The story revolves around Shôko Nishimiya, a grade school student who has impaired hearing. She transfers into a new school, where she is bullied by her classmates, especially Shôya Ishida. It gets to the point where she transfers to another school and as a result, Shôya is ostracized and bullied himself, with no friends to speak to and no plans for the future. Years later, he epicly sets himself on a path to redemption.Written by
At the beginning, the song "My Generation" written by Pete Townshend by The Who is played. Mr. Townshend is tone deaf in his left ear. Similar to the character Shoko Nishimiya in the movie who is deaf in both of her ears and has hearing aids to help her understand. See more »
During Ishida and Ueno's conversation at the crosswalk, Nishimiya is seen holding the pouch that Ishida had given to her as a gift. However, it disappears after Ueno sprints across the street and removes Nishimiya's earpiece; it is nowhere to be seen on her person or on the ground. See more »
Though the official Roman-character title used on merchandise in Japan, and on the movie's posters, trailers, video boxes, video menus and so on in English-speaking countries is "A Silent Voice: The Movie" (often shortened to just "A Silent Voice"), the Roman-character title which appears on-screen in the full movie itself is instead "The Shape of Voice", which is an awkward mistranslation into English of "Koe no katachi". See more »
A Silent Voice/Koe no Katachi
Composed Kensuke Ushio See more »
The consequences of bullying
Have always been a big fan of anime, particularly Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki without restricting myself to just them (some of my favourites are actually without either involved).
Any film dealing with bullying and its consequences deserves to be applauded for the effort. Bullying, often stemming from something that should be a non-issue but turns out to be an easy target for bullies (for examples if your parents disallow you to play a popular video game for obvious reasons, if you have a posh accent, if you listen to and perform classical music, if you have a physical or social disability, false rumours spread about you, if you were a hard-worker rather than somebody who messed about and disrespected substitute teachers) is something that is very much relevant still and has damaging effects, it is an issue that needs to be addressed and acted upon much more than it is. This is coming from somebody who suffered merciless bullying myself in school, for all the above reasons apart from the first (in my case my school did nothing about it too), and nearly a decade on it has damaged my confidence/self-esteem, made me feel worthless and made my already bad anxiety worse despite getting a degree in music and singing regularly.
So as one can probably tell, 'A Silent Voice' really resonated with me on an emotional level. At the same time, it also really made me think and see that there is much more to the issue, the bully, the witnesses and the victim than one would tend to perceive. 'A Silent Voice' also turned out to be a very good film in its own right. It isn't flawless, some of the supporting characters are under-explored and in a few cases inconsistently and one-dimensionally written and some of the story jumps around and doesn't always feel complete.
Despite being over two hours, didn't think it was too long considering the number of characters and their stories. If anything, perhaps 'A Silent Voice' would have been even better as a series which would have solved the problems.
On the other hand, 'A Silent Voice' has an awful amount to recommend. Great isn't a strong enough word to describe the animation. Rich in meticulous background and character detail, atmospheric and ethereal in colour schemes and alive to nuances in its use of settings and character gestures and expressions, it becomes a character of its own and there are some memorable images throughout like towards the end. The music has whimsy, haunting beauty and understatement, while not overbearing the drama and letting it speak when needed. The song is catchy.
The writing is thought-provoking and contemplative, doing it in a way that will make bullying victims and those who bullied alike identify with what is said. A lot of it is remarkably insightful, and even when the film was really resonating with me it taught me a lot about an issue that isn't as black and white as perceived. The story has its issues but has a strong emotional core, with the truly powerful and touching ending leaving me shell-shocked.
Not often does one find themselves rooting for a bully as well as the victim, 'A Silent Voice' is one of those rarities. The voice acting is dynamic.
In summary, not perfect but very well done. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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