The Anthem of the Heart

Alt title: Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterunda.

Movie (1 ep x 120 min)
4.024 out of 5 from 6,195 votes
Rank #877

Jun is a girl whose words have been sealed away. She was once a 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: ANN

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From the makers of Anohana: The Flower We Saw that Day. Sold. After being thoroughly disappointed by a hyped up anime in my previous review, I did temper my expectations a little bit this time. What if Anohana was a one hit wonder? What if the team didn't utilize their budget to the fullest potential and instead wasted it on making trains look pretty? These fears could be assuaged by one name, Tatsukyuki Nagai, whose résumé includes directing Honey and Clover II, To Aru Kagaku no Railgun, and Toradora! Nagai and the rest of the production team should be granted the highest of praises for bringing new life to the competitive slice of life genre. The story of The Anthem of the Heart is almost that of a modern fairy tale. A girl facing some misfortune meets a guy who encourages her to overcome her obstacles and find her true self, all while facing some crazy love triangle and/or other wacky life circumstances. Going into this movie you need to know that the story isn't one of the strong points. Not to say that the story is bad or even mediocre, but from a basic structure standpoint, it isn't much different than what we've seen before, especially in a manga that bears a striking resemblance to it, A Silent Voice. Rather than having a compelling overall premise, like many slice of life anime The Anthem of the Heart draws its strength from powerful individual scenes, the “slices” upon which it focuses. The most powerful scene in the film takes place in an abandoned love hotel, which has the perfect blend of atmosphere, voice acting, and character animation that makes it one of my favorite scenes in anime movie history. The ending was satisfying, not completely selling out for an idealistic conclusion, but still giving the viewer what they want. While the story was the weakest point of the movie, the animation was one of its strongest. The colorful palette and sharp character designs brought a lively mood to the anime. The best parts of the animation were the characters themselves. The Anthem of the Heart has some of the most expressive character animation I've seen on film. The characters experience the full range of emotions, and between the voice acting and character animation, the viewer experiences a connection with the characters that is truly special. It's difficult to describe without actually showing it, but it must be emphasized how the characters bring their emotions to life in this movie. Finally, another strong aspect of this movie was the sound design. The voice acting was incredible; as mentioned above it breathed life into the characters. What was unexpected though was the quality of the music. The musical numbers were some of the best I've seen in anime. While some anime contain songs, they are rarely utilized in a way that accentuates the themes and drive the plot in the way that they do in The Anthem of the Heart. Even the adapted public domain songs that were used for the students' musical were beautiful, sometimes tearjerking. I love the slice of life drama genre. These days it is difficult to break new ground in a genre that is literally life itself. However, The Anthem of the Heart succeeds where others fail because it tells a complete story with strong characters and a satisfying ending. It's on par with Nagai's previous slice of life masterpiece Toradora! Certainly The Anthem of the Heart should be considered along with the other classic great slice of life works as part of what makes animation such an entertaining medium.

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