Watched Ocean Waves for the first time and liked it. Why do so many feel the opposite?


Watched Ocean Waves last night for the first time. It was alot better than I had heard as most on my MAL friends list rated it between 4-6/10.

I really enjoyed the film, I loved seeing a Ghibli take on modern Japan with zero fantasy because even Whisper of the Heart had abit of that. I liked the love triangle and didn't find it frustrating or annoying, maybe Rikako annoyed some but she was interesting to me even if she wasn't totally realistic. This isn't the great love story of our time or anything, it's just a subtle warm tale about growing up, friendship and romance. It was pretty fluffy in that regard but I liked it, certainly gave me a warm fuzzy feeling while watching it. I think the film elevated even further for me with the short timeskip towards the end bringing the story all back around. It was fun seeing all the characters grown up like that. I always enjoy timeskips like that in Anime. Also at just 72 minutes it was so short that it didn't come close to outstaying it's welcome, in fact I didn't want it to end. Mochizuki the director also did KOR and I certainly felt abit of that background in the film and especially some of the characterizations. But this was much more grown up and grounded by comparison.

Anyway I liked Ocean Waves and will certainly be picking up the Blu Ray.

But like the title of this thread asks I'm curious why so many seemingly don't like it? Anyone here feel that way and if so why? Not since Tales of Earthsea have I seen a Ghibli film with such a mixed reaction.


Yume no Shima Shinen Kōen
AUKN Staff
I remember checking out Ocean Waves when I first started getting into anime, it was part of this Ghibli bootleg set I was given for my birthday. I watched it last after going through the other films (Nausicaa to Ponyo). I honestly enjoyed it as well and I'm glad that it's actually out on Blu-ray now. I have yet to pick it up but I do plan on getting it.


It was alot better than I had heard as most on my MAL friends list rated it between 4-6/10.
Maybe you should add me ;). I gave it an 8.

Like you said a realistic romantic film about the trials of love and friendship. I also gave an 8 to Whisper and Poppy Hill, both similar SoL romances (the fantasy bit in Whisper was the girl dreaming about the story she was writing).

But my favourite of the Ghibli SoL/romance films is Only Yesterday (9) where the "fantasy" parts of Taeko reminiscing added to the understanding of her character.
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Girls wIth Guns

Stand User
I'm also a big fan of Ocean Waves, and all of the SoL Ghibli as well. I was chomping at the bit for two years hoping and waiting for the Japanese Silhouette Single to finally release in 2015, and pre-ordered it day 1... As far as ranking my favorite Ghibli movies, I actually prefer Ocean Waves over Spirited Away, Totorto, Kiki's, or Ponyo; I put OW right around the middle of the pack of all 23 movies. Personally, I even like Earthsea more than those four - that's another poorly-received Ghibli title, but it was even one of the top favorites of both of my daughters, too. For me, Marnie is now my most favorite Ghibli, which I consider mainly a SoL also, with Poppy Hill and Only Yesterday close behind.
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I enjoyed Ocean Waves but it's still my least favourite Ghibli, saying that, 'bad' Ghibli is still better than most....
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Talking of ranking all Ghibli the New York Times published a list the other day:
All the Films of Studio Ghibli, Ranked

Apart from Only Yesterday I've given 9s to 4 others: Grave of the Fireflies, My Neighbour Totoro, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away. Princess Mononoke is my number one. My least favourite is My Neighbours the Yamadas, just because of the episodic nature and the art style (although I do like Kaguya, I think the art style fits that film/story better).


I'm really not that keen on Ocean Waves at all. My reasons are:

1) I find Rikako to be kind of a rotten b*tch. I've seen the film twice, and both times I've spent a lot of my time despairing at our main character and wondering "Why on earth do you continue to pander to her?"

2) I find the soundtrack a bit grating, if I'm honest. It just seems to add some kind of jarring edge to the film for me.

3) I'm not fond of its pastely pale blue/pale yellow/pale pink colour palette.

For the record, I, too, prefer some of the less fancied Ghibli films to popular ones like Mononoke and Nausicaa. I checked my MAL page, and it turns out I gave Ocean Waves 5/10. By contrast I give The Wind Rises, my favourite Ghibli film by far, 10/10.

Girls wIth Guns

Stand User
Well, everyone's favorite Ghibli list will be drastically different from everyone else's...

I'm just waiting to see who breaks first and posts up their entire ranking list here, lol... :D


Pokémon Master
My younger brother watched it with me a few years ago and he hated it, but I quite like the film myself, and it's funny because the feelings that you used to describe it mirror my own, the film just exudes this warmth as it welcomes you into this world that feels so nostalgic. The film is stylish too, the whole canvas has this hue to it that almost makes it more dreamlike, and the characters are grounded and normal and yet cool at the same time and the soundtrack is a favourite of mine. I think being a little older I was able to appreciate the film more, it's quaint and uneventful, and that's what makes it so appealing and relatable. I remember as a kid when I couldn't go to sleep I would sneak downstairs whilst it was still dark outside and the whole street was silent and I'd put the TV on and watch movies and shows that I'd never seen before, most of them black and white, I don't even remember the names of them, and like that one face you saw in the street that you can't quite forget, the film haunts you, years later still lingering in the back of my head, and when I think of the film, I'm suddenly transported back to the first time I watched it.


Well, everyone's favorite Ghibli list will be drastically different from everyone else's...

I'm just waiting to see who breaks first and posts up their entire ranking list here, lol... :D
The top 6 were fairly easy to pick and so were last 2, but the rest are so similar in quality that you have to think real hard to move them above or below others (and will probably be different if I did the same exercise in a few months):
  1. Princess Mononoke
  2. Only Yesterday
  3. Grave of the Fireflies
  4. Spirited Away
  5. My Neighbour Totoro
  6. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
  7. Whisper of the Heart
  8. Laputa: Castle in the Sky
  9. The Tale of Princess Kaguya
  10. From Up On Poppy Hill
  11. Kiki's Delivery Service
  12. Howl's Moving Castle
  13. Ocean Waves
  14. Arrietty
  15. When Marnie Was There
  16. Porco Rosso
  17. The Wind Rises
  18. Pom Poko
  19. The Cat Returns
  20. Ponyo
  21. Tales from Earthsea
  22. My Neighbours the Yamadas


I've been waiting for this! :)

Very interesting. Some real surprises in there (like Porco and Kiki outside the top 10! :eek:). Might have a crack at this myself...
Kiki could move up a few maybe, but Porco is Miyazaki indulging in his plane obsession. There's plenty of good action, but not much in terms of adventure like Mononoke, Nausicaä and Laputa. It could go above Arrietty and Marnie, I suppose. Like I said if I did it again in a couple of months the middle films might be all in a different place.


I find it really difficult to put them in order, they're all so good. I do know my number one though, even though it always seems to be down on other peoples lists, and that's Arriety


Okay, got it. Copy/pasted @D1tchd1gger's list, then started the cut/paste process! :)

The way I went into it was to think If someone asked me "Which Studio Ghibli film would you like to watch today?" what would I answer?
Then, if you took that film away from me, what would I answer instead? Here's how it ended up:
  1. The Wind Rises
  2. The Tale of Princess Kaguya
  3. The Cat Returns
  4. Kiki's Delivery Service
  5. Porco Rosso
  6. Ponyo
  7. My Neighbours the Yamadas
  8. From Up On Poppy Hill
  9. Spirited Away
  10. Grave of the Fireflies
  11. Tales from Earthsea
  12. Howl's Moving Castle
  13. Only Yesterday
  14. My Neighbour Totoro
  15. Pom Poko
  16. Princess Mononoke
  17. Whisper of the Heart
  18. Arrietty
  19. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
  20. Laputa: Castle in the Sky
  21. Ocean Waves
  22. When Marnie Was There


Girls wIth Guns

Stand User
Yeah, if I made a new list from scratch every day, it would most likely be slightly different each day, depending on my mood... Here is my current list - I included Cagliostro in my list, as that one is also part of the Japanese silhouette singles series - so 23 titles.

1. When Marnie was There
2. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
3. Princess Mononoke
4. Howl's Moving Castle
5. Only Yesterday
6. From Up on Poppy Hill
7. Grave of the Fireflies
8. Porco Rosso
9. The Secret World of Arrietty
10. Laputa: Castle in the Sky
11. The Wind Rises
12. Whisper of the Heart
13. Tales From Earthsea
14. Ocean Waves
15. Spirited Away
16. Kiki's Delivery Service
17. The Tale of Princess Kaguya
18. The Castle of Cagliostro
19. The Cat Returns
20. My Neighbor Totoro
21. Pom Poko
22. My Neighbors the Yamadas
23. Ponyo


Thousand Master
Spirited Away is the best & anyone who says otherwise is welcome to their (wrong) opinion :p.

The rest is hard to put into a list so here's my other top 4 standouts
2.Naussica (People say it's not strictly Ghibli but it's close enough and bears the number 1 on the side of the blu-ray.)
4.Princess Mononoke
5.Howl's Moving Castle

I like a lot of the others but it's amazing how many of this super popular brand just aren't all that great, that's not to say there's anything wrong with them, just a lot are fairly contemporary or suffer pacing issues. I'd rate most of the rest 6 or 7's but as much as I'll get flamed for it.... Porco Rosso is one of my least favourites!

annnndddd because everyone loves lists here's my (non anime obsessed) partner's:

Spirited Away
My Neighbour Totoro
When Marnie Was There


AUKN Staff
Interesting lists, you got Marnie as number 1 on one list, then last on another.

My own:

1) Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
2) My Neighbor Totoro
3) Princess Mononoke
4) Grave of the Fireflies
5) Spirited Away
6) The Tale of Princess Kaguya
7) Howls Moving Castle
8) Kiki's Delivery Service
9) Laputa: Castle in the Sky
10) Whisper of the Heart
11) My Neighbor's the Yamadas
12) The Cat Returns
13) Pom Poko
14) From Up on Poppy Hill
15) When Marnie was There
16) Only Yesterday
17) Porco Rosso
18) The Wind Rises
19) Little Norse Prince
20) Ocean Waves
21) Ponyo
22) The Secret World of Arrietty
23) Tales from Earthsea


Which Studio Ghibli film would you like to watch today?" what would I answer?
If I did it that way I would have Only Yesterday at number one. I don't know why, I mean I'm not a 27 year old Japanese OL (probably the exact opposite), but the nostalgia trip she has is something everyone can relate to and it has such a sweet ending.
Most of your list seems to be a reverse of mine :D

Girls wIth Guns

Stand User
Yes, I noticed his list is quite opposite of mine, too - had to chuckle at the disparaging placement of Marnie between our two lists... :eek: :D

Nausicaa was always my top favorite Ghibli masterpiece, until Marnie came along. I just love the story. Marnie is now the first Ghibli movie I show to anyone new to Ghibli. I do really like Yonebayashi's work, so I'm definitely looking forward to seeing Mary and the Witches Flower.