Ride Your Wave parents guide

Ride Your Wave Parent Guide

This is a beautiful film to look at, with clearly drawn facial expressions that pull viewers into the story.

Overall A-

A surfer meets a handsome firefighter and the duo fall in love. But when tragedy strikes, will she be able to go on without him?

Release date February 19, 2020

Violence A
Sexual Content B
Profanity B-
Substance Use A-

Why is Ride Your Wave rated Not Rated? The MPAA rated Ride Your Wave Not Rated

Run Time: 94 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Hinako Mukaimizu (Rina Kawaei) has moved to a small seaside town away from her family, ostensibly to go to school, but mostly so she can surf whenever she wants. Things change when she meets a handsome fireman, Minato Hinageshi (Ryota Katayose). The duo start dating – cue romantic montages and music - and it seems like nothing can separate them. He cooks for her, she teaches him to surf, life is good - until a tragic accident leaves Hinako with a mess of new problems, and the lingering image of Minato in the water…

This is a beautiful film to look at, even if you don’t read the subtitles (or understand the Japanese dialogue). The animation has a clean style that is just a pleasure to watch. The characters’ expressions are beautifully drawn and clearly convey strong emotions, helping audiences feel the emotions that undergird the story.

There is a common misconception that all animated films are basically children’s movies. Ride Your Wave, although it has virtually no negative content that would make it unsuitable for a young audience, is proof otherwise. Its emotionally fraught story and slow pacing make it more appropriate for teens or adults. Kids who are prepared to be patient and read subtitles should be able to make it through the film but parents should know that the story deals with death and grief and this could be challenging for some youngsters.

That said, Ride Your Wave isn’t for everyone. Japanese animation isn’t always highly accessible to Western audiences, and while this one is easy enough for North Americans to understand, there are still a few jokes that require a basic understanding of Japanese language. It also has a supernatural/magical plot, which might deter viewers who would prefer a straightforward romantic drama. And, as usual with foreign films, moviegoers who don’t like reading subtitles are probably not going to have a great time.

But for people who already like anime, and are looking for family-suitable content, Ride Your Wave is a good option. This is definitely a BYOK movie: bring your own Kleenex. More than a few people in the theatre were audibly sobbing at a few points in the movie, and it’s just awkward to have to wipe that on your sleeve. Far better to come prepared than leave with a soggy sweater.

Directed by Masaaki Yuasa. Starring Ryota Katayose, Rina Kawaei, Honoka Matsumoto. Running time: 94 minutes. Theatrical release February 19, 2020. Updated

Watch the trailer for Ride Your Wave

Ride Your Wave
Rating & Content Info

Why is Ride Your Wave rated Not Rated? Ride Your Wave is rated Not Rated by the MPAA

Violence: Two people are killed in accidents off-screen.
Sexual Content:   A character is shown naked from the shoulders up in the bath, and there is a brief non-sexual portrayal of their posterior.
Profanity: There is one use of scatological profanity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A number of minor characters are shown drinking beer. This is portrayed negatively.

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Ride Your Wave Parents' Guide

Hinako and Yōko react very differently to grief. Which way do you think is healthier? Which seems more effective?

Minato chose his profession because he wanted to help people. Why did he make that choice? What other professions can you think of that would help others? What careers are you interested in? Why?

Home Video

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If you are looking for romantic tearjerkers for teens, there are lots of options. Five Feet Apart is the story of teens whose cystic fibrosis means that they can’t get close enough to touch. In A Walk to Remember, the school bad boy falls in love with a church girl, who has a medical secret she’s afraid to share. The Space Between Us tells the story of Gardner, a young man born on Mars to an astronaut. When he falls in love online, Gardner travels to earth to meet the girl…but his organs can’t handle earth’s gravity. Will the pair ever be able to be together?

Fans of Japanese animation should try any of Hayao Miyazaki’s films with Studio Ghibli, including My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, and Howl’s Moving Castle, all of which are available with high-quality English dubs so you don’t have to read subtitles.

Another anime romance is at the heart of Weathering with You, the story of a runaway who falls in love with a girl who can temporarily pray away the rain.