Episode 30: “A Beautiful Girl Brings Rain”
[Note: The note card lists it as “A Beautiful Girl Comes With the Rain”, which is a more literal translation of the Japanese title.]
Original airdate: June 2, 1982
Corresponding manga chapters: “Rain, Rain, Go Away!”/”Come Again Some Other Day”/”It’s Raining, It’s Pouring”, volume 8, chapters 2-4 (Viz release)
Minor characters introduced: Tsuyuko Amamori, Mr. Amamori, Amefurashi
Summary: We open on the silhouette of our narrator on the wall, but instead of Alfred Hitchcock, it’s Cherry. He relates the scariest and saddest experience he’s encountered, taking us to the arrival of a new girl at Tomobiki High on a sunny day. She stands under an umbrella that protects her from her own personal raincloud, but clouds soon gather to drench the school as well. Of course she winds up in Ataru’s class, where of course he and Mendou start chatting her up, where we learn that her name is Tsuyuko Amamori and she’s moved in across the street from Ataru. She slips away while the boys are arguing over her, and Ataru traces her via a trail of water to the hallway, where she’s staring sadly out the window. She warns Ataru away from her, saying that only sadness will follow, but Ataru assures her he’s used to that.
Since it always rains around her, boys become depressed and leave. Ataru points out that he can understand the feelings of a girl who’s always rejected, for some reason, and she agrees to a date. At that point Sakura walks past, holding Cherry by the scruff of the neck. Tsuyuko freaks out, thinking he’s a teruterubozu(an anti-rain charm), and runs away. Cherry warns Ataru to stay away from her, which he naturally ignores, running off after her. Cherry gives some ominous narration that bridges to him talking to Lum and Ten in Ataru’s room, warning her that Ataru is being charmed by a demon. He gives her a pile of familiar-looking teruterubozu to give Ataru for his date (an unusual application of “Something for the weekend, sir?”).
On the day of the date, Tsuyuko meets Ataru at his house. As they leave, he opens his umbrella to discover it hung all over with teruterubozu, frightening her until he takes them off. While they walk away, Lum and Cherry appear behind them, Cherry chiding her for putting them somewhere so obvious.
When they’re on the date themselves, Ataru gets accidentally wet enough times to fill an entire season of Ranma 1/2. Tsuyuko tries to drive home the point that being around her means a litany of water-related accidents, but Ataru is optimistic. She thinks that he may be the one to free her from her curse, and he accepts an invitation to dinner at her house. Across the street, Cherry tells Lum that she’s an amefurashi, or rain monster.
At Tsukuyo’s house, the kitchen ceiling is leaking on Ataru, and a creepy voice accuses Tsukuyo of being an amefurashi. It turns out to be Cherry and Lum, hiding in their refrigerator and freezer. Cherry lays out his logic, viz. she’s all amefurashi-like, but a mysterious figure enters to dispute this claims. He looks a lot less mysterious when he takes off his cloak and straw hat, revealing himself to be Tsuyuko’s father, wearing a bad suit.
They gather together around the kitchen table while he tells his story (Cherry wearing a curly blond wig to stop Tsuyuko from freaking out). When he was in elementary school, he wasn’t an athletic kid, and on the day before school sports day he prayed at a shrine of Jizo for rain tomorrow. Behind him, he hears the Amefurashi (who looks like Gin from Bleach as drawn by Charles Schulz), who offers to make it rain if he’ll be her friend. He pinky-promises, but while it does rain the next day, his family moved away abruptly, under circumstances that heavily imply they were one step ahead of the police. As they drive out of town, Amefurashi runs after them, calling out that he broke his promise and would be sorry.
As the flashback ends, Mr. Amamori announces that the only way to save Tsuyuko is for her to make a friend who’d love her from the bottom of his heart, and Moroboshi (or actually a series of mispronunciations) is that man. Following the eyecatch, Ataru has a trippy dream in which Amefurashi warns him not to get close to Tsuyuko or he’d be cursed to death.
He gets up and closes the window to stop the rain from coming in, even though he’s sure he closed it. Outside, Cherry watches portentously.
The next morning, the Amamoris show up at Ataru’s house, Mr. Amamori insisting on seeing the two of them on the way to school. Tsuyuko explains that he had a dream the night before in which Amefurashi warned him against her making friends with Ataru. Amefurashi, following them and overhearing, resolves to scare Ataru more directly, but before she can Cherry leaps in and scares her and Tsuyuko away. Cherry explains that Amefurashi is taking direct action, but despite his and Lum’s best efforts, Ataru refuses to give up or protect himself. He points out that he can’t get babes if he’s afraid of curses, just as fear of electricity would keep him away from Lum. She has nothing to say to that except “Darling, you idiot!”
In English class, the teacher is explaining how to say “It’s a rainy day” when the ceiling above Ataru leaks through and begins to rain directly on him. Afraid that the curse is becoming serious, come lunchtime she begs him to leave her for his own safety. He goes into a split-screen, one side nobly refusing to give up on a friend, the other refusing to give up until he’s gotten something for his trouble. Mendou pulls him up short by pointing out that it’s his real self that’s talking out loud.
One week later, Ataru’s mother goes to check on him and is shocked by what she sees.
She and his mother both express concern, but he staggers off to school with Tsuyuko, Lum and Cherry following. His coughing is too much for her, and she collapses, begging him not to give up his life for her. Cherry interrupts, saying that the only way at this point is to find Amefurashi and get her to lift the curse. Tsuyuko insists that’s impossible just as Amefurashi walks by, and the foursome creep after her not-at-all suspiciously. It turns out that she’s been living in the vacant lot, in a tent three feet away from Cherry’s. They look inside to see a voodoo doll of Ataru under a miniature torrent of rain, and Amefurashi about to smash it with a mallet.
Amamori breaks in to stop her, identifying himself and telling the others that he game here following a premonition. He begs her to punish him, not the others. She asks him to play with her, and he tearfully agrees. This leads to a great montage of the two of them happily playing children’s games in the playground for the next week.
After a game of leapfrog winds up with Amefurashi landing headfirst in a pile of dirt, Mr. Amamori tends to her, and she sees a flash of his childhood self. She announces that she’s going home, and flies off into the sky as the clouds break up and the sun comes out. Tsukuyo thanks him, but Mr. Amamori cries that he wanted to keep playing, to the bemusement of the others.
Cherry gives the moral of the story (a promise must be kept) and gives the epilogue: Ataru finding out that Tsuyuko’s family is moving away and chasing after the moving truck in his pajamas, shouting “You’ll be sorry!”
Changes from the manga version: Ataru first meets Tsuyuko when he helps her move in (this was probably dropped to speed things up). Mr. Amamori’s suits are considerably worse (and weirder), to a degree that would have been a pain to animate. They’re otherwise substantially similar, apart from the framing sequence and a couple of minor scenes.
Thoughts: So they hadn’t run out of multi-part stories to adapt, after all. Following the filler of the previous episode, this one flows well, with a good mix of humor and touching moments.
It’s good to see that Ataru has ulterior motives toward Tsuyuko, since he’s otherwise acting uncharacteristically nobly. This episode (and a couple of other recent ones) show how Lum has grown as a character: she objects at one point that just because she didn’t object doesn’t mean it’s okay for Ataru to date Tsuyuko, but her reaction throughout is one of concern, not anger. She’s not unsympathetic to Tsuyuko’s plight, either.
It’s also nice to have one of these situations where Ataru is secondary to the main conundrum. He’s caught up in the Amamori’s situation, but he’s not the one Amefurashi is focused on, which allows the story to go in different directions than just “what does this woman want from Ataru?”. The solution to the problem cracks me up, as well: it’s both sweet and highly incongruous.
As a random personal note, this episode aired on my tenth birthday!
Next episode: Ten has lost his horn, and can’t fly or breathe fire!