Urusei Yatsura TV themes


Ago 31 2008, 12:13

I have a love of Japanese anime theme music. In the UK it has been customary to produce short TV introductions. Aside from The Prisoner i can't think of one that is longer than 60 seconds. But its de-rigour for a lot of anime shows to have long TV introductions, for two reasons 1) it means 90 seconds less animation to produce (actually 3 minutes when you factor in the ending credits). 2) the lucrative music market and cross promotion.

I couldn't understand why I liked the Urusei Yatsura themes so much, as a lot of anime music is often tuneless or insipid. it was only later that i read that Kitty Animation - who co-produced Urusei Yatsura - specialise in theme music. Then it all fitted into to place.

These 6 themes vary in quality - music and animation - but they display a development in style and technology. You can chart the progression of 80s musical trends, this is best represented by the metal edge of 'Rock the Planet' (my least favourite), or the slamming drums of 'Pajama Jama Da'.

For those who don't know: Urusei Yatsura is the name of a Scottish indie band of the nineties. They took their name from Rumiko Takahashi's manga. This has lead to some confusion in the UK.

The plot of the show is relatively difficult to summarise. It is about an unlucky and lecherous 17 year old boy called Ataru who by chance is married to an humanoid Oni alien; Lum. Some accounts say she is a princess, but I don't agree. Anyway, an Oni is a demon in Japanese folklore, so Lum is pretty much a curse on Ataru. Her means of punishment usually takes the form of electric shocks that she gives him and her ability to fly - means she's pretty omnipotent - and therefore can catch his unfaithful behaviour. But since he has the ability to be a despicable and immature teenager he deserves it most of the time. Also Lum is a super-sexy green haired beauty who wears a tiger skin bikini and matching jump boots. From that starting point, the couples numerous acquaintances who are school friends, family, enemies, aliens, demons etc expand the scenario, the push and pull of the other characters are ones who either love or hate Ataru or Lum. In the end the show is concerned with a new and ridiculous events fuelled by the pursuit of love - that is love in its best and worst descriptions.

Anyway, that's enough plot. The whole series is on youtube. While it is not completely consistent, and dated - one has to take some of the humour and nudity with a pinch of salt - it is a really funny show.

"Lum no Love Song" by Yuko Matsutani (1981)
The first and best, but not the one I listen to most

"Dancing Star" by Izumi Kobayashi (1983)

"Pajama Jama Da" by Kanako Narikiyo (1984)
This one is by far the most addictive

"Chance on Love" by Cindy (1984)
This has the most amazing synth-bass, but what have they done to Lums face? She looks like a pony

"Rock the Planet" by Steffanie (1985)

"Tonogata Gomen Asobase" by Shoko Minami (1985)


  • krang

    I've read it! Haha! It's very good and I like it. And I've bookmarked this page.

    Set 14 2008, 21:01
  • CoconutWarrior


    Mag 5 2009, 6:29
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