I had the pleasure of seeing the A Silent Voice movie at a theater near my house on October 23rd. Now, I’ve read the manga twice, and I’ve written two posts based around the manga. Is it surprising you there’s a third post now?
The question here is whether the movie or manga experience is better. So, here’s my opinion on that. If you don’t know anything about A Silent Voice, I’d suggest you read my first post on it, where I describe the premise of the story.
Let’s start with the movie, and I’ll compare differences with the manga. Obviously, there are bits of story left out of the movie since it’s a bit hard to smash seven manga volumes into a two-hour movie. It’s impossible, actually. If they were to include every detail, it’d either be paced horribly or would be an insanely long movie. So, if you need to know the whole story, your best option is the manga, clearly.
But there are benefits of watching the movie. There were scenes and symbols I didn’t catch in either time reading the manga, but when it was right in front of me in the movie, it all made sense. And the ending of the movie took place in the middle of the last manga, since they couldn’t use the real ending in the movie. They took out one part that spanned over most of the manga, and was part of the ending there. But I definitely like the way the manga ended much better, as it felt more complete.
The movie also is stunningly gorgeous. The manga did not have bad art by any means, but the movie did things that just couldn’t be shown in black and white images. The sign language is the biggest thing, I think. It was easier to understand what Shoko was conveying when her signing was animated, since there are no subtitles of what she was saying in either version. It had such a different, fuller feel to it visually.
And the music, ugh, was just so pretty. It was mostly piano, and became intense when it needed to be. I think I need the soundtrack like right now. When I saw this movie in theater, I swear I almost cried just from hearing the background music.
I think it’s safe to say I thoroughly enjoyed watching the movie.
The manga, however, gives the full picture. It is more satisfying, I think. And it clarifies a lot of things that could be confusing in the movie. I watched the movie with my dad, and afterwards, I had to answer quite a few questions for him, since I read the manga and he didn’t.
The manga also fleshes out the characters a lot more. There were some characters who were in the movie, but didn’t have much of a solid purpose. Some scenes felt a bit rushed, or glossed over, when in the manga they last two or three chapters. But I feel the things they took out were the right ones.
Like I said in the beginning, this all depends on if you want the meaning of the story, but don’t care much about the specific details, or if you are dedicated enough to read the whole thing. If you just want a simple, two-hour experience, the movie is perfect.
I’m not sure if this really gives much of an answer, but I really just wanted to gush about A Silent Voice again. I have one more post I want to do on this, but I should be finished after that. Just need to express all of my feelings about this series/movie. They’re too great to express in a measly two posts.
A few extra things I just want to say about my movie experience. I had to drag my dad along with me to see this movie, since the theater was almost an hour from my house and it was a school night. And to my surprise, he thoroughly enjoyed it. My dad was really into anime and manga was he was in high school and his early twenties, but hasn’t watched or read any for a while. So I was a bit hesitant to share this with him. He knew very little about it, but he said it was an interesting topic before we went. I was worried he’d think it was too melodramatic or something, but he told me he thought it was deep. We discussed the movie a bit in the car on the way home, and I was beyond ecstatic to see my dad actively talk to me about one of my favorite things. This also really shows that anyone can get something out of it. I genuinely feel that EVERYBODY should experience A Silent Voice at some point, somehow. The topics at hand are relevant now and always will be relevant. Disability, bullying, depression, suicide, friendship, growing up; they’re all heavy topics throughout the movie and manga, and everyone will have to deal with these things one way or another.
The other thing, I mentioned on my Twitter. The minute I walked out of the theater, there were two people, signing to each other. And I was just in awe. What kind of insane coincidence is that? I’ve seen people use sign language before, but really not all that often. So to see that after coming out of a movie so heavy in the deaf community, I nearly cried. And, my favorite thing about seeing the movie was watching Shoko and Shoya talking in sign language. It was a totally different experience from reading the manga, where only still images of the motions were shown. It was really the reason I had to see the movie.
Anyway, this post has gone on long enough. Kyoto Animation did a fantastic job with adapting the manga, no doubt about that. But I think the only true experience you can get is from reading the manga.
Hope you enjoyed yet another A Silent Voice post! I meant for this to go up Wednesday and have another post today but I was just having a weird week. So I think you’ll get a bonus post on Monday or Tuesday when I come back from Youmacon!
Follow me on Twitter! @letstalkanime1