In the lazy days of summer, a trio of bored high school delinquents—without any musical skill or clear motivation apart from the encouragement of a girl classmate—decide to start a band. When the stakes are raised and they get invited to perform at a local music festival, however, the group’s leader (voiced by popular rock musician Shintaro Sakamoto) starts to get cold feet. Adapted from the manga by Hiroyuki Osashi, this impressive feature animation was completed over the course of seven years with over 40,000 hand-drawn frames handled almost entirely by director Kenji Iwaisawa himself. A musical slacker comedy in the tradition of Nobuhiro Yamashita’s Linda Linda Linda (2005) with infectious deadpan humour and an idiosyncratic visual style, On-Gaku: Our Sound is a delightful celebration of music’s inherent power.
“★★★★★ Every so often, a film comes along that’s so fresh and distinctive, your immediate impulse is to stand up and applaud it… an instant classic.” —The Japan Times
Available streaming territory: U.S. only
in Japanese with English subtitles