Ride Your Wave

Movie review by Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Ride Your Wave Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 13+

Beautiful anime is too sad for young or sensitive kids.

NR 2020 94 minutes

Parents say

age 13+

Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 11+

Based on 4 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Stands out for and .

Community Reviews

age 12+

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 13+

Very sweet but tragic

For those unaware, this film is from Masaaki Yuasa, the same director behind two films that hit North America in 2018, Lu Over the Wall and The Night is Short, Walk On Girl. I loved both of these films. On top of being energized, surreal and creative, they were also surprisingly deep and thought provoking with the latter being probably one of the most relatable love stories I've ever seen. I mention this because one thing that really surprised me about this film is that while it still has that great art style I expect from Yuasa, it's surprisingly subdued and down to Earth. Even during the second half when it starts to enter the more strange territory, it's still very much ground in reality and not too over the top. But with that said, it's still a very good, touching, sweet and thought provoking film. The early scenes in the film are beyond precious. There's this particular song that comes up frequently throughout the film, one that's connected really strongly to the two leads (And when they reveal the reason why, it makes way too much sense) and there's actually a 3-4 minute music video set to this song that's just adorable. Granted, there was a part of me that felt like it should have just been 2 minutes tops, but still. And while the story takes a very dark and sad turn early on, it never loses that sweetness. That said, though, when the film does enter strange territory, at first it seems as if this side of the story is all in the main character's head. Then it's quickly revealed that all of this is really happening and that only she can see it. Admittedly, I found myself really questioning this, but thankfully, the ending takes this plot point in a very mature direction, preventing this from undermining the message. With all this said, I personally prefer Yuasa's other more surreal works more, but this is still a very nice and sweet film. And as I said earlier, it's now available on DVD (Not sure if it'll be added to Netflix soon. Promare got that treatment shortly after its DVD release, so it's possible), so if you're interested, I'd say check it out. Just know that this movie gets sad pretty quickly. I wasn't tearing up as much as I normally would, but just know that, without revealing too much, a major character dies 5-10 minutes before the halfway point. (Oh yeah, just a random note, it's a throwaway line, but at one point, they actually reference an anime from the 60's called Obake no Q-Taro/Little Ghost Q-Taro. As someone who has checked out fandubbed episodes of the show on Youtube, that made me smile)

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing

Movie Details

Our Editors Recommend

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

  • Young girl playing
    See all
  • Child cross country skiing
    See all

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate