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‘Lu Over the Wall’ Film Review: Wild Mermaid Anime Defies Categorization

  • The Wrap
‘Lu Over the Wall’ Film Review: Wild Mermaid Anime Defies Categorization
Somewhere in the psychoactive realm between “The Little Mermaid,” “Ponyo,” that mermaid subplot from “Beach Blanket Bingo” and the time you accidentally ate a moldy tangerine and saw never-before-seen colors for hours on end, lies a movie called “Lu Over the Wall.” It’s gorgeous, it’s distinctive, it’s quirky, it’s definitely about mermaids, and it might just make you question your sanity.

Lu Over the Wall” is a new anime feature from Masaaki Yuasa, who is perhaps best known in America as the director of the ultraviolent, ultra-harrowing television series “Devilman: Crybaby.” Although the two projects are vastly different in tone, they share an extemporaneous quality that is both intoxicating and overwhelming. It would appear that Yuasa’s worlds are full of danger and beauty, squished together into unlikely patterns.

On the surface, “Lu Over the Wall” looks like just another retelling of “The Little Mermaid.” Kai (voiced by Michael Sinterniklaas in the American dub) is a middle schooler and aspiring musician, a pessimistic loner who has no desire to communicate with his classmates. To his chagrin, two of his classmates — the effervescent Yūho (Stephanie Sheh) and the enthusiastic but embarrassed Kunio (Brandon Engman) — find out about Kai’s musical talent and invite him to join their band, Siren, which rehearses in secret at the nearby Merfolk Island.

Also Read: Gkids Picks Up North American Rights to Feminist Animated Film 'Miss Hokusai'

It’s not just a name: Kai and his bandmates soon discover that Merfolk are real, and that a mermaid girl named Lu (Christine Marie Cabanos) is totally in love with their music. She’s a great singer to boot. It’s an enormous revelation made all the more dangerous by the town’s troubling history with Merfolk, so when Siren recruits Lu into their musical act and accidentally reveal her to the whole town, and to the whole world, it leads to catastrophic misunderstandings, kidnappings, flooding and attempted fish murder.

Lu Over the Wall” is many films, all of them vying for the same screen time. It’s as chaotic as it sounds. On one hand, it’s a film about an underdog teen pop band, and that’s probably the most endearing incarnation of this story. Kai is a believably morose adolescent who comes out of his shell when he makes a new friend, and watching Siren deal with petty jealousies and secrets gives each character moments of joy and misery. It’s a bright, sensational storyline with delightful music to amplify it.

Also Read: Paramount and Bad Robot to Develop Live-Action Version of Japanese Anime 'Your Name'

Lu Over the Wall” is also a film about mermaids, but not just any mermaids: We’re talking some seriously weird mermaids here. It’s a vampiric breed of creature which bursts into flames upon contact with direct sunlight, and which can transform anything else into a mermaid just by biting it. When Lu’s father arrives (a giant leviathan wearing a business suit and mustache for some reason), he proceeds to bite every dead fish in this seaside community. Before long they start getting up and walking away, even after they’ve been eaten, and the movie treats this like a relatively minor plot point even though it’s so strange it makes you want to pull out your hair and beg someone, anyone, to make a big deal out of it.

It’s also a film about lingering generational animosity, xenophobia and racism. It turns out this town was cursed many years ago, when the locals sacrificed one of the Merfolk in the sun. The few Merfolk sightings since are shrouded in mystery and suspicion, so that even Kai’s grandfather thinks they’re responsible for the horrific death of his own mother. History repeats itself and lessons are learned, but if you thought this was a cutesy animated fairy tale about beach bands and happy water sprites, the third act of “Lu Over the Wall” might turn out to be pretty upsetting.

Also Read: DVDs are Dying, But Not for Anime Distributor Funimation

It’s hard to fault Yuasa’s film for its ingenuity; it’s a vividly realized and incredibly distinctive animated fantasy, which touches upon familiar myths, only to suddenly shove them in new and unexpected directions. It’s vivid and colorful, with exuberant music and (at the very least) a respectable American dub. The animation style veers from sweet and traditional to wild and elastic. You never know what’s going to happen next.

But you also never quite know if you’re going to like it. Just when you’ve got your bearings, and have come to accept “Lu Over the Wall” for whatever the heck it seems to be at the moment, it transforms into something different. Whether these mood swings are welcome or frustrating will vary from audience member to audience member, and possibly from moment to moment.

Either way, there’s no other mermaid movie quite like “Lu Over the Wall,” for better or worse. Let’s go with “better.”

Read original story ‘Lu Over the Wall’ Film Review: Wild Mermaid Anime Defies Categorization At TheWrap
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A Mermaid Washes Ashore in U.S. Trailer for Masaaki Yuasa’s ‘Lu Over the Wall’

Masaaki Yuasa, director of one the century’s best animated films thus far, Mind Game (which recently enjoyed a theatrical re-release), is back this year with a new feature, Lu Over the Wall. Set to be released by Gkids in May, they’ve now debuted a new trailer for the film which picked up the Grand Prize at the prestigious Annecy International Animation Festival.

We caught up with the film–which follows a mermaid who comes ashore and joins a family–at Sundance, where Dan Schindel said in his review that it “demonstrates everything that makes Yuasa one of the best contemporary anime filmmakers. It’s an energetic, frequently hilarious, always visually riveting ride. Featuring the voices of Michael Sinterniklaas and Stephanie Sheh, see the trailer below.

From visionary anime auteur Masaaki Yuasa, comes a joyously hallucinogenic but family-friendly take on the classic fairy tale about a little mermaid who
See full article at The Film Stage »

New U.S. poster and trailer for award-winning anime feature Lu Over the Wall

GKids has released a poster and trailer for director Masaaki Yuasa’s award-winning anime feature Lu Over the Wall which features the voice talents of Michael Sinterniklaas and Stephanie Sheh; take a look here…

From visionary anime auteur Masaaki Yuasa, comes a joyously hallucinogenic but family-friendly take on the classic fairy tale about a little mermaid who comes ashore to join a middle-school rock band and propel them to fame. Kai is talented but adrift, spending his days sulking in a small fishing village after his family moves from Tokyo. His only joy is uploading songs he writes to the internet. When his classmates invite him to play keyboard in their band, their practice sessions bring an unexpected guest: Lu, a young mermaid whose fins turn to feet when she hears the beats, and whose singing causes humans to compulsively dance – whether they want to or not.

As Kai spends more time with Lu,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Exclusive: Dean wants to succeed on his own terms in deleted 'Venture Bros' Season 6 clip

  • Hitfix
Exclusive: Dean wants to succeed on his own terms in deleted 'Venture Bros' Season 6 clip
Before Bojack Horseman came along to make us stare into the abyss of our own failures and laugh at them, there was The Venture Bros. Over the course six seasons, the Adult Swim show has morphed from a parody of old cartoons (notably Johnny Quest) to a complex treatise on failure and how the soft, strangling hands of childhood emotional baggage can hamstring even the most promising future. All while oscillating between biting social commentary, dry humor, and genuine moments of emotional connection between characters. Now that the sixth season has come to and end — and with Season 7 only a nebulous promise — it’s time to settle in for the long sleep between seasons. Luckily, at least the Blu-ray™ and DVD set of Season 6 arrives on October 4, 2016. HitFix got our hands on an exclusive clip above from the box set, featuring a short deleted scene featuring Dean Venture (Michael Sinterniklaas
See full article at Hitfix »

5 Can’t-Miss Fall Conventions for Atlanta Actors

With Dragon Con attracting more than 70,000 costumed fans of movies, television, comic books and other theatrics to downtown Atlanta over Labor Day weekend, one might think that was the final act for Atlanta’s con season. While Dragon Con is summer’s big bang when it comes to conventions, fall offers several more opportunities to dress up as your favorite anime characters and monster movie villains while interacting with actors from your favorite cartoons, films and TV shows. Here are five fall conventions Atlanta-based artists and enthusiasts won’t want to miss. Anime Weekend Atlanta (Sept. 24–27)Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Anime Weekend Atlanta is a four-day convention dedicated to Japanese animation, comics, art and video games. Awa features numerous panels, cosplay contests, gaming competitions and musical performances virtually around the clock. Anime and video game voice actors such as Daisuke Sakaguchi, Lisle Wilkerson, Christopher Sabat, Kaiji Tang, Toby Proctor, Linda Ballantyne,
See full article at Backstage »

"C-3P0" Anthony Daniels to appear at London Comic Con, plus full details

How do you bring 60,000 sci-fi and comic geeks to a unified climax? Easy...take a dash of London, a dollop of globally-renowned Comic Con and sprinkle with C-3Po - geek perfection if ever there was. Ah well, one can dream...

But wait! Thanks to those wonderful people over at McM Expo, London will once again welcome a sheer smorgasbord of geeky goodness. Returning to the ExCel London on 25-27 May, the festival with feature an awesome line-up of movie, videogame, sci-fi, comics, anime and cosplay content ready to entertain the show’s 60,000 plus visitors. As well as offering fans the chance of a meet and greet with Mr. Anthony "C3P0" Daniels himself, visitors can also look forward to:

- Mingling with Fallen Skies stars - the sci-fi drama produced by Steven Spielberg - Seychelle Gabriel and Sarah Carter, who play Lourdes and Margaret respectively

- A sneak peak
See full article at Shadowlocked »

Preview: McM Expo London Comic Con, May 25th – 27th 2012

Britain’s biggest pop culture festival, McM Expo London Comic Con returns to ExCel London on 25th-27th May with an awesome line-up of movie, videogame, sci-fi, comics, anime and cosplay content ready to entertain the show’s 60,000 plus visitors; and we have the scoop on the first wave of announcements. Check out all this goodness:

First off, this May’s McM Expo London Comic Con’s sponsor is Universal PicturesThe Lorax, an animated comedy from the creators of Despicable Me, based on the much-loved children’s book by Dr. Seuss. London Comic Con has also teamed up with Universal Pictures to give fans the chance to attend the world premiere of upcoming fantasy blockbuster Snow White and the Huntsman at London’s Leicester Square, 14 May. The competition opens at noon on Friday at www.londonexpo.com


Comic Con visitors will get a sneak peek at the next generation of turtles,
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

[TV] The Venture Bros.: The Complete Season 4

The art of parody doesn’t aspire to great heights. Typically, it takes a target, ridicules its subject matter or approach to it, and then closes with a laugh. It seeks to entertain and possibly provide a new slant on the same message. Parody doesn’t evolve. It might build up a catalog of jokes on popular topics, but it never reaches for a self-sustaining existence, one where it dreams up its own comic basis, content to latch on and draw material from elsewhere. That’s where The Venture Bros. started, as a show that lambasted Hanna-Barbera adventure shows like Jonny Quest or Scooby-Doo by staging its own series of random adventures based on the life of a resentful scientist who grew up as the son of the world’s most beloved mystery-solving, crime fighting hero.

As the series worked its way through the first season, it was clear it had aspirations beyond adventure parody.
See full article at JustPressPlay »

Nycc 2010: Venture Bros' "Bright Lights, Dean City" Hits New York

How fitting that The Venture Bros. "Bright Lights, Dean City" would come to New York the very same weekend as New York Comic-Con, wherein we caught the Venture panel and got our own chance to interview series creators Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick.

But as far as the episode goes, ending thoughts read "of course."  Of course last week's reveal of an alternate universe success story Dr. Venture would turn out to be a one-note  gag largely unexplored.  The Venture Bros. rarely deals with the impact of its setups.  Instead of a season-long Fringe style story about a parallel universe, Venturnative (clever, no?) merely told us of Rusty's plans to replace his perfect life before disappearing into obscurity.

It's exactly the type of narrative fake-out you expect from the Venture Bros, but I honestly can't believe I've used this many words to describe "Bright Lights, Dean City' without mentioning the
See full article at UGO TV »

Turtles Forever DVD Review

Turtles Forever Directed by: Roy Burdine and Lloyd Goldfine Written by: Robert David, Matthew Drdek, Lloyd Goldfine Starring: Michael Sinterniklaas, Wayne Grayson, Sam Riegel, Gregory Abbey, Darren Dunstan, Marc Thompson, Veronica Taylor The times they are a changin'. Nowadays, even Michaelangelo is irritated by the grinning, pun-happy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles of old. Sure, it may be a slap in the face to fans of the older series they grew up with, but Turtles Forever is just fan service topped with fan service with a side order of fan service. The concept is nothing short of brilliant, having multiple generations of the Ninja Turtles meet in their own dimensions via portals. The movie features three groups of Turtles: the recent '03 series, the original '90s cartoon, and the comic book source material. It's how these three intertwine that makes this work. What used to make total sense back in
See full article at FilmJunk »

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash-Up

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash-Up is the new video game for the Wii/PlayStation 2 video game consoles, developed by Game Arts and published by Montreal-based Ubisoft, marking the 25th anniversary of the 'sewer surfing' reptiles. Smash-Up is a 4-player 'fighting game', where players attempt to Ko opponents by depleting their 'life bar', knocking them off the stage or into traps. Characters are colour-coded on-screen via a glow effect to help players keep track, featuring 'life-restoring' pizza and 'ninja magic' granting the ability to fire breathe and create electrical shields. Playing modes include Arcade, Battle Royal, Survival, Tournament, Swap-Out, Practice and Mission, as well as an online mode for four players and mini-games. Playable Characters include 'April O'Neil', voiced by Veronica Taylor, 'Casey Jones', voiced by Marc Thompson, 'Donatello', voiced by Sam Riegel, 'Leonardo', voiced by Michael Sinterniklaas, 'Master Splinter', voiced by Darren Dunstan, 'Michelangelo', voiced
See full article at HollywoodNorthReport.com »

San Diego Comic-Con Schedule: Saturday, July 25

The following information focuses on the 2009 Comic-Con schedule that is set for Saturday, July 25th. It’s not a full schedule - it only highlights TV and movie related panels and events.

Highlights for Saturday include Lost, Fringe, a screening of the pilot episode of ABC’s V, a first look at Heroes: Redemption, 2012 and a little film coming out next year you may have heard of: Iron Man 2.


Marvel: “Hero Up” with The Super Hero Squad Show!— Marvel’s first action-comedy series is a manic, mind-blowing, all-ages romp through the Marvel Universe. Coming to Cartoon Network in September, the animated show is loaded with superstar voice talent. Several of the actors will preview their characters in a live performance: Tom Kenny (Spongebob) as Iron Man and Modok, Charlie Adler (Cow and Chicken, Transformers features) as Dr. Doom, Steve Blum (Wolverine and the X-Men) as Wolverine,
See full article at Screen Rant »

Cartoon Network/Adult Swim Announce Full Comic-Con Schedule

Its no secret that Cartoon Network and Adult Swim feature some of the funniest and most innovative shows around. With programming like Robot Chicken and Batman: The Brave and the Bold, they really show their true creative abilities and, in the case of Robot Chicken in particular, often makes us laugh our butts off.

Because we’re such fans of Cartoon Network and Adult Swim here at The Flickcast, we’re particularly excited to see what they have in store for Comic-Con. Fortunately, we don’t have to wait any longer to find out because today they’ve released the official Cartoon Network and Adult Swim schedule of all the events going on in San Diego.

Here’s all the info from the press release:

Cartoon Network and Adult Swim Series Panels and Events Lineup

for 2009 Comic-Con International

Cartoon Network and Adult Swim announces a number of panels, fan events
See full article at The Flickcast »

Cartoon Network and Adult Swim Announce Comic-Con 2009 Lineup!

Cartoon Network and Adult Swim announces a number of panels, fan events and signings at 2009 Comic-Con International in San Diego, Calif., Thursday, July 23 - Sunday, July 26, 2009. All times, dates and locations subject to change.

Cartoon Network And Adult Swim Panels

Thursday, July 23

Adult Swim: Robot Chicken w/ Titan Maximum

3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Location: 6A

Moderator: Keith Crofford, vice president of production Adult Swim

Seth Green (co-creator, Robot Chicken and Titan Maximum), Matthew Senreich (co-creator, Robot Chicken and Titan Maximum), Tom Root (head writer, Robot Chicken/co-creator, Titan Maximum) and Doug Goldstein (head writer, Robot Chicken) with Chris McKay, Breckin Meyer, Kevin Shinick, Mike Fasolo and Dan Milano discuss the popular Adult Swim series Robot Chicken. They also discuss the upcoming new stop-motion animated series Titan Maximum, slated to premiere on Adult Swim this fall.

Cartoon Network Comedy - Original Animation

4:15 - 5:15 p.m.

Location: Room 6A

Moderator: Brian Miller,
See full article at MovieWeb »

Blu-Ray Review: ‘The Venture Bros.: 3rd Season’ Continues to Rock in HD

Blu-Ray Rating: 4.0/5.0 Chicago – Adult Swim’s “The Venture Bros.” is the best show you’re not watching. As clever as “South Park,” “Family Guy,” or “The Simpsons,” “The Venture Bros.” is a hilarious dissection of the history of adventure animation like “Jonny Quest”. With a commentary on every episode, gorgeous video and audio, and twenty minutes of deleted scenes, “The Venture Bros: Season Three” is a must-buy for TV animation fans.

The title characters of “The Venture Bros.” are Hank and Dean Venture, the dopey kids surrounded by chaos of living life in the Venture family with their legendary father Dr. Thaddeus “Rusty” Venture and their infamous bodyguard Brock Samson.

The Venture Bros.: 3rd Season will be released on Blu-Ray on March 24th, 2009.

Photo credit: WB/Adult Swim

To this viewer, the kids seem loosely modeled on The Hardy Boys and other naive investigators of that literary era, but
See full article at HollywoodChicago.com »

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