A Silent Voice Is An Anime Which Hurts More Than A Heartbreak
Even after watching tons of anime, A Silent Voice remains as one of the most well-written animated movies ever made. It focuses on strong themes which need to be discussed nowadays. To be honest, everyone needs to watch this. Especially if you’ve ever been bullied or have bullied someone.
Warning: The article contains a few spoilers.
A Silent Voice was released in Japan in September 2016. It follows the story of Shoko Nishimiya, a deaf girl who is transferred into sixth grade. She tries her best to befriend everyone despite her disability. However, she is soon made the target for bullying in class. The boys, most evidently Shoya Ishida bullies her by throwing away her hearing aids, yelling in her ears, etc, while the girls badmouth about her. After some time, Nishimiya leaves the school and Ishida is only held accountable for the bullying. Then Ishida is bullied and hated by everyone which leads to him becoming isolated and suicidal.
Whenever I feel like crying and being emotional, I watch this beautiful edit and this is what inspired me to write this article as well.
Now let’s discuss the themes focused on in A Silent Voice ↓↓↓
According to the director, bullying isn’t exactly the main theme of this anime but it’s more like a pathway towards showing Ishida’s mental health.
The important fact to notice here is that Ishida is alone blamed for being the bully. But similar to real-life cases of bullying, there are more people involved. Firstly, the school is to be blamed for not taking immediate strong actions against bullying and teaching their students why bullying is like an horrible act.
Secondly, the school’s management didn’t even make any rules against bullying after Nishimiya’s extreme bullying case. All of this means they did not even take it seriously.
Thirdly, bullies are not only the ones who do the bullying acts, but also the bystanders who stand there and enjoy it such as Kawai, or the ones who support it and badmouth such as Ueno.
There are so many anime out there, but few focus on characters with disabilities and their struggles in adjusting in the society, A Silent Voice is an exception.
Nishimiya is very cooperative, and she’s trying to interact with others. But they are not being acceptable towards her. This portrays the lack of efforts people are willing to put in our world for the disabled ones. The class, except the Sahara, isn’t even willing to spend only 3 minutes learning the sign language.
Ishida’s past as a bully makes him develop so much hate for himself that he no longer has the courage to look at people in the eyes. He hears voices of people talking bad about him, many times in his own head. So, he puts a cross on their face and closes his ears to run away from them. He battles with severe depression, which makes him suicidal.
Similarly, Nishimiya struggles from the trauma she faced from bullying. She only blames herself for being bullied and hates herself so much that she’s always willing to forgive others and do anything for their approval. Her self-hate makes her believed will be fine only if she kills herself.
Accountability and Forgiveness
If you’re guilty of an act, the first thing you need to do is realise your mistakes, that is what will lead to healing. Ishida knew he was wrong, and he learned the sign language, and tried his best to make it up to Nishimiya for it. Even when he’s slapped by her mother, or ridiculed by Yuzuru, Ishida continues trying to atone for his sins.
Nishimiya always forgives others, and that helps her move on from the past and give others another chance. If she didn’t, she might have continued hating Ishida and never could have experienced having such a good friend.
Importance of Self Love
Seeing Nishimiya beaten up, although she’s injured, made me tear up so much it was like my whole room is full of onions. Yet, she still asked for forgiveness and didn’t try to retaliate against Ueno. This just proves that self-love is extremely important.
Nishimiya loved Ishida, and they were spending wonderful time together. Yet, that wasn’t enough for Nishimiya to want to live. Despite being happy around Ishida, her strong feelings of self loathe were making her feel she will ruin everything for Ishida.
This is why, before loving anyone else, we must learn to love ourselves before.
I swear, Ishida and Nagatsuka’s friendship is too underrated. He’s the first genuine friend he makes in high school and their friendship is so significant because it shows that sometimes, one true friend can help you make it through your life’s difficulties.
When a person is going through mental health issues, a friend’s support can give you the push to move forward and even change your life. Thanks to Natatsuka fighting with Nishimiya’s so-called “boyfriend,” Ishida is able to meet her.
Here’s another reason why I love A Silent Voice: The character development. Throughout his time from Nishimiya leaving school to meeting her again, Ishida never tried to fix things for himself. Instead, he kept a blind eye to everything and decided to give up by suiciding.
However, when Ishida sets his mind over making things better, he does achieve happiness, although it was not easily earned. By showing this ending, the author sends a message that no matter how bad things are for you, do not give up. Your life can be improved as long as you give it your best.
Another thing I love about A Silent Voice is that the author uses humor in many moments to lighten up the mood. This makes it easier for viewers with a sensitive heart to watch the anime. Also, the colorful animation and music further makes it seem like a cool slice of life story.
I mean, I can’t believe she pulled off that joke for so long. Nagatsuka’s reaction to the truth had me falling off the bed from laughter. She’s so cute, though, I wish I had a boyfriend like that.
Now let’s discuss the supporting characters of A Silent Voice
Supporting Characters With Unique Personalities
Honestly, I loathe Ueno so much, I could write a whole article just hating on her.
The good thing about Ueno is, she openly shows who she is, so you wouldn’t really be “backstabbed” by her. But well, she is full of hate for others and never bothers to apologize to Nishimiya despite the horrible things she did to her. All she’s good at is saying the most horrible of things to others.
In many ways, Kawai is even worse than Ueno. She’s especially someone you can never trust. She puts up the “good-two shoes” act, but would always do what favor and play the victim. Girls who use tears to get away with their actions, the most annoying ones.
Kawai would always blame the other person and never take accountability for her actions. People hate her so much she even got voted as the 10th worst Waifu on MyWaifuList.
Not much needed to say here. Nagatsuka is like that wholesome self-proclaimed loyal best friend whose always there for you, supports you, and has unconditional love and care for you. We all need one of these friends in our lives.
All my younger sister likes to do is steal my clothes and tell my secrets to my mom. But Yuzuru is simply amazing. She’s one of the few people in Nishimiya’s life who genuinely cares for her. She’s super cute, extremely smart, and a character which adds humor to the anime.
I got weird serial killer vibes from him, but he’s actually a kind person who was bullied a lot in childhood. Due to that, he doesn’t tolerate bullying at all. He’s been lonely for a long time and that’s why he wanted to befriend Ishida who was also lonely. He tries to fit in the group, but knows that he’s an outsider.
Sahara is the nicest girl in the class. She befriends Nishimiya and is the only one who agrees to learning the sign language. However, Sahara is very self-conscious so when she starts being bullied too, she simply stops coming to the class.
She wants to stay and be there for Nishimiya, but she’s too insecure to face everyone, this causes her to feel very guilty. I think Sahara’s character is also relatable for many of us for when we want to be there for our friends but cannot build up the courage for it.
If you still haven’t watched this masterpiece, you must watch it right away. A Silent Voice teaches a life lesson and will give you an experience like others.
It’s a realistic, emotional and wholesome anime which has a satisfying ending and an unforgettable story. Trust me, it is worth the hype.