Umi ga kikoeru (I Can Hear the Sea) (The Ocean Waves) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
January 30, 2013
A delightful little film from Studio Ghibli. On the surface it isn't about much, just a boy who reminisces about the one that got away. In a brief 70 minutes we follow the lives of these Japanese high school students, and are completely engrossed with the world and politics of high school. There's a quiet sensibility that many people will recognise from some of Ghibli's other films such as Only Yesterday. Lovely animation brings Japan to life in a way that even live-action films sometimes fail to do. With delicate music and vocal performances this is a wonderful little film that I will probably revisit again soon.
ajaymuthecooldevils
Super Reviewer
½ April 13, 2008
I didn't get the story of this movie... I know it stories about teenagers and their problem in school, but still the story have no point... But the score was pretty good... And having a story like that into an animation movie wasn't a bad idea at all...
Super Reviewer
½ May 22, 2010
Studio Ghibli's realistic reflection of adolescent love, shown with smooth flashbacks and great illustrations. The film has also able to put an uncertain light of enigma to the main female character: Rikako. It is not one of those Ghibli films that stirs naive imaginations with colorful images, but it portrays a knowing life, vulnerable of heartbreak and happiness, against a serene backdrop of Kochi, Japan. I do not know why I did not like this TV film that much, maybe because along its conceived mature tone, the makers has also able to insert some teenage cuteness, which I'm not fond of.
Super Reviewer
½ March 7, 2010
This is a really odd film as almost nothing happens. It's simply small-town boy meets awkward city girl, and yet it's totally captivating and reminded me of John Hughes' work in tone.
If you're looking for massive robots knocking the crap out of other massive robots, this is not the film for you. Nor is it the next Ghost In The Machine. But, I do recommend it as it's yet another quality, character-led piece of work from Ghibli.
½ January 21, 2008
A decent little movie from Studio Ghibli. It isn't their best but it is a sweet little story about a boy remembering his school days and a girl who caused him lots of troubles. I don't know what to say about it, really. It's nothing I would go out of my way to recommend but it is pretty good. Nothing great when compared to many of the other masterpieces from Studio Ghibli.
December 28, 2014
A very nice slice of life film.
December 14, 2014
This quiet film from the early days of Studio Ghibli is surprisingly enjoyable.
I'm not one who typically sits through a soft adolescent romance, but the main characters, their teen-emotion-driven decisions, feelings of being lost, of coming to know themselves and of consequently coming to know each other; caught my attention and held me all the way through.
½ December 13, 2014
Review In A Nutshell:

Japan is a beautiful place. I recently had a trip there that took me to the humble landscapes of Kyoto, the polite urban flourish of Osaka, and the dazzling lights of Tokyo. My fondness of the country and the culture could not be contained as it made me think of my own culture and society, which led me to find negative aspects I never noticed before or simply chose to ignore. This adventure was a big step for me, as I have never been to a country that I had no pre-understanding of the social values and rituals; I was put in a place where very little spoke my language, which made aspects that I took for granted like public transport and navigation difficult to grasp, but within a couple of days, my family and I got the hang of it and started to find the convenience behind this once difficult system. The experience certainly opened doors for me, not letting my mind be restricted to think that success in life is found in a singular environment; I can go to Japan, and be just as fulfilled as I would be here in Australia or in Europe or in the U.S.A.

Seeing Ocean Waves has brought back all of those memories, right from the start when I saw glimpse of the Japanese Railway system, which I personally had the pleasure to experience. It was seeing the architecture, the food, and the people that led me to a feeling of nostalgia, even if it wasn't too long ago. I guess I haven't completely adjusted back to the normal life I used to live, and in a way I guess I don't want to. I do not want to get too off-track with this review, so I'll swerve back and say that Ocean Waves is another one of Studio Ghibli's films that tells a grounded and accessible story, and using its animated medium to create a certain feeling of magic in its characters and relationships.

This is a film that one can easily relate to. Who has not had drama during their time in school? Who has not had that one girl/boy that came in and unintentionally, or intentionally, started drama? These are things that happen day in and day out in our lives, and in a way they made our time there magical; almost like something that you would only see in the big screen. It is when we step into reality, becoming independent, is when the magic starts to fade; the harshness of reality starts to shape minds and bodies, in order to adapt to its competitive and complex habitat. It is when we are here that our previous experience becomes glorified, that we wish that we had those middling problems again to replace the hardships that we have to endure now. Ocean Waves captures this feeling beautifully, showing a feeling of honesty in its storytelling and intelligence in its usage of the melodramatic tone. This sense of melodrama is present to push the film's themes of urban vs rural, nostalgia, youth, innocence, and of course love. The film uses the premise of a new girl in a new place to push the dividing idea of two different cultures.

This transferred student, Rikako Muto, has shaken up the entire school without even her knowing it, as this clash of cultures create feelings of jealousy, anger, and sadness. Muto symbolises the perfect girl under everyone's eyes, even though she herself has an enormous amount of problems, because she possesses qualities that many girls in that area seem to lack; and the film views her at the start of the film with this magical quality. As the film starts to break her down and expose her vulnerabilities and traits, she becomes much more humanised and at times antagonistic, but remained throughout as sympathetic. The sense of drama in this film helped keep the film interesting with every scene, and it manages to tell its story with an appropriate running time, 72 minutes, that keeps the film focused and the audience constantly engaged. Ocean Waves may feature similar traits to Only Yesterday, exploring feelings of Nostalgia, but this film handles its material with much better balance; managing to convey thought provoking themes, without the sacrifice of a feel-good, light-hearted story.

It is films like Ocean Waves and Whisper of the Heart that stand out from many of Studio Ghibli's films because it takes themes that are close to home and tells them in such a way that does not over emphasise the medium. They manage to hit us in places that we never thought existed or would be targeted in cinema, because we always think that cinema should be something bigger than reality. Studio Ghibli manages to capture both sides of the spectrum of cinema and does so with stories that warms our hearts and provoke our brains. There is simply no other studio quite like it.
½ August 27, 2014
Ghibli has that ability to turn a simple story and animation into something that is sophisticated. This movie is the perfect example of that. :3
½ June 23, 2014
It's not bad, it's just not as good as it could have been. I would have liked for it to engage more, but what I got was enjoyable, so I can't complain much.
July 8, 2014
Com um final idílico feliz, Ocean Waves, "fala" com todos aqueles que já sentiram algo forte por alguém! 80% :D 09/07/2014
½ March 4, 2014
No es mala, pero se echa en falta más dramatismo y una mejor presentación de la evolución de los personajes. Muy inferior frente a otras piezas fílmicas de la misma factoría y de otras.
½ October 14, 2013
Este es un film de esos que sabe evocar la nostalgia además de tocar diversos temas referentes a la vida humana... realmente disfrutable y sensible, otro batazo del estudio Ghibli, bello...
August 19, 2013
A simple yet compelling story that successfully captures the ups and downs of adolescence, first loves and friendships through the story off quite simply, boy meets girl. That sells this film short, its a beautiful rendition of the story we all went through at some point, or are yet to go through, or indeed are at this moment. Capturing the essence of coming to terms with love without extraneous circumstances is something hard to capture in film, and even more so in animation. However, this short film seems fills me with nostalgic euphoria, maybe its just my age. Its hard not to compare this films to other such works by Studio Ghibli such as Whisper to the Heart and From up on poppy hill, both of which are far more fleshed out in terms of plot and production. Yet, in a way the charm of this film is that it doesn't need to be flushed out to be great. Simple artwork, simple story, simple soundtrack, yet anything more would be irrelevant.
June 24, 2013
Excellent anime... gentle, realistic and bittersweet, this is the sort of film that would have a much bigger following were it live action; unfortunately, as is usually the case, turning it into a live action movie would almost certainly ruin it. This is the sort of anime to watch with your significant other on Valentines day, snuggling on the sofa, as you show him or her that anime does not always mean tentacles, mecha, and unfeasibly large eyed girls. Well drawn and well acted, the characters in Ocean waves seem far more alive than most live-action Hollywood stars, which shows that good plotting, good acting and internal consistency will always triumph over massive budgets and special effects. I'll be watching it again for definite.
½ April 2, 2013
amazing quality for a 93 movie. Man they could have written the story a lil bit better. A very subtle story, beautiful.
½ March 9, 2013
We all went through this in high school didn't we. I think my favorite line is when Taku Morisaki remarks that girls only care if you're good looking and don't care about your personality. Truer words my friend, I think that stereotype is heavily grounded in facts and whenever it is remarked upon in a film I get a smile on my face because I see it every day. The one thing about this film is that I think it lacks pace a little. Even though every scene depicted is necessary to the story and quite realistic in it's nature (such as someone starting to tap their foot when they're anxious or irritated) it drags here and there occasionally. Still, a charming film to watch.
January 23, 2013
It is nothing spectacular and it's no "Whisper of the Heart", but Ocean Waves is an amusing and mature teenage drama film with occasional laughs making it one of the most unimpressive entries from Studio Ghibli, but is worth watching nonetheless.
January 11, 2013
This made-for-television piece of crap simply does not deserve to belong to the
otherwise amazing Studio Ghibli canon. (Yes, Tales From Earthsea is better than this movie by far.)

What could possibly motivate people to write such positive reviews for this? I am baffled. If I was Taku, the main character in this dreck, I would have absolutely NO
nostalgic feelings for any of the events that occurred, let alone for the pathetic and SURELY BI-POLAR Rikako.

That H. Miyazaki had nothing to do with the direction, animation, or
writing of this horrifyingly tedious movie provides some solace...
unlike every single other Ghibli production that I have seen, this one
is completely and totally charmless.

The second half-star was awarded for the only moment in the entire movie
that I and my girlfriend enjoyed: that ephemeral moment of redemption
that occurred shortly after the 51-minute mark, when Taku b*tchslapped
Rikako. Yosh!
...ughh
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