It rarely happens for an animation to feature a deaf character until the upcoming Japanese animation called “Koe no Katachi” or “A Silent Voice” which literally means “The Shape of Voice” in English. This is going to be an emotional character animation which will be shown nationwide in Japan this coming September 17, 2016. It will come in Japanese subtitles which will benefit those who are hearing impaired.
The story revolves around two characters, namely Shoda Ishida and Shoko Nishimiya. Ishida used to be a delinquent in their elementary days as he often bullied Nishimiya, his deaf classmate. Because of this, Nishimiya transferred to another school which made his friends and teachers turn against Ishida. He lost all of his friends and thought about ending his life until he met Nishimiya again a few years later. He tried rekindling their past by redeeming a lost connection. Most of the story focused on him trying to introduce Nishimiya to his old classmates and friends. Another focus of the story was the group relationship they had in creating a film for a competition. Several personal challenges and conflicts arose which even led to Nishimiya’s attempted suicide. But in the end, they all graduate high school and subsequently parted ways and reunited again in their Coming of Age days.
The film was derived from a manga created by Yoshitoki Oima. Its serialization only began in 2013 after starting up as a one-shot film in 2011. It became popular and was also released in North America. It has attracted popular acclaims which made its adaptation in theatrical animation. The subtitled version will only be shown once a day during the screening period from September 24 to 30, 2016. Producers have yet to consider extending these versions for the sake of the hearing impaired anime fans. The decision will depend on the success of the film on the upcoming release.
This emotional animation is something to look forward to in the coming months. It gives so much lesson about bullying which is considered to be growing in the country. Somehow, the film might be able to give awareness to both young and adult to recognize and neutralize bullying in the country.
A Silent Voice official site *Japanese only