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Anime / The Anthem of the Heart

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Are you peeking into my heart?note 

"What’s inside the egg? All kinds of feelings locked inside. Then, unable to keep them locked in, it explodes. And the world that’s created then – it is more beautiful than I ever thought."

The Anthem of the Heart is a 2015 anime film produced by A-1 Pictures. Its original Japanese title is Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterunda. It shares a production staff with Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day.

After a magical egg convinces young Jun Naruse that her chatterbox tendencies caused her parents' divorce, it curses her so that she can't talk. Fast forward to high school, where Jun, now nearly incapable of speaking, is chosen to be part of the committee for their class's Community Outreach. Joining her on the committee are Takumi Sakagami, an introverted, apathetic boy with hidden musical talent, Natsuki Nito, their school's composed cheer captain, and Daiki Tasaki, the hot-blooded former ace of their baseball team recovering from an injury. After Jun and Takumi bond, the committee decides to do an original musical based on Jun's experiences. The film follows the relationships between these four characters as their high school class works together to put on the show.

Tropes present in this film include:

  • Academic Athlete: Natsuki is captain of the cheer squad and on the honor roll.
  • Affectionate Nickname:
    • Takumi is called "Takkun" by his grandparents and "Taku" by his clubmates and best friends.
    • Daiki is called "Dai" by the baseball team's captain.
  • An Aesop: Words can hurt people, so choose yours carefully, but it's also important to let people know where you stand.
  • Art Shift: When Jun begins narrating the story she wrote for the musical.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Jun develops a crush on Takumi because he's the first person to stand up for and befriend her.
  • Bland-Name Product: A WcDonald diner is shown.
  • Cement Shoes: Mentioned by the magical egg as a possible punishment for Jun if she ever talked again.
  • Cheerful Child: Young Jun was a chatty, energetic Ms. Imagination. High school Jun, not so much.
  • Commonality Connection: Jun and Takumi. Both have issues stemming from their parents' divorce (which they both think they caused in some way) and are dealing with the fallout of poor communication. This is why they eventually bond over the course of the film.
  • Cool Teacher: Kazuki Jōshima is a laid-back and understanding teacher.
  • Cute Mute: Jun certainly qualifies.
  • Did Not Get The Guy: Jun confesses to Takumi, knowing full well that he still carries a torch for Natsuki. Takumi and Natsuki reconcile in the end. Jun is mostly okay with this, though, since she has moved past her belief that she needed to hide her feelings indefinitely until a "prince" came to save her... although, ironically, this causes Daiki to fall for her.
  • Dramatic Irony: Features heavily in the opening minutes of the movie: it's clear to the viewer from the beginning that the "fairytale castle" Jun is enamoured with is actually a Love Hotel, and while she's too young and innocent to actually understand what it means that her father was visiting said "castle" with a mysterious woman, it's all too obvious what's actually going on here. As Jun proceeds to happily tell her mother all about her father and "his princess," she's oblivious to her reaction- but the audience is not.
  • Elective Mute: Jun, who can't speak because of the egg's curse or rather, the psychological trauma of her parents' divorce. Trying to do so results in bad stomachaches.
  • First Girl Wins: Zig-zagged. But technically played straight. Jun and Takumi appear to be each other's firsts, until it turns out Natsuki is Takumi's original girlfriend. He ends up with Natsuki (apparently). Daiki half-heartedly and unsuccessfully asks Natsuki out halfway through the movie, but by the end he realizes he actually likes Jun, and tells her so. Rewatching reveals that he probably started having feelings for Jun when she sang to interrupt a fight in class; this happened before he asked Natsuki out.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The four main characters. This is even lampshaded by one of Takumi's clubmates, who mention that they're the "north, south, east, and west" of personalities.
    • Natsuki is sanguine. She's the friendly, hardworking cheer captain of the team. She's accommodating, but can give in to peer pressure.
    • Daiki is choleric. He's a passionate and hardworking leader but can be demanding and rude.
    • Takumi is melancholic. He's introverted, avoids talking about his feelings, and is seemingly apathetic, but is considerate, decisive, and sensitive.
    • Jun is phlegmatic. She's self-deprecating and passive to the point of having debilitating anxiety, but is compassionate and kind.
  • Geas: The curse the egg places on Jun: Because her words have been shown to hurt people, she can't speak or else she'll suffer punishment. Of course, there was no egg in the first place, she merely dreamed it up to rationalize the pain she was feeling.
  • Hand Behind Head: Several boys do this, whenever they are insecure.
  • Hard Truth Aesop: Love is not necessarily related to how much you have done for a person and how close you are to him. People do not choose whom they fall in love with.
  • Hate Sink: Jun's father only has a few minutes of screentime, but since his only on-screen actions are to cheat on his wife and then tell his elementary-aged daughter that their subsequent divorce is her fault, he's not very popular among viewers of the movie.
  • Hey, Let's Put on a Show: The committee decides to put on an original musical for the community outreach to attract people, despite the class's objections that it's the most difficult option and they have under two months left to prepare for it. They manage to pull it off anyway, and successfully, too.
  • Hidden Depths: Everyone is shocked at Takumi's musical talent after he'd previously not shown any inclination towards it.
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: Gender-flipped. Takumi admits to being surprised that the incredibly accomplished Natsuki would go for someone like him, as he considers himself boring.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Young Jun, who is so innocently delighted by the apparent revelation that her father is a prince that she immediately tells her mother everything, tragically oblivious to her reaction to her words.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Jun sees her father at a love hotel with another woman, and she tells her mother about it, resulting in her parents' divorce. But according to Jun's father, the divorce is Jun's fault for being a "chatterbox", even though he was the one cheating on his wife in the first place. Unfortunately, Jun was too young at the time to realize he was full of it.
  • Ironic Echo: At the beginning of the movie, Jun's father tells Jun, "this is all your fault", referring to her parents' divorce because Jun spoke up. At the climax of the movie, Takumi tells Jun, "this is all thanks to you", referring to Jun inspiring Takumi to learn to speak up himself.
  • It Was with You All Along: A variation. Jun eventually comes to realize that there was no magic egg and she just made it up so she could have something to blame for her parents' divorce.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Natsuki reaches this decision when she concludes that Takumi is in love with Jun, deciding to cheer both of them on. She's wrong, and Takumi is actually hung up on her, but the trope still counts.
  • Jerk Jock: Daiki is initially abrasive and bitter about his injury, causing him to be harsh on the team and mean and unaffected regarding everyone else. He grows into a Lovable Jock after character development.
  • Loophole Abuse: The egg's curse only said she wasn't allowed to speak—it never said anything about singing. Subverted. When Jun hears that Takumi doesn't love her back, the depression-metaphor egg-man returns to tell her she was actually forbidden from communicating at all, especially about anything close to her heart.
  • Loose Lips: Jun's parents got divorced because she blabbed to her mom about seeing her father at a love hotel with another woman. Her mom then began to blame her for it.
  • Love Confession: Jun delivers one to Takumi at the castle. He politely thanks her but reminds her that he is in love with somebody else.
  • Love Hotels: One that's styled like a medieval castle. The young Jun thinks it's literally a castle and doesn't understand why her mother gets upset when she talks about seeing her father leaving the place with some other woman. It's later explicitly identified as a love hotel by some other characters, though by that point the place has been shut down for the sake of symbolism.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Discussed in-universe, where a classmate mentions that having lyrics and tones that don't match happens all the time. This is what inspires Takumi to use "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" as the musical's ending.
  • Magical Realism: Follows the rules of reality, except for the strange magical egg that curses Jun. In the end it turns out she just imagined him... probably. He (it?) does bear some resemblance to an in-story mythology.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: The film begins with Jun's childhood, where she discovers her father's infidelity.
  • Most Writers Are Adults: Highschoolers with little life experience talk deep and insightful about topics like love as if they were seasoned adults.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: During the musical, there is a scene where a palace guard brags to the musical's protagonist that everyone is happy that she lost her voice. Jun's mother is watching the musical, and upon realizing that this is how her own daughter feels about her lost voice, Jun's mother softly protests to herself that this isn't what she wanted.
  • Never My Fault: Jun's father has a bad case of this; he tells Jun that her parents' divorce is "all your fault" because she told her mother about seeing her father at the love hotel with another woman—as opposed to it being her father's own fault for his decision to commit adultery in the first place.
  • The Not-Love Interest: Ultimately, this is what Jun is for Takumi. Although he doesn't love her romantically, he cares about her and credits her for inspiring him to say words that he couldn't say.
  • Once Upon a Time: First line is "Mukashi mukashi, aru tokoro ni." The protagonist, as a child, thought about everything in fairy-tale terms.
  • One Head Taller: Daiki develops feelings for Jun, who barely reaches his shoulder.
  • Pair the Spares: Maybe, although it's certainly set up. Of the main foursome, Natsuki and Takumi mutually desire to rekindle their relationship, leaving Jun as the Romantic Runner-Up for Takumi's affections. At the end, Daiki confesses his feelings for her, but it's unknown whether anything comes out of it.
  • Parental Abandonment: Jun's father walked out on her and her mother after his adultery came to light. Takumi's mother divorced his father and also walked out on them, while his father is working and sees him about once a year.
  • Parental Neglect: Jun's mother was emotionally neglectful to her after the divorce. It's implied that her mother blamed her, and is increasingly frustrated with Jun's muteness, often wondering aloud if her muteness is some form of punishment.
  • Poor Communication Kills: One of the central themes of the film. Although it's seen most clearly in Jun's Character Development against her muteness, it's seen in the other characters too. The baseball team is underperforming because nobody is dealing with the tension that's arisen between the injured Daiki and the new ace, and Natsuki and Takumi's relationship ground to a stop because they didn't talk about the problems they underwent in middle school.
  • Raised by Grandparents: Takumi is living with his grandparents after his parents got divorced. His mother left, and his father is extremely busy with work.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Takumi stands up for Jun in class and tells Daiki what's wrong about him.
    • Jun delivers a pretty harsh one to Takumi at the castle.
      You pretend to be kind, but you’re such a hypocrite! Your armpits smell sometimes! You’re not even that good-looking! Just because you can play the piano, don't be deluded that you're popular! You liar! You’re always leading people on. You pretentious
  • School Play: The class is putting on a musical based on Jun's experiences.
  • Shrinking Violet: Jun has become this in high school. She is nearly incapable of speaking, and when she does try, she gets debilitating stomachaches.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: The reason both Jun and Natsuki are in love with Takumi, because of his kindness and consideration.
  • Sitting on the Roof: At one point the committee meets on the school's rooftop.
  • Stunned Silence: The whole class after Jun suddenly starts singing.
  • Synthetic Voice Actor: Takumi's nerdy friends use a singing software called "Mint" to reconstruct the song Jun spontaneously sang in class. (The software used is the real-life Vocaloid competitor CeVIO's Satou Sasara, who shares Jun's voice actress Inori Minase, and was naturally capitalized quite heavily in advertising.)
  • Talking with Signs: Variation. Jun expresses her feelings by typing on her phone.
  • A-Team Montage: A montage of the whole class preparing for the School Play in various departments like sewing, music writing or choreography.
  • Thinks Like a Romance Novel: Young Jun saw the world in fairytale terms, casting her father as a king and the love hotel as a castle.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Daiki starts out as a Jerk Jock but develops humility over the course of the story.
  • Where It All Began: When Jun is missing in the finale, Takumi finds her in the castle, the place where it all began.