We learn at a young age that making friends can be easier said than done. For hearing-impaired Shoko Nishimiya in A Silent Voice, this is especially true. Seeing her trying to fit in at a new school, facing adversity with a big smile on her face, will melt anyone’s heart. But this doesn’t stop Shoya Ishida from bullying her.
After Shoko leaves the school, the students all turn against the bully, giving him a taste of his own medicine. As he grows up, Shoya realises how important it is that he meet Shoko again and apologise.
While your first reaction to Shoya’s behaviour is a wish to smack him, A Silent Voice takes a unique approach, and shows the situation from “the bad guy’s” perspective. By the end you’ll want to pull him in for a hug.
One of the film’s main messages is that we all want acceptance. It’s something we all seek, and sometimes we make mistakes while trying to get it. In real life, what separates the “good guys” from the “bad guys” is whether we try to fix our mistakes. This is something Shoya actively tries to do.
One of the reasons I highly recommend this film is that everyone – boys and girls, introverts and extroverts – will identify with at least one character.
And while people of all ages will enjoy the tale, those of us trapped in the black hole that is adolescence will learn a lot by watching two kids grow through the same stages of life that we find ourselves in.
Even if you’re not a fan of anime, the tear-jerking cinematography and buttery-smooth soundtrack will change your mind.