The Night is Short, Walk on Girl Review: A zany, colorful, and confident anime film that needs to be seen.
Toho Co. and director Masaaki Yuasa have crafted an incredibly fresh and colorful anime adventure that carries the same kind of confidence and charisma as its main character does.
Coming from a friend’s wedding, the film follows “The Girl with the Black Hair” (Kana Hanazawa), or Otome, as she goes out on the town of Kyoto for a night of partying and drinking while meeting a crazy cast of characters throughout the night. While an upper-classmen of hers, Senpai (Gen Hoshino), attempts to meet her “by chance” and has his own misfortunes as her chases Otome’s affection. The two endure drinking competitions, pop-up plays, and crazy adventures throughout Kyoto that spark an incredibly mind-blowing adventure.
The best way to describe The Night is Short is that it’s basically the exact definition of what many think an anime film is: its wacky, insane, and oddly colorful. But these are all the film’s greatest strengths and for me it’s funny to see a film like this as it harnesses all of the things I’m usually not a fan of in anime. But it was so hard not to immediately fall in love with everything I was seeing on-screen.
It has a an animation style that lets the story and characters run wild and a color palette that would undoubtedly make The Beatles crack a smile. The ridiculous animation causes some of the film’s funniest moments and each new setting was almost like transporting to a different world each time.
The film also contains a slew of creative and comical characters that light up the screen even further with some great dialogue. Each interaction feels unique and seeing the different perspectives and views from both Otome and Senpai really adds to the craziness of The Night is Short. These main two are honestly incredible as Otome’s blooming confidence and sense of wonder drives the film to each new location and Senpai’s more frantic and desperate personality causes some hilarious situations.
Otome is probably one of the best female leads of the year and many filmmakers should look at Night is Short to see what a strong female lead looks like. She breathes confidence with every step she takes and has a caring and helpful personality that makes people on-screen and in the theater undoubtedly love her.
The Night is Short is honestly just plain crazy and is sadly something that most mainstream audiences will skip out on. It definitely fits more with Japanese style anime than more Americanized anime and while I don’t mind this at all, most movie-goers will see this film as odd. However, because I saw the subtitled version of the film, I did feel the subtitles did roll through pretty quick. Some of the scenes also feel a little ambiguous and hard to follow so a second watch could be warranted to fully understand what happened. But it’s honestly worth it.
It’s a shame that many movie-goers wouldn’t give Night is Short, Walk on Girl a chance, because they’ll be missing out on one of the best animated movies of the year. It’s cleverly crafted characters and settings gleam with color and incredible personality.