The Ocean Waves

(Umi ga kikoeru) 海がきこえる
Japan 1993. Director: Tomomi Mochizuki
Voices: Nobuo Tobita, Toshihiko Seki, Yōko Sakamoto, Kae Araki, Yuri Amano, Jun'ichi Kanemaru

RARE GHIBLI!Rarely seen outside of Japan — it was never released in North America theatrically or on any home viewing format — The Ocean Waves is a subtle, poignant, and wonderfully detailed story of adolescence and teenage isolation. Taku and best friend Yutaka are headed back to school for what looks like another uneventful year. They soon find their friendship tested by the arrival of beautiful Rikako, a new transfer student from Tokyo. Rikako is mercurial and manipulative, with a temperament that vacillates wildly, from flirty and flippant to melancholic. When Taku joins her on a trip to Tokyo, the school erupts with rumours, and all three friends are forced to come to terms with their changing relationships. Ocean Waves was the first Studio Ghibli film directed by someone other than studio founders Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata; young director Tomomi Mochizuki headed a talented team of young Ghibli employees in creating this adaptation of Saeko Himuro’s best-selling novel. Full of shots bathed in a palette of pleasingly soft pastel colors and rich in the unexpected visual details typical of Ghibli’s most revered works, Ocean Waves is an accomplished teenage drama and a true discovery. Colour, Digibeta video, in Japanese with English subtitles. 72 mins.

14A - Under 14 requires adult accompaniment