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94 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Ghibli's best titles, as well as the most under-watched/rated.
Waves in the ocean. Ripples in water. Occurrences that don't impact on the world as a whole.

Ocean Waves is a story of similar impact; impacting only on three characters locked inside their own small little world. It's a story covering the journey towards adulthood of three high schoolers, where the friendship of two is damaged by the one thing besides hate...
Published on 24 Oct. 2009 by Aion

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining but I probably won't watch it again
I'm a big fan of Studio Ghibli and borrowed this film from the library to watch. Just to let you know first off is that it is Japanese with English subtitles, I don't mind this as I like hearing the Japanese. I enjoyed this film for its depiction of high school life in Japan and its mix of different personalities. It is however relatively short and so the characters are...
Published 6 months ago by Karina Mann


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MY FAVOURITE GHIBLI MOVIE, 4 Aug. 2012
This review is from: Ocean Waves [DVD] (DVD)
This is my favourite Ghibli movie, I was so glad to see it get released. I used to have an import copy which was also Japanese with English Subtitles. The story is a romance of epic proportion. This literally has the best soundtrack I've ever heard in any movie or anime, I almost which it came on CD with this DVD. I urge all Ghibli fans to buy this because it really is a masterpiece that deserves to be seen by the most intellectual and emotional of fans. It teaches you on life.

Rating - A+
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, 4 Dec. 2011
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This review is from: Ocean Waves [DVD] (DVD)
The plot of this movie centers on a girl moving from Tokyo with her mother and how it affects the life of a boy and his best friend.
I found it quite interesting and couldn't tell by how much the boy was being manipulated by the flighty female character. I found it slightly shocking in places such as when the pair had an argument and they hit each other.
Overall I would say that this movie is well worth a watch.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just nice!, 13 Feb. 2011
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This review is from: Ocean Waves [DVD] (DVD)
This film is quite sweet but the plot is fairly slow. Probably a film I would not watch more than once.
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4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Shallow, 27 Nov. 2011
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MLA (Jakarta, Indonesia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ocean Waves [DVD] (DVD)
Ocean waves is by some distance the weakest of the Studio Ghibli collection. It tells the story of a teenage boy called Taku Morisaki as he falls in love with a wilful and difficult girl called Rikiko. Aside from the startling lack of depth, there is little to link the English language depth with the title of the film. It is a simple love story about a naive teenage boy, his ordinary life, and his efforts to help the girl he has fallen in love with. Unlike the other Ghiblis there are no discernable layers of meaning and the characters are in the main very unattractive. These are ordinary people living less interesting lives than a typical viewer and who display limited character range.

The plot begins with the cancellation of a school trip to Hawaii. By far the most interesting aspect of Ocean Waves is that it peeks into Japanese life. A school trip to Hawaii is apparently within normal expectation for a small provincial Japanese school. The cancellation of the trip leads to a small, polite rebellion. In the end Taku's rebellion is ignored and only one other boy is prepared to stand up against the teacher's authority - Yutaka Matsuno. The two boys become friends immediately due to a shared sense of anti-authority sentiment though interestingly they always refer to each other by their surnames - another piece of Japanese culture that sticks out.

The reason for the rebellion of Taku and his friend Matsuno is shallow. They both think it grossly unfair. At the early stage in the plot, it makes a lot of sense for teenagers to be self-focussed but it becomes grating by the time the story concludes. Eventually the trip is brought back a few months later but it is merely the setting for the first encounter between Taku and Rikako.

As the plot develops and the relationship between Taku and Rikako becomes more developed, it transpires that perhaps, maybe, after all, they might just like each other a little bit. It is really a shame to see Ghibli try their hand at the over-exposed teenage romance genre. There are no moments of comedy to lighten the mood and it is teenage romance taken far far too seriously.

Matsuno is the embodiment of this seriousness. He is po-faced the entire time. His actions are creepy as he follows Rikakoaround and shares a story of seeing her lying ill in bed. His character is supposed to be deep, Taku speaks of his affection for Matsuno's thinking of life in 10 or 20 years. His character dosen't show depth and doesn't have graduation of expectation. Matsuno lets his frustration get the better of him on one occasion but for a young man in the final year of schooling before entering university he has very little to add to the world around him.

Rikakois the only misfit in town. She is from Tokyo and is not like everyone else. She seems much more like a stereotypical western teenage girl. She is sullen, frighteningly selfish, and incredibly rude. Yukiko basically steals money from Taku and then ignores him during a brief escapade to Tokyo. Her backstory of her parents having divorced is not handled with any subtlety. Family should stick together in a traditional manner appears to be the morality of the tale. Those who have experienced parental divorce will have understood the complexities of that situation with much wider appreciation even as children. That Rikako is a very bright and talented girl who is near the top of the class makes her fatuousness harder to take. She has no regard for anyone other than herself and she is a very unattractive character for the hero of a romance tale to be chasing.

Late on in the plot, Rikako stands up to a group of bullies. The bullies are attempting to make her join in with the class event. It is really annoying that the male characters laud her for standing against the group-think of those who want to do something nice with each other as their time as a group comes to an end with the conclusion of their schooling. Rikako is not happy with being away from Tokyo and despite occasional efforts from other girls to help her fit in, she rejects everyone and everything. It is hard to take that her payoff is a positive one and she is supposed to be seen in some positive light. Instead of her character developing through the film and learning from her experiences, Yukiko remains maddeningly shallow.

The only character who has redeeming features is Taku. He is the naive hero of the tale. He loves Rikako, she is pretty, different, and comes from the the capital city. Taku is a pretty average guy - his ranking within the class is the explicit description of his averageness. He is though extremely considerate. Taku's character seems to have more in common with other Ghibli heroes in that they are typically extremely kind and always willing to help. That he is quite a bit older than most of the Ghibli stars makes him seem naive rather than entirely endearing. The natural conservatism of young boys doesn't sit quite as well on the shoulders of someone in their final year of schooling before university.

Taku gives away a reasonably large sum of money to Yukiko and then goes with her to Tokyo on a whim. He is desperate to reach out to a girl in need of a friend and some help but she offers him no prospect of friendship. Like a typical teenage boy he doesn't take being ignored for an answer and keeps on trying to help. Taku's friendship with Matsuno is a little strained because of their mutual appreciation of Rikako but they seem to cope with it perfectly well in the main. The pair gossip between one another about her and she seems to be their only conversation topic. Their friendship doesn't really develop and it unfortunately isn't a point of emphasis in the plot.

For a story with fairly limited plot, there would need to be great characterisation. There really isn't much going on at all in that department. The lead character is a nice guy but those around him are not that endearing and none of the three really grow at all.

The animation is of course excellent. This isn't the spectacular of Spirited Away or Ponyo but it is a thoughtful artistic rendering with high quality touches like the realistic teenage poses the two boys hold as they stare out into the sea. The characters are not drawn with a huge amount of detail so Yukiko's apparent beauty is dealt with in narrative more than in visual.

The production of the DVD is not excellent. Ocean Waves only comes in Japanese with English subtitles. There are no other language subtitles on the DVD. There are no Extras on the DVD. The subtitles themselves are badly drawn. Ocean Waves uses a very light palette with plenty of whites and near whites. Having white subtitles on a very light frame makes them difficult to pick out. When the story is told in narration form the subtitles are italicised and are even harder to read. This film was clearly never intended for a non-Japanese audience so no thought appears to have been given to making the experience more accessible.

The only positives about Ocean Waves are the access into small areas of Japanese life. The Japanese snippets are things like the class having a rank order, the Yosakoi dance (which regrettably is never shown), Taku watching some kind of robot animation series on TV. These are nice to observe. There is nothing much going on in the plot which is a very simple story of teenage love and the characterisation utterly lacks the usual Ghibli charm. Without charming characters, there is not a huge amount to engage with. This is the weakest of the Ghibli collection and is one for completionists.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ghibli Fans Beware, 4 Sept. 2010
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This review is from: Ocean Waves [DVD] (DVD)
No doubt most of the die hard Ghibli fans will already know but as I didn't you may like to know that this has already been released as " I Can Hear the Sea" so if you have that then you don't need this.
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2 of 37 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ocean Waves, 22 Mar. 2010
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This review is from: Ocean Waves [DVD] (DVD)
I purchased this product is part of my collection, the move itself is well animated and clean crisp throughout. This move is in Japanese with English subtitles. I am a big fan of studio ghibli and I've watched all of the studio collection films, this film reminds me strongly of only yesterday a good story but not sure why it was told using animation. Ocean waves tells the story of a complicated relationship between two Japanese school students and it does this very well. The move is lacking in excitement and adventure that you would expect from a studio ghibli film, so all in all I can only give it one star.
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1 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Japenese titles, 2 Oct. 2010
By 
Mrs. P. Stewart "Pams" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ocean Waves [DVD] (DVD)
Very disappointed to discover that the film is in Japanese with English subtitles. I particularly like the style of these films, particularly because of the fanatastic animation. I do not wish the enjoyment of the film to be spoiled by the fact that it is necessary to have to read the subtitles.
To make the whole thing worse I was not given any indication that the film was in Japanese until it was time to watc the film, and could not find the English. I did notice that it does say that the language is Japanese on the box, but only in very tiny letters, which needed a magnifiying glass to read.

Haven't watched the film yet.
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Ocean Waves [DVD]
Ocean Waves [DVD] by Tomomi Mochizuki (DVD - 2010)
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