Is Ride Your Wave MAL rating accurate?

Is Ride Your Wave MAL rating accurate?

Masaaki Yuasa is a gem in the industry. With brilliance shining through his record, any adaptation by him is bound to be a success. [Ride Your Wave] is one of his works that is unconventional to his already unconventional style of art. With an average MAL rating of 7.5 for his work, has Ride Your Wave MAL rating been accurate, or has it been an understatement? Let’s find out!


Ride Your Wave

Ride Your Wave is a story about self-reflection and understanding. It tells the tale of Hinako, a carefree college student with no claims for her future. Moving to a coastal city for college, she meets Minato on an unfortunate incident of her apartment getting caught on fire. As the story unfolds, we see them getting closer and falling in love. However, life is never so easy-going.

Hinako and Minato shopping
Hinako and Minato’s Ghost | Courtesy of Science SARU

During a surfing experience, Hinako has to experience the death of her most cherished partner. Stricken with grief and depression, the story continues on her journey of self-love and renewal of strength in herself. The tale includes multiple elements of the supernatural, fate, delusions, fear, etc. It is endowed with a beautiful sequence of music and art, appealing to a vast majority of the audience besides the engaging story.

Ratings by Other Media

Ride Your Wave has been a huge success all over the globe. It has been nominated for multiple awards such as:

  • Best Animated Feature at the Seattle Film Critics Society.
  • Best Animated Independent Feature at the Annie Awards.
  • Outstanding Achievement for Directing in an Animated Feature at the Annie Awards.
  • Best Animated Film at the Mainichi Film Concours.
  • Best Animated Film at the International Online Cinema Awards.
  • Anime Movie of the Year at the Anime Trending Awards.
  • Best Feature at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival.
Yuasa winning at Annecy
Masaaki Yuasa at Annecy International Animated Film Festival | Courtesy of Fuji TV

It has won 2 awards.

  • Best Animated Film at the Shanghai International Film Festival.
  • Best Animated Feature at the Fantasia Film Festival.

It has been highly rated by other platforms as well. It has received a 93% from Rotten Tomatoes, a 6.8/10 from IMDb, and 4/5 from Common Sense Media. It has an average rating of 4.5/5 in Crunchyroll.

Ride Your Wave MAL Rating

[Ride Your Wave] has been rated a 7.61 out of 10 on MyAnimeList. MAL ratings are an aggregate of the audiences’ ratings for that given show. Having said that, has the rating represented the honest quality of this movie?

The following section will contain spoilers, please proceed at your own risk. 

A Review of the Movie

The movie has an outstanding and outlandish approach and execution of the premise. It has a vibrance usually not seen in Yuasa. Nonetheless, it is his work. The movie has subtle elements of realism, however quite discrete in its appearance, unlike his other works. The movie allows the audience to dive into its setting, letting them leisurely stroll across its universe as if it were their own.

Hinako and Minato singing Brand New Story
Hinako and Minato on a date | Courtesy of Science SARU

While the world-building of the movie is immaculate, the same cannot be said for its characters. While the main lead Hinako is in focus at all times, supporting characters do not get as much development as was required for a story of this caliber. Their personalities feel empty, unbecoming of their creator.

Hinako feels distant at times, which portrays the chaotic and unreliable mental state of a person grieving from that of a healthy mind. Her expressions of summoning her dead boyfriend have been amusing, as each time she is surprised to see him. The forms her dead partner imitates closely follow her state of mind. It is clear that her interactions with him were delusions, that she created due to her inability to accept his death and move on.

The blend of music in the movie has certainly taken this ordinary story to immeasurable heights. [BRAND NEW STORY] by GENERATIONS from EXILE TRIBE has been a constant hum for everyone who has watched the movie. Moments spent by Hinako and Minato were such delicate scenes to which their song has given a new vigor. The ending sequence of the movie also has incredible effectiveness due to the energetic thrill the song encaptures us.

The Verdict

This puts us in a bind. The movie has a subpar story, yet its execution has put it leagues above its competitors. For its plot, it rates no more than 7.5/10. However, for its animation, it receives a 9/10. The musical composition itself is a 9/10. This puts us at 8.5/10. This is more than what the community has considered it to be. In short, the MAL rating for [Ride Your Wave] is a little less than what it deserves.

Nevertheless, every critic realizes their opinion to be subjective, and itself to be a subject of criticism. What do you suppose? Has the MAL rating been accurate? Comment down below.

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