Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Urusei Yatsura - Movie 4 - Lum the Forever|
Genres: Indie & Art House, Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
The most bizarre of the URUSEI YATSURA movies, mere summary really does this one very little justice. Some of the more prominent elements of the plot concern a film that the gang are making, which stars Ataru and some very... more »
Most bizarre of the entire Urusei Yatsura series
Mark Crispin | Bainbridge Island, WA USA | 11/01/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Be warned; blue ribbon committees of anime experts in Japan and the US have concluded that they haven't a clue as to what this movie is actually about. It *seems* to make sense, but there are wheels within wheels, and each time you see it, you'll be more and more unsure. It's been 18 years since the first time I saw this movie, and I'm as puzzled as ever.
The director says that it was about growing up and leaving behind one's childhood. It was definitely an experiment, and there is considerable debate about how successful it was.
On the most superficial surface, the story is...
The gang is making a movie about the Mendou family legend of Devil Princess (Oni-hime). To save the headman of the village, a young student cut down the giant cherry tree Tarou-zakura. The headman was saved, but the evil spirits attached to the villagers appeared and created a nightmare. The villagers prayed, and their prayers were answered with the advent of Devil Princess, whose holy light suppressed the evil spirits.
The Mendou family has an ancient and very large cherry tree named Tarou-zakura, but it is now rotting from inside and will not survive the next winter. Mendou plans to cut it down for the movie, and plant a cutting to start the new Tarou-zakura.
The tree is cut down, albeit not as expected; and strange things start to occur. Lum loses her powers including her ability to talk to birds; Mendou, Megane & company start chasing other girls; and finally the town is trapped in a frozen dream. Mendou consults his grandfather, and discovers to his horror that the "legend" of Devil Princess is real; Tarou-zakura held the spirit of Devil Princess, and the town is no longer protected from the unconstrained activity of its memories. Lum, being an alien invader, was attacked by the memories. To break out of the dreams, Mendou starts a war...
Meanwhile, Lum leaves to confront what turns out to be the infant memory of Tomobiki Town, which has awoken with the destruction of Tarou-zakura. Ataru refuses to participate in the war, and instead runs.
Eventually, the infant decides that it can live alone with the town's memories. It frees Lum, who returns to the surface world. As the frozen dreams disintegrate, cherry blossoms fall; a farewell present from the infant to signify that Tomobiki is once again under the protection of a new Devil Princess.
Sounds wierd? Now remember, this is only the most superficial interpretation of this movie; the outermost wheel of all the wheels. We haven't even scraped the surface of the various myths and legends being alluded too, not to mention all the little side plots.
Speaking as someone who has a complete collection of every Urusei Yatsura animation ever made (mostly Laser Disc except for the handful that were videotape only), I would not recommend this movie for beginners. A better first choice would be the second movie (Beautiful Dreamer), which is the very best of all the movies; or the third movie (Remember My Love) which is probably the most foreign-fan friendly.
Once you've become a die-hard Urusei Yatsura fan, then you are ready for this movie. It's not the worst movie (that would be the sixth movie, "Itsu datte, My Darling", which many of us refuse to accept as part of the canon), but it's still a good deal less successful than the others. "Only You" is faithful to the original author's intentions; "Beautiful Dreamer" is a masterpiece; "Remember My Love" is good plain fun; and "Boy Meets Girl" winds up the entire series if you can get past the character designs.
On the plus side, "Lum The Forever" is stunningly beautiful. If you like the character designs of the later movies and OAVs, this is where you see the first hint of them (although not in the final form of the fifth movie, "Boy Meets Girl").
As with most Animeigo products, the quality of the English translations in the subtitles on this DVD are pretty good. There are some flaws on the film print that don't appear on the "Perfect Collection" laser disc, but side by size comparison shows that in general the DVD playback is more pleasing than on the LD."