Film Review: Lu Over the Wall

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In association with Scotland Loves Anime at the Glasgow Film Theatre.

The award winning Japanese anime Lu Over the Wall, produced by Science Saru, was one of the many films screened at the Glasgow Film Theatre as part of Scotland Loves Anime. The story is set in a picturesque fishing village in Japan, complete with luscious green forests and clear blue seas. The main character Kai, an unhappy middle school student and aspiring musician, has just moved there with his father and grandfather. Fearing they will disapprove of his musical endeavours, he starts secretly practising with his schoolmates’ band on Merfolk Island, where he encounters a real life mermaid girl – the titular Lu – and many magical adventures ensue.

As with any anime, this plot conjures up a number of themes and morals for the viewer to think about. Intertwined within Lu Over the Wall’s cute storyline and hilarious moments is a more serious commentary on exclusion and acceptance. This is a story that is not uncommon in anime – two people from different backgrounds come together despite the odds to have fun, and spread love, warmth and unity. In Lu Over the Wall, this literally involves bringing together two worlds – the world of the humans in the harbour, and the world of the merfolk beyond the giant wall that separates them. The merfolk are stereotyped as dangerous and evil by the older residents of the harbour; so it is up to the younger characters to overcome the prejudices of the elderly, and show them the true nature of the underwater creatures.

Overall, the humour, cute characters, and beautiful setting combine to create an uplifting and heart-warming story, suitable for all ages. If you’re a fan of films like Ponyo, and you want to see the most adorable anime mer-dogs ever, then Lu Over the Wall is definitely for you.

More information on Scotland Loves Anime is available here.

[Katie Fannin – @katfnan]

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