Sunday, May 7, 2017

A Silent Voice by Yoshitoki Oima





Lol, remember this feature ? This will be like my third post in six years. #bloggoals

I'm constantly telling myself I want to read more graphic novels and I picked this series up after hearing Gwen Glazer talk about it on The Librarian Is In podcast. When it comes to anime /manga I usually go for the magical ones. so a contemporary story was a new experience for me.

This seven book manga starts with sixth grader Shoya Ishid leading a campaign to severely bully Shoko Nishimaya, because she is deaf. Shoko is bullied so badly she leaves the school and Shoyo becomes a social pariah for his cruelty. The  series takes place five years later when Shoko and Shoya meet again and begin a journey to reconcile the past while Shoya looks for redemption.

This manga is really popular, it tells a heartwarming story of second chances, where even a bully can be reformed.  I really wanted more agency from Shoko. We never really get her perspective on the events and her character is almost exclusively defined by her deafness.

I think my favorite character was Yuzuru Nishimiya, Shoko’s little sister who actually takes Shoko's bullying and hardships harder than Shoko does. Yuzuru's very protective of her older sister and even poses as a boy to seem more intimidating.

Also, fair warning there is a lot of fat shaming in this book. I'm not sure if this is a cultural difference but I notice there is a lot of fat shaming in contemporary mange/anime.

A feature length anime film based on this series just came out, so I'm super curious to see which elements of the series they keep in and which ones they take out.









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