Posts tagged Urusei Yatsura

High School… Those were/are werid times, right? Yeah… Not as weird as Japan would have you believe. If memory serves, I never mistakenly married an alien and/or traveled to outer space, nor did I ever fight hand to hand with any sort of demon, fairy, robot or otherwise. Luckily(?), all of that occurred in the most recent anime I’ve watched.

In “Urusei Yatsura: Only You”, our despicable protagonist manages to land yet another beautiful alien wife, much to the chagrin of his current beautiful alien wife and her beautiful alien friends, who band together to prevent the most ridiculous wedding ever. Meanwhile, “Battle Royal High School” stakes claim to the title of “Most Absurd Anime Ever” and in sixty minutes, the creative team behind this madness manages to combine nearly every major anime cliche into one extremely preposterous movie. Nonetheless, it’s great for a laugh as well as a gleaming check mark on my list of “Classic” (and slowly becoming Infamous) Anime.

Hmm… How do I begin this post? It’s been a long time… or at least it feels that way, given how much Anime I’ve watched within the past month.

It all began with “The Guyver” a series about a suit of alien armor discovered and later “piloted” by a teenager against another alien race of “Zoanoids” sworn to protect the earth from human parasites (or something like that). It’s all a bit confusing, but the action is fun and the character designs for both the Guyver and Zoanoids are excellent additions to the monster pantheon.

Next came “Berserk”. Oh, boy… Berserk. This show is a strange case, because it’s really not about what you think it’s about. Instead, you spend an awfully long time watching a story unfold in one direction and then, BAM! … All hell breaks loose. In fact, that’s quite literally what happens. It’s crazy. Oh… And like so many other entries on this-here blog, it has no definitive ending, because the Manga wasn’t finished when the project began. [As an aside: If you’re gonna’ watch this one, my recommendation is to begin with Episode 2 and conclude with Episode 1. I think you’ll find the story a bit less depressing that way. Oh… And be sure to watch the Bloopers & Out-Takes as well!]

Beyond Berserk awaited “Beautiful Dreamer”, the second “Urusei Yatsura” film. Having yet to view any of the other films in this series, I can’t make any comparisons, but… It was directed by Mamoru Oshii of “Ghost In The Shell” fame, who certainly doesn’t disappoint here. I’ve praised Urusei Yatsura before, and this movie (loosely based on a series episode) deserves no shortage of praise on its own. If you’re a fan of the show and haven’t seen it, you simply must. However, if you’ve never seen the show, then don’t start here. There are a few too many inside references that wouldn’t land on a novice viewer.

"Paprika" followed with more dream time, but these dreams were much more toxic and violent, though no less "beautiful" to watch. See, this one’s a psycho-thriller, a genre that I wouldn’t normally associate with animation. However, given the subject matter, Anime does the story well and the images on screen take the audience on a very colorful, if a bit convoluted ride. Check it out if you enjoy a bit of thoughtful science fiction, but don’t expect to piece it all together on the first spin.

After all of that, I still wanted more (This kick is quite persistent), so I ventured back from whence I came to the world of Go Nagai. Stopping first in the land of “Violence Jack” for a trio of tales worthy of their titular character, I had a pretty good idea about what I was getting into and this series certainly delivered… Like “Devilman” there are plenty of sickening scenes to make you squirm, but the envelope is pushed just a little bit further as everything is bigger and badder, including Jack himself. There isn’t a villain alive who can compete with this “hero”, but stay far away from these pictures if you can’t stand gore and violence, especially the sexual variety.

Finally, the universe was explained and expanded in the goofiest way imaginable as “CB Chara Go Nagai World” took me on a journey through… Well, just that. Beginning with Devilman in crisis, he and his comrades are set to quest across the mind of their creator. Along the way, they meet a host of familiar characters including Jinmen and Sirene: The Demon Bird (along with other demons), Koji, Sayaka and Mazinger Z (plus Ashura and Dr. Hell), even Violence Jack appears! It’s really quite fun to see them all interact with one another, but little of it will make any sense to an inexperienced viewer.   I think you may have to be just a tid bit crazy to appreciate Go Nagai, but if you do, this film is a treat as it plays to you directly.

With that said, there are plenty more films to be seen and I just can seem to slow down, but maybe I’ll post a bit sooner next time to avoid such lengthy entries. Until then… 

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Haven’t posted in a while… “Why?”, you might ask… The images above ought to give you an idea.

All I have to say is… “Urusei Yatsura”, “Tekkonkinkreet” & “Giant Robo” are more exciting than the internet. Go watch them.

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