(the final chapter)
Premiere: February 6, 1988
From the shadow of the moon it approaches, a great UFO in the shape of a tree fungus. Within, its crew scurries about in muted anticipation of the events to come, while at the center of the bridge, a single cloaked figure stares at a locket, and the image of the girl that he soon would wed. The UFO continues steadily towards the Earth.
It's a bright summer's day on Urusei, one which young Lum is enjoying to the fullest. Hopping from one giant dandilion to another, the six-year-old alien is having a wonderful time, until she is suddenly confronted by a strange, cloaked being. The froggish stranger asks if Lum lives in the house standing nearby, and is delighted to find that she is indeed a member of that family. Before he leaves, he promises to come get her when she grows up... The stranger's words echo in Lum's mind. Standing in darkness, she suddenly feels a hand clamp down on her shoulder, and cuts loose with a burst of electricity.
Onsenmark becomes somewhat charred for waking Lum from her classroom nap, but isn't permanently damaged.
Lum tries to talk to Ataru about her dream on the walk home, but as usual, he's more interested in chasing skirts. During his girl hunt he runs into Sakura, and who becomes concerned about ill fortune when several bad omens occur one after the other.
Aboard her UFO, Lum is discussing the events of the day with Ten when she recieves a call from her father. It seems that Lum's great-grandfather, whose sleeping body had been misplaced years ago, has been found and wants to see his great-grandchild. Lum agrees to return home immediately.
In Sakura's shrine, Sakura, Cherry, and Ataru consult Sakura's crystal ball. It takes a bit of encouragement, but eventually reveals that, by some means or fate, Lum would soon be taken into Darkness. Sakura and Cherry advise Ataru to keep Lum away from the Dark. Trying to interpret this on his way home, Ataru suddenly remembers Lum's dream. He runs home as fast as he can, but Lum has already left.
In the Invader residence on Urusei, Lum's father awaits her arrival and talks with Lum's great-grandfather. This is somewhat difficult for Mr. Invader, since Lum's great-grandfather has become rather senile. However, when Lum arrives and her great-grandfather realizes that she's a girl, he becomes extremely distressed and begins to panic. He is, however, unable to explain why until the cloaked frog from Lum's dream appears. This jogs the old man's memory and he begins to explain the problem.
120 years ago, Lum's great-grandfather was travelling and collapsed by the roadside from starvation. It was there that he met and lost a game of "Mushroom Roulette" to the frog-man. In exchange for an antidote, he promised to give his daughter to the frog in marriage. The grandfather felt he had nothing to lose by this promise, since he had no daughters. The frog, angered when he discovered how he had been tricked, swore that he would claim his bride as soon as a girl was born to the family.
And so after 120 years of waiting, the frog-man has finally returned to pick Lum up. Since he is far too old for her, the frog claims Lum as the bride for his great-grandson. The Invaders throw him out with the garbage.
The next day, class at Tomobiki High is interrupted when a chariot pulled by flying pigs crashes through the wall, knocking its driver out cold. The pilot, Rupa, recalls the day years ago when his great-grandfather (the frog) gave him a locket with a photo of a beautiful girl inside, and told him that she would be his bride one day. Rupa awakens to find Sakura standing over him. Mistaking her for Lum, he introduces himself, grabs Sakura, and tries to get her to leave with him. Ataru and Mendo beat up Rupa until the real Lum arrives. Rupa forces a strange ring onto Lum's hand and then departs, smashing his way through another wall on his way out. Much to Lum's fustration she finds that no matter how much she tries, she is unable to remove the ring.
Aboard the fungus UFO, Rupa's great-grandfather explains the nature of the ring. It seems that when an Oni becomes an adult, its horns fall out and adult ones grow in. The grandfather therefore put a growth-acceleration mushroom in the ring, so Lum's horns would fall out and disable her powers.
On the way to school the next day, Lum and Ataru argue and become separated. Lum then encounters Rupa and tries to shock him, but is caught off-guard when her horns fall out. Rupa then knocks her out with a gas mushroom and makes off with her. Ataru arrives just in time to see Rupa's chariot fly away with Lum inside.
On Urusei, Lum's parents recieve a recorded message from Rupa's great-grandfather, boasting of his victory. In response, Invader calls out the army, planning to rescue Lum. This attempt is cut short, however, when Rupa's betrothal gift arrives and overruns the planet.
On Earth, Ataru tries to mount a rescue mission of his own by bartering with Mendo, and is then joined by Benten and Oyuki, who have lost contact with Lum's planet. With the aid of Oyuki's business records, the group "borrows" Ran's ship and heads for The World of Darkness, Rupa's home. Things go well until their ship collides with a smaller UFO enroute.
Everyone in the rescue team except Ataru is capured immediately after their arrival in the shadowy, mushroom-infested world where Lum is being held. When Rupa notices the smaller UFO that collided with Ran's ship, he becomes very nervous and decides to hold the wedding ASAP. Elsewhere, Ataru encounters Carla, the pilot of the other UFO and Rupa's would-be bride. Furious over Rupa's upcoming marriage, she recruits Ataru at bazookapoint and decides to crash the wedding by posing as another engaged couple.
At the palace, Rupa's staff has finally managed to get Lum into her wedding gown. Rupa's great-grandfather also creates a mushroom clone of her in case things go awry. Lum continues to resist as Rupa drags her to the altar, when Carla and Ataru break in. Carla starts blowing things up and during the explosions Rupa switches Lum with the clone. Rupa tells Carla and Ataru to leave them alone, using the clone to fool them into thinking that Lum wants to stay. When this leads to an angry confrontation between Rupa and Carla, Carla starts rapid-firing from her bazooka, trying to do as much damage as possible. Lum is freed in the process, but Ataru, confused and hurt, rejects her. A chase through the church tower ensues, with Rupa and Ataru running for their lives with Carla and Lum right behind, blowing up the staircases as they go.
The rest of the rescue party escapes from their holding cell and heads for the tower on Benten's bike. On the roof, Rupa and Ataru are cornered by Carla, who still hasn't run out of ammo. Rupa's great-grandfather tries to intervene from his blimp overhead, but is foiled when Mendo slashes the rope-ladder. As a result, Lum and Ataru fall off the roof, arguing as they go. Benten tries to save them but is too late. Fortunately Lum's anger, coupled with the regrowth of her horns, is enough to restore her powers. After releasing her greatest electrical spike ever, she flies back to the roof and asks Rupa to let her stay in the World of Darkness. Carla, who has been arguing with Rupa, elects to return to Earth with Ataru.
The gang tries to talk Lum and Ataru into reconciling, but both are too stubborn to relent until the other apologizes. The rescue party leaves without Lum.
On Earth, Shinobu is finally having tea with Inaba, who has only just completed repairing the damage from his first encounter (see Inaba the Dreammaker). Shinobu explains the current situation to him and, after Cherry interrupts, goes with him to Sakura's shrine. While they stare at Sakura's crystal ball, the image of Lum is replaced with one of the Earth being engulfed by darkness. They then proceed to the Moroboshi residence to discuss matters with the rescue party over dinner.
In the World of Darkness, Lum and Rupa discuss the situation while they walk. Rupa tells Lum that Carla wasn't always so violent, but after he made the mistake of showing Carla his locket and telling her of his engagement, she went berserk. Rupa admits that though he does have feelings for Carla, he hates her violent nature. Besides, in light of the current situation, he doesn't really have much choice.
Dinner's almost over at the Moroboshi house. Ran, seeking more food for Rei, notices some mushrooms that they tracked back from the World of Darkness and plops them in the nabe. Unfortunately, these mushrooms grow to huge proportions when exposed to light or heat. They explode outward from the nabe pot and through the walls of the house.
The gigantic mushrooms quickly overrun the town, engulfing it in darkness and a haze of spores. After some pestering, Carla consents to call Rupa for help, but only makes things worse as an argument ensues between Carla, Rupa, Lum, and Ataru. Lum refuses to help in any way unless Ataru admits that he loves her. Ataru, hurt, fustrated, and stubborn, replies, "I HATE YOUR GUTS!" and is buried in garbage by the rest of the cast.
The mushrooms, unimpeded, continue to multiply. Ran calculates they will engulf the Earth in ten days unless something is done. Suddenly, a flock of flying pigs descends from the sky and eats up a patch of the mushrooms. This demonstration is followed by a message from Rupa and Lum. Lum challenges Ataru to a tag race. If Ataru can catch her within ten days, then Rupa will send his pigs to clear away all the mushrooms. Lum emphasizes the gravity of the situation and says the only way she will allow Ataru to win is if he says he loves her. Ataru adamantly refuses.
The race begins the next day, and despite Lum's handicap of not flying above the mushrooms, it quickly becomes clear that there is no way for Ataru to catch her. Further, she resists his attempts at trickery, ignoring him when he chases girls and frying him when he insults her.
On Urusei, Rupa's great-grandfather talks with Lum's parents while Rupa's pigs chew up the mushrooms he used to stop the Invaders' military. The grandfather agrees to nullify Lum and Rupa's engagement and delivers a message that shocks Lum's father.
Six days pass as Ataru futily tries to catch Lum when Invader arrives. After consulting with Lum's father, Benten and Oyuki tell the gang that Lum has decided to erase everyone's memories of her and the other aliens if Ataru doesn't admit that he loves her. Ataru and Lum, who have both been evesdropping during the conference, suddenly emerge and start arguing. Ataru, furious with Lum, dares her to erase the memories, to which she angrily agrees.
Aboard the Invaders' cruiser, Benten tries to talk Lum out of using the memory-erasing device. In the end, she threatens to end their relationship if Lum uses the eraser, slamming her hands onto a table in her anger. Unfortunately, the table turns out to be the activation switch for the eraser, which is deployed from the main spacecraft.
Fortunately, the device's timer isn't set to go off until the tenth day. Since Ataru still refuses to give in, the others try to stop the eraser. Mendo wants to destroy the device, but Ten insists that the only way to stop it is by hitting its deactivation switch with a baseball. But try as they might, no one is able to hit the target. Further, the eraser's defensive systems are perfectly capable of repelling any physical attack. The countdown cannot be stopped.
As the seventh day draws to a close, Carla marvels at Ataru's stubbornness. Then Rupa appears, and tells her that if Ataru doesn't pass the test, he won't take care of the Earth's mushrooms... unless Carla agrees to return, that is. Unless Carla agrees to marry him. Carla misunderstands at first, but once it sinks in she embraces Rupa and starts crying.
At the end of the ninth day, everyone prepares for the worst. Ten, hovering over Ataru's bed, says a angry goodbye through his tears. It is only after he leaves that we see that Ataru was awake at the time.
The tenth day is no more productive than any of its predecessors, with Ataru running himself to the point of exaustion. Watching the race from their tent, Sakura and the others say farewell to their alien friends, for as long as they can remember them.
As the sun sets, the race comes to Tomobiki High School. Lum flies to the roof with Ataru wearily trailing behind her. Knowing he cannot win, Ataru vows never to forget. Reviewing his life with Lum, and the times they have shared, her vows never to forget. Standing before her, the moments fading, he shouts out, "I'LL NEVER FORGET...! ...you, Lum..." and collapses, Lum's old horns (which he had kept since she was first kidnapped) dropping from his fist. Lum, stunned and touched by this unspoken proof of his love, embraces him and brings his weary hand to her horns.
And so it ends. The memory-erasing device crashes to earth, stopped at the last possible second. Rupa, with Carla in tow, rides into the sunset as his pigs feast on the mushroom plague. Lum's parents, watching from their ship, smile at each other and leave orbit.
And yet all of this, the mushrooms, the destruction, the danger to Earth, and the possible erasure of Tomobiki's history, were all wrought by Ataru and Lum's stubborn refusal to admit their true feelings. And they still haven't! Enraged that they would sacrifice everything before giving in, the townspeople chase Ataru and Lum down the street. As the two look at each other, with death (or at least serious bodily injury) only inches behind, they smile. Everything is as it should be.
Lum promises, "Even if it takes a lifetime, I'll make you say it."
Ataru returns, "I'll say it on my deathbed!"
Time will tell.
Yatsura Kanketu-hen (the Final Chapter)