J-List is excited about Anime Expo, and will have a huge presence at the show. We’ll have a huge booth with hundreds of products, the lovely Kaho Shibuya as a guest of honor, and an awesome JAST USA panel where we’ll announce some great new titles. Our panel is on July 4, so make sure you’re there! See our blog post for all the juicy details!
Everything I Know I Learned from Urusei Yatsura
The other night I was working through some new episodes of anime, which can be a surprising amount of work when you’re trying to follow a dozen series or more. I was watching Darling in the Franxx, the outstanding psychosexual drama laced with hard SF and mecha themes, which continues the tradition of Evangelion (it’s partially made by Trigger, formed by former Gainax employees). In a scene where Zero Two calls the main character Hiro by his nickname of “darling,” my wife woke up on the sofa next to me and asked me why I was watching Urusei Yatsura.
Urusei Yatsura (“Those Annoying Aliens”) was the megahit manga and anime from the early 80s which basically paved the way for the entire industry as we know it today, a marketing and merchandising juggernaut that ran for years and served as a “proof of concept” that anime could become massively popular inside Japan and be accepted around the world. It’s the story of a perverted boy named Ataru who ends up in a competition with an alien named Lum in a game of tag. If he can touch her horns before the time limit, he’ll save Earth from invasion, which he does by removing Lum’s top so she can’t protect her horns. Lum falls in love with Ataru and decides she’s going to marry him, calling him “darling” from that day on. (It’s actually a roundabout reference to Bewitched, which was hugely popular in Japan.)
Urusei Yatsura was an innovative show which created lots of tropes we take for granted today, such as the classic tsundere character archetype and the modern tradition of fan service. It also created the trope of aliens or other non-human characters speaking with a specific verbal tic, adding some strange word to the end of sentences to show how “other-worldly” they were. Lum ends sentences with -cha, apparently an alien accent or something, and this has been homaged by other shows, like Squid Girl (whose trademark phrase is de geso), and frog girl Tsuyu Asui from My Hero Academia (who says kero) and others. To Love-ru is a huge love letter to Urusei Yatsura.
(Since there are 195+ episodes of Urusei Yatsura, any fans wanting to check the show out should probably jump straight to the movies. The second film, Beautiful Dreamer, is especially good, a cult hit director by Ghost in the Shell director Mamoru Oshii.)
We love cute anime figures from Japan, and have all the best ones in stock, including the Nendoroid series from Good Smile Company. These figures are meticulously designed to capture the spirit of the original character while looking adorable at the same time. Want to browse the newest figures and get your preorders in?