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AnimEigo presents
Urusei Yatsura TV #14 (1982)

"My male instinct tells me to hunt girls, no matter what you say."
- Ataru (Toshio Furukawa)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: February 13, 2003

Stars: Fumi Hirano, Toshio Furukawa, Saeko Shimazu, Kazuko Sugiyama, Ichiroo Nagai
Other Stars: Kenichi Ogata, Natsumi Sakuma, Akira Kamiya, Machiko Washio, Yuuko Mita, Ayako Tsuboi, Reiko Yamada, Tetsuyoo Genda, Shigeru Chiba, Michihiro Ikemizu, You Inoue, Noriko Ohara, Yuko Mita
Director: Oshii Mamoru

Manufacturer: Cine Magnetics
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nudity, adult situations)
Run Time: 01h:42m:49s
Release Date: November 15, 2002
Genre: anime

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A B-B+B+ D+

DVD Review

The bizarre collection of characters returns for another four installments in the Urusei Yatsura series, and even after fifty episodes, continues to come up with new and hilarious situations for its every expanding and extremely wacky cast. Originally broadcast in December of 1982, this batch is no exception, introducing another strange beast, and taking Ataru Moriboshi, the central character in all this, through hell and back again—literally—all in a day's stride.

Right from the get-go, we meet Kotatsu Neko, a huge cat who intervenes in a cat versus dog street fight. When Jariten discovers the massive kitty (who is actually a ghost with supernatural powers), he decides to take him home and sneak him into the house, but the cat sets up camp on the staircase when he finds a kotatsu (a table with a heated quilt under it, used to keep people's feet warm) lying around. This is all fine and well, except that it means Ataru can't get downstairs for dinner when There's a Cat on the Stairs.

If you think a giant ghost cat is strange, the Moriboshi household gets a visitor when Ataru does a good deed for a magic bird, who transforms himself into a racoon. The racoon dresses up as a young woman, and offers to fulfill Ataru's wish. Everything would be just hunky dory if Ataru could follow instructions and not look in the closet, but Can a Racoon Repay a Favor?

Next, Ataru takes The Do-or-Die Subspace Part-Time Job, which leads him on a string of adventures into the gates of hell and back when he gets lost in a strange town. Of course, Ataru manages to screw everything up but eventually winds up taking a job at a bath house and, being who he is, makes every effort to get over to the women's side.

The closing episode tells the story of The Big Year End Party That Lum Organized! So how does an alien host a party? Well, first she brings a pair of transdimensional doorways to school, and transports everyone into another dimension where they take on different identities. Simply everyone will be there.

These episodes are a bit of a mixed bag, but do a good job maintaining the "anything goes" style that makes this series so appealing. Even when the show isn't firing on all cylinders, it still manages to pull together enough laughs to make things enjoyable. The cat episode is a definite winner, and the series' first bath house episode has an unusual abundance of nudity. At face value, Urusei Yatsura is funny in its own right, but the depth of the humor is easily missed for those unfamiliar with Japanese culture, and the plethora of references and puns that are thrown into the show. Fortunately AnimEigo's liner notes fill in these blanks, which can lead to a deeper appreciation of how much goes into each episode, and remains a favorite when a silly fix is required.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: B-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Image quality is on par with the rest of thes series. Colors are fairly vibrant, and slightly over-saturated, causing reds and bright blues to bleed a bit. Black levels are good. There are a few source defects here and there, but nothing major. Aliasing is moderate, and there is a small amount of ghosting in places. Overall things look quite good for a show this age.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access

Audio Transfer Review: Mono Japanese audio is quite serviceable. Dialogue is easily discernable, if a bit sibilant. There is some edginess in places, a bit of hiss, and the soundtrack gets a bit saturated at points, none of which is really unexpected in a show this age. Like some of the previous volumes, there is some minor inconsistency in the volume and fade in of the opening credits, which is hardly worth mentioning.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 4 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Liner notes
Extras Review: Extras are limited to the two and a half pages of recipe-style liner notes included in the package. There is a good bit of background information, and explanations of the many cultural references and puns used in the show. These are always a welcome addition.

Extras Grade: D+


Final Comments

You never know what to expect from Urusei Yatsura, and this collection is no different. A couple of strong episodes balance the weaker ones here, as this classic series continues to provide a good chuckle.


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