Anime 'A Silent Voice' is the biggest tear fest ever

But we still loved everything about the anime of the year

By Verinia Khoo | Published: 20 Apr 2017

A Silent Voice film
Photo: Kyoto Animation

Japanese anime A Silent Voice (or Koe no Katachi), the Tokyo Anime Festival's Anime of the Year, opens in Malaysian cinemas today. We had an early look and loved it, but be warned: it's a total cry-fest.

The film is directed by Naoko Yamada and based on the manga of the same name. The story focuses on Shoko Nishimiya, a deaf girl who is bullied at school by a boy called Shoya Ishida and his friends, to the point where she leaves the school. Shoya's friends blame him for this, and he carries the guilt into his teenage years. One day, Shoko and Shoya meet again and he tries to make it up to her. Cue hysterical crying. Here are 6 moments in the movie when you'll need the tissues. (Spoiler alert!)

1. When Shoko's hearing aids are ripped out
Obviously no actual person was harmed in the making of this animated film BUT you won't be able to control the heart-wrenching sadness from overwhelming you when Shoko has her hearing aids ripped out by the kids at school.

Cry strength: 4/5

2. When being bullied doesn't stop her from being kind
Because she's deaf and uses a notebook to communicate with her peers, Shoko is ostracised by the kids in class. However, that doesn't stop her from trying to befriend everyone. WHY DON'T YOU STOP, SHOKO.

Cry strength: 3/5

3. When Shoya's mum apologises to Shoko's mum
During her 6 months at school, at least 8 of Shoko's hearing aids are damaged by Shoya and his friends. Shoya's mum meets up with Shoko's mum at the park to make amends. You think she's just going to hand over some money and be done with it? No. Shoya's mum lets Shoko's mum rip her earring out, tearing her earlobe, in return for the cruelty inflicted by her son.

Cry strength: 4/5

4. When you realise that Shoya is suicidal
At first I felt like it was right for Shoya to be blamed for having forced Shoko out of the school. But then the film fast forwards to a few years down the road and I realise that he was only a kid when he did those harmful things. Although he did bully Shoko, the other kids played a part too. All the shunning and blame he gets makes Shoya suicidal.

Cry strength: 5/5

5. When Shoko tries to kill herself
After Shoko and Shoya became friends, their old classmates reappear. It's clear Shoko isn't so excited about befriending the people who tortured her in school. She still tries to be nice but it's to no avail. After an aggressive encounter with Naoka Ueno (one of the bullies), Shoko tries to jump off a balcony. Thankfully Shoya saves her... but he falls off the balcony instead.

Cry strength: 10/5

6. When Shoya comes out of his shell
After he is blamed, Shoya becomes unable to look people in the face. Throughout the film, the other characters mostly have giant Xs plastered across their faces. As annoying as those markings are at first, it does a lot to explain why Shoya did not have any friends and why he was constantly looking at the floor.

Cry strength: 3/5

A Silent Voice opens in TGV cinemas in Malaysia today.

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