Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A Silent Voice

A Silent Voice (Japanese title is Koe no Katachi) is a story about primary school classmates who are separated and then meet again when they are in high school. Shoko Nishimiya is a deaf girl who gets bullied by her classmates until the point whereby she transfers school. When the class is confronted about this, Shoya Ishida takes the blame. He is not the only bully but he is the biggest bully. When he tries to defend himself that he is not the only one being mean, the other small bullies turn against him. Because of this, Ishida becomes the outcast until his high school to the point where he considers suicide. Until one day he meets Nishimiya again and he tries to make amends.

This movie was out of my radar and I only came to know about it when a colleague asked me if I already watched this. By then, it was already airing for 1 week. I only watched it yesterday since I was off anyway. I was reluctant to watch as the graphics is not that appealing. However, the reviews were pretty good and some even said that it is better than Kimi no Na Wa. Hmm.. I should have trusted my gut feeling to judge an anime by its graphics as I don't really enjoy this movie. Haha...

Usually I like things to be somewhat real but A Silent Voice is too real that it becomes too painful and too boring to watch. Lets go through the painful part first. It is painful to see the bullying and the fake friendship things because they are real. That is also what happen in real life: people bully those different from them and when confronted, bullies will never admit that they are bullying. It is also painful that classmates are usually fake friends. It is also painful to see how people don't change with time: the coward remains a coward, the nasty remains nasty, the fake remains fake, etc.

At the same time, it is boring because watching this is basically watching real life in an anime. It is so real and painful as I mentioned in the above paragraph that the usual fiction stuff where everything ends in a happy ending is absent. People and personalities simply do not change over night or over the years and this is shown here. Those irritating kids in primary school remain as such even when they are in high school. Just like real life, we just have to accept one another's suckiness and choose to take it or leave it.

This movie reminds me of a classmate in secondary school who is also has hearing and speaking disabilities. I admit that I was not an angel who deliberately wanted to be helpful but I would help and not avoid him. However, I am also proud that I am not like those in typical Japanese anime/drama who try to be very helpful but at the back actually get frustrated. Interestingly, there was no bully too in the class. In a hindsight, perhaps it is because we were secondary school students and hence a bit more mature than primary school children in the movie. Yes, primary school children is more childish and I can imagine they don't know how to treat a disabled a classmate and end up bullying. However, the teacher is partly to blame since he is not doing anything and the bullying simply spirals out of control. Aaargh.. I was not exactly a jerk but now thinking back, I feel like a jerk for not doing more to help him back then.

Maybe it is just me but I really don't find this movie enjoyable or touching. I don't even know how people can consider this is better than Kimi no Na Wa as well.

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