Ghibli films are pretty much well-known especially for their other-worldly stories and animation. However, there are several Ghibli films that doesn't really involve even a bit of fantasy in their stories. They do have some films that are more realistic and pretty much relatable and one of them is Umi ga Kikoeru or The Ocean Waves in English.
If we take the title "海がきこえる" literally, it'll translate to I can hear the sea. It makes sense because the setting of the story took place in one of the places in Shikoku island named Kochi. Their place is in a small town by the sea. Now, what is the story about?
The story revolves around the three main characters namely Taku, Yutaka and Rikako. Taku and Yutaka are very good friends who somehow share the same values and principles which made them closer to each other. There was one event in their middle school which made them best friends despite being in different classes.
In high school, Rikako, who is originally from Tokyo, transferred to their school. Yutaka who was their class representative took her around the school and later on introduced her to his best friend Taku. A lot of things and drama happened when Rikako came to the picture.
Taku is such a good-hearted character. He is the kind of person one can really rely on. He's willing to help someone who is in need. He is the type of friend who will leave what he's doing just to meet someone who needs him. I like his character. He's also really good looking. lol
Yutaka is the responsible type of person. He is often their class representative. What's good about him is his honesty. He speaks his mind and doesn't sugarcoat. He sticks to his belief and principles. He really has a strong personality which is very common to see in real life.
Rikako is a self-centered brat. It could be understandable due to her life circumstances but I don't like her attitude. Some people may like her, but I'm not one of them. Maybe because I don't like selfish people the most, but her character is really everywhere in reality. haha
She's beautiful, talented and smart, so it's expected that guys become attracted to her. She has this strong front but is also very vulnerable which guys would want to protect. lol
Despite not really liking the female lead, the story was really good. It portrays a teenager's way to adulthood. It reflects possible life circumstances where one may if not already experienced.
I think it's nice to watch such stories once in a while. It's relatable, so people can ponder about various things. Despite the seriousness, there were also some funny and interesting scenes which can be refreshing as well.
The story isn't very heavy, just enough to make you think. haha
The art style and animation is also pretty good. Typical 90s style which I find beautiful. I think 90s style animation is classic. <3