A Silent Voice (Anime/Movie) Review


[I also have a Video review here.]

A Silent Voice is a 2017 anime drama written by Reiko Yoshida and directed by Naoko Yamada. The story revolves mainly around Shoya Ishida who after bullying Shoko Nishimiya, the new girl in class who is also deaf, until she leaves before being subjected to bullying himself which eventually results in Shoya deciding he must meet Shoko again and atone for his sins.
Note this review lightly explains what happens but in a way where the movie is still worth watching.
A Silent Voice Anime Movie Title
The movie starts off quite interesting, instead of going straight into the part of the movie where the two are younger it shows the older Shoya seemingly traveling around and what even seems like thoughts of suicide, it was a nice introduction to the artstyle as well plus the ambient sound (or music?) really fit into the mood despite not much happening.
The sudden switch to the old english music used in the intro credits was really odd though I did get used to it quickly as it was essentially to show you how him and his friends were like before the events of the movie which is seemingly a more powerful message if you’ve seen the trailer or even the description as you know in advance that he’ll screw it up.
I was surprised at how fast it introduced the characters and what happened, Shoya was already introduced in the intro credits while Shoko had an interesting scene with strange ‘music’ with barely any notes that just somehow worked. Despite the viewer only saw a few example’s of Shoya bullying Shoko (with it being over the course of 5 months story-wise) it didn’t feel rushed. It was also still enough that his inevitable betrayal and bullying was, at first, rather satisfying especially because of how innocent Shoko was and her failed attempts to become friends. Although the bigger surprise was yet to come.

 

A Silent Voice - Young Shoya and Shoko.
The way it skipped straight to an older Shoya meeting Shoko again made it seem like it’d just jump straight into the romance with them not even showing him learning sign language but simply (and honestly effectively) hinting at it at the start of the scene. As rushed as it felt at first it was nice seeing Shoya repeating the same sign language that Shoko herself had previously tried.
However it suddenly got much darker than expected and the results of Shoya’s bullying was revealed as he walks through the school hallway, the way it focused on him with the blurring and X’s on people’s coupled with the choice of music was amazing. The way the scene ends with him covering his ears is an incredibly powerful message seemingly enhanced by certain things about the plot and really needs to be seen to be appreciated. From then on you just can’t hate on him anymore and actively hope it gets better soon. That’s not even including a certain scene which mentions suicide and the rather depressing explanation of the ripped calendar shown at the very start of the movie.
It does start getting better for him as you’d expect and in quite a clever way too, after showing a few failed attempts to see Shoko there’s a seemingly unrelated scene of random kindness which pays off in a way I didn’t see coming, I can’t explain how emotional it was when Shoya realises that he made a friend and the X falls off and slowly floats to the ground like a plaster or something. This became a chain reaction and it seemed to be going up with him the emphasis being on meeting some of the characters from the old school.

 

A Silent Voice - Older Shoya and Shoko
I personally liked how it was done, none of it felt too coincidental or too happy and it knew when to tone it down a little. After all not all reunions are good ones and after certain events someone even gains an X on their face. Its to be expected that it’d start going downhill again but once again in quite a good way, you honestly can’t hate on Shoya for what he said which temporarily ruined most of his friendships (except with Shoko and her sister) because you can imagine its something that’d been on his mind for quite a while. Although after some semi happy moments something totally unexpected happened and honestly it could of gone anywhere from there and made it a bittersweet ending if they had wanted to.
Luckily the outcome of the event is far better than expected (it could of gone extremely dark) with a scene between the two and eventually meeting up with his friends. However if it ended just there, we also get to see him finally take away his hands from his ears (not literally but thats what it shows) and all of a sudden the X’s fall off everyones faces at once. The feels in that scene are so powerful even Shoya starts crying and I swear the music is more complex (and has been getting more complex throughout the movie).
Overall I can definitely recommend it to anyone that likes anime drama’s and if it does get a dub I’d recommend it to more people. If I were to say there’s a message to this movie it’d be to treat people nicely considering how much his life was screwed over for bullying someone compared to the events that unfolded due to the random act of kindness.
P.S. Do note I forgot to save this the first time and had to rewrite from memory so it may be a little worse than I’d want it to be.

Amazon UK Digital rent is £4.50, Digital buy is £10, DVD is £18 and Blu-ray is £20 (not including P&P): http://amzn.to/2smEisO

Currently not available on Amazon US.

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Yakitate!! Japan (Anime) Episode 2 Review


[Gotta link to first part]

Basically what happened last episode was Kazuma was leaving to the competition at Pantasia but first we saw why he started making bread which included things like meeting a certain bread maker thanks to his older sister, learning about his ‘Solar Hands’ and making some special toast for his Grandpa using Soymilk. The anime version randomly hinted at the important characters in this episode while the manga merely had a joke that wasn’t adapted.

Can’t resize it… -_-

Considering the episode starts by reminding you that Kazuma lost 5 points for being late it kind of makes his insane optimism kinda annoying even if you knew there was a good reason he’s like that. Although some of the other characters spend this episode being annoying too although at least they’re still interesting.

Can’t say anything about the unimportant characters though which are literally just part of the background and super ignorable. If anything this episode focuses mainly on Kawachi Kyousuke even if two other bakers are there as well.

As well as showing how annoying Kyousuke can be it was once again hammering on about Kazuma’s Solar Hands, not that it was a bad thing but it sort of degrades the fact that he’s actually really good at making bread. If anything he’s one of those people that learnt completely due to experimenting so even with proof he still seems like an idiot to be honest.

You do get to at least learn a bit about the other 2 important bakers like their names (Azusagawa Tsukino is the girl,Suwabara Kai is the strange sword wielding guy and Kuroyanaza Ryu is the judge). Back to the important stuff though you really did look forward to when the bread was actually revealed especially since two of the characters were obviously not normal.

You learn some real random stuff in this bread making anime.

Obviously though what the viewer really wants on top of cool bread and competition between characters is to see whatever weird reactions they have when eating them. In fact Ryu (the judge) is essentially an important character that exists mostly to get odd reactions out of (the above screenshot being the start of one).

You still enjoy everything that happens though even if some characters are annoying, it’s a case of feeling like they’d be better once you actually get to know them especially since they all made nice bread. Some might be a little bit put of with how dumb Kazuma can seem though with the cliffhanger of this episode being based entirely around one of the problems of self teaching.

Overall a decent episode and gives a good introduction to the important characters, or at least enough to make you want to know more. Note I can’t remember anime characters full names at all so be prepared to just see first names after they’ve been introduced once.

Manga Comparison

First of all this episode covered chapters 2 and 3 in the manga. Oddly enough in the manga the 3 people are kicked out for being smelly, sickly and fat in that order which is different to the anime version. The smelly person was changed to have nose hair, the fat guy was kicked out for being sweaty and the originally sickly person got kicked out for his railroad haircut. This was probably done to tone down how harsh Ryu was but I personally think it was pointless.

That wasn’t the only noticeable differences though, not only did Kai cut his bread with a stanley knife instead of a sword in the original which is honestly better to start with but the small part in the anime where Kyousuke tries Kazuma’s bread never happened. Even the explanation for why he thought Curry was a japanese thing seemed to be different. However the biggest difference is the obvious fact that the judge’s reaction is a mere panel in the manga compared to the amusing little animation seen in the anime.

In other words this might be another time where the anime version is ultimately better even if some of the changes were pointless and/or kinda stupid.

Yakitate!! Japan (Anime) Episode 1 Review


Yakitate!! Japan is an anime originally written by Hasaguchi Takashi before being adapted by TV Tokyo and Aniplex. The story revolves around a young man known as Kazuma Azuma in his quest to make a Ja-Pan aka a completely new and unique bread for their country (like France has baguettes).

Will probably find something better to put here.

The start was quite weird with all the stuff with the fighting and each country getting their own bread, at least it gave you a good idea of what was going on. As for the immediate first impressions of Azuma Kazuma he seemed like he was one of those people that weren’t smart but instead super talented. What I found weird though was when it showed his family it was a bit too obvious that other than his big sister his grandpa was the only important one there.

Good opening with nice music even if it kind of gives away characters like you’d expect, I always found it amusing how the narrator claims that the anime is serious which immediately tells you it isn’t which is obvious once you get into it. The music used in the background is alright but while the graphics are ok they’ll never compare to something new like Shokugeki no Souma (also a cooking anime).

As someone thats watched the whole show this scene is quite awkward to rewatch.

While at the start it had Kazuma about to leave the episode is mostly a flashback of why he started making bread in the first place and it was quite interesting especially with the inclusion of what could be thought of as this anime’s superpower (kinda like what sport anime does) called Solar Hands which is essentially just naturally warmer hands that are apparently better for baking.

While there was a lot of comedy and calmness in it there is still quite an air of seriousness as well, it may not have given out the weight or numbers but when Kazuma was taught how to make you also felt like you were learning as well.

While it is amusing this sort of humor literally can’t be translated aka no dubbed version.

While there is plenty of comedy and weirdness the main source of it are the reactions of characters when they eat bread. I personally like how they look graphically and the play on words makes them unique but that sadly means there will never be a dubbed version (some people just don’t like subtitles). Well worth waiting most of the episode for.

Ultimately a good introduction to the main character and a nice look at the other characters, you even got to see a bit where he enters the Pantasia store for the competition where it hints at the other important characters although it didn’t give you any of their names which bugged me a little. Still quite enjoyable though at the end and you definitely would want to watch the next one if you liked this one.

Manga Comparison

Comparing it to the original manga chapter 1 gives the impression that the anime adaptation was better in every way, some of the panels felt overly simplistic and background effects don’t work that well in black and white. As for story there is not really any difference between the two although I believe the play on words about Anal Prolapse was understandably removed from the adaption. It might be interesting to note that the manga doesn’t show the other important characters at the end, its something put into the anime version for some reason.

Overall I find it enjoyable and would recommend giving it a try if you like that sort of thing. While I might of mentioned it though its very different to Shokugeki no Souma,  this is far weirder than that will ever be.

Aoharu x Kikanjuu (Anime) Review


Yesterday i got bored and watched the entirety of Aoharu x Kikanjuu (12 episodes) so i felt i might as well review it. The basic plot is Hotaru Tachibana, supposedly a girl that is flawlessly disguised as a guy ends up in “Survival Games” after meeting a ‘host’ called Masamune Matsuoka who then both team up with an Ero-Manga Artist called Tooru Yukimura. Survival games are basically fights with highly realistic BB guns where the aim is to shoot the opponent and when you are hit you are meant to shout hit, it may sound silly but its actually a very important plot point.

Graphics wise it was decent although i almost felt Hotaru looked too much like a boy, i know it was meant to be a plot point but even i never noticed any sort of hint at all. There were even a few times where i thought i might of accidentally watched one of those ‘Boys Love’ anime but luckily this doesn’t focus on any romance. As for music i didn’t really remember it at all.

For 12 episodes it had a decent range of characters all with things you like and dislike about them although at the same time you don’t learn much about them, including the mystery behind why Hotaru would disguise herself in the first place although when she goes all ‘Justice’ she turns awesome. Masamune did seem interesting with the fact his abilities came from his job. Tooru was a bit weird, i personally felt his love for adult oriented manga was really a plot point used mostly for awkward situations with Hotaru (considering he mistakes her for a guy) but he does have likable qualities.

I’m not entirely sure if the plot was rushed or not but it didn’t show as many Survival Games as you’d expect it would and it ended up being pushed aside a little bit for Hotaru’s awkward situation where the group he’s in doesn’t actually allow girls due to something that happened. The enemies were decent and they proved how evil they are pretty well although the fact you don’t see much fighting was a little sad, in fact the tournament that was hyped up for a few of the episodes didn’t last as long as you’d expect and despite it being a decent battle with some nice little twists you probably wanted more. What ultimately kept me watching wasn’t the characters interactions even if they were decent, it was how Hotaru was successfully portrayed as both a ‘monster’ and a total newbie at the same time although at the end it was like the whole 12 episodes were not something to be watched on their own but instead should be a buildup to a second series that doesn’t exist yet.

This causes it to be hard to really say if it really is any good or not. If i were to be optimistic I’d say we’d see more of the awesome fighting and possibly even a time skip, while i would like to see her train i think it’d be more important to actually give a  decent hint at her gender by changing her design a little bit. Worst case scenario would be that it would focus on romance but keep her design thus essentially becoming a ‘boys love’ anime. I’d say possibly put it near the bottom of your watch list and by the time you get around to it there may be more episodes.