Movie review: Urusei Yatsura Movie 2: Beautiful Dreamer (1984)

First of all, I can't quite remember how this movie was recommended to me. I seem to believe that it was referred to on a forum, where people were mentioning what movies they had seen, one of whom mentioned Waking Life.

I bookmarked the wiki entry, and let it pass for a couple of days. When I decided to try out Netflix, I figured now was a good time to try it out. And I must say, it was a great way to start out.

According to Netflix,

In this second feature from the Urusei Yatsura series, Ataru and his alien-princess girlfriend, Lum, prepare to enjoy the annual carnival at Tomobiki High School with their friends. But they soon get a funny feeling that they're living the same day over and over again. Just when they think they have the mystery solved, they end up back where they started. Will the teens ever wake up from their twisted nightmare?

What really interested me was the idea of reality turning out to be merely a dream. Again, Waking Life. Without attempting to spoil the movie, which I may do, I was expecting the movie to move in one direction. Namely that the day would really keep repeating itself. However, we actually enter in after time has begun to repeat itself (I think). The beginning is a little weird, because you don't really know what's been going on for the last two days. There's also a snippet at the beginning which doesn't make sense until later on.

In addition, at the end of the movie, there's something of a lingering question. Exactly how have things ended?

The animation is great, but definitely shows it's age. However, I wouldn't consider that a bad thing at all. (But then, I like watching movies where you can see the use of older technology.) There were a number of shots that I thought were absolutely, and utterly, well drawn. Japanese voice acting was good, and since I did not listen to the English track, I can make no comments on it.

All-in-all, I'd watch this movie again, and would even purchase it. The ideas presented are not unique, and have been used over and over again. However, the way that they are presented gives the movie a very unique feel. I would also consider watching this movie with people interested in the ideas that this movie presents. This movie is not for everyone, but could be watched by anyone - I think the sometimes complex dialogue would be the only thing that would turn people off.

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Watched with Japanese with English Subtitles on September 28, 2006 (via Netflix).
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)
Rewatchability: High
Dialogue: High
Style/feel: High
Pace: Perfect
Enjoyability: High
Plot: High

Rated: NR
1 hr 30 min
1984
Watched with Japanese with English Subtitles

Movies that could be considered similar: Brazil, Vanilla Sky, Waking Life.

Want to see what else I've watched through Netflix? Check out the list, and my attempt to track Netflix shipping for Madison WI.