As a young man returns home after his first year away at college he recalls his senior year of high school and the iron-willed, big city girl that turned his world upside down.


Tomomi Mochizuki


Saeko Himuro (novel), Keiko Niwa (screenplay) (as Kaori Nakamura)
3,901 ( 539)





Credited cast:
Nobuo Tobita ... Taku Morisaki (voice)
Toshihiko Seki ... Yutaka Matsuno (voice)
Yoko Sakamoto Yoko Sakamoto ... Rikako Muto (voice)
Yuri Amano ... Akiko Shimizu (voice)
Kae Araki Kae Araki ... Yumi Kohama (voice)
Jun'ichi Kanemaru ... Okada (voice)
Ai Satô Ai Satô ... Taku's mother (voice)
Aya Hisakawa ... Girl (voice)
Tomokazu Seki ... Minarai (voice)
Hikaru Midorikawa ... Tadashi Yamao (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rin Mizuhara Rin Mizuhara ... Additional Voices (voice)
Sumi Shimamoto ... Additional Voices (voice)
Reiko Suzuki Reiko Suzuki ... (voice)


The main character travels to his hometown for his high school reunion. During the trip, he recalls the memories of the days in high school. Friendship, subtle love, a trip to Tokyo and so on all came back to him as the film evolves. Written by Cary Wong <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


At only one hour and 12 minutes, this remains the shortest Studio Ghibli film to date. See more »


Referenced in Pom Poko (1994) See more »

User Reviews

An atmospherical contemplation of things long forgotten
2 February 2018 | by nachtturneSee all my reviews

What a forgotten Ghibli masterpiece! I'm glad that I accidentally stumbled upon it. Someone else beat me to it in the review section twelve years ago, but I gotta emphasize: this movie is as authentic as it gets. The characters behave very realistically, they feel much more humane than those in similar slice-of-life movies. Because of this, you can relate to all the characters, their actions, their motives, and the story will get you involved in no time. Just don't expect any out-of-the-place action or sensationalism - the movie maintains a very relaxed pace, with everything in order, every slight movement feeling natural.

This movie is a hour-and-a-quarter long contemplation, a travel into the past - just like the main character, you will catch yourself wondering about loves, friends and memories long gone. But you might just find redemption at the end of the road, and the end of the movie.

Its seldom I get the bittersweet butterfly of nostalgia growing in my stomach; last time the Miyazaki-classic "Only Yesterday" were able to achieve it. The two movies share a common feel and theme (great reunions, evaluating your roots, and a change of life), and while I think "Only Yesterday" somewhat works better, "Ocean Waves" is an otherwise unrivaled choice for gloomy Sunday afternoon homecinema.

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Japan | USA



Release Date:

13 July 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ocean Waves See more »

Filming Locations:

Kochi, Japan See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,942, 1 January 2017

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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