The Night is Short, Walk on Girl is the first Masaaki Yuasa film that I’m tackling today. An animated film about a group of teens having fun on a nightly stroll through town doesn’t set most on fire. However, it plays like a teen comedy given to wild experimentation in terms of tone and play. While this film plays with the most traditional animation styles, it pushes the narrative in a way that feels original. Please check out the interviews with the director after watching. It helps give a ton of context.
Lu Over The Wall wants to tweak the Little Mermaid story. This time, it’s a young man actively seeking out a mermaid against the wishes of his community. The first time I watched the film, it felt like a slight knock-off of Ponyo. Still, Masaaki Yuasa leans hard into artistic technique and painterly style. More than anything, the film doesn’t care too much about continuity and narrative. The less said about the abrupt ending the better. I dig seeing a film like this emerge from the modern Asian animation world. But, I don’t see it winning over the West.
GKids anime has been killing it recently. The massive success of Mirai landing an Oscar nomination is only going to keep that train rolling. If you haven’t watched their stuff yet, take a moment and check them out. At least, you’ll look smart in front of the Weeaboo girls down at Barnes and Noble.
Shout and GKids release Night is Short Walk on Girl this week and Lu Over The Wall next week.