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A Silent Voice 2016 Animated Japanese Movie Review

A Silent Voice

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Japanese high school student Shoya Ishida intends to kill himself when he changes his mind at the last minute and decides to wrap up a loose end. It is revealed that in sixth grade a new student named Shoko Nishimiya joins Shoya’s class and is revealed to be deaf. She tries to integrate with the class but ends up being an easy target for Shoya and his friends to bully. When word of the bullying reaches the principal, Shoya is singled out as the culprit by his teacher resulting in the class’s bullying becoming directed toward him. Shoya blames Shoko, and the two get into a physical altercation. Shoko is subsequently transferred to another school and Shoya later finds a notebook Shoko left behind and keeps it.

Being outcasted throughout middle school for his reputation as a bully, Shoya, now in highschool is a depressed loner who is unable to look others in the eyes and envisions a “X” mark over people’s faces. To wrap up his loose end, Shoya goes to return Shoko’s notebook at the sign language center and apologize but panics and asks to be friends instead. Shoko accepts his offer, leading Shoya to endeavor to make up for his bullying of Shoko. Tomohiro Nagatsuka, another loner, also befriends Shoya after he helps him out with a bully.

One day, Shoya accidentally drops Shoko’s notebook into a river, he then jumps in to retrieve it, which is prohibited. Yuzuru, Shoko’s younger sister, takes a photo of Shoya jumping in and posts it online to get revenge on him, eventually leading to Shoya getting suspended. Shoya finds Yuzuru, who ran away from home, and brings her to stay at his house. When she leaves in the middle of the night, Shoya follows and the two of them make up with each other and become friends.

Shoya and Shoko reunite with Miyoko Sahara, a classmate from elementary school who was friendly to Shoko. Shoko later gives Shoya a gift and confesses her feelings for him, but because she tries to speak her affections rather than signing them out, Shoya mishears her.

Shoya invites Shoko to an amusement park with Tomohiro, Miyoko, Miki Kawai (another classmate from elementary school) and Satoshi Mashiba (Miki’s friend). There, they joined by another classmate from elementary school, Naoka Ueno, who drags Shoko into a ferris wheel. Naoka voices her feelings of hatred for Shoko, blaming her for creating a rift between her and Shoya, whom she is infatuated with. Yuzuru, who had been secretly recording the encounter, shows the video of this to Shoya. Desperate to remain blameless for her part in bullying Shoko following the leak, Miki exposes Shoya’s past to the students who were oblivious to it. Later, she attempts to apologize to the group, but Shoya blows everyone off after Naoka remains dismissive.

Shoya learns Shoko and Yuzuru’s grandmother has died recently. To cheer them up, Shoya takes them to the countryside and sees that Shoko blames herself for everything that has happened to him. Shoya decides to devote his entire social life to the sisters.

[Source: Wikipedia]