What it’s about: Akio’s passions are anime, manga, and tinkering with a natural talent for music, and he’s all to happy to share this world with his friends. But he can’t help but glance over at the popular kids in class, particularly the happy smile of Juri. When he’s offered a narrow opportunity to forge a connection with his crush, he seizes it, and in so doing risks opening old memories that might be better left buried.
Why you should watch it: Harmonie is one of the better entries to have come out of the annual “Young Animator Training Project” in recent years. It’s a nicely packaged story of breaking out of one’s shell, striking up a new relationship and sharing hopes, dreams, and exposing vulnerabilities. The animation is smooth and high quality, the voice acting is superb, and the soundtrack is quite impressive. I particularly liked the open ending, leaving the viewer to draw their own conclusions about the characters.
Caveats: If you can’t find it by searching by name, try “Anime Mirai 2014”, the name of the competition which it was created for
Themes: Groups, individuals and the connections between them.