Lum

"Omatase! uchi Ramu datcha"
(Sorry to keep you waiting! I'm Lum)

Lum is a girl who's irrevocably in love with that lecherous and luckless lout Ataru Moroboshi. One could argue that no one normal could love such a man but then again, Lum is not your ordinary teenage girl.

Lum is the alien daughter of an powerful space warlord, and more specifically she's an Oni. In ancient Japanese mythology, oni were evil ogre-like demons often depicted with horns and wearing tiger-striped loin cloths that were born of mankind's negative karma. Lum's race is an alien version of the same demons (Or perhaps she's a product of Ataru's bad karma). Lum can usually be seen wearing her tiger-striped bikini outfit which always turns heads, especially in a conformist Japanese society. She has the power to fly and can produce high-voltage electricity. She uses these alien powers to keep Ataru from flirting. But that is always a vain attempt since he goes ahead and does it anyway.

Lum is a vivacious and uninhibited extraterrestrial. She's full of sex-appeal, glamour and feminine charm. An honest and caring girl who isn't afraid to express her feelings. A firm believer in standing by your man (even if her man hardly ever stands by her). But she has another more frightening side to her. Lum has a very bad temper, and an extremely jealous nature. Her response to these feelings of anger are usually in the form of a massive electrical zapping (or sometimes attacking with huge wooden hammers). Also Lum is very stubborn. When she sets her mind on something, she doesn't let it go. Even though Lum is quick to anger, she never stays like that for long. Most of the time she's very vibrant and carefree.

Her speech patterns come from an unusual dialect. She says "uchi" when referring to herself and almost always uses "-tcha" as a verb ending (listen for it, it comes up A LOT). Her speech is patterned after a very cute saccarine-laden style used in Japan by young girls who are trying to be cute, almost sickeningly so.

With her exotic alien beauty and cute pop-idol attitude, she's really popular with the boys. Any one of her male classmates would kill for a date with her. Even so, she is completely devoted to Ataru. She thinks of him as her husband and refers to him only as "Darling".

Lum follows Ataru everywhere he goes. Eventually Lum wanted to be with Ataru as much as possible so she enrolled herself as a student at Tomobiki High School in the same class as Ataru. Further impeding on Ataru's bachelorhood. Her Darling keeps running from her, but Lum knows that deep down, he really does love her. She just wishes he'd show it more often.

Being of an advanced alien race, Lum is always bringing out peculiar alien technology. Shrinking rays, time traveling machines, portal openers, cloning guns and much more. Many more absurd gadgets she keeps in her bikini top. Lum's UFO which hovers over earth is filled with technological wonders which are often more troublesome than they are beneficial to earth culture. Often Lum will use her advantages in technology to try to control Ataru or make him more faithful to her, but it usually ends up causing more damage.

Lum is fairly intelligent but still very naive to earth's customs. Therefore she often misunderstands what people say, always with catastrophic results. One consequence of this was that she thought that Ataru proposed to her, when he never did. Also she thought it meant instant marriage. It wasn't until later when she realized that she would have to have a proper ceremony. But often Ataru has found that he could exploit her naiveté as well as her love for him to suit his purposes.

Lum is many things. The one thing Lum is not, is a good cook. Not only because she has a penchant for painfully spicy food but mostly because her strange alien food doesn't go over too well with earth creatures. Often her Oni cuisine has disfiguring effects. This is something Ataru has learned the hard way.

It is often speculated that Lum's mere presence in Tomobiki has warped and altered the town and that's why weird things keep happening there. Because of this, the fates of the people and situations that occur daily in Tomobiki seem intertwined with her existence. If she was ever to leave, all of the weirdness would stop and life would resume to normal.


A mini
Agnes Lum gallery

Notes about the name

Lum's name, character and...ahem, proportions were mostly based upon Agnes Lum, a Sino-American bikini supermodel who was popular in Japan during the mid-1970's. She was well known as a spokesperson appearing in many TV commercials, usually wearing bikinis. She came to symbolize the ideal of feminine beauty of 70's Japan much like Namie Amuro did in the late 90's or Ayumi Hamasaki does for today's Japan, causing many women to hope to emulate her tanned and voluptuous look. Much healthier looking than the emaciated look that has become the ideal of today's Japan. She since settled down in Hawaii got married and has raised a family, but she still makes apperances from time to time. Even though her heyday was over 25 years ago, In Japan, her old photobooks still sell pretty well among the newer idol books.

Long before Tomobiki-cho was around, it was commonly believed among the North American UY fan community that Agnes Lum was a pop-singer from Hong Kong since that what a well-circulated interview with Takahashi had claimed. But evidence suggests that Takahashi might have been misquoted or mistranslated. True in her later years Miss Lum had released a few albums, she was never famous for being a singer, nor was she from Hong Kong. Chances are that someone may have confused her with Agnes Chan. All evidence points to the lovely lady in the pictures above. She certainly looks the part, doesn't she?

It has also been noted in articles about Miss Takahashi that while growing up, she'd often shorten her name and write it down as "Rum" or "Lum" due to the interchangeability of the letters "R" and "L" to the Japanese ear. It's true that Takahashi views Lum as her less inhibited alter-ego. So in a way the character of Lum is also based somewhat on Rumiko Takahashi herself.

Voice: Fumi Hirano

Lum's voice is performed by Fumi Hirano, who is very good at what she does. She can sound adorably cute and sweet, sly and witty, or nagging and angry. She's the perfect voice for Lum. Fumi hasn't done too many other famous anime, the only ones that come to mind are Princess Kahm from Outlanders and Rouge from the Final Fantasy OVAs.


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