Reviews

The Return of Lum
(Graphic Novel, published by VIZ)
Note: this edition is out of print but still available from Viz.com

Review by Jesse Hausler

Rating:

After the 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 history.

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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