Urusei Yatsura - Movie 1 "Only you"
- "Is that a sexual perversion?"
- Bearing the Unbearable
- Puns in character names
- Vacuum Cleaners from Hell
- Maitta, maitta, tonari no jinja
- Children Who Know War
- "Say something Fatherly"
- Home Cooking
- What will become of me?
- The Matchmaking Incident
"Is that a sexual perversion?"
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
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
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
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
"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
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