A Silent Voice, Volume 5 – Review

Dear lord this manga is good. Stepping back and looking at it, this is probably the single best media object I am currently engaging with. I guess you could make an argument for Rakugo being a more holistically impressive production, what with its gorgeous combination of direction and storytelling – but when it comes to character work, dear lord does Silent Voice blow everything else out of the water. This is a phenomenal work, every single volume continues to impress, and I am so god damn excited for Yamada’s adaptation. This is pretty much a genie-wish production here. Please, please, please be at least half as good as you could theoretically be.

Er. Anyway. You can check out my actual potentially informative review over at ANN, or the ol’ chapter notes below!

A Silent Voice

Chapter 1

“My beloved car, Cathy!”

Wow, this fantasy sequence in Best Friend’s head is wonderful. Great visual style, completely distinct from the normal one, and also totally consistent – a distinctive use of blacks, unique paneling and character designs, great stuff

The movie crew meets up to plan

Naoka’s back to an X

Naoka immediately begins to take over the dynamic and push out Shoya’s desire to include Shoko, but everyone is complicit

The story once again is very precise in articulating the small negotiations of comfort and friendship involved in these situations

Chapter 2

Tomohiro actually helping him with Shoko

Uncomfortable physicality with Shoko

Shoya having trouble with his tests, and feels uncomfortable telling people he can’t help because he has to work

Satoshi was always the one bullied in elementary school, but now he’s become the bright light. The popular guy

It’s really hard to tell where they’re going with Satoshi from his design, though. His expressions always look sinister due to his face, which I’m not sure is intentional

Chapter 3

His elementary school teacher is a dick. Talks about Shoko’s family confusing “freedom” with “taking liberties”

Satoshi splashes the teacher right in his face. “Respectability” is so much less important than character. A great scene for everyone here

And in spite of that, the teacher recognizes the real goodness of Shoya now

Shoko says “the teacher and the school looked smaller than they used to.” The actual mature attitude, growing past it

Chapter 4

Good conflict between Tomohiro and Shoya. Shoya legitimately needs to study, but Tomohiro is insecure as hell

“I consider her a friend, but that’s because she’s important to you.” the true awkward threads of high school friendship

Shoya calls Tomohiro embarrassing, which really gets to him

The silliest slap-fight ever. Great articulation of what a bad fight this is

“Wow, we may have been fighting about something really pointless.” Shoya suddenly hit by how much he values these friendships, tentative as they are

Chapter 5

Shoya still a little distant from the group, and from Shoko as a member of it

Thinking about why his “new friends” are contributing to the group. Actually seeing them as people with their own motivations outside of their relationship towards him

Shoya very worried about Satoshi finding out about his bullying past

Chapter 6

Miki actually turns things on him, saying she didn’t bully Shoko at all. And Shoya can’t really trust his own memories – was she right? Is that how it actually was? JEEZ

Naoka has a great speech. “Screw karma! Don’t you want to be friends with everyone? Then don’t run away!”

Chapter 7

Miki and Naoka get in a fight, and everything erupts

“It’s all my fault. I’m the one who caused this, so stop fighting.” “I hate that kind of logic! It doesn’t solve anything!” Noaka is a great character

And so Shoya says every ugly thought he has about everyone, just to blow it all to pieces. And Satoshi finally hits him

Chapter 8

“You could’ve at least kissed her by now” jeez

Shoya trying to act happy on their “date”

Both of them blame themselves

Chapter 9

Lots of missed calls from Naoka, and then one from Miyoko – “how can you prove you’ve grown as a person?”

Chapter 10


5 thoughts on “A Silent Voice, Volume 5 – Review

  1. All right, continuing from what I said in your volume 1 review, after volume 5 chapter 7, which is IMO undoubtedly the strongest emotional point of the series, comes the chapter 10 development. This point is where I feel that A Silent Voice starts going downhill. It still has that great character work touch, but what happens afterward that development feels like it lost focus and trying to tie up loose ends too fast. The next volume is where I’m looking forward for your thoughts the most after you started reviewing this series.

  2. Excellent review, I’m so glad that you’re reviewing this manga. Its one of my favourites because of how relatable every character.

  3. Excellent review, I’m so glad that you’re reviewing this manga. Its one of my favourites because of how relatable every character is.

  4. Excellent review, I’m so glad that you’re reviewing this manga. Its one of my favourites because of how good the characters are.

  5. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat indeed. If A Silent Voice hasn’t killed you yet… well, there’s always the next volume.

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