By Dennis Hartley
(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on July 22, 2017)
Ocean Waves – Universal Studios Home Entertainment Blu-ray
This 1993 anime is one of the last remaining “stragglers” from Japan’s Studio Ghibli vaults to make a belated (and most welcome) debut on Blu-ray (it was previously only available on PAL-DVD). Adapted by Kaori Nakamura from Saeko Himruo’s novel, and directed by Tomomi Mochizuki, it concerns a young man who returns to his home town for a high school reunion, which triggers a flood of memories about all the highs and lows of his adolescent years. It’s similar in tone to another Ghibli film, Only Yesterday, which also takes a humanistic look at the universality of growing pains.
On a sliding scale, this is one of Ghibli’s “lesser” films, but the studio has set a high bar for itself, and it will please Ghibli completists (who, me?). Extras are scant, but the hi-definition transfer is lovely.