ᴛɪᴛʟᴇ: 𝐀 𝐒𝐢𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐕𝐨𝐢𝐜𝐞 (Koe no Katchi) ᴅɪʀᴇᴄᴛᴇᴅ: Naoko Yamada ʀᴀᴛɪɴɢ: 4/5 “𝙸 𝚠𝚊𝚗𝚝 𝙽𝚒𝚜𝚑𝚒𝚖𝚒𝚢𝚊 𝚝𝚘 𝚕𝚒𝚔𝚎 𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚎𝚕𝚏.”
Poignant. There goes the water works.
There are only two animation studios in Japan that I trust with quality contents: Studio Ghibli and Kyoto Animation. And A Silent Voice is produced by the latter. Like my other favorite directors outside Ghibli—Makoto Shinkai’s mystical and dreamy narratives or Mamoru Hosoda’s techno-folklores—Naoko Yamada had already established a touch of alluring and clean narration that can be akin to feeling the spring season.
There are quick-cut collage of earlier mischief and how it all went down. There’s also the dynamics of the friendship, complex personalities AND the most overrated but still the most relatable problem in the society—communication—that may have been a risky narrative but, in the end, wrapped up quite greatly especially accompanied by a serene soundtrack.
There is this part that really hooked me on where Ishida can’t look at people directly in the eye. The snaps of everyone’s feet rather than faces and the X marks on them. It makes me remember BIGBANG’s song titled Loser (chaz! Nagpromote!) where a noteable line “At some point I started looking at the ground rather than the sky” which delved on guilt, shame, and feel of worthlessness. I haven’t been bullied by any other people but I bullied myself a lot into thinking I wasn’t good enough. And that already weigh a ton. A person’s self-esteem is the hardest thing to build up. Likewise, the movie dealt with a lot of adolescent self-doubt. In retrospect, do not preach about mental health and be the reason for someone else’s mental health issues. Deliberately saying something to make someone feel like shit is mental abuse.
So moral of the story: always be kind. 💐