After his release If over the wall To critical acclaim, director Masaaki Yuasa was met with a similar synopsis of his next film, Ride your wave, By Science Saru, Japanese animation studio.
“We were assigned the same theme,” Yuasa recalls, “A love story involving a wonderful being / out of this world.” “From there, we came up with a story of a man turned into water and a human girl.”
Turning to a contemplation of loss, after the Yuasa experience in the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, Ride your wave Focuses on Hinako, a surfer whose life changes forever when magician Minato saves her from a fire in an apartment building. After that, the firefighter goes through tragically, but the romance between the two only continues to unfold, when Hinako finds she can summon her lost love to appear, wherever there is water.
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Distributed by Toho in Japan and GKIDS in the US, the animated movie is now also airing on HBO Max. Looking back at the events of the past year, her contemplation of how we face the challenges that life poses for us could not be more important. “We’ve always heard from surfers that life is like surfing: you have to choose which wave to ride from among the many waves to come,” Yuasa notes. “There are good waves, and there are bad waves, but you don’t know what they are until you ride them.”
Below, the director discusses the inspiration behind his recent Oscar rival, as well Ino-ohCharacteristic that will come next.
Deadline: What are your thoughts, as far as you will approach this story visually? The juxtaposition of water and fire seemed to be something that she wanted to highlight.
YuasaKaito: Understandably, “a love story with someone out of this world,” we came up with two incompatible personalities, like fire and water. From there, we decided to have a surfer and a fireman as heroes to develop characters and settings. Having a fireman save a girl caught in a fire is a great way to start a romantic comedy.
Deadline: What is your character design style and the world of characters Ride your wave? Did you have any special inspiration in doing this?
Yuasa: The big factor was that we always wanted to photograph a surfer, which we never had to do before. With that in mind, we created realistic wallpapers from there. In our last film, we incorporated the designs of “shoujo-manga”, and emphasized this element in this movie. We expanded the designs from the concept mostly.
Deadline: How would you describe the pipeline you used to revive the movie?
Yuasa: The process was smooth. during If over the wallThere was a lot of trial and error early in the production. This time, we were able to use this experience, so we were able to run smoothly. By simplifying symbolic events, we were able to make progress more consistently than I thought.
Deadline: What were you looking for in the movie’s music? How did you work with composer Michiro Oshima to reach the conclusion we hear?
YuasaKisa: We first worked with Oshima-san The Tatami Galaxy Then again The night is short, walk over the girl; This will be our third cooperation. We feel that Oshima-san can give importance to the subject matter and then adjust the music according to the whole movie. Honestly, I don’t remember what we discussed about the outcome. But for a scene where Hinako and Minato eat a snack during camp, the music suits the scene well. Although there were not many visible events, what they talked about mattered, and the music confirmed that. We hadn’t intended it, and it turned into a spectacle. Match what the movie wanted to convey.
Deadline: Were any particular moments particularly fun to bring back to life?
Yuasa: The idle moments between Hinako and Minato made an impression on me. There is a sequence where they sing casually. During recording, Ryota Katayose (voiced Minato) and Rina Kawaei (voiced Hinato) created a nice atmosphere, and we were excited that we got good shots. Creating the scenes depicting the couple’s petty and simple happiness was fun.
Deadline: climax Ride your wave Some amazing action, with Hinako surfing the side of a skyscraper. Can you detail the inspiration behind this sequence?
YuasaKaito: We thought about how to film the “big wave” that Hinako is overcoming at its height, and we got to the sequence of her riding the wave down the building. It’s a sad sight, but we’ve also included hope so you can start over. We wanted it to be a scene so that when the characters who suffered the loss ran into difficulties, they could take a step forward. Regardless of the difficult situations they find themselves in, they have to challenge giving up. By taking on the challenge, they can find and enjoy a different perspective. Experience something fun. This is what we wanted to capture.
Deadline: What do you wish people took away from the movie? How does her message address the world we live in today with all its challenges?
Yuasa: Ride your wave It’s a story about a woman who gets older as she rides on different waves in life, makes mistakes and succeeds. By challenging the seemingly scary waves, things can go well, you can have fun, or you can beat anything suddenly. Because of what is happening in the world now, even in everyday life, you may feel anxious or afraid, but I hope you see life as waves to move past trial and error and stay positive all the time.
Deadline: What’s next for you?
Yuasa: We are in production Ino-oh At the moment, a story about noh real-life performer Ino-oh and a Muromachi-era biwa. Almost no records remain of them, but we are highlighting their story because we think about how these wonderful people were at the time. They pursue their ideals and take on unfavorable or unworthy challenges. Perhaps, in this way, the topic is similar to Ride your wave.