Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer

So what happens when Mamoru Oshii decides to stretch his directing chops with a Rumiko Takahashi property? You get the excellent film Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer. What happens when you get two anime geeks in a room with a microphone to talk about said film? You get this podcast.


You know, back when I bought this film last year, I paid around $20 for it. Now it’s $80-150. That’s pretty crazy! It makes Crusher Joe seem kinda reasonable online in comparison.

And as you no doubt may have heard on said recording, we are doing a variety of panels at MTAC! From teas to engrish to Go Nagai, we’ve pretty much going to have you covered about what’s important in life.

(Note: The times are of course tentative and subject to change at MTAC’s needs and/or whims!)

  • Engrish Jambore (Panel 3, Friday 2PM): Basil and Drew shop off a bunch of Engrishy-clips.
  • Tea: Green and More! (Panel 4, Friday 6PM): the elusive Doug throws down on the haps in tea.
  • Anime’s Creepy Uncle: Go Nagai At A Glance (Panel 4, Friday 9PM): Basil and Kevin look through the works and craziness of anime and manga creator Go Nagai.
  • Getting Your Anime Groove Back (Panel 3, Saturday 5:30PM): Think you might be getting out of anime? Well Basil just might have some shows to get you back in the game, as it were.
OSMcast: Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer 4-4-2011

2 thoughts on “OSMcast: Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer 4-4-2011

  • April 7, 2011 at 5:02 AM

    Bothering to add my two cents to the donation box!

    Another good podcast review of the film I could direct people to is Destroy All Podcast DX’s review of UY2: Beautiful Dreamer between Jeremy, Clarissa (Anime World Order) and Viga (Viga the Otagirl) as they bother go into further details on the film, Oshii’s intentions and other inspirations.

    The tale of Urashima Taro reinforces the age-old Japanese moral lessons about respecting your elders and do what you are told (like what some fairy tales have done to keep us in line). The “Don’t Open That Box/Door/Whatever” lesson certainly resonates everywhere (the familiar Pandora’s Box myth comes to mind, and I would certainly say Urashima Taro follows that more at the end outside the Rip Van Winkle description).

    For technical reasoning, here’s the breakdown…

    Unlike the other movies in the Urusei Yatsura series that are/were owned by “Kitty Film”, Toho themselves has and still owns the second film to this day. This explains why AnimEigo didn’t get the film back when they were licensing the show originally. Central Park Media acquired it around ’92 or ’93, but as a consolation, they allowed AnimEigo to translate/subtitle the film and include a suitable box cover artwork to match the ones for their movie releases.

    In 1995 or so, Central Park Media produced an English-language dub version of the film for a secondary VHS release, and what was eventually shown on SciFi Channel’s “Saturday Anime” block. Inducting more viewers into confusion for not knowing what Urusei Yatsura was at all (like me). It also didn’t help when they had people like Apollo Smile come and introduce the movie without mentioning much about UY than what some beancounter copywriter could provide…

    I used to rent this out from the video store many times as it put me in the same mood Oshii wanted me to think about dreams and reality. The English dub isn’t that bad and I enjoyed some of the performances for characters like Ataru and Mendou (who ended up being voiced by the same guy).

    There’s been two domestic DVD releases for this, one that came out in the late 90’s from “Image Entertainment”, using CPM’s dub master of the film with the English/Japanese score. A much better edition (though not using the Japanese R2 master source) was a 2004 Collector’s Edition featuring an audio commentary track with Oshii and a couple other guys (not the same one on the Japanese DVD) and a theatrical trailer which appears ironically ripped from the R2 disc. This edition isn’t so much “Digitally Remastered” as more a matter of taking the same “80’s LD Master” they had since the 90’s and trying to make the most out of it as I call it.

    I kinda suppose this was more the case of not consulting with Toho over acquiring a better master of the film to use for their release, as it would’ve made more sense if it had happened. Japan saw a DVD release as early as ’02 from Toho, using a 16:9 anamorphic transfer and probably the best looking version of the film to date. The whole widescreen issue you guys touched on is really false. The film was produced in a flat theatrical ratio meant to be cropped from the top and bottom on a theater screen. It had the dual nature of being seen in either 4:3 or 16:9 depending on it’s presentation, as was the case for many American films produced since the 50’s. Mamoru Oshii called this “Poor Vista” in the audio commentary on the film, yet I felt he did a good job on the placement of the characters and camera angles that made the film convincing enough in a wider screen that you don’t think of it being cropped as some animation nuts would tell you. Probably a good example is to check out these two clips from the opening via YouTube, one from the CPM release and the other the Toho disc…

    OK, I’m done!

  • May 18, 2011 at 8:34 PM

    I wanted to say that I found your podcast after having a huge UY craving and your podcast satisfied me. I first saw UY in a “Eastern Asian Language and thought” class. This came the week after seeing “Akira” “End of Evangelion” and “Ghost in the Shell” so everyone was happy to see something whimsical.

    Shortly after seeing “Beautiful Dreamer” I read “Fear” by Pre-Scientology L. Ron Hubbard. “Fear” is considered by many to be the first psychological thriller. It is an okay read (in my mind, his best work) about a man who forgets four hours of his life and after some trippy events realizes that the universe is in his control.
    But I noticed some things that Oshii may have gotten from “Fear”. First of all there is the idea of battling against ones perceptions, also there is a little girl that keeps popping up in “Fear” that also comes up in “Beautiful Dreamer” although the girl in “Fear” is kind of creepy and in “Beautiful Dreamer” there is the suspicion that the girl is Lum.

    Anyway that is what I saw. I hope you guys make more Urusei Yatsura podcasts, they are the only ones I understand.

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