Watch Ocean Waves
- 1 hr 12 min
Ocean Waves is a Japanese animated film from 1993. It was directed by Tomomi Mochizuki and produced by Studio Ghibli. While less well-known than some of Studio Ghibli's other films, such as Spirited Away or My Neighbor Totoro, Ocean Waves is a beautiful and thought-provoking film in its own right. The film centers around a love triangle between three high school students: Taku, Yutaka, and Rikako. Taku and Yutaka are childhood friends who attend the same high school, while Rikako is a new transfer student from Tokyo. Rikako is beautiful, intelligent, and seemingly self-assured, but also cold and aloof. Taku and Yutaka are both drawn to her, but their friendship is tested as they both pursue her.
The film is framed as a series of flashbacks, as Taku reflects on his relationship with Rikako during a trip back to his hometown in Kyushu. The story unfolds slowly, with a sense of melancholy and nostalgia pervading the film's tone. The animation is stunning, with gorgeous attention to detail in both the characters and the natural landscapes of Kyushu and Tokyo.
One of the most striking things about Ocean Waves is its realism. The characters are not fantastical creatures or superheroes, but rather ordinary high school students dealing with ordinary (albeit intense) emotions. Rikako is not a perfect object of desire, but a flawed and complicated human being. Taku and Yutaka are not simply rivals for her affections, but fully-realized characters with their own hopes and fears.
Another strength of the film is its exploration of time and memory. As Taku reflects on his past, he realizes how much he has forgotten or misremembered. Scenes that seemed ordinary or insignificant at the time take on new meanings and emotional weight as he revisits them years later. The film captures the experience of looking back on one's youth with a sense of bittersweetness and regret.
The film's themes of love, friendship, memory, and nostalgia resonate strongly with viewers of all ages. While it may not be as well-known or commercially successful as some other Studio Ghibli films, Ocean Waves is a beautiful and emotionally resonant work of art.
Ocean Waves is a 1993 animated movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 12 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6 and a MetaScore of 73.