Thursday, October 15, 2009

Lum


I won't go into details now, but for a comic book character, Lum had a profound impact on my life. By the way, the impact was not lascivious. This is one of my favorite pictures of Lum, downloaded from the Internet. Lum was created by Rumiko Takahashi.
I am not, particularly, a manga reader, and less of an anime watcher. I certainly was not in the market for a new hobby when "Lum/Urusei Yatsura" came across my librarian's desk in - what- about 1995?
Without going into plot details, Lum is an extraterrestrial being who comes to Earth as a precursor of conquest. The conquest does not happen, but she believes herself for all times betrothed to a lecherous high school student, Ataru Moroboshi. He pretends not to like her, but presumably he does. The comedy/romance story of their lives went on for 18 volumes.
I loved the Lum seies for several reasons. I thought (still do) that Lum is a knockout. That may have been my first reason. But even though UY was a screwball comedy, it appealed to me at the point at which my life had arrived.
Specifically, Lum mixed several of my interests: Folklore (she is an Oni, the traditional Japanese ogre), humorous sci-fi, Asian culture, and the possibility of a relationship with a foreigner, even if the relationship is full of misunderstandings and imperfect communication. Ataru and Lum, who spend more time antagonizing each other than anything else, showed me that a relationship can be prickly sometimes.

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