Why You Should: Watch “A Silent Voice”

Quintin Stueve, Webmaster

“Koe No Katachi,” or “A Silent Voice” is an anime movie adaptation of an original manga. The movie is produced by Kyoto Animation, whose animators are known to make pristine films. So going into this movie, I was excited, but this movie blew my expectations out of the water. 

The story follows Shouya Ishida, a teenage boy in his third year of high school, who has been shunned by his peers for bullying deaf student Shouko Nishimiya back in elementary school. 

The movie is beautifully executed in every way imaginable. The way the movie tackles depression, social anxiety, feelings of worthlessness, and Shouko’s position in society because she is deaf is breathtaking. 

I’ve seen some people argue, such as in this review, Ishida is a flat character because he has no personality, but that’s exactly why he is good. Shouya’s personality has to develop throughout the movie because he’s had no one to share his moments with. He’s had no one to help create a personality for him because he hasn’t talked to anyone since 6th grade. 

Though it has been said that Ishida has no personality, both he and Shouko show signs of depression and feelings of worthlessness throughout the movie. Shouya is dead set on redeeming himself and making up with Shouko. He feels terrible for everything he’s done to her, and she feels bad for not being able to understand what being a “normal” human being is like. Neither of them feel like the other can be happy unless the other is not there. Ishida goes as far as trying to kill himself in the opening scene, and whether it is Shouko’s fault or the other person’s in an argument, Shouko doesn’t hesitate to apologize. 

Neither Shouya nor Shouko understand how society works, both being excluded from it for different reasons. This makes for amazingly awkward scenes when the two are alone together, because neither know what to say or do. Before the events of this movie, Shouya has no friends, and Shouya’s only friends are her family.

The story is an absolute roller coaster of ups and downs and happiness and sadness, and I can assure you I felt every moment. The movie is a beautiful example of the regret someone can go through after realizing what they did was wrong.