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I love how even back in the 1980s, Urusei Yatsura is already taking the childhood rival trope and cranking it up to eleven. The premise of this episode is arguably one of the simplest ones that we’ve seen so far, with Lum’s childhood friend Ran visiting earth as a transfer student just so that she can steal away Ataru out of spite. I like how the backstory revolving around these two seemingly leads into the teaser we got at the end of this episode, where it looks like a key figure in Lum’s past and subject of Ran’s anger will be making an appearance. It would be pretty cool if this ends up being a well-disguised two-parter, but Episode 8 does stand well enough on its own even if that doesn’t end up happening.

It just makes sense that Lum would end up officially transferring to Ataru’s school. If anything, that feels like such an obvious story beat that I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner, and I needed to remind myself that she hadn’t actually already been a student prior to this point since she stuck around so closely with the class already. I also feel like dialogue was emphasized a lot more in this episode compared to previous ones, particularly with Ran’s accent and how she seems to code-switch for the sake of appearances. Kudos to the localization team for the subtitles of this episode because I really do think that helped with the immersion factor. This isn’t the first time we’ve had an episode involving someone from Lum’s past, but the difference this time is that Lum is also the direct focus of the episode, and I liked seeing her actually battle it out with somebody more directly. I honestly wouldn’t mind more episodes like this going forward, because I do think there is a lot of charm in Lum’s character that can be shown in a variety of different circumstances when she’s not just hovering in the background.


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