What is ordinary?
Is it routine, is it fitting in? Is it being morally, ethically right? Is it not to cause others trouble?
Makina Juri has made herself into the "usualness" of high school. We all want to change. We all want others to accept us. We need others in our lives to breed a comfort zone and not stand out categorised by others. So... you compromise. On yourself. You split yourself into two, or more if need be. One for yourself, one to display to others. It's nice to act... sometimes.
Honjou Akio's days are routine. Come to class and discuss what happened in previous night's episode.
You are moved by scenes so much that you want to share them with your friends, [like this review], and you want to recreate those scenes because they are mentally being recreated all the time. So you zip out your phone, start the Piano App and replay the tunes that you've heard. Ah! Yes, yes, yes, yes! That scene! You get even more excited because others can talk about it too and share their views. There is that common link.
So... how do you find a common link between you and someone you like? You need to have something special, which is just between the two of you. And that happens when you're ready and willing to dive into the other person's world.
In 25 minutes, we are shown snippets of 7 characters of the same class. You become familiar to their overall personality. You can notice what each of them consider trivial or significant in their lives. There is also an interjection briefly by an 8th character who provides a slight background to one of our main characters. And suddenly, one dialogue reveals a new relationship. Within 25 minutes, we touch upon the vulnerabilities of our characters, especially Makina and Honjou's. And within those slight nuances, we are allowed to enter a whole new world.
This anime is like a metaphor. Or, perhaps a haiku. It leaves spaces for the viewer to move in and out. It is open, and open-ended. It allows you to enter into their world, and by doing that, you allow them to enter your world too, and you can imagine all that might have happened and all that could possibly happen. It is that breath.
The animation is smooth, it is realistic - there are no snapshot stills to cover imaginary movements. You are given a burst of classroom noise with snippets of conversations and movements flooding from all directions. There is a multi-spontaneity.
The highlight is the one soundtrack this plot is woven around, accompanied by a dream scene, which actually looks like a dream scene - surreal and yet realistic. And now, I feel like I may see that dream too, if not already. It's been passed.
Some people may believe that they need a closed plot, with full development of characters like in a novel. I think a short story allows itself to say so much more and leave room for imagination, for more worlds to cross it with possibilities. While it is true that this could be developed into longer movie or a set of episodes, I feel it would lose its charm if anything more were said.
Harmonie is an anime made by the "mirai project" animated by Studio Rikka
is a 25-minute short film which show that each head is a world and among the 34 students in a class there are all kinds.
The anime is a metaphor, Makina Juri the female lead shows that being different can make misunderstood by friends , parents, people in general, its called "dream" is something that torments him so decides to change and leave everything behind , and also in part the dream shows what will become , something like a robot waiting for someone finds it, while the male lead Honjou Akio always live
in your comfort zone , talking about anime with friends, making music , while hiding his desire talking with Makina , while that which stands out from the rest (a good musical ear) is what makes the 2 characters are connected.
How many of us hide what we are , to not feel alone or also locked ourselves in our world, but in the end if we show our dreams perhaps we are not so alone
The animation is very good, comparable with some studies even more experience is fluid and part of the dream of Makina is very well detailed.
The characters are well-drawn and you feel an empathy towards the 2 protagonists and supporting characters personalities to contribute their narrative forward.
in general is a good story which I would like to see more.
Harmonie is a fantastic metaphor for the duality between individualism and collective conscious. Each of the students are remarkable individuals, who share an interest in one way or another. I don't find it a coincidence that Akio's friends start the short film by talking about their shared interest in anime before their individual qualities are portrayed. Akio has an ear for music and an interest in art.
Now what's more important is the message conveyed about stifling individual creativity. Juri, the female lead, is constantly embarrassed for the ridicule she has undergone for her dreams and her musical compositions. For a
long time, I was the same way. I used to compose music and play the piano, for my own sake. I felt extreme insult when my sister or mother would tell me to stop. I was being "too loud" for them to stay in their comfort zone and watch their TV talk shows in the other room. I was "too repetitive" because I had to practice, and they ridiculed me for that as if I had to know a song as soon as I read it. I didn't play what THEY wanted me to play. And so for 8 years I quit the piano completely. My creativity was stifled, but I had dreams, and still, I would hear the music in my head. I had to hide it. Juri opens up to Akio and it took a lot of courage.
This short film is about all of that. Individuals are unique, but still connect and bond beyond the shallow premise of conformity. Also let me add that Harmonie is part of the Anime Mirai Project (for the year 2014) and there are other great short films released under the Project. However, almost every stream site that isnt specifically a fansub group will have Harmonie listed as "Anime Mirai" by title.
Individuality is something every person has, but can be judged harshly.
When growing up, people are classified by groups and "norms" which are typical things everyone does, but when people step out of it they get frowned upon and ridiculed. This OVA shows a realistic point of view of how something like that can affect a person and make them into a puppet of the norm and be someone they don't wish to be.
This 25 short minute film packs all emotion, story and theme in a way I have never seen before. It shows that everyone has their own personality and is unique to their self.
Everyone has a world that they live in. You see each character having their own likes and dislikes while also seeing a barrier between the differences in everyone.
This film presents you a song that a girl named Juri made. She heard the song in a dream and tried to spread it to everyone, but it backfired making people call her a liar. She goes through the pain of it all and decides to leave the song and her dream of it in the past. It does a really great job portraying the emotions that she felt and how it's like a block in the road for her to continue.
The film starts off with Akio and his friends talking about an anime they all like and he pulls out his phone to play a piece he heard during a show, but stops due to someone complaining. It plays the show in a way as if you're actually there and experiencing everything as it all lays out.
The anime shows a realistic view of the downsides of an interest we may like, but does a good job showing that there are people who can accept it and make friends off it. You see everyone of similar interests together and enjoying it. The show can be interpreted in many ways and leaves the viewer with an open minded thought at the end of it. How you view it and perceive it as is based upon ourselves.
There's a silly idea that people get in their heads that being different, or producing something outside of the norm, is considered 'weird' and consequently met with flak. What's so bad about being different? Being a dreamer? Being creative? Being yourself? There should be nothing wrong with these values, but yet there seems to be. People are quick to judge and uphold prejudices against those who inspire the unfamiliar. People dislike change. People dislike different. People dislike a lot of things, but that shouldn't mean one should stop pursuing their dreams in order to conform to the majority.
Despite being a mere twenty-five minute movie, Harmonie
surprisingly felt as if it lasted the entirety of a full film. There's a lot crammed into this short animated movie, but it still did a great job in retaining my interest and holding a solid pace. Something that boggles my mind is why two of the genres that are tagged for Harmonie say 'Fantasy' and 'Supernatural'; Harmonie is, for the most part, neither of these and so this is confusing to me. What they should be classified as instead are: Slice of Life and Drama. In a realistic setting of a high school environment Harmonie depicts the social structure of what it means to be in high school. You have many cliques, all of which do their own thing and have different interests, but Harmonie focuses on two in particular. The first group is a normal, unpopular trio of guys who like anime, games, girls, etc. and the second group is a visibly more popular, good-looking clique. Harmonie showcases that these two groups are leagues apart in terms of social standing, and the way character interactions are done reflect it well.
The social hierarchy in high school, as many people may know first-hand, can be cruel and quite sinister. For a place that should be promoting students to follow their aspirations, it's ironic that it often does the exact opposite. Harmonie illustrates the concept of putting on a facade, in order to be socially acceptable, very well. I'm sure we all can relate to this from personal experience as viewers, and that sense of realism is astounding. You don't see this somber, depressing truth in anime all too often. On a more positive note, Harmonie also portrays that there is always a certain someone, or people, out there who will understand you and sympathize with your crazy delusions. Although Harmonie presents this message in more of a ‘destiny’ type of fashion than realism, the message doesn't fall on deaf ears.
The characters in Harmonie are high school students, and the main focus is on the main character, Akio, along with his interactions with Juri and her clique. Akio and Juri live in completely separate social worlds, and despite knowing that Akio wants to get to know Juri anyway. What starts off as simply a crush develops into something more. An unforeseen, common interest leads to the unexpected and depicts that sometimes you might find an unanticipated friend that simply gets you. Every character in Harmonie is characterized well and you're able to understand the basic personalities of each character despite how short the movie is; they are personified with convincing personalities and seem realistic. However, the short length of the movie also is the biggest negative aspect about Harmonie as well. There really isn't much development in characters that isn't plot driven, and because of this it's difficult to feel any lasting emotional or mental attachment.
Something I really enjoyed about Harmonie is the fact that there is no sugarcoating applied on the outside nor inside of the movie. Characters are designed to look believable and realistic versus the cute girl pandering often seen in countless school life anime. You can see the normality and mediocrity of Akio’s appearance, and this does a substantial amount in portraying the difference(s) between the popular versus the unpopular. The animation itself is fluid and it's what you'd expect from an anime movie rather than an episode of regular anime. Overall, the art and animation are visually pleasing.
Sound-wise, Harmonie is pretty good. Background music fits well and doesn't feel out of place. I have no complaints, but there is nothing so fantastic that I would boast about it. The ED is calming and relaxing, which was a nice touch in closing out the short movie.
Contrary to popular belief, there is nothing wrong with being perceived as different. Different is valuable. Different is interesting. Different is a fresh color in a world where things are often black and white with little in-between.
According to the dictionary, ‘Harmonie’ is a German word that, in the context of the history of music, designates an ensemble of wind instruments employed by an aristocratic patron, particularly during the Classical era of the 18th century. The Harmonie would be employed for outdoor or recreational music.
Interestingly, there is a dual play of meanings in this title. The word 'Harmony' means 'the combination of musical notes sounded at the same time to produce chords with a pleasing effect'. 'Harmonies' is the plural of 'harmony’. This meaning fits perfectly with the events in the movie too.
Everyday we put up various facades in public, either
for the purpose of getting accepted in society and not stand out as being 'weird' or for the simple reason that we aren't able to believe in our own selves. Though at every moment we know that we are doing nothing but living a lie, we ultimately are unable to gather the courage to step out and be the person we are in reality, until someone with a similar thought, someone who encourages us not to lose ourselves amidst all those lies we live, arrives to save us. True happiness, we then realize, is to live as the person we are in our hearts and in a moment all that burden we had been imposing on ourselves, all that stress out of pretending, evaporates and we are finally able to find bliss, if only we have that one person believing in us and sharing our dreams.
Harmonie is essentially about this theme. I watched it three times before writing this review, not because I didn't understand the story but because every time I was viewing it, I discovered something new, every time I found out that I had a new interpretation for all that was happening and therein, lies the ethereal beauty of Harmonie.
Juri Makina,an everyday high-schooler is the dreamer here. Having friends to chat with and a seemingly normal life, there should be no reason for her to be unhappy, one would think. But is that really so? Is she really the cheerful person that she shows her classmates she is? As it turns out, she is not. Rather she is the most depressed of all, the most burdened because of the mask that she has to don in public in order to not get ridiculed and isolated in the world. Because being lonely is painful no matter how much you try to masquerade it. Juri has a dream, a rather unusual dream about a boy and a robotic girl and how one of her classmates, someone who she has never talked to before, someone who had a crush on her and admired her even though he knew that it would probably remain a one-sided fantasy forever, Honjou Akio, synchronizes with her dream, forms the crux of the story.
Juri has this dream everyday and actually this dream represents her inner soul and nature. That being said, what is most intriguing are those three beautiful colored bottles in her dreams. What do they represent? The answer to that is beautiful. They represent the musical notes, the chords of life which Juri is made of. They are her essence, her feelings and emotions which are beautifully colored but whose beauty most people are unable to see. Harmonie, the mechanical girl, is another side of Juri, she is who Juri truly is at heart, whom people are unable to understand and call a weirdo. The boy in the dream is the only one who understands the true feelings of Harmonie and that is shown beautifully in his playing the Red, Green and Purple colored bottles in the perfect order under a starry night while Harmonie herself dances freely under the night sky, happy that she has finally found the one who truly understands her and is on the same wavelength as her. He is the one who colors her life and enables her to break free from her monotonous machine-like existence. This is why Harmonie is shown to be a mechanical doll and it is the boy who infuses life in her. The most tear-inducing scene is the last scene where Harmonie shows the boy her true self and that all his notes have struck the right chords and now she is at one with him in heart and soul. After watching this scene, it felt so beautiful, and it was then that I realized what complete bliss is.
In a world where being a little different is seen as being weird, Honjou is the one who comes to Juri's rescue and supports her. He is the harbinger of peace and tranquility in her life. He shares in her dream and plays the role of the boy in Juri's dream in her real life. His world is probably different from Juri's but as he says, he wants to get lost in her beautiful dream and be at one with her. He is the one who fills the void in Juri's heart and in the process, finds true happiness himself too.
The animation is beautiful and enchanting with every minute detail portrayed wonderfully. The ending song, the dream song, gets stuck in your mind and you will probably find yourself humming it for a long time after you finish watching the movie.
'Harmonie' is nothing else than a masterpiece. It shows effectively how each one of us has our own little world in our hearts, which we mostly keep to ourselves. It is one of the very few movies which have a perfect ending. It leaves you fully content and there is nothing more you would want to ask of it. Harmonie is a harmony of emotions and striking all the right notes, it leaves you mesmerized and wanting to lose yourself in your own little dream world where you are free to be your true self.
Harmonie is a short 2014 film from Studio Rikka. You may know them as the studio what done Eve no Jikan. It also has the same creator/director, Yoshiura Yasuhiro. I don't know what to expect from it, but I did quite like Eve no Jikan. So, having the same studio and creative force as that isn't a bad sign.
We open with a young man talking about the concept that we all live in our own little worlds and can never truly enter someone else's. He posits that his world must be close to that of his two friends, hence why they get along really
well and wishes that it could be closer to his crush's. He and his friends have a conversation while she has a conversation with her friends. During which one of them changes her ringtone. Class resumes and she gets rung, much to her dismay. He finds himself fascinated by the song and he's recreating it using a piano app on his phone. She happens to hear and wonders how he can recreate it after hearing it once for a very short time. He explains it as him just having a strong ear for music and asks her where he can find the full version. She hands him an old mp3 player, thereby inviting him for a glimpse of her world.
The biggest problem with the narrative is just that it's largely made up of very minor teenage drama. He likes her but she might have a boyfriend. Then the possible boyfriend gets jealous because they start to bond because he gets a glimpse into her reoccurring dream. It's less than compelling and something this short really needs to grab your attention quickly since you know it's not going to have a lot of opportunity to improve later. The narrative sequence is also a bit obvious.
The best part of the film, by far, is the dream sequence. The rest of it is a bit boring while that whole sequence actually grabs you attention and shows what looks to be an interesting little world.
You wouldn't expect a twenty five minute film to have much in terms of characterisation. Which is certainly the case here. The characters are a pretty generic bunch designed to call common slice of life archetypes to mind and, thereby, build off of those characters you know to create the illusion that they're deeper than they actually are. The problem here is that the film's premise is working off of this idea of our individually constructed worlds and that doesn't exactly work as it should without characters who are actually well developed. It's no wonder the dream sequence used to showcase the love interest's own world has to be so outlandish. It's the only method they had to make her seem kind of interesting.
The film is very well drawn and animated. I'll give them full credit on that count. The dream sequence is, again, the part that really stands out positively. It has a very strong sense of atmosphere and some interesting visuals. The artwork outside of that still looks good, but the visuals themselves aren't that interesting. You've got a bunch of standard looking kids faffing about in a rather drab looking school.
The acting is fair enough. Our main children were voiced by Ueda Reina, who I don't think I've heard in anything else, & Matsuoka Yoshitsugu who voiced Array in Rinne no Lagrange, a very minor character in Madoka and never appeared in anything else good. At least as far as things I've seen. They both deliver decent enough performances. As do the rest of the cast. The music is pretty nice. I like Kokia's performance for the theme tune.
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Harmonie isn't nearly on the level of Eve no Jikan. Length is probably a major factor, since it's only twenty five minutes. But, ultimately, its big issue is just that the under-developed characters can't carry the premise. I do like the idea and I won't claim it's handled poorly, it's handled okay, given the short running time. So, my final rating for Harmonie is going to be a 6/10. It's an all right little film and it may be worth watching just for the dream sequence. Next week it's time to revisit a familiar franchise with a look at JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken: Diamond wa Kudakenai.
Never before have I felt so 'in-touch' or so understanding of characters in Anime. I could really relate to some of what occurred. I could really understand and relate to what the characters were thinking.
Story, 7/10 - Harmonie's story isn't exactly a large scale phenomenon. I didn't expect it to be. I mean, it is a movie, right? And a short one at that. While I definitely didn't get anything huge, I definitely got more than I expected. The plot was good; a small build up between two students and the events that happen between them. That's what this is. It never gets past the
point of 'good', and while it is not deconstruction material, it is definitely unique compared to your typical highschool setting today.
Art and Animation, 8/10 - This, like the story, is also unique. It felt like I was watching something made by Makoto Shinkai's son, or 'kouhai' of the like. The character designs were great. Even the characters who only spoke a couple lines or even the ones who had none at all could be easily distinguished from each other. The camera angles, the shots taken, the detail in everything; all of it is great and contributes to the already great movie.
Sound, 6/10 - The less impressive part, mainly because of the OST. None of it is really memorable, which doesn't mean it's bad, but nor is it good. It's timed well, though. The voice acting, however, is what keeps this at a 6 rather than a 4. Hell, I'm even tempted with a 7. The voice acting is great and really enables emotion to come through. Not to mention one of my favourite seiyuu stars in this movie.
Character, 7/10 - Less than half an hour of running time, but yet... I feel like I know them so well! We have your typical otaku male with your typical attractive on the outside, wounded on the inside female. Now, how does this diverge from the usual set-up? It doesn't, and that's the good part! It sticks with these character elements and using them as a plot device to advance the interactions, events and emotion all shared in this movie. The main character, Akio, is a guy who I can totally relate to. His friendship group is something I long for, however.
Enjoyment, 9/10 - I loved this. The idea of mixing fantasy with slice and life is brilliant, yet it's so underdone or not done well enough. Like everything, it could have been better. Some series make you think it could have been better, but also make you want to stay away from future releases. This made me want more. I need more of this. The strong messages in people's dreams is something I love yet have seen so little of.
Overall, 9/10 - I am inclined to give this a 10, but can't due to there not being enough of everything. If this was longer, it would have no problem achieving a 10.
For the idea of awkward MCs: WataMote, Welcome to the NHK
For a more romantice take of things, although not very similar: Kimi no Todoke
Although I can't speak for it, Paprika is said to also explore dreams, so it might be good for you if you want more!
Harmonie, as indeed as it sounds, beautiful yet puzzling this anime allows me to enter deep inside the imaginary world in their story. Leaving its trace to become unforgettable experience.
Ok, basically this Anime is quite short for a movie, about 25 minutes without OP & ED. Regarding the short duration it doesn't affect the quality story at all. On the contrary it wouldn't be better even if it had longer duration, The story is just perfectly wrapped in 25 minute long duration.
Some of you maybe don't understand what's exactly going on about the story, peculiar, enigmatic, and little psychological as a short movie
that usually leads to incomprehensible story. But, it's only if you relied to understand the story by words . Neither did I grasp the story through text words nor the story development, I only grasped that because of the feel conveyed. And I think this is so called metaphor story, "understand it by feeling the atmosphere even words hardly describe it"
Get to the story. There were actually 2 adolescents in their middle-school life apparently, They both a boy and a girl didn't know each other well even though in the same class until the boy accidentally heard the girl's ring tone ringing throughout the class. The boy found that song good and played it back with his smart-phone. later, the girl found him and wanted him to stop playing it since this song was what has made her now, connecting her to the boy and their world....
Ok stop there, I don't want to spoil more, the main feast starts there. Personally everything about the story is well executed. Extracting story essence into short duration movie is genuinely a hard work to do, I'm amazed with this. The story itself is unique and incomparable to ubiquitous anime nowadays. Mystery, psychology and supernatural genre are bound together to depict their world which only both ever experienced what it looked like, The world that somewhat portrayed themselves.
Story Development 7/10
Ok, this is interesting. Only 25 minute, we have story development which is somewhat stable without leaving any void/gap story. The story developed really well between those 2 adolescents. I also really love the conclusion. It told indefinite meaning, leaving it to our imagination as viewers. I always find this sort of conclusion magnificent.
I don't know, My eyes were so fascinated by the last scene. It's beautiful.
The music fits exquisitely. It's successfully able to fill and to enhance the whole atmosphere in this movie. It made every scene remarkable, especially for the last scene :).
Such enjoyment of story wrapped in a short duration that I haven't experienced for quite some time blows my mind once again recalling me beautiful work/story doesn't always explicitly tell much yet implicitly. Understand it by feeling it and imagining it, soon you will realize in fact each one of us has our own worlds :).
I do recommend this movie to you.
A 9 or a 10... It's a decision I have to make.
But Neal, why those two? Nine and Ten? A 10 is a masterpiece. Does this short film even deserve such a score? No one's going to have the same perception as that!
Whatever the case may be, I have finally decided to give my answer, one that I feel is an objectively subjective analysis, meaning that this is appropriate in my own system of principles.
Even with that being said, I am not going to talk about Story, Art/Animation, Sound, Character, and Enjoyment. Those things are simple to perceive. I could go
on and on about these simple things, then you'd just nod your head in agreement all-so-boringly.
Is the story unique? Yes, it is. Is the visual aspect of the show high-quality? Very high. Is the sound memorable? It's decent. Are the characters realistic? Yes, quite realistic. Did I enjoy the film? I did.
But who gives a shit. These categories and boxes don't assume the entire perspective of a show/movie's meaning. That's what I've come to realize, and that's what I'm interested in conveying.
I've always been a person who attempted to judge the entertainment that I consumed in an objective-as-possible way. Of course, I let my enjoyment influence me too, but I tend to strip that down and ask myself: Is this anime realistic?
This is a completely logical way to judge the things we watch. It's a significant part of how we may mainly judge anime. You wouldn't appreciate an anime if it frequently pulled random things throughout the show. You'd be thinking to yourself, "that makes no sense," and be saying wtf in your head every 5 minutes. So yes, realism is a significant part of what makes an anime credible and gives it a fundamental integrity. But there's also another aspect that I was never truly able to understand until now. And that integral element is the Meaning of Art.
What is art? I'm sure you've heard before that art is subjective, but that doesn't tell you anything; you have nothing to go off of from that statement.
What Art is, essentially, is something that just plain information cannot do to us.
Information can tell us: "This is what happens when you do this!" But telling us logical information in a scientific manner doesn't necessarily move us.
It isn't so much about what you know, but rather how you feel about your reality after the experience. And that is the purpose of Art. The meaning that we acquire from it is why we feel inspired, why we cry, and why we hold on to our dreams dearly.
Art isn't something that attempts to make you agree with it. It's not pretentious.
It's something that makes you fall in love with it (although love doesn't always give you a positive feeling). Art is something that you can watch/see/listen to one year from now and still be moved by it.
Harmonie pulls on nostalgic feelings. It's made me realize that this movie's qualities are deeper than what I had initially perceived. To me, it's a masterpiece because it's realistic and it's art at the same time. And it incorporates both in a fashion that I'm able to appreciate. It's provides a pleasant story with realistic characters, which makes me feel nostalgia.
It's not so grand; it's not pretentious. But it's like witnessing the blossoming of a flower.
At the end of the film, a door of possibilities open and that door remains open for you to dream.
The score on Harmonie deserves much better. Give it a watch.
(A Non-spoiler review and what should you expect before diving in.)
I can totally understand if people won't like this short anime. It has open plot filled with unanswered questions and a umpteen possibilities for both the MCs future.
So before jumping into this take a step back from the usual anime and relate this anime with your own life experiences. Reminiscence the time you were in a similar position yourself. We all have done it -- Create a facade in front others so that they can just accept us and slowly pull up the curtain if you click with someone. This short anime is a
mirror to our social life in society, whether you are an introvert or extrovert, you always show something else even to someone you actually really like, just for the sake of the approval.
Remember the time you first met the love of your life or someone you really like? Did you not portray yourself much more than you actually are?? Someone more to likes of the other person and the other person does the same thing if not show what they really are. This is how socialising and relationships work.
This anime is a satire of the our social lives. How we present ourselves in front of different people.
Now let's talk about the Story and plot :
The story is already explained by me, it's your and mine and our story. A story of our social life in the real world. As for the plot, it's an open plot story with so many possible endings -- Good, Bad, Complicated, Tragic, Dramatic, this anime can take any form of ending and there we have the metaphor of our lives. We also have all kinds of endings for us. The ending of this anime only is a beginning to a story, a story which can take any form when played further. JUST PUT YOUR OWN STORY AFTER THE ENDING OF THIS ANIME AND SEE HOW THIS ANIME IS A SATIRE OF OUR SOCIAL LIFE. (Story - 10/10)
The Art style :
The art style is great if not excellent. There is realistic vibe which surrounds the whole episode. The dull colors represent the satire which all the facades create around the classroom. Maybe I'm reading too much into this but it does make sense somehow. (Art & Style - 9/10)
No seconds thoughts here. The music is downright fabulous. I'm not exaggerating but every piece of music only compliments the sequence which is going on. Not to mention the ED which is again -- A satire. (Sound & Music - 10/10)
Character development :
So there are 7+1 characters in the anime. 2 MCs, 2 Male MC's friends, 2 Female MC's friends, 1 Conflict character and The Girl who is +1 because she is an exposition one.
Both MCs have a world of there own, An introvert and an extrovert. Male lead is an introvert who wants to enter the Female leads world and for that what he needs is bridge -- a connection, a similarity. He kind of lucks himself in because of her initiative when she heard piano's music and did what she did next (won't say for spoiler's sake). Which not only made the bridge possible but also created that delusional ending. The male lead is not your typical anime character, he is as realistic as we are in life everyday. For the Female lead, she is the extrovert in story who has created a world for herself to live in (The reason explained by the+1 character and the other thing)
The supporting characters just explains and emphasizes the worlds of the both MCs. Who they actually are, well yeah there is more to her world, which is better if you uncover yourself by reading into the Dream sequence. (Characters - 10/10)
Overall - 8/10
I really liked this short anime. I would highly recommend watching this with no expectations of any drama, conflict, intense romance or satisfying/unsatisfied ending (like any other anime). Just expect an honest satire on our lives which the anime represents.
Yes, there is drama, conflict and romance in this short anime but doesn't our own lives have these 3 as well?? Satisfied or unsatisfied with how our relationships turn-out to be?? Well see for yourself...
The friends that are closest to you are those you can relate to the most. You share the same interests, passions, and goals. In fact, these similarities in personality between you and your friends might have been the very reason you had met them in the first place.
The film Harmonie emphasizes this theme. The protagonists Honjou and Makina are seemingly ordinary high school students who can psychologically connect through the interest they share, that being music. The progression of the film shows Honjou slowly understanding the personality of Makina and at times catching a glimpse of Makina's past through music in a somewhat supernatural
manner. At second theme is presented later in the film, that being whether thoughts are best kept to oneself or shared with others.
The film Harmonie was able to incorporate many ideas into a mere 25 minutes. Whether some of these ideas were rushed is debatable. The animations were good, and the one song in the film was well incorporated into the progression of the plot. Also, some parts of the anime are intentionally made unclear so that the reader's imagination can fill in the gaps.
I would recommend this anime-the theme and originality of the film is what makes the film enjoyable. For a 25 minute one-episode anime, Harmonie is very well done.
One again, Yasuhiro Yoshiura demonstrates his knack for capturing the more subtle features of interpersonal interaction. Like Time of Eve, Harmonie is an insightful analysis of the more complex and intriguing processes that occur just under the surface, and this layering is shown on a multitude of scales. A sweeping glance at a classroom full of students, freely interacting with each other, will pick up focus on smaller groups and their inner "worlds", if you will. The initial reactions between two characters, worlds apart from each other socially, belie the inner richness of personality they each hold. Yoshiura really shines when he takes animation and
brings it down to earth like this, showing us very believable situations with just enough whimsicality to carry the viewer along by their own intrigue.
This is a much welcome return to form after the mildly disappointing Patema Inverted, which I felt was far too cliched and clashed strongly with Yoshiura's previous works. While watching Time of Eve felt like assuming the role of a dispassionate observer to a series of self-contained thought experiments -- appropriately Asimovian -- Harmonie has a distinctly free-flowing feel to its narrative that commands emotional investment. One notable scene, mentioned above, was watching the camera's focus wander around the classroom and zero in on a single group of students having a conversation, then move on to another group, and again, giving the illusion that it's all done in one continuous shot. It all felt remarkably seamless, especially the audio, which is especially impressive given that at least a dozen characters would be talking at any given time. These seamless transitions created quite an absorbing atmosphere, punctuated now and then with abruptness for emphasis. This was some of the best pacing I've seen in a 25-minute span and series directors could learn a thing or two from Harmonie.
Like in Pale Cocoon, Yoshiura uses a muted color palette and more realistic character designs to his advantage. A lot of attention was paid to getting expressions, posture, and gestures just right, with just the right level of minimal exaggeration. It's these details, these minutiae, that really draw the viewers gaze, offsetting the dullness of waking life, which is contrasted with the vividness of an enrapturing dream sequence. The juxtaposition is striking and thought-provoking, and again is part of a sort of narrative "layering". "Show, don't tell" is the approach taken here. Harmonie has a lot to show you, but what it tells you might not even be all that accurate.
Before I watched this, I said to myself, "I just wish Yoshiura would do another Time of Eve". I think my wish was granted, though I would hardly consider this to be simply more of the same. Harmonie definitely shines in its own right, with its more free-flowing structure, its emotional drive, deliberate pacing, and striking, sometimes abstract visuals, though ultimately grounded and relatable. Another gem from an all-too-competent director.
People with wild imagination can relate to this anime. Just like the synopsis tells, everyone has their own little world inside their minds. It's not very acceptable to talk about them in the public, it makes most people uncomfortable.
It might be just that some people don't have this "skill" or maybe it's not as vibrant and strong. These people might have a hard time understanding people who have a really strong "world" (imagination.). Most strong worlded people learn to "tone it down" and they don't talk about their worlds out in the public. They might even end up feeling guilty if they get lost
in their worlds, since it's pretty childish or a sign of lunacy.
We tend to encourage children to give up daydreaming. Most young kids, if not all, tend to be very imaginative and world-rich after all.
I understand that it's desirable to chase after knowledge and make ones life better, time is money and do you really have time for dreaming and a bunch of nonsense like that?
I can understand it, but I don't have to agree with it.
This anime is about a world shared with another person. It caughts you off your guard by how whimsical it can be since the anime aims to be pretty realistic with normal-ish voice acting and drawing style mixed with some possibly magical stuff. I don't say it's a bad thing that it's whimsical, it's actually very powerful. It sends the message "hey, what if?". If they would've used some kawaii-sugoii-moe artstyle and "anime voices" the possible magical stuff wouldn't have been as powerful.
I like how they made the characters somehow explained, like why is Juri the way she is? (boring, unreachable and a poker face) but since it's just one episode there isn't much room for other characters to develop. Most other characters are pretty much one dimensional supports, or the main protagonist who is pretty blank so we can project ourselves into him.
In the end, it's revealed that it could be that they really didn't share the world in a special "magical" way after all. The ipod contained an audio where Juri explained her world, and it could be just Honjou listened to the song, fell asleep, track changed and he heard the description in his sleep and it produced images what she described in that track. You know how you sometimes hear speech, music or some other noises and they enter your dream and become a part of it? (my alarm clock often becomes a part of my dream and I fail to wake up to it.)
This possible turn of event is actually very clever. After all, it is only hinted that it might be this way, and if you listen to the audio, you notice there isn't enough descriptions to give a specific picture in to your mind what the girl is like for example. It seems that they saw the same exact world, since their drawings matched. You believe what you want.
The ending is open for interpretation, like I explained in my "spoiler". It's subtle, it's sweet and I loved it. For once, they don't straight up explain what happens, why Juri "remembers" things suddenly, how everyone feels, was it logical or magical... Show don't tell and the art of not explaining every single thing seems to be lost with many other anime shows. This was very welcoming change of pace.
It's a small anime and it only contains possible undertones of romance or affection, but it mostly focuses on the fact that no matter how unreachable or normal some person might seem like, they probably hold a very rich world inside them and thus they might show you a completely different side to them that you didn't except to see.
I think this anime is worth a watch and I recommend it to everyone. It might not be your cup of tea, but it's just one episode, at least you can now write a review about it if you disagree with my opinion. Give it a go.
For a one shot episode, Harmonie packs quite the punch in both tone, animation, and overall acoustic qualities.
I cannot talk about much of the plot without ruining the whole episode but what I can say is that they studio really crammed a lot of story into twenty minutes. The overall purpose of the plot might not come easily to everyone watching the show but it does hit pretty deep once you really think about it. I kind of wished that we could see what happens after the episode was done.
Astounding, fluid, beautiful, crisp, bright, dark, ext. This anime
landed everything you possibly need in putting on a perfect visual presentation. It's not just the beautiful and handsome character models that make this anime so great to look at; it's the amount of effort that shows in the end product. Shadows, glares, sunlight, facial expressions, eye straining, it's all here and done so well.
The music, ambient background noise, and voice actors did an amazing job. The opening scene has many different conversations going on at once and they somehow matched all this up with perfect lip syncing. The music is very soft when present and isn't just some generic sounding crap you would find in most anime. The piano and singer did a great job trying to reach out to the audience. The background noise was very fitting and hit all their marks. Slaps, inner dialogue, chair movements, just everything matched up with what was going on screen. The voice actors did a very good job relaying all of their characters emotions.
We unfortunately did not get to see the characters mature as much as we hoped to but from what I saw, they became likeable and I was invested fully by the end of the anime. The main character wouldn't stand out very much in any other anime but he had true feelings; something that is hard to achieve without coming off corny. The supporting cast doesn't really get a chance to shine since it is only a single episode but they do a great job of setting up plot points and providing some very funny moments.
This anime was part of the Young Animator Training Project which almost always turns out eyegasm looking anime. What we were lucky to see in this instance however was the addition of a interesting plot, characters, and some of the best sound design I have heard in a long time. If you have twenty spare minutes just do yourself a favor and give this a watch.
Thanks for reading my review! If you liked my writing style, would like to see some other reviews, or just want to talk, please stop by my page!
It's an impossibility to fully understand someone, from their past, present and their current way of thinking, but one little connection is at least enough in order for that one person to open up to you...
Harmonie looks at what happens when this little connection opens
Harmonie is a 25 minute "movie" produced by Studio Rikka who previously worked and co-produced with Purple Cow Studio Japan on Sakasama no Patema and was presented in Anime Mirai of 2014.
For such a simple premise, Harmonie managed to execute it's premise in such such small timeframe of 25 minutes, the story focuses on Akio Honjou voiced by Yoshitsugu Matsuoka who
happened to hear a ringtone from Juri Makina voiced by Reina Ueda and that is the catalyst and the connection to Harmonie's plot and theme.
For our main duo of this movie, Akio is your typically bland main male protagonist who just happens to have a talent in remembering songs and he somewhat overcomes his shyness that wasn't exactly elaborated on in the movie but he grows a spine through the course of Harmonie, however the more major focus is on Juri and her past she had gone through with the song in her phone being the connection and the "world" she is a part of. It's the song that allows Juri to open up to the only other person that even a little "gets" what she went through due to the "dreams" both Juri and Akio has/or had that has different implications for the both of them, with Akio seeing the song a way for Juri to open up while Juri sees the songs as something to best to be forgotten as it brings up terrible memories. But it's because of the song that Juri and Akio has that connection, that connection in order for Juri to not only open up to someone that was a stranger at first but also for her finally release her suppressed memories from her past as she has a someone that knows what she went through.
Minor characters are both for support in most cases however there is one rival character in the movie which LA won't name but LA saw that character as a bit of double edged sword for the movie, mainly because yes, it's to emphasize Akio being in the same wavelength as Juri but it's also felt like an "almost" cheap ploy for it to occur in the first place, yes high school and the such but nonetheless.
The animation done by Studio Rikka was competent enough considering with was presented in Anime Mirai of 2014 from the vibrant atmosphere to the daydream surreal world of "Juri's song" and the decent character designs. Studio Rikka's animation was great to say the least.
Voice acting was great as well from Yoshitsugu Matsuoka being in his niche role, but the rather interesting find was Reina Ueda as Juri Makina, a well known voice seiyuu in genki girl types though she did to odd "playing against the type" roles such as Ouka Ootori from Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai and later on μ from Caligula and Reina as Juri is just another as LA almost mistook her vocals as Megumi Han, nonetheless the voice cast is great with the majority of the cast actually act like teenagers which they...kinda should be like, you know high school and all.
Harmonie is a VERY interesting look into how someone can enter your world even if it's one little connection that you share together be it a song or your hobbies, in which in happens quite regularly in every day life and Haromine effectively executes those themes of connections in such a short timeframe without feeling rushed and that that is a feat in itself.
Hello, this gonna be my first ever review! so please bear.
if I were to lay my thoughts after seeing the film in one sentence, it would be "................................."nothing. why is that? cause I was literally speechless after the ending!
the film shows on how people find something simple yet confusing or enlightening. basically how we make sense of what we define as reality. the way we convince ourselves in something to feel settled, liberated, or wanting more to our initial circumstance so we could open alternative paths.
the way we yearn for someone to understand ours. the way we relieve by extracting or putting
it to something insentient. the way we conceal so we could gain or remain adrift. the way we behave, superficial or claimed to be. sometimes that isn't the case, and sometimes we never know for sure. we are uncertain. feelings are uncertain. "you could get lost" but its a matter of wanting to.