On-Gaku: Our Sound, 2019.
Directed by Kenji Iwaisawa.
Featuring the voice talents of Shintarô Sakamoto, Ren Komai, Tomoya Maeno, Tateto Serizawa, Kami Hiraiwa and Naoto Takenaka.
A crew of unpopular high school kids decides to start a band.
On-Gaku: Our Sound is an indie animated movie which follows three underachieving friends. Taking place in Japan, in a non-descriptive time setting, we follow the lives of three friends who always find themselves in the middle of mischief.
Kenji, Aya, and Ota are accustomed to doing the same thing every day. They go to school, play video games, smoke cigarettes and try to climb up to the top of the high school popularity hierarchy. The friends just want to be respected and in their efforts to gain the respect they think they deserve, they find themselves on the receiving end of threats from dangerous bullies and gang members.
So what do they do? They run, duck and dodge and go back to playing video games, naturally. One day, Kenji has this brilliant idea to start a band with his friends despite none of them knowing how to play any instruments. When they get together, they all play one chord which creates a weirdly but calming instrumental that they think will turn them into popular musicians.
The conflict that the friends run into is the name of their band. Their chosen name is already being used by another group of musicians. Once they confront the band with the same name, the tension is apparent and the opposing band members are scared that Kenji and his friends are going to beat them up. Instead, Kenji shocks his friend and the band with the same name by deciding to do something no one expects. Kenji’s decision sets them on a path they never anticipated which leads to both good and indifferent endings.
On-Gaku: Our Sound is an animated musical that encompasses all the trials and tribulations of a coming-of-age story without being taken too seriously. If you love music or enjoy seeing the outcasts win in life you will be satisfied with this indie animated movie because it has all the elements of what could be a future cult classic.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★
Erika Hardison nerds out about books, superheroes and old-school cartoons. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @Fabulizemag