Lum-A-Day 011 – Ataru Genji Goes To The Heian Capital

In strange bit of fourth wall breaking, Mendou Shutaro appears and announces he will be a regular character soon, and that he is only appearing now because it’s a New Year’s special.

And with that the episode turns into a parody of period drama, and specifically a parody of “The Tale of Genji”.

The set up is that various characters are recast in roles from “The Tale of Genji”, while Lum and Ten are themselves travelling from the future in search of Ataru.

Lum mistakes Genji for Ataru (as he looks and acts just like him) and beams him up onto her UFO. Then another UFO appears and captures the three of them. These are Earth Oni from even further in the future who have been kidnapping children in search of Momotaro.

They keep Genji hostage, and will only turn him over if the townsfolk present them with Momotaro. Lum tries to convince Mendou to fight the Oni instead of turning over a child, but to no avail.

After the commercial break they find Momotaro, a bottle lens glasses wearing heart-throb, and self proclaimed “Japan’s No. 1”. He agrees to fight the Oni, and instantly loses, causing the Oni to take over the capital.

Genji betrays mankind and becomes a minister in the Oni’s new government. In order to put the timeline right, Lum has Ten set a time bomb in their ship. Meanwhile Mendou and the Heian Defence Force attack the Oni and Genji. This leads to the Oni calling in the very ship Ten is on for back up. Shinobu tries to run Genji through with a naginata, and then the Oni spaceship blows up.

Leading to… another timeslip (see episode 8’s “That Crazy Age Of Dinosaurs”), and all the Heian era incarnations run into their future selves…

More on Shutaro Mendou in episode 14, but in the meantime let’s talk about his voice actor, the almighty Akira Kamiya. The most in-demand male voice actor in the 80s? Probably. He was male voice actor of the year in Animage for 8/10 years during that decade (losing once to fellow UY actor Toshio Furukawa and once to Kazuki Yao).

He was Babel in Babel II, Ryo in Getter Robo, Akira Hibiki in Yuusha Raideen, Kenshiro in Fist of the North Star, Ryo Saeba in City Hunter, Kinnikuman in Kinnikuman, Roy Focker in Macross and today his highest profile role is Kogoro Mouri in Detective Conan. That’s just scratching the surface though.

This is the second episode written by Shusuke Kaneko. Both stories are story boarded and directed by Kozima Tamiko. Hayao Nobe is the animation director.