On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami's curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and Tatara, a mining colony. In this quest he also meets San, the Mononoke Hime.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When I first saw "Nausicaa" in 2005 I went ahead and watched the brief docu on the Birth of Studio Ghibli that came with it. It contained a snippet of every film they produced from "Nausicaa" to "Howl". Of the films that caught my eye that had not yet been released in the U.S., the one I was most intrigued by was "The Ocean Waves". Perhaps what caught my attention was that the staff that animated the movie were all in their 20s and 30s, coming into their own since being recruited for "Only Yesterday" two years earlier, when Hayao Miyasaki and Ghibli decided to cultivate their own animators rather than delegating to external studios.
Upon first viewing this film exceeded my expectations, and the energy and enthusiasm of youth simply surged throughout its ~72 minutes. I feel more connected to this film than some other Ghibli works mainly because the it involves characters in their late-teens to 20s living in the 90s, has a male protagonist, and also because the characters are so exquisitely deep and textured, and are the heart of the piece. No live-action actors or actresses could mimic their superb performances, and the modern urban and suburban settings are so richly detailed that this film feels more real than many live-action films in this genre. And as with all Studio Ghibli films; no matter who composes it, the score is first-rate, working in concert with the visuals to create the whole spectrum of moods and emotions exerted by the cast.
In all, "The Ocean Waves" was a brilliant success on the part of the young animation team deserving of a 10 in my humble opinion - and proof that Studio Ghibli is just as proficient portraying real life in the present-day time settings as it is at creating sublime works of fantasy. American Ghibli fans can only hope a DVD or Blu-ray is someday released here in the States, even though English voice actors would be hard-pressed to replicate their Japanese counterparts' work.
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