Lu Over the Wall: All the Anime Reviews the New Masaaki Yuasa Movie

Who is the greatest talent in Japanese animation today? Unquestionably, it's Masaaki Yuasa, the visual firebrand who has been blazing trails and blowing minds for over a decade. His 2004 movie Mind Game remains a milestone for hand-drawn animation. In 2017, his newest movie has arrived: Lu Over the Wall. And it looks absolutely spectacular. It appears to be a romance between a young aspiring musician and a mermaid; hearing the music causes the mermaid to sprout legs and walk on land, leading to discoveries, unwelcome attention from the locals, romantic rivalries, and an angry father who may end up flooding the entire town.

Hmm. This sounds vaguely familiar.

Scottish anime website All the Anime has written a lengthy review of the new film, which is currently screening at the Scotland Loves Anime film festival. Critic Johnathan Clements raises the obvious comparisons to Hayao Miyazaki's Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea. Personally, I welcome our new aquatic overlords. I found Ponyo to be a spectacular movie, visually dazzling and inspiring, a heartfelt tribute to the joys of hand-drawn animation. Nine years later, we're seeing a younger generation take their inspiration and push the medium further.

I think if Fellini had made animated features, they would look very much like Yuasa's. Why is he still so obscure in the West? Anime and cartoon lovers should embrace him as a visionary genius. Every time I watch something he's created, I feel like I'm rediscovering the medium all over again. Here is something thrillingly, excitingly new. Aren't you sick and tired of all these stupid franchise sequels and formulaic cartoons? Aren't you tired of the endless recycling of the same soapy moral lessons and tired sitcom plots? Don't you want something better in your lives?

I'm really looking forward to seeing this movie. Don't let another Yuasa masterwork fall through the cracks.

No comments:

More Ghibli Blog Posts To Discover