You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Masaaki Yuasa’ tag.

Director: Masaaki Yuasa
Release date:
April 7, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★
Review:

Japan knows several distinguished animation directors, from Hayao Miyazaki to Mamoru Hosoda, but perhaps no feature director* is so original as Masaaki Yuasa. He created quite a stir with ‘Mind Game’ (2004) and kept on pouring out original work since then.

What’s striking about Yuasa’s films is that they don’t follow the general anime aesthetic, at all, on the contrary. ‘Night Is Short, Walk on’ is an excellent example in that respect. This mind-blowing feature film boasts human designs that are very different from your typical anime, highly original color schemes, more offbeat background art, interludes in a line-less style with vibrant digital coloring, wild, even grotesque animation (for example, watch people swallow in the first scene), and a highly original, almost stream-of-consciousness-like way of storytelling, using unpredictable editing techniques, and an occasional split screen, surprising camera angles, extreme perspectives, and moving background art, when necessary (there’s a very impressive example when Senpai runs up an exterior staircase).

Apart from Yuasa’s way of storytelling the plot of ‘Night Is Short, Walk on’ is highly original in its own right. The two main protagonists don’t even have names but are referred to as Otome (maiden) and Senpa (senior). We follow the two for one night, a night in which apparently anything can happen. Otome, a young woman, is ready to discover the adult world, while Senpa, who’s madly in love with her, has decided to finally express his feelings to her. Meanwhile, during this one night, both people meet a plethora of strange people, bizarre situations, and odd gatherings in a free-flowing narrative that nevertheless can be cut into four parts, which naturally flow into each other. Nevertheless, it’s best not to know anything about the plot, and just let it come to you. You’ll be in for quite a ride. What’s more, despite all its weirdness, ‘Night Is Short, Walk on Girl’ is essentially a film about love, and unexpectedly gentle despite all the mayhem surrounding the main story.

Surprisingly for such a visually stunning film, ‘Night Is Short, Walk on Girl’ is based on a novel, by Tomihiko Morimi. His novel was divided into four seasons, which explains the high number of events in the film version. Morimi was also responsible for the novel on which Yuasa’s earlier series ‘The Tatami Galaxy’ (2010) was based, and the series and ‘Night Is Short, Walk on Girl’ are very similar in visual style and general atmosphere.

In all ‘Night Is Short, Walk on Girl’ is hardly like anything you’ve seen before, and a great testimony of what can be done in animation. In my opinion this is one of the most important animation films of the decade. Highly recommended.

* There are also several highly original independent Japanese directors of shorts, e.g. Kōji Yamamura, Atsushi Wara & Mirai Mizue. Check them out!

Watch the trailer for ‘Night Is Short, Walk on Girl’ yourself and tell me what you think:

‘Night Is Short, Walk on Girl’ is available on Blu-Ray and DVD

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,124 other subscribers
Bookmark and Share

Follow TheGrob on Twitter

Categories