ga Kikoeru, released in English as Ocean
Waves, is a 1993 anime television film by the
esteemed Studio Ghibli. Directed by a relative outsider, Tomomi
Mochizuki, and produced by the younger staff at Ghibli, the film
is an oddity of the studio's catalogue and has become a modern
curiosity to those in the west.
most other films from Studio Ghibli, Umi ga Kikoeru is a
very grounded, very mature romance drama with very simple
characters. You have Taku, a boring yet enthusiastic
protagonist, caught in a love triangle with his book smart
friend Yukata and a beautiful transfer student from Tokyo,
Rikako. I don't think you could write a more standard drama
premise if you tried.
my eyes, this film is redeemed from the depths of mediocrity due
to the great art direction. Umi ga Kikoeru, has almost
no scenes of tense action, which allows the great hand-painted
backgrounds to really shine. Animation on the film was
outsourced to J.C. Staff, Oh!, and Madhouse, which let the young
members focus on the other aspects of the film. Regardless of
the quality of the narrative, the art is excellent, exemplary of
the best that this era has to offer.
experience with this film goes back to my childhood, perusing
the DVD collection my family had. Among those DVD's was a
bootleg collection of Ghibli movies from China, with essentially
their entire pre-2000 catalog on six discs. Outside of the
studio's mainstays, the final disc had Umi ga Kikoeru
paired with the music video for ON YOUR MARK by Chage&Aska,
which Miyazaki directed. As a kid, I was always curious what
unknown movie lied in wait for me to watch; Unfortunately, it
didn't live up to my expectations.
you watch this movie? Nah. It really isn't worth watching unless
you are very interested in the Studio Ghibli filmography, are a
weirdo that obsesses over hand-painted backgrounds, or are
looking for a kind-of-boring romance drama to fall asleep to.
Otherwise, you can let this movie wash away with the tide.
Madville. I don't own jack!