A Silent Voice (film)

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A Silent Voice
A Silent Voice Film Poster.jpg
Film poster
Japanese 映画 聲の形
Hepburn Koe no Katachi
Directed by Naoko Yamada
Produced by
  • Eharu Ōhashi
  • Shinichi Nakamura
  • Mikio Uetsuki
  • Toshio Iizuka
  • Kensuke Tateishi
Screenplay by Reiko Yoshida
Based on A Silent Voice
by Yoshitoki Ōima
Music by Kensuke Ushio
Cinematography Kazuya Takao
Edited by Kengo Shigemura
Distributed by Shochiku
Release date
  • September 17, 2016 (2016-09-17) (Japan)
Running time
130 minutes[1]
Country Japan
Language Japanese
Japanese Sign Language
Box office ¥2.3 billion
(US$19.56 million)[2]

A Silent Voice: The Movie (Japanese: 映画 聲の形, Hepburn: Eiga Koe no Katachi, also translated as The Shape of Voice: The Movie) is a 2016 Japanese animated teen drama film produced by Kyoto Animation, directed by Naoko Yamada and written by Reiko Yoshida, featuring character designs by Futoshi Nishiya and music by Kensuke Ushio.[3] It is based on the manga of the same name written and illustrated by Yoshitoki Ōima. The film premiered in Japan on September 17, 2016 and worldwide between February and June 2017.


Shōya Ishida sets his affairs in order and walks to a bridge, intending to commit suicide. Coming to his senses at the last minute, he hears fireworks as he recalls his days in elementary school and the events that have led him to this point in his life.

In those days, Shōya was an indifferent child, one who viewed his fellow students as a way of staving off his boredom. The entry of a new student named Shōko Nishimiya into his class piques his interest when she informs the class that she is deaf. In spite of her disability, she tries her best to live normally and integrate with the class. However, the other students and the teacher come to believe her presence is upsetting the social balance, and Shōya begins to bully her; fellow classmate Naoka does the same.

When word of the bullying reaches the principal, Shōya is singled out as the culprit. He names his friends as accomplices, but they turn on him, denying their involvement. Soon, the class's bullying is directed toward him, subjecting him to the same treatment he gave to Shōko. Shōya blames Shōko and the two fight after he finds her doing something to his desk. She is subsequently transferred to another school, and he discovers that she was erasing hateful messages his classmates left in chalk on his desk. Shōya finds himself alone, relegated to the role of a tormented outcast. After being thrown in a pond by his classmates, he finds Shōko's notebook.

Now in high school, Shōya remains a social reject, having grown to accept his past as punishment. Full of guilt and anxiety, he blocks out the faces of those around him, unable to look them in the eye. Despite his isolation, Tomohiro Nagatsuka, another loner, befriends him and quickly comes to consider him his best friend. Shōya visits the sign language center to return Shōko's once-waterlogged notebook in the hopes of making amends. The two begin meeting at a bridge to feed bread to koi.

Yuzuru, Shōko's younger sister, strongly doubts Shōya's intentions. One day, Shōya jumps into a river after Shōko does the same to retrieve a notebook, which happens to be prohibited. Yuzuru secretly takes a photo of Shōya jumping in, and posts it online. Shōya is suspended for the act, and Yuzuru reveals that she was responsible; instead of getting angry, Shōya brings her to stay at his house. When she leaves in the middle of the night, Shōya follows and tells her that he is genuinely remorseful for the way he treated Shōko.

Shōko soon gives Shōya a gift and confesses her feelings for him, but because she tries to verbally communicate her affections rather than signing it out, Shōya does not understand her. Worried that the misunderstanding upset her, Shōya invites her to go to an amusement park with him and his group of classmates. There, Naoka finally voices her feelings of hatred in secret to Shōko. In class, desperate to remain blameless for Shōko's bullying, Miki Kawai, another former classmate, exposes Shōya's past to the remaining students who were still oblivious to it, while downplaying her own involvement. The group has a heated confrontation about each member's level of responsibility, ending with Shōya callously calling out every one of them for who they really are.

To cheer Shōko up after her grandmother's death, Shōya takes her to the countryside, where he begins to understand how much she blames herself for everything that has happened to him. Desperate to reassure and change her mindset, Shōya contrives to regularly meet with the sisters.

During the fireworks festival, Shōko goes home under the guise of finishing some schoolwork. Shōya follows when Yuzuru asks him to get her camera. When he arrives, he finds Shōko standing on the balcony, on the verge of throwing herself to her death. Shōya succeeds in grabbing her and pulls her back up, but he falls over the side into the river and slips into a coma.

One night, Shōko dreams of receiving a farewell visit from Shōya. Horrified, she runs to the bridge where they fed the koi and collapses in tears. Shōya, awakening from his coma in a state of panic, stumbles to the bridge himself and finds her there, huddled in despair. He formally apologizes to her for the way he treated her, and for the many things he did which may have caused her to hate herself. He asks her to stop blaming herself, and also admits that, while he once considered giving up himself and ending his own life, he has since decided against it. Shōya then asks her to help him continue to live.

When Shōya goes to the school festival with Shōko, he finds out how much his friends from elementary school still care for him and all of them are reconciled. Afterwards, Shōya requests them that the group should go to the school festival together. During the festival, Shōya finally overcomes his past mistakes and is finally able look at other people's faces, as he cries and realizes that he has found redemption and forgiveness at last.

Voice cast[edit]

Shōya Ishida (石田将也, Ishida Shōya)
Voiced by: Miyu Irino,[4] Mayu Matsuoka (child)[5] (Japanese); Robbie Daymond,[6] Ryan Shanahan (child) (English)
A high school boy who bullied Shōko in elementary school along with his friends, who turned on him when he attempted to reveal their roles. Now a social outcast, he strives to make amends with Shōko.
Shōko Nishimiya (西宮硝子, Nishimiya Shōko)
Voiced by: Saori Hayami[4] (Japanese); Lexi Cowden[6] (English)
A deaf girl who transferred to Shōya's elementary school, where she was the victim of constant harassment by Shōya and her classmates, forcing her to transfer again. Now in high school, she visits the sign language center with her sister Yuzuru.
Yuzuru Nishimiya (西宮結絃, Nishimiya Yuzuru)
Voiced by: Aoi Yūki[5] (Japanese); Kristen Sullivan[6] (English)
Shōko's younger sister who is skeptical of Shōya's attempts to meet Shōko. Due to her boyish look, Shōya initially assumes she is dating Shōko, a lie she continues until she reveals herself. She regularly takes photos of dead creatures to show Shōko the morbid reality of death.
Tomohiro Nagatsuka (永束友宏, Nagatsuka Tomohiro)
Voiced by: Kenshō Ono[5] (Japanese); Graham Halstead[6] (English)
A rotund high school boy who befriends Shōya after he prevents his bike from being stolen. Tomohiro is defensive toward Shōya, often confronting others involved with him.
Naoka Ueno (植野直花, Ueno Naoka)
Voiced by: Yūki Kaneko[5] (Japanese); Kira Buckland, Gia Grace (child)[6] (English)
Shōya's elementary school classmate who joined him in bullying Shōko. In the present, she works at a café and attends a different high school. Although she is apologetic for her actions toward Shōya, she remains antagonistic toward Shōko, blaming her for what has happened until she is confronted by Shōya's mother at the hospital that Shōya was staying at.
Miyoko Sahara (佐原みよこ, Sahara Miyoko)
Voiced by: Yui Ishikawa[5] (Japanese); Melissa Hope, Catie Harvey (child)[6] (English)
One of the few classmates in Shōko's elementary school who was friendly to her; the two reunite years later.
Miki Kawai (川井みき, Kawai Miki)
Voiced by: Megumi Han[5] (Japanese); Amber Lee Connors, Annabelle Corigliano (child)[6] (English)
A classmate of Shōya's from elementary to high school; she vehemently denies her involvement in Shōko's bullying.
Satoshi Mashiba (真柴 智, Mashiba Satoshi)
Voiced by: Toshiyuki Toyonaga[5] (Japanese); Max Mittelman[6] (English)
A high school boy who befriends Shōya.
Kazuki Shimada (島田一旗, Shimada Kazuki)
Voiced by: Ryo Nishitani, Sachiko Kojima (child) (Japanese); Michael Sinterniklaas, Spencer Rosen (child)[6] (English)
Shōya's elementary school friend and accomplice in bullying Shōko. After Shōya attempted to expose his role in harassing her, he led his former friends in bullying Shōya in response. He currently works at an amusement park.
Keisuke Hirose (広瀬啓祐, Hirose Keisuke)
Voiced by: Takuya Masumoto, Hana Takeda (child) (Japanese); Brian Beckerle (child)[6] (English)
One of Shōya's friends in elementary school who later turned on him alongside Kazuki.
Takeuchi (竹内)
Voiced by: Fuminori Komatsu (Japanese); Marc Diraison[6] (English)
Shōya's teacher in elementary school. Although he opposed Shōya's harassment of Shōko, he made no effort in intervening until the principal confronted the classroom.
Miyako Ishida (石田美也子, Ishida Miyako)
Voiced by: Satsuki Yukino (Japanese); Sara Cravens[6] (English)
Shōya's mother who runs a hair salon.
Yaeko Nishimiya (西宮八重子, Nishimiya Yaeko)
Voiced by: Akiko Hiramatsu (Japanese); Lipica Shah[6] (English)
Shōko and Yuzuru's mother, she disapproves of her daughters meeting Shōya and demands them to stop, though they refuse.
Shōya's Older Sister (将也の姉, Shōya no Ane)
Voiced by: Ayano Hamaguchi (Japanese); Stephanie Sheh[6] (English)
Maria's mother and Pedro's spouse.
Maria (マリア, Maria)
Voiced by: Erena Kamata (Japanese); AnnaBelle Deaner[6] (English)
Shōya's niece and the daughter of his older sister and Pedro.
Ito Nishimiya (西宮いと, Nishimiya Ito)
Voiced by: Ikuko Tani (Japanese); Barbara Goodson[6] (English)
Shōko and Yuzuru's grandmother, who lives with the family and bought Yuzuru her first camera.
Pedro (ペドロ, Pedoro)
Voiced by: Ryunosuke Watanuki (Japanese); Chris Jai Alex[6] (English)
Maria's father.


The anime adaptation of the manga was announced in the manga's final chapter that released on November 19, 2014,[7] later specifying that the adaptation will be an anime theatrical film on December 17, 2014.[8] In the Weekly Shōnen Magazine's 46th issue of 2015 that released on October 14, 2015, Kyoto Animation and Naoko Yamada were announced to be the animation studio and director of the film adaptation, respectively.[9] The film's distributor, Shochiku, listed the adaptation releasing in Q4 2016.[10] On April 8, 2016, the film adaptation's official website opened, announcing that Reiko Yoshida will be writing the scripts for the film, Futoshi Nishiya will be designing the characters and the film is scheduled for release in Japanese theaters on September 17, 2016.[11] Kensuke Ushio and Pony Canyon composed and produced the music, respectively.[4] The film's theme song, titled "Koi wo Shita no wa" (恋をしたのは), was performed by Aiko, while "My Generation" by The Who was used during the opening credit.[12][13]

For the English dub, deaf actress Lexi Cowden was cast as Shoko.[14]


The film premiered in 120 theaters across Japan on September 17, 2016.[11][15] It was screened at the 2016 Scotland Loves Animation festival on October 22, 2016,[16] and at the ICA in London on February 5, 2017.[17] Anime Limited distributed and released the film in the United Kingdom and Ireland on March 15, 2017.[18] Purple Plan released the film in Singapore and Malaysia on March 9, 2017.[19] Madman Entertainment released the film for a limited duration in Australia and New Zealand from April 9, 2017 and April 16, 2017, respectively.[20] In 2017, Konnichiwa Festival will be releasing the movie in theaters in Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama and Peru, for a limited time in May, while in countries like Argentina and Uruguay, the film will be released by Anifest having a theatrical release in June.[21] Pioneer Films released the movie in the Philippines on May 10, 2017 nationwide.[22] The film had a screening at Anime Expo on July 3, 2017, where it was announced that the film will have a limited release in U.S. theaters in October 20, 2017.[23] The Blu-ray home video release volume was released in Japan on May 17, 2017, which contains two animated videos of the film's theme song and "Speed of Youth", one of the original soundtracks by composer Kensuke Ushio.[24]


Box office[edit]

The film opened at #2 at the Japanese box office behind Makoto Shinkai's Your Name, and grossed a total of ¥283 million from 200,000 admissions within two days of its premiere across 120 theaters.[15] As of November 30, 2016, the film has grossed a total of over ¥2.2 billion from 1.7 million admissions.[25] It ranked at #16 on Nikkei Hit Ranking for 2016 from East division.[26] It was the 19th highest-grossing film in Japan in 2016 and also the 10th highest-grossing Japanese film of the year in the country (tied with Death Note: Light Up the New World), with ¥2.3 billion (US$19.56 million).[2] A Silent Voice earned $19.56 million in Japan and $2,936,334 in other territories for a worldwide total of over $22 million.[27] It has grossed CN¥43.4 million in China.[28]

Critical reception[edit]

Makoto Shinkai, director of Your Name, called the film a "fantastic piece of work" and a "polished and grand production" which even he is unable to replicate.[29] It won Best Animation of the Year in the 26th Japan Movie Critics Awards, where director Naoko Yamada also received praise for her work on the film.[30] At 2017 Annecy International Animated Film Festival, the film was selected as one of the nine feature films in competition.[31]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 93% based on 27 reviews, and an average rating of 7.6/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "As beautifully crafted as it is powerfully written, A Silent Voice looks at teen bullying from a soberingly hard-hitting perspective that's uncommon for the animated medium."[32] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 78 out of 100, based on 10 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[33]


Year Award Category Recipient Result References
2017 Japanese Academy Award Excellent Animation of the Year A Silent Voice won [34]
Best Animation of the Year nominated
Mainichi Eiga Concours Best Animation Film nominated [35]
Comicbook.com Golden Issue Awards Best Anime Movie nominated [36]
Newtype Anime Awards Best Anime Movie 2nd Place [37]
Tokyo Anime Award Festival Anime of the Year (movie) won [38]
Best Reiko Yoshida won [38][39]
Japan Media Arts Festival Animation Division - Excellence Award A Silent Voice won [40]
Japan Movie Critics Awards Best Animation of the Year won [41]
Festival d’Animation Annecy Feature Film nominated [31][42]
Asia Pacific Screen Awards Best Animated Feature Film nominated [43]
Sitges Film Festival Feature Film nominated [44]
Anim’est International Animation Film Festival Feature Film nominated [45]
Camera Japan Festival won [46]
2018 The Anime Awards Best Movie nominated [47]
Best Animation nominated
Academy Awards Best Animated Feature Shortlist
(no official nomination)
Anime UK Reader’s Choice Awards Best Movie won [50]
Best Soundtrack won
Best Release 2nd Place
Best New Character (male) Shōya Ishida won
Best New Character (female) Shōko Nishimiya won
Anime Trending Awards Girl of the Year won [51]
Anime-Film des Jahres A Silent Voice 2nd Place [52]
Monstra Lisbon Animated Film Festival Feature Film nominated [53]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Green, Scott (August 7, 2016). ""A Silent Voice" Anime Movie Listed For Over Two Hours". Crunchyroll. Retrieved August 7, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Top 20 Highest-Grossing Films in Japan Has 6 Anime Films". Anime News Network. December 18, 2016. Retrieved December 20, 2016. 
  3. ^ "映画「聲の形」(2016)". allcinema (in Japanese). Stingray. Retrieved September 22, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c "A Silent Voice Anime Film Stars Miyu Irino, Saori Hayami". Anime News Network. May 27, 2016. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "A Silent Voice Anime Film Reveals Trailer, More Cast, New Visual". Anime News Network. July 8, 2016. Retrieved July 8, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "'A Silent Voice' UK Home Video Details". All The Anime. September 26, 2017. Retrieved September 26, 2017. 
  7. ^ "A Silent Voice Manga Has Anime in the Works". Anime News Network. November 17, 2014. Retrieved April 8, 2016. 
  8. ^ "A Silent Voice Anime Project Is a Theatrical Film". Anime News Network. December 15, 2014. Retrieved April 8, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Kyoto Animation to Produce A Silent Voice Film With Director Naoko Yamada". Anime News Network. October 11, 2015. Retrieved April 8, 2016. 
  10. ^ Green, Scott (December 27, 2015). ""Silent Voice" Anime Movie Listed For Fall 2016". Crunchyroll. Retrieved April 8, 2016. 
  11. ^ a b "A Silent Voice Anime Film's Visual, Teaser Video, Release Date, More Staff Revealed". Anime News Network. April 8, 2016. Retrieved April 8, 2016. 
  12. ^ "aiko to Perform A Silent Voice Anime Film's Theme Song". Anime News Network. June 27, 2016. Retrieved August 17, 2016. 
  13. ^ "A Silent Voice Anime Film Reveals Trailer, More Cast, New Visual". Anime News Network. July 8, 2016. Retrieved August 17, 2016. 
  14. ^ "A Silent Voice English Dub Clip Features Lexi Cowden as Shoko". Anime News Network. October 10, 2017. Retrieved June 15, 2018. 
  15. ^ a b "A Silent Voice Anime Film Earns 283 Million Yen in 2 Days, Ranks #2". Anime News Network. September 20, 2016. Retrieved September 20, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Extra Silent Voice and Your Name Screenings at Edinburgh Scotland Loves Anime". Anime News Network. September 30, 2016. Retrieved March 5, 2017. 
  17. ^ "A Silent Voice in Japanese Film Tour". Anime News Network. January 10, 2017. Retrieved March 5, 2017. 
  18. ^ "A Silent Voice UK and Ireland Cinema Details". Anime News Network. February 22, 2017. Retrieved March 5, 2017. 
  19. ^ "Koe No Katachi (A Silent Voice): Finally Premiering In Singapore & Malaysia On 9 Mar 17". HYPE & STUFF. February 24, 2017. Retrieved March 14, 2017. 
  20. ^ McCallum, Jessica (March 2, 2017). "A Silent Voice is Heading to Australia and New Zealand This April". Madman Entertainment. Retrieved March 5, 2017. 
  21. ^ "Koe no Katachi // Una Voz Silenciosa". www.konnichiwafestival.com. 
  22. ^ "Pioneer Films re-schedules "A Silent Voice" anime movie premiere to May 10". Anime Pilipinas. May 2, 2017. Retrieved May 3, 2017. 
  23. ^ "Anime Expo 2017: A Silent Voice Coming to U.S. Theaters". The Outerhaven. July 1, 2017. Retrieved August 23, 2017. 
  24. ^ "A Silent Voice Anime Film's Blu-ray to Add 2 New Animated Videos". Anime News Network. March 13, 2017. Retrieved April 25, 2017. 
  25. ^ "A Silent Voice Film Earns 2.2 Billion Yen, Sells 1.7 Million Tickets". Anime News Network. December 2, 2016. Retrieved December 4, 2016. 
  26. ^ "横綱は『君の名は。』と『ポケモンGO』、嵐は大関". Yahoo! Japan (in Japanese). December 5, 2016. Retrieved December 5, 2016. 
  27. ^ "A Silent Voice (Koe no katachi)". www.boxofficemojo.com. 
  28. ^ "声之形(2017)". Cbooo (in Chinese). Retrieved September 18, 2017. 
  29. ^ @shinkaimakoto (September 7, 2006). "映画『聲の形』試写で観てきました。素敵な作品でした。どこまでも真摯で丁寧な組み立てで、絵も色彩もエモーションに美しく奉仕していて。上品で端正な演出は、真似したくてもとても真似られそうもなく。キャストも皆素敵でしたが、個人的には入野自由さんの芝居に度肝を抜かれました。すごすぎ。" (Tweet) – via Twitter. 
  30. ^ Rei, Serena (May 17, 2017). "A Big Movie Hit – Anime Movie 'A Silent Voice' Wins Best Animation of the Year". AnimeCon.org. 
  31. ^ a b "A Silent Voice Animated Movie in Competition at Annecy". Anime News Network. Retrieved 11 June 2018. 
  32. ^ "A Silent Voice (Koe no katachi) (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved April 10, 2018. 
  33. ^ "A Silent Voice Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved February 21, 2018. 
  34. ^ "第40回 日本アカデミー賞 優秀賞一覧" (in Japanese). Japan Academy Prize. 16 January 2017. 
  35. ^ "第71回毎日映画コンクール 心に迫る一本 日本映画大賞・日本映画優秀賞候補作" (in Japanese). Mainichi Newspaper. 16 December 2016. 
  36. ^ Megan Peters (2017-12-22). "The 2017 ComicBook.com Golden Issue Awards Nominations for Anime". Comicbook.com. Retrieved 2018-07-03. 
  37. ^ Egan Loo (2017-10-07). "Fate/Apocrypha, Sword Art Online Movie Win Top Newtype Anime Awards". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2018-06-23. 
  38. ^ a b "TAAF2017アニメ オブ ザ イヤー部門グランプリは『映画『聲の形』』と『ユーリ!!! on ICE』に決定!" (in Japanese). Tokyo Anime Award Festival. 22 February 2017. 
  39. ^ Lisa Dietrich (2018-03-17). "Man braucht mehr solcher Filme". Leipzig lauscht (in German). Retrieved 2018-07-05. 
  40. ^ "The 20th Japan Media Arts Festival Award-winning Works" (PDF). Japan Media Arts Festival. 
  41. ^ "第26回受賞作品" (in Japanese). Japan Movie Critics Awards. Retrieved 11 June 2018. 
  42. ^ Amid Amidi (2017-04-27). "Annecy Unveils Full Lineup Of 23 Animated Features". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved 2018-07-03. 
  43. ^ Jackie Keast (2017-10-13). "'Sweet Country' earns three Asia Pacific Screen Awards nominations". if.com.au. Retrieved 2018-06-14. 
  44. ^ "50 International Film Festival of Catalonia- Sitges 2017". Filmaffinity.com. Retrieved 2018-06-21. 
  45. ^ "Feature Film 2017". Anim’est International Animation Film Festival. Retrieved 2018-07-08. 
  46. ^ Ard Vijn (2017-12-05). "Have Your Say: The Future Of Anime Is Bright". Screenanarchy. Retrieved 2018-07-08. 
  47. ^ Sebastian Wienecke (2018-02-28). "Crunchyroll Anime Awards 2018 – Das sind die Gewinner" (in German). Moviepilot.de. Retrieved 2018-06-14. 
  48. ^ "26 ANIMATED FEATURES SUBMITTED FOR 2017 OSCAR RACE". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2017-11-09. Retrieved 2018-06-14. 
  49. ^ Joey Nolfy (2017-11-10). "Angelina Jolie, Pixar projects among 26 films submitted for animated feature Oscar". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2018-06-14. 
  50. ^ Teapot, Demelza (2018-01-24). "Announcing the Anime UK News Readers' Choice Awards Winners!". Anime UK News. Retrieved 2018-07-08. 
  51. ^ "Results – Character Awards". Trending Anime. Retrieved 2018-07-08. 
  52. ^ "Results – Top Anime Awards". Trending Anime. Retrieved 2018-07-08. 
  53. ^ Mercedes Milligan (2018-03-05). "MONSTRA Fest Grows Up with 18th Edition". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 2018-07-11. 

External links[edit]