Masaaki Yuasa films coming to Australia

Half Symbolic Films is excited to announce its acquisition of Night is Short, Walk on Girl and Lu over the Wall, two prize-winning works by visionary Japanese director Masaaki Yuasa. Lu over the Wall screened as part of Melbourne International Film Festival 2018, while Night is Short, Walk on Girl premiered at sold out sessions in Australia at the Japanese Film Festival 2018 in Sydney and Melbourne. Both films will be released in select cinemas in January and February 2019.


Yuasa created Lu over the wall for children and adults alike to enjoy. The story, originally written by Yuasa and Reiko Yoshida (A Silent VoiceThe Cat Returns), is set in a small Japanese fishing village and follows a musically-gifted teenager, Kai, and his curious mermaid friend, Lu. While Kai is good at creating beats, Lu’s singing causes people to dance—whether they like it or not! Featuring toe-tapping beats and explosions of colour, this whimsical family adventure marks Yuasa’s return to feature filmmaking after 13 years.

“I really like old animation, even like Disney or Western animation, and also including old Japanese animation. A kind of unrealistic animation, deformed, the kind of squash and stretch sort of fluid movement. I like the way that characters who move more fluidly can carry more emotion by not being as realistic in their movements. There’s the freedom to add more emotion to the movement by not sticking to what is strictly realistic. ”

– Masaaki Yuasa on his animation style (Source)

Night is Short, Walk on Girl is based on a hit novel of the same title by Tomihiko Morimi, which sold 1.3 million copies in Japan. The film follows a university student, only known as ‘The Black-Haired Girl’, and her friends on a night out in Kyoto. Jumping from one pub to another, the evening quickly escalates into a trippy adventure filled with comical challenges, outrageous characters and chance encounters. Lending her voice to the protagonist is seasoned voice-actor Kana Hanazawa, with actor-musician Gen Hoshino voicing the male lead.


Animation director Masaaki Yuasa is hailed as one of the most visionary contemporary animators in recent years. Lu over the Wall and Night is Short, Walk on Girl mark his return to feature filmmaking after a decade of working on shorter formats. Known for his eclectic and wild freeform style, Yuasa is unafraid to mix various animation styles into dynamic sequences. His previous works as a director include feature film Mind Game (2004), episodes for Adventure Time and Crayon Shin Chan, and TV series KaibaPing-Pong, and Netflix original Devilman Crybaby.

Lu over the Wall will be in select cinemas from 31 January, with an advanced screening in Sydney on 10 January. Click here for screening details.

Press Kit available here

Language: In Japanese with English subtitles.
 112 mins
Classification: PG
Synopsis: Kai is a talented young musician who longs to move to the big city.During band practice,his melodies catch the ears of an unexpected new friend—Lu, a young mermaid with a magical singing voice! Suddenly, small town life gets more exciting for Kai and his friends. However, the villagers believe an ancient lore that mermaids only bring disaster. Will Kai and Lu be able to keep making music together?

Night is Short, Walk on Girl will be in select cinemas from 14 February, with an advanced screening in Sydney on 17 January. Click here for screening details.

Press Kit available here.

Language: In Japanese with English subtitles.
 93 mins
Classification: M
Synopsis: Down the rabbit hole for a night on the town, our heroine known only as ‘The Black-Haired Girl’ (Kana Hanazawa) meets new friends who show her an unexpected side of Kyoto’s nightlife. As their night moves from tipsy to boozy, they slide into a trippy world of second-hand books, guerilla theatre, and chance encounters. Meanwhile, fellow student ‘Senpai’ (Gen Hoshino) is desperately searching for The Black-Haired Girl. Tonight is the night he’ll confess his romantic feelings for her!

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