Lu Over The Wall [rating=4]
Hot on the heels of Science Saru Animation’s trippy ‘The Night Is Short, Walk On Girl’ in April comes their second feature of the year ‘Lu Over The Wall’, both directed by Masaaki Yuasa. Clearly this is huge year for the director having previously only directed one feature-length film when Mind Game was released back in 2004, however since then Yuasa has worked as a series director on several projects as well as guest directing episodes for shows such as Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time and Bones’ Space Dandy.
‘Lu Over The Wall’ tells the story of a young music-making student named Kai (Shōta Shimoda) who moves to the old remote fishing village of Hinashi to live with his father after his parents divorce. Despite efforts to try and hide his musical hobby from everyone for fear of being rejected by his father, Kai is soon forced into joining a band after two of his fellow schoolmates discover his talent. While rehearsing on the abandoned ‘Merfolk Island’, the trio accidentally awaken the titular Lu (Kanon Tani), a music-loving mermaid who quickly befriends Kai.
The film is a delight to watch with Yuasa once again bringing his unique animation style accompanied by a fantastic score from Takatsugu Muramatsu. The only real problem the film has is it’s runtime as it’s too short to properly expand on the character development, which ultimately left me feeling it would have made a better short series in order to achieve this. While it does bare similarities to Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘Ponyo’, rest assured ‘Lu Over The Wall’ is far from a straight-up repackaging and is an every bit as entertaining family adventure that both kids and adults will enjoy.
Fantasy, Animation | Japan, 2017 | PG | 14th October 2017 (UK) | Anime Limited | Dir.Masaaki Yuasa