Return of Lum
Novel, published by VIZ)
Note: this edition is out of print but still available
Review by Jesse Hausler
undeniably awesome first volume of UY (the "Perfect Collection"),
I had no choice but to purchase the second. While not quite as great as
its predecessor, "The Return of Lum" was (and is) a great addition
to the series.
For starters, I should explain something about the title. "The Return
of Lum" would seem to imply that Lum had left and then came back.
Not so. Rather, it was UY itself that had taken a vacation! Because of
bad marketing, the original run (again, "Perfect Collection")
wasn't much of a commercial success. Luckily, a brief stint in the pages
of VIZ's "Animerica" magazine managed to stimulate enough interest
in the series to get the ball rolling again. The rest, as they say, is
As for the graphic novel itself, its most notable accomplishment is the
introduction of Shutaro Mendo, Tomobiki's resident millionaire playboy.
Seeing as how he ranks third or fourth in the "most important characters
of UY" list (depending on where you want to put Shinobu), this graphic
novel is probably worth getting for that reason alone. However, if you
are NOT a big fan of Mendo, then this book probably isn't for you. He
plays a starring or at least major role in pretty much every story in
this book; you have been warned...
Mendo-centric or not, the book features many entertaining stories starring
the unluckiest guy in the world and the obnoxious company he attracts.
Keep an eye out for two stories in particular: the first finds Ataru,
Shinobu, Lum, and Mendo exploring a cave, and the second follows Ataru's
attempts to save the life of a particularly disgusting caterpillar. I
LOVE those two little escapades; they easily qualify as two of my all-time
favorite UY stories.
Overall, this was a fine example of UY wackiness at its best. Again, if
you simply can't stand Mendo, then you probably shouldn't waste your time
with this book. For most people, however, this is a hilarious read, and
it is an indispensable part of any UY fan's collection.
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