The Anthem of the Heart is an endearing anime musical known for navigating themes such as self-expression, first love and standing up for your friends.
The heartwarming tale centres on the young girl Jun Naruse who learns to shut her feelings and thoughts after unknowingly exposing her father’s infidelity.
As a coping mechanism, she imagines an egg fairy who curses her to never speak again. Jun grows up and reaches high school, but remains afraid of speaking up, getting a stomachache whenever she does.
That is until her homeroom teacher assigns her as a member of the Community Outreach Event. Her life changes from hereon, as she slowly becomes friends with the other members - Takumi, Natsuki and Daiki - and learns to sing her her heart out.
How does Jun open up her heart? How does she transform from a quiet girl to someone who stands up for others? Who’s the catalyst?
Who is Jun’s First Love?
The egg theme is quite prominent in the anime. Not surprisingly, Jun’s journey of self-expression started when she heard Takumi, one of the committee members, singing a song on eggs.
She was en route to the teacher’s room to reject her position in the Outreach committee as she felt derided by the other committee member Daiki, but then she heard Takumi sing in the room alone and was captivated.
It was the first moment when Jun felt her heart understood and touched by someone.
Naturally, this snowballs into something bigger. Jun begins talking about her past to Takumi. Because she cannot speak, she texts her feelings and thoughts.
She then asks Takumi to turn her texts into a song, encouraging the option of an anime musical as part of Outreach. She discovers that the “curse” doesn’t affect her when she sings.
The other committee members, especially Daiki, are initially against the idea of a musical, but eventually, agree to it. As the musical progress, Jun falls more and more for Takumi who seems to have an unbinding effect on Jun.
Why didn’t Jun end up with Takumi?
Although it seemed that Takumi reciprocated Jun's feelings, it turned out that he only saw her as a friend.
This is when we discover that Takumi is still in love with Natsuki, the other girl member of the outreach committee and his supposed girlfriend during middle school.
In middle school, Takumi was going through a rough time — a possible mirror to Jun's situation — falling into the habit of not telling anyone how he truly felt, shutting himself from the world and also Natsuki.
Natsuki didn't know how to help him, and eventually, they drifted apart. One day, when Daiki probed Natsuki about this relationship, she answered that she has a boyfriend now.
Later, in a conversation with Takumi, Natsuki reveals that her boyfriend was actually Takumi himself because in her head, they never officially broke up.
Takumi then confesses that he doesn’t want Jun in a romantic way and instead likes Natsuki. Unfortunately, Jun eavesdrops on this conversation and becomes heartbroken.
Who does Jun end up with?
While all of this was happening, Daiki undergoes a marvelous transformation. Because of his arm injury, Daiki had become incapacitated from playing baseball. Instead of striving to heal, Daiki chooses to be bitter and rough on his teammates.
The outreach event changes Daiki. As he spends more and more time with Jun, he understands what it meant to stand up for others. He learns to be kind to his teammates. Although he initially fancied Natsuki, slowly, he begins falling for Jun instead.
After the musical successfully concludes Jun realizes that the egg fairy was only her imagination. She comes to terms with Takumi’s love for Natsuki and starts expressing herself freely.
Towards the end, Daiki finally confesses his feelings. A breeze is shown to have taken over a flustered Jun, suggesting that she might feel the same way and start dating Daiki.