Feb 9, 2019
Optigisa (All reviews)
Everyone in the world is distinctive, each person having both positive and negative aspects about them, and every society is known for their own distinctive features. There are those who disagree with this view as nothing more than a blind and false generalization, and there are those who completely agree with it. Both ways of thinking, in my opinion, are unnecessarily exaggerated. The best solution for this is a balance, as we cannot hide one society’s trait, nor can we realistically say that a whole society belongs to a certain feature. For example, Japanese people are considered to be people who love a clean environment, so, does that mean that every single Japanese acts in this manner? Certainly not, but most of them do act upon this certain trait. The characteristics of a society are important for identifying an important case, and that is that the goals of a story are to display those attributes in a precise manner, and to display the solutions that can be found in a literary artistic context, and not in an informative one. The Anime movie, Koe no Katachi, presents a social issue of Japanese society. So, how credible is this particular movie? How good is it’s credibility, and what are it’s positive aspects, and it’s negative ones?

To start off with the story, it is supposed to be an autobiography about a young guy called Shouya, and the movie displays what occurs in his life from his elementary school days up until he reaches high school, and that is by highlighting the events that had a relation with him bullying and picking on his deaf classmate, a girl by the name of Shouko. So, what are the consequences of his insolent actions? And what will happen in this regard? This is the structure of the story, and it is rather good, because this structure depends on two essential elements that rarely fail. The first element, is picking the prospective of the story to be an autobiography. The best thing about picking an autobiography as a story is the fact that the viewer’s attachment during the story, and even after the story had concluded, is set on a human, and not on an object or a place. Meaning that the attachment of the viewer is not on an event or a set of particular events, nor on any action sequences, nor anything else. The attachment of the viewer is solely on a person with realistic features and components, aka a human. This is useful due to the fact that the viewer feels that they have identified and related with a human on an emotional scale. The second essential element of this story, is that the movie highlights interesting occurrences that go on in that character’s life. I can safely say that the story of Shouya, from him picking on his classmate Shouko, and the effect that had on their lives and on their classmates, is very intriguing to look at and watch.

The beginning of the movie was light and quickly used a hook that was impactful, even if I found the hook to be used way too early on in the story, because the time between that particular hook, until we reach the dilemma of the story, is long enough to the point where it can lessen the effect of that strong hook later on in the story. As for the events, I find that the script was very useful in portraying each and every single event, because I did not find one event with little to no meaning, and there are two essential categories that the writer used when it came to the events: Events which were centered around building the story, and events that were pivotal to the story. I really liked how these events were distributed throughout the narrative, and the way the writer dealt with them, due to the fact that many writers don’t know how to execute the events that build the story in an interesting manner. Usually, these events are dull, and the reason for that is due to the fact that they are non-interactive and their mission is to build characteristics within the characters in order to crystallize a pivotal event. I was surprised though, that these beginning events were more interesting than boring, and the reason for that is thanks to the realistic nature of the dialogue.

The characters here were fairly realistic, and they reflect on the age group they were placed in in a very precise way, whether they were in elementary school or when they became high schoolers, and it is an effort that deserves respect. Moreover, the Japanese values that are displayed here and the degree of emotion that characterizes the Japanese is correct, and that is very excellent. The way of communication between the students, the two genders and the general etiquette of Japanese society is to be found. Subsequently, the film was able to present a true image to a very good degree of the society it was representing. Unfortunately, there is a problem to be found in the duration of the film, which is that I find it to be longer than it needs to be. The length of the whole movie is a timely two hours and ten minutes, and this is a fatal mistake that cannot be overlooked. All of the characters and the events would have needed an hour and a half at most for them to be fleshed out accordingly, and if the staff had stuck to an hour and a half, then that would have greatly benefited both the movie and the audience as well. As for the climax of the story, it was written both emotionally and cleverly, and in a way that was harmonious to the narrative. The ending, though fairly normal and drab, is still credible in accordance to the events that take place in the movie. There is a dramatic exaggeration that I didn’t find good though, and a negative point that spoils the ending a little, which is Shouya’s dramatic reaction at the end. This particular scene is challenging to settle, as the producers messed up on this one. It doesn’t really ravage the film entirely, but it surely mitigates the strong emotional impact that could have been reaped.

Homogeneous to many Anime, there is a high quality in the selection of the camera angles. Each angle was carefully selected, and it’s dimensions chosen to direct the viewer’s attention to what the director seeks, and this movie was so creative with it’s angles, to the point where the viewer could recognize a character’s gender simply because of the genius that went into choosing the camera angles, the framing being very good as well. The animation is exquisite overall, but there is no point where it excels in quality and becomes above the normal standard. Excellent accuracy could be found when it comes to the facial expressions, but another problem is that sometimes it becomes difficult to understand the significance of those expressions and what they mean, as those expressions could be understood in a false sense by the audience. For example, there is a scene where Shouya offers someone to take his bike instead of his classmate’s bike, the facial expressions in that particular scene were correct, although they seemed to have been misplaced. Here I would have wished for the director to have at least used some sound effects to support the validity of what they wanted to convey, since the director managed to implement them when it came to later scenes in the movie.

The character design worked well at diversifying the characters from one another and were compatible with each character’s own unique personality, except for Shouya’s design when he grew up into his highschool years, as I find that his character design should have made parallel changes in accordance to the heavy psychological trauma that was inflected on him as a child growing up. The background design is very well made, and the settings reflect correctly on the characters that reside in them. The performance of the Japanese cast is excellent, and the credibility of how the deaf communicate is done well. As for the soundtrack and the sound effects, I find that they played a vital role in supporting the narrative and enhancing the viewer’s experience, and the music's presence was very important, as the way it entered and exited scenes was ideal, to the point where it contributed to the continuous mobility in the vicinity of the story in a smooth manner, and without disturbing the viewer’s process in receiving the contents of the story.

In conclusion, the long length of the movie being two hours and ten minutes, in addition to the ending that was fairly average and tended on thin, ruined what was supposed to be a great film. As such, a score of only a 7 could be given to this movie. Koe no Katachi, however, still remains a beautiful film, and it’s humanitarian messages are displayed in a respectful artistic manner. The characters are mostly fairly realistic, and they uniquely reflect an issue of Japanese society in a credible manner. The movie, A Silent Voice, is very well made, and it is still a movie worth checking out.