Ocean Waves (Umi ga kikoeru)
Ocean Waves (Umi ga kikoeru) (2016)

Rarely seen outside of Japan, OCEAN WAVES is a subtle, poignant and wonderfully detailed story of adolescence and teenage isolation. Taku and his best friend Yutaka are headed back to school for what looks like another uneventful year. But… More

Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Release Date: December 28, 2016
DVD Release Date: April 18, 2017
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Critic Score: 87% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Scott Marks
San Diego Reader

I'm not calling for Marvin the Martian to lead a parade of pink elephants down Main Street, but what's the point of animating if the end goal is to simply trace over an ABC Afterschool Special?

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Glenn Kenny
New York Times

In its sensitivity and attention to detail, "Ocean Waves" makes itself into something special, and kind of magical, and so proves very much a Ghibli gem.

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Valerie Complex
Black Girl Nerds

The title Ocean Waves lends credence to the story as it refers to the idea that teenage feelings are like waves: ever changing.

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Brian Tallerico

A delicate, well-told drama that may lack the depth of something like Only Yesterday but proves that Miyazaki and Takahata's students were listening to their teachers.

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Christopher Schobert
Buffalo News

These visual flourishes are not always matched by the story. Ocean Waves is slight, and there's no getting around that. Still, the film never loses its innate likability, and is a brisk 76 minutes.

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Yvonne Condes
Common Sense Media

Simple, slow anime tale about teen relationships in Japan.

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David Ehrlich

Spreads its paper-thin story across a stodgy 72 minutes, but there's a warmth to it that prevents the film from ever feeling as two-dimensional as it looks on screen.

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Ken Eisner
Georgia Straight

There are no mystical events, fanciful tricksters, or even spooky dream sequences-just the acutely observed travails of thoughtful young people facing their growing pains.

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Travis Hopson
Punch Drunk Critics

Ocean Waves tells a simple and familiar story of friendship, first love, and nostalgia.

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More reviews for Ocean Waves (Umi ga kikoeru)

Flixster Audience Score: 67% Flixster User Reviews
Luke Baldock
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… More
Marcus Woolcott
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… More
Sanjaya 丘耀文
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… More
Ivan Descartin
Studio Ghibli's realistic reflection of adolescent love, shown with smooth flashbacks and great illustrations. The film has also able to put an uncertain… More