A Silent Voice is a drama animated film that is told in two different time periods, with the first half set in Shoyo Ishida and Shoko Nishimaya’s childhood. Shoko, being deaf, was heavily bullied by Ishida. This was done through various gimmicks and pranks which progressively got worse. However, after Shoko ends up having to transfer schools, Ishida starts getting his karma and his friends bully him for his past insensitivity towards Shoko.
In the next time frame, Ishida is a suicidal high school student and he intends to kill himself, but he ends up changing his mind. He made a last-minute choice to apologize to Shoko after all these years, and the two begin to bond despite their rocky childhood.
Lesson #1: Empathizing Bullying
We don’t even need to mention this, since this is quite frankly, the whole movie.
Throughout the movie, we can see how Shoko and Ishida both experience their own struggles with bullying. With Shoko getting her hearing aids broken time and time again, then Ishida getting ignored by all of his classmates, and Shoko getting verbally bullied by Ueno on the ferris wheel, this film shows us the feeling of emptiness that comes hand in hand with loneliness.
Lesson #2: People Change
Sometimes, we find ourselves doubting certain people after they hurt us or disappoint us in the past. It’s inevitable, really — why would we voluntarily let ourselves get hurt again, right?
However, what’s worth learning from Shoko’s behavior in this movie is her willingness to forgive Ishida. To, after all the pain and bullying she endured, still be able to forgive the person who caused all that — that is most definitely an admirable quality.
Not only that, another lesson is that when given the opportunity, people can change. Ishida was able to improve himself only because he was provided the chance through Shoko’s kindness and forgiveness.
Lesson #3: Mental Health
The movie touches on multiple mental disorders, with the main two being depression and social anxiety. Ishida and Shoko both show that depression does not just have to be based on a momentary sadness, but can rather be something that builds up over years.
With anxiety, the movie creatively and expertly uses crosses on people’s faces to depict what Ishida feels as he passes through the halls of the school. He clearly feels that everyone around him would only hurt him and he does not want to look them in the eye.
Toney, Nick. “The Powerful Themes Explored in ‘a Silent Voice’: Film Analysis.” Medium, Cinemania, 6 Dec. 2020, medium.com/cinemania/the-powerful-themes-explored-in-a-silent-voice-film-analysis-8a3b60019305.
www.facebook.com/AttackOnGeek. “Kyoto Animation & Madman Entertainment’s ‘a Silent Voice’ Review.” Attack on Geek, 24 Apr. 2017, attackongeek.com/a-silent-voice-review/.