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Ocean Waves

Ocean Waves“A 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