Non-stop drinking accompanied by a series of madness. What could go wrong in this bat-shit crazy, antics-filled night in the city…or right?
The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl is a 93-minute anime, directed by the brilliant Masaaki Yuasa (Mind Game, Kick-Heart, Lu Over the Wall, etc.). Science SARU released it in 2017 and won the Japanese Film Award for Animation in 2018. This anime is an adaptation from Tomihiko Torimi’s manga series named Yoru wa Mijikashi Arukeyo Otome (or “The Night is Short, Walk On, Young Maiden”).
The premise for this film isn’t anything extravagant. It centers on a college student that goes by the title of Senpai (Gen Hoshino). Senpai is crushing on a girl from the same club who everyone refers to as Otome (Kana Hanazawa). But Senpai is too shy to approach her. On the surface, he seems to be reticent about his intentions. When in actuality, Senpai is working on a master plan to reel in her heart by accidentally running into her, on purpose, constantly to make their encounters appear as “fated.”
The film takes place in the span of only one night—one fanatical and hectic night in the restless city of Kyoto. Senpai executes his game plan. Otome sets out for a night where she’s determined to experience adulthood to the fullest. On this journey, she encounters an array of bizarre characters as well as situations. Like…a lot of them.
So much goes on!
So many events happened throughout this movie. It seemed beyond the bounds of possibility for it all to be in one night. But then again, impossibility is a foreign concept for Yuasa. Events such as Otome downing copious amounts of alcohol, saving the collector of pornographic prints from a loan shark, partaking in a guerrilla musical theater performance, and managing to visit everyone in town as they caught a seemingly lethal cold—of which she seems to be immune to. With all that happening, we also get small glimpses at the other characters’ backgrounds.
So if you try to imagine all of that packed in a 93-minute time frame, plus the main plot, you might get an idea of how fast faced this film would be. However, those sequences didn’t distract me from the underlying story, I’m aware they’re there to give cushion and provide substance for a rather feeble plot—which I’m not knocking. And another thing, working with the limited time aspect combined with a great deal of craziness episodes, some scenes may seem insignificant, but reaching the end, you’ll see that they all serve a purpose, whether small or big.
I wouldn’t say this is a kid-friendly anime just because there are scenes of old Japanese erotic art, and one recurring thing you’ll see throughout the course of this anime is the drinking. Literally every character written in here drinks. Especially Otome, she drinks alcohol like it’s mango dragon fruit lemonade and never once shows signs of being inebriated…when I grow up, I want to be like her.
And would it be me to not comment on the visual content for an anime? So here I go. I have a thing for anime with simple plots but is compensated for it in the animation department. The outlandish events would’ve held little substance if it wasn’t for the sublime visual. From scene to scene, from every angle, every crevice of the movie—there is never a monotonous moment. A multitude of bright and bold colors dazzle the scenes, making it especially fun to watch. Some characters are lacking details in their appearances but in no way does that detract from the quality—the backgrounds are carefully and fantastically drawn and colored. Also the camera angles are pretty damn impeccable for an animated movie.
My appreciation for Yuasa broadens with each and every movie. His mind and creativity are out of this world. The way he’s able to compile everything together in an unconventional way, and for them to make sense is unbelievably impressive. I’m grateful for you, my good sir.
This movie is a trip. Otome is on a trip and so are you. Don’t ever think you know what’s going on, because things will shift gears the moment you do. I never knew how much shit you could get into in just one night, until Yuasa showed me the possibility—in such a delightful and visually aesthetic way.
If you decide to check this piece of art out, let us know how you like it @GeekGalsCo!
Featured image credit: Science SARU