A Silent Voice, an Anti-Bullying Anime Movie

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Hello everyone! How’s your summer going? Are you enjoying it? I’m sure you are! I had a pretty enjoyable summer too since I was able to go again for a swim with friends and our business just keeps expanding in the last two months. 

Anyway, this blog I’m writing today is about an anime movie that promotes equality, respect and acceptance on each and everyone. A story that promotes anti-bullying awareness.

(image source: Taipau via benjaminfoo.com)
Koe no Katachi poster.

The anime movie is entitled, “A Silent Voice.” And the movie is still available at Philippine cinemas while I am writing this today(May 18, 2017), so if you are reading this right now, please do not miss the chance of seeing it on the big screen because this movie is one the best anime movies you’ll ever see.

See the release dates of this movie in your country HERE.

For Philippine schedules, see it HERE. Ticket price depends on the cinema and how long will it be shown also depends on the volume of people watching it. Koe no Katachi is already on it's second week in Robinsons Place Pangasinan. I'm afraid the movie will already be removed next Wednesday so better catch it while it's still there.

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t read the manga/comics version of this movie because the movie itself is enough to deliver the message of the story.

Since this movie centers about anti-bullying, let us first know what bullying really is.

What is Bullying?

(image source: CS via nowa-stepnica.x25.pl)
A sad little girl sitting probably at a corner of her school after being bullied by her classmates.

Bullying is the act of being superior and intimidating someone intentionally. It is hurting, harassing and oppressing an individual physically or verbally, making the person feel less of himself and impeding him from living a peaceful normal life.

Bullying is mostly found in school especially on young children. The usual forms of bullying are physical and verbal. And in our digital age, bullies had also found their way to continue their actions digitally, known as the cyber-bullying. People behind their screens are a lot more aggressive and they can attack you anytime. The victim of bullying may suffer from inferiority complex, depression, extreme sadness, anxiety and being suicidal.

Anti-Bullying Awareness

(image soure: Tennie McCarty via huffingtonpost.com)
A boy with a message on his palms.

The effects of bullying may affect an individual's personal growth and this could be brought even during adulthood. Bullying is something that is not to be just brushed off. It is a serious matter that needs serious attention to be able to stop it.

In United States, Canada and other European countries, there are laws that protect individuals from any forms of bullying. Last 2013, an anti-bullying law was also signed in the Philippines, Republic Act No. 10627 or Anti-Bullying Act of 2013, to protect Filipino students.

There is also a National Bullying Prevention Month held every month of October in United States.

Koe no Katachi Background Story

(video source: BrandonIsBack via youtube.com)
Koe no Katachi promotional video.

Resuming my anime review, “聲の形”(“Koe no Katachi” in Japanese and “A Silent Voice” or “The Shape of Voice” in English) is a story about a boy named Ishida Shouya making amends and regretting his past actions of bullying Nishimiya Shouko, a deaf girl. The girl whom he despised very much during his elementary years is whom he tries so hard to befriend later on. He aims to correct his past mistakes and never make Shouko cry again.

Koe no Katachi was released in Japan last September 17, 2016. It is directed by Naoko Yamada based from the manga "Koe no Katachi" by Yoshitoki Oima. Animation Production was by Kyoto Animation. The movie runs for 2 hours and 10 minutes and falls on the genres: slice of life, school life, drama, comedy and romance. The song used for the opening is "My Generation" by The Who and "Ai wo Shita no wa" by AIKO.

The movie was 19th on the 20 highest grossing films of 2016 in Japan, landing on the same spot with Death Note: Light Up the New World, earning 2.3 billion yen or about $19.56 million USD. Koe no Katachi will also be screened at Cannes Film Festival event called Cannes Marché du Film or Film Market on May 19, 22 and 23. (Here's the link to the article.) In the Philippines, the movie was released last May 10, 2017 and is still available on selected cinemas nationwide.

Warning: The next paragraphs you're about to read contains spoilers. Proceed with caution.


● Ishida Shouya

(gif source: kaoris via tumblr.com)
Ishida feeding the carps while talking to Shouko.

A playful and free-spirited kid during his elementary. He is irritated of Shouko and so he hated her and often make fun of the deaf girl. When all things backfired and got a taste of his own medicine, he decided to end his life. None of his classmates wanted to talk to him. They look and speak of him with disgust, his friends even left him. Shouya can't dare to look on people's faces and often stares on the floor when he walks. However, due to his mom pleading, he decided to live his life right and be a good man which includes asking Shouko for forgiveness and be friends with her. He even studied sign language to be able to communicate with the girl properly. One of his after-school hobbies during his elementary years was playing into the river by jumping off from a bridge.

● Nishimiya Shouko

(gif source: kaoris via tumblr.com)
Shouko doing the hand sign "see you again."

A girl who is perceived normal until people start talking to her. Nishimiya Shouko is deaf by birth but that didn't hinder her to grow up like other children. Instead of attending a special school, her mother sent her to the usual school in hopes that her daughter could live a normal life. Shouko communicates with her classmates through a notebook but later on it has been the medium for the bullies to unleash hurtful words against her. Shouko is a kind girl and had always believed that it was her fault why Ishida was bullied in return. One of her hobbies is feeding the carps in the river every Tuesday.

● Tomohiro Nagatsuka

(gif source: an-chan4 via tumblr.com)
The best friend, Nagatsuka.

Nagatsuka is Ishida's classmate who was also bullied. He owes Ishida for saving him from a bully who was stealing his bicycle. Surprisingly, he became friends with Ishida and is very protective and generous to him. He calls Shouya "Yasho", a sign of their close friendship. He easily gets jealous with other people being friends with Ishida and wards them off keeping them at a certain distance. He is also often insulted by Shouko's sister but in spite of that, he remains a loyal friend to Ishida and a leader for the group's film making. According to him, "friendship is something that defies both words and logic." Nagatsuki is Ishida's first friend after Ishida was shunned by everyone in school. (He is a Godsent angel for Ishida in my opinion.)

● Nishimiya Yuzuru

(gif source: lunxsole via tumblr.com)
Yuzuru in her uniform.

Yuzuru is Shouko's little sister. She attends a sign language school to be able to communicate with her sister better. Having a boyish style of clothes, she fooled Ishida and Nagatsuki for pretending to be her sister's boyfriend. She hates all the people who had hurt her sister and promised herself to protect her sibling. Yuzuru takes photos of random bizarre things and posts it on the walls of their home in hopes that it will make her deaf sister happy and forget about all the bad things that had occurred in the past. She also hated going to school and feels like only her grandmother understands her aside from Shouko. Later on, she decided to accept Ishida being friends with her sister after knowing more about him and his regrets.

Koe no Katachi in the Philippines

(image source: Viewers' Choice Philippines via facebook.com)
Koe no Katachi is the number one anime movie in the Philippines.

Koe no Katachi was a highly anticipated movie here in the Philippines so much like the anime movie Your Name(Kimi no Na wa). I immediately got interested when I first saw its trailer around the middle of 2016 and wished for the movie to be shown here on the big screen. I am so happy that many Filipinos requested for it and the movie screening pushed through in this country. The movie was first scheduled on April 15 along with popular movies like Fast & Furious 8. Although due to some circumstances, therelease was moved to May 10. I guess it was a smart move to reschedule the movie because it became the number one movie in the Philippines for a day or two. It had surpassed other foreign and local movies at that moment. (Oh boy, I have never ever been so proud! Lol!) With that being said, Koe no Katachi was also recognized to have the biggest anime opening ever in the Philippines, going beyond the highly-acclaimed "Kimi no Na wa."

I also praise the director of the movie for sticking with the story in the manga. I don't feel bad with the things omitted because I understand that it will be very difficult to fit every scenario into the movie. The story was a little fast paced but it's totally just okay. And props to Kyoto Animation for making the story spectacular and very entertaining to watch. The movie was overall stunning and well-delivered.

They say it is better if you see the movie first before reading the manga, but in my case who had read the manga before seeing the movie, I would say it was just good. The surprise was still there even though you already know how the story will go. I think it is actually better because you'll get to immerse yourself with the story beforehand and can easily relate to the story. You can also make an instant comparison between the manga and the movie and also point out which parts were added or disregarded.

(image source: Katsanslimites)
My movie ticket for Koe no Katachi.

I highly recommend this movie even to those who are not into animated movies. I really like the story and moral lesson it teaches its viewers. It's a very relatable and entertaining movie that will play with your emotions. I remember the crowd I'm in while watching was so much fun. They react shamelessly like laughing so hard to the hilarious scenes, hating the young Ishida, gasping on the suspense scenes, and getting so quiet to the tear-jerking moments. Seriously, the 2 hours and 10 minutes just felt like 30 minutes. I wanted more. It was my first time of literally laughing and being on the edge of bursting into tears even if I was alone. Yup, I went to watch alone. I went to the very first screening schedule of its first day and I have no regrets, even for shelling out a 170 Peso for it. The cinema was almost full, the first time I'm watching an anime movie with this much number of people. It felt so good!

Are You a Bully?

(gif source: mobpsycho100 via tumblr.com)
Ishida getting stares as he walks at the school's corridor.

Admit it, we have been a bully once in our lives. Making fun of others intentionally or not, it feels a little good even though it is wrong. I remember doing an unintentional joke once to a friend and it did not end like I was expecting. I remember a few days after it, I get stares from the whole class when I enter the room. Like they were busy chit-chatting and upon entering they all become silent while looking at me. It was the worst feeling ever. I even thought of not attending school after that but I fought it and continued like everyday is just an ordinary day. My other friend also told me not to mind them. You see, I kind of relate to Ishida and my other friend is Nagatsuka. (Lol.) I couldn't look people on their faces too just like that on the gif above. I tried to compromise with my friend but unlike Ishida, my story didn't end well. Our friendship ended just because of that. Although sometimes I believe bullying is fine when it's just between you and the people you know most because both sides know the intention is just for pure entertainment and nothing personal at all. Just don't overdo it. Bullying within your circle may either strengthen or break your relationship with them. It's a double-edged move only the reckless could dare to make. But no matter how we look to this matter, bullying is still wrong. Do not do it.

If you thought I only took the role of a "bully", I had also been a victim. At some point in my school life I was bullied by about three teachers(one each for elementary, high school and college), and by some classmates(rarely). I tell you, it is the worst feeling ever. And all those rare bullying that had happened in my past were still so clear in my memory that I can never forget it no matter how much I want to.

I guess bullying is not only the bully's fault. Bullying is everywhere. And it's up for you if you take them seriously or not. The victim also has the decision if he/she will let these people infest and rot his/her life. Remember, people won't go bully after you if you don't let them do as they please. They bully you because you let them.

Anyway, please do not miss seeing A Silent Voice. It's a super amazing movie.

Here's another trailer of the movie and it makes me teary-eyed just by watching this short clip. Enjoy!

(video source: Madman via youtube.com)
A much more dramatic trailer to get all the feels of this movie.

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Thanks for reading!

✧ Katsanslimites

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