Hope you folks are enjoying the summer! Currently here in Toronto, we're enjoying another long weekend with today being Simcoe Day. I got together with my anime buddy yesterday for the first time in 3 weeks so it was good to get together again. The usual case is that we watch the latest batch of anime, but as part of the lineup on Sunday, my friend also wanted to show me an oldie-but-goodie, "Urusei Yatsura 2: Beautiful Dreamer"（うる星やつら2： ビューティフル・ドリーマー）.
I had never seen a full episode of the long-running TV series nor any of the movies before yesterday, but even I knew about the character of Lum, one of the most iconic characters in history. At the annual FanExpo, I've always remarked that it wouldn't be a FanExpo without seeing a Sailor Moon walking around. I can guess that at the San Diego ComiCon, it wouldn't be a ComiCon without catching a Lum traipsing around.
Anyhow, my peripheral knowledge of the show by Rumiko Takahashi（高橋留美子）is that the show had the usual goofy hijinks involving the characters. However, my good friend informed me that the second movie was quite different in terms of tone and plot. And he was quite right. The nutso humour was still there but as the movie proceeded, it started to creep more and more into Christopher Nolan territory which I was surprised about. I read later on that the movie was rather polarizing with a number of Japanese fans complaining about the sudden seriousness (relatively speaking), although it has been regarded favourably by English-speaking fans.
As for me, I was just suddenly thrust into the world of "Urusei Yatsura" so I didn't have all that background of the TV series to color my opinions of "Beautiful Dreamer". But I did pick up on the fact that all of the characters who had reveled in goofiness were now put into a suspense-mystery of sorts. Speaking of the characters, I actually enjoyed the camaraderie among them; they might scream at each other at the drop of a hat but these are still people who will stick with each other to the utmost.
At the end of the movie, the theme song for "Beautiful Dreamer" came on, "Ai wa Boomerang" (Love is a Boomerang) by Yuko Matsutani（松谷祐子）. It didn't have quite the effect on me that another theme for a later "Urusei Yatsura" flick had, but it pressed that nostalgia button when it came to anison of the 1980s which seemed to pay tribute to the soundtrack for "Flashdance". The lyrics were by veteran Yoshiko Miura（三浦徳子）and the music was by Ryo Matsuda（松田良）. It was released in January 1984 about a month before the movie's debut in theatres, and it got as high as No. 34 on the Oricon weeklies.