Lum-A-Day 072 – Lum-chan the Ruthless Rebel

I’d forgotten how much I love this episode.

The gang are making a film at school, but after two days filming producer/director Ataru has spent all the money. Mostly on food for the crew. So they go to Mendou and promise him a role opposite Lum. When he asks what the film is about, Ataru replies, “What are all films about? Love!”. Leading Mendou to get the following scene in his head:

However the reality is somewhat different, for the film is about a young woman’s descent into delinquency and how she drags those around her into her world. Shinobu and Ryuu are similarly roped in. Shinobu turns out to be a terrible actress until she veers off script and gets into a fight with Lum. Ryuu at first doesn’t want to take part, because her father forbade her from watching movies, and told her that people who appear in them are arrested by the police. However Ataru promises her that she can be feminine if she acts in it. However, she gets carried away in her scene and ends up beating up the entire cast and crew.

Finally the film is complete and the cast and crew have a screening. They are appalled to see that Ataru has edited it so that he is the hero, a Mr Hanawa-style teacher who convinces them to leave their delinquent lives behind and embrace their youth. The rest of the gang are appalled, partly at the film, partly at their own inability to have seen what was happening during the filming. Shinobu destroys the projector and they forbid Ataru to show the film to the class.

However, the class want to know what happened to the money they gave Ataru to make the film, so he blames Mendou for not letting them see the film. They hold Mendou back, and Lum brings in a new projector. However the projector is an alien one, not exactly compatible with Earth films or electric sockets. Lum attempts to correct it with a mallet, and after promising Ataru that it won’t blow up, it blows up.

Soon the characters from the film are running around in the corridors of the school. When the bullies of Sanrinboo School (see episode 66) appear at the school gates, the delinquent versions of Lum, Shinobu, Mendou, Ryuu and Perm go to deal with them. Then the teacher Ataru appears, and pleased that they love their school they all ride bicycles to the mountain!

Getting a group of familiar to film something is a reliable comedy stand-by, and this is a fine execution of the idea, spiced up by the UY gag of alien technology not working correctly on Earth. It’s helped by strong animation across the board on the episode. Outside of some of the Oshii episodes, this may have the highest average in terms of animation consistency throughout an episode.

No shiny hair for Mendou this episode, so I’m thinking it’s an individual animator’s choice, rather than a director or animation director’s choice.

Screenplay: Kazunori Ito
Storyboard: Kozima Tamiko
Director: Osamu Sekita
Animation Director: Asami Endo