A Silent Voice, Volume 1 – Review

And the manga reviews continue, this time with Oh God This Is So Uncomfortable Why Am I Reading This Why Do I Like Drama What Is Wrong With Me. A Silent Voice was one of the most teeth-clenchingly painful reads I’ve encountered lately, but that was only true because the story was told so damn well. The very strong dialogue paints characters in immediately humanizing strokes, making it all the more painful when awful stuff happens to them. Piercing character drama, why can’t I quit you.

You can check out my review over at ANN, or my chapter notes below!

A Silent Voice

Chapter One

The dialogue is really strong. This book sketches characters in a way that you feel you’ve already known them in just a few pages

There’s a lot of personality to the translation

The art’s a bit less strong, but the character designs have a lot of personality

The casual cruelty of children. The insecurity of having your friends grow past you. This book’s already playing in really uncomfortable space, and creating a knowable fear for the protagonist

The protagonist isn’t a likable kid, but he’s a believable one. Another bold choice

Chapter Two

The art avoids backgrounds a lot of the time, but the character designs remain strong

Shoya treating everything like a serious game he must investigate to keep himself entertained is also very true to life

There’s no awful secret behind Shoya’s behavior, or behind that of his classmates. Children are just cruel

The teachers aren’t particularly good at integrating Shoko, because they’re not trained to deal with this. And that increases the bullying. It’s little aggressions from everyone compounded

Shoya actually is interested in sign language, but Naoka, the girl who goes to his mom’s shop, shuts it down. She’s very anti-Shoko

And now Shoya’s full-on bullying her. His teacher isn’t paid enough to deal with this, he just doesn’t want Shoya to make him look bad

Some of the big dramatic moments are a bit much. The teachers acting out

So now Shoya’s the target

Reading the progression of “I’m sorry” in Shoko’s old notebook. Really nice moment

Just good, efficient storytelling in general

Shoya doesn’t actually learn from getting caught, as he wouldn’t. It takes time to become a better person

Chapter Four

Shoko tries to help him, but he doesn’t want any help. They fight

Chapter Five

Shoya grows up alone after that. His reputation as a bully means he can’t make more friends, and eventually he begins to distrust everyone, and see violence in all their actions

Originally, it was clear everyone’s just casually cruel. Now, with Shoya on the outside, he sees it as focused hate for him

And he thinks life will always be that way, as teenagers do. But he focuses that fear in a productive way – he pays back his mother, and goes to apologize to Nishimiya

So in the end, her kindness actually did enact a positive change. But it’s not easy, and it took years

6 thoughts on “A Silent Voice, Volume 1 – Review

    • Well it actually does, or at least it isn’t as stinging as the first few chapters were. God they were painful. Still love the one-shot better though.

  1. Huh, I thought what series it was, and it was Koe no Katachi! I’ve been hearing that it’s good for a while, been meaning to download and read it, but keep forgetting. I kind of got the gist of the story already, but it’s the journey that matters. I should read it soon, especially since your review spoke so well of it. Though, you don’t talk much about the stuffs that isn’t the story, was it because you aren’t confident to talk about them or because the concern on it was far eclipsed by the quality of the story?

  2. And so the rollercoaster takes off. I love the mangaka’s extremely messy take on responsibility.

  3. I already read this after your last week´s comment, and i LOVED IT, its a rollercoaster of emotions, with some flaws but a very good read
    and about your notes of fifth chapter… ehm… i dont think if he is taking a good turn
    ******spoiler (but that chapter already states this)******* he works and sells all his stuff to pay his debt because he is going to kill himself, thats the reason he brokes his calendar and is counting the days******spoiler*******
    i think its a way to depict him as a guy full of remorse

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