What is Ride Your Wave anime about? Ever heard of the cliche love quote that goes “Love comes when you least expect it.” It is the perfect quote to describe the love that came to Hinako and Minato, something they least expected. Ride Your Wave showcased the beauty of love that came even in the hardest of circumstances: Loss.
Ride Your Wave is a Japanese Animated Film that was released in 2019. It was produced by Science Saru and directed by Masaaki Yuasa. The film features two major characters: Mukaimizu Hinako and Hinageshi Minato.
The story centers on a girl who just moved in to a small surfer town for college. Her name is Mukaimizu Hinato, and she was on her life’s mission of becoming the greatest surfer girl anyone could ever dream of. But in the middle of reaching that dream, she accidentally meets Hinageshi Minato, a firefighter who she saved back when they were younger. They bonded over the most trivial things: coffee, books, the ocean, and music, and eventually, they fell in love.
The kind of love that came to them was as vast and as beautiful as the ocean. Even as someone who was watching how their feelings developed, I can say that it was the kind of love that would take eons to vanish, the kind that would resurrect even after death to make up for the devastation, the grief, and the loss of the one that was left behind.
True enough, the kind of love Minato and Hinako had, resurrected and stayed even after Minato’s untimely and sudden death. Minato died trying to fulfill Hinako’s wish, but he came back as something that she loved, but came to hate the most: water. His reflection would come up everytime Hinako sang their song. They would talk all day, Hinako as a human, and him as a mere reflection.
By the time Minato felt that Hinako could finally stand back up on her own two feet, Minato helped her one last time, and decided it was time to take his leave, at last. This of course, left Hinako in shambles, but Minato left at just the right time. She was now able to take the grief, resentment, and devastation she felt after he departed, and give her life another chance. This, of course, was not an easy task, but she really had no choice.
Is Ride Your Wave Sad?
By what you’ve already read above, I think we can all tell that Ride Your Wave is devastating. But, it also is, in a way, liberating. Love is something that shatters us from the inside. A feeling so grand that without it, we crumble in pain and find ourselves trying to mend pieces of ourselves that somebody else broke.
Love and Loss are two completely opposite things. In fact, if they were to be compared to each other, they do not have any connection at all. Well, except for the fact that they are both things that happen after each other’s absence. Ride Your Wave let its viewers experience both love and loss simultaneously.
It was slapped right unto our faces that Minato is gone and he is never coming back, but we also see that the love he had for Hinako was something that will never go away, and this love was what made him feel alive.
Throughout many circumstances in the film, I found myself half-laughing and half-crying to the weirdest things. Not that fantasy animes are new to me, but it was just extremely entertaining how Hinako looked like she was summoning some kind of spirit (well, technical, she was) every time she sang their song. That aside, the film had a unique plot that would definitely leave you gasping for air and reaching out for some tissue.
Why Does Hinako Keep Singing the Song in Ride Your Wave?
Short answer, it was her way of calling out to her boyfriend who only appeared as a reflection in the water.
Long answer, it was her coping mechanism. That song was the one thing that truly reminded her of Minato. They would sing it in the car on their way to another surfing trip, they’d sing it at the karaoke when they celebrated their first anniversary, and they even sang it on their first trip out of town.
It was the one thing that still kept him alive in her heart. In fact, after Minato’s passing, it took Hinako quite a while before she sang the song again. Hearing something that reminded you of a loved one that already passed is painful, I even admire her courage in singing it even after he was gone.
The song in Ride Your Wave is by GENERATION and EXILE TRIBE. It is entitled: Brand New Story.
Watch the Music Video of the Song here:
Ride Your Wave won Best Animation during the 2019 Shanghai International Film Festival, Best Animated Feature during the 2019 Fantasia International Film Festival, and Best Feature at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival.
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