For a while, I’ve been wanting to view the animated movie A Silent Voice, just to see if it was well put together like a lot of anime fans in the community have been saying…and it definitely is! This was the first anime movie I watched in a long, long time (no, the Naruto movies don’t really count…do they…?), and I’m glad I watched this one. It can be comical at some points, heartwarming, heartbreaking, and this movie can even be named “inspirational” because of the messages it sends to the audience. Now, I will most definitely start viewing more of them while summer vacation lasts, and it’s all thanks to A Silent Voice.
In this movie, the audience follows former school bully Shoya Ishida who set out to make amends with Shouko Nishimiya, a deaf girl he bullied in elementary school. As he struggles to become friends with Shouko, he also tries to reach out to his older friends and rekindle their friendships after they left him in a ditch.
See, it’s such a simple plot movie, yet if one pays attention, he will find some deep, hidden messages throughout the film. In addition, the viewers will also get to see successful, realistic character development for the main protagonist, Shoya. When the viewers first meet him, he’s about to jump off of a bridge, ready to end his life. Then, the film reveals his struggle trying to cope with his lonely school life. After this, Shoya’s back story takes place, showing what he does to Shouko. Now, I have to say, I really disliked this character in the beginning because of his actions towards her, but…he redeems himself after doing some kind things for Shouko during the halfway point of the movie. His character development throughout the movie, in my opinion, thickens the plot and story more than the ones I have witnessed in various anime series.
Produced by the famous Kyoto Animation, A Silent Voice has mesmerizing visuals and flawless character designs, which were created by Futoshi Nishiya. Each character has his or her own unique design to them to make them stand out from one another. Nishiya creates them based on their personality traits and takes his time to make them each an individual that doesn’t blend into the crowd of the main and side protagonists. Also, the bright visuals for this movie are just gorgeous! From the traditional Sakura flower petals, to the eye-catching city views, this aspect of the film will most definitely pull the audience into a different world and then left in awe near the end of the film because of how well the crew edited this movie. It truly touched my heart seeing such beautiful visuals in this film.
Before getting to the music, I would like to mention this gif for a second:
This frame from the movie symbolizes the loneliness Shoya feels and what he thinks of his peers around him. Each of the X’s represent the people Shoya chooses to ignore at his school, but then they peel off as Shoya starts to open up to a few of his older classmates…as seen here…
This is one of the most memorable, unforgettable pictures the movie because this represents the main protagonist starting to open up and socializing with other people other than his family. It represents the message that it’s alright to converse with others, even during the toughest times. In addition, the picture reveals the theme of forgiveness. It may take time to forgive one of his or her actions, but it might be worth it in the end if you both put aside your actions from the past and live the present.
Getting into the movie, I had thought I would recognize a few of the Signs Shouko and Shoya use, but I was wrong. Instead of using ASL (American Sign Langauge), they use JSL (Japanese Sign Language). I can sign all of the alphabet, most of the numbers, and some basic words, so this was a change seeing and learning new Signs for the movie.
“See you again.”
Alright, now onto the music. With the music tracks composed by Kensuke Ushio, the audience will be instantly pulled in by the first track that plays in the film, tre. Most of these tracks consist of soft piano music, but they all have different tones to them. Some of them have that calm, bubbly sound, and yet there are a bunch of tracks that have the somber tone to it. These short tracks used in the movie help to tell the story in which the film is telling, and they fit perfectly from where they are placed. There were some points in the movie where I would tear up just from hearing the tracks…because they’re just that beautiful!
When viewing this movie, I had to watch it in English Sub, but I was just fine with it. All of the Japanese voice actors and actresses involved in this movie have so much talent, and they do an amazing job with their characters. In some of the most dramatic moments in the film, they pull off the right emotions, and their tones are just right. There were a few moments from this movie that I paused the movie to take in the wonderful voice acting. Now, I haven’t heard anything about the English version of this movie, but when I do, I will be watching it again dubbed to compare the two. I really hope the voice actors and actresses put their hearts into their characters just like in the subbed version.
Just because I love this movie, it doesn’t mean I didn’t find any flaws to it. There was a flaw, other than the suspenseful ending, that left me puzzled: the budding romance between Shouko and Shoya. From the beginning for the movie, to the very last scene, the viewers will see hints of romance between the two, but it doesn’t really grow into a more-than-friends relationship, and it isn’t named official, either…even though they do admit that they have feelings for each other. Those two have nice chemistry, so it surprised me to see the lack of growth between them.
Overall, A Silent Voice touched my heart in a way I thought it wouldn’t have and left me in awe at the end. With beautiful visuals, amazing voice acting, and a memorable plot, I am rating this movie a four and a half out of five stars. The near-perfect film left me in tears, and with a new view on anime films.
Warnings: Some Profanity, Violence, Suggestive Themes and Topics, MAJOR FEELS!!
Hello, Readers! Since I am starting to watch more anime movies this summer, I’m making a list of the ones I should definitely watch…but I’m not sure which ones to put on there! Do you have any suggestions on any good anime films? If you do, leave a comment below and I’ll most definitely write a review on it.
GG 🙂 ❤