While performing in a student film, Ataru cuts down Tarozakura, a large, ancient cherry tree. Strange things begin to happen all across Tomobiki: a mountain appears out of nowhere, spring changes to winter, and Lum loses her powers, while those around her act as if she doesn't exist.
After Oshii Mamoru, Urusei Yatsura had never been able to recreate the charm of Beautiful Dreamer. The main series, other films/OVAs and the original manga all fall short to the titan of a film if compared in terms of direction, depth and creativity. But none have tried harder than Lum the Forever.
Lum the Forever is a carnival of fantastic imagery that bombards the senses with one nonsensical plot after another. There is just one thing missing: consistency. The lack of directing talent is quite apparent as there is a obvious lack of structure and meaningful material to piece anything together in a coherent way. Consistency is surprisingly important when making a film with a focus on powerful imagery and esoteric storytelling, as a consistent anchor of some kind is the major driving force behind interpretation.
Of course, there are the positives. The animation is very much the height of art in Urusei Yatsura, featuring many elaborate sequences that take place in a variety of locations. While the film itself may be a chaotic mess, the fact that it is animated so well adds a strange charm to the disorder. While overall lacking in consistency and structure, one can perhaps find some meaning in the fact that the release of the film coincided with the close of the TV series.
At the end of the day, the film is mostly but a minor copy of Beautiful Dreamer: though they may not share the same ideas, Lum the Forever is a structural mimic of the film, and an unsuccessful one at that. But a failure that strived to be more is more meaningful than the average piece of junk, and one could walk away from the film with mixed emotions but a general feeling of appreciation.
Reviewed by weird_beard6 / 10
Not great, but not for the reasons everyone else says
Movie 2, subtitled Beautiful Dreamer is rightly hailed as being a thought provoking, existential entry into the Urusei Yatsura franchise. Viewers are often left to determine the meaning of large portions of the film on their own.
The same is certainly true for the fourth film, Lum the Forever. Then why does it fall short of Dreamer? Certainly parts of the film could be clearer, like actually explaining what the legend of the oni was.
But the main reason the film falls short is that the film breaks away from the thought provoking imagery during the last reel so that Mendo can wage a totally pointless war in an attempt to force the plot to resolve itself. Pointless not only because it's pretty similar to every other overlong battle in the series, but also because in the meantime the plot resolves itself without their help, or the viewer getting to care about what the plot was.
You know the scene in A Very Brady Christmas where Mike is trapped in a building, hears everyone singing, and finds the resolve to get out? Imagine that scene without the singing, or anyone actually knowing he was trapped in the building for that matter, and you pretty much have the end of the film.
Reviewed by GreyFox378 / 10
the weirdest of the six
ok, this one confused me more than any other anime, even kite. for example, i didn't know lum could talk to birds. in the beginning, things are going good, makin a movie, shoppin, a nice false front (big trouble in little china is where i got the line), but then, there are the birds, the losing of the powers, the strange voices, the dreams, and the entities. let's just say, you'll need a deep psychological and philisophical understanding to watch this one. overall, its ok, but you'll have to watch it five or six times to grasp it.