Lu Over the Wall is yet another work directed by one of my favourite directors, Masaaki Yuasa, and its produced by his own studio, Science Saru. As Yuasa’s work often is, it’s a strange yet heartwarming, relatable look at youth and growing up, and it’s incredibly beautiful.
Kai Ashimoto is a student with a negative outlook on school, and not much of a better one on life – but he loves creating music. When his classmate, Yuho, identifies him from his online videos, Aki decides to join her’s and mutual friend Kunio’s band. Mermaids love music and they attract the attention of the eccentric Lu, and Kai begins to open up by being with her.
A strange yet heartwarming, relatable look at youth and growing up, and it’s incredibly beautiful.
The people of Hinashi Town have worried about the presence of mermaids since the ancient times because they are believed to bring disaster. So, when Lu begins to spend more time on land, not many people want to accept her. Yuasa’s masterful directing makes the viewer feel as if they’re a part of Hinashi Town and I quickly became involved in Kai and Yu’s plight, as well as those of the amazing cast of characters. I was blown away by how much heart this movie has, and I can only imagine what a magical experience this would’ve been had I caught it in cinemas.
Lu Over the Wall has an incredible and distinct art style which captures the fresh and salty atmosphere of the seaside Hinashi Town, with its gorgeous blue waves, clear and starry night skies and a unique personality, and I’d love to visit this fictional town. It’s truly been brought to life and, with a little under two hours to tell its story, Yuasa and Reiko Yoshida’s clear vision and touching screenplay shines brightly, and they’re a big part of the movie’s great success.
Each character stands out and they have wonderfully simple designs, and there’s an incredible level of detail and fluidity in the movements of the people, the merpeople and the waves of the ocean. There are multiple dancing scenes with large groups of people which are comical and a joy to watch, and they’re so smooth. Lu Over the Wall is mesmerising.
The movie heavily revolves around music and the tunes featured are upbeat and catchy, and this goes for both the English and Japanese versions. I wasn’t aware of it but Michael Sinterniklaas and Stephanie Sheh have lovely singing voices, and they really brought the songs to life. They really fit the atmosphere of the movie well, and I’m itching to listen to them again.
I was blown away by how much heart this movie has, and I can only imagine what a magical experience this would’ve been had I caught it in cinemas.
Lu Over the Wall is Yuasa showcasing why he’s a masterful director and storyteller – in partnership with Reiko – once again, and I’m happy to watch whatever he puts out. Lu Over the Wall is excellent and I’d recommend it to everyone, and it slapped a smile on my face and just made me happy. Thank you to Anime Limited for bringing Lu Over the Wall to the West – the team there have great taste in movies, so I hope that they keep licensing them!
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