Urusei Yatsura (1)

  • Author & Artist Rumiko Takahashi
  • Released February 2019 by Viz Media imprint VIZ Signature
  • Translation: Camellia Nieh
  • Editor(s): Amy Yu
  • Genre: Comedy, Romance, Science Fiction

When an alien race arrives to invade the Earth, it is somehow up to unlucky teen Ataru Moroboshi to save the planet from destruction. He is matched against an intergalactic cutie and begins the first of several high-stakes battles over the fates of his family, neighborhood, country, and planet. Many of these battles would, of course, be resolved if Ataru would just resist the urge to chat up every pretty face that comes his way!

What’s Inside

Volume 1 of the VIZ Signature edition of Urusei Yatsura is an omnibus containing the first 2 volumes of the original editions. In all, the massive volume is packed with 17 story chapters, 2 sections of the ‘Urusei Yatsura Data Files’, translation notes for each volume, a note from Rumiko Takahashi, a bonus illustration, and a bio page for Rumiko Takahashi. The story focuses upon insatiable flirt and bad luck magnet Ataru Moroboshi who, after being randomly selected, must do battle by way of a game of tag with an alien to prevent them from invading Earth. Though he manages to barely score a victory against his opponent, a beautiful girl named Lum, an out of context confession gives her cause to believe that Ataru wants to marry her. The story continues on following the interstellar hijinks of Ataru, Lum, and the rest of the Urusei Yatsura cast.

My Thoughts

Rumiko Takahashi has some heavy hitter manga in the romance genre, so it would be expected that someone could come across this series, see her name, and expect much of the same. I hesitate to call this series a romance or even a romantic comedy. Sure there’s a romance sub-plot and romantic tension between multiple characters, but Urusei Yatsura feels more like a science fiction comedy. I feel like approaching it as a comedy manga rather than a romance manga also makes its a bit easier to understand – whether this is your first time with this series or if you’ve been in love with it for a while. The characters are purposefully sort of one dimensional because the plot is moved forward by the gags and jokes and overall silliness. As the title suggests, all of the characters are designed to be rather bothersome and annoying, but it’s because of that that the story itself is able to work in the way it does.
Also if you have yet to hear the iconic Urusei Yatsura anime theme, please treat your ears to one of the best earworms you can get.

My Rating

9 / 10 – Definitely a Great Read.
Urusei Yatsura is probably my favorite Rumiko series quickly followed by Ranma 1/2 and Inuyasha. My introduction to Urusei Yatsura was the anime series [which I’m sad is out of print now that I have adult money], so when I saw Viz was going to start publishing the manga I swore I would collect all the volumes. It’s a surprisingly well-thought out comedy manga that sprinkles in fun bites of fantasy and mythology whilst maintaining its cast of “annoying” character archetypes. I think this series could be a turn-off if you’re looking for one of Rumiko’s action-y romance stories because it is very different from some of her other well-known works, but if you really give it a try you may come to love it as I do.

Where to Find It

Volume 1 of the Urusei Yatsura omnibus series is available in print and digital editions from Viz Media, retailing at $19.99 and $13.99 respectively. All retailers can be easily found by visiting the Viz Media website. You can also check out other Rumiko Takahashi anime and manga series from Viz Media such as Maison Ikkoku, Rin-Ne, Inuyasha, Yashahime, Ranma 1/2, One Pound Gospel, and Mermaid Saga.

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