Annecy 2019: Masaaki Yuasa’s New Film Makes A Splash – Ride Your Wave Reviewed

by Tito W. James

Several anime this year have plots based around water or firefighting. Ride Your Wave combines the two in a love story about a firefighter who reincarnates in the form of water. The film is directed by Masaaki Yuasa (Night is Short, Walk On Girl) and written by Reiko Yoshida (A Silent Voice). Is this the love story to kick off the summer or just a wet blanket?


Some of the characters’ decisions when dealing with fire are unrealistic. It’s doesn’t disrupt the flow of the film but audiences should remember that in the case of a fire it’s best to GTFO.


Yuasa continues to display his directorial range by dispensing with his psychedelic colors and adopting a more grounded approach to the story. This paranormal romance much in common with opulent realism of Makoto Shinkai. All the food looks like the best food you’ve ever tasted and every drop of water is the purest water in existence. This dreamlike viewpoint only helps sell the character’s pure-hearted love and emotions.


Ride Your Wave is a gorgeous film dealing with themes of love, loss, and self-discovery. The anime blends Yuasa’s directorial craft with Yoshida’s heart felt story. Whether your new to Yuasa’s work or a long time fan, this is a film worth diving into.

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