Parents' Guide to

Sing a Bit of Harmony

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Teen emotions run high in AI robot fantasy/musical/anime.

Movie NR 2022 109 minutes
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Is It Any Good?

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A sweet, big-hearted fantasy/musical full of crushes and cool tech, this enjoyable anime moves gorgeously and sounds great, wearing its unflappably positive attitude right on its colorful sleeve. Available in both Japanese (with English subtitles) and in an English-language dub for U.S. release, Sing a Bit of Harmony kicks off with a delightful scene of Satomi waking up and making breakfast with the aid of her AI house (the house bids her to "have a wonderful day" when she walks out the door for school). It feels lightly, optimistically futuristic, with an overall peaceful feel; the robots are here to help. And Shion's introduction to the students -- and her musical number -- is meant to feel awkward and embarrassing, rather than foreboding.

As with the best teen movies, the characters are portrayed as having identifiable flaws. One spends all his time on one hobby, while another one is only "pretty good" at a lot of things. There are tarnished reputations, hurt feelings, quiet longings, misunderstandings, etc., that all feel genuine, and the growing friendships feel genuine, too. Visually, Sing a Bit of Harmony isn't showy, but when one of its polished, sparkling songs kicks in, it goes all the way, including making effective use of a field of rotating solar panels and a judo match. Logically, Shion is able tap into other AI devices, including pianos and sound systems, so she always has musical accompaniment for her songs. The movie's clever climax, and questions about the meaning of "happiness," leave help it leave off on a lovely bittersweet note.

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