LUM * Urusei Yatsura Perfect Collection
(Graphic Novel, published by VIZ)
Note: this edition is out of print but still available from

Review by Jesse Hausler


This graphic novel was my first encounter with the wonderful weirdness that is Urusei Yatsura. I was already a huge fan of Ranma 1/2, and I thought I would give one of Takahashi's earlier works a shot; it turned out to be the best impulse buy I ever made! This king-sized graphic novel contains the first 18 chapters of UY, and it provides a great introduction to the series. Several things about this particular graphic novel really stand out.

The first is the astounding fact that we meet almost the entire regular cast in this one book (the big exceptions being Mendo, Ten, Ran, and Ryuunosuke). After reading this one, you can basically "hop in" anywhere in the series without being overly lost. The second unusual thing about this volume was its style; this was something that didn't become apparent to me until later. If you've ever read any of the "Rumic World" manga, then you know that many of Takahashi's early stories were characterized by completely ubridled wackiness. The first dozen or so chapters of UY (the ones contained in this book) represent the "last hurrah" for this particular style of storytelling. Starting about halfway through the next graphic novel, she began the switch to the "still crazy, but slightly more subdued" style that has characterized all of her work since. While this may prove a turn-off for some, I personally loved seeing the cast of UY "let it all hang out"!

The last "big thing" about this graphic novel may seem trivial to some, but I found it fascinating. The second story in the book is ENTIRELY "Lum-less"! She's not drawn, thought about, or even mentioned in passing. Apparently, Takahashi didn't originally plan for the invader girl to play the starring role (perhaps instead being a "frequently reappearing character" like Kurama, Oyuki, or Benten). This lone chapter (which focuses on Ataru, his family, Shinobu, Cherry, and a pint-sized devil) offers a fascinating look at what Urusei Yatsura might have been like had Lum not stolen the show. Don't get me wrong; I think Lum is "da bomb". Still... it's interesting.

All-in-all, this is quite possibly the single best compilation of UY out there. It is side-splittingly funny, wacky as can be, and occasionally heartwarming. If "Beautiful Dreamer" is the quintessential "must watch" animation for UY fans, then "LUM - Urusei Yatsura Perfect Collection" is undoubtedly the "must read". Check it out; you won't be sorry!

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An Intro to Urusei Yatsura
Cast of Characters
The Comic Book
The Animated Series
Questions and Answers
Articles and Reviews
Art Gallery
Music Capsule
Odds and Ends