charming and very human little
story about schooldays, Ocean Waves
is the latest DVD from the magnificent
Studio Ghibli and is a little different
to the usual fantasy adventure we have
come to expect from this hive
of creative treasures...
OCEAN WAVES IS DESCRIBED AS "an underrated gem" and
this is the very first time it has been available on DVD outside Japan. The
first Ghibli production not directed by the studio's creators Hayao Miyazaki
and Isao Takahata, the film thrives in the capable hands of Tomomi Mochizuki
best known for his work on Here Is Greenwood and Kimagure Orange
Road: I Want To Return To That Day and is made with the collaboration
of up-and-coming animators from the Ghibli Studio.
Studio Ghibli's usual fascinating tales are either science fiction or a journey
into the realms of fantasy with such magical productions as Spirited Away
and Howl's Moving Castle. Ocean Waves takes place in present-day
Japan and is very much a product of the nurturing, teaching environment that
the old masters had always envisaged for the studio.
Harking back to the halcyon teenage years of Taku Monsaki (Nobuo Tobita) as
he journeys to a high school reunion, reflecting upon the way on love, friendship
and a fateful class trip to Tokyo, Ocean Waves fuses a naturalistic neo-realist
style with a nostalgic recollection of the anxieties of first love an
accomplished and hugely enjoyable addition to Studio Ghibli's animé collection.
Taku meets Yutaka Matsuno (Toshihiko Seki) when both object to the cancellation
of a Junior High School trip and soon become best friends. When Rikako Muto
(Yoko Sakamoto) joins Yutaka's class from Tokyo, both boys are attracted to
her and although she disrupts their lives, Taku cannot forget her and treasures
a photograph of her.
Taku opts out of summer studies to work washing dishes at a restaurant in order
to earn money and when the school takes the students to Hawaii, Rikako manages
to persuade Taku and Yutaka to give her money.
Rikako left Tokyo for Obiyamachi when her parents divorced and longs to return
to her friends and to her father, who has an apartment with his new partner
in the capital. But when Taku finds himself escorting her to Tokyo, there is
a surprise in store for him and a disappointment for Rikako.
Is Rikako really the coldly-calculating little minx she appears to be, or is
there another side to her story? Ocean Waves is a simple but brilliantly
compelling story about schooldays, love and friendship and lessons in life.
Ocean Waves also features: Kae Araki as Yumi Kohama; Hikaru Midorikawa as
Tadashi Yamao; Yuri Amano as Akiko Shumizu. From an Original Novel by Saeko
Himuro; Music by Shigeru Nagata; Vocals by Yoko "Rikako" Sakamoto; Art Director
is Naoya Tanaka; Producers are Toru Horikoshi; Shinichiro Maeda and Michio Yokoo;
Head Producer is Nozomu Takahashi; Directed by Tomomi Mochizuki.
From Studio Ghibli comes the UK premiere
of brilliant animé Ocean Waves, released on DVD on 25 January, 2010.
Running Time: 72 Minutes Approximately | Catalogue Number: OPTD1627 | Japanese
With English Subtitles | RRP: £19.99.
"Ocean Waves is a simple but brilliantly compelling story about schooldays,
love and friendship and lessons in life" Maggie Woods, MotorBar