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.