The Anthem of the Heart.
Tatsuyuki Nagai, 2015.
Synopsis: Jun, a young girl has her voice taken away magically (or so it seems) to not hurt people anymore. Now in high school, with the help of music and friendship, her outlook in life changes little by little. Will she speak again?
How does it look? Pretty. Most of the movie has the basic standard anime look you find in slice-of-life films and it looks great. The backgrounds have their details, all the characters are easy to distinguish and the lightning is nice. However, when it shifts to Jun's imagination we have a pastel, more stylized art style that stands out.
What did I like? The simple, tender and human story of a young girl overcoming a traumatic event and it's subsequent self-loathing thanks to a newfound group of friends. Plus it exemplifies the power of music to express ourselves, our emotions and impulses!
The reworking of the musical numbers (specially Somewhere Over the Rainbow) was great.
What didn't I like? The ending, at least on the romantic side, sorta falls apart. It's kinda strange since it manages to be cliched (someone HAS to end up with someone) and at the same time it's a bit subversive (nobody ends with who you thought) and while that subversion doesn't come out of left field (there are hints about the feelings of the four main characters here), it does take away the momentum it was building up to. Plus, the way one character finds out about someone's else's feelings towards a different person, it gives it a bit of a melodramatic the touch the movie didn't need.
Final thoughts: Well done slice-of-life. The character work for the most part is excellent.