Film Review: The Anthem of the Heart 「心が叫びたがってるんだ」

The Anthem of the Heart
心が叫びたがってるんだ [Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterunda]
2015, Animation
Director: Tatsuyuki Nagai

The Danish storyteller Hans Christian Anderson said that “Where words fail, music speaks.” This seems to be the premise of The Anthem of the Heart [心が叫びたがってるんだ lit. The Heart Wants to Shout]. A story about Jun Naruse, a girl who lost the ability to speak after her parents blamed her for the failure of their marriage. Jun saw her father going out of a motel with another woman, and later on telling her mother about it. As a result, this became the reason for her parent’s divorce. When her father left the house, he called Jun, a chatterbox, hurting her deeply. Jun then met a frog prince who forbids her to speak telling her that her words hurt people.

The Anthem of the Heart main characters
The Anthem of the Heart main characters: Takumi, Jun, Natsuki, Daiki

Now a junior high student, Jun struggles with her words. She was forced to get out of her shell after her homeroom teacher chose her to be in a charity committee with 3 others: Takumi Sakagami, Natsuki Nitō, and Daiki Tasaki. Jun’s sad past was all bottled up inside. And despite not being able to speak clearly, Takumi advises Jun to sing her thoughts.

As she struggles to convey her thoughts through spoken language, Jun touches Takumi, Natsuki, and Daiki. And at some point in their young lives, they also struggled to say what they feel. Through music, she was able to convey her feelings long repressed inside her.

Jun Naruse
Jun Naruse

Oftentimes, we struggle to say what we really feel. We fear that our words may hurt others but repressing emotions will also not help. In our desire to be truthful to who we really are, it is necessary to have courage to face our demons. Jun’s story shows us that we can. Despite the melodramatic resolution, I like the film’s valuable life lessons. To conclude, The Anthem of the Heart resonates for all of us who at one point in our lives struggle to say what we mean. It teaches us to be weary of our words and mean what we say.

A live-action The Anthem of the Heart film is slated for release in Japan on July 22, 2017 starring Kyoko Yoshine as Jun Naruse and Kento Nakajima as Takumi Sakagami.

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