Image source: TVアニメ「URAHARA」‏ on Twitter

When we think of alien invasions, a frontal assault with flying saucers is one of the first things that come to mind. But, what if alien invaders where coy with their invasion? What if the initial frontal assault was a ruse for their true objectives? Urahara show us exactly that with its alien invaders.

In Urahara, alien invaders called Scoopers have attacked Earth. But, what they want is Earth’s culture. And the Harajuku shopping district in Tokyo is a prime location to steal culture. Thankfully, three girls are fighting back against the Scoopers and protecting the town. However, behind the Scoopers frontal assault lays a deep and dark secret. What they’re really doing is abducting creative people.

The idea the Scoopers are abducting creative people seems farfetched at first. This is mainly because we’ve never seen the Scoopers pluck someone up and send them back to a mother ship. However, in this case abduction isn’t the physical act of stealing someone, it’s turning creative people into Scoopers.

Thus, the first question that pops into our minds, then, is how are the Scoopers doing this? We haven’t see anything sort of indication they are turning people into Scoopers. All they’ve done so far is try and steal cultural landmarks or works that can be considered culturally significant. And the only real interaction our heroes, Rito Sudo, Mari Shirako, and Kotoko Watatsumugi have with the Scoopers is fighting them—and consuming a Scoopers dead body. (Scoopers turn into confections when they’re defeated.)

Image source: TVアニメ「URAHARA」‏ on Twitter

This is where the real terror of the Scoopers plan comes into play. They’re actually not telegraphing their true plans of abducting creative people. Or so we thought until the seventh episode. It’s revealed to Rito, Mari, and Kotoko the very act of eating Scoopers is turning them into Scoopers. This is so diabolically evil makes your skin crawl. It’s because the three girls are unwittingly participating in their transformation; all they thought was, “Hey, a free meal.”

Even worse, though, the girls are told eating Scoopers also powers them. It’s kind of strange when you think about it since we’ve been told defeating Scoopers requires immense creativity—something the three girls have. However, the very act of eating Scoopers allows the girl’s creative powers to manifest in their transformed states. So, if they don’t consume Scoopers they’ll lack the power to defeat them.

Image source: TVアニメ「URAHARA」‏ on Twitter

This puts Rito Sudo, Mari Shirako, and Kotoko in an interesting catch 22. In order to fight the Scoopers they need to eat them. Yet, the more Scoopers they eat, the sooner they’ll turn into one themselves. So, do they stop eating Scoopers and let them steal Earth’s culture, or do they keep fighting only to become the enemy? That’s the dilemma the three face in the seventh episode, and there’s no simple answer. And that’s the effect the Scoopers are trying to achieve. They want to sow confusion among the three girls and push them into becoming Scoopers so they can be creative for Scooper-kind. It’s a fascinating plan since stealing other planet’s cultures doesn’t allow the Scoopers to fully enjoy it. So, why not abduct and transform creative humans to teach them how to create and appreciate culture.

The idea of the Scoopers stealing Earth’s culture is unsettling. But, being unwittingly turned into a Scooper is a mortifying. But, it’s even more horrific since the girls in Urahara really have no say in it. So, while the Scooper look like harmless and weak aliens, they truly are some sinister critters.

Urahara is currently streaming on Crunchyroll and FUNimation.

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