Posted by psgels on 17 October 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews


And I’m finally back with my movie reviews, and next up are going to be the Ghibli-movies. I’m not sure whether they’re going to be as frequent as before, due to my studies and all, but I’ll try to do one whenever I have a quiet day. Anyway, the first on the list is Umi ga Kikoeru, or better known to the English community as Ocean Waves. It’s a high-school romance, and while it may not be the most original genre, it does show that with quality-writing, any concept can turn out worthwhile.

With the start of the new season, I’ve been thrown to death by all the new high-school romances that came out, but still Ocean Waves turned into an enjoyable and relaxing anime for me. The degree of realism really helps: yes, it is a love-triangle, but the events flow well and don’t feel forced. The characters are developed well, they’ve all got sufficient background and make perfect use of the couple-of-years-long time-skip that takes place near the end of the movie (the latter was the real highlight for the movie for me). In the end, I found myself really caring about the three main characters, and I doubt to be the only one who did.

Still, don’t go for this movie if you want an exciting storyline. The pacing for Ocean Waves is really slow, and it should be used to relax, not to be blown away by. It’s not the best movie ever because of it, but it’s good at what it does.

I’ve also noticed that I tend to spend very little attention to production-values in my latest reviews, so I’m going to force myself here to write a whole paragraph about them. For a movie dating from 1993, the art looks really crisp and clean. The character-designs are simple, but they look very pleasing to the eye, with a degree of realism that all harems nowadays don’t even care about. It gives the movie a nice, down-to-earth feeling. The animation is detailed, but it’s a bit too simple and static for a Ghibli-movie. The background music is also well-chosen, albeit unspectacular.

4 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    Ah, I loved this movie. Although it wasn’t the same as other Ghibli films, the story and characters still had charm and a nice slice of life feel. It’s just a simple teen romance that should be appreciated for giving a realistic example of what young love is.

  2. AG says:

    This is why you should watch “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” – it has a subtle high-school romance combined with time-leaping scifi! Totally recommended.

  3. dqx says:

    This is my favorite Ghibli movies (Only Yesterday comes pretty close though). I really like the characters. The story is filled with so many familiar yet strange situations.
    Reading your review makes me want to watch this again yet one more time. Got to find some free time now.

    Not surprisingly, I also enjoy “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” a lot. Great movie!

  4. R says:

    I found it posted on youtube with Spanish subs – yet another time I’ve been glad for high school Spanish lessons. It’s a quite good film. Sometimes I don’t have patience for that kind of slow-paced movie but this kept my attention.

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  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:48 AM)
    Ashura was an excellent example of how to through anime illicit and emotional response in an honest, non-melodramatic way.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:46 AM)
    @Bam: I’d be more than happy to take a look at some of those shorts anytime.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:44 AM)
    @Emma: there’s a lot of European animators that got active in the last 10 years or so that are really reinvigorating their animation scene, and every now and then I get introduced to some fabulous shorts.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Emma: no I don’t really mind gory ‘for the fuck of it’ violence, I even like it in some grindhouse type of works, but I just don’t think it’s always effective as a shock factor. Live-action is the most sympathetic for obvious reasons, but there are animated works that do elicit a deep response. Probably because of circumstances but also the details of the in-between animation, which can induce certain feelings of disgust.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:39 AM)
    *here and there
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:35 AM)
    @Bam: I really wish there was more arthouse anime now to give some kind of a balance to everything thats out these days.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:33 AM)
    Now I like my exploitation every so often, but yes Bam I really do wish that adult and mature storytelling could be better associated with truly, more pure mature themes.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:25 AM)
    I get choked up over Bergmans cries and whisper and Autumn sonata, I look back on a work by Key and Jun Maeda and wonder, think of how silly it looks to me now.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:24 AM)
    I also find it easier to get an emotional response from a honest drama, live action film, largely due to the real people doing the acting. Sometimes you get an actor whose just that good too…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:22 AM)
    I’ve gotten my odd emotional reaction here from anime and manga but a lot of the time it feels like the jump scare in a generic horror movie, I got shocked but I felt minipulated afterwards it wasn’t genuine, the same goes for some anime/manga drama when it takes a melodramatic turn instead of a bleak, honest one.

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