This episode starts off about a very hungry caterpillar, Imo, who is eating all the food meant for The Stormtroopers’ biology experiment. They want to get rid of it, but Ataru takes a liking to it. Shockingly for no ulterior motive!
Soon Imo has run amok eating the entire class’ lunch and growing to an unnatural size. Ataru and Lum then try to prevent the rest of the class from killing Imo, leading to THE CHASE!
After a close run in with Mendou and the Stormtroopers they make it to the medical room, where Sakura points out the obvious and tells them the caterpillar is not a real caterpillar. She performs a ritual to reveal its true form but is interrupted by the pursuers and THE CHASE is on again.
They manage to lose them in the biology lab when Ataru hides in an anatomical doll (which he can’t get out of again). When he scares a schoolgirl, the alarm is raised and soon, yes, back to THE CHASE!
Cornered on a balcony, Imo begins to glow and on the horizon a great swarm of butterflies appears. Only, we find out, as Imo metamorphoses, they are, in fact, fairies. Finally Imo thanks Ataru (calling him Papa, and Lum, Mama) for making her able to become a fairy before flying off with the other fairies.
This is another episode where Megane gets to act the villain and so allows Ataru to take on a wholly heroic role. Megane is on fine form here, fascism just bubbling under his surface as he convinces the other Stormtroopers to continue their pursuit halfway through the episode. Then having his jaw lock on him as he overextends on a demented cackle.
Yu Yamamoto wrote the episode.
Storyboards were from Shunji Oga (Anpanman, Golgo 13 TV). He’s only on one more episode. In fact the next 2 episodes feature storyboards from people who’d only do the one episode. The production teams seem a little in flux for a while here, not sure if they were trying people out or calling in favours to help spread the load. We’ll also get two new animation directors in those episodes too.
Meanwhile this episode was in the old hands of director Keiji Hayakawa, and animation director Hayao Nobe.