The Urusei Yatsura Viewing Project, the Movies, part 2b: Beautiful Dreamer, part 2


Urusei Yatsura Movie 2: Beautiful Dreamer

Previously: Tomorrow is the opening day of the school festival, and the members of Class 2-4 have been burning the midnight oil, staying at school every night to prepare their cafe, despite regular setbacks such as Mendou’s tank going out of control and smashing the room.  Mendou and Ataru leave to get snacks, and while traveling through a curiously empty nighttime town, come across a strange procession of faceless musicians, followed by a little girl in a sun dress and hat.

Summary (continued): The next day, an “out of order” sign hangs on the school clock tower, and class 2-4’s committee brushes their teeth in preparation for another day of working on the festival, though they’ve been at it so long that no one can remember how long it’s been.  Across the school yard, they see Onsen-Mark, who’s clearly been through the wars.


He drags himself past the principal, and we cut to him being examined by Sakura, who diagnoses massive stress and exhaustion, and sends him home for bed rest.  She gives him a huge jar of tranquilizers, and the principal tells him to buck up, since tomorrow is opening day of the festival.

In classroom 2-4, Shinobu sews up Megane’s trousers, Perm and Chibi work on the wall, and Ryuunosuke and Mendou prepare the lights on the ceiling fixture.  No one’s sure what time it is, since the clock has been broken for a long time now, and they argue about whether it’s time for break and when they last ate.  Work continues around the school, a little girl in a hat sits in the window of an empty classroom with “Boycott or Bust!” on the blackboard, and in the infirmary, a long line of becostumed students wait to be treated by Sakura.


Sakura prescribes her current charge half a tablet of high-powered laxative and hands him a jar, but he’s confused because it’s a jar of tranquilizers.  She realizes with horror what she must have given Onsen-Mark, and speeds off on her motorcycle to catch him before it’s too late.  Bursting into the room, she discovers to her horror that the entire room, including Onsen-Mark, is covered in a layer of dust and mold several inches deep.


She stumbles around trying to catch her balance, in the process grabbing Onsen-Mark by the coat and swinging him out the window.  She realizes what she’s done and follows on her motorcycle, but when she reaches him can’t bring herself to actually catch him.

In a cafe, she compares the situation to the story of Urashima Taro: the Rip van Winkle-like story of a man who rescued a turtle and was rewarded by being taken under the sea to a Dragon Palace, and returned home after three days to find three hundred years had passed at home.  Onsen-Mark says that he’s been feeling something like déjà vu, a sense of having done the same things over and over.  Sakura puts it down to exhaustion; Onsen-Mark said he felt the same way until he saw his apartment, but when the principal said that tomorrow was the festival, he had the same feeling.  Sakura reassures him that he’s probably just tired; after all, tomorrow is the start of the…

She catches herself, and he goes on: if he doesn’t concentrate, his memories run together, and he doesn’t know how long they’ve been staying at the school.  He wishes that it was just the exhaustion speaking, but: what if they’ve been living the day before the festival over and over without being aware of it?  Sakura is skeptical, asking why none of the students’ parents have said anything, but he continues: what if the entire world is living the same day over and over?

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What day is it?  He’s been wearing the same winter clothes for days, but he’s swearing; is it from nerves, or from hot weather, and why is hearing the sound of cicadas?

Riding back on Sakura’s motorcycle, he goes on: If Urashima Taro’s entire village had gone below the sea, would any of them have noticed?  Sakura is still skeptical, and he asks what it’ll take to convince her, or if they’ll even remember this conversation tomorrow.  They pull to a stop in the schoolyard, and look up as the window of classroom 2-4 is smashed by the barrel of a tank.

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Cut to the school gate, atop which Onsen-Mark stands in a pounding rain, barring the students and shouting at them to go home.  The students say they’ll file a complaint tomorrow, and he tells them to go ahead, if they remember.  They leave, grumbling; Mendou offers Shinobu a ride in his car, and Lum flies off with Ataru, leaving the Stormtroopers to their own devices.  At the gate, Onsen-Mark tells Sakura that he sent the other teachers home as well; it’s just them and the Fujinamis at the school store.  Sakura goes off to find Cherry, and exchanges pleasantries with Onsen-Mark before she vanishes into the darkness.


Megane and Perm take a seat on the train, and read the latest wrestling news in the paper while a little girl sitting a few seats down watches out the window.   Kakugari and Perm watch the city go by from the back of an otherwise empty bus.  In the back of the car, Mendou tells Shinobu that he’s glad for some peace and quiet, which is the cue for them to be jostled by the car stopping abruptly.  They get out to see what happened, and discover that the road stops abruptly at the river.


In the construction site, Sakura enters her uncle’s tent, only to discover that it contains nothing but a swarm of cats.


The train jerks to a stop, and Megane and Perm get out to find themselves…where they started.


In a phone booth, Sakura calls the school, but there’s no answer.


She hangs up as a taxi pulls up beside the phone booth.  The car, meanwhile, navigates a maze of blind alleys and dead ends.


In the back seat of the Blue Turtle Taxi, Sakura asks the driver what’s taking so long, since it shouldn’t take more than three minutes to get back to the school.  The driver speculates that time slows down inside a taxi, like riding on a turtle to the Dragon Palace, and asks Sakura if the whole village had ridden on the turtle, would the centuries still have passed?  She asks what he’s on about, and he continues that her problem is in thinking of time as objective.  Without humans, clocks and calendars wouldn’t have any use, and humans being the way they are, only the present really has any meaning.

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Sakura pulls her exorcism wand out of the handle of her umbrella and waves it at the driver.  The cab skids to a stop, and the now-normal driver gets out to check on Sakura; she pauses, then says that she lost him.

Megane and Perm find themselves outside the school, not sure where else to go; the bus pulls up and drops off Kakugari and Chibi.  Following some uncomfortable discussion, Sakura, Mendou and Shinobu arrive at the gates as well.  They realize that there’s only one place they can go…


To be continued…

Thoughts: I swear it wasn’t intentional that this post ran on Groundhog Day, but here we are.  This is running a bit longer than I expected–after two posts I’m only 33 minutes in–but I’m going to give it the space it needs, and there’s a lot that needs covering in this section.


One thought on “The Urusei Yatsura Viewing Project, the Movies, part 2b: Beautiful Dreamer, part 2

  1. I do enjoy the subtlety of the the next morning, when they mention that tomorrow’s the day of the festival– which is also the *same thing they said the night before*. And nobody notices at the time.

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