It’s difficult to describe the plot of this film, partly because encapsulating it in a few sentences can’t possibly do it justice.
Senpai has a major crush on his younger kohai, Otome. Rather than muster the courage to confess his feelings, he has staged many accidental meetings that appear to be ‘by chance’ in the hopes that she will come to notice him over time. Tonight, at a friend’s wedding, it’s time to put his plan into action. But when Otome goes off on her own to explore the city lights and Senpai tries to find her, the entire city of Kyoto becomes the stage for pandemonium and impossibility.
Night is Short, Walk on Girl is a bizarre film in many ways. It’s wacky, colourful and at times hard to explain. When Senpai discovers the key to Otome’s heart could be a second hand book and goes on a quest to find it, and Otome succeeds in outdrinking her news friends, they encounter tengu, a god of the used book fair, members of the Bedroom Investigation Committee, dancing sophists and more. Senpai’s two friends, the Director of School Festival Operations and Don Underwear, also help him pursue his dream while becoming embroiled in a guerilla theatre war.
The film climaxes in the last twenty minutes where the madness, colour and distinct Japanese spiritualism come together, which makes for some wonderfully unusual animation. It has Masaaki Yuasa, who has worked on shows like Crayon Shin-chan and Adventure Time, written all over it. Following on from the success of The Tatami Galaxy, Masaaki Yuasa has adapted a novel by Tomihiko Morimi for the second time.
The chances are you won’t see anything else like Night in Short, Walk on Girl this year. There will be times when you’re wondering what on earth you’re watching, so you’ll need to suspend seriousness for this one.
Night is Short, Walk on Girl is coming to UK screens today (4 October)! Find a screening near you and book your tickets quick.