‘A Silent Voice’ portrays anime’s drama

Xanatha Dowden, Staff Reporter

“A Silent Voice,” or Koe No Katachi, is a drama/romance anime movie directed by Naoko Yamada. The film features Robbie Daymond as Shoya Ishida, Lexi Marman Cowden as Shoko Nishimiya, Kristen Sullivan as Shoko’s younger sister Yuzuru Nishimiya and Graham Halstead as Shoya’s best friend, Tomohiro Nagatsuka. “A Silent Voice” was released in 2016 and is available on Netflix.

When Shoya Ishida was younger, he bullied Shoko Nishimiya, the new deaf student. Once Shoko got hearing aids, Shoya and his friends would rip them out of her ears and break them. After getting hurt multiple times, Shoko’s family moved. Shoya’s friends turn on him, saying Shoya was the only one who bullied Shoko, and he ends up the victim of his friends’ bullying. In attempts to make amends with Shoko, Shoya visits her at her new school and learns sign language. After becoming friends with Shoya again, new opportunities come into Shoko’s life, from making new friends to gaining new ones back.

It took two years for Kyoto Animation to finish Yamada’s film. “A Silent Voice” was inspired by the manga book series, “The Shape of the Voice.” I think the first four books of the series are best represented in the film. The first volume focuses on the elementary school scenes, where Shoya torments Shoko, the second book introduces Tomohiro and Yuzuru and volume three brings in Miyoko, Shoko’s friend, and Naoka (Yamada puts herself in the story). It ends with Shoko’s attempting to confess her feelings to Shoya. This happens throughout the movie, from memories when they were children to when old friends come back into Shoya’s life.

“A Silent Voice” was beautiful to watch. The voice acting was spot on. The colors complemented the setting, and when needed, the mood of the scene. The movie shifts from a tragedy to a love story. I recommend Yamada’s film for fellow anime lovers.