Episode 41 – Urusei Yatsura Beautiful Dreamer

Bradley C Meek from THEM Anime Reviews joins us to talk Urusei Yatsura and the film Beautiful Dreamer. It’s a long one and we will spoil the hell out of this 1984 film that is now out of print, and so it doesn’t really matter. As well as lots of UY talk, we digress into Brian’s WAR ON NARRATIVE, Lupin III and Mamoru Oshii’s fear of eating in.

Struggling to keep up with us on this episode, or just want to know more about Urusei Yatsura? Visit Tomobiki-cho, a UY fansite that’s been around since 1996!

The song that indirectly got me into Urusei Yatsura.

Former strong man and breeder of fancy birds, Geoff Capes:

Brian winds up LOGH fans by telling them it’s a not a very good cartoon

 

3 Replies to “Episode 41 – Urusei Yatsura Beautiful Dreamer”

  1. Great episode! I prefer the shows to be longer like this, because I like to listen to them while I’m working on animation clean-up, which can be painstakingly dull otherwise. It’s nice to hear Anthony’s enjoying Urusei Yatsura so much.

    Brian, as you could probably tell from my pestering you about it, this is one of my favourite series of all time, so I was happy to hear you guys tackle on it on the show.

    About the guy watching Shinobu from the window– From what I remember of the commentary, Oshii said it wasn’t intended to look like Ataru, and that the figure’s supposed to represent an outsider watching the characters, maybe the director himself. A lot of the sequences in the film (such as that one) were there largely just because of Oshii’s whims and outside interests, or purely for atmosphere, rather than any logical narrative purpose… Which of course only adds to the dreamy mood of the film.

    Personally I think Brent Butt looks more like Onsen-Mark than Mujaki. I loved Corner Gas, and being Canadian I’d certainly like to see some Awesome Engine posts about our sitcoms. There’s a new one called “Mr. D” that I’m enjoying so far. It’s sort of like The Office, only set in a school instead of an office. What I really like about it, apart from being funny, is that the main character is obviously flawed, but never becomes unlikeable. You always get the sense that he’s trying to do the right thing, just in a misguided, half-assed way.

    I’ll have to try and track down Angel’s Egg now, if it’s anything like Beautiful Dreamer.

    About the fourth Urusei Yatsura film: I saw it for the first time recently, and noticed similarities to Beautiful Dreamer, but it’s not nearly as cohesive or satisfying. While it manages to be quite atmospheric, and enjoyable as a series of bizarre vignettes, by the end the lack of any clear narrative drive becomes annoying. It’s telling that not even the director Yamazaki can properly explain what it’s about. It does have some neat sequences though, and is worth a watch as it’s the final work of the crew from the actual TV series.

    By the way, I believe the article on the Lupin III Gold of Babylon movie you referred to was written by me a while ago. I can’t get enough of the looser, grungier Lupin stuff, so I’m really excited that the new show seems to be a return to that Monkey Punch look.

    Coming from a perspective as an animator who’s mainly interested in exaggerated action and gags, my feelings on what makes a good cartoon are very similar to Brian’s. I did used to enjoy long serial narratives in anime when I was younger, such as Digimon and Dragon Ball Z, but now I just don’t have the time to dedicate to them, and the filler that’s inherent in a long serial often makes it more frustrating than it’s worth for me. What I’ve seen of One Piece is pretty good though, it’s certainly the best of the current shonen series.

    Also, since you briefly mentioned Dirty Pair and Project A-Ko, might those be potential topics for future episodes? 😀

  2. Thanks for the kind words. I’ve not heard of Mr D, but I have followed Dan for Mayor and Hiccups. I mean to write something on Dan for Mayor, as it’s an odd case where the situation part of a sitcom HAD to radically change in the second season.

    Project A-Ko would be a good choice for a future episode, and possibly once the films are rereleased Dirty Pair too.

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