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A Silent Voice: Another Successful Manga Turned Into Movie

Updated on July 22, 2017
"A Silent Voice" is the 10th highest-grossing Japanese film of 2016.
"A Silent Voice" is the 10th highest-grossing Japanese film of 2016.
"A Silent Voice" is also known by the title, "The Shape of Voice." This 2016 Japnese anime film was written by Reiko Yoshida and directed by Naoko Yamada under Kyoto Animation production.
"A Silent Voice" is also known by the title, "The Shape of Voice." This 2016 Japnese anime film was written by Reiko Yoshida and directed by Naoko Yamada under Kyoto Animation production.


Shoya Ishida contemplates on committing suicide as he walks along a bridge and gets flashbacks of his elementary days in school. His teacher introduces a deaf girl named Shoko Nishimiya who relays her messages through her notebook. The communication barrier annoys Ishida so he starts bullying Nishimiya. Ishida further gets irritated when the teacher tells them about a few minutes of sign-language learning everyday so that it will be easier for Nishimiya to communicate with everyone. This creates different reactions from classmates while Ishida bullies her by taking her ear plugs everyday and throwing them away. One day, he pulls out Nishimiya's ear plugs, which results to bleeding. The next day, the teacher announces that Nishimiya will transfer to another school and that her mother is suspecting that she is being bullied. The teacher tells everyone that he is sure that Shoya Ishida is the one bullying Nishimiya. Ishida's friends agree and kicks him out of their group. Ishida becomes a loner and contemplates on the bad things he has done to Nishimiya. After a few years, Ishida is in high school and he isolates himself from his classmates and is unable to look at anyone in the eye because of the guilt, anxiety and shame that he has been feeling towards Nishimiya. Ishida meets her again but Nishimiya runs as fast as she can, trying to get away from him. When he finally catches her, he talks to her using sign language and this shocks Nishimiya. Ishida returns her sixth-grade notebook and this is Ishida's start of a new life to make things right.

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What makes it interesting?

A Silent Voice is a dramatic film about bullying and the aftermath of it. The illustration of Shoya Ishida's guilt, anxiety and shame was done in the most impactful way. Ishida's classmates who have an "X" mark on their face are people that he doesn't trust and doesn't want to get acquainted with. The concept is so impressive that it gave a spectacular highlight when Ishida finally opens his heart to the world without shame and just full of happiness as all the "X" marks from people around him finally falls to reveal their faces. Bullying is a typical dilemma that a lot of kids or even teenagers are experiencing so the movie is very relatable to many. Showing Shoda Ishida's resentment to himself because of what he did to Nishimiya is also an aftermath that happens in real life so I am very much impressed that the movie's goal is to inspire people to change and be better because the past always has a big contribution to a person's present and future life.

Accolades (2017)

40th Japan Academy Prize
Excellent Animation of the Year
A Silent Voice
Tokyo Anime Award Festival
Anime of the Year (Film Category)
A Silent Voice
20th Japan Media Arts Festival
Animation division - Excellence Award
A Silent Voice
26th Japan Movie Critics Awards
Best Animation of the Year
A Silent Voice

A Silent Voice 1 Paperback – May 26, 2015 by Yoshitoki Oima (Author)


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