Urusei Yatsura

Urusei Yatsura 2022-23 is a fantastic remake and even though I may be deemed a heretic for this claim — it may even be better than the original anime. The new rendition of Rumiko Takahashi’s classic story features amazing seiyu, pretty simple but fitting animation and, most importantly, it has the same spirit as Mamoru Oshii’s show that came out in the 80s. It’s silly, simple, not living up to the High Moral Standards of the 21st century — and I loved every single minute of it. I actually enjoyed the old Urusei Yatsura anime but never was able to watch it entirely, simply because, well, it’s almost two goddamn hundred episodes long, so it was so, so much easier to watch the new TV show weekly.

I’m not going to go into any details because, hey, it’s Urusei Yatsura — if you watched one episode you watched all of them. Hiroshi Kamiya is perfect in the role of Ataru, Sumire Uesaka nailed Lum’s voice, openings and endings were surprisingly catchy and felt properly old-school, exactly what was needed. Lum is still a great character and a perfect mother for any unplanned child, I like her new design and like how many of her outfits we got to see (nothing can beat Lum in her summer uniform, nothing!). It’s kind of fun how whereas the show toys with the modern stuff like tinder in the opening, the anime itself is stubbornly set in the 80s and features rotary dial phones and what not =)

I don’t believe that this new Urusei Yatsura was very popular outside of Japan, as I said it’s too old-school and goofy and, for instance, MAL score reflects that. Not that it matters though because the second season has already been already announced for 2024 and I can’t wait to see more Lum, Ataru, Ten-chan (早い早い) and… pretty much everyone here really ^_^

Chainsaw Man

I wrote the other day that Bocchi the Rock was a pleasant surprise this fall season, but actually Chainsaw Man was another one. By default I don’t believe that something that’s being hyped a lot is going to be any good (I’m a fucking elitist who prefers classics like Let’s Nupu Nupu to all your modern fancy shows) and Chainsaw Man was one of the most talked about manga recently. I didn’t follow the conversations too closely, but I saw that this name popped up here and there all the time. MAPPA had a tough job to satisfy people who were familiar with source material and, simultaneously, attract new viewers, and I think the studio did a pretty good job.

First of all — the quality of animation is top notch. During the entire season I was like “damn, they spent tons of money on that!” And tons of work. There weren’t any weak episodes animation-wise. To be fair, I can’t recall any anime MAPPA was responsible for that had awful animation, but this one may be their best work (it’s funny that it feels like MAPPA has been around forever, whereas this studio was founded like what, 10 years ago?) Lots of movement, lots of camera angles, lots of action sequences — yeah, it maybe doesn’t have that warm hand-drawn style some shows have but welcome to the 21st century I guess (not so fast, studio Orange, Trigun Stampede still looks questionable).

What Chainsaw Man really does right is its characters. Denji and Power are complete savages and I approve that wholeheartedly. They are the real reason to watch this anime, because, frankly, the plot here is non-existent. Ironically, that’s also why I think I will never watch this story entirely — sooner or later the characters should show some development and my guess is that they will become more “likeable”, meaning they’ll transform into your average shounen characters defeating demons for the goodness of their hearts and not because they want to touch some boobies.

However that will happen in the (probably nearest) future — for now let’s just enjoy a beautifully drawn anime about some insane guys smashing demons left and right =)

Bocchi the Rock

Bocchi the Rock was a pleasant surprise this fall season. Initially I had no idea what to expect. On one hand this is an anime about an all-girls band, so it could be a new K-ON and there’s no such thing as “too much K-ON”. On the other hand this is a yet another show where the main heroine suffers from severe social anxiety, so it could easily become a drag like “Komi-san Can’t Communicate”. Luckily, Bocchi the Rock doesn’t take itself too seriously. There are definitely some awkward moments related to Hitori’s behavior, but nothing facepalm-inducing — and the other characters mostly laugh it off, or even sometimes have fun at Hitori’s expense (even her parents) =) And it’s certainly not a music-first anime — yeah, the girls play some songs here and there, but mostly it’s a comedy with really likeable characters.

What I definitely didn’t expect from this show is how much experimental and weird animation CloverWorks would use. I don’t know if the manga was the same, but every time Hitori falls into depression or goes into her own world it looks like the animators are given a free rein. It’s not Pop Team Epic-level madness of course, closer to something I’d imagine old Gainax could try but it is pretty unusual for such a mainstream show.

To sum up — show good, me enjoyed, second season want =)

Ataru’s sharing some wisdom!

I know that we’re only 3 episodes in but so far the remake of Urusei Yatsura has been fantastic! I’m so happy that the studio didn’t modernize the show itself, so we still get to see all that old-school awkward jokes but in modern graphics and with amazing seyuu. And Darlings of the world, rejoice — Lum, the best waifu from the 80s, is back!