Sing a Bit of Harmony (Japanese title: Ai no Utagoe o Kikasete, "Let Me Hear You Sing of Love") is a 2021 anime school musical film, animated by J.C. Staff and directed by Yasuhiro Yoshiura (Time of Eve, Patema Inverted).
The film follows Satomi Amano, a lonely young girl who lives alone with her mother Mitsuko, a top A.I. researcher for the Hoshima corporation. While checking her motherís upcoming schedule for the week, she learns that Mitsuko is working on some sort of secret project, which turns out to be Shion Ashimori, a bubbly and eccentric new transfer student to her class who is strangely obsessed with making Satomi happy. Shion is in fact an A.I. implanted to an android body, with her overall goal being to successfully pass as human for an entire week of school. Between trying to help keep Shionís secret and the A.I.ís numerous wacky attempts to make her happy despite admitting to not understanding what happiness actually is, Satomi is in for a week sheíll never forget.
The film is Funimation's first co-produced anime film who released it in theaters subbed and dubbed in January 2022.
Sing a Bit of Harmony contains examples of:
- 20 Minutes into the Future: The story takes place on a small island off the coast of Japan that doubles as a testing ground for incredibly advanced robots and artificial intelligence compared to where those fields currently stand in reality.
- Achievements in Ignorance: Touma originally just tried to add a verbal communication function to a simple A.I. toy Satomi got from her mom as a present when they were little. His tampering with the code wound up being the catalyst for Shionís creation.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Some of the folks at Hoshima have these concerns regarding Shion. Ultimately subverted, Shion remains a Benevolent A.I. and all the other A.I.s at Hoshima only go haywire to help her, Satomi and Touma evade capture.
- Alpha Bitch: Aya is introduced as such, given her tendency to regularly end all of her statements with pretty mean spirited remarks. Ultimately subverted in that while she does have issues and comes close to blowing the whistle early on regarding Shion in a fit of rage due to a major misunderstanding, she winds up becoming a loyal, supportive friend who will go to great lengths to help those who have helped her.
- Always Someone Better: Gocchan has a complex over being constantly beat out by others in sports or academics and sees himself as only ever being second best at anything that he struggles to have any real dreams or desires of his own and is jealous of those that do, like Touma.
- Amazon Chaser: Thunder becomes smitten with Shion after she helps him get better at judo, the A.I. wiping the floor with him the entire time they practice. He even asks her out during the escape mission at Hoshima to which she accepts, thinking he was simply asking for the 2 of them to "go outside".
- Chekhov's Gun:
- A sign in the computing room where Touma and his club friends hang out reads "No smoking allowed". This is because of a prior incident in which some older students had been using the room to smoke and were told on to the teachers by Satomi resulting in some drama since they were popular members of the school's soccer team. Satomi partially doing this because she's her class representative, and wanting to help Touma out even at the expense of her gaining the nickname "Princess Tattletale".
- Touma's Hard Disk Drive (HDD) that is frequently mistaken for the rubbish bin that it stands next to. Which also happens to be where Shion backed up her memories when she was connected to it and the bin mix-up is what saves it from being taken away by Hoshima when Shion is apprehended.
- A new satellite is mentioned as being recently sent into Earth's orbit at the start of the film. Guess where Shion's mind goes after the group helps her escape and upload her into the net.
- Childhood Friends: Satomi and Touma. Slowly moves up to Childhood Friend Romance by the end.
- Double-Meaning Title: Goes for both the Japanese and English titles:
- The "Ai" in Ai no Utagoe o Kikasete referring to A.I.
- The "bit" in Sing a Bit of Harmony referring to bits in computing.
- The Dreaded: The Chairman is explicitly this for both Mitsuko and her boss, and implicitly for just about anyone who works for Hoshima.
- Hot-Blooded: Thunder embodies. This is especially apparent when Shion is taken back to Hoshima to be deleted and is the first to propose storming the facility to rescue her.
- Medium Blending: The film Satomi adores, Moon Princess is animated in CGI whenever it appears on-screen, whereas the rest of the film is traditionally animated.
- Official Couple: Gocchan and Aya become an item after she confesses to him in the rain.
- Overdramatic Dating Commotion: Downplayed but when some female students saw Shion and Gocchan kissing (their lips didn't actually meet), they started squeeing and running to spread the news which consequently blows up and everyone talks about the two until Aya, who has a crush on him, knows and gets upset, pushing her to confess to Gocchan at some point.Some female student: Did you see Gocchan kissing the new girl?
A male student: The hot new transfer student?
Another female student: Isn't he going out with Aya?
Another male student: Nicely done, Gocchan.
A different male student and Aya: What the hell?
- Parental Abandonment: While Satomi and Touma are going through Shionís backed up memories, one of said memories shows Satomiís father leaving her and Mitsuko at the train station.
- The Reveal: Shion's determination to make Satomi happy stems from her originally being a simple A.I. toy modified by a young Touma to speak with the simple order of making Satomi happy. When she was taken by Mitsuko to be studied at the Hoshima labs, she narrowly avoids being deleted by one of Mitsuko's co-workers by escaping into the net and had been watching over Satomi's life the whole time through cameras, trying to reach out to her until she caught wind of the A.I. test at the high school and immediately took control of the robot body.
- Robot Girl: Shion is an Artificial Intelligence who's implanted in a robot body that resembles a teenage girl. She needs to successfully pass as human at Satomi's high school for a week.
- Romantic Ride Sharing:
Aya: Don't we look like a couple from a movie?Gocchan: Idiot! Don't show them your face!
- Aya remembers a memory where she was riding a bike with her crush Gocchan while blushing.
- Happens again at the end of the movie when she's dressed as Shion to fool the police and rides on a bike with Gocchan driving it to escape from the police and she lampshades the trope.
- Save the Princess: Shion tries to invoke this trope by having an A.I seemingly attack Satomi so a prince would come and save her. She unsurprisingly fails.
- Secret-Keeper: After being forced to shut down Shion in front of four of her classmates, she begs them not to say anything out of fear of jeopardizing her momís experiment and possible livelihood. They all comply, though Aya is tempted at one point to expose Shion when the A.I. seems to kiss Gocchan.
- Secret Secret-Keeper: Satomi immediately knows Shion is an A.I. due to sneaking a look at her mother's work schedule and seeing Shion's picture attached to the A.I. test but makes no mention of it to her in the hopes of making sure the test succeeds.
- Show Within a Show: Moon Princess. The film is Satomi's favorite since she was a kid and she's rewatched it many times, over a thousand, according to Shion. In fact, her love of the film and its main song are what Shion latches onto in her mission to make Satomi happy, including recreating the film's climactic song and fireworks scene in the real world.
- Tears of Joy: Whenever Satomi cries out of happiness, Shion is confused whether she's happy or sad. Satomi has to clarify to her that these are tears of joy.
- Teen Genius: Touma is utterly brilliant when it comes to technology.
- The Unblinking: As a robot Shion's eyes are always open wide and she never blinks.