Premiere: February 11, 1984
The scene opens to seagulls sailing through the sky, and as the camera pans downward we see...desolation. Along the waterfront ruins of what was once Tomobiki, a military tank sits quietly. Upon it Mendo, stripped to the waist, looks over the shore through a pair of binoculars. Sakura, lying in the sun, turns her gleaming eyes towards the sky. Megane and Perm, surrounded by the comforts of home, apply sunscreen while music plays in the background. Upon the waters, Lum, Ten, Kakugari and Chibi jetski, obviously enjoying themselves. Lum calls to Ataru, who is standing knee-high in the water. With a dazed look upon his face, Ataru stares at the ruins of Tomobiki High School, which is partially submerged in the lake. And as its dead clock begins to chime, Ataru remembers...
From above the ruined clock tower (see "Only You") Tomobiki High School radiates activity and enthusiasm as the students dash madly through the halls, making final preparations for the coming of tomorrow's School Festival. We turn our eyes to the Third Reich Decadent Teashop, run by the students of Year 2, Class 4. Within, Mendo and the Stormtroopers are putting the finishing touches on their WW2-Axis-Power-styled restaurant and wondering where Ataru is. Onsen-Mark bursts in, demanding to know why the gang is taking so long to complete their construction. Mendo asks Onsen to refrain from stomping around as the weight of the Leopard Tank he brought could cause the floor to collapse. Onsen is about to storm out when they hear Ataru's voice emanating from the tank's cockpit. When Moroboshi mentions Ryoko's name, Mendo leaps into the tank, intent on protecting his sister. But Ataru, deep asleep, is alone in the Leopard, and Mendo's sudden arrival causes him to bump the tank's control stick. The cannon swivels around, catching Onsen-Mark in the chest and smashing its way through the adjacent wall. Ryuunosuke, who was installing light bulbs from atop the Leopard, also falls into the cockpit. As Onsen dangles outside the school, Lum alights on the gun and asks him where Ataru is. Ignoring the teacher's peril, she peers into the cockpit from the end of the cannon. Inside, Ataru is scrambling after Ryunosuke. Lum shouts a warning into the Leopard and counts to three. Everyone jumps away from the tank except Ataru and Mendo, who are still fighting within. Lum then proceeds to electrocute the tank, frying its occupants and activating its machinery. The Leopard whirls out of control and destroys the teashop.
The principal is very lenient, and the only punishment the gang receives is a long-winded speech about the trials of youth while the tank strains at the ceiling from above.
Lum and Shinobu adjourn to the school kitchen where they meet Sakura, complain about all the work ahead of them, and compare notes on men. Lum closes the debate by explaining her dream: to forever live on Earth with Ataru, his parents, Ten, Mendo, Megane, and all their friends. Since this is a close description of her life in reality, she is immensely content.
Having concluded their meal, Ataru and Mendo leave a Beefbowl shop and drive towards the school. Mendo is still upset about the incident with the tank, and Ataru wonders why the town is so quiet tonight. After stopping at an intersection to wait for the light, a mysterious special-sale band (followed by a small girl in a summer dress ) dances across the street, playing a haunting melody. After they disappear into the night, the car drives off, while the boys wonder at the sight they have just witnessed.
The Beginning of the End.
As the day begins, construction at the high school continues for the coming of the School Festival. The gang brushes their teeth together while complaining about all the work they have yet to complete. Lum encourages them, reminding everyone that there's only one day left to go. Then they watch as Onsen-Mark drags himself across the grounds, marveling at how exhausted he looks.
In the infirmary, Sakura diagnoses Onsen with overwork and insists that he return from to his dormitory and sleep until evening. She also prescribes some tranquilizers for his nerves.
So begins the day after the day before the School Festival, which is also the day before the School Festival. The events of today closely mirror the events of yesterday, with a few minor variations. From an empty classroom, the Child from the special-sale band watches the activities through an open window.
Back in the infirmary, Sakura is tending to the numerous casualties of the day's construction. When she comes to a patient suffering from indigestion, she prescribes super-high-potency laxatives. Unfortunately, the bottle she passes him turns out to be Onsen-Mark's tranquilizers, which means....
Sakura tears across the streets of Tomobiki on her motorcycle, making a beeline for Onsen's apartment house and praying that she is in time. She bursts into his second-floor flat shouting a brief warning, only to loose her footing on the slimy floor. Onsen-Mark's apartments are in ruins, with a foot of dust covering everything and mushrooms growing on the walls. Onsen, clearly out of it, is sitting in the middle of the room watching a grimy television. Sliding past his position, Sakura grabs him by his shirt and swings him out the window. After taking a few seconds to catch her breath, she realizes her mistake and hurries outside to catch Onsen, but abstains when she realizes how grungy he is.
In a small cafe, Onsen-Mark and Sakura discuss the situation. It seems that Onsen has lost all track of time, and is losing his ability to remember the past. It is his opinion that Tomobiki has become caught in a time-loop, citing the story of Urashima Taro as an example. Sakura is convinced that it is only a product of his overworked mind, and continues to reassure him as they return to the high school. From the gate they watch as Kakugari, hanging from the end of the Leopard's cannon and crying for help, explodes through a second-story wall.
Onsen has had enough. That night, he closes the school and refuses to allow the students to sleep there as they have throughout the project. Deaf to the pleads of his charges, he tells everyone to go home. He also dismisses the staff, emptying the building save for the Fujinamis in their teashop. Everyone goes their separate ways. Lum flies home with Ataru, and Shinobu accepts a ride home from Mendo. Perm and Megane take a train, while Kakugari and Chibi leave in a bus. Sakura walks off to find Cherry.
Mendo and Shinobu find that all roads seem to lead to Tomobiki High, the train Megane and Perm took loops back on itself, and the bus dumps Kakugari and Chibi back in front of the school. Meanwhile, Cherry has disappeared. His kettle, normally overflowing with garbage stew, runs over with rainwater, and stray cats are the sole occupants of his tent. After failing to locate him, Sakura attempts to contact Onsen-Mark but there is no answer at the school. She hails a cab, and the return trip takes an unusually long time. When Sakura questions the driver, he launches into a long discussion about the nature of time, invoking Urashima Taro and making allusions that sound suspiciously applicable to the current situation. Sakura grows suspicious and pulls a spirit wand on him, at which point the taxi swerves out of control and comes to a halt in front of the school building.
Since they can't get into the school, and they can't get out of town, the gang heads for Ataru's house and humbly asks for lodging, much to his annoyance. The cast tries to phone anyone outside of Tomobiki, but there are no responses. Sakura heads upstairs to discuss the situation, but all the men (save Mendo) are too busy tearing Chibi apart.
Meanwhile, Shinobu visits Lum and Ten in another room. Ten has recently acquired an ultra-cute piglet which he is keeping as a pet. The next morning, our cast eats breakfast and prepares for the day before the School Festival (again), and while Ataru and Co. are royally pigging out, Ten's piglet is curiously lacking in appetite.
Heading for school, the gang heads down a street strewn with puddles from the previous night's rain. After Ataru accidentally steps into one and sinks out of existence, Lum flies off to find him. Shinobu, bringing up the rear, passes by an alleyway when she hears the odd tinkle of a windchime. Looking into the alleyway, she is startled to find herself lost in a universe of endless alleyways and tinkling windchimes, accompanied by the brief appearance of the Child turning from one passage to another. The vision fades and Shinobu is alone on the street she was traveling.
At Tomobiki High, Mendo's tank has somehow been relocated to the school's swimming pool. While Mendo stares blankly, Ataru suddenly appears inside the pool, unaware of how he arrived. Mendo blames Ataru and starts chasing him through the pool, breaking his katana in the process. Things get worse when Lum arrives, and when Ataru refuses to come out, she gives her "One,two..." warning and electrocutes the pool. From her infirmary window, Sakura watches the scene and resolves to inform the restof the cast as to the nature of their problem.
Eating dinner at a pancake shop, Sakura and Mendo attempt to explain the scenario. Ataru, Megane, and the Stormtroopers seem relatively unconvinced, regarding the disappearances of Cherry and Onsen-Mark as blessings rather than mysteries to be solved. It is only when Mendo refuses to pay their check that they agree to investigate further. Since everything seems to revolve around the school, the gang returns to explore it. They split up, only to find that things make even less sense inside the school than they do outside. Ataru gets caught in a room where he chases infinite images of himself. Lum flies aroundlooking for Ataru. Mendo keeps running up stairs that don't lead anywhere waving around his newly regenerated katana, and things really get strange when Kakugari and Chibi try to turn on the lights. Finally, the gang retreats, falling out of a window when the floor they're running on turns out to be the ceiling.
Mendo decides to take action. At his direction, Sakura drives the gang to the Mendo Family Tomobiki Panic Center, also known as Mach Speed Noodles. In its secret basement, Mendo boards a Harrier, planning to fly to the Mendo Estate and send helicopters to recover the rest of the group. However, Ataru and Co. aren't willing to be left behind, and climb onto the plane from all sides. Mendo merely shrugs and initiates a vertical takeoff. As the plane escapes the city limits, the Harrier's passengers are entreated to a bizarre sight. Tomobiki is riding on the back of a massive stone turtle that flies through the night sky. Flying in for a closer look, we see that the town's plate is actually supported above the turtle's back by stone columns that bare an extreme resemblance to Onsen-Mark and Cherry. Suddenly, the plane begins to sputter. Although they have only been flying for a few minutes, the Harrier has suddenly run out of gas. Having no other option, Mendo makes a forced landing at the Moroboshi residence, where the gang requests further lodging.
The loop has ended, and to Megane's point of view, so has the world. The circumstances of our apocalypse are strange indeed. Within a night, the entire population of Tomobiki has disappeared, save for the members of our cast. All buildings not of value as sources of supplies or entertainment crumble to dust, leaving a scarred yet beautiful landscape. The convenience store near Ataru's house seems to have an infinite food supply in stock, and it becomes the central provider for the gang's needs. Further, the gas, electricity, and water supplies all continue uninterrupted at the Moroboshi residence. The morning paper (of which Ataru's father is so fond) also continues, though there would seem to be little news to report. Everyone copes with the new world in their own way. Sakura opens a beefbowl restaurant, and the Fujinamis reestablish Hama Teashop. Mendo drives around in his tank all day, blasting at the ruins of old buildings. Megane writes long inspirational speeches about the rebirth of mankind. Having nothing else to do, the rest of the gang settles down to enjoying itself. Picnics, rollerskating, movies, trips to the lake (which now surrounds the wreckage of the old high school) and fireworks shows become the daily routine. After a brief period of time, Shinobu and Ryuunosuke disappear inexplicably, and no amount of search by the gang can locate them. On a hunch, Sakura has Mendo examine the underside of Tomobiki's platform and, sure enough, stone pillars in the shapes of Shinobu and Ryuunosuke have joined those of Cherry and Onsen-Mark.
Fearing for her own continued existence, Sakura sends Ataru an invitation to meet her alone at the high school's clock tower after sundown. At the appointed hour, Moroboshi arrives to be greeted by a dressed-up Sakura...and the end of Mendo's katana. It seems that while everyone else was busy partying, Mendo and Sakura were attempting to decipher the nature of their world. This world is all too convenient, and the existence of such a world is physically impossible. Since it DOES exist, then it must be a dream. Ataru replies that he and the Stormtroopers had figured that out a long time ago, but dismissed it as being too obvious an answer. Further, it is an irrelevant point since they don't know whose dream it is. Mendo knows. By use of simple logic, he quickly eliminates everyone in the dream except Lum, who seems to be the one most convenienced by their situation. Ataru's counter for this is Lum wouldn't delete the missing characters, which should show that she is not responsible for the world's existence. It is at this point that Sakura interrupts the debate. Both Ataru and Mendo are correct, but her analysis includes an option they ignored: that a third party created and has been maintaining this world for Lum's use. She concludes by accusing Ataru of creating this world. His retort is that a mere high school student couldn't possibly do that. Sakura cuts off his protests by calling into the next room...and inviting Ataru in. Sakura chides the impostor for ignoring Ataru's thought processes--the real Moroboshi made a beeline for Sakura the moment he received her message. Suddenly, a fence composed of hanging Shinto streamers pops out of the water, trapping the fake.
With a bang, the fake Ataru reverts to his true form. It is the demon Mujaki, a dream spirit responsible for the twisting of humanity by giving them evil dreams. Mujaki argues that he only provided the dreams his clients desired, and that many of them were good dreams...initially. Given time, they evolve into nightmares and are finally eaten by Baku. Becoming depressed with creating dreams only to see them destroyed time after time, he decided to retire. It was at that point that he encountered Lum.
To illustrate Mujaki's story, a scene forms over the waters of the lake. We see how Mujaki found Lum at an aquarium, still recovering from her latest bout with Ataru. Entranced, he opened a dialogue with Lum, eventually asking her to describe her dream for his retirement project--the creation of an eternal dream world. Lum replies with the line she delivered at the beginning of the movie: to forever live on Earth with Ataru, his parents, Ten, Mendo, Megane, and all their friends. And so it was.
Having concluded his tale, Mujaki escapes by using the aquarium scene as an exit point. Sealing his would-be captors inside one of the fish tanks, Mujaki waltzes off, chiding them for their naievity. He goes on to reveal that, in exchange for supporting his world, the missing characters are provided with dreams of their own. Cherry eats mountains of food, Ryuunosuke swims in feminine clothing, Shinobu marries Mendo, and Onsen-Mark enjoys a quiet dinner with his wife. Having disposed of Ataru, Mujaki plans to replace him and enjoy eternity with Lum.
At this point, Mujaki runs into Ataru. It seems that during his aquarium scene, Ataru jumped at Mujaki's image when it approached Lum, and fell into the water. It was in this way that he was able to avoid being sealed in with Sakura and Mendo. Mujaki is ready to lock him up until Ataru, waving a spirit wand Sakura gave him, suggests an exchange: he'll go quietly if Mujaki creates his ultimate dream.
In his newly established harem, surrounded by half-nude women, Ataru enjoys himself until he realizes that Lum isn't among the various lusts begging for his attention. Mujaki is confused by Ataru's protests, since he was always running from Lum. Ataru, amused by Mujaki's misunderstanding, explains what we always knew. He is in love with Lum, just as he is with all the other women, and that the reason why he was always running was because she was trying to tie him down. Having explained himself, Ataru goes on to demand Lum's appearance, else he will destroy the dream and return to reality. Outraged, Mujaki dares him to do so, accidentally dropping a small bugle. He then compounds his error by explaining its ability to summon Baku. Desperately, he begs Ataru not to use it, asking him to consider the consequences of the dream's collapse. Ataru, of course, never thinks about the consequences. Taking a deep breath, he blows a morning call to everyone within a hundred miles.
At the Moroboshi residence, Ten's piglet suddenly awakens, its eyes shining in the dark. Leaping into the darkness, dumbo ears supporting its flight, it swells to gargantuan proportions and takes to the world like a vacuum cleaner to carpet. Everything that falls beneath his mouth is decimated and consumed: the land, the sky, and the school. Just before the dream's turtle shatters, Mujaki refuses to allow Ataru's escape.
Ataru awakens in Mendo's car, just after leaving the beefbowl shop. Relieved by his escape, he discusses the nature of dreams with Mendo, at which point Mendo's driver reveals himself as Mujaki. Frustrated, Ataru slams his skull into Mujaki's, causing them to crash into a wall.
Ataru awakens to the sound of his mother's voice...and those of everyone else on earth. He's back at the beginning of the series, just after being knocked out during his game of tag with Lum. With only ten minutes left, Shinobu reminds him of their marriage upon his victory. Determined, Ataru whips out Lum's bra, preparing to grab her horns....and hesitates. Everything began after he grabbed Lum's horns, and----but time has run out. Cursing him, Mujaki and the townspeople mob Ataru and begin stomping him into the ground.
Ataru awakens as Frankenstein's monster. Hated by the people, he walks alone, until the Child appears and offers him a dandelion. Then Mujaki, in german villager garb and brandishing a rifle, intervenes. The two rush at each other, and Mujaki shoots Ataru while Ataru clubs him over the head with his Frankenstein mask.
Ataru awakens in a futuristic laboratory. A recording of his father's voice begins to play, stating that he and Lum had fallen prey to diseased sleep that the sciences of Earth and Urusei were unable to cure. Placing their hopes on the future, their parents had them placed in cryogenic suspension for five-hundred years. But when Ataru examines Lum's coffin, he finds the wires torn and burnt. An nearby display states that an emergency occurred four-hundred years ago and calls for "immediate assistance". From a side view, we catch a brief glimpse of Lum's corpse before Ataru, horrified, runs headlong into a wall...
...and through it. It was one of Mujaki's dream constructs, just like all the others. Mujaki, yelling at Ataru for breaking out of his dreams before he has time to set up new ones, clubs him over the head with a wooden mallet.
Ataru floats on a strand of DNA while Mujaki tries to talk him out of resisting. He argues that since there is no perceivable difference between his dreams and reality, they are reality to the dreamer. This being the case, isn't it better to enjoy oneself in the world of dreams? Mujaki goes on to offer Ataru endless vistas of dreams in return for his cooperation. As Ataru mulls over his position, he is approached by the Child who asks him if he is truly serious about returning. She then directs him to jump from the dream, and call the name of the one person he most wants to see before he hits the ground. This seems simple enough to Ataru, as there are lots of girls he wants to see. The strand he's sitting on collapses, and just before the dream fades we catch sight of Lum's face beneath the Child's sunhat.
Catapulted away from Mujaki's subaquatic dream realm, Ataru is hurled into the air over Tomobiki High School. As he falls toward the ground, he calls the names of every girl in Urusei Yatsura, including his mother. At the last possible second, he calls for Lum, falling through the school's ceiling.
A New Beginning
Ataru passes through the roof and third floor without harm, landing facefirst on the floor of the gang's teashop. At the end of the room, he sees himself sleeping on a pile of boxes near Lum. Enraged, he yells at himself for sleeping so long and kicks the stool out from under his head.
Ataru falls to the floor with a crash. Picking himself up, he takes a good look around the room. Everyone is snoozing quietly in the morning light. Turning an eye towards Lum, he watches her peacefully as the chiming of the clock's tower brings her awake. Lum turns to Ataru, describing her bizarre dream. He shushes her, reminding her that it was only a dream. They are about to kiss when the rest of the gang, awake and livid, coughs loudly. This stops Ataru since he doesn't want to be seen kissing Lum. An argument ensues...
Outside, some workmen are putting the final touches on a banner above the main entrance when a window explodes outward electrically. They comment on how they never seem to change, and how those two will continue for the rest of their lives. Mujaki agrees. Detaining that pair takes much more work than usual.
Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer