films seen
7
average score
3.92*
nationality
Japan - 57 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

Rare treats

Mind Game

2004 / 103m - Japan
Comedy, Animation
Mind Game poster

Highly original and completely insane animation masterpiece. Mind Game was Yuasa's first film and foreshadowed his rising talent, though it took me a second viewing to fully appreciate this film. It's hard to describe just what exactly it is, but boring it is not. Not for everyone, but definitely worth finding out for yourself.

Some people fault anthology films for their inconsistency, but I love to praise them for their creativity, as there is more of that here than in 7 full-length features combined.

The good stuff

The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl

Yoru Wa Mijikashi Arukeyo Otome
2017 / 93m - Japan
Comedy, Romance, Animation
The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl poster

After Welcome to the Space Show, The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl is somewhat of a return to form for Yuasa.

Lu over the Wall

Yoake Tsugeru Ru no Uta
2017 / 107m - Japan
Drama, Fantasy, Animation
Lu over the Wall poster

Yuasa's ode to Hayao Miyazaki. The link to Ponyo and Totoro is obvious, even so this is still very much a Yuasa film. A weird blend of folklore, fantasy and psychedelic animation, not as extreme as some of his other films, but there is nobody out there doing what Yuasa is doing. Fans won't be disappointed.

Solid pieces

Inu-oh

2021 / 98m - Japan
Musical, Animation
3.5*/5.0*
Inu-oh poster

I expected more from Yuasa. Sure enough, the animation is lovely and the vibe here is pretty unique, but to riff on 60s rock culture to revolt against classic Japanese music feels wrong? A rock opera in 2022 isn't very punk, it's mostly just oldskool and very kitsch. And it's a shame to see great animation go to waste like that.

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Inu-oh is a great singer, but he's too deformed to be allowed to perform. Tomona is a blind musician with a strong interest in the hidden stories of the Heike, a clan defeated by the Genji, the current rulers. Together they set out to revolutionize the music scene, but the reigning shogunate isn't too happy with their endeavor.

The animation is pretty spectacular, and the plot and characters are interesting too, but the final hour is one big musical performance, and it's just lacking. The music is rather dim and the choreography could've used some extra work. The animation kept me glued to the screen, the music prevented Inu-oh from becoming a new personal favorite. Disappointing.

Ride Your Wave

Kimi to, Nami ni Noretara
2019 / 94m - Japan
Romance, Fantasy, Animation
3.5*/5.0*
Ride Your Wave poster

Slightly fantastical romance that deals with grief. The film is beautifully animated and has its fair share of stand-out moments, but the art style is a little underwhelming and the soundtrack doesn't really help the film forward either. Not quite up to Yuasa's own standards, but even a lesser Yuasa is still worth checking out

Welcome to the Space Show

Uchu Sho e Yokoso
2010 / 136m - Japan
Sci-fi, Adventure, Animation
3.5*/5.0*
Welcome to the Space Show poster