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Anime / The Night Is Short, Walk On Girl

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You can't trust people you meet at night.

"Those without Talent should use Effort!/Effort is Talent!"
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A university student (Otome) decides to break away from a wedding reception after-party to go on a Kyoto nightlife adventure all her own filled with urban legend cocktails, possible tengus, and lovely coincidences.

Her smitten upperclassman (Senpai), who had planned to confess his feelings to her at said after-party, pursues the black-haired girl into the night on a farce plagued with criminal thugs, treacherous gods, and harebrained schemes crashing into one another.

Are all her fortunes fated? Are all his calamities coincidental?

A ribald and romantic evening awaits them both.

The Night Is Short, Walk On Girl is an anime film directed by Masaaki Yuasa and released in 2017. It's based on a novel by Tomohiko Morimi, author of The Tatami Galaxy (which Yuasa also directed an anime adaptation for). The film is meant to be a Spiritual Sequel to The Tatami Galaxy, though while both works share the same university setting and some of the same characters, their plotlines are largely unrelated. The novel was given an official translation by Yen Press and released in 2019. In January 2021 the film was streamed on HBO Max with an English dub.

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Exhibits the following tropes:

  • The Ace: Otome is beautiful, rich, intelligent, lucky, and skilled in martial arts. Her pep, helpfulness, and ability to consume large quantities of alcohol make her very endearing to everyone she meets. The old solipsists outright call her "one of the most talented people in the last 100 years" after she gets them out of their funk.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The book spaces out its four big backdrops (wandering around Kyoto in a pub crawl, the used book fair, the Kyoto University school festival, and everyone coming down with a cold) as vignettes across one year linked together by Senpai's efforts to get together with his crush, the movie opts to simply have all four events happen in one incredibly wild night for the main characters in order to streamline the narrative.
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  • Big Bad: Rihaku for most of the film.
  • Break Them by Talking: Rihaku's usual tactic for winning drinking contests involves waiting for his opponent to have a few drinks in them already before combining this trope with his fearsome reputation to intimidate them into losing.
  • Butt-Monkey: Senpai.
  • The Cameo: Kai, Yuho, and Kunio can be seen in the background at one point.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: Senpai is plain, poor, unlucky, and does so-so at school. His gloom, selfishness, and inability to hold his liquor make him rather unpopular with just about everyone, and the trio he forms with his only two friends is often at odds with itself.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: Both the Solipsist Club members and alumni are depicted as pedantic and listless in how often they argue and brood.
  • Continuity Nod: There are several direct references to The Tatami Galaxy in both the book and film.
    • Higuchi and Hanuki return in both versions of the story as major supporting characters who befriend Otome.
    • Act 47 of the guerilla theater's play about Princess Daruma have her confront a character from The Tatami Galaxy; in the book, it's Aijima and in the film, it's Jougasaki, with a further reference included to his beloved doll Kaori.
    • The book refers to the Eccentric King's final set piece as an inescapable prison consisting of 4.5 tatami mats, an allusion to the Epiphanic Prison that story's protagonist was eventually subjected to. Furthermore, Princess Daruma and the Eccentric King declare they'll go out and seize that rose-colored campus life as the final lines of the play.
    • Higuchi mentions that the only other treasure besides the Junpero drug that he's ever sought for is the Kamenoko Scrub Brush, which he only obtained in one loop of The Tatami Galaxy.
    • The film has several dozen clips of The Tatami Galaxy playing in the background as security footage to demonstrate the School Festival Committee's reach.
  • Cool Big Sis: Otome references her older sister who taught her many life lessons and bits of philosophy that she still uses today several times throughout the story, but said sister never actually shows up in the story.
  • Dirty Old Man:
    • Toudou, who is old enough to be Otome's father, tries to grope her breasts when they first meet. He's also part of a club that collects vintage erotic prints.
    • Rihaku often has his thugs attack young men and steal their pants/underwear.
  • Expy: While they superficially resemble the Protagonist and Akashi from The Tatami Galaxy, Senpai and Otome are very much their own people.
  • Happily Married: Naoko and Akagawa.
  • Hidden Depths: While she comes across as The Ditz to initial observation, Otome's inner monologues are rather poetic.
  • Loving a Shadow: Don Underwear eventually admits that he's more in love with that sublime moment of coincidental connection vis-a-vis the apples falling on their heads at the same time than he is with the actual "Princess Daruma". Senpai fears that this might be the case with him and Otome as well.
  • MacGuffin: Three of them, each of which punctuates the film's main three acts/storylines. The Imitation Denki Bran, Otome's childhood copy of Ratatatam, and the miracle cold cure Junpero.
  • Meaningful Background Event: Hanuki drinking Rihaku's leftover alcohol in a fairly ignonimous scene winds up getting most of the cast sick with his fever.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: In The Tatami Galaxy, Higuchi is implied to be the dual identity of the god who approaches the protagonist at the beginning of the story. In The Night Is Short, Walk On Girl, he claims to be a tengu. Of course, this is Higuchi, so if anyone could reasonably have a multiple-choice past, it would be him.
  • No Name Given: Even with Otome's name explicitly written on her childhood copy of Ra Ta Ta Tam and noted by several characters as the way of identifying it as her book, it's never actually stated what her name is.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Deconstructed. In-universe, Senpai's plan to gradually insert himself as a near-constant presence in Otome's life is regarded as extremely creepy by his friends, and he eventually becomes highly critical of his own actions, wondering if he really does love Otome as a person or just sees her as a sex object and distraction from more pressing matters in his life.
  • Title Drop: The phrase "The night is short, walk on girl" is given in both the book and the film, but have very different contexts to the title drop.
    • In the book, as Rihaku realizes that Otome has cured his cold and thus made the endless long night of the Winter Solstice more bearable by removing the pain of suffering through a cold, he thanks her for making the night metaphorically shorter and encourages her to keep going.
    • In the film, the night has been going on for the entire film and is reaching its climax with Rihaku noting Otome will have to help out Senpai and encouraging her to finish out her night by delivering the Junpero drug to him.
  • What Is This Feeling?: Otome, who lives primarily by her appetites and youthful whims, is very confused when she starts to experience "fuzzy, cotton candy-like feelings" whenever she thinks of Senpai.
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