive back at Ataru’s house. Ataru and Lum run upstairs, and we get another romantic encounter between his mother and Rei.
Ataru’s mother contemplates abandoning her husband and Ataru to live a life with Rei. Suddenly, everyone with that Rei caused trouble toward arriving at Ataru’s room. The women share their affection toward Rei while the food sellers and male spouses exhibit rage. This segment concludes with Ataru bewildered by his terrible luck. The next set piece starts with Lum being shocked by everyone’s lackadaisical attitude during free time.
Mendo can’t stand his classmates’ laziness and dreads this hour of the day. Mendo hears a call coming from his radio and believes it’s his ticket out of there. However, we learn Rei took control of the helicopter as he crashes it into Ataru’s class. Meanwhile, Ran overhears Rei’s voice while in another class and wonders if it’s him. Mendo’s shocked when Shinobu explains that the ox monster is Lum’s ex-fiance and that he’s a handsome gentleman.
Lum tells Rei to leave as Mendo plans to protect her from Rei. Lum tries to flee the classroom with Ataru but gets her plans thwarted by Ran, who arrives at Ataru’s class with a box lunch for Rei. Ran pulls Lum aside and asks Lum if she can hook her up with Rei since she’s in love with him. Lum complies. At the same time, Rei starts eating everyone’s food, angering Mendo. Mendo reiterates that Lum couldn’t possibly wed a beast as hideous as Rei.
Ataru tells Mendo to relax as Rei transforms into a human again and surprises Mendo with his stunning looks. Upon seeing his human form, other girls frolic toward Rei’s side and start handing him food. Meanwhile, Ran asks Lum to report on Rei’s activities. Lum can’t stand his pig-like eating habits, but Ran argues that’s what she adores about him. Ran plans to give him her food.
Shinobu approaches Rei and reminds him why he came to their school in the first place. Rei transforms into a beast and pounces on Ataru. Ataru promises him that he doesn’t know where Lum went. Seeing him attacking Ataru, Lum orders Rei to back off. Before Rei attacks Ataru, he heads for Lum but gets stopped by Ran. Ran gives him her box lunch, and Rei digs into the meal.
When Rei finishes Ran’s meal, she asks him if he liked it. He ignores Ran and begs for Lum’s attention. Lum can’t believe Rei’s ignoring Ran’s feelings for him. However, Ran tells Lum not to worry since Rei gave her lunch more respect. Suddenly, Cherry arrives and gives Rei some food. This enrages Ran, who can’t believe Rei’s treating Cherry’s dish equally to hers.
She leaves the room with tearful eyes, leading Lum to yell at Rei. However, Ran returned with another meal for Rei. She asks him if he likes that more than Cherry’s and if it’s tasty. Rei shakes his head yes, but senses something wrong. Cherry picks up on Rei’s demeanor. Rei whispers something into his ear as Cherry explains Rei’s going home now that he’s full of food.
Rei jets out of the classroom, and Ataru wonders why he’d show up in the first place if he only required food. Ran waves goodbye to Rei as Lum tells him to never return to Earth. At Ataru’s house, Lum and Ataru notice his mother feeding Rei a meal. Ataru’s infuriated because Rei said he was going home. Rei greets them and doesn’t explain himself.
Later, Ataru’s mother and father discuss Ataru’s school’s Parent Day event. Ataru’s father’s thankful this was the case, as he thought his wife wanted to file for a divorce so she can marry Rei. The episode concludes with Lum’s mother pampering herself as she plans to attend the Parents’ Day event herself.
The Episode Review
As hinted at in the previous episode’s cliffhanger, this chapter introduced a new character to intermingle with our current cast. This comes in the form of an alien and ox being named Rei, who happens to be Lum’s ex-fiance. While the idea of an ex-fiance sounds fascinating, Rei’s inclusion feels like a missed opportunity.
With how much Ran built him up in the previous episode, I expected more from Rei. His charming looks won’t get a rise out of me. He feels like a watered down version of Mendo. Although the reason behind Lum and Rei’s break-up is in line with the show’s comedic tone, the reasoning doesn’t carry the weight I was expecting.
Furthermore, the comedic gag involving Rei’s thirst for food was drawn out. While it was funny for a few moments, it got old quickly. Compared to Ran, Rei feels like a throw-away character. I found myself agreeing with Lum on never wanting to see him return. Maybe future episodes can develop Rei’s character and give him redeeming qualities.
As it stands, I’m unimpressed with what Rei brings to the narrative. Overall, this was a decent episode of Urusei Yatsura. It had some moments that’ll make people laugh, but times where it feels like its dragging its feet across the ground. Hopefully, the next chapter brings us a more rounded character in Lum’s mother.