The premiere of Ride Your Wave was February 19th in Theaters. Fathom Events promoted the GKIDS Film premiere. This one night only event had a theater filled. I and other anime fans sat there to enjoy this film and to go through the ocean of feelings we were meant to. I personally enjoyed the movie for its romantic aspects, and my love for seeing animation come to life. The artwork was absolutely beautiful when it can to the ocean and other landscapes in this film.
Be aware this is your spoiler alert.
Ride Your Wave Trailer
As a fan of animation, I really have a deep appreciation for different art styles and many of the talented storytellers that use animation as their form of expression. Masaaki Yuasa is a Japanese Animator, Writer, and Director with many of our favorite anime series under his belt. Just to name a few, Masaaki worked as an animator on Devilman: Crybaby, Space Dandy, Samurai Champloo, Lupin The Third, and Shin Chan. You can look at the complete list of his work on his IMDb. As a Director, Masaaki Yuasa has many titles we’re familiar with as anime fans.
Ride Your Wave is Masaaki’s latest project to be released. This is a fantasy- romance film, and it will have you in your feelings. The main characters are a firefighter named Minato Hinageshi and surfer Hinako Mukaimizu. The story runs around their newfound relationship, and I do have to say the film felt rushed, but you do get the gist that they were very attached to each other before Minato’s death and the impact hit Hinako very hard. The entire second half of the film is us going through the grievance process with Hinako, Minato’s younger sister Yoko and fellow firefighter and friend Wasabi.
Following Hinako on this journey after suddenly losing the love of her life was the sad part of the film. It really got me in my feelings watching this because the couple was growing on me. As the film progresses, we’re speeding through many of their dates, and you can see them falling for in love with each other. They did many fun dates and memorable moments in their relationship, but one that will stay with you when you leave the theater is them singing their song. It’s sung many times throughout the film that it starts to get catchy, and next thing I knew, I was humming the melody on my way home.
Here’s Minato and Hinako’s Song
After Minato’s death, whenever Hinako started singing their song, he would appear in a body of water that she’s near. Yoko and Wasabi thought she was going crazy when she mentioned it to them, and then she started doing the crazy things once no one really believed her because they couldn’t see it themselves. I don’t want to spoil this part so I won’t but watching the film and finding out why Minato calls Hinako his hero and the explanation later into the film is such a beautiful moment that sparks ambition in Hinako to push forward and move on with he life like Minato would want her to.
As Hinako sings their song and Minato keeps appearing, he starts to get weak. This was a play on how the afterlife could work, in my opinion, Minato had unfinished business because he wanted to tell Hinako about his feelings before the accident that led to his death. Minato was clinging on to try and convey that message and make sure Hinako rides her wave in life. The film ended beautifully with Minato’s younger sister Yoko and friend Wasabi being able to see him one last time as he saves Hinako and Yoko from a dangerous fire in a building they were trapped in. What was really amazing was seeing Hinako surf on this huge wave Minato created for her to give her that last push to move forward with her life.
At the end of the film, there was a short interview with producer Eunyoung Choi who is Co-Founder with Masaaki Yuasa of Science SARU. The studio was founded in 2013, Eunyoung and Masaaki’s company has produced a handful of work over the years with Ride Your Wave being the latest project and more coming later in the year. Here’s Science SARU’s website with the full range of projects past and upcoming. The interview was of Eunyoung talking about the Ride Your Wave film and how everything comes together behind the scenes and her 15-year work relationship with Masaaki and his work ethics when it comes to creating the storyboard.
Overall I enjoyed the movie I do this some of it was rushed through, but you will still understand the storyline. I’m usually a cryer when it comes to movies like this, but it was sad enough for me to cry, it was just the right amount of sad that makes me root for Hinako to push through and with the help of Minato appearing, again and again, it made my cheers meaningful. I really hope more people see this film.
Below are the links for you to find the nearest theater to watch this film.