Ian Sinclair and Jordan Dash Cruz

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Sing a little harmony hits theaters on January 23, 2022. The anime film is directed by Yasuhiro Yoshiura and features several songs as an AI impersonating a student trying to help a loner find happiness. This is Funimation’s first co-production with acclaimed creators Bandai Namco Arts (space dandy), Shochiku (91 days), and veteran animation studio JC Staff.

Sing a little harmony tells the story of beautiful and mysterious Shion (Megan Shipman) who transfers to Keibu High School where she quickly becomes popular for her open-hearted personality and exceptional athletic talent…but turns out to be an AI (artificial intelligence ) in testing phase! Shion’s goal is to bring “happiness” to chronic loner Satomi (Risa Mei). But her strategy is something no human would expect: she serenades Satomi in the middle of class,” the official synopsis reads. “After discovering that Shion is an AI, Satomi and her childhood friend, engineering geek Toma (Jordan Dash Cruz), regularly prepare for the new student. Along with the popular and attractive Gotchan (Ian Sinclair), the volunteer Aya (Alexis Tipton) and judo club member “Thunder” (Kamen Casey), they are increasingly moved by Shion’s singing voice and seriousness even as his antics baffle them. for Satomi’s Sake ends up involving them all in some serious pandemonium… Get ready for the heartwarming tale of a not-quite-ready-for-market AI and her classmates!

ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke with Sing a little harmony voice actors Ian Sinclair and Jordan Dash Cruz on their roles as Gotchan and Toma, learning to sing and the future of artificial intelligence.

Inasmuch as

Tyler Treese: Jordan, this is one of your biggest roles to date, especially for a movie. We see Tоma growing strongly here and he’s so much more than the engineering geek he introduced. How rewarding was it to play such an important role and have so much work to do?

Jordan Dash Cruz: It was great. Every time I’ve been there I’ve been very, very excited because, like you said, it’s one of the most important things I’ve done. I was honored to be a part of it and to work with [ADR Director] Caitlin [Glass]to have someone like Ian [Sinclair] in casting, it was phenomenal. When we were recording, I didn’t always bring in the other actors, but every time I did, I was just like, “Oh man, everyone sounds so good.” So it was very, very rewarding and it was really cool to see Tоma’s growth throughout the film. And I loved it, man. [laughs]

Ian, Gotchan is interesting because he’s presented as this guy who has it all, but he has confidence issues. He considers himself an “80 percent”. How do you talk about his insecurity and what makes him so interesting to play for you?

Ian Sinclair: I think everyone you talk to is unsure about something and the coolest people I’ve ever met are some of the most insecure people I’ve ever met. I understand why he is so anxious. I think the feeling of wanting to have something that you love and that makes you happy and he’s jealous that there are people like Tоma who know what they want and know what they’re talking about. And I’m personally jealous of anybody who really knows themselves and what they’re talking about and really likes that because I’m going gray and still trying to figure that out myself.

Jordan, there’s a theme of happiness throughout and trying to find it and what it means to be happy. And there is also this importance of verifying people. What theme really struck you the most in this film?

cross: Yeah, for me, I think it was just finding that happiness. It was really interesting because this film was very realistic. There were a lot of characters and their personalities that I think will resonate with the audience. Much of the audience might say, “Hey, I see myself in this character.” And it was just them coming together in the circumstances and working together and figuring things out and supporting each other. I really enjoyed that. And I really like that the movie is so down to earth and has very realistic archetypes and characteristics about people.

Ian, you have a key role in One Piece and have been on many long-running shows. So how does that compare when you inhabit this character and go through a lot with him in a short period of time versus a longer series where character development is sparse?

Sinclair: That’s a great question. It was a much faster character arc to get through. It was special for me because in the shows you mentioned and others, I usually play really big characters who are very explosive and loud and have a lot of vocal ticking. And starting to work with Caitlin, she introduced me to a few shows where she really found a very kind, very soft part of my voice that I love and love to connect to, because I’m able to access to some core truths and vulnerabilities within me. And when I can access those raw moments, I’m able to bring a lot of truth. And I’m very proud of it when I manage to do it. So to be able to do something that was a very simple, grounded little performance in which I was able to have such growth in such a short time was a real treat.

Inasmuch as

Jordan, what do you think of the future of AI that the film presents? Because you see the beauty of it with Shion, but it’s also almost dystopian. We have this mega-corporation and the robots in the rice fields. Are we going there? What do you think of that?

cross: [laughs] I almost feel like we’re getting there now with the AI ​​technology that so many of us rely on, like asking the weather or turning on a light or just finding out how cold it’s going to be outside. We are starting to depend on it quite heavily. I don’t know if we might be there yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if technology continues to evolve and advance and we can be a part of it.

Sinclair: I bet you right now, there is an AI picking rice somewhere. I bet. No, but for real, like agricultural technology is probably perfect right now where it does that. Is it humanoid?

I actually did some research and found one that looked like a Roomba that did.

Sinclair: To see? That’s what I thought.

Ian, were there any specific moments that stood out during the recording? Was there a particularly funny scene or something that really resonated with you?

Sinclair: My scenes with Alexis Tipton were a joy as we tried to really find the truth of relationships, especially at a time in your life where everything means so much. And you start to read things incorrectly because you don’t have all that experience. She was such a good scene partner that it was just super easy. I would say singing was a lot of fun too, but that’s because I was told pretty quickly that I didn’t need to be a great singer and I’m not going to name the other shows, but in some other shows, I have to play people who sing well and it’s always really annoying and I get nervous about hitting the right key and stuff, but when you’re told “Oh, this guy is just a normal person, he doesn’t have to sing well,” and relief washes over you. And then you’re just able to have fun with it. And it plays out.

Jordan, Toma joins in on vocals from time to time too. How was it to record?

cross: [laughs] It was an experience, for sure. I can’t say too much. Obviously no spoilers or anything, but it was very interesting. And many, many laughs were shared. [laughs]

Ian, there was something really wonderful about seeing all these different students coming together for a common goal and the movie gets quite emotional at one point. So what does it mean to you to be involved in art that really has an important message at its heart?

Sinclair: I think about that a lot with this film. I think about how this movie really focuses on the theme of finding what is happiness for you. Happiness is something different for everyone. And so it’s important that you find what makes you happy, and when you do, you go for it and hang on to it. And if this movie only inspires a few people to really sit down and figure out what makes them happy and then go for it, then we’re really putting some good into the world. And that’s just the best feeling.

Jordan, what do you think of this and what do you hope people take away from seeing A Bit of Harmony?

cross: I think the film is very realistic. I think a lot of people will see themselves in these characters and just like Ian said, it explores the theme of happiness and how happiness is different for other people. But it remains an emotion that we all feel. So I really hope people can watch this and take away from it. And maybe they can take inspiration from this movie, or they can say, “Watching this movie really helped me through a dark time because the last two years haven’t necessarily been the best. . I really hope people can remember this movie and can leave the theaters with a smile on their face.

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