Movie Review: A Silent Voice


Katie Keovongphet, Reporter

A Silent Voice (Koe No Katachi) is a 2016 Japanese animated film by the company Kyoto Animation. The movie was an adaptation of the graphic novel series by Yoshitoki Oima and addressed several issues such as bullying and suicide.

I watched this movie in quarantine with my sisters, and it was actually my fifth time seeing it. To me, the film speaks on many things in a realistic way with the scenes being presented nicely to build up tension until the resolution. I have the scenes memorized by heart! However, my older sister thought the movie was cliche and contained no surprises or tear-jerking parts, but she still found it entertaining and watched it until the end.  

According to a review by Maggie Lee on, the animated adaptation brought in nearly $20 million in Japan and managed to move into cinemas in Latin America, Asia and Europe. The movie follows former bully Shoya Ishida and Shouko Nishimiya, his deaf classmate. It begins in grade school and moves into the future in the second part of the film. 

To give a short summary that doesn’t spoil too much, A Silent Voice is a film where the bully, Ishida, becomes the bullied. He encounters his grade school victim, Nishimiya, years later in high school and becomes her friend. This leads to multiple events, bringing in both new characters that help shape their present relationship and old characters that contributed to Ishida’s bullying of Nishimiya in grade school and the bullying he experienced as a result of it. 

To be slightly critical, the side characters in the movie were somewhat generic. It contained the stereotypical mean girl, best friend and tomboy which was a bit of a disappointment, but this didn’t affect the movie too much, because each character played a role in the overall plot.

Additionally, there were some people that felt the film fell short of the original graphic novel, like  YouTube reviewer Lowart, who said some impactful scenes were left out or presented differently in the film adaptation. 

To be honest, I cried all five times I watched the movie, and I still highly recommend it, because it does a great job of portraying things that aren’t commonly seen in animated films such as disabilities. I’d recommend the movie to anyone, especially those that think animated films are childish and not for adults or those that enjoy sad movies. After all, Anime News Network stated that upon the film’s release in Japan in September 2016, it earned about $2.8 million USD in two days and sold 200,000 tickets for the weekend.