(Featured image source: MyAnimeList)

Reviewing movies have always been an interest, but a really tough one at the same time. There’s this excitement from wanting to TELL THE WORLD about what I have just witnessed, but at the same time wanting to keep the best part under covers.

I’ll try my best, with this post, to influence and persuade you to watch without spoiling the best bits.

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Internet streams have been my go-to place for Anime, Anime movies and the like – this is due to its availability, non-censoring, can be enjoyed at home and be paused when I like. While “free” may be a reason for some, I have been able to set aside a small sum for entertainment ever since starting work,

A Silent Voice (Koe no Katachi – direct translation: Shape of (the) Voice), was a much anticipated movie from more than 8 months ago. After months of searching, it was still not available on my usual streaming sites. So you can only imagine my euphoria when I found that MBO and TGV cinemas were bringing it to their screens.

In fact, another reason why I usually settled for streaming was due to my prejudice that anime has always been about good story lines, content and artwork. Oftentimes very 2D, and lacking in dynamism and effects from action pack movies. A preconception that going to cinemas will not up the experience.

I was wrong.

A Silent Voice blew me away with its dynamics. The use of sound, music and volume for its scenes. This arrangement was (to me) flawless. I thought it was a juxtapose to the title when the movie turned out so auditory.

The techniques they employed was something I’m more familiar with in Japanese movies (instead of anime movies). The silent scenes, still shots, etc. At the same time, it is still very “anime”. While it used a watercolor appearance, the drawing and artwork was soft and mellow, soothing and calming.

As I have yet to read the manga (62 chapters is a lot to handle), I cannot comment on how the flow of editing went – eg. which parts were omitted, etc. Hence, my comments on the story line is solely based on my experience with the movie.

For a standalone movie, its pace and continuity of the movie was commendable. The chronological flow of the movie was smooth. One watches as the characters grow up, with minimal to no backflash. As 62 chapters is a little hard to compress into 2 hours. There were certainly gaps between transitions that were not explained, but if you keep a look out on the body language of the characters, it’s easy to fill in the gaps.

“Bully” as a theme in movies is not uncommon. But to put a bully in a macro view, where the bully is bullied and how family becomes involved, was new to me. Its non-linear presentation was interesting. While the focus was on Shouko (the deaf) and Shouya (the bully), every character had an important role and they were highly relatable to one another. Especially if you have been bullied in past.

There were certain actions and words used by the characters that was so disgusting, it made me cringe. But that adds value to the work, showing life as it is.

Trailer:  A Silent Voice trailer

While waiting for the full movie to be available, I’ve watched countless of trailers, where much of it featured the bully scenes. I thought “That must be the gist of it. I think I can see how the movie goes, it’ll be a predictable one.”

To my surprise, I was wrong (again). The movie dealt with suicide, which I did not see coming. Shouko (the deaf) attempted speaking aloud in the movie, which reminded me of my primary schoolmate with hearing difficulties speak. I have to give it to the seiyuu (voice actress) for making this happen as she made it very realistic.

Bottom line, this is a must watch. If you have never watched an anime, this will be a good start. And if you have the habit of watching anime, this is not to be missed.

Hope you like this movie. Let us know what you think in the comment section 🙂



Note on piracy:

When you understand the hard work and efforts of manga artists, creators, seiyuu and all the staff put into manga and anime, RM 10 for an animated movie is a fair price. (You can watch Bakuman, to understand the background of the highly competitive world of manga drawing and how one rises up the ranks).

While copyright holds an important spot in western media, it is not the same in the east. And if you noticed, anime copyrights are usually bought over by American companies. The anime and manga world works a little differently. A good portion of the income comes from merchandises. Please support originals whenever possible. In recent years, I have only streamed and almost never downloaded. From time to time, I’d buy an OST CD (Original Soundtrack) or DVD set of the anime I like as a memento and form of support.

Sites such as Crunchyroll shows anime 1 hour after real time airing for a low premium of $6.95 per month. It announced in the past that part of the premium paid is channeled as royalty to the creators.

Starving artist is very real. Let’s end the starvation!  

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