Silent Voice (2017) is an anime movie that follows a story of a deaf high school girl dealing with social discrimination and a plot twist kind of friendship. It’s one of the highest-rated anime movies in 2017 that has been shown in different countries.
The story revolves around Nishimiya Shoko, a grade school student who has impaired hearing. She transfers into a new school, where she experiences social discrimination from her classmates, led by Ishida Shouya. It gets to the point where she transfers to another school. As a result, Shouya, known as the main bully, became a loner because none of his friends wants to get involved with him. Years later, he sets himself on a path to redemption.
Nishimiya Shouko (西宮 硝子, Nishimiya Shōko)
While Shouko may not be completely deaf (given the hearing aids she possesses in both ears), her hearing loss is drastic enough to the point that she can be considered clinically deaf. Despite this, she can still hear various pitches of tones in the voices of other people.
Ishida Shouya (石田 将也, Ishida Shōya)
Ishida lived a ‘lone wolf’ life after the incident of the sole bullying to Nishimiya Shouko during elementary school. Six years later after meeting Nishimiya again and befriending her, he starts to gather new friends together, along with old ones he had during middle school. Despite the changes in his life, Ishida still struggles to make up for what he did in the old days.
The style of animation is manga-like. When Shouya isolated himself from his classmates, all of them have a cross mark on their faces. When someone became his friend, the cross mark eventually fades. The idea is creative. I also love the water ripples effects in the anime scenic frames and the classic cherry blossoms. Japanese feels as always. 🙂
As I first watched the trailer of Silent Voice, it became of my most awaited anime movie this 2017. I find it intriguing. My Anime Blogger friends also recommended watching it. Some anime fans even watched on the big screen. It has shown in the PH cinema.
In the first 20 minutes of the movie, the kind of relationship between Shouko and Shouya started in their elementary days. Shoko was a new student in the class. Surprisingly, she is deaf. She can only communicate through writing in her sketchbook. This made her an object to bullying. Shouya and friends tried messing up her life in school. Shouya even destroyed her hearing aids and make fun of her. Eventually, the school suspends Shouya because of it. His friends are all in denial about the incident of bullying.
Bullying does exist in real life. And, this is a serious issue. It happens usually in schools. (actually even in offices or villages) When a child is indifferent, other students will make fun of it. The child would not be able to get friends easily, enjoy break time in school, and learn effectively in class, all because of bullies. With that, there is a tendency of isolation that can lead to depression, anxiety, or the worst suicide for the victim of bullying. That is definitely a red flag. This kind of case in school must be addressed by the discipline office or guidance counselor. As a teacher, I am far more concerned in solving this issue.
Going back to the anime, it is clear that the story talks about a bully and the deaf who is being bullied. Shouko was always trying to be friends with Shouya but will always find her disgusting. As I look into the character of Shouya, I don’t understand why is he like that. What good does he feel when he bullies a defenseless person? I was actually mad at him already. Karma hits him hard in the end. That time he felt what Shouko was feeling in the beginning.
The situation gave him this sense of guilt that he carries throughout his whole teenage life. When they were in High school, he tries to befriend Shoko. He even returned the sketchbook to her. He made time to see her and help her feed the fish. He learned sign language so he can talk to Shoko more often. Maybe he just wants to ease his guilt feeling by being friends with her. Also, I don’t understand why Shouko suddenly felt attraction or having a crush on him? I apologize if I felt bitter towards it. Haha! I am sometimes unforgiving. It’s so obvious how I react in this review. I am being honest.
So far, this anime movie didn’t impress me that much. The trailer is way better than the movie itself. Yes, I am disappointed. I am expecting something more.
In comparison to “Kimi no Nawa”, it didn’t give much thrill and redemption in the end. I was trying my best to convince myself that it is somehow of the same level as Kimi No Nawa. When I think about it, the story, characters, and animation… I will still go for “Kimi no Nawa”. My apology for comparing the two when it is not right to do so. Obviously, the two anime caters a different theme to compare. Anyway, this is just only my opinion 🙂
Silent Voice offers a touch of reality and a representation of a social issue. I will admit that it can be inspiring but not impactful enough to move me in awe. On the other hand, reading a well-thought review of Silent voice by Lita Kino. presents the good points of the show. Her review delves on the values that resonated in her life relevant to the parallel relationship between Shoko and Shoya. You can actually learn a lot of life lessons here. She explained everything in a more redeeming way if you love this anime movie. 🙂 Check it out!
If you are into shojou, drama, and school life anime, then nothing wrong for you to watch this!
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
If you have any thoughts to share about this film, feel free to leave a comment below. 🙂