Apr 28, 2009
Not wanting Ten to accompany Lum and himself to their New Year’s celebrations, Ataru gets Cherry to babysit him. Which means it’s time for the traditional anime New Year’s retelling of folk tales with the regular cast in the appropriate roles.
We get The Tongue Cut Sparrow retold with Lum and Ataru as the old couple and Ten as the sparrow, however it soon becomes clear that Cherry is getting his folklore scrambled as the elderly Lum finds a peach which contains another Ten! And now they are recast as the old couple from Momotaro.
Kintaro shows up in a cameo, then Cherry appears as an traditional Christian angel (!) who tries to convince Ten to carry out the remainder of the Momotaro tale (by conveniently leaving out the whole Oni-killing element). Ten accepts and heads off, but after hearing that the messenger of god had told Ten that the capital was full of babes rather than Oni, old man Ataru soon follows.
Worn out Ataru gets diverted into another tale, the search for the fountain of youth. Which turns out to be a lot easy than you’d imagine. After picking up Kotatsu Neko as a henchman, Ten arrives in the capital, just as the now youthful Ataru arrives.
The tale then turns into The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter by way of King Kong, with Lum now cast as Kaguya-hime and Rei as the heavenly being sent to return her to the moon.
Everyone ends up randomly fighting on the moon, before we cut back to reality to discover that Cherry’s tale has put everyone to sleep!
The animation isn’t terrible here, but the character designs seem to lack a lot of the charm of earlier episodes. It’s all very basic, with little emotion in the acting on screen. Probably the weakest of these historical episodes so far, lacking much of the anachronism that made them so fun.
Tetsuro Amino makes the first of three appearances as an episode director here. Probably best known as the director of Macross 7, he also directed a number of SD Gundam OAVs which is probably what this episode is closest to in feel.
Screenplay: Keiji Hayakawa
Storyboard: Keiji Hayakawa
Director: Tetsuro Amino
Animation Director: Takeshi Oosaka