Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterunda. (Anthem of the Heart)

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Anime Movie Reviews Reviews
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Based on a manga of the same title.
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genres: Drama, Romance, School
Length: 1 hour 59 minutes

 

Summary:
Jun is a girl whose words have been sealed away. She was once a very happy girl, but because of a certain thing she said when she was very young, her family was torn apart. One day, the egg fairy appeared in front of her and sealed away her ability to talk in order to stop her from hurting anybody else. Since this traumatic experience, Jun lives in the shadows away from the limelight. But, one day, she is nominated to become an executive member of the “community outreach council.” On top of that, Jun is also appointed to play the main lead in their musical… (Source: Official Website)

Main Characters: 

characters

Overall Rating: 4/5 moons

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Breakdown:

Story – 8.5/10
I had high expectations for this movie ever since the trailer came out, and the actual thing blew me away. The story revolves around Naruse Jun, a girl whose words had been “sealed away” after a traumatic childhood experience. Now in high school, she doesn’t speak to anyone anymore… until she is forced to become part of the “community outreach council” along with three other, completely different people; and then things begin to change.

Just like you might predict, the main plot focuses on healing Naruse’s trauma and the main message has a lot to do with the power of words. It is dramatic and it gets a little dark, but it’s still pretty much your quintessential story about youth; giving your all, speaking from your heart, falling in love etc. Because of Naruse’s back story, it also delves into the issues of a broken family and how that affects the character growing up.

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For that, and a few other reasons, I think a lot of viewers would be able to relate to this in real life. We all know that words have the power to hurt people, and sometimes we swallow them to keep things peaceful and/or to keep ourselves from getting hurt. But sometimes, it happens so often that we no longer speak from our hearts anymore, and the characters in this movie discover the harms of doing that.

The story is pretty straightforward but effective in the way they show how they overcame each problem. It doesn’t resort to vague, fantastical explanations which I am so thankful for; considering they could have explained everything through the “magical egg”. (Glasslip has scarred me, I tell you.) Instead, it drew from reality with the way they dealt with each issue. For the amount of time they had, I was really satisfied with how the story development was carried out from start to finish, so no complaints from me.

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Character – 8.5/10
The “unlikely group of friends” trope is nothing new. It’s happened before in series like Ao Haru RideTonari no Kaibutsu-kun, and even in this production team’s previous project, AnoHana. That’s not to say I hate it though. Au contraire, I really like these kind of character setups.

There’s something moving about a group of people who couldn’t be more different from each other slowly becoming friends. They learn things from each other that they wouldn’t have learnt from their usual group of friends, and as a result, become better people than they were before. Added on the raw drama of a teenage story and you’ve got a tearjerker in your hands, folks!

Seriously though, the character development in this movie was good. Even though I’ve seen other series with more fleshed out characters, the movie did well with the time it had. Each main character managed to turn out multifaceted with character arcs that went full circle; especially Naruse Jun’s character, who was an interesting take on the issue of childhood trauma. Honestly, I cried a lot watching her grow as a character. I think for anyone who has experienced anything similar, this movie’s characters will be very relatable.

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Visuals + Audio – 8/10
As expected of A-1 Pictures, the animation in this movie was good. It wasn’t particularly flashy or large-scale – most of it took place in school, after all – but it was still fluid and pleasing to look at. I loved the character design especially. From what I’ve seen of the manga, the art style and adaptation also seems very loyal to it. So perhaps, we should credit the mangaka for having such great artistic vision in the first place?

I have no complaints regarding the audio either. It definitely contributed to a lot of the goosebumps I got watching this movie, although I wouldn’t say it stands out to the point of being a highlight. Generally, a good “supporting role” in the telling of the story, as well as a touching plot device at some moments. (You’ll see.)

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[TL;DR

must-watch if you love coming-of-age, romance, drama type stories. This one ticks all the boxes for me with its straightforward yet touching story, easily relatable characters, and fluid visuals. It does delve into issues relating to adultery and broken families, however, so if that isn’t your cup of tea you might want to avoid this one. Other than that, I have nothing but praises to sing… so, what are you waiting for?

4 comments

  1. Kristen

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