Friday, May 11, sees the limited theatrical release of Masaaki Yuasa’s Lu Over the Wall, a cute li’l anime about a withdrawn and friendless teenage boy, Kai, who lives in a tiny seaside town whose members boast a historical hate-on for mermaids. Naturally, Kai meets and befriends a mermaid, the eponymous Lu, who speaks in a sort of high-pitched gibberish and loves to dance. Shenanigans occur as the townspeople come to the realization that their dreaded (and misunderstood) enemy is real, after all.
Lu Over the Wall is cute without being obnoxiously, teeth-rottingly cute—a feat that’s achieved by the integration of some interesting, and actually a little dark, twists on typical mermaid mythology. For example, mermaids burn when they’re touched by the sun. The form Lu’s father takes is… unexpected, and more than a bit surreal. Oh, and mermaids can turn humans into one of their own by biting them, which has the unfortunate side effect of making the townspeople think mermaids are bloodthirsty monsters.
Sorry, did I say “humans”? That’s not entirely correct. It doesn’t just work with humans.
That’s right. Merpuppies. Merpuppies! We've got merpuppies here!
They're 50% fish, 50% canine, 100% good dogs, Brent.
In a way, I find the presence of merpuppies in Lu Over the Wall to be deeply upsetting. I'm not sure I'm prepared to watch any movie, now, where they are not an indisputable part of the mermaid mythological canon. Once you've gone merpuppy, can you ever really go back? (Not in a sex way, you weirdos.)
Splash: what about merpuppies?
The Lure: what about merpuppies?
The Mermaid: what about merpuppies?
The Little Mermaid: what about merpuppies?
You know what? In the parlance of the Internet: Fixed That For You.
Suck it, Flounder.