Alternative title(s): Nami yo Kiitekure
Manga Adaptation by Sunrise
Streaming on Funimation
Fresh off splitting with her ex-boyfriend, Minare Koda goes off on a drunken rant to a total stranger at a bar. And so begins her career in… radio?
Jel’s verdict: Dialed In
Usually when an anime wants to talk about the author’s oddly specific hobby or interest, they’ll just copy and paste the high school club comedy template. You know, the one with the plucky transfer student searching for a purpose in life that saves the doomed club? So by avoiding that alone, Wave, Listen to Me! is already way better than it could have been. Minare is an adult with adult problems and feelings. She has a level of confidence and maturity (but not too much maturity) that I think older anime fans will appreciate.
I also liked a lot of the artistic and directorial choices in the first episode. The best example is the fact that we don’t open with a prologue or flashback or any explanation whatsoever. Instead, the first half of the episode is Minare fighting a bear. Yes, a bear. Sure they get into her backstory later in the episode, but I was really glad they picked a weird, exciting moment to kick things off. We learn a lot about who Minare is before getting into how she got there. Throw in some solid comedic timing and funny anime faces and before you know it, they won me over.
The only notable problem I had was Minare talking very fast when she goes on her rants. It was tough to keep up with the subtitles at times. I’m also not entirely sure I understand why she was fighting a bear, but who cares about that, she was fighting a bear. If we can keep up that kind of silliness mixed in with the more adult themes, I’ll be very satisfied.
Gee’s verdict: Clear Signal
As someone who only read like two chapters of the follow up manga by Blade of the Immortal’s Hiroaki Samura, I mostly expected millennial angst, adult relationship problems, and probably some interesting tangents about radio’s place in a modern world. Instead, I got a fight with a bear not seen since the likes of Golden Kamuy. At its core though, Wave, Listen to Me! is a lot of those things I listed first, just spiced with a surprisingly comical madcap sensibility. Minare is a likable mess of a young adult, having just gotten out of a messy relationship. She writes insipid blogposts for the bakery she works at, eats a bowl of cereal while watching a horror movie after waking up from a drunken bender, and in general stumbles through life like a lot of us who naively thought things would make more sense after college.
At the moment, it’s hard to tell if Wave is going to lean more into the talk show radio hosting or more Minare’s post-breakup shenanigans, but either way, I’m definitely on board for more. Our age group doesn’t get a lot of slice of life anime, as we get older, it becomes harder to relate with the high school club premise. There’s a lot to like about the subtler themes of the anime when Minare isn’t fighting a bear on screen. There’s working at a job you don’t hate but isn’t necessarily what you thought you’d be doing. The prospect of finding new relationships after your first big adult breakup. The fear of becoming too comfortable with the hot mess you’ve become. So we get all those good relatable problems and we get fights with bears? It’s almost too good to be true.