Not a Prayer
Nihongo 苦しいときの神だのみ!!
Romaji Kurushii Toki no Kamidanomi!!
Chapter information
Published date 1980
Anime counterpart I Want to Date! Ataru's Test Program!
Pages 16
Urusei Yatsura Tankōbon
Chapter 104
Volume 11
Piece 2
Previous chapter Side Effects
Next chapter Here Comes the Sun
Urusei Yatsura Wideban
Chapter 104
Volume 5
Piece 13
Previous chapter Side Effects
Next chapter Here Comes the Sun

Not A Prayer (苦しいときの神だのみ!!, Kurushii Toki no Kamidanomi!!?) is the 104th chapter of the Urusei Yatsura manga. Ataru's mother gives him a good luck charm before his test. However, she does not know that inside the charm is a sprite, who claims to be the God of Knowledge himself. He declares he will help Ataru pass the test and as a last resort even tries to get him to pass by cheating. Unfortunately, he gives Ataru some very wrong answers and Ataru ends up in the make-up exam candidates list.

Plot SummaryEdit

The good luck charm - Not A Prayer

Ataru's mother gives him the lucky charm

Ataru is cramming hard (or so it seems) for his upcoming test in his room when his mother enters with tea. Upon seeing her son staring at the cover page of his text books, she offers him a rectangular-shaped object. Mistaking it for food, Ataru catches it in his mouth prompting his mother to hit him on the head. She says it is the amulet of Michizane Sugawara, a good luck charm. Ataru snares it instantly, thanking her and announces that it has given him confidence which will help him ace the tests. However, his mother replies that no God is powerful enough for that...

The day of the testEdit

In the school, everyone is busy with their final preparations for the exam but Ataru's seems to under control that he is whistling some tunes. His classmates surround him and demand they ought to know what is up his sleeve as he is too calm for a test day, but Ataru replies he has studied. When Onsen-Mark arrives with the question papers and distributes it to the students, Ataru realizes he does not know the answers to a single question. He takes out the lucky charm hoping the "God of Knowledge" would help him somehow and is startled to hear a voice ask him what his question is, that he screams. Onsen-Mark quickly approaches Ataru's bench and inspects the place; he picks up the charm and inquires what it is. Ataru says it is just his lucky charm, but considering the boy's character, the teacher suspects that he might be hiding a cheat sheet inside.

Onsen-sensei inspects the charm - Not A Prayer

Onsen-Mark inspects the good luck charm

Ataru tries to stop him from opening the charm, but the teacher examines it to see there's nothing inside. He then allows Ataru to continue his test and tells him to stop wasting his time again. Lum yells at the teacher, and even though Ataru says it is okay, says Onsen owes Ataru an apology. As Onsen-Mark listens to them communicate, Ataru starts playing the good boy, even going so far as to shed a few tears saying his mother gave him the charm so that he could do the exams with confidence. He also admits that it was his fault anyway, for doing something that may look suspicious. The teacher hesitatingly apologizes to him, but Ataru kind of dismisses him asking if it would return him his lost time and self-esteem. While Mark walks away humiliated, Ataru sticks his tongue out at him, glad to have taught him a lesson.

God of Knowledge?Edit

Sugawara unable to answer - Not A Prayer

Sugawara unable to answer

After he leaves, Ataru checks the charm for the sheet he had hidden. Suddenly, the voice from before remarks that it threw away the paper leaving Ataru with no other choice but to order it to reveal itself. A small figure dressed in a shintō priest's costume appears and gives Ataru his card which says "M. Sugawara, Certified God of Knowledge", much to his surprise. Ataru asks what he wants and he replies he wants to help Ataru with his exam. Before he does though, he lectures Ataru saying he disrespected him by putting a cheat sheet in the amulet and that he will show Ataru what he can really do. Ataru asks for the answer to the first question and although he says it's simple, Sugawara gulps and says he does not do "secret codes". Ataru is enraged to hear that the 'God of Knowledge' does not know English that he yells again. Onsen-Mark arrives once more but this time checks Ataru's temperature; Ataru escapes again saying he cried out of broken heart. As soon as Mark leaves with a guilty mind, Ataru pokes Sugawara with his pencil. He then points his attention to the paper, on which he writes a message asking him to return the sheet if he can't help. Sugawara breaks the tip of the pencil in response and uses it to reply that he can still help. Ataru and Sugawara engage in a 'write fight' which relieves Mark, who believes that Ataru's finally back to his business of taking the test.

In pursuit of answersEdit

Sugawara misses Shinobu's answers - Not A Prayer

Sugawara misses Shinobu's answers

The test is over pretty soon and Mark instructs the students to pass their answers to the front. Ataru stares at Sugawara one last time before being approached by Lum. She tells Ataru that it was unfair for the teacher to accuse him of cheating and says that he deserves more than an apology. Sugawara asks Ataru when the next test would be held, but he ignores him. The former begins to say something about his pride being the God of Knowledge but Ataru snaps at him before he could complete. Hearing him shout, Kousuke and Shuutarou gather around him and see the little figure on his desk. They ask him what it is and Sugawara gives out his card to both of of them. Shuutarou comments they have Classics next and Sugawara assures Godai they'll be victorious. However, the test don't make much difference either and Sugawara decides to look at someone else's paper for answers, something which Ataru instantly agrees with. He advises Sugawara to look at a girl's paper but latter says he knows about it.

Lum's answers - Not A Prayer

Lum's answers

Sugawara commences his journey on a miniature cloud in pursuit of answers. He floats over Shinobu who seems to know the answers but unfortunately does not stop there and moves over to Lum. Lum is scribbling something on her paper, thinking of suing the school for putting up such a test. Sugawara inspects her test to see pictures of a pig and flowers. He returns to Ataru and starts drawing the things he saw on his paper. Upon seeing this, Ataru stands up from his bench and shouts at him, prompting the teacher to ask him what's wrong. He sits down and declares he'll do the test himself. Sugawara challenges Ataru to try and answer the test without his help and starts teasing him. Ataru spats on him but Sugawara gets up and gets on his cloud. Infuriated, he starts attacking Ataru with small lightning bolts as Ataru tries to stop him; Kousuke and Shuutarou pity Ataru's luck.

Ataru's luck...Edit

Teachers ask Ataru to take make-up exam - Not A Prayer

The teachers ask Ataru to take the make-up exam

Following the exam, Ataru and Lum walk towards their lockers as the former declares that in case he gets flunked, it would be Sugawara's fault. Sugawara says he should have thought about the consequence before hurting him. Just then, Onsen-Mark and another teacher call out to Ataru and show him his paper and ask him to take the make-up exam as he was not well today. As they leave, Mark comments that the mere thought of Ataru getting flunked and taking the classes over again is unbearable. Meanwhile, Sugawara is happy that Ataru got a second chance, a favor from the God of Knowledge himself but Ataru retorts saying he's not the God of Knowledge, but 'God of Headaches'.

Character in order of appearanceEdit


  • "It's not food, idiot!" – Ataru's Mother
    • "My brain's fried.." – Moroboshi Ataru
      • "Fried from inactivity..." – Ataru's Mother
  • "The God of Knowledge!! Y'mean, it'll make me smart?!" – Moroboshi Ataru
  • "I don't do secret codes." – Sugawara
  • "Hmm... No fever... Why, why, why.. Are you doing this to me?!" – Onsen-Mark


  • The Japanese title of the chapter, 苦しいときの神だのみ!! (Kurushii Toki no Kamidanomi!!), is a popular Japanese proverb which literally translates to "Turn to the Gods in times of trouble". It signifies the need to pray when we face a difficulty.[1][2]


  1. Greggory, Kyle (14 December 2009). Religion in Japanese Society Today: Part Four - Religious when Necessary. Yahoo! Voices. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
  2. K. Nelson, John (2000) Enduring Identities: The Guise of Shinto in Contemporary Japan. University of Hawaii Press. p 44.

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