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Lu Over The Wall
Lu Over the Wall is a mad-cap animated extravaganza about the strange journey a young teenage boy, Kai (Shota Shimoda) takes. His life is shaken up when he finds himself meeting a peculiar mermaid, Lu (Kanon Tani). The film is executive produced by Akihiro Arai, Masaaki Yuasa, and Keiji Ota.
Working on his skills as a musician, Kai finds himself entertaining Lu with his music after their chance encounter. The tiny mermaid's infectious enjoyment of the music is contagious to all around her. Lu is soon dancing like a character out of Footloose. This leads to an almost uncontrollable dance-sensation which springs up in nearly everyone who encounters her high-energy enthusiasm.
This film is more than a little bit silly. This is a quirky anime film through-and-through. Each frame of the story is practically bursting with energy and originality. In fact, Lu over the Wall feels like one of the more experimental and creative anime films to come out over the last several years.
Featuring a seriously-fun screenplay written by Reiko Yoshida (The Cat Returns) and Masaaki Yuasa (Mind Game), part of the fun of this film is it's ability to surprise again and again. The film takes the audience on a fun ride which doesn't ever seem to lose steam or inspiration. The music by Takatsugu Muramatsu (The 8-Year Engagement) is also rather deliriously uptempo and it makes the film even more distinctive.
Director Masaaki Yuasa (Night is Short, Walk on Girl, Mind Game) has a unique vision here which is brimming with style without sacrificing a good story or characters from being a part of the fun along the way. One of the ways in which Yuasa proves his craft is through the animation direction on this project. Lu is a visually stellar work which is experimental, strange, and beautiful. The film has an enjoyable blend of traditional anime artwork with water-color inspirations which ebb and flow with uncommon energy. A truly enjoyable and beautiful anime which should not be dismissed.
Lu Over the Wall is presented on Blu-ray with a strong 1080p MPEG-4 AVC encoded high definition presentation in the original 1.78:1 widescreen aspect ratio. This is a gorgeous looking film with such distinctive animation. The art style feels so unique and original. The high-definition presentation is a feast to behold with vibrant colors. The release does have minor compression and occasional banding. However, these detractors are quite small and overall this is a superb Blu-ray release which does an impressive job of presenting the film.
The audio is presented with both English and Japanese 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio presentations. These lossless quality high-resolution presentations are impressive. The Japanese audio is superb and the included English subtitles are well-done. The music score sounds particularly vibrant here. A lossy French 5.1 audio presentation is also provided on disc.
English subtitles are provided for original Japanese presentation. English SDH subtitles (for the deaf and hard of hearing) and French subtitles are also provided.
Audio Commentary with Filmmakers includes a discussion with director Masaaki Yuasa, producer Eunyoung Choi, and anime critic and moderator Ryota Fujitsu.
Interview with Director Masaaki Yuasa (HD, 28 min.) is a sit-down discussion with the creative visionary behind the film.
Theatrical Trailers and TV Spots for Lu Over the Wall (HD, 5 min.)
It's not every day that a new anime filmmaking voice makes a huge impression. Director Masaaki Yuasa demonstrates his impeccable talents as a filmmaker with this creative gem bursting with a original sensibility that never lets go. Lu Over the Wall charms, delights, and surprises with its uncommon delights.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema. He aspires to make movies and has written two screenplays on spec. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.