• Ghost in the Shell director's first film? Urusei Yatsura: Only You

    From Terrence Briggs@21:1/5 to All on Sat Jul 1 13:02:45 2023
    From the director of those first two mercurial Ghost in the Shell animated films...

    Urusei Yatsura Movie 1: Only You is not your typical Mamoru Oshii film. It's slight, lighthearted, and barely capable of existential dread.

    It's also a romantic comedy where anime space girls run the world. Yes, the men are petty, simple-minded creatures guided by their basic instincts, when they aren't aloof. The women aren't much better, but they're somewhat more complex.

    "A woman's dream is to be properly married," says the mother of the pelvis-guided protagonist. "That is her happiness." The dad doesn't have much to offer. Too busy eating.

    The alien ladies are introduced in waves. One pulchritodinous one gets The Pelvis-guided protagonist (Ataru) excited, but she's just a decoy. The elderly alien woman behind her explains the stakes: Ataru pledged to marry some alien space lady when they
    were both kids, and Ataru is being abducted. Sally is back for her Sweet Baboo, but Linus is down with the pelvis, so dude is willing to meet the alien lady.

    But Ataru already has an alien lady for a girlfriend: Lum. She's super protective, and her lightning magic is super effective. She keeps calling him "darling", when she isn't electrocuting him, or any seemingly wandering female who gets close to him. It
    guess she's not supposed to be a "waifu", but she doesn't seem to have any interests aside from being with her darling. Maybe this was transgressive in 1970s Japan?

    There's another alien lady who rounds up Ataru's human entourage, who only seem to exist in orbit around Ataru and Lum. Most of them do little of interest, but there is a female who whips out Miss Piggy levels of superhuman strength to angrily rescue
    Ataru, when his pelvis gets the group in danger.

    There's a shapeshifter alien lady, as well, who also seems to have superhuman strength. (I guess Mamoru Oshii was made for Major Kusanagi, after all.)

    This parade is not really a harem, in the Tenchi Muyo sense. But I do get the sense that all of these space opera romcom shenanigans are supposed to be the manga author's way of telling a pretty ancient tale of faithfulness. Maybe Rumiko Takahasi's
    happiness was being properly married, and she always feared that her partner would stray. So the lady gets superpowers to punish the dude for acting out of pocket. And we get this 90-minute lark about a possible intergalatic war because dude can't keep
    it in his pants.

    It's all Greek to me. Even though it's from Japan, home of the animated alien babe harem.

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