Ocean Waves (Aaltojen Kuohu)

{mosimage} Directed by one of the most interesting Japanese anime directors, Tomomi Mochizuki, here comes a tender love story between two Japanese teenagers. 

Aaltojen Kuohu was part of the films featured during the past Rakkautta & Anarkiaa festival in Helsinki. If you missed it (or otherwise you specially liked it) in the big screen, now you have an excellent option to review it again in DVD. The film narrates a simple but wonderful story that mostly happens at high school, with two friends, Matsuno and Taku falling in love with a new student coming from Tokyo: Rikako. The female role is quite complex and identifies very well with the hard times of being teenager and new in an unknown city, with a family broken by a divorce. Rikako is not the typical sweet girl, but that makes her even more fascinating, a mix of innocent girl and little devil, the typical figure that just make men lose their head. 

There are not big special effects or high doses of adrenaline exhibited here, like it is usual in many other Japanese animation films. The simplicity of the story is the weakest and the greatest point achieved by Mochizuki at the same time. It brings closer to us the life of Japanese students, their expectations, their efforts to achieve good marks to go to a good University, the rituals of their everyday life, etc.

Maybe for some other viewers the plot can turn to be a bit too simple, but in any case the duration of the movie is just around 1 hour 10 minutes, so there is not much time to feel bored. Not one of my Japanese movies, but not a bad effort though. As a negative last note, I must accuse the Finnish distributors of the same repeated mistake: there are no English subtitles available, so be ready to practice your Finnish skills if you do not understand Japanese fluently… 

Rating 3/5.