Ocean Waves is a departure from the Studio Ghibli I’ve come to recognise.

Ocean Waves is a departure from the Studio Ghibli I’ve come to recognise.

Story

Ocean Waves follows a love triangle between two good friends, Taku and Yukata and the new girl in their year Rikako.

While not as ambitious as the movies that came out before and after and before it, the simplicity makes it stand out to me. The characters in this movie have emotions and aren’t afraid to show. That’s why I like it as much as it does.

Voice Acting

The voice acting is stellar. Movies like this require the acting (or in this case voice acting) to carry the performance and Yōko Sakamoto who plays Rikako. she is able to balance arrogance and charisma in a well-developed character.

Our protagonist, Taku voiced by Nobuo Tobita is complicated in his own way. He’s insecure in the way he recounts the events of the story, and seeing him come to the revelation he comes to is endearing.

Writing/Direction

The first Studio Ghibli that directed by Hayao Miyazaki or Isao Takahata. I am not familiar enough with Studio Ghibli to say that I can see a huge difference, but I can say that it isn’t as “ambitious” as the movies that came before it.

Is the story a little two-dimensional? Yes. That being said, this is one of those movies where what you see is what you get. It’s simple and sophisticated in its simplicity.

Animation

My sister described this movie as aesthetically pleasing and she is 100% right. This movie is very delicate in the way it was animated. The lines are softer and the movements more muted. The East Studio Ghibli movie I watched was Princess Mononoke and that movie is an animated marvel but to compare the two wouldn’t be right because they are very different movies.

The amount of detail in things like background and the way lighting is framed. It looks like a really pretty painting. And it has that 90’s anime aesthetic that I’ve discovered that I love.

This is only one frame from the movie but it illustrates my point perfectly.

There is also what is probably the most recognisable frame of the movie. I have seen this EVERYWHERE and it encapsulates a lot of the feelings in the movie.

Score/Soundtrack

The best way to describe the music in this movie would be whimsical. The score in this perfectly captured the tone of the story and the characters. It reflects their moods and inner thoughts without giving too much away. It’s the kind of score that bright and airy while also being weighted when it needs to be.

Overall Thoughts

When I compare this movie to the other Studio Ghibli movies I’ve watched, this one is completely different and a lot more mature. It deals with human emotions without subtext. That is to say that the movies I’ve seen have more to them than meets the eye. Howl’s Moving Castle is anti-war, Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke deal with human relations with spirits and our respect (sometimes lack thereof) of the spiritual. And this one is about love and how relationships can evolve and change.

Originally published at https://www.thecinematicaficionado.com on January 17, 2021.

Just a girl who gives reviews on some movies that she’s seen. Some may be old, some may be new. There’s good and bad too. http://www.thecinematicaficionado.com/

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