Apr 19, 2017
Splair (All reviews)
How am I after watching this movie? Angry. This movie was fucking good and it's such a pity that it came out when Kimi no Na wa did, because it deserves so much more recognition. Honestly, I believe it outshines it tenfold but this is a review not a comparison so let me give you my points:

- Great soundtrack/art/animation/the works. solid base. if you like kyoani why are you waiting

- EXPERIMENTAL. The perspectives and aesthetics shown throughout the movie are insane. Like if you think of one of those 'aesthetic tumblr posts' the entire movie is literally in that vibe.

- The noise level. not the music. the noise level- majestic. since koe no katachi is about living life as a deaf person most of the soundtrack is ambient noise, cute jingles or piano notes. It's quiet. But as soon as the action picks up and things get more intense the sound gets LOUD, in this huge juxtaposition of noise, on a greater scale than most anime take it. It's so good.

- Characters. Let's talk about that for a sec. I've only seen the original oneshot of the manga koe no katachi is based on, so I don't have a reference for what these characters could have been like, in for example, a theoretical anime series version of this movie. I don't know. But I can say for a movie with only 2 hours to spare it did pretty damn good to flesh out these characters as much as possible considering the size of the cast. We see 12 characters on the regular.

12 characters! (not just one-off, as regular appearing characters) and we know exactly who they all are. That's more than what I can say for a lot of movies and even anime out there. But naturally there is some bias. The two main characters bear the brunt of the character development (primarily our protagonist Shouya) and over time you can see a clear change not only in themselves but in their relationships. Characters don't 'learn a lesson' and change the next day. We're not talking about cheap development like that, in fact one of the more realistic things about koe no katachi is how each character's personalities stay the same but their values change. Everyone is trying the become a better person and clashing with everyone else by the end of it. It's gritty, it's messy, it's believable.

- As for story, Koe no Katachi is more of a 'let's put all these interesting characters together and see what happens' simulator than anything with a crazy, god-given plot. Suicide is a major theme and so is atoning for what you have done in the past. A bully is the main character, he picks on Nishimiya who is deaf, and the story starts from there. Everything past that is seen as a direct consequence of what happened back then, which eventually leads to the more suicidal themes as both main characters struggle with the realisation that many less people couldn't have been hurt if both of them had never existed. But this movie doesn't drone on. It's not preachy like that. Yeah, this movie will make you cry. But in a good way.

So did I enjoy Koe no Katachi? Um clearly yes. Go for it, you've got nothing to lose except all of your tears.