- Titles: Ai no Utagoe wo Kikasete
- Genre: Science Fiction, adventure, romance musical
- Duration: 1 hour, 49 mins
- Studio: J.C. Staff
Satomi Amano is a robot nerd. I like her. I’m also a robot nerd. If ever I get fed up with blogging as a hobby, I’m seriously considering picking up robotics instead. Satomi didn’t take quite so long to discover her own interest though, since her mother is a pretty high-up researcher at Hoshima labs and a specialist in AI, Satomi has been around robots all her life. So when the new transfer student Shion turns out to be a robot herself, one that seems particularly interested in Satomi’s happiness, naturally the only thing that Satomi can do is rally all her friends to protect Shion’s secret. Unfortunately, Satomi doesn’t have any friends…yet!
I have a shortcut on my computer to Crunchyroll. But I made sure that shortcut doesn’t take me to my watchlist or to the news page. I always land on the release calendar. That’s because Crunchyroll has a tendency to just add new anime to their library all the time. And when it’s not new titles, it’s easy to miss. That’s how I even found out that Sing a Bit of Harmony existed. It just showed up on the release calendar one morning and bam, I decided to watch it right then and there.
I actually thought the production of Sing a Bit of Harmony was particularly good. I looked up the studio right after finishing the movie. It’s J.C. Staff so I’m not surprised they could pull it off but Sing a Bit of Harmony looks to me like it had a bit more budget to play with than their usual series.
It’s not exactly interesting looking. The studio doesn’t take too many chances in general. But it is a very consistent movie with a few very pretty scenes and some nice high-speed animation here and there. I did pick up on a bit of uncanny CG but only a few seconds worth and I think most people will easily miss it if they’re not looking for it.
In general, I enjoyed the production a lot and, thankfully as this is a musical, I thought the soundtrack was great. My favourite musical number was Lead Your Partner which I will put here because it’s so much fun. I watched the movie in Japanese and that’s what I would recommend unless the songs aren’t translated. I just find that song translations often pale compared to the original.
Story & Characters
This is where I may need to explain my title a bit. Basically Sing a Bit of Harmony is the story of how Satomi, a bullied and isolated girl, learns how to come out of her shell and make friends thanks to a special AI named Shion. And of course, all the other characters in the movie have their own problems and hang-ups and are helped by Shion’s goodwill and innocence. It’s a coming-of-age/noble savage mashup, it’s just that the savage happens to be a super advanced AI.
Super advanced, is not the same as emotionally sophisticated. In many ways, Shion is a small child and that is her charm. In time, the rest of the cast start to see Shion as more than just a robot and think of her as a friend, leading them to stage a daring rescue when it seems like her programming might be in danger.
There’s comedy, romance, and a decent amount of action. While I was watching it, I thought to myself, now this is a movie. It seems like the classic formula for what a motion picture should be. And sure, that means it’s a bit formulaic, you’ve seen similar stories before and it’s probably predictable. But so what?
That’s the thing about Sing a Bit of Harmony. It’s a feel-good movie. And it’s not trying to be anything else. It’s not particularly deep, the character arcs are constrained and you would be hard-pressed to call it original. But I would also think that most people would find it enjoyable. I know I did, and the comments I saw on Crunchyroll were all pretty positive as well.
From what I have seen in general, people either liked it but admitted that it’s a bit shallow. I saw a reviewer comparing it to Time of Eve and being disappointed it didn’t have the same level of Sci Fi introspection. And I get it. Time of Eve is amazing. Don’t watch Sing a Bit of Harmony expecting Time of Eve. I actually forgot it was Science Fiction as a genre while I was watching it, so that can give you an idea.
However, when the worst thing you can say about a movie is: It’s Not That Deep, I think that’s pretty good. Sometimes you want to watch a fluffy simpler story. And for my money, Sing a Bit of Harmony delivered on the fluff. It was comfortable and I even went awwwww at times.
Before I wrapped this up, I touched on it in the production section. Sing a Bit of Harmony is a musical. There is a lot of singing in this movie and even actual musical numbers. It’s not only a musical, you won’t think you’re watching a Broadway adaptation or anything like that, but if you get annoyed at characters bursting into song, you are not going to have a good time with Sing a Bit of Harmony. I’m not sure why, but I have the idea in my head that a lot of people don’t like musicals so I thought I should give a fair warning.
Otherwise, Sing a Bit of Harmony is a light, action, romantic comedy that goes down easy.
You might like this anime if:
You just want some romantic robot fun!
My favourite character:
Kouichirou Sugiyama – Thunder! He’s just such a sweet doofus.
- Every time there’s an obvious robot – cute robot!
- Every time anyone mentions Hoshima – duhn duhn DUHN
- Every time Shion sings – clap
- Every time Satomi is ostracized by her peers – awww, take a sip
- Every time Touma is staring at a screen – take a sip
- Every time there are portable electronics – take a sip
- Every time we see Satomi’s mother – raise your glass
- Every time Shion wants to know if Satomi’s happy – take a sip (I didn’t put it in the post but I really really liked that twist at the end)
- Every time Aya is kind of mean – pout
- Every time Shion is an agent of chaos! – take a sip
- Every time we see the Moon Princess – Strike a Sailor Moon pose (this is important)
- Every time Any of the kids wear something other than a school uniform – take a sip
I save all my screencaps on my Pinterest and you can find more there if you are interested. But I still like to show you a few in the post. If you’re like me, screencaps are something that really helps you decide to watch an anime or not.
4 thoughts on “Sing a Bit of Harmony – Trite in a Good Way”
I really want to see this! “Time of Eve” is one of my all-time favourites (I’ve enjoyed everything that the director has done so far) but even if this is more “shallow” and light-hearted, I’m sure that I’ll enjoy it. As much as I like “serious” SF, sometimes it’s nice just to sit back and watch something fun. This sounds like a perfect candidate for that.
It’s not listed on Crunchyroll where I live yet, but hopefully I won’t have to wait too long!
Time of Eve is amazing. The two don’t really compare but I liked the two so maybe you will as well.
This sounds awesome! I love musicals! And it’s a musical with robots and a story about making friends? I know what I’m watching this weekend. Hmm, good idea about having a CrunchyRoll short cut that goes directly to the release calendar. The CrunchyRoll short cut on my computer just goes to the home page, but maybe I should move it? Thanks for the tips!
It’s a sweet littlemovie – I hope you enjoy it