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Headscratchers / A Silent Voice

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  • How did the judge who mocked Nagatsuka's movie at the assembly get away with that? He starts with a creepy comment about how if he wanted to see Nagatsuka masturbating he would have snuck into his room at night, and it only gets worse from there. It's understandable how in a classroom setting bullying might go unreported, but making graphic comments like that on stage in front of the entire faculty and student body and maybe even the press seems like it would become a major scandal, except it never occurs to any of the characters that they might be able to have him punished.
    • Bullies come in all shapes and sizes. It's Truth in Television that adults in positions of power get away with saying shit, even if caught on video.
  • Exactly why did the teacher, and classmates, look shocked about various little problems with Nishimiya's disability? It's quite common that deaf people end up mute and can't talk properly, because they don't get to learn words the way most people do, by hearing them first and they can't hear themselves, making it difficult for them to know how to pronounce words. It's the same thing with her being tone-deaf. Did they not figure that such things would be an issue to begin with?
    • The kids probably hadn't had any interaction with people with disabilities similar to Nishimiya's before, and had no reason to research it. At their age (aren't they in elementary school or junior high at the beginning of the manga?), I myself didn't know deaf people didn't talk properly or at all until at least around fifth grade (when my mother explained it me so, and yes, I did felt very stupid since when she explained it seemed very obvious), since I had never interacted or seen a deaf person talking on any media (and given that this is Japan, I'm assuming there aren't many deaf people on TV as well). The teacher probably should've known better, but perhaps he never had a child with disabilities in his classes and didn't know how to deal with it now that a deaf girl was one of his students.
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    • The better question is why they had her taking music class at all. It's like asking the kid with no legs to run a mile. Sure with the right tools he can do it, but if you don't have those tools you shouldn't expect him/her to do it.
      • They were completely unprepared to deal with someone with a disability, it's the most likely answer. I can see a teacher thinking that keeping Nishimiya from attending the class or acting like she was different from the other students would be end up in trouble.
      • Disability rights are different in Japan than in other countries. In the US for example, laws like Americans with Disabilities Act and IDEA require schools to provide accommodation for students with disabilities (in Shouko’s case a sign language interpreter would be employed to help her in lectures). In Japan the idea of accommodation isn’t as well known since there isn’t a specific law that requires it. In 2014, Japan became the 140th nation to ratify the UN Convention of the Rights of People with Disabilities. The first one-shot was published in 2008. The situation in Japan is hopefully better now than 10 years ago.
  • This part of both the manga and the movie absolutely infuriate me to no end: Why the hell does Ueno NOT get punished for all the shit she pulled on Shouko? I mean, this is the girl who started the whole trend of ripping Shouko's hearing aids out, intentionally drove away the one person who dared to be her friend from school, continually treats Shouko like dog shit for really petty reasons, is convinced she's some kind of scheming manipulator who uses her disability to gain pity from people (How she came to that conclusion I have no idea, but we all know it's not true), claims Shouko brought all the bullying on herself because she didn't meet everyone's unrealistic standards or some bullshit like that, and even went as far as to kick her around and beat her up after her attempt at killing herself, blaming her for everything, claiming she's somehow playing the victim (Which, newsflash bitch, she is a victim, not playing at it, and you're not helping her situation any), and saying she should have died instead! Does this girl not even consider that maybe her bitchy personality is the reason why Shouko wanted to end her life in the first place? I mean, sure, beat up a girl who's at the lowest point in her life and add insult to injury! That's not gonna traumatize her any more than she already is! Plus, why is she so convinced Shouko's some kind of scheming manipulator when she's done absolutely nothing to her or anyone else? The explanation that she was jealous that Shouko got all of Shouya's attention is bullshit because Shouko never even WANTED Shouya's attention to begin with. Seriously, I know Japan has a pretty apathetic view towards bullying in general, but if my family saw someone treating me like that, they'd call the police on her ass and send her to juvie! Or at the very least call her parents and tell them to punish their kid for their inexcusable behavior! Saying that Shouko, a deaf girl who just wants to go to school and live her like like any other kid, is playing the victim when she clearly isn't, is like telling an autistic kid that they're faking their sensory issues and that they have to not be autistic or else they're a blight on the human race. The ending to the manga only makes this worse by having Shouko, Miyoko, and Ueno go to fashion college together, where Shouko will very likely inevitably wind up being Ueno's personal punching bag yet again. Just...why?
    • To answer the above person's question, unfortunately this actually is in keeping with Shouko's character. Shouko is just an extremely forgiving person by nature; she did forgive Shouya after all. Shouko does not hate people who torment her because she hates herself instead, so she tends to actually agree with her tormentors' negative views about her (as Shouko says to Ueno: "I don't hate you, I hate myself"). So it really is in character for Shouko to let Ueno back into her life in college, because that's in keeping with the forgiving personality Shouko has demonstrated throughout the story.
    • The OP and the first responder appear to not understand one of the underlining lessons of the storyline: forgiveness. When you forgive someone, you are choosing to not hold resentment towards someone, and instead choosing to move on with your life - which is psychologically far more healthy than holding a grudge, which is the equivalent of drinking poison and hoping someone you hate dies instead. Shouko first forgave Shouya for bullying her in the past, primarily because he wanted to make amends with her. Then she forgave herself after her attempted suicide failed; she realized she couldn’t let her troubles drag her down to the point where she would not only harm herself, but other people as well who cared about her - and would be devastated if she was no longer in their lives (e.g. Shouya). Finally, she forgave Ueno, because she knew that although Ueno wouldn’t apologize for her unjustifiable actions, Shouko wouldn’t let resentment of any kind keep her from living a happier life with someone she loves. The final point is the most powerful in this storyline; it shows the mental resilience Shouko has developed over time to the point where she is a happier individual who can finally enjoy life. Not everyone will apologize for their cruel actions against you, but you don’t need to continue “drinking poison” through nursing a grudge until it eats away at your very being.
      • I do understand the theme of the movie, and I'm not saying Shouko should nurse a grudge against Ueno forever and ever. That's ridiculous. I'm just saying that Ueno received very little punishment or comeuppance for all of the violent bullying she put Shouko through.

Alternative Title(s): Koe No Katachi


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