The Urusei Yatsura Viewing Project, the Movies, part 1a: “Only You”

Urusei Yatsura movie #1: Only You

Opening date: February 11, 1983

Corresponding manga chapter: Original

Characters introduced: Elle, Babara, Rose, delivery alien

Summary: A boy and a girl chase each other in a strikingly stylized silhouette style (alliteration unintentional).


The boy jumps toward the girl’s shadow, and she explains that on her planet, stepping on someone’s shadow is a marriage proposal.  The boy says he’s okay with that, and as her UFO departs, she says she’ll be back for him in 11 years.  A rose petal floats down into the boy’s hand, and he shrugs, saying that in 11 years he’ll be 17.

Back in the usual art style, a purple duck-billed alien pedals a bicycle through the sky, carrying an envelope addressed to Shutaro Mendou.  It leaves the rose-adorned envelope in the Mendou mailbox, and a pair of motorcycle messengers drive miles through the complex to deliver it to where Mendou is practicing his sword work.  He’s unimpressed to hear that it’s a wedding invitation, until he finds out that it’s signed by Ataru Moroboshi and “Elle”.  He assumes it’s a joke, but dispatches the minions to inform the intelligence bureau.

Over the opening credits sequence, the delivery alien distributes invitations to Cherry and Sakura, Shinobu, and the Stormtroopers, sparking a furious rage in the latter two.  We cut to Ataru and Lum walking to school, while chattering voices around them discuss the rumors that a) Ataru is marrying this Elle, b) Lum doesn’t know since Ataru is still alive, c) no one wants to tell her, d) Megane or Mendou are likely to kill Ataru, and e) no one knows who Elle is.  Megane uses the promise of a cute girl to lure Ataru to the clock tower, where the Stormtroopers are joined by Sadoyama of the Torture Research Club (last seen in episode 1b) to interrogate Ataru about just what’s going on.


Ataru insists that he doesn’t know anything despite being nearly tickled to death.  Megane monologues that they put up with Ataru being with Lum because it made her happy, but this time is different.  The torture resumes but is interrupted by Shinobu, who can’t accept that it’s all happening again, and then by a bolt of lightning from Lum.  She asks who Elle is (Ten showed her the invitation); Ataru again protests his innocence, but the resulting electrical blast blows out the school clock just as Mendou’s armored division arrives.  Mendou orders them to stay in reserve and charges up the stairs into the remains of the tower, where Lum draws the line at letting her husband be bisected.

The affray is interrupted by gathering clouds, lights in the sky, and a rain of rose petals, followed by the arrival of a huge UFO.  An energy stairway comes down, and an attractive (and, for an attractive alien in this series, wildly overdresssed) woman arrives before Ataru, saying she’s there to take him to Planet Elle.  Lum is having none of it, and is not pleased that Ataru’s been engaged for 11 years. She tries to blast Ataru as he charges up the stairway, but the lightning bounces off.  Ataru assumes the woman is Elle, but an old woman comes out and explains that she’s the ship’s captain instead.


After clearing up a misunderstanding, the old woman identifies herself as not Elle but Elle’s nanny, Babara, and adds that Elle is even more beautiful than the captain.  She says she’ll come back tomorrow.  Lum tries for another lightning blast on the trio, but it bounces off again, and Babara explains that she’s put up a barrier to protect Ataru from harm.  Lum asks if Ataru is really going through with this, and when he says yes, flies off, followed by Ten.  The ship takes off, leaving the schoolyard full of rose petals and confused students.


To be continued…


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