Urusei Yatsura – 16 – Ryuunosuke-chan Is a Girl!

Ataru, Lum, Shinobu and Mendou head to the beach, but the waves are too hazardous to swim, and all the beach shacks are closed. What they do find is an extremely spirited and energetic father-son duo telling the waves to screw off, then darting away before they get hit. When the son messes up the timing, the dad punches him, he punches back, and they just start brawling.

Turns out they’re hating on the ocean because it’s killing their business right now. As our guys have lunch at their café, they learn the boy’s name is Fujinami Ryuunosuke. His dad has groomed him to take over the family business when he’s gone, even though Ryuunosuke doesn’t want to. Oh, also? Ryuunosuke is a woman. Ataru and Mendou were ready to peace out until they heard her say this, then they’re all-in to help her out.

The best way to do that is to keep Ryuunosuke and her dad from whaling on one another, so after they knock each other out, Ataru, Lum, Shinobu and Mendou literally chain them to the pillars of the shack so they have to use their words. That doesn’t work out so well, as the two Fujinamis are so strong they snap the wooden pillars and bring the whole café down, then start using their chains as weapons.

Because there’s no such thing as a coincidence too farfetched on ol’ Urusei Yatsura, Ryuunosuke’s dad takes over the school store…at Ataru and Lum’s school. This means Ryuu is transferring there. Her dream since childhood is to wear a beautiful sailor fuku, and her dad agrees to let her…if he can beat her. Ataru is so excited he hugs Ryuu, leaving her open to be easily defeated by her dad.

Despite clearly stating she’s a girl when she introduces herself, Ryuunosuke becomes the new toast of the class, and all the girls fall for her, leaving Ataru, Mendou, and the other boys eager to make her more feminine. They beat up her dad and purchase a sailor fuku, but while she’s genuinely happy to see it, she’d rather beat her dad on her own before she wears it.

She also wants to learn more about what it means to act like and carry oneself like a woman, and in Ran she finds a muse. But while she just wants to befriend Ran and learn from her, Ran mistakes her letter for a love letter, and when Lum says Ryuu is a girl, Ran assumes Lum is trying to sabotage her love live as usual. To stick it to Lum, Ran agrees to go on a date with Ryuu, who is amazed how long it takes Ran to run to the school gate to meet her.

Naturally, Ataru cannot allow anyone to have Ryuu or Ran, so he shadows their date with Lum in tow (who apparently is content to get a quasi-date with the distracted Ataru out of it). Of course, Ran thinks it’s Lum who is following her and Ryuu so she can meddle. When Ran cuddles up to Ryuu on their boat ride, Ataru can’t abide it, and launches himself like a missile and causing both boats to capsize.

By day’s end, Ryuu observes “Dark Ran” laying into Lum and feels she has a long way to go to understand the complex secrets to being a woman. I thoroughly enjoyed the introduction of Ryuunosuke (and Takagaki Ayahi’s voice performance) and can name her among my favorite Urusei Yatsura characters after just one episode. She paved the way for characters like Tomo-chan.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Author: sesameacrylic

Zane Kalish is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

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