So begins the story of the world’s unluckiest boy, a beautiful alien princess, and a larger-than-life...game of tag?!
As an anime/manga fan who grew up in the 90s, anytime somebody somewhere says Rumiko Takahashi, my nostalgia sensors start flashing like crazy. Urusei Yatsura is no different - it is a series that has been near and dear to my heart for most of my life. So obviously when I heard Viz was re-releasing the series in a new, pretty omnibus, I jumped on the opportunity to review it.
Ataru Moroboshi is down on his luck….well, no more than usual. When his girlfriend breaks up with him and everything seems like it’s going wrong - suddenly aliens are invading Earth? And unlucky Ataru is selected to be the savior of the planet....by beating beautiful princess Lum in a game of tag. This game of tag turns out to be only the beginning of Ataru’s problems when Lum suddenly falls for him and his world turns upside down.
Lum is anything but Ataru’s ideal marriage candidate. While she is normally calm, innocent, and only desires to provide for her “darling”, she definitely has a hot temper when things don’t go as planned. Lum is one of the most iconic characters in manga history and serves as a wonderful foil to the idiotic, lecherous, and lazy Ataru. As in all of her other series, Takahashi absolutely excels at making wonderful characters who play off each other perfectly.
Urusei Yatsura is an absolute classic piece of comedy Shounen manga - what author Rumiko Takahashi does best. Published from 1978 to 1987, this is her first major successful series and it definitely still holds up today. While Urusei Yatsura saw a Western release in the mid-90s (following the success of titles like Ranma ½ and Inuyasha), the series was heavily edited, published Left to Right, received title change after title change, and ultimately was never completed. This is why I’m so glad that we are finally seeing this rom-com masterpiece getting the unedited release it always deserved. This new Viz edition even includes previously unreleased data files and even a message from the mangaka herself.
If you are a fan of comedy, sci-fi, cute alien girls, or the great Rumiko Takahashi (if you’re like me, it’s all of the above), I definitely recommend Urusei Yatsura!