Urusei Yatsura (2022) Season 1 Review – A fabulous comedy with an unsatisfying romance

Season 1

Episode Guide

Young Love on the Run / Between a Rock and a Hard Place -| Review Score – 4/5
Present For You / A Yellow Ribbon of Happiness -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Trouble Rains Down!!! / Amazed In A Maze -| Review Score – 4/5
Sealed with a Kiss!!! -| Review Score – 3.5/5
The Glove of Love & Conflict / How I’ve Waited For You… -| Review Score – 4/5
Good Day For a Departure / Oyuki / Ataru Retires -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Home Is Where You Find It / Marine Garbage Disposal -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Transfer Student Close Call / Farewell Party Close Call… -| Review Score – 3.5/5
To Kill With Love / Studying Mayhem -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Parent’s Day Horrors / Since Your Parting -| Review Score – 4/5
Mendo Siblings!! A Strange New Year At The Mendo Estate -| Review Score – 2/5
Ten Is Here / A Date For Just The Two of Us -| Review Score – 3/5
The Great Off-Campus Snack Battle / A Gift From Ten -| Review Score – 2/5
That Mizunokoji Boy / Love Letter Trouble -| Review Score – 3/5
Anko Pathos, the Taste of Love?! / Memories And A Close Call… / Adverse Effects -| Review Score – 3/5
File: Lamplight Days -| Review Score – 3.5/5
A Chest Full of Longing!! / Wish Upon a Star -| Review Score – 3/5
Indelible Lipstick Magic!! / Lethal Attacks Yaminabe! -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Magic Realm! Jungle of Terror / Pickled -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Recovering That Which Was Lost -| Review Score – 3/5
Cosmo Teacher CAO-2 / Ooh Scary! Voodoo Doll -| Review Score – 3/5
Big Bottle, Little Bottle / When Love Strikes / The Tomo-1 Queen Contest -| Review Score – 3/5
Title Match!! The Tomo-1 Queen Contest -| Review Score – 3.5/5


New anime projects for classic works aren’t anything new. Many popular and retro series have returned over the years like Sailor Moon, Dorororo, Dragon Ball, and countless others. Some turn out well while others fall flat and fail to capture the fanbase like the original. Urusei Yatsura isn’t well-known to modern audiences, and while it doesn’t live up to its fullest potential, it dishes out a nice amount of humorous and charming content to make you smile and giggle.

The first season of the anime contains 23 episodes and runs for about 24 minutes per chapter. The series was animated by David Productions, known for their incredible work on Hirohiko Araki’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’s anime adaptations. It was directed by three individuals named Hideya Takahashi, Yasuhiro Kimura, and Takahiro Kamei, and the story is based on the classic romantic comedy manga by Rumiko Takahashi, known for creating popular manga like Ranma 1/2, Inuyasha, and Maison Ikkou.

Our story takes place in Tomobiki Town, where our protagonist Ataru and his friends reside. One day, Oni aliens invade their town and will only leave if Earth can choose one person to battle the leader’s daughter Lum in a game of tag. Ataru happens to be that person and must grab Lum’s horns within 10 days to win. Due to Lum’s extraterrestrial powers, Ataru finds himself in a pickle. Shinobu offers to marry Ataru to encourage him to try harder. On the final day of the event, Ataru tags Lum by using his lustful techniques.

During their game, Ataru prattled on about marriage, so Lum mistook his words as a proposal. Lum accepts Ataru’s offer and moves in with him while her Oni people flee the planet. The series follows Ataru, Lum, and the rest of their friends’ wacky and somewhat wholesome adventures as Ataru attempts to shake Lum off of him so he can be with a girl he finds more appealing. This anime has a story that many will cherish or some will find tedious.

The episodic structure has our characters engage in scenarios that are ultimately hysterical. New characters are introduced to add newer dynamics to the story and to give our protagonists some more characterization. The anime’s comedy varies from amusing gags, witty jokes, pleasant slapstick, and slightly funny sensual humor. Furthermore, the situational humor feels absurd since our characters will be avoiding large sea monsters and battle otherworldly humanoids.

However, Rumiko Takahashi implements common real-life issues for our characters to overcome like jealousy, grief, and misconceptions. Occasionally, the series tackles some serious and touching scenarios between Ataru, Lum, and other characters that will hit home with most audiences. The episodes dedicated to exploring Ataru and Lum’s undying love for each other are where Urusei Yatsura peaks. Unfortunately, the anime doesn’t delve too hard into this area of storytelling.

Instead, viewers receive many episodes that offer repetitive witticisms or time-wasting content. If Urusei Yatsura was strictly a comedy, then it’d be fine. However, this is defined as a romantic comedy, so you’d expect the romance to be on equal footing with its humor. Episodes 5 and 10 set a great precedent for what fans craved from Lum and Ataru’s relationship building. Instead, we receive more buffoonery with incidents like Mendo’s sister holding a game event at the Mendo estate.

The humor isn’t all bad, though. There were some segments that will make anyone chuckle hysterically like the wrestling match in the finale. It’s just a bummer that the season didn’t contain as many serious set pieces that’d push our cast to their fullest potential.

Speaking of the characters, many of them are excellent and capture the anime’s comical nature well. Despite being a lustful teenager who’d fall for any girl he sees, Ataru knows when to hold back his sexual urges whenever his friends, especially Lum, are in real danger.

Although it’s disappointing we don’t peer into his backstory all that much, Ataru’s shown to be capable of logical thinking and understanding of his friends’ issues, even if he’s a goofball. Lum feels like the main star of the anime. Unlike Ataru, we receive tons of information about Lum’s past, which allows us to compare her to her younger self. It was a treat seeing these characters interact, even if the banter between them feels a bit redundant.

Other characters like Shinobu, Mendo, Ran, and Sakura receive enough screen time to feel unforgettable. However, there comes a point where too many characters start getting introduced and the anime pivots its attention toward them instead of its earlier cast. While it’s great to have more characters from a world-building viewpoint, some came off feeling bland or unnecessary. Shelving these extra characters in favor of developing ones with a significant role would’ve been the best option. There was never an instance where the animation or visuals looked awful.

Coming from the folks who brought us the mouthwatering, impeccable action in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, I expected nothing but the best quality. Thankfully, they recaptured the alluring art style and feel of Rumiko Takahashi’s beloved artwork from the source material. They brought it to life for a modern generation of anime fans.

Everything from the characters’ movements, expressions, and interactions looked incredible. Even if the characters’ personalities and the storytelling’s overabundance of humor weren’t up to snuff with folks’ tastes, the animation team deserve immense praise for making Urusei Yatsura’s world look vibrant, fun, and immersive.

Alongside the animation, Urusei Yatsura has some compelling music and voice acting. The music felt lively and emotional when it needed to be. Every voice actor and actress delivered an incredible performance. For those unaware, the Japanese voice actor and actress who played Lum and Ataru in the original Urusei Yatsura played the parts of Ataru’s father and Lum’s mother. It’s safe to say they still got it even after all these years. Likewise, the new actor and actress playing Lum and Ataru didn’t disappoint either.

Urusei Yatsura isn’t a solid romantic comedy anime. However, it’s not a terrible one either. It’s a middle-of-the-road effort that’s best enjoyed for its comedy than its romantic elements since you’ll be left disappointed that it never dives too deep into it. Regardless, season one is a bumpy yet pleasant start. Hopefully, season two will be a darling and deliver more drama that balances out with its favorable comical approach.

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  • Verdict - 6.5/10

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