Episode 88: “Enraged Lum!”
Original airdate: November 2, 1983
Corresponding manga chapter: “Wrathful Lum-Chan”, volume 16, chapter 9 (Japanese tankobon release)/overall chapter 166
Summary: On her UFO, Lum sits and crochets, until she throws her yarn in the air and announces that she’s finished with her project: a scarf with Ataru’s name on it. She puts it on and flies out to show it to Darling.
The interior of the Moroboshi household is a scene of war: a red plane strafes a series of two-legged mecha that sort of resemble the Zentraedi walkers from Macross crossed with tanks. It weaves and dodges enemy fire, remote-controlled by Ten. His fun is interrupted by Ataru, who yanks the controller out of his hand and nose-dives the plane into the floor. Ten attempts to stop him with a huge gout of flame, but Ataru deflects it with his frying pan, then raises it on high and brings it down to repeatedly volley Ten against the wall like a tennis ball.
Just as he finishes with a lob that embeds Ten in the wall, Lum flies in the window and puts the scarf around his neck. He doesn’t get to wear it long, though, because Ten peels himself off the wall like the wrath of God.
Things fall quiet, and Ataru asks if Ten knows what he’s done. He holds up the charred remains of the scarf, which crumble into ashes, and tells him that it was A GIFT FROM LUM that she POURED HER HEART INTO. Ten tries to stammer out an apology, but Ataru continues that Ten is a VERY BAD BOY, and even though Lum is actually pleased that he cared about the gift, he’s SURE SHE’S FURIOUS WITH HIM. He goes on in this vein, not letting Lum get a word in, while a horrified Ten crawls through the room and out the window. Ataru lets off a parting shot as he leaves, accusing him of running away without apologizing. Lum assures him that she’ll make him another scarf, but he informs her that kids need discipline, dagnabit it, or they’ll turn out
like him wrong.
Meanwhile, Ten walks the lonely autumn streets, so lost in thought that he doesn’t notice when he drops through a manhole into the sewers. He bumps into Cherry and explains the situation, finishing as a sweet potato truck goes by. Cherry hints broadly that he likes sweet potatoes, but after Ten buys him a bag and he stuffs four into his mouth at once, his advice becomes completely unintelligible. He refuses to repeat himself, musing instead about a passing takoyaki truck, and Ten snaps.
We next see him outside the Mendou mansion, flying back and forth on his potty-scooter and dithering over whether to approach Mendou. He finally sucks it up and tries to explain to Mendou that he’s looking for a way to apologize. He manages to admit that he’s never actually apologizes, and Mendou deigns to demonstrate the unthinkable: him showing humility. This takes the form of him putting out his arms and saying “Whups, me bad!”. Ten is confused, but Mendou insists that he inclined his head slightly, and runs over it again.
From watching Ten, Mendou realizes that there really isn’t much humility there, but that’s how it’s been passed down through his family.
Ten flies off, wondering if this is really the way to go. Flying down, he spies the Stormtroopers hurrying to a movie, and decides to put it to the test. This takes the form of pulling out a helmet and gun and chasing them down the street, strafing all the while. When he finally knocks them to the ground, he lands, walks toward them, and tells them to hang on while he apologizes. He gives them the “Whups, me bad!” bit, and they respond by pounding him senseless.
He recovers during the eyecatch and flies to Tomobiki High, where he hears Ryuunosuke arguing with her father about a broken bottle of sake. As a shocked Ten watches through the window, Mr. Fujinami demands an apology. She goes down on her knees, which Ten thinks is a sign of contrition.
The battle really escalates at this point, and Ten flies off, impressed with the variety of ways to apologize on Earth.
On the streets, Ten sees Shinobu leaving a store. She puts her shopping in the basket of her bike, and when she stops to look for her keys, knocks it and an entire row of parked bikes over. When passersby begin asking what’s going on, she gives a deflecting apology by berating herself for being stupid and clumsy.
The passersby let it go, and Ten concludes that this is the perfect technique for a good boy like him. He soon gets his chance when he sees the Stormtroopers again, returning home from their movie. A large jet of flame washes over them, and they turn to look at him.
(Perhaps it would work better if you were a cute girl, Ten?)
Ten disconsolately returns to Ataru’s room, where Ataru is playing with his plane, and asks where Lum is. Ataru determines that he hasn’t apologized yet, and spins a yarn of her being incandescently furious to an unprecedented degree. While Ten is leaving he adds that her electrocutions are intense, and Ten goes pale. He apprehensively flies toward her UFO, starts to give up and come back tomorrow, but decides that instead he’ll show how sorry he is by using every apology method at his disposal.
While he flies into the UFO, Lum sits and mulls over the idea that she should try getting mad at Ten, for his own good. She’s not sure how, since it doesn’t come naturally to her like it does to Darling. Rather than flashing back to Ran’s mother, she remembers a time that her father yelled at her for playing with a laser gun and spanked her within an inch of her life. Ten watches her from around the corner, thinking to himself that she’s still mad. Just ashe starts to approach her, she decides to practice, and launches into an electric screaming session to end all electric screaming sessions.
Panicked, he ducks around the corner. She gives up, concluding that she’s not convincing, but the stream of urine from Ten says otherwise.
The sun is setting as Ten flies back to Ataru’s room, where Ataru is asleep on the floor. He opens the closet and pulls out his box of toys, but decides that he can’t take them all, and leaves the plane and controller for Ataru. Walking through the cold autumn streets with his possessions on his back, he concludes that Lum doesn’t like him any more. A shadow appears behind him: it’s Sakura, who asks if he’s going somewhere. He breaks into tears, tells her goodbye, and turns to run. She follows him, but he makes good time on those chubby little legs, and she doesn’t reach him until he trips.
He explains the situation, and she says that all he needs to do is give an honest apology. He says he’s scared to apologize in person because she’s angry with him, and she whispers some advice in his ear. This brightens him up, and he flies back to Ataru’s room, taking the plane back from the still-sleeping Ataru. Ataru mutters the names of some girls and rolls over, and Ten goes to look for a pen.
Later that night, Ataru asks Lum (who’s sitting behind him and crocheting) if he’s seen Ten since The Incident, and goes on about how she should give him what-for. She smiles and nods, looking at the writing on the back of his shirt.
At the edge of Earth’s atmosphere, Ten flies up and announces that he’s “The good boy of the universe!”
Changes from the manga version: Ten just goes from Cherry to Mendou to Ryuunosuke, with no encounters with Shinobu or the Stormtroopers. We don’t see the setup for the fight between Ataru and Ten, and we don’t see Ten return to Ataru’s room the first time (although he probably does because we still see him with his bundle).
Thoughts: This is a nice episode that strikes a good balance between funny and touching. Ten episodes often have a lot of heart, and he’s one of the characters the animators really get and handle well. The extended material fits seamlessly with the adapted material, and the animation is good throughout; the show’s back on track again.
The extended material does make Ataru into much more of a jerk, since he definitely picks the fight with Ten and then beats him up. (In the manga we enter the fight in media res, so we don’t know who started it.) That said, this was a good lesson for Ten to learn, and Ataru gets his comeuppance in plenty of other episodes.
I’m amused that the translators and animators can’t seem to agree on how Lum’s making the scarf. The subtitles say that she knitted the scarf, and when we see her ball of yarn by itself there are two needles stuck into it. However, when she’s actually working on it, she’s definitely crocheting; she has a short metal tool in her right hand and is looping the yarn with her left. Maybe she’s just crocheting decoration on the edges or something.
Next episode: Lum and Ataru spend the night together alone for the first time!