Mod Edit: This review may contain spoilers.
To start of my review, let me say that, as a simple fan of any british bands of the past decades or so, The Who's "My Generation" - which is the opening song of this movie - is pretty niche to be exact.
I was really surprised why they use it as an opening song. I was expecting to have a Japanese song for the opening for this movie (maybe Asian Kung-Fu Generation or ChouChou,) but instead, besides Radiohead(ED of Ergo Proxy) and Oasis(OP of Eden of the East), we got another british band to perform the Opening song of Koe no Katachi makes me, I don't know, a very big deal for me for some reason. Plus, besides of that, the song really fits in on the first part of Shouya's backstory and his friends back then when he was in an elementary school. Telling how cool Shouya was, how rebellious he is and how he spend his glory days on his elementary school, thinking about his generation back then. While playing the song on the background in a riffing bass-guitar tune with fast beating drums. This is also the same as how Pete Townsend, who wrote the song and the lead-singer of The Who, feels about the british youths back then and how "rebellious" they were. It also expressed their feeling that older people just don't get it.
Anyways, the story is pretty much complicated but a bit candid from start to finish without even explaining some of the details that I've seen on the manga. Quite frankly, the anime is pretty rushed if you look closely at the story and then compare it the manga. Some of the plot holes I've seen were:
1. I've never seen in this movie on how Shouko's mother accepts Shouya without any proper explanation nor representation as to why they've put aside their arguments already to one another. The manga has a pretty great process for putting more effort to make their relationship somewhat satisfying by showing some progress on how Shouya tries to give more effort to Shouko's mother so that she could slowly accept him who he is now and forget the former rebellious, young Shouya from the past.
2. I've also seen a missing link where Shouya returns to his old elementary school, which it was already shown in the manga. Including how his old teacher back then expressed on Shouya's development. There's also a surprise plot twist also, which I'm not going to say it here.
3. They are also doing a short indie film movie that is going to be shown at their school festival in which Nagatsuka and the rest of the gang joins in. Which is not shown here in the movie.
4. The manga also shows why Shouko's little sister took the matters on her older sister's hands by cutting her own hair, and keeping her on-guard whatever happens. This, also, is not shown in the movie.
5. And how Shouko's mother's relationship status changed from a married wife to a divorced wife. Including how Shouko's illness was a result for splitting them up. Also, not shown in the movie.
Honestly, there's so much more they would cover in it if they would put it into a TV series rather than a movie. Which is kinda of a letdown as there are so many plot holes that KyoAni didn't cover in this movie.
Maybe I'm the one who complain for someone who just a part of the audience who watches animes just for fun and not a part of the developers who make the anime. But, well, I can't help it. The fact on how fair the story is pretty nice for some anime watchers to be watch in a big screen. But as a manga reader, I honestly say, I was a little disappointed to say the least on how they skip some of the important plots in the manga and turn it into somewhat incomplete and unsatisfied conclusion in this movie. I mean, yeah, when Shouya already accepts around of his surroundings and he finally listens everyone's comments about him, positive or negative, I found this ending kinda...blank or lost at some point.
But that doesn't mean my 2-hours of watching this movie is just taking a piss break to me. I admit, I was a little disappointed, a LITTLE, but it's not that worst nor great. But rather, a pretty decent anime. At first glance, I was satisfied before I read the manga. But looking back again as I read the manga, it really has so many missing links in the movie itself.
But on the plus side, the theme about a bully who is now being bullied back then and now changing his own life by restarting is a pretty great feature. It's fine to say the least. And the character development was a bit dull here, but I would accept that because the story covers it all for them.
Overall, if you're just an anime watcher and not a manga reader, then watch it. It's worth a buck for this 2-hour binge-fest anime in your nearest theatres near you. But as a manga reader myself, I think it seems fair. But I might look forward to this series as it has so much potential to do a 12 or maybe 24 episodes as a TV Series. I still keep my heads held high for this one. But for now, in my opinion to this movie, I would honestly say that it was a rushed development to make it into a movie. I was entertained, yes. But I'm still in doubt if this is worth a cent to watch this movie. But, I would still support it despite of the letdown. Especially the manga, which is worth to read and reveals everything and everyone surrounding by it.
But, again, the movie is fine, the story is fair and the character development is kinda dull but acceptable. I'm kinda mixed to criticize at this movie. But... well, I think I'll gave it a fair 6/10 movie. It's not a very low score, and it's not a very bad adaptation either. But I think, at my honest opinion, I was kinda overwhelmed on how it was delivered from start to finish. But I think it is very recommended those who didn't read the manga. If only I didn't read the manga in the first place, I might give this one an 8 or a 9. But, well, because I already seen the manga and it's ending of it, and compare it to the movie. I'll gave it a 6. It's not worst, nor excellent. But rather a fair score.