Directed by Naoko Yamada and based on the manga with the same title by Yoshitoki Ooima, the movie focuses about a relationship of a normal boy–who is already a jerk from the first place–and a deaf girl–who is already a shy from the first place. And my question is, “How?”
It all starts back when a normal boy named Shouya Ishida (Miyu Irino; Mayu Matsuoka as the kid version of Shouya) was a sixth grade student. Once, he had a lot of friends–he even formed a gang consisted three members (including him). His friends always joined him jumping into the water from the bridge, playing video games at Shouya’s house, and more. His life was so perfect, until his class was unexpectedly visited by a new student named Shouko Nishimiya (Saori Hayami). She is deaf as you can see, but you can communicate with her by using her own communication book. Simple! Shouko writes what she asks and you just tell her about it. In the end, she will write ‘Thank you!’ This made her classmates wasn’t hesitant to be friend with her, until one day when her class was having a practice for the choir competition. She sang badly that her classmates and the choir teacher shocked. Because of that, her class lost the competition! From this incident, her classmates started to bully her slowly.
From all of them, Shouya was the most severe. Shouko’s communication book was threw away to the pond, she was watered by the water from the hose, she was deliberately made stumble, and more. And the most brutal action that Shouya had ever done is he damaged and threw away her eight hearing aids–until her ears was bleeding. Thanks to his doing, her life became more miserable–so as her mother and her little sister, Yuzuru Nishimiya (Aoi Yuuki). And thanks to his doing too, he must paid back for ‘the tail’. Shouya’s mom had to close her bank account just to pay compensation for Shouko’s eight hearing aids (fyi, a pair of hearing aids can cost around US$ 1000 to more than US$ 4000). Moreover, Shouya had to lose all of his friends and got bullied in the same way as Shouko. While growing up, he felt that he must paid all the compensation which was already paid by his mom, so he sold everything and started part-time jobs.
High school period starts and he’s still being alone in school. He becomes an anti-socialist, every person’s faces in his school are covered with a big ‘X’ symbol–except his family. But, after his meeting with Shouko again, Shouya sets out on a path of redemption by trying to befriend again with Shouko. Moreover, he also starts his very-first relationship (in high school) with a fat-ugly student–who appears to be his classmate–named Tomohiro Nagatsuka (Kenshou Ono) after saving him from a student’s threat by lending him his own bicycle.
In the end, Shouya helps Shouko by losing all of her shyness and calling some of their sixth grade classmates, Miyoko Sahara (Yui Ishikawa), Miki Kawai (Megumi Han), Satoshi Mashiba (Toshiyuki Toyonaga), and Naoko Ueno (Yuuki Kaneko). Not only that, he finally learns something about the true meaning of friendship–which is more beautiful than being alone forever.
Although the movie is slightly different from the manga–a part where Shouya and his new friends are making movie for the bunkasai (cultural festival–usually holds in schools/universities) movie competition and I believe there’s more that I can’t say here–I must say the movie is really good that the story itself successfully makes me cry a lot. Shouya who has repented after the sixth grade incident and tried to be a better person for everyone sake. Shouko who always struggles to run her life fully and befriend with someone though she has a deficiency.
For me, starting a relationship with others may be easy, may be hard–depending on how aboveboard I have to bring myself as a good person and be generous to them. And one moral message that I got from Shouya, “Not every person in the world have negative thoughts about you, if you never try to do something that will make them happy for you.”
Movie Title: 聲の形 (read: Koe no Katachi; A Silent Voice) | Genre: Drama, School, Shounen | Running Time: 2 hours 10 minutes | Country: Japan | Language: Japanese | Director: Naoko Yamada | Adaption: Manga (Yoshitoki Ooima) | Music: Kensuke Ushio | Character Design: Futoshi Nishiya | Production Company: Shochiku, Pony Canyon, Kodansha, ABC Animation, Quaras, Kyoto Animation | Release Date: September 17 2016 (Japan), February-June 2017 (Worldwide) | Rating: PG-13 (13 years old or older) | Score: 9.3/10