If you’re interested in watching a love triangle unfold, or you’re a guy who finds strong-willed, smart women attractive, or you were competitive in high school, then I recommend watching “Umi Ga Kikoeru”, a TV movie from 1993, made by Studio Ghibli. I recommend it even more if you went to your high school reunion, have divorced parents, or if you saw Kimagure Orange Road. The director of KOR, Tomomi Mochizaki, just happens to be the director of this movie. Tomomi-san must think the ideal woman is strong-willed, attractive, and intelligent, because the main female character in this movie is Rikako, who is a high school transfer student from Tokyo. She suddenly becomes ranked 12 in the entire class, whereas one of the guys in the triangle, Taku, our narrator, ranks 92. Also, Rikako plays some very aggressive tennis that puts lots of fellow students in awe. Doesn’t that sound like Madoka from KOR, who stood up to (and fought) school bullies, and played a saxophone?
Besides the captivating drama in this movie, even though the art is somewhat simple, I really appreciated this movie because the makers took the time to construct scenes that allow the viewer to reflect. For example, when Taku and Yutaka (the second guy in the triangle) are in the junior high school art room, we see a close-up of a sculpture at the beginning of the scene, and at the end of the scene, they are both looking out the window at a nice cloud formation. We also hear a slow piano tune as background music throughout this scene.
Watch this movie–it’ll take you on quite a ride!