Yoru wa mijikashi aruke yo otome

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“I… wanted to portray the night as dream-like. This is the story of a girl who joyfully takes at face value what she observes seeing
people drinking and their relationships, so I wanted to create a feeling of the girl growing into adulthood, in other words, a fantasy for grown-ups.”–Masaaki Yuasa



FEATURING: Voices of Kana Hanazawa,

PLOT: At a wedding reception, a Senpai reveals his indirect plan to win the affection of a black-haired Girl whom he loves from afar. The Girl barely notices him, however, instead following her urge to travel into the Kyoto night to experience the world as a young adult, including heroic bouts of drinking, a trip to an open-air used book festival, and an impromptu role in a traveling musical. In the end, everyone the Girl encounters over the night contracts a cold and she spends the early morning attending to them all—including the Senpai.

Still from "the night is short walk on girl" (2017)


  • Based on the 2006 novel of the same name by Tomihiko Morimi (which has been translated into English). Yuasa had previously adapted Morimi’s “The Tatami Galaxy” for Japanese television.
  • Night won the 2017 Japanese Academy Film Prize Award for “Animation of the Year.”

INDELIBLE IMAGE: Whatever it is, it has to feature the indomitable titular “Girl.” The image of her astonished face as a crowd of onlookers, impressed by her unexpected boozing prowess, donate all of their cans of wine into her oversized goblet, is as good as any.

TWO WEIRD THINGS: Sophist dance, “The Codger of Monte Cristo”

WHAT MAKES IT WEIRD: Eschewing the youthful chaos of his Canonically Weird feature Mind Game, Masaaki Yuasa proves that he can inject strangeness into the least weird of fictional genres: the romantic comedy. Tightly focused both stylistically and thematically, even while the footloose plot wanders from drinking binges to inconvenient plagues, Night walks through a flowery, hallucinogenic city straight into your heart.

Short clip from The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl

COMMENTS: A cross-dresser, a man who has vowed not to change his underwear, and a love-besotted Senpai walk into a bar… Well, actually it’s a wedding reception, not a bar, and Night Is Short, Walk on Girl is not a joke, although it is a comedy. Nevertheless, that is the opening setup for a yarn that will unfurl into a surrealistic nocturnal journey. The object of the Senpai’s affections is the Girl, who starts with her own romance-free agenda: she wants to experience adulthood, and figures the best way to do this is through a night of heavy drinking. And thus begins the Girl’s walk into a not-so-short, phantasmagorical Kyoto night.

The original novel set the action over a year, with each of the four acts occurring in a specific season. Yuasa and screenwriter Makoto Ueda’s decision to compress the action into a single night was a stroke of brilliance, magnifying the magical unity of the story by enhancing its impossibility. The story breaks into four clear acts; in each, the Girl explores some new aspect of life, while the Senpai chases her affections, remaining always a step behind. In the early evening hours, the Girl hits the bars and parties where she meets perverts, sophists, and fellow drinkers, as the evening develops into a quest for a mysterious liquor known as Imitation Denki Bran, climaxing in a drinking contest against an elderly pessimist. In the film’s second section she visits an all night open air used bookstore; here, the action mainly focuses on the Senpai, who meets the God of Used Books and engages in a contest of his own: eating lava-spicy hotpots. The third segment revolves around a peripatetic musical being put on by college students, who constantly change stage locations to avoid the cops; the play’s plot mirrors incidents from the film itself, and we take another detour into the subplot of the lovestruck guy who refuses to change his underwear. Finally, in the fourth part, everyone comes down with a cold and is tended to by the Girl, with the plot culminating in a flying fever dream finale.

Yuasa creates a bright, clean, and mildly retro look for this story. It features space age graphics and clean modernism, with bold use of color and geometric motifs—especially flower petals, which go drifting through the canvases like psychedelic blossoms falling off invisible cherry trees. There are plenty of abstract sequences, split screens, hallucinations, and other animated digressions, but the transition between styles flows smoothly, not chaotically as in Mind Game. The story glides along from incident to incident in a similarly fluid fashion. The four-chapter structure is a pleasant way to organize the anything-can-happen action and keep us from getting totally lost in the film’s hubbub.

Night Is Short, Walk on Girl is weird, but light. The only serious philosophical theme is the idea of the interconnectedness of the community (stressed by a graphic illustrating the spread of the cold virus). Other than that, Night subsists on joie de vire: the love of alcohol, of books, of drama, of fun, and of service itself. The night proceeds from the lower sensual pleasure of intoxication through intellectual and artistic pursuits to finally land on love. The title character’s girlish optimism sets a sprightly, happy tone. While her pursuer’s actions sometimes verge on the stalkerish, we never doubt the purity of his affection, and we naturally root for the two to get together. Girl‘s dream logic is totally blissed-out; someone must have spiked the imitation brandy with mescaline. It’s a night well spent; you may even wish it was longer.


“…a weird, very bemusing and sometimes wonderful anime from Japan: a kind of miniaturist epic or odyssey… romantic and hallucinogenic, with an edge of softcore erotic sleaze.”–Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian (contemporaneous)

“…a film as weird and indulgent and magical as Night Is Short, Walk On Girl is too wonderful not to experience.”–Juan Anotnio Barquin, Miami New Times (contemporaneous)


The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl – Gkids – The North American distributor’s site has stills, the trailer, and a press kit

IMDB LINK: The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl (2018)


Night Is Short, Walk on Girl (movie) – A good collection of links and miscellaneous info from Anime News Network

CAPSULE: NIGHT IS SHORT, WALK ON GIRL (2017) – This site’s original capsule review

HOME VIDEO INFO: GKids released The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl in a dual DVD/Blu-ray format in 2020 (buy). As expected, the digital presentation of both discs is pristine. Extra features consist of a six-minute interview with Yuasa-san and a series of trailers for the film (both international release and Japanese domestic).

Naturally, Night is also available on video-on-demand (rent or buy).

Gkids also created an English-dubbed version, but it is not currently available on disc. As far as can be determined this version streams exclusively on HBO Max. (We generally prefer the original Japanese with subtitles whenever possible; also, this is also not a movie for kids).

Where to watch Night Is Short, Walk on Girl

One thought on “36*. THE NIGHT IS SHORT, WALK ON GIRL (2017)”

  1. I remember really enjoying watching it, but I also remember that it was challenging to appreciate the images with sometimes five lines of subtitles on the screen. If I rewatch this I’d seriusoly consider watching a dub.

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