Ocean Waves Movie (1993)
海がきこえる (Umi ga Kikoeru)
Ocean Waves


Ocean Waves is a high school love story set in Kochi, Japan. Morisaku Taku and Matsuno Yutaka are best friends when a girl from Tokyo named Muto Rikako transfers to their school. Excluding herself from group activities, she’s eventually labeled a snob. Matsuno has a crush on Rikako, so it’s no surprise that he gets a little jealous when Morisaku and Rikako start spending more time together. The rumors around school get worse, but Morisaku still insists there is nothing between him and Rikako.
Directed by
Written by
Screenplay by
Music by


  • The overall rating of the show.

Poor < Fair < Good < Great


  • Animation quality and consistency for that time. 

Poor < Fair < Good < Great


  • How well the story flows and keeps you engaged.

Poor < Fair < Good < Great


Character design
Character development
World building





Ocean Waves, also known as I Can Hear the Sea (Japanese: 海がきこえる Hepburn: Umi ga Kikoeru), is a 1993 Japanese anime television film directed by Tomomi Mochizuki and the screenplay was written by Kaori Nakamura based on the 1990 novel of the same name by Saeko Himuro. It was animated by Studio Ghibli and first aired on May 5, 1993.

Ocean Waves was an attempt by Studio Ghibli to allow their younger staff members to make a film reasonably cheaply. However, it ended up going both over budget and over schedule.

Alternative titles

– Ocean Waves
– I Can Hear the Sea
– Flüstern des Meeres
– Jag kan höra havet
– Je peux entendre l’océan
– Jeg Kan Høre Havet
– Puedo escuchar el mar
– Si sente il mare
– Słyszę szum morza
– Здесь слышен океан
– Umi ga Kikoeru
– 海がきこえる
– 海潮之聲
– 바다가 들린다
– Ookeanilained
– גלי הים
– สองหัวใจ หนึ่งรักเดียว
– A Tenger Zúgása
– Aaltojen kuohu
– Szum Morza
– Eu Posso Ouvir o Mar
– I can hear the ocean
– Ondas do Oceano
– Posso sentire il mare
– Tu peux entendre la mer
– Vandenyno Bangos
– Я чую море
– 海が聞こえる
– 聽到海濤聲

TL;DR Review

I am more familiar with this film as I Can Hear the Sea, or Umi ga Kikoeru, instead of the official US title Ocean Waves.

The animation is gorgeous for the time, and even for today. The scenes are colorful, but not quite as vibrant as your typical Studio Ghibli style. This gives this anime a more grounded in reality feel.

The music is passable, I hardly recall much of it other than the ending song “Umi ni Naretara” (海になれたら; “If I Can Be an Ocean”) by Youko Sakamoto. “Umi ni Naretara” is a slow melodic song that fits this anime theme nicely.

This is one of my favorite Studio Ghibli anime that is more real life. Most of Studio Ghibli anime tend to have that fantastical magical feel to it, so an anime with none of that trait was definitely different. Every time I rewatch this anime, it brings back so many emotions from that era and high school in general.

The characters are likable. Rikako will seem snobbish and aloof at first but as you watch her development, you start to understand and relate to her.

The pacing may feel a little slow to some.

I highly recommend this anime to the anime fan of romantic drama. I would not call this a romantic comedy as the comedy is more a mature dry sense of humor kind. Ocean Waves is appropriate for all ages, but I am using a TV-PG rating as the subject of this anime may be too deep for young children to understand.

Similar Title 

Maison Ikkoku Movie (1988) Review

The Maison Ikkoku tenants throw a party to celebrate the marriage of Yuusaku and Kyouko. However, during the party Yuusaku hears that Kyouko is waiting for a letter. He becomes jealous and begins to doubt Kyouko, worrying that she still loves someone else. When the morning arrives, the answer to his worries is revealed…

Nodame Cantabile Season 1 (2007) Review

Shinichi Chiaki, an arrogant, multilingual perfectionist, is the top student at Momogaoka College of Music and has secret ambitions to become a conductor. Born into a musical family, he is talented in piano and violin and once lived abroad in the music capitals of the world as a young boy (namely Prague), but is trapped in Japan because of his childhood phobia of airplanes and the ocean.

In contrast, Megumi Noda, or “Nodame”, is a piano student at Momogaoka, notorious for messiness and eccentric behavior. Despite being very talented, Nodame prefers to play by ear rather than according to the musical score; thus, she is regarded as sloppy and playful. When they meet by accident, Nodame quickly falls in love, but it takes much longer for Chiaki to even begin to appreciate Nodame’s unusual qualities. Their relationship causes them both to develop and grow. Along the way, they meet some crazy people (like Masumi, Mine, and Stresemann) and make lasting friendships.

Because of Nodame, Chiaki gets the opportunity to lead a student orchestra and begins to have a broader appreciation of people’s musical abilities. Because of Chiaki, Nodame faces her fears and enters a piano competition. Opportunities open up as both begin taking risks, stretching themselves far more than they ever thought possible.

Maison Ikkoku OVA (1988) Review

A summary of Yuusaku and Kyouko’s relationship using footage from the TV series.

Featured Music

Ocean Waves Movie (1993)

A collection of notable music and song from this series.


Closing Theme

– “Umi ni Naretara” (海になれたら; “If I Can Be an Ocean”) by Youko Sakamoto



All images are copyright to their respective owners.

Photo by Nicolas LB, Jon Flobrant, and Yvette de Wit on Unsplash.

Close Menu