The Urusei Yatsura Viewing Project, the Movies, part 2c: Beautiful Dreamer, part 3

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Urusei Yatsura Movie 2: Beautiful Dreamer

Previously: Our characters have realized that they’ve been living the same day over and over, for an unknown but possibly very great length of time.  Cherry and Onsen-Mark are missing, and most attempts to return home have brought people back to the school.  As a result, they’ve descended en masse on the one place they can take refuge: the Moroboshi home.

Summary, continued: Outside, the rain still comes down, and in the empty city, phones ring unanswered.  At the Moroboshis’, Sakura and a pajama-clad Shinobu confirm that no one is answering the phone anywhere they try, up to and including the Mendou mansion.  Sakura knocks on the door to Ataru’s bedroom, and calls out Mendou, who’s the only one who’s not fighting over Chibi’s underwear.  She starts to tell him about Onsen-Mark while Shinobu goes into the room she’s sharing with Lum and Ten, and sees that Ten has a new pet, a tiny pig.

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Lum says that it’s okay for Ten to keep it, since it’s cute.  Shinobu is charmed, but a bit confused to discover that the tag on its collar has a matching stamp on its backside: a © symbol.

The next morning, the sun sparkles on the night’s puddles, and while the Moroboshis’ breakfast of miso soup, pickles and natto is uninspiring, the high schoolers are still fighting over it.  As they eat, they discuss the day’s preparations for the school festival, since it starts tomorrow, and the tank could be a problem, especially when Ataru hides in it.

The crew walks to school past an array of reflecting puddles.  Ataru disappears into one, and the others assume he’s hiding somewhere.  Shinobu stops to look down an alley, and sees a girl in a sundress and hat, and a wall of decorative lanterns that get closer and closer, then around her.  The world whirls and goes white, and she appears on a road somewhere.  A brown-haired figure watches her from a balcony.

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At the school, the astonished student body is gathered around the swimming pool, which currently contains Mendou’s tank.  A cloud of bubbles appears, as does Ataru’s head. (The rest of him is still attached, if that was unclear.) Mendou loses it, blames Ataru for his humiliation (which, in fairness, is usually a good policy), draws his sword, and dives in after him.  Unfortunately, that’s when Lum appears and gets annoyed with Darling for hiding from her.

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That evening, the group gathers in an okonomiyaki restaurant, and Sakura fills them in on what she’s learned.  Mendou starts to propose a Reality Check committee, but everyone else is focused on the food.  Megane sums up their feelings: they’re having fun, no one’s being hurt, and the people who are missing are ones they don’t like anyway.  Even Sakura is more concerned with the imminent arrival of the noodles.  The final insult comes when Ataru tries to stick Mendou with the bill, but he’s only willing to pay for the women. (The women’s food, that is.  You knew what I meant.)

That night, they drive to Tomobiki High, the center of events so far.  Mendou draws his sword to lead them into the unknown, although for safety he tells Sakura and Shinobu to wait behind. (Because when you’re dealing with the possibly supernatural unknown, why would you want an exorcist or someone with super-strength?) Perm notes that Mendou’s sword, which broke that afternoon, is whole again, but they chalk it up to lizard-like regeneration.

Inside, they split up to search, Mendou leading the charge up the stairs.  Ataru says “screw this” to searching and goes back down to hook up with Ryuunosuke, and passes Mendou charging up from the basement, panicking in the dark.  He shines his flashlight into an empty room, and just catches a glimpse of an infinite recursion before the light cuts out.

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Upstairs, the others search.  Perm grouses about Mendou dragging them there when they don’t know what they’re looking for, and Megane scares him from the darkness.  Lum flies in and out of the windows on all the floors.  Kakugari and Chibi find the breaker box and flip on all the circuits, and the lights come on, giving Ataru an infinite view of himself.  He runs into the unending corridor.  Lum flies through the endless hallways and past the circuit box, which catches fire and explodes.  The students run through the school, and lights flash on and off at random.  Shinobu and Sakura watch from outside.  Sakura notes that it’s startling but not dangerous, and makes a good point: the school looks different than it should.

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She adds that while events are connected to the school, they won’t find the answer by searching the building; they need to push events, like the night before, and see what happens.  Inside, the chase continues, spatial relationships becoming less and less clear, until Lum spots Ataru, running madly in place on a tilted floor.

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The Stormtroopers call a general retreat and run past the school store.  Ryuunosuke is confused by why students are there that late, and why her father keeps watching the same TV show every night (also the same one that played in Onsen-Mark’s apartment).  Throwing open a window to jump to the ground, the Stormtroopers find themselves looking up at the sky.

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Gravity reasserts itself, and Mendou and the Stormtroopers fall to the ground, but Sakura pulls the car over and Shinobu catches everyone.  The “Out of Order” sign falls off the clock face, and we see the problem: no hands.

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They race away in the car (Lum flying alongside, carrying Ataru), trying to figure out where to go.  Mendou directs them to a noodle restaurant that’s actually a family emergency center, which includes a Harrier for emergency situations.  Shinobu pulls up the steel shutter to reveal a dusty, cobwebbed restaurant.  Mendou pulls up a price plaque and presses a button, lowering the entire room into a basement hangar.  He climbs into the cockpit, activates the control panel, and calls to the family estate on the radio, but somehow raises a Chinese restaurant instead.  Despite his inviting only Sakura along, everyone else crams into the cockpit as well.

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A section of alley opens up, and the jet lifts off.  The guys are thrilled to have broken free, the city falling behind them…until a cliff edge appears, growing steeper and steeper, and then…

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They fly under the city, and catch a glimpse of something familiar.  Sakura tells Mendou to circle around the edge, and the truth of one of the mysteries is revealed to them in the form of the figures supporting it:

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Despite the short trip, the jet is low on fuel, and Mendou is forced to land in the one clear space he can find: the Moroboshis’ back yard.

To be continued…

Thoughts: Breaking the movie down this way gives an interesting insight into the story’s pacing: so far it’s been 15-20 minute segments (we’re at around minute 50 here) of build-up, culminating in a scene of increased weirdness that establishes the next layer of status quo for the next segment.

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