It’s no surprise that the anime features an exorbitant amount of beaches and ocean shots considering that Japan resides on a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean. There are plenty of beach episodes tucked into almost every slice of life anime, and sometimes the ocean can be a setting in itself.
The ocean is a ubiquitous space in many great movies and animated shows. Sometimes the sea can be mere dressing and other times the sea can be used to advance the plot. No matter what it’s for, anime’s relationship with the sea will continue to produce wonderful stories with beautiful settings.
10/10 The Aquatope on the white sand shows the beauty of Okinawa
Aquatope on White Sand is the story of two girls trying to save an old, dilapidated aquarium from sinking. Fuuka Miyazawa, a former idol, accidentally stumbles into the aquarium after leaving and taking a spontaneous trip. The aquarium manager’s granddaughter, Kukuru Misakino, tries her best to run the place in her grandfather’s absence when the two girls meet.
Located in Okinawa, Aquatope on White Sand offers beautiful views of the sea. With the work taking place in an aquarium, viewers learn more about aquatic life with Fuuka, making for an engaging and fun story.
9/10 Free! Connect the sea to its characters
Located in the seaside town of Iwatobi, Free! is a sports anime about Haruka Nanase and his friends and their journey to swim together in a relay. The series spends a lot of its time not only swimming but also bonding with Haru and his friends.
The sea in Free! doesn’t just work as a nice backdrop in this series. Haru seems to have a deep connection with water and enjoys being able to swim in the sea. His best friend, Makoto Tachibana, also has a relationship with the sea, although much less friendly than Haru’s.
8/10 Nagi No Asukara tells a story above and below the surface of the sea
Nagi no Asukara takes place in a fictional world similar to our own. The only difference is that in this world there are humans who live both above the sea and below it. In this series, four teenagers living in the sea are forced to go to school on land after their underwater school is destroyed.
The show has beautiful visuals both above the water and below. Its premise allows for unique landscapes and plenty of stunning aquatic shots. Beyond its visuals, Nagi no Asukara begins as a classic fish-out-of-water story, then morphs into a tale of surprising depth and complexity.
7/10 Aria Animation feels like a peaceful walk at sea
Aria the animation takes place in the future on the planet Mars, now transformed into a habitable aquatic paradise. The story follows Akari as she trains to become a gondola tour guide on the canals of Neo-Venezia.
The city of Neo-Venezia is directly inspired by Venice, Italy, with its beautiful architecture, wide canals and stunning open waters. The sound design of this show is particularly endearing. Audiences can hear the ambient back and forth of the sea with its soothing score. Aria the animation is designed to put the viewer’s mind at ease and enjoy the soothing waters of Neo-Venezia.
6/10 Ponyo is Ghibli at his best
There’s nothing quite like a Studio Ghibli movie. Each story in Hayao Miyazaki’s library is given a great amount of detail, beauty, and care. Ponyo is no exception to this rule. The story reminds The little Mermaid with a whimsical touch.
The animation is unsurprisingly breathtaking like all Studio Ghibli works. The animation makes the sea fluid and alive. The color palette is vibrant, as if the story was taken straight from a children’s book and set in motion. Sounds, sights and story serve to bring viewers closer to the whimsical sea.
5/10 Squid Girl is a comic pearl among the oysters
squid girl is a slice-of-life comedy about Ika Musume, a squid girl, who decided to come to the surface to punish humans for polluting her waters. Unfortunately for her, she is forced to become a waitress to pay for repair costs after destroying the wall of a restaurant.
squid girl is as charming as it is hilarious. Many episodes border on parody, creating comedic staging and punchlines. This episodic story set by the sea continues to keep audiences coming back for its comedic characters and fun setting.
4/10 Tsuritama characters save the world with fishing
Tsuritama is a whimsical show about fishing, friendship, and aliens, all in that order. Yuki Sanada, a new student must save the world with his friends, Haru and Natsuki, with the ultimate power of fishing.
Located in the seaside town of Enoshima, Tsuritama uses its animation to show the beauty of the sea. The color scheme of the show is bright and poppy, and the movements of the sea are fluid and lively. TsuritamaThe art style of really reinforces the whimsical premise of the show and keeps viewers enthralled by its beauty.
3/10 The stranger by the sea connects love to the sea
The stranger from the shore is a boy romance anime film about Shun Hashimoto and Mio Chibana as they grow closer to each other. Shun first encounters Mio on a bench as Mio gazes gloomily out to sea.
The sea in The stranger from the shore assumes a metaphorical role. Mio’s mother has always warned him not to go to the sea alone, and many characters in the story make important choices near the sea. Towards the end of the film, the two affirm their love for each other. the other when Mio drags Shun out to sea.
2/10 Pokémon: Sun & Moon gives the impression of being on vacation at the sea
Based on the popular game, Pokemon: Sun and Moon is just one part of a long series of stories involving Ash, Pikachu, and the Pokemon they encounter along the way. The series is set in the Alola region, a tropical island home to many island-themed Pokémon for Ash and his friends to discover.
The sea in Sun Moon is not only put in vinaigrette. It also serves as a habitat for water-type Pokemon that Ash can catch and learn. The tropical surroundings give the impression of a pleasant and relaxing summer vacation and the story reflects this attitude.
1/10 Children Of The Sea is a surreal masterpiece
children of the sea is a surreal, metaphysical and emotional film about friendship, love and the universe. The story follows Ruka Azumi and two boys who have a mysterious connection to the ocean.
children of the sea is beyond beauty. Every cell in every animation has been carefully crafted. The sea in this story looks like a living organism with its own life, dynamism and form. The animation is as smooth as the water itself and the story is intricate and fantastical. This film truly feels like an epic in every way.
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