「いい日旅立ち / お雪 / あたるの引退」 (Ii Hi Tabidachi / Oyuki / Ataru no Intai)
“Good Day for a Departure / Oyuki / Ataru Retires”
Urusei Yatsura’s latest episode has Ataru taking a detour from Lum in favor of Benten and Oyuki, two of her older friends from before the married life. But while Ataru finds himself entangled in one problem after another, his greatest conflict comes from whether his class will take his resignation as the Student Council president seriously.
JUST A GIGOLO
To be honest, there isn’t as much to talk about with this week’s episode since they serve mainly to introduce Benten and Oyuki as part of the cast. From our main introduction with Benten, it gave us a look at what kind of customs she and Lum have as they take part in a feud between the two families. Benten is pretty neat because she knows to take advantage of Lum’s anger by hitting on Ataru, but our chance of getting to know what plans Oyuki had with Ataru is thrown aside when he’s accosted by a yeti.
A bulk of this episode’s strengths are in the comedic moments unrelated to Ataru’s lechery. “Good Day for a Departure”’s funniest moments were whenever it shifted the perspective back to Ataru’s parents, who have to come to terms with their son’s presumed death. It’s a strong moment when his mom is genuinely sad that he never made it to his favorite sukiyaki. But it winds back around to being outright hilarious when she’s close to gutting Cherry for using a fake seance as a way to eat their sukiyaki. The ending punchline where Ataru’s parents see him being stoned by the oni, and the only words they could muster were “It’s no surprise given how he lived,” was a riot.
Similarly, the one re-occurring joke in “Oyuki” that was hilarious was the reveal of what happens to the men on the planet Neptune. The labor that men are put through would seem like a horrible fate, but Mendou’s impulses push him to pick up a shovel and happily begin right away. His initial reaction was just another funny way to express that Mendou is as shamelessly lustful as Ataru but tries to hide it through his unassuming way of acting hospitable to the women around him.
But the real kicker was the fact that he had paved an entire highway by the time Ataru was publicly disgraced for his yeti run-in.
The last skit was the most consistently hilarious of the two, but it’s also a much shorter one. I cracked up when the first assumption about Ataru’s retirement caused a teacher to expose him for having the worst grades in class. I also loved how even lower profile characters like Sakura and Kuruma gunning to become the main character of Urusei Yatsura. While we might have all our picks in for who the real main character is (*cough* LUM *cough*”), it was nice to see everyone we’ve got to meet so far show up for extra time in the spotlight.