A Silent Voice - Reviews

Alt title: Koe no Katachi

interregnum's avatar
May 23, 2017

Forget you ever heard of this film. Go read the manga. 

No, seriously: skip…this…movie. 

It’s an overwhelmingly minority opinion, I know, but A Silent Voice is a slapdash, choppy, depthless summary of a remarkable, heartrending story of the despairing consequences from the most basic of our childhood stupidities: our ignorance of empathy. It’s a brilliant, brilliant story--and it deserves better than what’s in this film. 

A Silent Voice is a series--and I emphasize series--based on character progressions over a period of months. And for a fair number of characters. Is it adaptable? Absolutely. Closely adaptable? No--at least, not as a movie. There are too many moving parts, too many characters with their own intertwining storylines to cohesively tackle in two hours. There just isn’t space for it--at least, not without drastically trimming plot and character alike. 

Which it doesn’t. 

Rather, what we get is an attempt to faithfully hit all the big story beats and images from the manga, and, in so doing, the movie overlooks its first duty as a movie: tell a good story. Everyone and everything is so undefined, here, that I’m not sure there was even a recognizable arc to the story. 

It’s not unwatchable, but it may as well be.

1/10 story
6/10 animation
5/10 sound
1/10 characters
3/10 overall
RRRNIER's avatar
Apr 18, 2017

This movie may sound like another cliche scenario but it's completely packaged with only original goodness, The animation was one of the key element for the success of the movie each panel used vibrant and different colors to sink that scene into our heads deep. The author made a clear distinction between love and hate characters, what she wanted u to hate and what she wanted u to love and that makes it enjoying this movie, to finish off our destroyed heart the movie finishes off with Aiko, the ending song make you have flashbacks about the movie and I reckon it's a great way to end the movie. 

shini taku nata kedo ii tomodachi ga iru kara yameta o(^∀^*)o

(not just silent voice but your name as well after you watch this movie u can watch any other anime but u will definitely feel like any other anime that you're watching right now is shit no matter what you watch)

10/10 story
10/10 animation
9/10 sound
10/10 characters
9.8/10 overall
muonsei's avatar
May 10, 2017

This review is very late because of one big reason: the release of Koe no Katachi in Philippine cinemas was delayed. Today, May 10, is the first day of its showing in the Philippines and I have no regrets watching it!

Story: Realistic. Let's face it, we have people like Nishimiya around us. All of us don't do these things but sometimes we ridicule them, sometimes we ignore them (and ignoring them isn't doing anything good at all, too). The story of Koe no Katachi shows us how to understand people like them. There are only a few animes out there about deaf-mute people and this is a jewel that shows the reality about it: fitting in, being bullied, contemplating on life, thinking about ending one's own life, et cetera. However, I have difficulty understanding some parts of it since I don't know sign language.

Animation: I really can't say anything about the animation because to me it's already really, really good. Though it can be annoying sometimes, I really liked the X-marks on the people.

Sound: The BGMs in each scene fit really well, but I think they weren't enough to get tears out of me, sadly.

Characters: The characters were very relateable. Just like Ishida, I have difficulty looking at people straight for some reason. Maybe it's because I have the tendency to run away (like Sahara)? I also think that I am self-righteous just like Kawai. Anyway, leaving comparisons to myself aside, the characters developed quite well. The scene at the end where they met at Ishida's school festival wrapped everything up. The movie also shows the sacrifices people do for their differently-abled loved ones.

Side note: Thumbs up to the voice actors, especially Nishimiya's. For the first time I finally heard a realistic portrayal of a deaf-mute in something that's not live action. Everyone did a great job of letting the characters' feelings reach the audience.

This masterpiece definitely deserves to be rewatched in the future!

10/10 story
10/10 animation
9/10 sound
10/10 characters
9.8/10 overall
PowerUpOrDie's avatar
Dec 26, 2016

When work took me to Japan recently I had to catch this film in theaters, never mind that I can't speak Japanese and so far there are no legal translations (Tracking down the Shinjuku Picadilly theater wasn't easy either). I've read the manga so many times that subtitles or a dub were unnecessary, though I suppose such blatant fanboyism does undermine my objectivity. Well, here's the best I can do to give a balanced review.


In order to accomodate the demands of making a feature film, the storyline of A Silent Voice has been streamlined. The main arc revolving around Shoya and Shokko is largely intact, but to keep the film moving and focused a lot of the side arcs were drastically trimmed or removed (most notably Tomohiro's home-made movie. The movie arc was cut for the sake of the film, how meta is that?). Even with the cuts the movie clocks in at a solid 2hrs 10 minutes, so I can understand why the writers would be pragmatic and stick to just the necessary parts. As long as you go in realizing you'll be getting the 'movie version' of A Silent Voice you'll enjoy it.


Kyoto Animation on a movie budget. Need I say more? Well I probably should... The animation fludity is very solid, but this movie hits a home run on still images. The film goes for a pastel palette that gives it a very sweet and relaxing vibe without going overboard. There's a clever use of shot composition, such as often focusing on the ground and other character's legs while Shoya is talking, to emphasize his isolation. The way Tomohiro's trademark nervous shaking was animated was particularly amusing. Overall, the animation is very good.


The sound in this movie just plain works. I enjoyed listening despite not understanding more than one word out of one hundred. The voice acting is good, especially Shokko. The OST is mostly low-key, setting the tone with soft pianos and xylophones. However, it ramps up to 11 in critical emotional moments, particularly the climactic scene at the end of manga vol. 5 (you know the one). I was feeling tense in that scene and already knew how it ended!


You get more of the 101 version of a character rather than their full nuance, due to the more streamlined nature of the film's story. Unavoidable, and KyoAni did as well as anyone could expect them to. Still, they work well. It's in the nature of film to trade off advantages in visuals and sound for greater limitations on storytelling, so I accept this. Besides, the characterization and character growth is still solid.


I'm waiting with bated breath for this movie to be licensed and released in the USA. It's everything fans of the manga could ask for and an excellent film for those new to the story of A Silent Voice.

8.5/10 story
8/10 animation
9/10 sound
8/10 characters
9/10 overall
ThatAnimeSnob's avatar
Jun 9, 2017

This movie came out a few months after Your Name and was considered the best movie of all times, just like Your Name was called that, and everything that is new after it. Everything is the best whatever of all times when it’s new. To its credit I do agree A Silent Voice is better than Your Name, since it doesn’t have time reset bullshit and amnesia nonsense, plus the main two characters spend some time being physically close to each other before the romance kicks in. Other than that, there’s not much of a story going on and the cast can all be described in a couple of lines. Everything plays out as predictably as you can imagine it from the trailer alone, and if you are looking for pretty colors and an excuse get the feels then it’s a fine movie.

I am not going to evaluate it based on how much I cried, which is what most use as supposed evidence of quality. If I go by that metric then A Silent Voice is terrible because I didn’t cry nor felt anything once it was over. Unless boredom can be included, which would count against it. The reason for that is simple. There was nothing relatable as far as I’m concerned, since my entertainment growing up was giant robots and space armadas blowing shit up.

The setting is for the billionth time about bland high schools, just like 99% of every other anime that is coming out today. And it’s about bullying, which is something 99% of school anime include at least once. Was it looked into better than usual? Yes it did, since it had repercussions and they weren’t cheap excuses for revengeporn. Because if you didn’t know, bullies are some of the most overused low-level bad guys, almost as frequent as Nazis and English noblemen. In this movie they don’t exist just to be hated and punched to the face relentlessly. They are actually the main character and he regrets his actions, trying to be a better man.

I make it sound to be amazing, but it’s not. This ain’t Onani Master Kurosawa, because the bully gets to date the girl he bullies. It’s low-key Stockholm syndrome and fairly silly, just like all teen dramedy stories are. Just sappy soap operas. And I was never a fan of them; my entertainment growing up was giant robots and space armadas blowing shit up.

‘Oh Snob, you heartless old timer, you don’t have a heart for saying such a thing’ many will say. No, I have a heart and it was pumping blood in my fist so I can plant it in some bully’s face. You see, back in my time at school, bullying wasn’t some evil thing. It was part of growing up. I was bullied in high school for being the weird guy who watches anime and doesn’t like sports. A few times I also bullied others weaker and younger than me for some other crap they liked. Why? Because power, that’s why. The strong bully the weak, it’s how life was back then. If you didn’t want to be bullied, you would punch your bullies as hard as you can. Then they would leave you to go bully someone who doesn’t fight back. Oh, and needless to say nobody ever attempted suicide because of school bullying. He would be mocked endlessly, he wouldn’t be allowed to be buried in a proper cemetery, and he would burn in hell forever, because that is what our religion was preaching. Bullying was just something you had to take like a man.

And then I watched this movie which is the polar opposite of how I grew up. Can anyone blame me for finding it boring? My generation’s response to bullying was Karate Kid. You wax on, wax off, and you kick each other’s asses until you lose interest. You don’t attempt suicide, and you don’t fall in love with the ones you bully. It sounds like a sick fetish. Those glorious times are gone and now everyone is overemotional. All of a sudden bullying is bad and there is nothing strange in falling in love with your victims.

And they just had to make the victim a deaf girl that is cute and shy so everybody would want to protect that smile, regardless of her not having any talents or much of a personality. Basically the same as minorities who demand respect for being unable to do simple things as easily as the rest of us can. And if that doesn’t work, they try to kill themselves either for attention or because they face a most unbearable… first world problem… in high school. Well, shit mate, if you can’t handle that how do you expect to survive in the adult workforce? Bullying in my time was a training arc in a way, to toughen you up for when you get out there. How well will you faire when you show your bio and it says “I tried to kill myself at school because some students were being mean”? He will show you the door, you know?

Anyways, there is no death in this movie because it’s a teen flick aiming at making you cry and stuff. The bully does some improbable physics and grabs the cute deaf girl midair, like he is the Flash or something, and then they fall in love because teen flicks will keep teen flicking as they are supposed to. Also it’s an anime romance. It’s supposed to have highly problematic romantic interests based on abuse and violence that would never end well in real life. You know, the timid girl who wants to tame the edgy bad boy, and stuff.

It’s unbearably sappy because it’s supposed to be. Also the reason why, as far as I see it, it’s not real, realistic, relatable, and therefore it gives me nothing to be emotional about. Bullying was acceptable and my entertainment growing up was giant robots and space armadas blowing shit up. Also, loving someone for torturing you was the basis of the beaten up housewife who doesn’t dare to leave her terrible husband.

Oh, also, from personal experience dealing with deaf people I can tell you it can get very exhausting. I had a friend who was gradually losing his hearing as time went on. We reached a point where I had to be yelling the same thing 3 times. There was no such problem in this movie, nobody was getting frustrated with how he couldn’t communicate with the girl. All they cared about was protecting the smile of some cute defenseless girl. Once again, completely unrelatable as far as I’m concerned and why it’s the most terrible movie ever made because it didn’t make me cry.

But hey, look on the bright side. It’s better than Your Name. Hell, it’s better than Anthem of the Heart, which was also about a handicapped girl and lots of vomiting high school shenanigans. Well done A Silent Voice, you are the least awful of these three. If only that meant anything when many fans of the manga disliked the movie for not being a faithful adaptation of the source. It really speaks volumes regarding the actual quality of a product when the very fans of the story don’t like this movie. It makes it seem like you get all emotional over a faulty derivative instead of the REAL thing.

Not that it had an effect on me, either way. Back in my days-blahblah-blowing shit up. I didn’t like it. It wasn’t real, it wasn’t emotional, it wasn’t relatable. At least it looked nice, I guess.

4/10 story
9/10 animation
8/10 sound
5/10 characters
5/10 overall