Lu over the Wall

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Lu over the Wall
Japanese theatrical release poster
HepburnYoaketsugeru Rū no Uta
LiterallyThe song of Lu, the dawn announcer
Directed byMasaaki Yuasa
Produced byKōji Yamamoto (chief)
Written by
Music byTakatsugu Muramatsu
Edited byAyako Tan[2]
Distributed byToho
Release date
  • May 19, 2017 (2017-05-19)
Running time
112 minutes[3]

Lu over the Wall (夜明け告げるルーのうた, Yoaketsugeru Rū no Uta, stylized as Lu over the wall) is a 2017 Japanese animated fantasy film produced by Science Saru and released by Toho about the eponymous ningyo. It was directed by Masaaki Yuasa, and written by Yuasa and Reiko Yoshida.[1][4] The music was composed by Takatsugu Muramatsu. It is the second Science Saru film, though it was the first to be produced.[5][6]

The film was released in Japan on May 19, 2017,[7] It was also released by Anime Limited on December 6, 2017,[8] and by GKIDS on May 11, 2018.[9][10] Half Symbolic Films released the film on January 31, 2019.[11]


Kai Ashimoto (足元カイ, Ashimoto Kai) is a lonely and pessimistic middle school student living in Hinashi Town (日無町, Hinashi-chō). His grandfather is an umbrella maker. His rock band, "SEIRÈN", was formed by his friends, Kunio (国夫) and Yūho (遊歩).

One day, Kai explores Merfolk Island (人魚島, Ningyojima) and meets Lu (ルー, ), the ningyo girl. The music beat allows her fish fin to transform into a pair of human legs. When Kai reveals the secret of the merfolk to the townspeople, the music makes them dance around town. Despite Kai's selfishness, the townspeople make Lu a celebrity.

When the curse of the flood appears, the townspeople gather themselves and use many umbrellas to save all sea creatures from the sun. Kai apologizes to Lu and everyone dances happily until all sea creatures return to the ocean. Kai starts a new life in town.

Voice cast[edit]

Characters Japanese English[12]
Lu Kanon Tani Christine Marie Cabanos
Kai Shōta Shimoda Michael Sinterniklaas
Yuho Minako Kotobuki Stephanie Sheh
Kunio Soma Saito Brandon Engman
Isaki Shizuka Ito Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld


Yuasa announced on his Twitter that he was working on the film in January 2017.[4] It was animated in a hybrid form in which key frames were drawn on paper, but instead of the traditional clean-up and inbetweening still used in most Japanese traditional animation at the time, these rough key frames were then traced and inbetweened in Adobe Flash.[13]

Yuasa acknowledged that Lu shares some similar plot elements and the visual subject of water with Hayao Miyazaki's film Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, and that it occurred to him late into the production of Lu. He considers this due to the influence on him of Miyazaki and Isao Takahata's Panda! Go Panda!: Rainy-day Circus, which Miyazaki reused elements of himself in Ponyo, and is happy for his works to include such homages to works he admires.[14][15]


Critical reception[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 76% based on 41 reviews with an average rating of 6.17/10. The site's critical consensus reads "Lu Over the Wall can be more fun to watch than to follow, but director Masaaki Yuasa's distinctive visual style offers colorful compensation for an occasionally scattered story".[16]

Charles Solomon from Los Angeles Times wrote, "Yuasa's bold imagery and sometimes convoluted storytelling defy the conventions of traditional animated filmmaking, but he is clearly an artist with an individual vision whose work offers something genuinely new and eye-catching."[17]

On the other hand, Simon Abrams from said "Still, I can't lie: I was bored throughout the 112 minutes I spent watching Lu over the Wall. I initially thought that I was allergic to the mediocre English voice actors' performances. But I soon realized that that my biggest problem was that I couldn't reconcile the basic disconnect between the thrilling story-telling and the paint-by-numbers story. I wanted the film's creators to do something with their formulaic narrative, but they never did."[18]


Year Name of Competition Category Result Ref.
2017 Annecy International Animated Film Festival Cristal for Best Feature film Won [19]
2018 Mainichi Film Awards Ofuji Noburo Award Won [20]


  1. ^ a b "映画『夜明け告げるルーのうた』公式サイト" [Film Lu over the Wall sfficial site] (in Japanese). Lu Film partners. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  2. ^ "夜明け告げるルーのうた" [Lu over the Wall]. Anime@wiki (in Japanese). @WIKI. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  3. ^ Lu Film partners. "『四畳半神話大系』や『ピンポン』を手掛けた湯浅政明監督初のオリジナル作品『夜明け告げるルーのうた』が公開決定!". animate Times (in Japanese). animateLAB. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Ressler, Karen (18 January 2017). "Director Masaaki Yuasa reveals Yoake Tsugeru Lu no Uta anime film". Anime News Network. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  5. ^ Hamman, Dan (5 October 2017). "Masaaki Yuasa Interview Part 1 (Night is Short, Walk On Girl)". Animation for Adults. Retrieved March 23, 2018. I was making Lu and Walk On happened during that production.
  6. ^ Chapman, Matt (December 9, 2017). "Masaaki Yuasa interview: Lu Over the Wall & The Night Is Short, Walk On Girl". MyMBuzz. MCM Central. Retrieved March 23, 2018. While I was working on Lu Over the Wall, the other one came up suddenly, so I decided to work on both at the same time.
  7. ^ Ressler, Karen (February 14, 2017). "Masaaki Yuasa's Yoake Tsugeru Lu no Uta anime film reveals poster visual". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  8. ^ "Lu Over the Wall". Lu Over the Wall UK Official Website. Anime Limited. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  9. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio. "GKIDS licenses Lu Over the Wall, 'Night is Short, Walk on Girl' anime films (Updated)". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  10. ^ GKIDS (March 21, 2018). "From visionary anime director Masaaki Yuasa comes the first feature film from Science SARU, LU OVER THE WALL. Lu swims into theaters May 11! #LuOverTheWall". Instagram. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  11. ^ "Masaaki Yuasa films coming to Australia". Half Symbolic Films. April 20, 2018. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  12. ^ "Lu Over the Wall". Sundance Film Festival 2019. The Sundance Institute. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  13. ^ ."夜明け告げるルーのうた" [Lu over the Wall]. Science SARU. Retrieved April 7, 2018..
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Lu Over the Wall (Yoake tsugeru Rū no uta) (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  17. ^ Solomon, Charles. "Japanese animation Lu Over the Wall gives mermaid tale new life". Retrieved 2018-11-29.
  18. ^ Abrams, Simon. "Lu Over the Wall Movie Review (2018)". Roger Ebert. Retrieved 2018-11-29.
  19. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (June 18, 2017). "'Lu Over the Wall, In This Corner of the World anime films win awards at Annecy". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  20. '^ Inoa, Christopher (2018-05-18). "Devilman Crybabys Masaaki Yuasa might be the most important voice in anime right now". SYFY WIRE. Retrieved 2018-11-29.

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