A Silent Voice: An Emotionally Charged School Story

Logan Boehm

Out of all the movies out there, the movies that are simply movies about a normal life are probably some of the least popular ones out there, but they’re also some of the most heart wrenching and sad. One of those movies is A Silent Voice, animated by Kyoto Animation and based on the manga of the same name. It only came out in 2016 and was dubbed for American audiences in the latter half of 2017, but the movie already has a huge standing in the anime world. This one doesn’t have as much exposition as Spirited Away had, so there’s no reason to not just jump right into it. 

The movie starts fairly mellow, following someone, who we would later find out is named Shoya Ishida, and is the main character of the film, doing a few things while marking days off a calendar. On the 9th, he quits his part-time job. On the 14th, he sells everything he owns and withdraws all his money from his bank account before putting it into an envelope and placing it next to his sleeping mom, with it titled “The Money I Owe YouWe then cut to him walking along a bridge and then standing on a rail moments later. It’s clear now that we’re watching a suicide attempt. He’s ready to just fall off, but as he does, we’re interrupted by the sound of small firecrackers and things of the such, which is what makes him abandon the attempt before he falls, which is a relief. The movie then cuts to his childhood, specifically 6th grade, which is mostly shown as him and his classmates bullying the new girl in class, Shoko Nishimiya, over the fact that she is hard of hearing and requires special treatment (writing down what the teacher said, being patient with her, etc.). That’s enough of the plot though, find out yourself by watching the movie. This is a review! 

This movie is such a sad movie, but it’s very heartwarming too. Following Ishida as he attempts to make amends with Shoko in high school is such a wonderful story, even if it all throws you for an unexpected beginning of a suicide attempt. The concept of going back and building up everything that leads up to that event is one that’s hard to do super well, but this movie nailed it. The movie also takes on the issues of bullying and peer pressure amazingly, showing just how ruthless and destructive bullying can be, especially when we see the effects of Ishida getting bullied when we get back to present day. This movie pulls you in and tugs at you in all the right places to make you emotional when it really calls for it. The cast is lovable as well, with a few exceptions because they’re rude and/or insensitive, especially towards Shoko. Overall, this movie is amazing with a wonderful story, theme, and everything. Please watch it if you haven’t, and if you like it a lot, there’s some more in the manga too, so you could always find that.