Ride Your Wave

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Ride Your Wave
Ride Your Wave poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMasaaki Yuasa
Written byReiko Yoshida
Music byMichiru Oshima
Distributed byToho
Release date
  • June 10, 2019 (2019-06-10) (Annecy)
  • June 21, 2019 (2019-06-21)
Running time
96 minutes
Box office$3.9 million (worldwide)[1]

Ride Your Wave (Japanese: きみと、波にのれたら, Hepburn: Kimi to, Nami ni Noretara) is a 2019 Japanese animated film produced by Science Saru and directed by Masaaki Yuasa. The film premiered at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival on June 10, 2019 and was released in Japan on June 21, 2019.


19-year-old Hinako Mukaimizu moves to an oceanside town to attend college and indulge in her hobby, surfing, without much thought to her future. When her new apartment catches on fire from fireworks, she is rescued by Minato Hinageshi, a 21-year-old firefighter with a strong sense of justice. Hinako is drawn to his capable personality, and they bond when he begins learning how to surf. As the two spend time together, they fall in love; however, after Hinako tells Minato waves are the best to surf in during the winter storm, Minato goes surfing during a winter storm to prove to Hinako that he can, he drowns while rescuing a person.

Hinako is distraught by his death, no longer surfing, and is unable to move on. One day, she finds out that he appears in water whenever she sings "Brand New Story", a song the two of them often sang together. While others don't believe her, Hinako starts talking to Minato everywhere, professing that they'll always be together. Minato's friend and coworker Wasabi tries to confess his feelings to Hinako, and she realizes that Minato cannot be free unless she is able to move on with her life.

When Hinako goes to pay her respects at Minato's house, his sister Yōko tells her about an event that inspired Minato to become a firefighter. This jolts Hinako's memory and she recalls how she had saved him from drowning. She looks up professions that save lives and enters a course to become a lifeguard.

Yōko, working as a barista, overhears the same group that set off the previous fireworks planning to do so atop an abandoned building. Hinako accompanies her as they tail the group to collect evidence. As they launch the fireworks, a blaze erupts, and Hinako and an injured Yōko are stuck at the top. Hinako calls upon Minato, who sends a wave of water up the building, extinguishing the fire. Hinako puts Yōko on a backboard and rides it like a surfboard down the wave. After having expressed his thoughts to Yōko and Wasabi, Minato's spirit passes.

The next Christmas, Hinako, Yōko and Wasabi visit the Chiba Port Tower, where Hinako spent time with Minato. The tower reads a message requested by Minato in the past, and Hinako breaks down in tears. Hinako is later shown confidently riding waves at the beach again.

Voice cast[edit]

Characters Japanese English
Minato Hinageshi (雛罌粟港, Hinageshi Minato) Ryota Katayose N/A
A firefighter troubled with surfing and swimming.
Hinako Mukaimizu (向水ひな子, Mukaimizu Hinako) Rina Kawaei N/A
A floristry clerk and a surfer.
Yōko Hinageshi (雛罌粟洋子, Hinageshi Yōko) Honoka Matsumoto N/A
Minato's sister and barista employee.
Wasabi Kawamura (川村山葵, Kawamura Wasabi) Kentaro Ito N/A
One of the firefighters and Minato's best friend.


The film was announced at the Tokyo International Film Festival in 2018, where Yuasa stated that he would direct.[2] He described the film as a "simple romantic comedy" that will have "a lot of exciting scenes", including some depicting the contrast between water and fire.[2] Yuasa compared life to "riding a wave", using it as the basis for the story.[2] The film was produced by Science Saru.[3] Reiko Yoshida served as the scriptwriter and Michiru Oshima served as a music composer.[3] Rina Kawaei and Generations from Exile Tribe member Ryota Katayose joined the cast on leading roles in January 2019, with the film being Katayose's first voice acting role.[4] Honoka Matsumoto and Kentaro Ito joined the cast on supporting roles in February 2019.[5]

The film's theme song is "Brand New Story" by Generations from Exile Tribe.[6] A music video animated by Science Saru featured the members and new original scenes from the released film on June 21, 2019.[7] To promote the film, a two-chapter manga adaptation by Machi Kiachi was serialized in Deluxe BetsuComi, which contains an original story about Hinako and Minato's first meeting.[8]

On July 2, 2019, GKIDS announced they were licensing the film in North America and it is set to premiere in 2020.[9]


The film was released in Japan nationwide on June 21, 2019. A Chinese release for the film was slated for August 7, 2019, but was cancelled.[10] The film premiered in the United Kingdom at Scotland Loves Anime on October 11, 2019.[11] It later had a theatrical release in North America by GKIDS on February 2, 2020.


The film was released in 299 theaters across Japan on June 21, 2019 and debuted at #9 on opening week with ¥80 million.[12] The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 91% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 22 reviews, with an average rating of 7.7/10.[13] Matt Schley from The Japan Times gave the film four out of five stars, complimenting the "charming cast of characters," while mentioning the film seemed too "normal" for a work by Yuasa.[14]


Year Award Category Recipient Result
2019 Annecy International Animated Film Festival Cristal du long metrage Ride Your Wave Nominated[15]
Shanghai International Film Festival Best Animation Ride Your Wave Won[16]
Fantasia International Film Festival Best Animated Feature Ride Your Wave Won[17]
Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival Best Animated Feature Ride Your Wave Won[18]
2020 Mainichi Film Awards Best Animation Film Ride Your Wave Nominated[19]


  1. ^ "Ride Your Wave". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Loo, Egan (October 27, 2018). "Devilman Crybaby Director Masaaki Yuasa Unveils New Anime Film 'Kimi to, Nami ni Noretara'". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Hodgkins, Crystalyn (December 13, 2018). "Masaaki Yuasa's 'Kimi to, Nami ni Noretara' Anime Film Reveals More Staff, June 21 Debut". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  4. ^ Ressler, Karen (January 14, 2019). "Masaaki Yuasa's 'Kimi to, Nami ni Noretara' Anime Film Reveals Lead Cast, Character Details". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  5. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (February 27, 2019). "Masaaki Yuasa's 'Kimi to, Nami ni Noretara' Anime Film Adds 2 Cast Members". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  6. ^ Sherman, Jennifer (March 8, 2019). "Masaaki Yuasa's 'Kimi to, Nami ni Noretara' Anime Film Trailer Previews Theme Song". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  7. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (June 21, 2019). "Anime Music Video for Ride Your Wave Film's Theme Song Posted". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  8. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (February 24, 2019). "Masaaki Yuasa's 'Kimi to, Nami ni Noretara' Anime Film Gets 2-Chapter Manga". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  9. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (July 2, 2019). "GKIDS Acquires North American Rights to Animated Feature 'Ride Your Wave'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  10. ^ "Japanese animated film Ride Your Wave was scheduled to be released in the Chinese mainland on August 7, the day of Chinese Valentine's Day, but the release of the film has been canceled". Twitter. August 2, 2019. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  11. ^ "Ride Your Wave". Scotland Loves Anime. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  12. ^ Komatsu, Mikikaze (June 24, 2019). "Japan Box Office: Ride Your Wave Debuts at 9th with Disappointing 80 Million Yen". Crunchyroll. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
  13. ^ "Ride Your Wave (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
  14. ^ Schley, Matt (June 19, 2019). "'Ride Your Wave': Love, loss, the sea and a surfboard". The Japan Times. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  15. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (April 16, 2019). "Ride Your Wave, Relative Worlds, Wonderland, Children of the Sea Films Compete at Annecy (Updated)". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  16. ^ "Winners of the 22nd SIFF Golden Goblet Awards". Shanghai International Film Festival. June 23, 2019. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
  17. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (July 26, 2019). "Ride Your Wave, Human Lost Films Win Awards at Fantasia Int'l Film Festival". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  18. ^ Sherman, Jennifer (October 14, 2019). "Ride Your Wave Wins Best Animated Film at Spain's Sitges". Anime News Network. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  19. ^ "Mainichi Film Concours 2020". IMDb. Retrieved February 22, 2020.

External links[edit]