The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl Movie Poster Image
Amusingly bizarre anime comedy has iffy themes, drinking.
  • NR
  • 2018
  • 92 minutes

Parents say

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Kids say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Encourages coming-of-age experimentation and adventures, which can have mixed results. Also promotes friendship, teamwork, and for women to stand up for/defend themselves.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The girl with black hair is clever, funny, kind. She's also strong and able to defend herself against potential predators. Senpai is determined, caring.

Violence

Pratfalls and physical comedy. Main character punches several guys throughout the movie. A man pursues Senpai after a boy accuses Senpai of molesting him. Sexual assault: A drunk older man gropes a young woman's breasts more than once.

Sex

Many mentions of erotic woodcut prints, shown with flowers strategically placed over genitals. A few men are known for being in a special group that collects erotic art. Discussion of love, courting, fate, romance. Two different couples kiss. A college-age man enjoys cross-dressing to seduce men and then ridiculing them by revealing he's really a man. Extended joke about people going commando and Senpai having his underwear stolen. Senpai also ends up with an ice-cream cone covering his genitals in a phallic way.

Language

Occasional subtitled profanity includes "f--k," "s--t," "bastard," "damn it," "jerk," "idiot," "pervert," and "shut up."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Lots of drinking. From the opening scene, people who drink, are tipsy/drunk are depicted as literally pink-faced. College students and adults drink, and main character drinks past point of drunkenness: hard cider, wine, cocktails, beer. Main character talks about love of drinking -- to the point that she daydreams about the sea being made of rum so she can lounge, drink all the time. Drinking games, drinking contests, and an entire subplot about a legendary hard liquor that's distributed in a mysterious way. Many characters drink til drunk, with one getting sick, throwing up. Cigarette smoking. Characters nearly hallucinate from eating super-spicy, fermented food.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl is a zany, subtitled Japanese animated comedy that was adapted from a popular novel about a young college woman's adventure-filled night. It's not age-appropriate for elementary and middle school-age audiences, but mature high schoolers who appreciate anime may well enjoy it. Many characters -- including both college students and adults -- drink a lot. Entire sequences take place in pubs or restaurants in which people engage in drinking contests and general drunkenness, sometimes to the point of sickness. There are also repeated references (and even glimpses of) old Japanese erotic art (including famous woodcut prints and paintings), as well as other sexual humor and a couple of moments when a woman's breasts are groped (she reacts by punching the man). A character is pursued after being accused of molestation. Language isn't frequent, but subtitled swear words include "f--k," "s--t," and more. The mature themes and material aside, the movie is amusingly bizarre, with messages about friendship, teamwork, and women standing up for and defending themselves.

User Reviews

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Kid, 12 years old September 30, 2018
Teen, 15 years old Written byCooltiger37 August 23, 2018

Extremely edgy anime has profanity, sex, drinking

When I and my family went to see this film, we weren't expecting much other than a cute, relatively benign anime film that we could all enjoy. As it turns... Continue reading

What's the story?

THE NIGHT IS SHORT, WALK ON GIRL is a Japanese animated comedy about an unnamed college-age character, the Girl with Black Hair (voiced by Kana Hanazawa). She's out for a night of grown-up partying that leads her through a bunch of bizarre adventures and encounters with other Kyoto night owls -- including a wedding party, a group of elderly school chums, erotic art collectors, and a reception of young philosophers. Following behind her is the Senior (an upperclassman) who's been in love with her all year at university. Every time Senior (also known as "Senpai" and voiced by Gen Hoshino) gets close to her, he has to overcome another obstacle -- from a group that steals young men's underwear to a young boy who makes a false accusation against him. Eventually, the Girl with Black Hair travels to a used book fair, where she searches for a beloved childhood book, and both she and Senior end up involved in a guerrilla student theater production that pops up in different parts of the city.

Is it any good?

Nearly impossible to sum up neatly, this Japanese animated comedy is a bizarre but strangely wonderful adventure. First, let's be perfectly clear that The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl is animation that's intended for young adults and up -- not kids. It's about a university student who's experimenting with being an adult, complete with drinking, cavorting, more drinking, and generally saying yes to every odd and exciting opportunity and offer that presents itself on a night that seems to never end. That magic, time-stretching quality will feel relatable to all adults who can remember their college years. Director Masaaki Yuasa expresses the night's epic quality in a vibrant, colorful, hilarious way. But it's odd and unlikely to appeal to anyone who will take offense at the random, often morally ambiguous characters.

While the Girl with Black Hair is vivacious and fierce, Senior/Senpai is the underdog whom audiences will consider either "adorkable" or pathetic, depending on their perspective (and what's going on in the film). The many supporting characters are all fascinating in different ways, from the romantic Don Underwear (Ryûji Akiyama), who refuses to change his long underwear until he's reunited with a woman he believes he's meant to be with, or the tyrannical "Director of School Festival Operations" (Hiroshi Kamiya), who's trying to crack down on the pop-up theater kids. There's also a Yoda-like millionaire who can procure nearly anything for anyone, including a mysterious, legendary drink. Even if the movie's plot sounds meandering, it's a wild ride that's easy to follow along on -- and the sort of adult-friendly animated film that will remind older viewers of carefree, slightly crazy days.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the substance use in The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl. How is alcohol use depicted? What are the consequences for all the drinking?

  • Do you consider any characters role models? If so, which ones, and why? How do they learn and demonstrate teamwork? Why is that an important character strength?

  • Does the movie make you want to read the book it's based on? Is there anything you'd want to see more explained in the book?

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