Masaaki Yuasa’s animation The Night is Short, Walk on Girl is not a visually beautiful anime in the traditional sense. This adaptation of the hugely popular Yoru wa Mijikashi Aruke yo Otome by Tomihiko Morimi is sometimes told with some very simple graphics.
Nevertheless, once you get over your initial shock at the style and the events of the night begin to unfold you’ll settle in and begin to enjoy the charisma of the story and the illustrations.
Our main character is The Girl With Black Hair. She’s just started at University, just discovered drinks and wants to go out and adult all night. The title lies; this is not a short night as there are plenty of interconnected adventures.
My main hiccup with The Night is Short, Walk on Girl is with the second character – a classmate known only as Senpai. Is he a love interest? Or is he just a stalker? Is this a coming of age romance or a cautionary tale?
You see, Senpai has the hots for The Girl With Black Hair and so sets out to ‘accidently’ bump into her as often as possible. This does not go well for him. Meanwhile, our young student is having a whale of a time, meeting new people and winning at life.
If you don’t know much about anime character tropes the some of the character friendships might seem weird. Why hang around with a porn collector? Was that really the god of the marketplace? However, the only time the story really slides into the surreal is near the end when we see events unfold from the point of view of battling emotions and concerns.
For me, the moment the Girl With Black Hair decided to join the Sophic Society’s weird dance – without a minute’s hesitation – was when the charm of the story had me. I stopped worrying about whether the story would hold my attention and started to care about the characters. There are similar magical moments throughout.
Overall? This is not an anime for those who only enjoy battling mecha or magic college co-eds. This is an animation for people who enjoy well-crafted stories and interesting characters. If you struggle to suspend disbelief you might struggle with this but if you can find a way to sink into the whimsy then you’ll surely enjoy this night.