(This is The Anthem of the Heart film review, which is an anime musical film from the staffs of Anohana anime series)
From the staff who worked on the excellent anime series Anohana, came a film that is different yet also similar to their past work spiritually. The Anthem of the Heart tells a story that deals with normalities and realisms of life with a touch of creativity with musical.
It is directed by Tatsuyuki Nagai and written by Mari Okada, who both also worked on Anohana in the same roles. Without further ado, let’s jump straight to the The Anthem of the Heart film review below!
What happened when a girl who was once talkative found that her words caused unhappiness in the people around her? Well, she started to seal her own mouth. But when she was chosen to be a committee member to create an event for a charity show, her own ‘curse’ of unable to speak brings about another problem, and yet also a hope of miracle. Which choice will she take?
The Anthem of the Heart Film Review
The story itself is actually very rooted to reality and can be said to be made relatable to general audience. There are not much unique twists or anything that would stand out. It is a film that tells a story that is filled with realism yet also with the hope that such normal story would bring about a small miracle. A miracle that we all crave for even in real life, and achievable too! I like the main part of the story where they try to show different perspectives of each character and also a bit of their backstories.
That said, due to the nature of its premise as well as the lack of some strong twists, the story can feel a bit less impactful than it should. And the film does not try to dramatise as much in many of its scenes, instead opting to present them as what a normal incident in life would present. It’s a double-edged sword that really bets on the story capturing people by making it very relatable at the costs of making it bland to watch. It fails a bit in the former and is getting into the latter territory by a bit as well. Overall, I like it, but it’s just a pretty decent story for an anime.
the story can feel a bit less impactful than it should
The last part is supposed to leave an impact in me, but it’s lacking in the emotional department due to the main characters themselves, which I will explain later on below. It also tries to teach us some moral lessons that, though obvious, will need to be done in a way that’s more impactful. All in all, I find the film tries to maintain between realism and being artistic but fails a bit in this department.
Pacing is decent. Things happened in a slower pace but it does not rush at all, instead taking its time to present the story world as well as the characters. The pacing is very similar to what our life normally is, which I find acceptable and even suitable for this film. There are no complicated events happening, thus the pacing could take its time with the flow.
Animation wise it’s pretty decent. It’s an anime that’s nice to look at but is not known for its graphics like Your Name or Weathering With You. Nothing much to say here, other than that the film look a bit bland with its colour and artstyle.
I like the fact that there are many characters who have their own time to shine
The characters themselves are, well, quite well done and yet seems to lack something unique or at least stand out in a way that’s memorable to me. Firstly, I like the fact that there are many characters who have their own time to shine, and that many have quite unique personalities that mesh well with other characters. That said, it caused the main characters and the major characters to suffer from a lack of appropriate screentime that should be dedicated to them. Because to me, the film treats all characters almost equally that it seems there’s not really any major characters at all.
It’s a price to pay to present to us a class of students that try to work with one another to achieve their goals, and I felt that it makes it more life-like. I like almost all of the characters due to this, as they are not one-dimensional. But the main characters now leave me with less impact as their stories and personal motivations took a beating. It’s a pity, as I felt that if the film focuses more on the main characters a bit more, it would have left me with something much more memorable and also induced a strong empathy for them.
Also, some of the characters are based on stereotyped, but thankfully, most of them are not forced to act out their stereotypes 100%, and are allowed some leeway to have some variations. As for the main characters, their pasts are supposed to be the key to the story, but they are mostly ignored after the middle portion of the film.
The soundtracks themselves are decent and there are some original scores which fit well with the film, though they are not as memorable as I expected.