“Back then, if only we could have heard each other’s voices, everything would have been so much better.”
Trigger warnings: a suicide attempt; bullying; fighting; the idea of suicide is largely prevalent in the series
About the Author: Yoshitoki Ōima was born in Gifu Prefecture, Japan in 1989. From a young age, Ōima spent her days drawing and creating her own stories, which eventually led to her desire to become a mangaka, or manga creator. Ōima began working on A Silent Voice when she was only eighteen years old in order to support her family.
A Silent Voice is a seven volume series following the life of Shoya Ishida. Shoya is a typical kid who does stupid stuff to impress his friends, including bullying the new girl, Shoko Nishimiya. Nishimiya, who is the only deaf student in her school, just wants to make friends with her new classmates. However, Ishida, and eventually the rest of the class, begin to mercilessly bully Nishimiya, until Ishida goes too far and Nishimiya transfers schools. Ishida becomes the class’ scapegoat and is isolated from everyone all through elementary school and into high school. Years later, he sets out to make amends with Nishimiya in the midst of his own pain. This series explores the detrimental consequences of bullying on both the bullied and the bullier, the language barrier and misunderstanding between deaf and hearing, as well as the difficult, yet beautiful road to redemption. A Silent Voice was made into an animated movie in 2016 and will be released in English soon!
Rating: 5/5 stars
PRR Writer, Meghan Reinholz