Incredible animation helps you forget common plot of ‘A Silent Voice’

Armando Lopez, Critic

A Silent Voice is a romantic animation movie based on the manga by Yoshitoki Ōima and is easiest to understand if you have dealt with some sort of isolation or bullying.

The main antagonist, Shoya Ishida, starts off as an average class-clown type student, but when the new student, Shouko Nishimayi shows up, Shoya becomes a big trouble maker. With this experience, Shoya faces great character development throughout the movie along with other characters who seem to impact his development.

Shoya is full of regret and faces loneliness, mental illness, and even problems forming bonds with those around him. He is a straightforward guy and in some cases, that makes him seem like a jerk. At the start, he really is a jerk towards Shouko but it becomes very clear how Shoya is trying to change and be better which is very commendable.

It’s not really much of a romantic animation, although it does have the aspects of one like the description states but it is the best genre to categorize it under. To take in the depths of this character’s social anxiety he can only look at certain people in the eyes. As the audience, we are also not allowed to look at the new people Shoya meets eyes because they are blocked by a black bar and fall off like a sticker when he befriends someone.

One problem with this movie is Shouko could very well have been the protagonist, but since the story focuses on Shoya, trying to get those he hurt to forgive him she is not. This is a problem because not many people can forgive Shoya and may even find him repulsive. This could lead to most people trying to ignore the main character and focus on other characters and their actions.

Shoya is not the only unlikeable character and I am sure many would hate Naoka Ueno. At first, Naoka seemed like a nice girl and somewhat Shoukos friend but as Shoya regretted his decisions and tried to make amends Naoka became the antagonist throughout the rest of the story. 

The bright colors, the fireworks, style, and culture represented in the film were incredible, regardless of the quality of the story. Usually, it is easy to know what to expect, and for the most part, all went according to plan, but there are a couple of surprises this story may have brought to viewers if you truly wish to understand the characters.