I can’t pretend to know things I know nothing about. That is why I use the Internet and its vast resources of educational and entertainment media to fill my brain with newfound knowledge from other humans with their own methods of garnering information. From that I put it all together and form my own opinions and values. Alcohol is not something I take in. The most exciting beverage I’ve consumed is grape soda and nothing more. Yet here I am finding great meaning in something I have never cared for.
Halting my mental faculties was never something I thought was necessary so drinking and smoking is useless to me but I’ve romanticized the idea of a traveling wanderer exploring cities in the day and raiding their pubs in the night. Listening to the life stories of the regulars, their relationship with alcohol and what they plan to do moving forward. While that concept has a very melancholic vibe that I find especially appealing; Night is Short, Walk on Girl has introduced to me that giving a bit of yourself to alcohol is a much deeper dive than I had anticipated. Alcohol transcends reality as we know it and can bring together a community in ways that would not be socially possible otherwise. As our heroine strolls along this intoxicated city of all kinds of people with different ages and backgrounds she is quickly absorbed into the adventure these people have set out for her and she’s keen to follow whatever path she’s put on.
The unhampered chaos continues to ensue as the night passes on and it is not unlikely for everyone to be tired out as it goes along since everyone holds their liquor in different amounts. This is probably the deepest form of relation you’ll find with these characters. Not to say there isn’t different and more standard ways to relate to them but this is what I consider the most meaningful as the party is only as exciting as your last memory of it. That’s where I relate to Ryouko the most because if I were to have attended this crazy night of misadventures and drank my consciousness away I feel I would have lasted about as long as her. Because, while a lot of people I am sure would think of me as a lightweight, I don’t agree. I peg myself around the halfway point; just like her. Which I’d be perfectly happy with. Because the memories Ryouko got to make this night was crazy enough to feel like a satisfying end but also barely missing enough to where listening to someone tell you about it the next day will be a treat in of itself.
Of course, there is a dark side to alcohol. Walk on Girl’s depiction of alcoholism resonates through an old and powerful man by the name of Rihaku. A man who’s gained everything, lost everything and regained it all in the span of his lifetime. Purchasing women and friends like they were on the stock market! Yet, none of this was fulfilling to him and all he did was isolate himself in his home drowning in a sea of alcohol. Having found no meaning in his existence and completely avoiding walking through the wavering nights. However, through the charm of our walking girl, he’s able to understand that it is his influence on everyone else that gave them something to toil with. Whether positive or negative, he made a social impact even just from the confines of his own home. He gave them a reason to go out at night and drink their stress away. He caused an epidemic that put most people in bed at a satisfying hour to conclude such an awesome night. Whether he likes it or not, he is the reason this night even happened.
That is the reason that, yeah, people will turn to alcoholism to escape reality. But escaping reality is not to run away from your problems forever. It is to have lived as someone else entirely for one night in preparation to be yourself the next day. There are no rules. There are no morals. There is no understanding the person with the face. The person you are relies solely in the glass you’re holding and the people around you are living through the same glasses you clink in cheer! That is what Night is Short, Walk on Girl has taught me. And I couldn’t have possibly given a topic like this the time of day if it wasn’t for the illusionary art design and directing that is seemingly the reason for Yuasa Masaaki’s success. I definitely plan to check out more of his work sooner rather than later and while it may still be a while before I pick up a glass; have a drink on me…