Remember My Love
Premiere: January 26, 1985
Time is a funny thing. It starts and it stops, it branches here and there, loops back on itself and repeats; unpredictable and unstoppable.
In the year 1967 AD, on a small, forested asteroid where few care to set foot, there lies a small cottage. It's inhabitant, the Old Woman of the Oak Forest, is fuming about the Imperial birth celebration currently in progress. And justly so, for it seems everyone in the galaxy has been invited. Everyone, that is, except her. Bitter and vengeful, she casts a small glass orb into her fireplace and places this curse upon it: That when the newborn girl grows up, she should be forever seperated from her True Love -- that no matter how much she may love him, the love would not be mutual. The hag cackles loudly as the sphere begins to glow with a fire of its own....
The scene shifts abruptly to a futuristic megalopolis, shadowy and polluted. Beneath the shifting neon signs and speeding UFOs, an adolescent boy stares wistfully into the night. Turning to his right, he notices a gleaming object in the junk pile nearby. Curious, he pulls out the shiny ball and holds it to the light as a flame ignites within the glass. It is the year 2267.
1985 AD -- The present. The gang is sits in the Library, discussing Japanese folk legends. Shinobu tells Lum of the "red string" that links the fingers of destined couples. Lum is pleased with this theory, and concludes that there must be a string tying her to Ataru, as well. Ataru is far less enthusiastic. Walking home later, Lum argues with Ataru about his constant refusal to date her. Suddenly, they notice a large blimp dropping pamphlets from above, advertising the Grand Opening of the Tomobiki Morchenland, an amusement park. Thrilled, Lum decides to visit it with Ataru for their date.
The Marchenland radiates with life and festivity. There are zillions of things to do, games to play, and shows to watch. The grounds swarm with monsters, aliens, pixies, and cameo characters of every description. It's a beautiful place. Our cast wanders about the park, investigating this thing and that. But all is not right. Several of the parties are confronted by inexplicable visions that appear abruptly, catching them off guard, then disappear just as quickly. Sitting atop a lamppost, fondling an odd crystal ball, a pierrot watches and laughs at their bewilderment.
Sakura and Cherry meet outside the front gate. Drawn by the strong supernatural eminations radiating from the park, they decide to investigate. However, after submitting their tickets and stepping through the entrance, they are startled to find themselves standing at the back door. Walking through it, they are returned to the front gate. Successive attempts to access the park only warp the two between the opposite portals. Somehow, someone has barred them from entering, though it is impossible to tell who or why.
Meeting for lunch, the gang chats idly, tiptoeing around the subject of their hallucinations. Putting it down to sleep deprivation, they are are suddenly interrupted by a cute woman in a raccoon costume, passing out pamphlets for the Super Magic Show that is about to begin. Eager to get their minds off earlier events, they all head for the performance.
In the black tent on the edge of the grounds, the Magician Ruu begins his performance. Bringing a large cabinet on stage, he calls for a volunteer. Ataru, wanting to get close to Ruu's raccoon-babe assistant, loudly shouts his assent. Escorted onstage, he hams it up as Ruu directs him into the cabinet. Ruu covers the box with his cape, shoots it with a small pistol, then disappears taking his assistant with him. As if with a valve, the life and jovial nature of the Marchenland shuts off abruptly as Ruu's laugh echos over the dying grounds. The clouds darken overhead, ready to pour their lives upon the earth.
After waiting for several minutes, the cast storms the stage. Lum shatters the cabinet with a blast of thunder, only to reveal Ataru -- in the body of a pink hippopotamus. At home, Ataru and his family are lamenting his condition when Sakura and Cherry make their appearance. Through their investigations, they have determined that Ataru's transfomation is the result of a highly potent curse. They cannot tell who created it or why, but they are able to say that this event is only the beginning of the curse's effects. Later that night Ataru and Lum discuss their situation as they look towards an apparently dismal future.
Watching Ataru through the night, Lum recalls the events of her life with Ataru as she watches him sleep. Her vigil is interrupted, however, when she hears a satisfied chortling just outside her window. Looking outside, she sees a smug pierrot hanging in midair, chuckling to itself. The clown greets Lum, but she doesn't recognize it. In response, the pierrot reveals itself to be Ruu, the magician who transformed Ataru. When he refuses to restore Ataru to his original form, Lum chases him through the sky, across town, and ultimately back to the Tomobiki Marchenland. The park grinds to life as they approach, leaving Lum stranded in the shining lights of the nighttime midway as Ruu disappears. He returns several minutes later, and leads Lum deep into the Hall of Mirrors. When the moon rises just above the building, the light pours down, the orb flashes, the mirrors shatter -- and Lum finds herself standing on the fields of Urusei. She watches, bewildered, as a younger duplicate of herself runs merrilly across the horizon; playing with birds, picking fruit, and having a wonderful time. The child turns towards Lum, shows her a beautiful smile, and the words "Lum... do you remember?" echo across the landscape. The fields shatter and Lum plummets headlong into the void. Outside, a strange woman approaches the Hall of Mirrors, but finds that she is too late.
At home, Ataru suddenly wakens and looks into the sky, where he sees a falling star. Having no other option, he proceeds to school in hippo form the next day.
Lum awakens sprawled upon a wooden floor. She is in a small room littered with books and models. There she finds Ruu and his assistant, who reveal their true forms. Ruu is actually an adolescent boy of about ten, and the assistant is his good-for-nothing servant raccoon, O-shima. Ruu goes on to explain that this is the latest step in his plan to break Lum and Ataru apart. When he transformed Ataru, he had hoped that it would change Lum's feelings for him. When that failed, he decided to abduct Lum so Ataru would become disgusted with her. Lum argues with Ruu for a while, then flies out the door, through a hall, and out another door to find herself on the open deck of a sailing ship docked in a crystalline realm. Ruu, coming up behind her, descibes it as "the world beyond the mirror", a place he created with his glass ball. Lum flies away, traveling deep into the mists, only to find herself back at the ship.
Back in Tomobiki, Ataru and company are investigating Lum's disappearance. With Kotatsuneko's help they get as far as the Marchenland, but are unable to find any further leads. After Megane notices how different the park is from its opening day, Sakura hyothesizes that the strange atmosphere of the first day was caused by spillage from another world. Unfortunately, the link to that other realm, whatever it was, appears to have been closed.
Later that evening Ataru gets a visit from Benten and Ran, who take him to Neptune to consult with Oyuki. There they discuss the curse, which they now feel was conferred on Lum alone, but Ataru is no help whatsoever. They hold a teleconference with Lum's parents, who aren't able to do much until Lum's mother remembers something: Shortly after Lum's birth, there was a disgruntled friend who hadn't been invited to the following celebration (due to a postal screwup) and she had threatened to curse the child. So the party goes to visit the Old Woman of the Oak Forest. The hag readily admits that she did curse Lum and then sent it to a management agency to mature. However, when she realized her mistake she promptly cancelled the curse. Since the Old Woman is apparently innocent, Ran suggests that they investigate the management office where the curse orb was sent. After breaking into the offices of the "Milky Way 'Curses-R-Us' Management Organization," they force a clerk to call up Lum's records at gunpoint. According the agency's files, Lum's curse was lost in the mail and so was never activated. To prove his story, the clerk takes them into the room where they store time measurement devices that track the activity of the galaxy's curses. Leading them to the hourglass for Lum's curse, however, reveals that not only has Lum's curse been activated, but that it has become immensely powerful.
In Ruu's realm, O-shima tells Lum more about Ruu's life. It seems that his parents are professional quiz show contestants who spend their lives travelling across the galaxy. As a result, Ruu has been alone for most of his childhood, having only O-shima and his tutor, Lahla, to keep him company. Ruu suddenly appears, cutting O-shima off and denying the story. When Lum asks about the strange glass ball he carries around, he explains how he found it in the junkyard of the Galaxy Mail Service. Shortly thereafter he began to acquire supernatural powers, including time travel. It was during one of these forays into the past that he encountered Lum. She was a small child at the time, and smiled radiantly. Curious, Ruu continued to investigate Lum at various stages of her life. But after Lum met Ataru, that smile disappeared. Hoping to restore it, Ruu then concocted his scheme to separate them.
Back on Earth, having exausted every available option, Benten and the other aliens have decided to suspend their investigation. Since Lum is no longer on Earth, however, they see no further reason to remain, either. Benten takes Ten home on her bike, Oyuki tows away Lum's UFO, and Ran packs up her house-ship. After their departure, Tomobiki settles into the sort of humdrum existance we normally have to put up with. The oddities and events of the past fade away, and a general gloom descends upon the town.
After about a year of this, Ataru (who has recovered his human form by now) is relaxing after a day of girl-hunting when he cuts his finger on a pop can. The stream of blood, like the red string of legend, suddenly triggers his memories of Lum. He is later confronted by Lahla, who explains the situation to him. It seems that Ruu's actions were due to the influence of the curse orb, and that it had caused Ataru and Lum's separation by acting through him. But with Ataru's help, Lahla believes that Lum can be recovered and that Tomobiki can be restored.
Lahla and Ataru race towards Tomobiki Marchenland on her airbike. Enroute, Lahla tells Ataru that in order for her plan to work, he must think only of Lum. Naturally, this is rather tricky for Ataru, but he does his best. After their initial trip through the Hall of Mirrors dumps them in one of Ataru's fantasy harems, they successfully break into Ruu's world. Ruu, who had been trying to move to another realm at the time, vehemently resists until Lahla reveals that Ruu is actually Lum's distant descendant. It seems that in the 300-odd years since its misplacement by the Galaxy Mail Service, the curse's strength matured to an incredible intensity, allowing it to summon Ruu and use him for its aims. Convinced, Ruu is ready to surrender when the orb suddenly breaks away, trapping Lum and Ataru within its energies.
In a final attempt to fulfill itself, the orb runs Ataru and Lum through several different realities, trying to keep them separated. But in each scenario they manage to find each other. With each failure the curse weakens, cracks forming across the orb's surface. In the last scenario, Lum follows the red string linking her to Ataru. To her electrical shame, however, she finds that Ataru has lots of strings attached to his fingers. The orb, far too weak to resist Lum's resulting tantrum, shatters.
Standing in the chaotic void that was once Ruu's hideout, Lahla, Ruu, and O-shima watch the curse collapse into itself. With its destruction comes the fading of its influence, the end of Ruu's mirror world, and most importantly, the abortion of the timeline where Lum disappeared. History is restored to its original path, just as it was before Ruu's interference. Lahla and Ruu take a final look, say farewell, and return to their original timeframe.
It is the day before the Marchenland's grand opening. At Tomobiki High School, everyone is talking about visiting the park or conspiring to take someone there. Everyone's characters and oddities are restored to perhaps three times their normal magnitude, and it doesn't take long for things to get royally out of control. At the height of the chaos Lum exclaims, "Tomorrow let's all go to the Marchenland together!" And they all cheer.
Yatsura 3: Remember my Love