“Sing a Bit of Harmony” (“Ai no Utagoe wo Kikasete” in Japanese), released in 2021, is a delightful anime film that blends friendship, rebellion, and the magical influence of music in a science fiction setting. It explors the harmonious connection between human emotions and the artificial realm. It’s adapted from the manga with the same title by Megumu Maeda. Directed by Yasuhiro Yoshiura and animated by studio J.C.Staff, the movie offers a heartwarming story filled with charm and wonder.
Sing a Bit of Harmony Plot
Satomi Amano’s life takes an unexpected turn when a robot starts clinging to her, despite designed for an experiment to determine whether AIs can live alongside humans. The robot, named Shion, arrives in the classroom and asks Satomi if she’s happy, then attempts to make her happy by singing. But Shion soon overheats due to singing, and several other students witness it. The robot is created by Satomi’s mother, and fearing the test will fail, she pleads with everyone to keep it a secret. Thus, an unlikely group is formed.
A few events unfold after that. Misunderstandings are cleared, broken bonds are mended, weaknesses are overcome, all thanks to Shion and her singing. It’s like Disney meets anime. There’s even a Disney-like cameo appearance in the movie that Satomi loves. Just as things start to get better, trouble finds its way into their lives. The time finally comes for the gang to repay Shion for her kindness, even if it means going against corporate power.
Sing a Bit of Harmony Characters
The characters and their chemistry in this film are enjoyable to follow. Though the main focus is on Satomi, all the others are given attention and layered characteristics, especially Touma, who becomes pivotal in the story and plays a major role in Satomi and Shion’s life. The concept of happiness also comes into play. Satomi’s struggle to cope with the challenges she faces at school and home, her efforts to support her mother, and her reconciliation with her peers are portrayed nicely in the film. The growth of these characters is evident, making it a joy to watch.
Symbolism & Theme
“Sing a Bit of Harmony” beautifully uses music as a symbol, representing the universal language that bridges the gap between human emotions and artificial intelligence. Shion’s ability to evoke joy through her songs becomes a metaphor for the harmonious coexistence of technology and humanity. Themes of rebellion against conformity, the pursuit of genuine happiness, and the transformative power of friendship are interwoven throughout the story. The film serves as a powerful reminder of the profound impact of genuine connections and the potential for change through unity and understanding.
What to like
The film is generally fun to watch. Shion’s awkward behaviors create funny scenarios, and her interactions with others are truly entertaining. Imagine talking to a Discord bot or ChatGPT nowadays; it’s quite similar. Shion can sing, hack into anything, learn from different interactions, make facial expressions depending on her feelings, erase herself from security cameras, and will do anything to lighten up the damp mood. The big reveal near the end about her origin is nicely executed. The animation, visuals, music, and voice acting are well done throughout the film, including the English dub. The songs are translated and dubbed effectively as well.
What not to like
While the film’s narrative is captivating, there are moments where pacing could be more even, with certain plot points feeling rushed. Additionally, the portrayal of the antagonistic corporate entity, while pivotal to the story, could have been further developed to provide a more nuanced exploration of its motivations and impact. These minor flaws, however, do not diminish the overall emotional resonance and thematic richness of the film.
“Sing a Bit of Harmony” emerges as a melodic masterpiece, captivating audiences with its heartfelt narrative, rich character dynamics, and poignant themes. Through the lens of rebellion, friendship, and the magic of music, the film invites viewers on a transformative journey, leaving a lasting impression. Despite its minor flaws, the film’s ability to convey a universal message about the power of genuine connections cements its status as a memorable and emotionally resonant addition to the anime landscape. I give it a 6.5 out of 10.
Thank you so much for reading ♡. Check this out if you need more anime recommendations. Until next time, take care.