A Silent Voice (Japanese: 聲の形, Hepburn: Koe no Katachi, also translated as The Shape of Voice) PG-2017

Shoko and Shoya
©Futoshi Nishiya, Kyoto AnimationShochiku, Yoshitoki Ōima, Kodansha
Promotional movie poster

Japanese 聲の形
Hepburn Koe no Katachi
Directed by Naoko Yamada
Screenplay by Reiko Yoshida
Based on A Silent Voice
by Yoshitoki Ōima


Shoya and Shoko (Sixth Grade) 1st Manga Cover

Mom and I have been wanting to watch this since it was first shown in this country, but dad was so against it.  We had a chance last Tuesday, but he claimed that we were already late so we watched Alien Covenant instead.  Today, we were supposed to watch Colossal starring Anne Hathaway, but since he was already getting impatient(he had some transactions early in the morning and we bought a small cooking appliance in place of a broken one) and Colossal was still 45 minutes away, he agreed to purchase tickets for A SILENT VOICE.

We silently prayed that he would enjoy the film and thankfully he did. It might be set in Elementary and High School, but the problems and challenges are deep.  Even adults undergo them, ergo, everyone can relate.



*****

This movie is so close to home.  *Some* of the ladies of mom's side of the family are partially deaf, that's why if we are not careful, we could be deaf too.  Those who are not yet, but hopefully never would be,  would talk in high volumes when dealing with them, unless they have cochlear implants or hearing devices.  My grandma was not ashamed to wear a set.  Why should she be? Because of her hearing aids I was able to communicate with her well.  If she didn't tell me, I really wouldn't know.  

Mom does not want to use a hearing aid so when we talk to her, it's usually in a loud voice.   Hours later, I still couldn't control my voice or I don't know my decibels are still extra high.  Sometime it's the other way around.  I thought I was singing loud enough, but it turned out that people could barely hear me.  

Sometimes it gets so frustrating that I stopped going to places with the Deaf Ministry.  They are all in my heart and I love them, but if I am to serve them, I should serve my mother wholeheartedly first.


*****
The movie brought memories of childhood and  teenage years.

In High School, unless we were on a first name basis especially if we were friends, people would refer to us by our family name.  I have a global kind of surname, so sometimes a lot of people would turn around when someone calls out my family name.

In this movie, lest you get confused, they alternate the use of the surname and the given name, but it's mostly the surname that is used.

Elementary and High School have both bitter and sweet memories, but thankfully, there are sweeter memories than the bitter ones.


*****

Hearing, according to my audiologist friend, does not only involve the ear so sometimes doctors would declare that there is nothing wrong and the loss of hearing is probably psychosomatic, like what one doctor told my mom. Yes, it might really be psychosomatic or hypochondria, but what if it's not?  What if the hearing problem is real?  The patient should undergo hearing tests just to be sure.


*****
Bullies exist even in adulthood.  It's the ogre versus the Lilliputians or humans versus ants kind of life.  There are people who step on the little ones and they hurt those little ones in more ways than one.

*****
The stigma of being a bully, especially when the whole world is against you(like a class action suit), at times, lasts  a lifetime. Still, we should keep in mind that people do change for the better, so we should at least give those people a chance or two.


Shoya bullied Shoko who only wanted to be his friend and when Shoko was deeply hurt, everybody focused on getting mad at him, quashing all their faults aside.

Naoka was mad at Shoko, but it's more of frustration and jealousy than hatred.

****
The Shape of Voice touches the souls of the audience in different ways.  There are light moments too, but I reiterate, the problems in this movie are real.  In one way or another, we experience those kinds of excruciating pains, but thankfully, we overcome them through the help of our family and friends.

#family
#truefriendship
#notoselfpity
#deafness
#hardofhearing
#manga
#theshapeofvoice
#ASilentVoice

Why is hearing important?
Audiometry

From Wikipedia:
Character(Block letters: Given Name)Voice actor
Shōya Ishida (石田将也? Ishida Shōya)Miyu Irino
Mayu Matsuoka (elementary school student)
Shōko Nishimiya (西宮硝子? Nishimiya Shōko)Saori Hayami
Yuzuru Nishimiya (西宮結絃? Nishimiya Yuzuru)Aoi Yūki
Tomohiro Nagatsuka (永束友宏? Nagatsuka Tomohiro)Kenshō Ono
Naoka Ueno (植野直花? Ueno Naoka)Yūki Kaneko
Miyoko Sahara (佐原みよこ? Sahara Miyoko)Yui Ishikawa
Miki Kawai (川井みき? Kawai Miki)Megumi Han
Satoshi Mashiba (真柴智? Mashiba Satoshi)Toshiyuki Toyonaga
Kazuki Shimada (島田 一旗? Shimada Kazuki)Ryo Nishitani
Sachiko Kojima (elementary school student)
Keisuke Hirose (広瀬 啓祐? Hirose Keisuke)Takuya Masumoto
Hana Takeda (elementary school student)
Takeuchi (竹内?)Fuminori Komatsu
Miyako Ishida (石田 美也子? Ishida Miyako)Satsuki Yukino
Yaeko Nishimiya (西宮 八重子? Nishimiya Yaeko)Akiko Hiramatsu
Shōya's sister (将也の姉? Shōya no Ane)Ayano Hamaguchi
Maria Ishida (石田 マリア? Ishida Maria)Erena Kamata
Ito Nishimiya (西宮 いと? Nishimiya Ito)Ikuko Tani
Pedro (ペドロ? Pedoro)Ryunosuke Watanuki

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