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Exclusive review: Inu-Yasha:
Rumiko Takahashi's (Ranma 1/2, Maison Ikkoku, Mermaid Tales) new hit TV series in Japan
  Rating: PG-13 (Ecchi humor)
  U.S. Distribution Rights: Central Park Media
  Genres: Comedy, Shounen

Urusei Yatsura Movie 2: Beautiful Dreamer (Movie)

Description:    Life is but a dream... Or is it? How do you know if you're awake, or just dreaming that you're awake? This may sound like a silly question -unless you're a student at Tomobiki High School!

Something strange -stranger than usual- is happening at Tomobiki High School, but with wacky classmates like Lum (a beautiful alien princess with a "shocking" personality), Ataru (the lecherous loser she loves), and Mendou (the suave scion of the wealthiest family on Earth) -anything can happen! When Ataru, Lum, Mendou, and the rest of the gang discover that they've been reliving the "day before the School Festival" over and over again, they may be confused - but they aren't suprised! But things are getting worse, and if they don't find a way to break the chain -they'll be trapped forever...

Overall Grade: 90.5% (A-)

The Urusei Yatsura (TV) Review
The Urusei Yatsura Movie 3: Remember My Love (Movie) Review
The Urusei Yatsura Movie: Only You (Movie) Review

  Reviewer #1: Clyde Adams III
  Episodes reviewed: Movie, Subtitled
Grade: 92% (A-)
   Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer is a beautiful, high-quality, comedy fantasy adventure, with great music, highly recommended. It is, in my opinion, the most beautiful Urusei Yatsura movie to look at and to listen to.

It has all the classic Urusei Yatsura slapstick comedy, and all the familiar characters are well portrayed and developed. However, it adds a brooding, serious, dreamlike quality missing from the TV series and the first movie, and it manages to ask some serious questions about time and existence.

The story, with the characters trapped in a dream world, takes some of its inspiration from the Japanese legend of Urashima Taro, who spent more than a century in the Dragon Palace without aging; the characters refer to Urashima explictly.

The film was scripted and directed by Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell, both Patlabor movies), whom we probably have to thank for some of the serious, thoughtful touches.

  Reviewer #2: Roman Martel
  Episodes reviewed: Movie, Subtitled/Dubbed
Grade: 89% (B+)
   Beautiful Dreamer turned out to be a pleasant surprise for me. I didn't know much about UY when I first saw it but I was intrigued by the story and the direction. Once you know a little about the characters then the whole movie is very entertaining.

The animation is very well done for a show of this age. It's fluid and has some wonderful artwork in it. If you are familiar with Rumiko's work (Ranma 1/2, and Maison Ikokku) then you will know what to expect. What really makes this movie is the direction and the mood setting animation. This is a dark looking film with some wonderful dream-like elements to it. If you've seen Director Mamoru Oshii's work before (Ghost in the Shell), then you can definitely see the influence here in this earlier work. Combining the dreamlike images with some creative sound design helps further the story and the pull the viewer in.

The story is very well thought out and executed. This movie gets better with each viewing and the Japanese voice cast does a very good job with the script. I'd avoid the dub of this film. It is not very good at all, and has been known to cause severe pain.

Most of the score does well in supporting the film and adds to some of the eerie moments and to the comedic moments equally. The end theme is appropriately catchy and light.

All in all this film is very well done and worth seeing. If you are not familiar with UY, you will probably get lost, but if you do some research or check out a few volumes of the show first, you should have no problem enjoying this entertaining show.

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