|Out on:||Theatrical 15th March 2017|
Exclusive Screenings Nationwide on 15th March
In Select Cinemas from 17th March
Following the release of the acclaimed animated blockbuster Your Name, distributor Anime Limited presents another outstanding Japanese animation – the intensely emotional teenage drama A Silent Voice, telling a story of childhood bullying, teenage guilt, and a search for redemption.
Naoko Yamada (K-ON!, Tamako Market)
Kyoto Animation (K-ON!, Free!, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Lucky Star, Tamako Market, Clannad)
A new girl joins a primary school class. Shoko is a shy, immensely vulnerable girl who is disabled - she is deaf and has trouble speaking. Her arrival annoys a boy in the class, Shoya, who starts bullying Shoko, with the support of some of his classmates. The results of this persecution are terrible, for both Shoya and Shoko.
Five years later, the former bully Shoya is now a teenage pariah, tormented by his memories of what he did. He’s even thinking of suicide. Then he meets Shoko again, who seems able to forgive him for what he did, and he tries to make amends for his past actions. Shoya also makes new friends, and he even starts reconnecting with his childhood classmates. But can the wounds of the past be healed so easily?
We like it because:
A Silent Voice is one of the most emotional anime ever made, dealing with intensely painful subjects rarely shown in animation or live-action. The film has no Ghibli-style fantasy, no Disney-style talking animals, because it doesn’t need them. It takes its characters on a rollercoaster journey through their growing-up, and it’s anyone guess if their journey will end with a soft landing or a disastrous crash.
The film is adapted from a manga strip by Yoshitoki Oima. In 2016, the manga was ranked as one of the year’s Top Ten Graphic Novels by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association.
The strip was animated for the screen by the Kyoto Animation studio, which is famed among Japanese animation fans for creating beautifully designed and animated works. Both the director and scriptwriter of A Silent Voice are women – director Naoko Yamada and scriptwriter Reiko Yoshida. They previously collaborated on the massively popular anime version of K-ON!, about a schoolgirl music band.
Yamada has the distinction of being one of the youngest high-level directors in the anime industry. At just 32, she’s more than a decade younger than Makoto Shinkai, director of Your Name, and she’s younger than Hayao Miyazaki was when he directed his first feature film. (A Silent Voice is the third feature that Yamada has directed, following cinema versions of K-ON! and another TV series she helmed, Tamako Market.)
A Silent Voice’s Japanese voice-cast is led by actor Miyu Irino as the troubled boy Shoya. Irino is best known as the hero Sora in the global bestselling game franchise Kingdom Hearts. Before that, he had a prominent role in Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away as Haku, a boy who is really a dragon. Away from fantasy, Irino also voiced the male lead in the acclaimed animated drama The Garden of Words, directed by Makoto Shinkai (Your Name).
Befitting a film in which one of the main characters is deaf, A Silent Voice will have screenings that include hard of hearing subtitles which will allow those hard of hearing to experience the full film, including sounds, music and noises. The first anime film to do so in cinemas.