A Silent Voice, or Koe No Katachi, is at time of writing, my favourite anime/movie I have watched. The movie is about a hearing impaired girl called Shoko Nishimiya, who is bullied by her peers as well as the main character, Shoya Ishida. Whilst initially his teasing was considered harmless, it quickly spires out of control backed by peer pressure from Ishida’s classmates. Eventually, the bullying turns on Ishida after he is told off in front of class, after Nishimiya transfers out, left guilt-ridden as she blames herself for the disability that she can’t control.
The movie brilliantly builds up the relationships between characters, and portrays Nishimiyas’ thoughts brilliant using facial features. This movie is one of the most touching I have watched, and I compel you to watch it.
Story & Characters
Continuing on from above, Ishida grows guilty as he realises what he has done – he is ostracized by his classmates, bullied by his former friends, and is servery depressed – this is brilliantly portrayed in the flash forward that the film opens into. Here, he attempts to make amends before he ends his life due to the guilt of what he has done.
However, after the initial setup of Ishida and Nishimiya’s school time, the movie moves towards high school, and takes the viewer for an emotional rollercoaster ride. The characters are brilliantly built up, and the storyline develops very well, leaving the viewer greatly satisfied at the end of the anime.
I won’t go into too much detail to avoid spoiling the storyline, but it is one of the best, and most touching, storylines that I have seen.
Character development is done very well, as is pacing. Firstly, time is spent building up each character – you get a feeling for how each character will act, and you feel as if you know them when it moves towards their high school years. Characters all interact differently, and it’s interesting to see Ishida’s view of other people as he grows up. Pacing is also done well – adequate amounts of time are given to the development of characters and sections of the story. The movie doesn’t simply rush on, giving no attention to story depth or character development, but spends time with each character. However, it never felt like the movie was dragging on either – every part had a purpose, and was very entertaining to watch.
The official trailer above is a brilliant look into the movie, and I would suggest watching it.
The studio behind the animation, Kyoto Animation, is well known for great animation, as can be seen by another of my favourite animes, Violet Evergarden. The animation is done brilliantly – it’s some of the best I’ve seen in any anime, and the camera angles offer many perspectives of the scene. Even in longer talking scenes, the camera keeps it from feeling stagnant.
Backgrounds are amazing – detail is paid to everything in the background. Night time scenes are particularly striking, with background scenes looking amazing with various lights.
Audio is used brilliantly throughout the show. Each song really adds to the scene, and I have added some of the soundtracks to my playlist as I really like them. The music wasn’t out of place, fitting well with each scene.
To date, A Silent Voice is my favourite anime and movie. I would recommend watching this anime when you can – I also read the manga (in this case, I found the anime better than the manga) – and this movie will really touch you. A very sad, however fulfilling tale about childhood bullying and attempts to redeem it.