Last week I watched the Studio Ghibli anime Ocean Waves (海がきこえる/I can hear the sea). It’s about a college student named Taku, who is thinking back to his senior year in high school years and a girl called Rikako. She’s a new girl who moved to Taku’s town from Tokyo. She’s smart and attractive, but is a bit of an outcast among the students. Except for Taku’s friend Yutaka, who has a crush on Rikako. Triangle drama, commence! The story is told through a series of flashbacks, where Taku remembers the impression Rikako made in their encounters.

This is a TV movie and you can tell that the budget must have been smaller than Ghibli movies that have been shown in cinemas. The animation … Continue reading


I watched the Studio Ghibli anime Porco Rosso the other day. It’s one of those movies that I bought ages ago, but never got around to watching. Until now. I was looking for an “easy watching” movie where I didn’t have to invest much. It fit that bill well. It’s a very laid back movie.

The story takes place at the Adriatic Sea in the late 1920’s. It is about a former air force pilot, who has turned into a pig for some reason and now makes a living as a bounty hunter, chasing air pirates. His plane is damaged during a dog fight and he goes to Italy to have it repaired at his old friend’s shop. There he meets the friend’s granddaughter Fio, who is put in charge of making the repairs/improvements.

I liked Porco Rosso. It had some nice moments, but some things weren’t explained or resolved. The ending is one of those where you get a summary of what happened to everyone after the last scene, which was a bit “blah”. Enjoyable none the less.


I watch movies way too seldom nowadays. I have a huge “to watch” pile. However, yesterday I watched Studio Ghibli’s latest film The Borrower Arrietty (Karigurashi no Arrietty, aka The Secret World of Arrietty). It’s based on the novel The Borrowers by Mary Norton.

The story takes place in a Japan, where a sickly boy, Sho, goes to live in his mother’s childhood house to rest before his heart surgery. Under the floors of the house lives a family of “borrowers”. They are tiny (10 cm tall) persons, who borrow small things they need from the house from time to time. The borrowers must remain hidden from the humans, but the young Arrietty is spotted by Sho.

This film is less otherworldly than other Ghibli works. It’s pretty quiet and simple. It was relaxing to watch. The imagery is very colourful and pretty. I like how things are made to look huge, that would be huge to someone the size of a borrower. I liked the movie, although it’s pretty open-ended.

The soundtrack is also different from other Ghibli movies. Usually it’s Joe Hisaishi who composes the music. When the music started, I thought “is this Michelle Branch?”, but it turns out that it’s a French singer named Cécile Corbel.

I bought the DVD in Korea, but I watched it with the original Japanese audio and English subtitles. The subtitles were good except for the erroneous, but consistent, use of “human beans” instead of “human beings” :lol: .



I watched the Japanese blu-ray version of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind last night. For the Blu-ray version the movie has been restored and the picture quality is great. They haven’t retouched things like the film grain and the occasional crooked animation cell, but left it as it was in the original film, which keeps an “authentic” feel.

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