The Urusei Yatsura Viewing Project, the Movies, part 2d: Beautiful Dreamer, part 4

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Urusei Yatsura Movie 2: Beautiful Dreamer

Previously: Once it became clear that they were living the same day over and over again, the core cast went to investigate the center of the disturbance, Tomobiki High.  While there, space began folding on itself.  The group tried to escape in Mendou’s Harrier jet, and found that the city was being carried on the back of a giant turtle, supported by the missing Cherry and Onsen-Mark.

Summary: In an abandoned convenience store, the Stormtroopers fill a grocery cart with ¥10,000 of food (although the subtitles render as Ñ10,000).  Megane (whose hair is long enough to wear as a ponytail) catches Chibi secreting a candy bar in his shirt, and declares him a traitor to Mrs. Moroboshi’s principle of food as shared property.  He writes out an IOU and stamps it, sticking it to a wall with a large number of others.

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They drive off in a Range Rover through a ruined Tomobiki, and Megane narrates their situation.  Since the night they tried to escape, the town has been empty except for their group (including Ryuunosuke and her father).  The buildings began to crumble within a few days, erasing the signs of civilization.

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Since then, they’ve been providing for themselves at the convenience store near the Moroboshis’ house, which remains intact and stocked.  The house itself still has utilities (including the newspaper, doubtless all that’s preserving Mr. Moroboshi’s strategy).  They’ve been staying there, of course, although Sakura has opened a Beefbowl shop and the Fujinamis have reopened the school store.  Mendou has been taking out repressed frustrations by firing his tank’s cannon a lot.

There follows a montage of the young folks frolicking in the empty world: swimming in the lake surrounding the school, eating noodles on the beach, roller-skating down a ruined road, fishing…

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…watching the sun set, and after it gets dark, watching Gojira in a ruined theater, and launching fireworks.

We return to real time as Ataru and the Stormtroopers fight over food, while Lum serves and Mrs. Moroboshi directs Shinobu in preparation.  Mrs. Moroboshi remarks that she’d like to have Shinobu around all the time, to Lum’s chagrin.  She flies up to Mendou and invites him swimming, but he’s doing something with his tank and doesn’t want to play with the others.  He watches her cool off her watermelon (not a euphemism) for a moment, then asks what she thinks of this world.  She chirps that it’s fun, and as she flies off, water runs under his feet, flowing outward in an ever-expanding circle.

At the Moroboshi house, the boys fight over the ridiculous amount of food Mrs. Moroboshi is preparing.  She asks Lum (who’s preparing something alarming involving whole fruits and vegetables) where Shinobu is, but Lum just shrugs.

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Shinobu doesn’t return that night or the next morning.  The next day, Ryuunosuke vanishes as well.  After some frantic searching, Mendou rappels off the edge of the world and finds them among the caryatids holding up the city.  Sakura, who’s operating the winch on the tank, mulls over the list of the missing (Cherry, Onsen-Mark, who figured out what was going on, and two girls that Ataru made passes at) and realizes that she must be next.

That night (if that term has any meaning any more), Sakura waits on the railing of the Tomobiki High clock tower, and a voiceover recounts a suggestive invitation she sent to Ataru to meet her there.  He sneaks up to her, only to find Mendou waiting behind the corner.  Ataru not being into that, he tries to leave, but Sakura says she does have something to discuss.  Mendou explains that he was using his tank to explore their situation and find a way home, and after some bickering, lays out what they know: that the city exists in a 1-km radius around the center point of the Moroboshi house, and while everyone else vanished they’re being kept in a situation of maximum convenience on an impossible world.  Ataru breaks in:

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Mendou is angry that he wasted all that time exploring while the others played.  Ataru defends himself and the others by saying that they didn’t have much else to do, since they didn’t know whose dream it was, and Mendou laughs and gloats at him for not having figured that part out.  He spells it out:

  • It’s not him or Sakura, or the two missing girls.
  • Ataru’s parents are inconvenienced by their houseguests.
  • It’s not Ataru, since the world isn’t full of women.
  • It’s probably not Ten or his piglet, or Mr. Fujinami, who lost his daughter.

That leaves Lum and the Stormtroopers.  All of the Stormtroopers are enjoying being with Lum, but none of them would have dreamed the other three being there.  Which leaves…

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Ataru objects that Lum wouldn’t have gotten rid of Shinobu and Ryuunosuke.  Mendou get angry, but Sakura agrees with Ataru, and says that they aren’t considering a third party who’s fulfilling Lum’s wish.  Ataru scoffs, and scoffs more when she says that he the creator of the world, the turtle who carried Urashima Taro to the Dragon Palace.  He insists that he couldn’t have done it, but is caught off-guard when the real Ataru (who wouldn’t have and didn’t wait for night to answer the letter) emerges from the darkness.  Ataru pulls a cord that raises a perimeter of exorcism cords around the balcony, and Sakura reveals her priestess outfit under her normal clothes and her exorcism stick in the handle of her umbrella.

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“Ataru” hops up and levitates, admitting that he’s been found out.  Mendou tries to attack, but finds his sword turned into a bunch of flowers.  Sakura identifies him as Mujaki the dream demon.

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To be continued…

Thoughts: This is unavoidably the least ethereal part of the story, since the characters are now certain that something is up and are looking for answers.  The sheer implausibility of the situation paradoxically makes it feel more normal by turning the mystery into a known, even if the known just raises further questions.  All will become unclear in our final installment…

 

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