Ocean Waves is an underrated Studio Ghibli film that focuses on a teenager recalling the events of his last year of high school.
The film is much more mature than most romances especially in the film and television medium. It's also one of the few romances that I've ever seen that has little to no physical contact between the two characters tat have feeling for each other. Because of this everything feels real, you feel like this is how most people would act in school or at least during this age. The film is mature and because of this it doesn't follow on the traditional cliches that are found in films like these, which is always nice to see. It feels almost refreshing even though this was a film that was released over 20 years ago.
The story is simple, its very much a slice of life film over really covering around one school year of time.
This also has gorgeous animation, especially in the background and the characters as well. This did take place in the 90s and you can see that throughout just in the style of clothes and colors used in the film.
There were a couple of problems I did have with the film. One being that we didn't get see enough of how our main character affected Rikako throughout the story. You didn't see a transition or little things that lead to her having feeling. It just something that would've been nice to have been seen. But I can let it go only because the entire film was in his perspective anyway.
Another problem was when a situation happens where his friend gets mad at him and doesn't talk to him for the entire summer. That was one thing I just didn't really believe only because there wasn't really that big of a reason for them to get mad at each other and not having it handled immediately between friends wasn't all that believable.