Urusei Yatsura: Only You (うる星やつら オンリー・ユー, Urusei Yatsura: Onrī Yū?) is the first film in the Urusei Yatsura franchise. It was produced by Kitty Films, primarily animated by Studio Pierrot, and released to theaters by Toho on February 12, 1983. Only You is also the first film to be directed by Mamoru Oshii and the first film to be based on a manga series from Rumiko Takahashi.
Only You borrowed heavily from the Japanese fairy tale Urashima Tarō.
Six-year-old Ataru steps on Elle's shadow during an impromptu game of shadow-tag; in Elle's culture, this is viewed as a marriage proposal. Eleven years later, Elle returns to Earth in order to marry Ataru — by which time not only had he forgotten the events of his childhood, but he was also going out with Lum. The rest of the plot focuses on Lum's attempts to prevent the marriage.
The film was directed by Mamoru Oshii who was mad at the many requests that the producer made of him to alter the movie. Rumiko Takahashi considers this film her favorite and it is the most true to the original series.
11 years ago a young Ataru played a game of "shadow tag" with an alien girl. After he stepped on her shadow she told him that on her planet, stepping on someone's shadow is a marriage proposal. She went away but told him that she'd return and pick him up in 11 years.
Everyone in Tomobiki has been recieving inviations to a wedding between Ataru Moroboshi and a woman named Elle. But no-one, including Ataru has any clue who this "Elle" is. Ataru undergoes much interogation and punishment by the hands of the Stormtroopers, Shinobu, Mendo and Lum but he still can't recall any woman named Elle.
Then a the clouds split open and a gigantic starship touches down. Here we see the captain and Elle's nanny Babara who are here to pick up Ataru and bring him to planet Elle. Babara puts a sheild around Ataru to protect him for the ceremony so even Lum's electric zaps don't affect him. Ataru fully intends to marry this Elle and won't listen to Lum's pleas. Heartbroken, Lum flies off.
As the ship takes off, and people are blowing away like leaves, Sakura quotes one of my favorite lines in the movie. "The universe is truly vast. To think that someone could compeat with Lum's bad taste in men." Later that night we see Lum wandering the streets with nowhere to go. From out of the shadows comes Lum's friend Benten who flushes out one of Babara's spies that had been following Lum. They sit down at a diner and Benten coaxes Lum to act and take back her Darling. And so Lum runs off to do just that.
We come to the Moroboshi residence. Ataru is all cheerful as he irons his pants for the big day. His mother is in hysterics because he's leaving her. Ataru's father and Cherry aren't helping the situation either. Then Lum appears and tells Ataru that they are going to her planet where they will married. She then proceeds to suck up everyone into her ship with a huge vaccum device. Lum meets up with Benten who has rented a shuttle from the Space Taxi Service. They then abduct the rest of the reluctant gang who are to attend the marriage of Ataru and Lum.
Later Lum meets up with the other aliens such as Kurama, Oyuki, Ran and Rei. And then out of warp appears the huge warship of Lum's father. Everyone boards onto the ship. Ataru's shield is removed and is swiftly brought to an omiake in which Lum's and Ataru's parents pressure him into accepting marrying Lum.
Lum and Ataru sit together in a private room. Lum's thoughts go to that of their marriage while Ataru's thoughts turn to that of impending doom and how he wants to see Elle. Lum soon finds out what he's thinking. Lum takes out two engagement rings that she calls Tiger Stars and somehow forces the struggling and suddently horrified Ataru to wear one.
We then go back to the space shuttle in which the UY gang had been abducted by Benten. We see the female spy named Rose from before emerge from a raccoon statue. She then begins to make her way through the ship.
The spaceship from Elle that had appeared before, appears out of warp. To defend his son-in-law, Lum's father deploys his forces and an all out war takes place between the Oni and the subjects of Elle.
As the war wages Ataru tries to weasel out of his marriage with Lum and they argue which ends with Lum knocking Ataru unconscious with a mallot. But just as she does that another figure, Rose, the Elle spy sneaks in and knocks Lum unconscious with her mighty supersonic hammer. She they proceeds to exchange their outfits and take on Lum's identity while taking Ataru with her.
Rose had no luck in fooling the ship's crew as even with green hair and tiger-skin bikini she bears no resemblance to Lum. Therefore she has to fight her way through the crewmembers. but has no trouble dealing with them. Ten finds her doing this and goes to find help. He doesn't find Sakura but tells the rest of the gang who are watching the battle of what is going on.
Rose has found a getaway ship and prepares to take off when she is identified. Invader panics to capture her and save his son-in-law when Ataru now awake starts thanking her for saving him from Lum and that he looks forward to his new life with Elle. Of course everyone hears this over the ship's speaker system and pretty much give up. Rose begins to take off with Ataru. Strangely enough the room with Ten, Shinobu, Mendo and the Stormtroopers is attached to the getaway ship and so they are taken along for the ride as the spaceship takes off.
Lum awakes to find her Darling is gone, and so are her clothes. She rushes to catch them but took a malfunctioning fighter. As Lum attempts to use the after-burners the fighter blows up. Luckily Lum ejected safely but now Ataru is long gone as they rendezvous with the Elle vessel and transport away.
We now come to the planet Elle. Ataru, Mendo, Ten, Shinobu and the Stormtroopers all of whom are now stuck on this planet are to be taken to meet Elle. Megane is hysterical from grief as he realises he'll never see earth again. But Ataru tells him of his plan. Since he'll be the ruler of this planet that means that everything on it will be his, including the women. As king, Ataru plans to build the ultimate harem. Maniacal laughter ensues.
They are brought to Elle's palace where they finally get to meet her. All of the guys are awestruck as she is one of the most beautiful women they have ever seen. Elle runs toward Ataru but mistakes Mendo for Ataru. That mix-up is soon remedied.
A bit later the Stormtroopers in the garden watch in disgust as Ataru and Elle flirt incessantly. Megane gets to thinking that if she'd settle on Ataru that maybe he'd have a chance. Similar thoughts go through Mendo's head as he intends to make a move on her. Elle and Ataru talk. She relates to Ataru that his been 11 years since that shadow tag race. Ataru obvioulsy has no idea of what she's talking about but plays along. Elle skips off but is greeted by Mendo with the intention of putting the moves on her. But Elle beats him to it. She invites him to meet with her that evening.
Later that night she takes Mendo to her private inner sanctum. He opens it with a key and is horrified by what he finds inside. Thousands and thousands of handsome men all frozen in cryogenic sleep. Elle calls it her refrigerator of love as to ensure that love stays fresh, she freezes any handsome man who has ever loved her. And she plans on making Mendo the 100,000th addition to her collection.
Megane, Ataru, and the others who had followed Mendo overheard everything. They all plan to get the hell away from the planet when they hear Mendo's screams. Mendo's about to go under when Shinobu comes and rescues him destroying the freezing machine in the process. But she doesn't get far as Elle's guards show up. Everyone is surrounded. Elle sees that Ataru has heard her and tries to beg for forgiveness. Ataru however is repulsed by it all and wants the wedding to be cancelled indefinately. Still Elle is intent on marrying Ataru even if by force. By her orders the wedding will proceed.
On planet Uru, we see Lum's alien friends talking about going back to their planets now that Lum's fiance is long gone. They see Lum fly by and can see how heartbroken she is. Lum tries to throw away those Tiger Star wedding bands but can't bring herself to let it go. A musical sequence plays as Lum is filled with memories of Ataru.
Back on Elle, Ataru and Ten are being held in a dungeon. Ten is insulting Ataru and chastising him for his foolish treatement of Lum. But Ataru actually shows remorse. He puts himself down for being such an idiot, for mistreating Lum and for rejecting her.
The planet is bustling with activity as thousands of guests from all over the galaxy arrive to attend the wedding. The wedding begins as Ataru and Elle come out and glide towards the altar. Elle looks beautiful, however Ataru who has a ball and chain around the ankle (a metaphor?) looks like a wreck.
Outside Benten, Oyuki, Ran, Kurama and Rei are planning to crash the party. Benten knows that Lum will probably show sooner or later. And show she does. On the top of a city scape, Lum swipes an Elle airplane, as she does we see Benten zooming through the sky on her airbike with a with a of air patrol planes in hot persuit. Elsewhere Oyuki's snow storm is causing trouble as is Rei in Tiger-Bull form eating all of the food from all of the restaurants in town. The worst blow is struck as Kurama releases all of the frozen hunks in Elle's collection. A sea of men rush out of the refrigirator towards the chapel each one planning to smash the wedding.
While all of this havoc ensues Lum flies towards the chapel. But time is running out as the exchange of vows has begun. Of course Ataru isn't given a choice. Lum gets closer to the chapel, but now the patrol planes are trying to shoot her down. Elle tries to finish the ceremony with a kiss but Lum shows up. Rapping on the stain glass window yelling "Darling!" (obviously a spoof of "The Graduate"). She crashes through and she and Ataru embrace.
But the reunion is cut short as Elle gets Babara to order the guards to capture Lum. Just then the rampaging hunks knock down the door and begin beating up the wedding guests. While this is going on Lum tries to fly off with Ataru but Elle is holding on. Benten arrives with the space taxi and vaccuums them up. The taxi driver accidentally hits the warp button to close to the planet and they are thrust into a weird dimension going back 11 years into the past. They find themselves at the exact place and time where Ataru and Elle had played shadow tag.
They watch them run and play around the park. But right when young Ataru says he steps on little Elle's shadow, present day Ataru comes running out and yells for them to stop. He shows that he didn't step on her shadow after all. He recalls that he had made it up so that he could win. That means the engagement is null and void. Of course everyone's pissed at Ataru, which in return he blames his child self for causing the trouble as he hits him on the head and makes him cry. Lum tries to console little Ataru but big Ataru keeps beating up on him. Little Elle skips away.
Suddenly they are brought back to the planet Elle. Elle stays behind and the rest of the gang take off in the space taxi. Elle walks to the elevator and as she turns around, you can see that she's crying.
The UY gang are in the taxi. Ataru about to kiss Lum when the he hits the floor face-first as the taxi has landed. Ataru steps out of the ship, relieved to be back on earth. But as he looks around he finds that he's in a wedding hall with all of the people he knows gathered together. They're on planet Uru for their wedding Lum informs him. Ataru seems nervous but doesn't seem to mind this sudden surpise.
They begin exchanging vows. Lum accepts but it looks like Ataru is having problems. They wait for his answer when he screams at the top of his lungs, N0!!! Ataru throws off his tux and runs at breakneck speed out of the wedding hall. Every other character in UY chases after him. But he just keeps running.
Summary from Furinkan-Tomobiki-cho.
Cast and characters
- Moroboshi Ataru
- Mendou Shuutarou
- Ataru's Father
- Ataru's Mother
- Lum's Father
- Lum's Mother
Additional cast and characters
- Shiori as Elle de Rosenbach (young)
- Yoshiko Sakakibara as Elle de Rosenbach
- Hisako Kyouda as Babara
- Yuko Maruyama as Rose
- Kazuyo Aoki as Commander
- Yuuko Matsutani as Planet Elle Commander
- Bin Shimada as Assistant Commander
- Kazuki Suzuki as Child A
- Nariko Fujieda as Child B
- Unknown as Guard A
Oshii was brought on to direct Only You after the previous director quit, and the film was completed in about four to five months. Oshii was not fond of the film.
- "The universe is truly vast. To think that someone could compete with Lum's bad taste in men." - Sakura
- "MEN ARE SUCH WIMPS." - Miyake Shinobu
- "Love is a fragile thing. Love that is bright in the morning fades by the sunset. To keep love always fresh, and prevent spoilage, I developed this Refrigerator Of Love. " - Elle de Rosenbach
- "When it comes to harems, this girl is way ahead of you. " - Megane
- "Hey... HEY YOU. Answer when somebody talks to you. Eh, maybe it's too much to ask. Tomorrow you're going to get married to that woman, but it's more like a condemned man's last night, isn't it? Even an idiot like you can understand that, well good riddance. This is your own punishment for mistreating Lum, the inevitable consequences for your prior misdeeds. It's good that for the rest of your life you'll be chained to that girl. Better for Lum, better yet for the entire universe. I hope you're miserable. I hope you're suffering. I hope you're sad. Poor Lum felt the same way about you. YOU DISGUSTING SLIMEBALL. That's all I have to say, good night. " - Ten
- "Thank you. Thank you. I'm saved. There I was, in hell, and along comes an angel, I'm saved. Lum is so persistant, I really thought my luck had run out. Still, you shouldn't give up. At the last moment a savior comes along, and best of all, a pretty girl. " - Moroboshi Ataru
- While Lum is moping around the town after the Elle's ship leaves, she stops at restaurant called "Coffee Pierot". This is a reference to Studio Pierrot, the studio that animated the movie.
Japanese puns and folklore references
- There is an abundance of references to roses in the film. In Japanese, the word for rose is "bara". The capital of Elle's planet is Baran. Elle's nanny is Babara, a play on the Japanese words "bara" and "baba" (old woman), and possibly the Western name "Barbera" as well. Elle's master-of-disguise is named Rose. During the flashback sequence, the young Elle can be seen wearing a name-tag that reads: "Baragumi Eru" (Elle of the Rose Group). In Japan, kindergarten classes within the same school may have distinctive names, such as "sakuragumi" (cherry blossom class), or "momogumi" (peach class).
- Lum throws a pun Ataru's way as they spend some time alone aboard her father's ship. She presents their "engeejiringu" (engagement rings) to him, and threatens to give him a "cho-denki rinchi" (super-electric lynching) if he ever tries to take his off.
- The name of Elle's planet in Japanese is "Erusei". This is likely a pun on "urusei", part of the series title "Urusei Yatsura".
- Rose stowed away in the space taxicab in what is known as a "tanuki statue". A tanuki is a type of racoon-dog indigenous to Japan. Tanuki statues are found throughout Japan in front of restaurants and bars, though the one containing Rose came from Sakura's house. In Japanese folklore, a tanuki is often portrayed as a shapeshifter, appropriate for a master of disguise like Rose.