Ocean Waves is a coming of age tale centered around Taku, an ordinary high school student, his best friend Matsuno, and Rukiko, a reserved outcast who has caught Matsuno's eye. While bounds of friendship are tested, unlikely relationships grow and flourish in this made for television movie.
I'm a HUGE Ghibli fan and you know what this was? Absolute garbage. I actually bought it randomly on DVD because you know, it was Ghibli. There was no character development, or, well the characters were dull, dull storyline. It was so boring, but I kept watching til the end, hoping for a point to it. I actually don't even know what I watched. Nope. If you love Ghibli as much as I do, skip this one.
It’s time to put some respect on Ocean Waves’ name. It’s got none of the usual Ghibli archetypes – there’s no sentient animal companion, none of that magical realism, and there most certainly isn’t any underlying message or moral. Ocean Waves simply is, for better and for worse. By this, I mean you get exactly what’s advertised: a small, ambitious project by some of the studio’s young animators, and a typical teenage coming-of-age story. The film doesn’t try to do more beyond this, which is why it might not create any lasting memories, even if it is a pretty good watch in the moment. The movie takes its time and while it can be frustrating for most, I thought it was fine, as long as it gave me a chance to take in the quiet simplicity of its story, scenery, and soundtrack. The characters are mostly unremarkable, but they’re relatable and even familiar in several aspects. Ocean Waves is a nice time capsule of a movie, and if you’ve ever found yourself nostalgic for simpler times, then this should be just fine. If you’re expecting a little more from your movies, then you’re better off looking elsewhere. It’s definitely one of the weaker Ghiblis I’ve seen so far, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s all bad.
My only experiences with Studio Ghibli up to this point have been with Miyazaki's films, so I picked one at random, and this is what I got.STORYOcean Waves is very realistic. It's a story about normal people living their normal lives. It's focused on problems that seem very petty compared to most anime, whose plots contain sweeping melodrama and constant twists and turns, and thus is rather more relatable, for what that's worth. Adding to the realism are things that wouldn't normally be included in an anime (a girl mentions her period, there's a brief scene of a few of the teenaged characters drinking), as well as complicated emotions that are hard to portray. One of the more impressive plot points (to me) took place in the school. Countless anime take place in Japanese schools, and almost all of them take their drama from the interactions between students. Ocean Waves did this for the most part, but also included conflict between the students and the school itself- the administration and how the school was being run.Ocean Waves also manages to be one of the slowest-paced things I've ever watched. Which isn't really my thing.ANIMATIONPassable. It's obviously made by Ghibli, but as a made for television movie, instead of one that was shown in theaters, it had a noticably smaller budget. The designs are atractive enough, and the animation of the movements are alright, there just aren't that many movements to animate, and a marked over-reliance on still shots.SOUNDIf you played the soundtrack from this film back to me, I probably wouldn't recognize it. The music had very little presence.CHARACTERSLike the story, the characters were very realistic. They aren't exciting, they probably won't make it on your list of favorite characters, but their personalities and how they interact with each other and react to situations was very realistic.
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