289th G-View: Harmony

The following movie is going to be a tough one to review but I will do my best to do so without spoiling too much. I wonder if people who will or have seen the movie can/will figure out what makes it unique?  This is Harmony.

Harmony Poster.jpg

Genres: Science-Fiction, Psychological, Drama, Dark, Yuri

Themes: Utopia, Future, Philosophy, Human Mind, Human Will

Running Time: 115 Minutes

G-Rating: 8/10 (Personal) N/A (Overall)

Plot Summary: In a future ruled by an unwavering dedication to good health, three high school girls led by the defiant Miach Mihie attempt suicide as the ultimate act of rebellion. Tuan Kirie survives, but can’t shake the hatred she has for the “perfect world” she lives in.

Years later a simultaneous mass suicide sends the world into chaos and it is up to Tuan to find the cause of the crisis but her real motivation runs deeper than merely “saving humanity”.

Harmony 2nd poster

Tuan. One of the two main protagonists.

Let us get the following out of the way. Harmony is a dialogue heavy movie. In fact, throughout its nearly two hour running time there are a total of two action scenes. Keep this in mind. On to the dialogue. There are many conversations revolving around the concept of a utopia, especially what it means to label a society or life as utopian. The biggest one asked (Not literally but it is brought up in a sense) is whether it is worth living a peaceful, long life free of pain, disease, and suffering at the cost of having higher ops (The government or other high ranking establishments) having full control of people’s lives outside of casual or mundane activities? Is it worth sacrificing one’s personal lifestyle? Other topics brought up revolve around human emotions, culture, some history and some philosophical topics. Basically this movie can be considered a catalyst for many in-depth conversations revolving around existence and the human will, which can either be seen as intriguing or pretentious depending on the viewers’ worldviews. It is also worth keeping in mind that the author of the original Harmony novel, Satoshi Itoh, wrote most of the story while hospitalized. It can help give viewers perspective on the topics and ideas brought up throughout the movie and the book. Whether the movie is fairly accurate to the novel is unknown by my person but since this is movie I am certain some things were cut.

Tuan in despair

Tuan in despair.

Alongside the philosophical and societal topics there are also very touchy and dark subjects such as the aforementioned suicide. This movie contains both graphically and emotionally disturbing scenes that are not suited for general audiences. While there are few action scenes that does not mean the movie is devoid of uncomfortable moments. There were a few times that while I did not show it on the outside I cringed on the outside. Freaky stuff. Viewer discretion is advised when viewing Harmony.

Future Japan.png

Japan in the future.

The animation quality is a mixed bag. On one hand the 2D art style for the cast is really good fitting the serious environment while also not relegating the color scheme to only black, grey and brown. For the most part the movie is visually appealing. This being a science-fiction flick some high tech gadgetry is expected and Harmony has that covered with the CPU like system installed inside everyone’s brains among other things. Trust me, the “sciency” stuff is there. Good stuff.  However, the CGI is not always up to par for an animated theatrical release. It is not horrible but it can be cumbersome to animeniacs who consider CGI usage controversial to the point of it being seen as make or break without taking into considering the rest of the product. The biggest example of this for me was during the “mental meetings”. Now while it did not bother because it is to be expected for sci-fi flicks to have odd imagery but this one can be seen as lame. There are other examples but I leave those to viewer interpretation.

Miach.jpg

Miach. The second main protagonist.

The reason I am only showing images of Tuan and Miach throughout is that while there are other characters, who do a good job overall as side-characters and the mass suicide mystery and conversations are all interesting, it can be said that the main attraction of the story is the relationship between the two leading ladies, Tuan Kirie and Miach Mihie. On one hand Tuan perfectly represents a person who does not fit in with a utopian society. She is also a person whose character progression admirably represents what it would be like if someone were to find “that one itsy bitsy teenie tiny little flaw” that could instantly shatter a utopia and how someone would react to that while still trying their hardest to keep a level head without losing their sanity. Oh and she is smart, sexy and powerful. Miach on the other hand is a very complex individual who, while clearly despising the “higher ups controlling our lives” type of “pain free” world, as shown during flashbacks, there was clearly more to her during her time among the living than a “screw the system” cultist mentality yet also smart, sexy and powerful.

rowdy-roddy-piper.jpg

Rest in Peace Hot Rod.

Miach can be best described using one of the late great Rowdy Roddy Piper’s most famous quotes: “Just when you think you have all the answers, I change the questions.”

Tuan X Miach.png

I wonder if they go beyond mesmerized gazing?

Now for the big one. Is this movie yuri? Is it?

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.

.

.

.

Yes. How yurirific? That I will leave readers to find out themselves whether it is worthwhile or not. I say yes it was.

Overall Harmony is a most intriguing movie with an interesting plot and conversational topics, cool action scenes (as few as there are), is visually appealing despite some iffy CGI, has decent side-characters and great protagonists…plus worthwhile yuri. However, it is not for everyone as the subject matter can be rough and the graphic (and emotional) content can be disturbing for some. I say it is worth checking out whenever possible but be aware that this movie may not please the general public.

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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27 Responses to 289th G-View: Harmony

  1. Trans Homura says:

    I can’t gauge the political spectrum on this movie
    I really can’t

    Liked by 1 person

  2. i just going this one and be honest does it have a happy ending
    yes i know it is childish but humor me

    Like

  3. oh and p.s. the movie has gore in it huh, but gore does not really brother me much like not at all

    Like

    • OG-Man says:

      I don’t spoil endings in overall reviews. You’ll have to see for yourself.

      The graphic content is more bloody than gory.

      Like

  4. Zuneko says:

    This movie sounds very interesting to watch especially since I love these type of movies. I’ll try to watch it when I can.

    Like

  5. I feel like I kind of understood the movie, in a horribly morbid way.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ruequi says:

    I’ve seen it. I don’t really get it though. I mean, I have a shallow mind. May I PM you for your opinion on how to interpret the ending? Though, even if you agreed, I dunno how to contact you. Lol

    Like

  7. FantasyGirlKanna says:

    I just finished watching this last night and I got to say the story is really good.

    That very (and I mean very ) advanced technology has its many advantages. Almost no crime, disease-free, prevents body fats, no hunger, very low poverty level, prevents body fats, no more pain, no more suffering, prevents body fats…life is pretty much easy, peaceful and perfect. With WatchMe monitoring literally everyone, it’s certain that if they see anything that threatens life they’ll do something about it asap. However, no matter how much good intention this technology has, certain disadvantages are really inevitable. Like if it’s hacked then people with this tech in their body will be very much affected, and since everyone’s born with this WM then the world is pretty much doomed. I think I read somewhere before that similar tech like this one is actually being studied now so I guess we just had an overview of what it could do.

    Tuan and Miach are two of the few that didn’t really care if they’re different. I can actually sort of relate to them. And I can understand why they behave like they do in the movie. Perfection is good but without any flaw there’s no balance anymore. That’s why Tuan’s like that, the world has become a very boring place. As for Miach, her way of thinking is probably due the hell she’s been going through since childhood. After escaping hell itself she was then brought to the white side which was also hell because everyone and everything are too perfect. And people don’t even realize that they have become somewhat prisoners that are watched and sort of controlled by WM. People in this world have been successful preventing the world from becoming a wasteland and just when they thought they have gained freedom from war, chaos and all things bad, they don’t realize that they just made another cage for themselves that goes by the name “Peace”. No wonder Miach wants to commit suicide, I’d go crazy if I’m in that place. Though I’m not saying she’s crazy. She just…has a different way of thinking probably due to her experiences. She didn’t want to be controlled and yet at the end she aimed to have the Harmonix activated, something that stops people from having will of their own entirely, in short making people robots or puppets (Did I get that right? That’s how I understood Harmonix). I guess she just got tired and gaveup on everything in the end.

    Miach was awakened from this heaven-like facade when she was young and helped Tuan and Cian to see it too, that’s why she was able to convince them to take the pill…well except for Cian, she chose to stay in the cage (probably cause she didn’t receive much affection from Miach unlike Tuan 😛 ). Btw, I wonder who was the girl sitting right in front of the giant white thingy at the ending.

    I like technology they made in this except for that WM thing, cars and planes. I have no privacy with WatchMe watching me all the time, I want to drive my own car and the planes look really silly -_- .
    The yuri in this movie was really something, I really loved it. Two thumbs up for their love for each other. Overall, the story’s really nice however…that ending!!!!

    Why?! T_T
    That was so painful! I’m not good with those things huhuhu why did they have to end it that way?! I’m going to feel this pain for a whole week!
    Tuan really loved Miach 😥 Why didn’t she shoot herself afterwards?! She was too slow Harmonix already got activated before she could shoot herself! Why?! Why? why? TT_TT

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      I don’t have much to add myself as you nailed a lot of the points I would have made in a Part 2 post but felt there was no need as it’s better for people to see it for themselves and draw their own conclusions.

      That’s one way of interpreting what happened in the end. Maybe she did, maybe she didn’t do it. What do I mean by “it”? That’s the beauty of it. It’s left up to the viewer, especially after the epilogue.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Liz says:

    The movie is based on project itou’s book and I read it beforehand and I’ll have to say the yuri was not cannon in it. Tuan more like admired Miach and well they really did romanticize the ending, much to my dismay I do prefer the original ending given in books but I’ll have to say the ending was also acceptable to my fulfillment.

    Like

  9. melanie says:

    Hi, do you know where I could watch this?

    Like

  10. Mikoto Himemiya says:

    A movie in general liked. Thoroughly researched script, the music is and rushes into the soul, leaving only for a sad thought (of course in a good way), the theme of the post-apocalypse with the start time of the “perfect world” where society lives in peace and harmony, but not all were We agree. And I especially liked in this movie, pretty close, and I can even say love, the relationship between the two main characters, because throughout the film Tuan with heaviness and pain in my heart remembers Miach and spent her moments. Besides their reunion at the end of the movie touched me deeply as I was at one time impressed by this beautiful picture of pure love. And the end of this film is not entirely unequivocal, since it is unknown killed Tuan the Miach or simply shot into the wall … Although the novel is completely tragic ending. And yet I believe in the opposite, where the two main characters survived. Also, I add a little about the story that some people did not want to go through the motion of the current society and be a puppet in the hands of a government organization, committed suicide just to get rid of the shackles and find true utopia. In short if you are fans of such genres as science fiction and psychological thriller with the promptness of a post-apocalyptic world where developed with the help of nano-technology, and action, and with clearly-marked yuri, then I advise you to see harmony and you will not regret.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      A well written reply. Tuan X Miach was a very interesting romance, the movie’s theme was effective along with being uncomfortable at times. The ending may seem obvious but one never knows when it comes to off-screen scenes in serious movies like these.

      Like

  11. yurimylove says:

    interesting, thought-provoking movie, but ending too sad T_T

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Error says:

    This was an amazing movie. Awesome, from every point. Itó knowed something. (RIP) Maybe i get his book too. Maaaan… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Mica says:

    Do you know what the stars mean? The one where Tuan looks at a person and a “rating” appears from her point of view. Thank you!

    Like

  14. Jeanette says:

    Hm… Where is bears in ushanka hats and where balalika-squads? It’s a pity

    Like

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