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Goin’ Japanesque!

Anime Movie “Harmony”: Story of the Future, Perhaps Most Likely To Come True

This time I am introducing the anime movie “Harmony”, which was released in 2015. It was produced as a second NoitaminA movie, like “The Empire of Corpses” introduced in a different article. (NoitaminA is a group of anime works broadcasted late at night by Fuji Television Station and its syndicate in Japan.)

 

Synopsis

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On future earth, a mayhem called “Maelstrom” has taken place all over the world. After confusion has subsided, all human beings are linked to the government through devices named “Watch Me” and “Medical Care”, sharing many things such as identification including social status, information on health management and so on.

Human race was freed from injuries or illness by being linked to the government through wearable devices, but as a sacrifice, they have come to be controlled on many matters.

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In such a world WHO, the World Health Organization possesses great power and authority.

The main character is Tuan Kirie, a lady who is dispatched as Spiral Inspector from WHO to work on various missions.

Tuan is supposed to be of elite status; however she violates prohibitions of government by drinking and smoking during an assignment in a conflict zone.

With her violations exposed, Tuan ends up being removed from duty and sent back to her homeland Japan.

In the mighty organization of WHO, Spiral Inspectors belong to a particularly privileged class. Tuan has committed actions defying the government’s intentions despite her position, because she is influenced by memory of her best friend Miach Mihie who committed suicide in the past.

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And Tuan returns to Japan only to be dragged into another problem that puts the entire world into chaos.

 

Analysis

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The story is written by Keikaku Itoh, the author of “The Empire of Corpses” introduced in an earlier article.

However this anime is quite different from “The Empire of Corpses”, which has a strong entertainment aspect.

 

In this work detailed explanations of the settings of high-tech wearable devices named “Watch Me” or “Medical Care” and description of the world are spared as much as possible, and viewers need to learn them as best they can as they watch the story.

The story revolves around present actions of the main character Tuan working as Spiral Inspector, and it also simultaneously describes in fragments her relationship with Miach Mihie who died in the past.

When the audience puts the two stories together, it gradually becomes apparent why Tuan tries to deviate from rules of the society despite being an elite and why her friend Miach Mihie had to die.

Unlike an entertainment movie which lays out all the answers for the viewer, this anime requires the audience to pick up such elements and understand them themselves.

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While the movie is made with 3-dimensional computer graphics (3DCG), characters of the story are drawn with a traditional touch like any other Japanese anime.

The movie uses three-dimensional camera work extensively to maximize the strength of 3DCG, and it captivates the audience with movements that can rarely be seen in cell image animation.

And landscapes are meticulously drawn to clearly express the dual existence of the managed world and chaotic world, by presenting the government-managed area in a bright futuristic image and other area being similar to the present world.

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As for the main subject of the story, it is not a simple picture of good guys versus bad guys at two polar opposites; it is a story of a society made with the whole human race and human beings as individuals, each of which has its own endowed rights and duties.

In many Sci-fi stories, a managed society is often depicted as a dystopia where the system subjugates its human constituents, but the society of this story is not a bad one to that extent.

However, in order to keep a society in good working order, there are times when an individual’s need and want may have to be sacrificed. If personal desire is given priority on the contrary, it may cause havoc to the society.

This anime forces the main character Tuan Kirie in the story and the audience to face such dilemmas squarely.

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The story offers no ready-made solutions for the dilemmas.

Thus the story lets the audience think hard on their own after watching the movie.

Rather than being an entertainment, this anime conjures up philosophical thoughts on the relationship between society and individual.

 

Rapid technological advancement has started today in computerization, robotics and artificial intelligence. We may come to face an era in the near future when government manages all individuals’ data as in we see in this anime.

Related Articles:
Shisha no Teikoku “The Empire of Corpses”: The Dead Rise to Fight in Sci Fi Anime Movie

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Berial the Demon

About the author

It has been over 40 years of reading manga in the deep world of manga. Japan’s manga has an endlessly wide variety of genres. I will be recommending special manga for you to read from such infinite amount of works.

View all articles by Berial the Demon
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