A Silent Voice, Volume 3 – Review

And I’m back to reviewing Silent Voice, with a volume that did a great deal with very little. These chapters felt more constrained in focus than the previous ones, but that actually worked for this story – because of that, we were able to get an incredibly close read on Shoya’s feelings, complete with expressive sequences of physical awkwardness and fully realized internal monologues. This is the sort of stuff I love when it’s done well, and Silent Voice is doing it very, very well. We’re not currently getting the equal glimpse into Shoko’s feelings that I’m eventually hoping for, but if the story stays this good, I’m fine with it sticking close to Shoya and presenting the people around him as figures we have to pull together out of his limited emotional reads. Good stories told well are always alright by me.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my notes after the cut!

A Silent Voice

Shoko wants to get in contact with Miyoko, the girl who was bullied out of school because of her

This page of Shoya fidgeting and not knowing what to do with himself on the train is good

The manga is good at putting us in Shoya’s headspace relative to Shoko – feeling insecure about what she’s thinking, trying to read very limited signals

His eyes also seem exhausted all the time, which help

“Am I going to think like this every time I’m around Nishimiya?” The story nails awkwardness – it doesn’t say “this is so awkward,” it goes through his exact thoughts across long moments

Miyoko also wants to reconnect with Shoko. Sadness and good kids

Miyoko’s way more social than Shoya. Finally a reasonably well-adjusted person

This karaoke thing – Shoya’s being overly sensitive in a way that doesn’t actually respect Shoko’s agency. Miyoko’s breaking those barriers and treating her frankly as a friend. A really good sequence

Shoya feels jealous of Miyoko, but ends up telling her the truth about everything. Shoya is both a strong character and one this story is getting incredibly precise in its observations for

Shoko’s sister gets nervous around the confident Miyoko

Shoya getting insecure about not having any friends

Really good use of panel spacing to create tension in this chapter introducing Naoka

Naoka puts on cat ears and gives him a coupon. A nicely surreal little sequence

Shoya isn’t able to go meet her until he frames it as helping Shoko

Shoya still idealizes Shoko, and the story is very aware of this

Naoka probably liked Shoya

“Since I didn’t run into her today, I probably wasn’t meant to find her.” What a classic antisocial line

Naoka’s still a punk. This conversation with Shoya’s friend is pretty great

Now Naoka is reaching out through Shoya’s classmate Miki to try and reach him

Shoya’s inability to confront things ends up causing more problems with Naoka and Shoko. He can’t be honest with Shoko

And then Naoka gets the big X treatment

“Do you hate me?” “Yeah.” Naoka gets Shoya to open up, unlike anyone else

“What, do you think you’re her guardian or something?” This story is really attacking these ideas about the guy as some kind of protector, and doing it in a very real-seeming way

“Nishimiya might feel the same way about you on the inside, you know. She’s good at those polite smiles.”

Yuzuru is really kind to Shoya after that

Shoya rushes to end their engagements because he’s nervous, even though he wants to get to know her better

Friggin crap, she confesses to him and he doesn’t even get it. DAMN IT SHOYA

He’s so stuck in his own head, he can’t seize the life in front of him

One thought on “A Silent Voice, Volume 3 – Review

  1. I am really love A Silent Voice 🙂 It is such a sweet and unique series– I believe that there is a movie in the planning stages right now. I’m hoping that it premieres sometime early next year.

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