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A Silent Voice (聲の形, Koe no Katachi aka The Shape of the voice) is a 2013 manga series, based on a 2008 one-shot of the same name. Written by Yoshitoki Oima, it was published in Weekly Shonen Magazine and recopilated in 7 volumes. It also had a movie in 2016.
Shouya Ishida is your typical boy, if a little rebellious. He loathes boredom, and do things like jumping off a bridge in the river to not get bored.
One day, a new classmate arrives his class: a girl called Shouko Nishiniya. When the teacher asks her to talk, she doesn't talk. Instead, she uses a notebook to tell them four things: her name, that she hopes to be a friend for everyone, that they could use the notebook to communicate with her, and that she's deaf.
The changes that Shouko causes through her condition in the class soon drives almost the entire class against her, including Shouya, that is soon taken as the The Scapegoat by the others for mistreating Shouko. Shouya ends up blaming this on Shouko herself, fights with her, and as result she is transferred. After she goes away, Shouya soons discovers she was cleaning his desk full of insults against him by the other students. As the years passes, he isolates himself and is isolated by the other students, and regrets more and more his actions against Shouko.
Five years after that day, Shouya meets Shouko again, and tries to make amends by what he did....
- A Day in the Limelight: After Shouya gets hospitalized after preventing Shouko's tentative of suicide and some chapters dealing with the immediate consequences without a central POV, six consecutive chapters are dedicated to each one of Shouya's friends trying to deal with their lives after the fact.
- Allergic to Routine:
- Shouya's sister is apparently this, and that's why she keeps changing from boyfriend to boyfriend constantly.
- At the beginning Shouya is also like this, and it goes in a horrible, horrible direction when he turns his sight to Shouko and mistreats her to avoid being bored.
- Ambiguous Ending:All romantic ends are left unfinished, specially between Shouya and Nishimiya.
- Anguished Declaration of Love:Shouko tries to confess her love to Ishida, but he misinterprets her because of her Speech Impediment, mistaking suki(to love) with tsuki(the moon).
- Art Shift:The beginning of Chapter 33 is drawn in a pop-art-Eisner kind of style, solely for the purpose of looking "manly". Turns out it's a comic book written by Nagatsuki to serve as a script draft for the amateur film of the group.
- Berserk Button: Mashiba really, really don't like bullies, thanks to himself being bullied because of his his eyebrows. His Establishing Character Moment is him attacking a group of younger than himself girls for making one of them carry all the bags, that he mentions being one kind of mistreatment that he also suffered when he was younger.
- Bifauxnen: Exploited. Yuzuru, Shoko's little sister, is very androgynous, and tries to get Ishida away from Shouko by claiming she's her boyfriend. It backfires horribly and hilariously when Nagatsuki throws "him" into a male bathouse, and she ends up seeing several almost naked men.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Kawai is always trying to look cute(get it?) or like the victim, but it becomes very quickly clear through her A Day in the Limelight chapter that she's incredibly narcissistic and unable to detect her own faults.
- Blatant Lies: After he is paired up with Shouka in gym class, Ishida tries to run away saying he's feeling sick and is going to the nurse room. The teacher persecuting him helpfully points out that he's going in the wrong direction.
- Boyish Short Hair:Shoko and Yuzuru's mother tried to enforce this trope it on Shoko in order to make her "look tougher". In the end it fails, first because the hair dresser decides to cut Shoko's hair like the little girl wants, and then Yuzuru cuts her own hair in a tomboyish style, expecting it would stop her mother of going through it with Shoko. It works.
- Brutal Honesty: Ueno's character is defined by this. She doesn't even try to pretend that she don't likes certain people, specially Shouko, that she sees as a romantic rival, and is very cruel with her words and actions.
- The Bully: Shouya would always bully Shouko for being deaf in their childhood.
- Caustic Critic:The group's movie ends up being evaluated by one of these. He criticizes, between other things, the plot, calling it artificial, the design and material for being cheap looking and making it look like a porno, the music for being too heavy for the cheap-looing visuals, and the lead, for having thick eyebrows.
- Curb Stomp Battle: Ishida gets to be on each end of one in the same day in the first chapter.
- First, he beats down the student that stealed his shoes, nicknamed "Deluxe", with only one punch.
- Then it turns out this "Deluxe" has a brother, this is his sister's(in that moment) boyfriend, that punches him in his solar plexus. Ishida practically flies into the air and lands completely defeated, to the astonished look of his two friends and Ueno.
- Cute Mute: Shouko can't talk properly thanks to being deaf since an early age. When her words come out, it come out as tangled and strained. She compensates it by using writing and sign language.
- Extreme Doormat: Shouko is one of these, taking insults and mistreatment with smiles and a lot of "sorry".
- Heroic Sacrifice: Trying to prevent Shouko from commiting suicide, Ishida gets himself thrown into the water of a river and is gravely injured.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: Kawai have a very high idea of herself and, when she sees a student don't likes her after she calls her creepy when talking to another person through a mobile, she begins to justify herself in her head in how "good" she is, and then says to Makiba, local Bully Hunter, to deal with said girl for such a minor thing like if was bullying, when it wasn't even directly directed towards her.
- Interrupted Suicide: Ishida walks in the Nishimiya's apartment just as Shouko is about to jump. He manages to avoid her fall, but ends up falling himself in the river.
- Ms. Fanservice: The villainess cat girl in Nagatsuki's initial draft, with a very low cleavage and fishnet on her legs.
- Putting the Band Back Together: After Shouya is hospitalized, Shoko tries to reunite the group around the objective of completing Nagatsuki's movie.
- Rated "M" for Manly: Nagatsuki's initial idea for his short film, with cliche dialogue, an incredibly manly and muscular Ishida-lookalike, people getting darts on their eyes, and...and random explosions on the background! There's even Bromance!
- Stock Shoujo Bullying Tactics: First used on Shouko by Shouya and others. Then, on Shouya himself.
- Shaggy Dog Story: Shouya spends years trying to scrape up enough money to pay for Shouko's hearing aids. The check ends up getting (accidentally) burned by his mother.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Yuzuro and Shoko's grandmother is shown to have died the chapter after her focus chapter, where she is shown to be a very kind person.
- Unflinching Walk: The Ishida lookalike from Nagatsuki's plot draft walks in the direction of the Nagatsuki lookalike while what appears to be an atomic explosion is happening in the background.
- The Unintelligible: Shouko can talk, she's just hard to understand because of her strained voice. As such, she compensates for this through sign language.
- Unstoppable Rage: Ueno gets very,very,very angry after Ishida gets hospitalized after he saves Shouko of commiting suicide. She submits Shouko to a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, blaming her for it, and only gets stopped by Shouko's mother, engaging into a fight with her instead of Shouko.
- Would Hit a Girl: Shouya definitely would in his childhood, just ask Shouko.
- Yandere: Downplayed, but Ueno is obsessed with Shouya to a unnerving degree. However, her obsession isn't big enough to change her Jerkass ways, so she tries to convince Shouya to turn back into a Jerkass, unsuccessfully . She also isolates himself with him after he gets hospitalized, and delivers Shouko a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown for unintentionally getting him into this situation.