Greetings! Our child and teen years are a time in which many of us make mistakes. These mistakes help us to grow and develop into the people who we are today. Those times can be tough be some as let’s face it, many children can be total jerks towards everyone else. Bullying is an important subject to address as it affects many people. It can be anything from verbal attacks to physical violence. This film released a couple of years ago and despite being around at the same time as another major anime film managed to leave an impression with critics and audiences. This film tackles a subject not touched upon enough in media and does so while telling a very beautiful story. Today, I will be discussing A Silent Voice.

Synopsis

The story follows two individuals Shoya Ishida and Shoko Nishimiya. As a kid, Shoya was a kid who would get into trouble and do things to try to stave off boredom from being at school. When Shoko who is deaf transfers to the school, Shoya proceeds to tease and bully Shoko with the aid of their classmates. When the events escalate to the point where it gets the attention of the school, Shoya gets singled out as the source of the bullying and becomes an outcast for his actions. Years later after nearly committing suicide, Shoya decides to make amends for his actions by tracking down Shoko. From there the two individuals start to understand each other and the different worlds that they live in.

Thoughts

There is really one world to describe this film- beautiful. This film is beautiful in every sense of the word. From it’s technical aspects to it’s story, everything about this film is a work of art. The subject matter of this film is something that should resound with almost everyone. Either you yourself have been subject to bullying or know someone who has. This film touches upon that topic and does so with a nuance that many storytellers can learn from.

The story of the film is really an interesting one to look at with it’s messages being something that we all relate to. A Silent Voice really takes a different stance on it’s subject matter and asks the audience some key questions. The situation that the characters find themselves is tragic on all fronts and makes sure to emphasize that with the audience. Who is to blame for the events that occured? Can someone redeem themselves for their past actions? Is ignoring a problem just as bad as causing one? How can we as people heal and move on from past hardships? These are all questions and subtexts that are included with this narrative. A Silent Voice is a complex film.

One of the things that I found absolutely fascinating about the film is that the narrative gives us the impact of the events from the perspective of both people. In many cases you just get the viewpoint of the person being bullied but in this case you see consequences that can happen for the person doing the bullying. You not only what Shoko went through but all of the stuff that Shoya is going through as well. You come to feel bad for all parties involved in this story. While Shoya is not entirely innocent in the matter, the actions or inactions of those around him made things worse. The story of A Silent Voice is one about living up to and learning from one’s mistakes as that is Shoya’s entire purpose in the film to find a way to atone for his mistakes. What makes this stand out from other stories however, is that along the way he discovers something more.

The overall tone of A Silent Voice is really one of understanding and hope. In trying to do the right thing, Shoya manages to not only find something for himself but for Shoko as well. Shoya is able to come to terms with was he did and realize that he doesn’t have to shut out the world and Shoko finds people that she can belong with and who accept her. That is really a strong and powerful message. This is really where the film’s emotions come from, the message of understanding and acceptance. That is not to say that this film feels heavy by any means as there are plenty of lighter moments and moments of comedy in the film.

Another strength of the film are the characters themselves. As the characters learn to reconcile and understand one another, the film provides the audience with many touching moments as the friendship between our two main characters grow. Unfortunately both suffered from the earlier events of their lives and both made some mistakes in terms of how to deal with them. This is another strength of the film, it’s characters are incredibly nuanced and complex for a film. Both Shoya and Shoko are more than just stereotypes, more than just the image they project to the world around them. Shoya carries the weight of his actions with him at all times despite acting tough and Shoko is truly hurt by what is going on but does her best to hide it from those around her. This carries over the film’s supporting cast as well. None of them are quite what they seem either. Turns out they are all looking for something as well. The film crams a lot into it’s run time and allows us to see a complete picture of it’s characters. This is no small feat.

I did say that film was beautiful and my god the animation in this film is absolutely amazing. You can tell that they spared little expense with this film as everything from the character designs to the backgrounds of the film were incredibly well done. You expect a higher animation quality with a film, but this film delivers in spades. They did an insane job with giving the film a realistic feel allowing you to get more engrossed in the story. The world of A Silent Voice feels like our own and that adds to the emotional impact of the story. The soundtrack is absolutely amazing as well. It does what it should adding to the emotional impact of the scenes and giving you further reason to feel for the story and the characters.

Do I have anything negative to say about this film? if I were to nitpick, I would say that the story does tend to jump around a bit and the story just hops from one event to another. This is understandable considering that the film is covering the story of a 7 volume manga and they do an admirable job of covering the plot points but the jumps can be a bit jarring at times.

So does this film get my recommendation? Well the streak continues with another resounding yes. A Silent Voice tells a very personal and emotional story and addresses some really important issues all while telling a beautiful story of two individuals who come together and find a way to understand each other. It is a beautiful story, one that everyone should experience at least once. Trying to describe what makes this film so great is difficult to put into words, so if you have an opportunity go and see it! Be warned, this film will make you cry so bring the tissues!

That concludes Day 4 of my 2018 Movie Special. Did you get the chance to see the film in theaters? If so what did you think? I would love to hear from you. Please comment below or send me message on Twitter (@railgunfan75) or Facebook (Railgunfan75’s Geek Blog). And now for the announcement of the Day 5 film. Since it is the holidays, it would seem fitting to at least discuss one holiday film before the season ends. This film I just had the pleasure of watching for the first time recently and boy did it make an impact. The film I will discuss for Day 5 is…Tokyo Godfathers. So until next time, this is Railgunfan75 signing off. See you soon and Happy Holidays!