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Film / A Silent Voice

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An anime film adaptation of Yoshitoki Oima's manga of the same name, produced by Kyoto Animation and released to Japanese theaters on September 17, 2016. The movie was directed by Naoko Yamada and written by Reiko Yoshida, with Futoshi Nishiya serving as character designer. The film is licenced by Anime Limited in the UK, who got NYAV Post to produce the dub. Madman Entertainment has the Australian rights.

Shoko Nishimiya, an elementary school-girl with impaired hearing, transfers into a class made up of mostly normal students. Although she tries to reach out to her classmates, her disability makes her an easy target for bullying. Eventually, the physical and emotional abuse escalates to the point where she is forced to leave.

The class and teacher refuse to take responsibility for their complicity in the bullying and instead push all of the blame onto a single participant: Shoya Ishida. He is ostracised by his former friends and becomes a victim of their bullying himself, forcing him to spend the rest of his schooldays alone and bitter. He falls into a deep depression and comes to realise the gravity of what he did to Shoko, attempting to make amends in his own small ways, such as taking a sign-language class.


Years later as a high schooler, he happens to meet Shoko again and finally has a chance to apologise for his past actions. The story unfolds as Shoya and Shoko get to know each other as real people and struggle with the emotional scars of their pasts.

This film contains examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: Shouko's romantic feelings and failed confession to Shouya isn't entirely forgotten in the film, but the group's falling out and Shoya falling into a coma understandably take greater priority.
  • Academic Alpha Bitch: Shoya sees Kawai as one, and he has plenty of reason to think this, considering that most of Kawai's actions are made with her academic reputation in mind.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • In the original manga, Takeuchi-sensei tries to stop the bullying of Nishimiya at first, but then becomes apathetic, and when Ishida subsequently gets bullied, Takeuchi-sensei tells Ishida he brought it on himself. In the movie, he consistently tells Ishida to stop bullying Nishimiya, and he also doesn't accuse Ishida of bringing his problems down on himself when Ishida's life goes down the tubes.
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    • Miki Kawai comes off as a much worse person in the manga than in the movie, because in the manga, we see Kawai joining in on Nishimiya's bullying by laughing along with it, so Kawai looks like a hypocrite when she cries about her innocence later. But in the movie, we really only see Kawai being nice to Nishimiya, so the only real hint of Kawai's original manga characterization is when she gets Ishida in trouble by telling everyone about his past misdeeds, which can still be interpreted as her simply being scared of being tarred with Guilt by Association by her peers, so Kawai comes off as much nicer in the movie.
    • Nishimiya's mother is harsh in both manga and movie, but she comes across as more sympathetic in the movie, because in the original manga, she was initially very hard on her daughter before softening later, but in the movie, we only see her being harsh in Nishimiya's defense.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Due to the film being a Pragmatic Adaptation much of Kawai's narcissism and Satoshi's toxic Bully Hunter complex gets removed in the film.
  • Compressed Adaptation: The anime adaptation is an impressively downplayed example of this; despite being only a single 129-minute film, it manages to fit almost the entire story of the 62-chapter manga. The only major aspects of the story left out were the group attempting to make a film, which the movie arguably works fine without, and the Distant Finale, ending instead at the school festival.
  • Hate Sink: Naoka Ueno, who is shown being mean, even violent, and unapologetic.
  • Product Placement: The Nikon brand is popping up a couple of times in the movie.
  • Shout-Out: In the English dub: "Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to assist us in baking our mother's birthday cake."

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