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Kintaro of the Autumn Sky! (秋の空から金太郎!, Aki no Sora kara Kintarou!?) and Live Vigorously! (たくましく生きるんやっ!, Takumashiku Ikirun'yaa!?) are the two segments of the 4th episode of Urusei Yatsura.

Summary

a

Lum and Ten meet a vicious little boy on top of a flying bear, whom Ataru and Shinobu identify as Kintarō, who came from the sky and is lost.

b

Kintarō's nanny, with Ataru's help, takes the alien children on a tour of Earth and end up in a preschool where the actual Kintarō learns the myth of the real Kintarō and thus hopes to be a role-model to the kids.

Plot Overview

a

Mrs. Moroboshi pulls her husband outside to show him something terrible: there are carp streamers flying outside, but it’s not spring! The neighbors may think they’re stupid! (In Ataru’s case, I fear that ship has sailed.) Lum and Ten are flying around the streamers, and tell Mrs. Moroboshi that Ataru had them air out the streamers so they don’t get moldy. Flying inside one of the streamers, they are startled to discover a bear within.

Ten flies back in to help the bear due to confusion about the risk-benefit ratio, only to find it gone. They spot it flying away and pursue, discovering that on its back is a young boy wearing an apron and a skullcap (and nothing else) and carrying a huge axe. He confesses that he’s lost, and Lum thinks she knows someone from his family. Cut to Ataru and Shinobu on a date, Shinobu nervously looking around for fear of being interrupted by Lum. Her fear proves justified, as Ataru is felled by a lightning bolt followed by a bear landing on him. Lum explains to Shinobu that she’s here to help: Your little brother was lost, so I brought him here to you. Here! So thank me! (In fairness, Takahashi wasn’t the best at drawing a wide variety of faces at this point, so the similarity of haircuts could indicate a family resemblance.)

Ataru, dragging himself out from under the bear, recognizes the kid as Kintaro, which is confirmed by the kanji on his apron. Kintaro explains that he arrived on a ship that looked like the carp streamers, and he thought they were his ship. Ataru nobly offers to help (this is the first time we’ve seen him offer to be helpful with no obvious benefit to him), but is jealous that the girls are paying attention to the kid; the bear consoles him.

They ask around the somewhat dimwitted shopkeepers in town, and then are apparently interrupted by a completely different series, as we see the launch of a rocket from a NASA-type location. It turns out that the group has come to obtain help from the organization that spacemen worked for, only to ruin things by pushing buttons at random. In fairness, the rocket was probably doomed to failure, because it’s a Solar Probe that’s supposed to land on the sun, but they made the mistake of launching during the day.

As evening draws on, Ataru’s stomach grumbles, and he gives up out of exhaustion. (It doesn’t help that he’s the only one walking, since Shinobu is riding on the bear.) They discover that Kintaro has reached a similar conclusion, and is at a nearby food stand demanding alcohol to drown his sorrows. Ataru fails to cheer him up, but at that moment they’re interrupted by a giant spaceship that, indeed, looks exactly like a carp streamer. Down from the ship jumps the most modestly-dressed female alien we’ve seen up to this point.

She explains that she’s a nursery-school teacher taking her class on a field trip, but is new at it and a bit overwhelmed. Ataru claims to be good with children (demonstrating this by grabbing Ten, and then shutting him up when he protests) and offers to come with her to help. Lum and Shinobu try to stop him, but wind up squabbling with each other, and Ten comes along in disgust. Ataru is a bit overwhelmed by the very Takahasi-esque alien children, but keeps up with it to try to impress the teacher.

Ten and Kintaro shake their heads at Ataru’s behavior, with Kintaro claiming to be the only decent one around, which he immediately contradicts by wetting himself.

b

The alien class leaves the ship to go on a tour of Earth’s famous places, which turn out to be a telephone pole and a garbage can. Kintaro is unimpressed, and Ataru suggests that they visit an Earth preschool as a gesture of interplanetary goodwill. Kintaro and Ten see through his motives, but the teacher agrees anyway.

At the school, the kids are unimpressed (saying they wish he’d come on Children’s Day) and Kintaro starts to lose his temper with them, but is talked down. The teacher ask the class what Kintaro is known for. A girl answers that he practiced sumo and horseback riding with his bear companion. Kintaro angrily insists that he doesn’t do stupid things like that, leading to her teacher having a talk with her.

The kids are more impressed by this, but Kintaro is annoyed at the suggestion that this is all he does. While the teacher is distracted by the child of the creature from Centipede, Ataru steps up to tell a story of Earth’s Kintaro: how he grew up with his animal friends and swore to be great, but when he grew up to be a samurai, he never rose above the level of a servant. The moral: “No matter how hard you work, you can’t necessarily expect much in your future.” The kids are depressed by visions of life as middle management, prompting Kintaro to shout that he’ll show them the true way of living. As they leave the classroom, he admits to Ten that he isn’t actually sure what he meant by that.

Cut to the class waiting as Kintaro does research at a bookstore (which stocks books with such English titles as ABC, SKY, DOG, and BOOK). Lum arrives and threatens Ataru for flirting, to which he protests that he’s just here for Kintaro. Kintaro sadly puts down the book, curses fate for playing such a cruel trick, and then swings his axe at Ten. He’s realized that whatever sort of hero you are, you need to hunt Oni to achieve meaning in your life. A brief chase ensues, during which Ten protests and Kintaro weeps at life’s cruel irony. He spots Lum at this point, and tries to wake up his bear to attack her. His teacher reprimands him, though: It's not fair for you to use your bear in an Oni-hunt! If you have to do it, do it yourself!

Lum and Ten naturally object, and Ten goes to chew Kintaro out. They go back and forth between recriminations, shame, and anger, until the other (human) kids observe that there must be more to the true way of living than simple mindless violence. Kintaro realizes that he’s being a poor role model, and announces that he’s setting out to find the true way of living. Jumping ahead to the group watching TV, a news broadcast shows that what he’s actually doing is traveling around the world mugging people.

Cast

Trivia

  • In the first segment, the logo on the shirts of the spaceman are similar to the ones the 80’s LEGO spacemen had on.

Differences from the Manga

a
  • The carp streamers are hung out in honor of Children's Day.
  • Instead of searching around town before the ship arrives, Kintaro tries mugging Ten instead (this pays off in the next segment).
b
  • Ten's admirer Mako and her mother appear and are the ones who lead the alien children to go to preschool.
  • Kintaro tries mugging his teacher at the end, instead of showing up on the news.

Gallery

Full Episode

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