The Anthem of the Heart, Japanse (animated) movie (2015)

Let’s talk. Let’s really talk for a bit. The topic? Well how about conversations? No, I am not trying to be funny here, I am really going somewhere with this. We have conversations every day. Unless of course you are stranded on some remote island with no one to talk to (although I hear a volleybal called Wilson could really help you out with that problem). Getting back to the topic of conversations. you have to admit that they make up a very big part of our lives. We talk to our friends, loved ones, parents, customers even total strangers. But now for a tough question. In how many of the conversations you have had were you totally honest? Ahhh…hard to say isn’t it? We all tell lies, and anyone who denies that is, well a big fat liar. But probably not all those lies were intentional. Sometimes you might tell a lie just to spare someones feelings. It’s the conversations where you have said something hurtful that you can’t take back though, that most of us will probably remember the most. A slip of the tongue or an intentional comment with the sole purpose of causing pain, I guess it’s safe to say we have all been there at some point. A moment where you kick yourself for saying something so stupid, or wish you could take it back. It’s the conversations where you don’t even realise that you are causing pain that might be the worst though.

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Hey! You…yeah you! Stop talking this instant!

And this last thing is exactly what happens to the young child Jun Naruse in the animated movie the Anthem of the Heart. Jun has always been a chatterbox. She is very cheerful and is always happily talking about pretty much anything that is on her mind. One day she comes home and tells her mother how she saw her father doing something that to her young childlike mind was pretty awesome. Her mother freezes though, and eventually this innocent remark results in her parents getting a divorce. Even worse her father puts all the blame on her. Jun runs away in tears, and while she tries to work through her grief a fairy egg appears. It makes sure that all of Jun’s words are sealed away so that she can never cause hurt to anyone ever again. Years later we meet up again with Jun when she is in highschool. She is but a shell of her former self. Jun is unable to speak, and tries to stay of the radar in class. But then her teacher, misterΒ Jōshima invites her to become a member of the Charity Committee together with three other classmates. Naturally she is not at all happy about this, especially since it seems that they are going to have to prepare for a musical piece. But just when she is about to quit, something happens that changes her mind. Or beter yet someone. Will Jun find the courage to regain her voice?

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The school ran out of chairs so they had to find an alterative….

Now admit it: you read the synopsis of the film and were thinking something along the lines of ” Wow this sounds incredibly boring”. When I tell you that the runtime of this film is two hours I can almost hear the gears grinding in your head already and crossing this movie of your to watch list. You would miss out on something quite special though. This is one of those films that has a very simple story, but turns into something quite extraordinary. And here’s some of the reasons why (erm, no not going to give you 13 of them I am afraid). For one thing it’s the wonderful characters. Jun herself is hard not to like. Since she is at the center of the films, and this is pretty much her story it’s important to have a lead that you care about it. And you do. Jun’s journey of rediscovery and trying to forgive herself is fascinating to watch. At times you want to kick her, and even hate her for some of the things she does in this film. At the same time though, you can understand what drives her, and how incredibly vulnerable she is. The supporting cast is equally important to the story and just as enjoyable to watch as Jun herself. Why? Because they are really human. All of them are not perfect and have their own insecurities and flaws.

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Yeah I don’t really know what to say to this image. Egghead is the best I could come up with.

I love it when there are characters in a film that are not just there because it’s necessary for them to appear at a certain point, but just have depth and things you can relate to. It’s hard to make a story like this interesting to watch, especially considering the fact that this is a two hour movie that is filled with dialogue and a lot of music. But it succeeds in doing that. The intricate relationships between all of the characters and the way that basically they support each other’s flaws is the heart of what makes this movie work so well. As this is in part a musical as well, you will find sections of the film that are filled with music. But not the typical music that you normally find in anime films. Songs like “Over the Rainbow” and ” Around the World” give this film an extra special touch and just simply work very well, and don’t feel out of place at all. The animation style and level of detail is great too. It’s one of those films that has an almost dreamlike quality to it, and unless you are a very cynical person that doesn’t see beauty in anything, it’s almost impossible to not get touched by it.

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How do you like your eggs in the morning, erm evening?

But that strength is also at the same time it’s weakness. If you are someone who likes their films tense, filled with action and a breakneck pace, then I’m sorry to say that you are not going to be finding that anywhere in this film. What you are going to find though is a movie that has it’s title very well chosen. It will touch your heart and fill you with emotion while at the same time giving you a wonderful feel good feeling. If I were to make a comparison to something that has as a similar feel to Anthem of the Heart it would be Your lie in April. And I don’t think I could hand out a better compliment to this movie than that last one. While I would not call this film a masterpiece or classic, it does come very close. It’s a wonderful film that turns something simple into a very powerful piece of storytelling. It will also make you ask an important question: When is telling the truth something that might not be the best thing to do? I haven’t yet discovered the answer to that one. If you have, be sure to let me know!

I give The Anthem of the Heart a 9 out of 10 score.

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45 thoughts on “The Anthem of the Heart, Japanse (animated) movie (2015)”

    1. You are very welcome. I stumbled across it on this year’s animecon and I loved the box the dvd/blu ray combo it came in. I pretty much bought it on a whim, but it was really an amazing movie. Hope you will enjoy it as much as I did when you get around to seeing it 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, thank you so much!. Yes it’s definitely a movie that NEEDS to be seen, lol. Seriously though…it was definitely a unexpected but great suprise. A wonderful and heartfelt movie. 😊

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    1. Haha…you are very welcome. I had never heard of this film, before I went to this year’s animecon…and bought it totally on impulse (that’s what a cool box/cover can accomplish lol). Never expected it to turn into such an amazing movie πŸ˜€

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      1. I’m surprised by how few people seem to know it. The film had a ton of buzz around it when it came out. Oh well, you’ve seen it now and that recommendation got me interested again πŸ™‚

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      2. I’m always suprised at discovering the amount of anime that is out there that I haven’t seen and that is of such high quality. But that I guess is what is so great about this hobby 😊

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  1. Well, as someone who’s big stupid mouth gets them into trouble ALL THE TIME! My mouth, sadly, moves faster than my brain and sometimes it doesn’t phrase things well right out of the gate… But, to blame your child for your divorce?? OUCH! Even if a comment they made may have instigated it, you were CLEARLY doing something wrong, and that’s not your child’s problem!
    This sounds amazing. I love things with hidden depth. It doesn’t have to be full of action to be lovely and wonderful. Thanks for bringing it to my attention! πŸ’–πŸ’–

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    1. Haha…I can relate: I am an impulse speaker as well. And there have certainly been times in my life where I wished someone would have just knocked me out before speaking πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
      Well…not going to say what it was of course, spoilers, but when you see what it was he did, you will probably even get more upset by it 😊
      It certainly was an (unexpected) gem of a movie, and a wonderful piece of anime. Hope you will enjoy it when you get around to seeing it 😊

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  2. I love films that seem like they are going to be otherwise simple or one-dimensional and then turn out to have much more depth to them, and this sounds like a film that I am going to adore! Thank you for sharing it! I will definitely need to add this to my list of films to watch this summer.

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    1. You are very welcome, and I really hope you are going to love it as much as I did. It’s always nice when we see a movie that we expect very little of, and then turns into an unexpected gem (which this one certainly was).😊

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      1. Well….I had to google that one (as I had never heard of it before), but now I have to thank you, as it looks like something I would very much enjoy seeing. Thanks for letting me know 😊

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  3. I don’t think the story sounds boring at all. In fact, it sounds like a little modern fairytale. ☺️ The journey of someone in search for her lost voice also seems to carry more depth than one may expect. Thank you for always introducing us such wonderful films with great messages!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really is kind of a modern fairytale (which is basically a great summary of this film, so you hit it right on the head 😊).
      And of course you are welcome: thanks for your kind comment: I always appreciate it πŸ˜€

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  4. It’s been on my PTW list for forever, I remember when it first came out in Japan the posters where EVERYWHERE for this film. I’m glad it has a good review from you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I stumbled across this film by pure chance on this year’s animecon. I liked the box and the story itself sounded good. Besides that I had not yet heard of this one. But I’m glad I bought it as it’s truly been an amazing ride. Thanks for your comment 😊

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  5. I remember having some problems with the melodrama but the film is rather unique. I didn’t feel like all the egg symbolism was justified enough but it did add some flavor. The musical side to me was quite unexpected but very well-implemented in the narrative. It definitely is a film worth a watch and you made that point very clear.

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    1. Thank you so much 😊 I agree, the film certainly wasn’t a classic. There were some things in it that prevented it from becoming just that, but overall I loved the movie a lot. Thank you again for your comment πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t think it sounds dull. You got me interested in watching this, but then I looked at the prices here in the US! Ouch!
    I’m glad it’s a good film, and I’ll keep an eye out for it in hopes maybe someone will put it up for streaming instead of Aniplex’s limited and Japanese-priced releases.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some prices for dvds are just off the charts lately. And there can be huge differences between distributors as well (for instance at anime con there were some that sold the same stuff for hugely different prices).
      I hope the price will go down for you, or at the very least you are able to see it somewhere as it’s well worth the watch).
      Thanks for your comment 😊

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  7. Awesome review, Michel. With a premise like that and the praise you give it, I can now imagine the depth it might seek in themes and emotional impact. I am however curious how you even found this and what really got you to say: “Let’s give it a shot.” I mean, you couldn’t have known it was going to be this good till you tried it right? πŸ˜€ Thanks for sharing, Michel!

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    1. Haha..you are completely right. I had not heard of this film before. I stumbled across it at a vendor on Animecon. He had a lot of dvds on offer, and the box for this one looked gorgeous. When I read the story at the back of the cover, I thought it sounded freshly unique, which is way I thought I would take a gamble on it. And I am glad I did, as it really was a magical film. Not quite a classic as I mentioned, but very good nonetheless. And of course: your are welcome…and thanks again 😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I felt that Kokorosake adopts similar themes to “Waiting in the Summer” and Anohana (probably because of triangles and that the same author is behind the stories). But I can see why you see the YLIA in it πŸ™‚
    Oh I recently finished the Koe no Katachi manga, and would have to say that I now find this movie having some similarities with Koe no Katachi concerning the family matters discussed in this film.
    *
    Great review perfectly describing and explaining its qualities and limitations Raistlin-さん! Oh, and apart from the touching musical, the ED is really beautiful as well (despite it being a pop genre).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for those recommendations I will try and see if I can find them and check them out. Mostly because I really like these kind of films a lot, and as such am always interested in films/mangas that have similar themes in them.
      It’s always nice to discover something you had not yet heard of (like this movie) and for it to become something truly special is even better 😊
      Thank you for your kind words and this great comment πŸ˜€

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    1. Thank you so much Kim. I hope you will get a chance to watch it in the future. It is a really beautiful movie, that really gets under your skin (in a good way).
      As always, thank you for your very kind words 😊😊

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    1. I had not heard of it either, but I found it purely by chance at Animecon. It turned out to be an amazing film…which is always very pleasant 😊😊 And thank you, I hope you are having a great day yourself 😘❀️

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      1. Yeah..yesterday I was having problems too when a lot of posts just did not show up in the reader. WordPress is fun, but sometimes it has a little bit too much problems 😊😊

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  9. You wrote in your post that after reading the intro, most people would cut this off from their to-watch list. On the contrary,I actually added it. To am extent I could relate to her, as I am a chatterbox who caused maybe not this big a mess but little mistakes. I did end up being a silent person which didn’t help me in any way and I am just back to being me. But great review friend!

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    1. Thanks so much! Well trust me, I have had that happen to me some times as well. That’s for sure. But we learn from our mistakes I guess…and well, from time to time I still fall into that same trap.
      It’s a wonderful and truly heartwarming film…knowing your taste in film, and from what you are telling me here in this comment, I would be very surprised if you were not going to like this movie 😊😊

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  10. You make a very good point πŸ™‚ . I remember reading years ago in one of my textbooks, when I studied child development, that we lie at least 3 times when we first meet someone and most of the times, we consciously don’t even know we’re doing it. Can’t remember which theorist said though, but its crazy to think about. πŸ™‚

    Right, enough with my random brain regurgitations and back to the film. I’ve never heard of this film before but it sounds very interesting and like it would pull on the heart strings. I must keep an eye out for it πŸ™‚
    Great review πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that really is crazy. But it would certainly not suprise me if that were true. I usually try to avoid lying as much as I can, but sometimes a lie can help protect someone’s feelings. But usually the truth is better though..that’s for sure 😊
      Lol…no worries about those brain regurgitations, I really like them so keep them coming 😊 The film really does pull on those heartstrings, but in a good way. Not in a sad way luckily 😊😊 Thanks as always for your awesome comment!

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