Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterunda (The Anthem of the Heart)

Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterunda is not a well known anime movie despite it being ranked #264 on MAL. I picked it because the synopsis looked interesting. It is the story of a girl who said something that ended up breaking her family apart and she paid the price for it by sealing away her words. We all do this, say something we didn’t mean to or speak a careless or ignorant word and hurt others. Most of the time the damage we do can be fixed by a simple apology. Sometimes the damage can never be undone. This movie takes it a step further and talks about how heavy words can be and how they are intentional or not doesn’t always matter. I will be spoiling pretty much the whole movie in this post. So please watch the movie first if you want to avoid the spoilers.

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Jun Naruse – The protagonist

When Jun was a young child, she liked the castle built on top of the mountain and went to take a peak at it often. She saw her father come out of the castle with another lady one day and excitedly rushed home to tell her mother how her father was a prince. She didn’t know that theĀ castleĀ was a love hotel and her father was cheating on her mother. Her parents broke up and her father had to leave the town. What could be worse than being responsible for her parent’s break up? It is being told that it was all her fault.

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When I read about this movie first and about how Jun believed it was her fault, I thought that it was natural for a young girl to not understand that she wasn’t to blame. I thought she believed she was to blame since she didn’t know any better. I never expected her father to actually make it all her fault. We see very little of his character but that one sentence speaks volumes about his character. He was the one cheating on his wife and if they broke up, it is his fault, not Jun’s. It doesn’t matter if he has some excuse for his actions. It could be that it was the first time he cheated on his wife and felt awful about it. He might have decided never to do that again and take good care of his family. But none of that matters. If he didn’t want to leave, he could have pleaded with his wife and if it didn’t work, he should have just walked away. Putting the blame on a child and making her feel responsible is the worst thing he could have done to her.

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Jun believed it was all her fault and blamed herself. A magical egg appeared in front of her and put a zipper on her mouth, sealing away her words so that she can never hurt anyone else. Thus, the little chatter box of a girl grew up to be the weird kid who never talked, didn’t have any friends and pretty much became a problem child.

Jun was forced to be a committee member with Takumi Sakagami and two others by her teacher. Their team decided to do a musical. Jun can’t speak and her stomach starts hurting if she tried to talk. It is supposedly the egg’s curse. She realized that she was fine when she sang and wanted to do a musical, to get a chance to say the words she really wanted to say but never had a chance to.

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Takumi

She mistakenly thinks that Takumi knew about the egg’s curse and ends up telling the whole story to him. He doesn’t buy it but he lets it slide, assuming it was a weird tick of hers. What I like about his character is that while he doesn’t believe in the egg’s curse, he does believe that Jun get’s a stomachache when she tries to speak. He even called an ambulance for her when she collapsed after trying to talk.

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This was my favorite part in the whole movie

It is easy to say that Jun’s pain is all inside her head and that it isn’t real, but Jun was probably in real pain whenever she tried to talk. It is called psychosomatic pain and is a real psychological problem. She probably did feel excruciating pain, enough to have to go to a hospital. It didn’t matter that the egg wasn’t real. It didn’t matter that the curse wasn’t real, but Jun did believe it, enough to be in real pain whenever she tried to break the curse, a curse she cast upon herself.

Takumi decides to help Jun with the musical and Jun writes a story based on her own life for the musical. It is the story of a girl who wanted to attend the ball in the castle. She later came to know that the ball was actually an execution site for criminals. They were cursed to dance until they died. The girl wanted to attend the ball anyway and decided to commit various crimes, just so that she would be sent to the castle as punishment. The girl hurt a lot of people with her words and eventually lost her voice. It is a rather interesting story in itself. After all, would people be normally willing to throw their lives away just to attend a ball? Takumi provided the lyrics and music for her story.

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Jun managed to change a little after meeting Takumi and she formed an idea in her head that Takumi is her prince in shining armor and would save her. She learned that Takumi wasn’t in love with her the day before the musical. She ran away and abandoned her class, forcing them to find a new heroine on the day of the musical.

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This was the worst thing she could have done to her classmates. She convinced them to do a musical and then ran away, making them clean up her mess on the day of the musical. Did she really expect the musical to go well? After all, you can’t just find a replacement for the protagonist in the last minute. That was a selfish and stupid move.

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Lucky for them, they did have a girl who was willing to take Jun’s place

Takumi pleaded with his classmates to let him go search for her. He wanted her to be in the play.

The exchange between Jun and Takumi was really interesting. You see, the egg’s curse is a story that young Jun made up. As she grew up, she understood that it was all a made-up story. She knew it and yet she desperately wanted to believe in the existence of the egg and the curse, because if she didn’t blame her words for tearing her family apart, she would have had to blame herself and she couldn’t manage to do that. She probably thought it was stupid and yet she went around telling everyone how she was cursed by an egg and can’t speak.

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You could say that this movie has a happy ending, considering how Jun manages to get her ability to speak back and even appears in the musical.

Now to do some serious complaining. I dislike how parents have little to no role to play in a kid’s life in most anime. Jun’s mom loved her and she should have known that Jun was blaming herself. She should have tried to talk to her and tell her it wasn’t her fault. She should have tried to heal the child. But no, she gets angry at Jun for not talking and snaps at her. If something like this happened in real life, do you think the child would be waiting for Takumi to magically appear and save her? No, her parents would have already done everything in their power to make her feel better, not blame her and drive her into a corner.

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I do understand that the writer’s want to make the story exciting and having adults take care of all the problems might look boring but that it how it works in real life and it would have been just fine to portray that in the anime.

Kokoro ga Sakebitagatterunda is a normal movie. I won’t call it a masterpiece but it is not a bad movie either. Give it a try if you feel like watching it.

See you next time ^^/