User Reviews (17)

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  • I really enjoyed this film. It's an upbeat, colourful and very imaginative movie full of joy that is sure to put a big smile on your face. With a cute, cartoonish animation style to go with its generally light-hearted atmosphere, this is an absolutely delightful watch from start to finish, and although some of its intended deeper meanings may get lost in the process, you're guaranteed to have a great time with Lu Over The Wall.

    So, let's start off by reaffirming that point once again: this film is really enjoyable. It may not be a moving piece of animated artwork, nor is it a constantly riveting and exciting action adventure, but it's comfortable enough in being a light-hearted and imaginative fantasy adventure with a great sense of humour, and that was absolutely enough to have me grinning ear to ear throughout.

    If there's anything that sums up what this film is really like, it's the animation style. Rather than being a hand-painted extravaganza like a Ghibli movie or a detailed and hardcore-styled anime, Lu Over The Wall is simply a bright and lovely film to look at. With a very soft yet hugely colourful visual style that matches the overall film's light-hearted vibes, the delightful animation here is enough to have you smiling within seconds.

    What's more is that this film doesn't shy away from being excessively cute, and goes so far to the point that it doesn't feel all that cheesy. Lu, the mermaid, is absolutely adorable from the moment she first appears, and that actually helps to make the story a lot more investing, as you care enough about her as an adorable baby-like character that you support her and those around her to succeed in the story.

    And although there are some elements of the middle school students' story that feels a little cheesy, it's all done with a great sense of fun and humour, meaning that you can sit back and look past some of the sillier elements of the story in exchange for nearly two hours of solid entertainment.

    A lot of people have pointed out the similarities in plot between this film and Ponyo, and although that's undeniable, I'll tell you why I think Lu Over The Wall brings this story to life even better. It's a film that's completely gleeful in everything it does, knowing full well that it's filled to the brim with some ridiculous fantasy elements, but taking that in its stride to make a properly enjoyable movie that all ages can enjoy and smile at. It's never too serious about itself, and rarely gets bogged down in its storytelling like Ponyo does, and that's why I think it's a perfectly pleasant movie that you can't miss.

    With all that said, there are a few issues that I do have with this film. On the whole, it works brilliantly as a light-hearted and enjoyable adventure, but there are moments when the film tries to say something a little deeper with regards to mob mentality, segregation and exploitation. Some of those themes come through better than others, but in general, they're not covered strongly enough in the story to make the desired impact, instead getting lost within the sea of colours and smiles that really make this film special.

    What's more is that the film's final act is a little too drawn out for its own good. As fun as the finale is, it really feels like it goes on for a very long time, even suffering from multiple different endings all being crammed into one climax. It doesn't have a huge impact on the smile factor, but there are moments when the plot becomes a little tiresome.

    Overall, however, I had huge fun with Lu Over The Wall. Colourful, happy, imaginative and fantastically light-hearted, it's a wonderful animation that will definitely have you smiling from start to finish.
  • A mixture of delightfully refreshing and painfully stale, Lu Over the Wall is a film that shows flashes of greatness but never really comes together as a definitively above-average film. Just like its lead character, Kai, Lu Over the Wall spends a lot of its time going through the motions. While much of this movie is uniquely displayed from a visual standpoint, most of what's being conveyed is an obvious plot-line told through point-blank dialogue & characterizations. Simplicity is sometimes to be expected from cartoons but Lu Over the Wall plays its narrative hand so plainly that it may have its viewers bored before the halfway point.

    The playful direction and cinematic choices of this movie may help hold the attention of its viewers but, due to Lu Over The Wall's meandering pace, I would not be surprised if some will be eager for the ending. There is beautiful, frightening and humorous imagery in this movie and enough overall quality that I would say the film was an enjoyable experience. But there is also enough fat along the way that I won't be eager to experience it again. In the end, Lu Over the Wall's combination of ancient folklore, modern music and striking images gives it a special feel that is, unfortunately, overshadowed by its limited script.

    Writing: 5/10 Direction: 7/10 Cinematography: 8/10 Acting: 7/10 Editing: 6/10 Sound: 7/10 Score/Soundtrack: 7/10 Production Design: 7/10 Casting: 7/10 Effects: 8/10

    Overall Score: 6.9/10
  • Lou and the Siren Island piqued my interest as soon as i saw the trailer. I'm far from being an anime or animation expert but I can say that I've watched a fair amount of Japanese anime, films or series. The overall style of the anime is certainly quite different from what I'm used to and that felt refreshing.

    What I liked - The music worked really well with the anime and different scenes. I'm actually a tiny bit disappointed that they didn't exploit that aspect a bit more. The character design was simple, a bit hazy at times but it worked very well with the animation style that I enjoyed very much. The film also dares to do interesting things with animation, colours, visuals in general and that is very welcome. There are good vibrations in this film and overall it made me feel good. They also manage to make Lou, the siren, a very likable character, at least that's how I experienced it. Finally the whole mystery/mythology/mystic aspect of the Siren felt captivating to me at times and certainly entertaining.

    What I liked less - I once again have a problem with character development as I didn't relate enough to the main character. He still had his moments but I needed a bit more from him for this film to have a significant emotional impact on me. The second thing that kinda disturbed me is how random some parts of this movies felt to me. Like it lacked some kind adhesive substance to make it all stick together in a more coherent form. Finally, the way the the main stakes of the movie are handled and ultimately resolved didn't really feel satisfactory to me. That last issue may come from the fact that the audience targeted could be a very young one (I'm 30) but it felt a bit "easy" and oversimplified to me. The way people react to the Sirens was also not realistic at all given that it's taking place in a similar world than ours. Then again, if the movie was intended for a very young audience that could explain that problem.

    In the end it was a good experience and I'd recommend it for young kids or if you want to watch a rather simple story with interesting elements and good vibrations!

    Verdict : 7.4/10. This rating isn't an attempt to evaluate the actual objective value of the film but merely reflects my own enjoyment of the work.
  • boblipton13 May 2018
    Warning: Spoilers
    It's an anime film about Kai, a gloomy middle-schooler who loves music, but whose father and grandfather are against it. They live in a town where the only industries are fishing and umbrella making, because the mermaids cursed the village long ago. Through a long and rambling story, Kai gets involved with a couple of other pre-teens in forming a band, a mermaid known as Lu and... well, it's a weird, complicated fantasy story.

    There are several issues with this feature, and it's hard to say whether it's an issue with the film makers or the people who did the American release. Some of the anime fantasies I've seen over the last few years have had very elaborate magical theses, and when the denouement comes along, there was is no foreshadowing in the movie... or was there? Was the escape clause the good guys used to avoid their evil fate just invented at the last minute, or was it mentioned in the original Japanese version about 15 minutes in and the translator botched the job? Or am I going to be lectured that if I had read the 4300-volume manga that the movie is based on, like I should have, I would have seen it was mentioned twice?

    I think the translators did a fair job of foreshadowing. I must admit that I was distracted by the use of at least three completely different style of animation used in the movie, depending on whether it was the workaday world, when the mermaid was present, or when some major magic was operating. It's a fair and reasonable way of doing things, like different lighting for different eras in a film, but it was a lot to absorb.

    In the end, though, one goes to a story film for a story, and a story is about people changing, and that's what happens here: the selfish pre-teens stop being so selfish, the older people open up about their own issues and the need for the youngsters to live their own lives and so forth. It's just that this is a weird movie. And in the end, I think that is a good thing.
  • Lu is a rare twin-tailed mermaid who loves music; when middle schoolers Kai, Yuho and Kunio secretly practice their indie-pop music on Merfolk Island, a pile of rocks near the fishing village of Hinashi, Lu cannot help but dance! Her tails turn into legs and she becomes a swirling dervish of movement. She also wants to be friends with everyone, but the people of Hinashi have many old tales about the merfolk, including that they eat people, and Lu may be in danger from those humans if the teenagers can't save her…. This is a lovely animated film, very colourful and with a mostly upbeat story line that young children would probably enjoy very much. All that, plus J-pop music too; a real winner!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I love how the director's style matches up nicely with the background of the story, with water tunnels flying all over the air and even people and animals going all wobbly. The story is kind of bonkers, with dancing mermaids and huge fish disguised as a tall man. Furthermore, emotional overloads can be too much for some people but visual treats and casual abandonment of conventions are so invigorating. A must for the fans of the director and his hit film 'Mind Game'.
  • Snootz17 March 2018
    This is a very cute film... over the top cute to be honest. The story line is decent if a little stretched. Children will love it, adults will likely find it endearing. It is not particularly exceptional in any aspect-- animation, story or production, but certainly worth a watch. For some it will seem too "silly", but others will find it to be a lot of fun. It's a good morality play about accepting those who are different, looking at life in a positive manner, and hope. The weak ending might be a bit disappointing but can be forgiven. All in all a decent film for younger ones.
  • I have absolutely no idea of the story line, and fortunately gave up trying. Some wonderful graphics, dance scenes and colorful interludes. What does it all mean? Just watch the ever changing scenes and don't give it a second thought.
  • rascalsart27 March 2020
    This was cute and nice to look at, the style was innovative. However it often felt like a direct rip on Miyazaki's 'Ponyo'. Many of the plot points and visual concepts in the details all are too similar to those in Ponyo. From the broken english Lu has, coming from the ocean, obsessed with boy on land, loves food after discovering it, etc. it's a little too blatant. But to be fair, Miyazaki set the bar pretty high and many anime that come out these days are clearly inspired by his work, but there were just too many coincidences to not make one notice the similarities in this film. Even with that said, it was still enjoyable, sweet, and cute.
  • My first exposure to feature-length anime, Lu Over the Wall made me gasp at the level of imagination that has gone into its creation where a lonely, taciturn boy finds a companion in a mermaid who has special powers and who changes her appearance a little when exposed to human music. The animation is top-notch and so is the storytelling which tries to relate with social issues such as xenophobia (?) and others that we as a whole are currently grappling with. Lu Over the Wall is funny, uplifting, and delightful. TN.

    (Watched and reviewed at its India premiere at the 3rd Japanese Film Festival of India in Mumbai.)
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Makes total sense but the guy who directed Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo directed this movie. The colors are rich and vibrant, and the animation is crisp and very imaginative, just as imaginative as Studio Ghibli.

    Please do yourself a favor and go see this movie, or even just straight out buy it. It is worth the money and your time.
  • This was a fun movie, with infectious music. There seems to be a running theme of modern industrailzied Japan making war on its traditional spirits (kind of like Summer Days with Coo). Also with mermaids: this movie pairs well with Ponyo.
  • I thought of Ponyo when I heard of this and I saw Ponyo earlier this month. I saw them compared a lot online and in reviews.

    They have initial similarities but that's about it. They are vastly different. This story focuses more on music and the mythology of the mermaids. It's a lot more fun and crazy. Ponyo is more serious and heartfelt. The animation gets really trippy at times but it's fun. Great catchy music and an all around good time. See it!
  • It is not a conventional Anime at all still it is very beautiful with a deliberate playfulness witch you will like. The mermaid itself and the characters all are amazing. The first half is more beautiful than the second but at whole it is a fine Anime film which is worth watching. Just do not miss it a recommendation.
  • yaminekohimeovan2 April 2020
    The color and imagination abt the sea os amazing. But the plot and side conflicts doesnt seem original to me.
  • Amy_Ing26 July 2019
    Really comes off as more spectacle than substance. The characters are pretty flat, things happen simply because the plot needs them to, Lu comes off more as unsettlingly quirky than adorable quirky...

    The visuals are pretty nice, but really don't compare to many other anime movies like it (with the most obvious choice being Miyazaki). Overall the absurdity of it is enough to make me suggest watching it just to laugh at it, but it's not a movie I'd consider to be good by any means.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This movie was shet and made me want to cry, the dancing was horrific and I now go to therapy because of how much it scarred me. I genuinely hated Lu with a passion and the pigtails girl, mostly pigtails because she just wants all the attention and fame and does nothing while the dudes did the work. The animation was horrific because the perspective oh my god the perspective, gave me ptsd and I am having a seizure while even just thinking of it. Only good part of move was 🍰 boy cause he had 🍰 and wasn't annoying asf. The scenes of animal abuse and the dogs being drowned my Lu horrifies me to this day