Urusei Yatsura - Movie 1 "Only you"

Little Lum

    Liner Notes

  1. "Is that a sexual perversion?"
  2. Bearing the Unbearable
  3. Puns in character names
  4. Vacuum Cleaners from Hell
  5. Maitta, maitta, tonari no jinja
  6. Children Who Know War
  7. "Say something Fatherly"
  8. Home Cooking
  9. What will become of me?
  10. The Matchmaking Incident

"Is that a sexual perversion?"
During the students' gossip sequence after the opening titles, one of the students wonders if Ataru is committing bigamy by marrying this Elle person when he's supposedly already married to Lum (or at least, things are close enough that they might as well be). Another student follows that up by asking what bigamy is--"is that a sexual perversion?" In the original Japanese, these lines were a pun (as so many conversations in this series are). The joke is that the word for bigamy in Japanese is "juukon," and the person responding wondered if it was like "lolicon," which is Japanese shorthand for "Lolita Complex." The "con" in both words is different, meaning "marriage" in the first one and "complex" in the second.


Bearing the Unbearable
During the Inquisition in the Tomobiki High School Clock Tower, when Megane says to Ataru, "Ataru, do you know why... we have borne the unbearable...?" he is making a reference to the famous radio speech by the late Emperor Shoowa, on Aug. 15, 1945, when he announced Japan's surrender to the Allies, ending World War II. Specifically, he is quoting the oft-quoted phrase (Megane quotes it again in Movie #2, "Beautiful Dreamer) "taegataki o tae, shinobigataki o shinobi," which is usually translated as "[Japan] must bear the unbearable..." meaning, in the original, surrender. In the case of Lum's Stormtroopers, however, "the unbearable" is seeing Lum hopelessly in love with Ataru.


Puns in character names
Many of the character names in "Urusei Yatsura" describe the characters very well in the original Japanese.

"Moroboshi Ataru," for example, means "to get hit by a star." And since "star" is at least partially synonymous with "alien" in this series, it means that he attracts aliens and other weirdos, like it or not. "Shinobu" is another good example, for a different reason: the word means "patient," but in actuality, she is anything but.

As for the Stormtroopers, their nicknames come from their looks: "Megane" means "glasses," "Chibi" means "runt," and "Perm" and "Kakugari" get their nicknames from their hairstyles. The normal writing of "Mendou" means "trouble," but in the case of the Mendou family, the name is written with a different set of characters, giving a different official meaning ("face" + "temple," which in itself is somewhat descriptive), but nonetheless, the Mendou family lives up to the traditional reading of the word that is a homonym of their family name: they are lots of trouble. Benten is actually one of the seven Chinese gods of luck, Oyuki is a takeoff on the classic snow princess of Japanese myth, and Princess Kurama and the Karasutengu ("Crow Goblins") are also based on the mythical "crow people" that are their namesakes.

A Rose, by any other name, would be as funny. There are also numerous references to roses in this film, starting with the rose-shaped starship from Planet Elle, showering rose petals everywhere in its first appearance. The name of the visitor this ship brings, Babara, is also a rose pun in Japanese, being a hybrid of the words "Baba" (a derogatory term roughly equivalent to "Old Bag" in English) and "Bara," which means "rose." The name of the spy who trails Lum and eventually abducts Ataru and the gang from Lum's Father's ship is named Nanabake Rose, and "nanabake" means "shapechanger" (though she proves amazingly inept). Then there is "Baran," the capital city of Planet Elle (another "Bara" pun), and last is "Baragumi Elle," which is written on the tag which the little Elle wears in the flashback sequence. The joke here is that Japanese kindergarten classes in the same school are often distinguished by names such as "Baragumi (Rose Class)," "Sakuragumi (Cherry Class)," "Momogumi (Peach Class)," etc., and Elle would naturally be in the "Rose Class."


Vacuum Cleaners from Hell
"Uzushio" means "an eddying current," and as such, is the sort of name that might be used as the brand name of a washing machine made in Japan. For this reason, it is funny to Japanese audiences when used as the name of the suction device which Lum uses to gather up Ataru and his family (and Cherry, too), especially because that name includes the word "zenjidoo" (fully automatic) which is the sort of descriptive word that would also tend to be used as part of the name of such an appliance.


Maitta, maitta, tonari no jinja
"Maitta" is a word one says when one is having trouble. It also means "to visit," as in "visiting a shrine." The word for shrine is "jinja." So when Ataru says to Babara, "Maitta, maitta, tonari no jinja," he is having fun by confusing the two meanings of the word "mairu (maitta)," which are both written the same way, adding to the fun.


Children Who Know War
"Sensoo o Shiranai Kodomotachi" (Children Who Don't Know War) was a popular folk/protest song in Japan in the late 1960's-early 1970's. It was about the generation gap between the pre- and post-World War II generations. The latter says that even though they do not know war, having been born and raised after its end, nonetheless they love peace, and want to live in a peaceful world. The song ends with a plea by the younger generation to call them "Children Who Don't Know War." The joke here is that, during the "space dogfight scene," Megane is happy to tell Shinobu that they are now, instead, "Children Who Know War," at last.


"Say something Fatherly"
Ataru's Father telling Ataru not to take out a loan for his wedding to, or honeymoon with, Elle, is a reflection on the expense and payment schemes typical of Japanese weddings. They tend to be more expensive than American weddings, and whereas, in the U.S., the bride's family typically pays all the wedding expenses, things aren't nearly so cut and dried in Japan, where either or both families may pay the expenses, or the bride and groom may pay their own expenses. Taking out such loans is at best uncommon, but it is the sort of thing that this family would do (In "Beautiful Dreamer", Ataru's father takes out a 500 year loan in Ataru's name!).


Home Cooking
Megane mentions a lot of foods in his first tirade on Planet Elle: Takoyaki is a pancake-like batter, rolled into balls containing octopus and vegetables, and baked. Gyuu-don (short for "Gyuuniku-Domburi"), which we refer to as "Beef-bowl," is beef boiled in sauce (usually soy sauce) with onions, on top of rice, in a bowl. The flavor of the sauce seeps down into the rice, which is what Megane is so excited about. Just about everybody knows what ramen is. The point is that these foods are "everyday foods," equivalent to hot dogs, hamburgers, and pizza in the U.S.; to wit, the foods you grew up with and miss the most. As for the gyuu-don restaurant Ataru points out on Planet Elle, the joke here is that these places are like McDonald's: i.e., they're EVERYWHERE.


What will become of me?
About Ataru's Mother crying about what will become of her in her old age: typically, in Japan, children take care of their parents when they get too old to take care of themselves, and those children will live with their parents more often than in Western countries. Certainly, Ataru's Mother and Father are the kind of people who expect that treatment from their son. His mother in particular is concerned with her own well-being, and given how badly her husband and son are taking care of her now, she's got good reason!


The Matchmaking Incident
The matchmaking "incident" that Lum's father refers to is recounted in Episode 22, stories 43-44, "The Great Space Matchmaking Operation," which is available in subtitled form in AnimEigo's UY TV series tape #6.



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