Stephen reviews: Urusei Yatsura 3: Remember My Love (1985)

125824464096916322687Urusei Yatsura 3: Remember My Love [うる星やつら3 リメンバー・マイ・ラブ] (1985)

Starring Fumi Hirano, Toshio Furukawa, Akira Kamiya, Mitsuo Iwata, Saeko Shimazu, Machiko Washio, Shinji Nomura, Sumi Shimamoto

Directed by Kazou Yamazaki


I was curious what kind of changes Urusei Yatsura would undergo once Mamoru Oshii left the scene. It turns out, not all that much. Remember My Love has a lot more flare and visual style than I expected from it, and also keeps to a more emotional story than the TV series did, just like the first two films in the franchise. One thing to remember about anime comedies is that they always tend to take themselves seriously at the end. The grand finale of a story needs to have punch, and comedy anime usually tries to accomplish this by turning away from the comedy. I get the feeling that these films were Urusei Yatsura‘s way of doing this. The TV series seemed unending. In 1985, more than four years into its run, Urusei Yatsura was still going strong. So it was the movies where the series could take its break from comedy and tackle the emotions underlying it all.

That’s not to say the comedy is abandoned here. Not by a long shot. But there are a lot of moments where you would normally expect a lighthearted joke, and instead there is only the dramatic tension of the situation. This is actually rather distracting at times and left me in a confused mood where it was difficult to tell whether I should be laughing at a certain point, or actually feeling for the characters. This is detrimental to the film, but at the same time, these moments are also done pretty well, making the story engaging on more than a simple laugh-a-minute level.

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Stephen reviews: Outlanders (1986)

outlanders_1Outlanders [アウトランダーズ] (1986)

Starring Fumi Hirano, Mitsuo Iwata, Mari Yokoo, Kenji Utsumi, Mikio Terashima, Takashi Toyoma, Akira Kamiya, Mika Doi

Directed by Katsuhisa Yamada


There were a lot of great films in 1986. Any year that gives us the likes of Platoon, Top Gun, and Howard the Duck is obviously a memorable one. Aliens and Transformers especially had a massive impact on my childhood. On the anime front, 1986 gave us two of the greatest: Fist of the North Star and Project A-ko. Barefoot Gen 2 was nothing to scoff at either. But Outlanders? Scoff your little hearts out, my fellow internet dwellers; scoff as hard as you can.

Outlanders is a comedy about Kahm, a bikini-clad alien woman with green hair and ram horns on her head. She invades her way to Earth and grabs a random loser to be her new husband, which will, through illogical plot contrivance, stop the aliens from destroying the Earth. Somehow I didn’t realize just how much this rips off Urusei Yatsura‘s premise until I found out that it even stole that show’s lead actress, Fumi Hirano, to play Kahm.

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