Studio Ghibli’s Rarely Seen Ocean Waves Heads to U.S.

The 1993 anime, which original aired as a TV movie in Japan, will receive theatrical release in the United States and Canada.

Ghibli-heads, rejoice! GKIDS has announced the North American theatrical release of “Ocean Waves,” the 1993 animated television movie by Studio Ghibli rarely seen outside of Japan.

Directed by Tomomi Mochizuki, the adaptation of Saeko Himuro’s novel of the same name centers on Taku and his best friend Yutaka on the island of Shikoku, whose relationship is tested whey they both fall for Rikako, a beautiful new transfer student from Tokyo.

The first Ghibli film to be directed by someone other than founders Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, “Ocean Waves” looks different from what fans of the studio are accustomed to. While most Studio Ghibli features deal with the existential through the fantastical, “Ocean Waves” appears to be much more stripped down. The trailer alone is a departure from the usually mystical and action-packed teasers for Ghibli releases: no dialogue, wistful music, wistful stares.

Although “Ocean Waves” is available on DVD in the United Kingdom and Australia, it’s one of the new Ghibli films that has yet to reach North America (officially, at least).

“Ocean Waves” will make its North America premiere Dec. 28 in New York City before rolling out to more theaters through early January. A complete list of venues and dates can be found on the GKIDS website.

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