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New Urusei Yatsura TV Anime Lands in 2022

Rumiko Takahashi is one of the most successful manga artists in history. Newer manga and anime fans may not be quite as aware of her work, but throughout the 1980s into the early 2000s her series such as Ranma 1/2,  InuYasha and Maison Ikkoku were hugely successful both in manga and anime form, making Takahashi one of the richest women in Japan.

In 2020 InuYasha got a sequel anime series Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon, which is now airing its second season.  Now, in a surprising move a new adaptation has been announced of Takahashi's breakout hit, Urusei Yatsura- usually translated as 'Those Obnoxious Aliens'.

One of the most popular anime and manga of the 80s Urusei Yatsura is a quirky sci-fi comedy about hapless teen Ataru who winds up accidentally engaged to a feisty green-haired, tigerskin bikini-wearing alien princess Lum. From then on, Ataru's life is full of unexpected space visitors and wacky adventures, when all he really wants is to win back his highschool sweeteheart Shinobu. The series was the most iconic 'magical girlfriend' show, which went on to become a successful genre through the 80s and 90s. 

The manga ran for 34 volumes between 1978 and 1987, while the original TV series ran for 195 episodes as well as spinning off several feature films and OAVs. The first 100 or so episodes and the first two films were directed by future Ghost In The Shell helmer Mamoru Oshii. Despite the huge popularity of the series in its homeland, Urusei Yatsura was never as successful in English as Takahashi's later gender-bending martial arts romcom Ranma 1/2.  

One possible reason might have been that the series was never fully dubbed. Only the movies and a couple of episodes were ever released dubbed in the US. Two episodes also aired under the title Lum The Invader Girl in the UK on BBC Choice's Japan TV Night with a semi-improvised dub featuring Matt Lucas, Anna Friel and Laren Laverne.

The original manga has never been fully published in English before, but Viz began issuing 2-in-1 volumes starting in 2019, and has published 12 volumes to date.  Discotek Media has been reissuing the movies on Blu-ray and DVD.

A first trailer for the new anime has been released.

The new series will be produced by David Production and has been announced that it will run for at least four seasons (or 'cours' as they are known in Japan), although they won't necessarily concurrently. The first season will air sometime in 2022. The series will be directed by Hideya Takahashi and Yasuhiro Kimura with Yuuko Kakihara overseeing the scripts and Naoyuki Asano contributing character designs.

The series will air as part of Fuji TV's Noitamina block, to mark the 100th anniversary of Japanese publisher Shogakukan. Takahashi produced a new sketch to celebrate the news.