A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Explores the history of surfing in Japan, and gives some insight into Japanese and Hawaiian culture in general and specifically their surf culture. Spotlights the amount of work that goes into becoming a professional surfer as well as the long process of getting surfing into the Olympics.
Mahina's mentor, Kid, tells her, "I don't want to hear any negativity. I don't want to hear anything negative about anybody." He also taught her that supportive friends and families bring happiness and that she's worthy of love and happiness. The show also focuses on setbacks and failure as a normal part of competition.
Positive Role Models
Features examples of extreme perseverance and hard work, surfers tell stories of sacrificing a lot to realize their dreams of excellence. One team member talks honestly about having to take stock of whether she was pursuing her surfing goals for her sake or just to make her parents happy. Another speaks about wanting to inspire young women to have the courage to pursue their dreams.
A detailed look into the struggles faced by both male and female Japanese and Japanese-American athletes in their sport as well as in their personal lives. The role of culture and family history in the journeys of each surfer are explored.
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Violence & Scariness
Second generation Japanese Americans speak about being bullied for being different in America as well as not feeling like they fit in when in Japan.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A couple is featured with their arms around each other, talking about how they met, became pregnant, and started traveling around together surfing and living in their camper van. Another featured surfer is shown looking at sonograms of his unborn child with his wife and talking about how excited he is to become a father.
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Very occasional insult language -- "Shut up, you stupid idiot!"
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Products & Purchases
The surfers discuss sponsorships and one is shown with her own Barbie doll.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Chasing Waves is a docuseries centered on the hard work and perseverance it takes to be a professional surfer. Surfers tell stories of sacrificing a lot to realize their dreams of excellence. The series also explores the history of surfing in Japan, and gives some insight into Japanese and Hawaiian culture in general and specifically their surf culture. It also includes a look at an alternative surfing lifestyle that doesn't include competing and focuses instead on being a surfing influencer to make money.
Is It Any Good?
This is a visually stunning and emotionally powerful docu-series that delves into the world of surf culture. Chasing Waves follows the inspiring stories of up-and-coming surfers in Japan, Hawaii, and California striving to make the first Japanese Olympic surfing team. A study in contrasts, the series presents a fascinating look at the different ways to live, work, and breathe surfing. The lens zooms in on the grueling amount of preparation involved in competition at the highest level, alongside the romance of a nomadic existence in search of the perfect wave, and the value in both.
Also interwoven into the narrative are stories of first and second generation immigrants and themes exploring assimilation, bullying, and media pressure. Overall, Chasing Waves is a must-watch for surf enthusiasts, as well as for anyone interested in the human stories behind the sport.
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.