Anime Meta-Review


Ocean Waves


By Date




Title Info

  • alias: Umi ga Kikoeru
  • alias: I can hear the Sea
  • type: movie
  • grade: worthy
  • Other elements of this title:
    • This title is a personal favourite.
  • people: Ghibli
  • made: 1993
  • Review created: A while ago, i'll revise it eventually.
  • mod: none

Also known as "I can hear the Sea". This was the `student exercise' for studio ghibli, giving a number of the younger hands a chance to shine. It is also the only ghibli movie produced specifically for television, although this element failed since it went over-budget and retains the Ghibli cinematic quality. The story is downright mundane compared to most anime, there are no super-sexy school girls in short skirts, no strange powers, mysterious events or over the top romance. In essence it considers the arrival of Muto, a transfer student from Tokyo as she largely fails to get along in the regional school the story is set at. This is seen from the point of view of Morisaki, a male student, who interacts with her several times throughout their school life and gains some insights into her character. While he, and his best friend, are attracted to her this romance element is submerged under the normal problems of trying to understand the thoughts of others.

This combination of fairly `normal' events, very believable characterisation and human uncertainty gives this tale a wonderful authenticity which is strongly supported by a keen eye for character and the high production values. It is a wonderful exercise in restraint, where scenes from a believable reality are lovingly presented. There are some points of crisis, but they are believable and well handled, serving primarily to draw the characters out. Of course those who want `epic' are going to be disappointed, but the story, dialogue and character are sufficiently entertaining that most people should find the trip very enjoyable. The conclusion is charming and upbeat which is very fitting, and even offers one or two good insights into the earlier parts of the movie. As mentioned this has superb production qualities, perhaps not quite up to the best of Ghibli, but safely above most of the competition. All up a charming and subtle piece that gives great hope for the continuation of studio Ghibli.

Oh yeah, THEM love it, calling it " one of the most outstanding titles Ghibli produced yet", in this review which is fairly impressive praise (possibly too generous). The review page also includes a picture of Muto looking very cute. There's also a review from the anime review page which calls it solid but notes some problems in connecting to the characters.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:22 WST 2009