A Silent Voice, Volume Two – Review

Back to Silent Voice, which mercifully got a lot less consistently depressing in this second volume! Fortunately the character work stayed just as strong, making this easily one of the most engaging dramas I’ve checked out recently. Strong art, very strong writing, lots of nice background details… just a whole lot to enjoy in Silent Voice. It’s gonna be tough waiting for each volume to get released now.

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

A Silent Voice

This volume’s a lot less oppressive than the last one

Nice seeing these characters naturally grow. The way our dude MC is slowly coming to value himself and others is gratifying to see. We’ve basically seen a lot of his growing up in the first volume, and so we’re inherently attached to his journey

The dialogue remains strong

He’s basically on the verge of giving up on his life, but the girl says she’ll “see him Tuesday,” which gives him something to live for. It’s so crucially important to be valued even in this small way, to be able to see yourself as valuable even if it’s just because your presence is important to others

The girl is still kind of a wildcard – where does her constant good spirit come from? Why doesn’t she blame him? This is appropriate, given we’re in his head and this is literally a story about the difficulty of communication, but I’d love to see more of her perspective

We can infer so much from the unspoken things. We know about the boy’s relationship with his mother, their economic status, the fact that she likely had him young, all this stuff just from inference

The peak dramatic moments can go a little over-the-top. It’s the smaller stuff that’s more effective and powerful

Shoko’s sibling is now trying to get revenge on Shoya, and questions why her sister never fought back or got angry. “Getting angry is hard.” It’s just tiring. Nice, we’re immediately getting more knowledge about her, and from a new narrative direction

“My sister doesn’t get mad, and she probably never will.” So she thinks she has to get mad and defensive for her

This scene is great – Shoko getting really mad, but we only hear her sister’s responses to her statements

Shoya’s sister has a kid now

“I run away from home all the time. Mom doesn’t worry about me.” Shoko’s mom sounds like a trip

Shoko’s mom never learned sign language? Jeez

She tries to “protect” her daughter, but doesn’t try to understand her

Tomohiro, Shoya’s friend from class, is pretty funny. A solid example of the derp friend

The two of them are pretty darn cute

One thought on “A Silent Voice, Volume Two – Review

  1. “The peak dramatic moments can go a little over-the-top.”

    I assume you’re referring to the scene between Shoya and his mom discussing his apparent suicide plan? It’s my favorite moment in the whole volume, although I guess the whole threaten to burn the money bit is perhaps unnecessary.

    Agreed that the manga’s really very good at conveying subtle information. Still, really really want to see more of Shouko’s headspace and her being fleshed out beyond what is filtered through everyone else’s perspectives, but that’ll probably happen in future volume.

    This seems to be heading down the romance path, and honestly I’m a bit uncomfortable with that as it may propagates the ‘girl fall for boy who used to abuse him’ cliche. We’ll see.

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