Koe no Katachi (A Silent Voice) by Yoshitoki Ōima
Was published in English by Kodansha Comics USA as A Silent Voice from May 26, 2015 to May 31, 2016
7 book series
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The story revolves around Nishimiya Shōko, a grade school student who has impaired hearing. She transfers into a new school, where she is bullied by her classmates, especially Ishida Shouya. It gets to the point where she transfers to another school and as a result, Shouya is ostracized and bullied himself, with no friends to speak of and no plans for the future. Years later, he sets himself on a path to redemption.
It’s been quite a long time since I indulge myself into reading manga even though I never stopped watching anime, haha. I guess it’s time to catch up with my manga reading list eh?
Koe no Katachi or is also known as A Silent Voice wasn’t really in my list, but I’ve been seeing a lot of post about it in my Facebook feeds and there’s a movie just shown. They said it’s going to be a story that we could all of relate so I realized that I need to try and see what’s the fuss is all about. Besides, it’s only 66 chapters.
When I decided to read this story, I expected that this is going to be good but I didn’t expected that I will like it right away. The first chapter was some kind of sypnosis taken from Ishida’s (Shouya) POV. It’s about what happened in their elementary years where he bullied a transferred student who has impaired hearing. When I decided to read this manga, I already know about the bullying so I thought I’m calm, but reading how he bullied Nishimiya, I was really really really mad.
Btw, this review is going to be really long if I’ll review each chapters one by one so instead, I’m going to write this review as a whole.
This story started a flashback of Ishida’s elementary years when their teacher introduces a new transferred student Nishimiya Shōko, which became a target of bullying because of her disability. It was ofcourse started by Ishida and reading about what he did to her really makes me mad. Back then, Ishida really hates her. He thinks she’s a nuisance and he blames her for everything that is happening to him and for ruining the whole class. His bullying to her escalated until the time comes that he became the target of bullying too. That intensified his anger towards her that they’ve been engaged into a physical fight. The next day, they just found out that she transferred. That’s also the start where he was bullied big time and left alone with no friends to speak to and absolutely no plans for the future.
All were explained properly on how the bully was now become the one being bullied. Well, karma is a b*tch they said, and I think he just got his share much sooner. And I would be lying if I said he didn’t deserve it, because he really did. I know, I know, no one deserves to be bullied and even though I think he deserves it, I still feel sorry for him especially that even his teacher didn’t believed him when he said that he was bullied and that he even told him that he kind of deserves it. Like what the heck?! That teacher doesn’t deserve to be a teacher at all! Isn’t he the adult here?!
I really want this review to be spoiler free, but it can’t be helped. So I’m going to speak straight ahead and tell you what I really think about this story 😉
Ishida is now a senior in high school and he practically planned everything and save some money by selling all his belongings to maybe not feel guilty about what he’s going to do. He’s not angry to Nishimiya like he did before but he is now guilty of what he did to her. After saying sorry to Nishimiya in person, he’s planning to jump off the bridge and commit suicide. Yep. This story is kind of dark, well, what do you expect? Bullying sometimes leads to suicide, but instead of the one being bullied, it’s the bully who’s committing it. But after meeting Nishimiya again and talked to her, he kind of changed his mind. I really thought that she will kick his butt after what he did, but she just smiled. Wow, this girl really is so nice and so innocent even after all that happened to her.
Their first meeting after 5 years didn’t just stopped there until they finally became friends, isn’t that just nice? I’m still suppose to hate Ishida because of what he did to Nishimiya before but after what he endured and he finally decided to live his life repenting and making sure she’ll be happy again, I guess that should be enough eh?
Ishida then helped Nishimiya to reunite with Sahara, their classmate in elementary and every kids that was supposed to be close to her. All was doing great actually and btw, we’ve got to meet Nishimiya’s younger sister Yuzuru too. She was bullied too before because of her sister’s condition so I really thought she’ll going to resent her for that, but instead she’s protective of her that she even looks like a guy now because of her short hair. After the incident at school, she did her best to make her sister happy. But I guess by now she understands that she became more happier now that Ishida is here. I know it’s bound to happen but I still can’t contain it when Nishimiya tried to tell Ishida that she likes him. Aww, young love indeed.
Nishimiya was then reunited with Ueno and Kawai but it wasn’t that pleasant like it did with Sahara. These kids really have a lot of issues and is acting like they didn’t do anything wrong to Nishimiya. Ofcourse it’s Ishida that should be blame the most but those two including his former “supposed” friends are to blame too. They did some nasty things too anyway. It happened too fast that I was surprised when Nishimiya tried to commit suicide ’til Ishida came to rescue her, but he then fell and was comatose. I know Ueno was a b*tch but she became nastier after the accident. My! I really wanted to get her out of the manga and strangle her. So is Kawai, she’s acting nice and all but deep inside she’s really not that nice.
I think all of them has their own issues including both Ishida and Nishimiya’s mothers but I’m glad that in the end, they both settled it. Well, to be correct, they all actually settled it. I’m just happy that finally all of them is in the right track especially Nishimiya.
I really like this story. I’ve been into romance lately and it’s really kind of hard to sway myself away from that mood, but this story just did that as early as its first chapter. I love the message of this story. It is really something that all of us should ponder and learn especially younger readers. It doesn’t just talk about bullying, redemption, family but also about friendship and how to overcome your fear. All of us can totally relate to each characters; you could either relate to Ishida, to Nishimiya, Nagatsuka, Ueno etc.
It was also great that the author added the part about Nishimiya’s mom; on what happened why she’s so strict to her and even mean especially about her haircut when she was in Elementary. And speaking of haircut, I think it’s because of Ishida’s mother that she’s influenced to take hair dressing course.
It was actually my first time reading a story where the main character has disability and it was really kind of nice. Well, scratch that, it was great! I am giving this story a 4.5 stars for now because I’m waiting for some new updates. Hope this time Nishimiya and Ishida will finally be involved romantically? Wishful thinking.
So that’s it. Now I’m ready to watch the movie which I will be adding the trailer below 😉
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