The Night is Short, Walk on Girl

Talking monkeys & blow-up sex dolls – The Night is Short, Walk on Girl (Film Review)

Based on the novel of the same name, The Night is Short, Walk on Girl, is a Japanese animated film focusing on Senpai and his attempts to capture the attention of his love interest; The Girl with the Black Hair.

Over the space of just one night, which, as several characters note, feels more like a year than a single night, both Senpai and The Girl with the Black Hair undertake a journey of self discovery. Stood on the bridge between youth and adulthood, these two students journey through an extraordinary evening of alcohol-induced exploits, party after party, odd social clubs with equally bizarre rituals, a festival, and an old books market. Along the way, they meet an eccentric cast of characters from gropey old men, to a child god of books, to a guy determined not to change his underpants until he finds his true love.

The Night is Short, Walk on Girl: The Girl with the Black Hair

Laugh-out-loud funny from the outset, every character is over-the-top, excessively passionate in the pursuit of their goals, and clearly heavily intoxicated. In the first half of this I found myself repeatedly questioning, often aloud, what on earth I was watching. I certainly had no idea how to write anything of substance about it. But as the movie progressed, the truth of it began to seep through from under what seemed to be some kind of drunken hallucination.

The Night is Short, Walk on Girl is actually a very tender coming of age story, which manages, despite involving talking monkeys and blow-up sex dolls, to ponder some of the really big questions: love, time, loneliness, generosity, happiness, and fate.

The Night is Short, Walk on Girl: Senpai

As the characters stare into the unknown expanse of adult life, they see that their emotions, and their connections to others, are not as simple as they may at first seem. Every action has a consequence, and every question raises several more. While Senpai, quite literally, has an internal debate about how ready he is for a relationship, and whether he truly understands the realities of love, The Girl with the Black Hair is fighting her way through the physical storm of his loneliness.

The film is multi-faceted and many-layered, and likely to offer up a different interpretation to everyone who watches it. I suspect that, weeks from now, I’ll still be having new revelations and discovering more hidden meanings.

A unique and bizarre film which will pull you in without you even realising it, and have you pondering its complex allegories for days after.

Dir: Masaaki Yuasa
Scr: Tomohiko Morimi (based on the novel by), Makoto Ueda (screenplay)
Cast: Gen Hoshino, Kana Hanazawa
Music: Michiru Ohshima
Country: Japan
Year: 2017
Run time: 93 min

In selected cinemas from 4th October