Sing a bit of harmony into our anime review – ntower

You wake up early, the alarm clock wishes you a good morning. The blinds open with a voice command, and the assistant offers you to let in some fresh air. Arriving on the ground floor, you notice that your mother came home late again, which is immediately confirmed by the security system. You decide to cook something light for breakfast, and the stove asks confirmation to boil the water. As soon as you indicate that you have prepared the vegetables, the temperature will automatically decrease. When you eat, you go to school.

The front door closes itself behind you, and the system wishes you a good day. On your way to pass a field where field work is tested with the help of a robot. You arrive at the independent bus line station, get on the bus and scan your smartphone as a ticket. Commercial operation while driving. The promotional video “Hoshima – The Future Is Closer Than You Think!” begins. , which presents Kibo City as a test site for all kinds of AI services. One promises a more comfortable life and a safer society. This is the setting to sing a bit of harmony.

Humans and artificial intelligence in harmony

Director Yasuhiro Yoshio’s new anime movie — known as Time of Eve and Patema Inverted, among others — premiered in Japanese cinemas last October and will now be shown in the DACH as part of Crunchyroll Anime Night on July 26. Movie-goers can choose between an original soundtrack with German subtitles and a copy of the film dubbed into German. It should be noted that the sounds remain in Japanese regardless of the version. To review our vocals a bit of harmony, we were allowed to look at both variables beforehand.

Sing a Bit of Harmony movie poster.

© YASUHIRO YOSHUIRA BNArts, SBH Production Committee. All rights reserved

What excited me from the first few minutes was the nature with which AI elements fit into the world of Sing a Bit of Harmony. Mr. Yoshiura and co-author Ichiro Okouchi (including Code Geass) efficiently establish the qualities and capabilities of AI with the film’s introduction, which allowed you to experience it in the first two paragraphs. The story puts technology in a positive light, which I, as a digital native, find very refreshing given the prevailing concerns about modern tech trends. Imagination does not always need to depict a robot invasion.

In the introduction to the plot appears a cheerful robot girl named Shion. For a few days, the local high school has been infiltrated under the guise of being a freshman, but she is actually an artificial intelligence in the field. Lab technicians at Hoshima Electronics want to know if a humanoid robot can exist in everyday school life without being cast as artificial intelligence. So far, it was fine were it not for Siwon’s unstoppable quest to make her classmate Satomi happy. Instead of introducing herself to the class, Shion sings out loud as if she was in a musical. Geez!

Shion can solve complex math problems in no time, produce realistic printer-like graphics, and display inhuman abilities in sports. Given her quirky nature, it wouldn’t take long before she was exposed to an artificial intelligence and the experiment seemed doomed to fail. However, Satomi, the daughter of the chief engineer behind Shion, is committed to keeping the secret alive for her mother’s sake. Although the film is somewhat fluffy, serious undertones are also featured here, giving the story a socio-critical streak.

In the end, it’s Siwon’s vocals that ties the group around Satomi together and pushes the plot as well. The focus is always on the pursuit of happiness in its various aspects. Content creators know how to create a cheerful, satisfying atmosphere that captivates with music, humor, and factual text. Alternating between humorous breaks and heartfelt character development creates a great pace and it never seems as if the viewer is contributing nothing of value. With a runtime of 150 minutes, it’s really impressive.

Fortunately, with Sing a Bit of Harmony, not only the story, but also the rest of the movie package with animation and dubbing is very successful. Native Japanese speakers perform as persuasively as usual, but German voices also need not be masked. With some numbers, I liked the German version more than the Japanese – that’s a rarity! The role of Shion, who is spoken a little mechanically in both languages, but always spoken with a heart, deserves special attention. The songs are undoubtedly the highlight.

Action animation designed by JCStaff – aka One Punch Man, Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma or KonoSuba – it has an expressive and clean style. This studio’s work is some of my all-time favorite anime series, so I knew in advance that the quality was to be expected and I wasn’t disappointed. What I found most impressive were the vibrant animated scenes of Shion singing or making practical jokes, and some great moments at the end of the movie. I won’t be able to forget it anytime soon!

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