Urusei Yatsura (うる星やつら?) is a comedic manga series written and illustrated by Rumiko Takahashi that premiered in Weekly Shōnen Sunday in 1978 and ran until its conclusion in 1987. Its 374 individual chapters were collected and published in 34 tankōbon volumes. The series tells the story of Ataru Moroboshi, and the alien Lum, who believes she is Ataru's wife after he accidentally proposes to her. The series makes heavy use of Japanese mythology, culture and puns. The series was adapted into an anime TV series produced by Kitty Films and broadcast on Fuji Television affiliates from 1981 to 1986 over 195 episodes. Eleven original video animations and six theatrical movies followed, and the series has been released on VHS, Laserdisc, and DVD in Japan.
The manga series was republished in several different formats in Japan. Viz Media licensed the series for English publication in North America under the names Lum and The Return of Lum, but the series was dropped after nine volumes were released. The television series, OVAs, and five of the films have been released in North America with English subtitles by AnimEigo, who provided extensive notes on the series to allow people to understand the many cultural references and jokes in the series that would normally be impenetrable for non-Japanese. The remaining film, Beautiful Dreamer, was released by Central Park Media. Five of the movies, as well as the OVA's, are available from MVM Films in the United Kingdom.
The series has received positive reception inside and outside of Japan from both fans and critics. In 1981, the series received the Shogakukan Manga Award. The television series is credited with introducing the format of using pop songs as opening and ending themes in anime. In 2008, the first new episode in 17 years was shown at the Rumiko Takahashi exhibition It's a Rumic World.